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Boston's Swan Boats: Come along for the glide, just for a minute or so

Since the 19th century, these slow boats have been a fixture in Boston's Public Garden lagoon.

Is there a Southern California equivalent to Boston's Swan Boats? Not really.

Come to think of it -- and the people of Boston came to this conclusion weeks ago -- these slow, old boats are actually a more reliable business proposition than hosting the Summer Olympics.

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Though they operate on city property, they're part of a family business that has survived more than 130 years.

The Swan Boats ply the waters of the lagoon in the Boston Public Garden, passing beneath the Lagoon Bridge.

A short ride costs less than $5. And though you might be tempted to credit some children's author for inspiring their design, it was actually the composer Richard Wagner, better known for his Valkyries. (On the boats, the swans hide the pedaling legs of the boat operators.)

"A Minute Away" is a video series in which nothing much happens -- except you see the world, and hear it, and get a respite from workaday life. We've covered Machu Picchu, Red Square, the Yucatan, the Alamo, an Alaskan float plane and the reading room of the New York Public Library, among other places. Since early 2013, we've been adding a new minute every week (and some of those "minutes" are closer to 120 seconds). So if you'd prefer an hour or two away, we've got more than enough here for you…

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