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Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:17 pm    Post subject: Boston Reply with quote

Well a spur of the moment trip has come up and we are off to Boston on Monday. Phil and my good friend will be working most of the time and I will be exploring the city. I was there for a long weekend in March, and we made the most of it, so I sort of know my way around. But, I have a week to keep myself occupied. Any suggestions? Where's the good shopping?
"It's watery....and yet there's a smack of ham."

"It's hot ham water."
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Joined: 20 Jul 2006
Posts: 29
Location: Cambridge, MA (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you know where you're staying? If it's in the city of Boston, you're within walking distance of most of the places I can mention. I live across the river, in Cambridge, "Boston's Left Bank" [or so we try to style ourselves].

In Boston, you should start with the Freedom Trail, beginning with a visitor center on Tremont Street just by the Boston Common. That trail will wind you around past all the historical sights. It'll show you where Quincy Market is -- that's one of the first 1970's era downtown reclamation projects, and totally successful. The center building is all about food, and the shopping is on either side. The trail also goes to the North End, which used to be Little Italy. It still is, but it's getting a little gentrified and diluted from what it used to be. Still, it has some great restaurants and a few good alimentari, such as Salumeria Italiana.

Also, seek out Copley Place, a very upscale indoor arcade linking the Westin and Marriott hotels. From the Marriott, you can also take an enclosed pedestrian overpass across Huntington Avenue to the Prudential building and its big indoor mall. A few blocks away, in what's called the Back Bay, Newbury Street is loaded with boutiques, getting fancier as you go from Massachusetts Avenue ("Mass Ave") toward the Public Garden.

In Cambridge ... well, Harvard Square used to be something special, but all the locally owned shops have been driven out by high rents, and what's there now could be found in any mall. Now, the action has shifted to Davis Square, Somerville. Both Harvard Square and Davis Square are on the Red Line subway, direction Alewife.

Hope this helps ... let me know if you think of questions.
-- BG

The Chemist in the Kitchen (sometimes)
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Joined: 16 Jan 2007
Posts: 35
Location: Oakland, CA, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:23 am    Post subject: Re: Boston Reply with quote

Erin wrote:
Any suggestions? Where's the good shopping?

Ah, the town I grew up in. well, near.

I agree with the North End suggestion - a place with real character, and there is also a very interesting ancient graveyard there in which (the decidedly unfriendly but interesting) Cotton Mather is buried..

But I would say that Copley square is your average upscale shopping mall. If you want shopping, you can have quite a bit more character in the architecture, plus art galleries and real food, if you walk down Newbury Street. Start at the Boston Common and just walk towards Massachusetts avenue. there are some decent restaurants and shops and bookstores, it gets more studenty as you walk along towards Mass ave.

if you are up for lots of walking, you can walk down Mass ave over the bridge to Cambridge. Or you can take the #1 bus.

Get off at Central square (it's before harvard if you are coming down Mass Ave from Boston, or on the Red Line train) for absolutely delicious snacks after 5pm (middle eastern flavor, lounging on padded benches) at the Enormous Room, upstairs from the Central Kitchen. their salmon skewers are divine. Or just on the edge of Central Square on main street is Royal East, an amazing chinese restaurant (get the pea tendrils)

But the best tour of Boston is the Ice Cream Tour (that I just made up)! This is the home of gourmet ice cream! Plus, that will take you to many cute little local neighborhoods that are not touristy at all.

In Central Square, just off Mass Ave on Main Street (niot far from Royal East, hmm) is one branch of Toscanini's. Some folks go for their Guiness Ice cream (yes, as in the beer), I usually stick with Hydrox. But they have great flavors.

In Harvard Square I would go to Herrell's - it's in a former Bank vault on Dunster street, just off from the Subway exit.

In Cambridge on the way to Somerville, Inman Square (Prospect st and Cambrdge street - you can walk up prospect from Central square it takes about 10 minutes), there is Christina's. They have a ton of flavors - I like Pumpkin. (Inman also has some good restaurants - many folks like the East Coast Grill, although it's very loud, and there is also a pretty legendary jazz club - Ryles)

In Jamaica Plain (a fun suburb with a very nice arboretum) there is a JP Licks (but they also have a branch on Newbury Street near Mass Ave). Another local brand.

I can also suggest a list of used bookstores (Avenue Victor Hugo, opposite JP Licks on Newbury is one amazing one), and even some nightlife if you are so inclined.
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