Massing in Boston

Mrs. E. and I will be traveling to Boston, MA at the end of the month to a mass meeting of her high school/SYA chums. We’ll have just two days, one evening of which will be spent at the reunion. I’ve been to Cambridge to crash a wedding at The Harvard Club. (“She’s a lovely bride, what a fine day!” “May I have this dance?”) Yet another reason to travel with a dinner jacket. Aside from that brief foray, my interactions with the Boston area are limited to say the least. I do remember vowing to never drive in the city again… .

At any rate, we are going to visit the Isabella Gardner museum, take a sunset sail around the harbour, perhaps jump a trolley to see some other sites… We’re staying at The Park Plaza Hotel & Towers. Do you, dear readers, have suggestions for sightseeing, dining recommendations, must-see-and-do’s? All comments welcome. Sometimes the anticipation of travel is the most fun part of the journey.

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18 Responses to Massing in Boston

  1. Brian says:

    Ideas:
    Catch a game at Fenway.
    Stroll around the South End during the day.
    Come to Cambridge (neighboorhoodier)

    Shopping- Newbury St., Louis Boston and Bobby’s from Boston (best vintage menswear-some women’s too- store in the northeast.

    Walk or bike the Charles on the Cambridge side (best views of the city).

    Restaurants- if you have a car- Highland Kitchen in Somerville (my favorite local place) It’s southern comfort food inspired and a chill vibe with great service, yummy food and great drinks. Downside- not on public transit.

    Ten Tables- In JP (get reservations early)

    Late night drinks, light food and live music at the Beehive.

    Jazz at Wally’s (oldest Jazz place in the city)

    Lunch- They offer sandwiches by chefs from a bunch of great restaurants around the city.

    Pricy Sushi- O Ya.

    Desert-
    Mike’s Pastries is usually a suggestion in the North End, but locals prefer Modern Pastry just down the street (shorter lines- equally delicious cannolis)
    Flour Cafe in the South End (casual) Finale’s downtown (elegantier)

    Get out of downtown a bit and come visit Cambridge/ Somerville. Davis square has a great, local vibe. (Check out Jazz Brunch at Johhny D’s on Sunday morning. Highland Kitchen has a bluegrass brunch if that’s more your style 🙂

    I hope you enjoy your trip to our fine city. Are you going to be on public transit only?

  2. John says:

    You may not have time to fit it into your schedule, but I’d suggest 75 Chestnut Street as a place to go for dinner.

    http://www.75chestnut.com/general-info.htm

  3. pve says:

    Make way for ducklings, one of my favorite children’s books by R.McLoskey
    I love strolling the parks and city of Boston. Have a cup of New England Clam chowder for me, and yes, taking the bus is much easier than “pahking the cah!”
    (pour on thick Boston accent)
    pve

  4. Mrs. PvE, we’ve got a copy upstairs!

    John, thanks!

    Brian, Great suggestions. We will be on public transport, or taking a taxi, as needed.

  5. I recently came back from Boston (used to live there) and a walk through Beacon Hill never disappoints – especially if you head up hill from Charles St.
    Here’s my post to give you a sense of the architectural eye candy

    http://mynottinghill.blogspot.com/2010/06/beacon-hill-window-boxes-planters.html

  6. Donna says:

    I live in Boston. The Gardiner museum is wonderful. Just around the corner is the Museum of Fine Arts as well. I’ld stay in the Back Bay area where you are staying. Stroll down Newberry St. for shopping and you won’t be able to miss Louis of Boston. There are some nice restaurants on Newberry – all good. Also, you could take a peek in the Trinity Church (beautiful)as you stroll back to your hotel which I believe still does an afternoon tea. You could also walk up towards Beacon Hill for more atmosphere. It will be warm but beautiful to look at all the architecture uniquely Boston’s. A swan boat ride would be fun too.

    Have fun!

  7. christy says:

    You can catch the red line to Quincy Station to tour the John Adams home. It is a terrific tour- very informative. It is owned by the Park service. The park service center is a short walk from the station. http://www.nps.gov/adam/index.htm I hope this link gets you to the website.

  8. brohammas says:

    I would assume you would fly on such a trip. In the event you don’t, stop in Philly.

    Thats the best advice I can give regarding Boston.

  9. Be sure to go to the MFA and see their collection of Copley paintings. It is an astonishing assembly of many of his greatest and most iconic paintings, and something I try and visit every time I return to Boston. The Fogg Museum at Harvard is mostly notable for its breathtaking collection of flowers and plants made from glass. Reggie

  10. Amy says:

    The Public Garden is a must–beautiful flowers, adorable ducks and the swan boats! And I second a stroll through Beacon Hill–stunning architecture.

  11. brohammas, we’re flying. But one day we’ll get back to Philadelphia. My grandmother was born there, after all.

  12. THE BLACK ROSE — if you can stand it.

  13. ADG says:

    you know you’ve gotta go to Bobby

  14. ADG, I was afraid of that….

    LBT, always good to know where to grab a pint. Especially given the weather.

    Amy, we’ll be right there.

    Reggie, thanks!

  15. Jason says:

    There are lots of great places to eat, shop, etc. Here are a few of my suggestions:

    Beacon Hill has beautiful history. You can stroll along the streets and oggle at the beautiful brownstones (the window boxes are in full bloom right now). Cafe Vanille on Charles St. has a fantastic capuccino, and breakfast/brunch at the Beacon Hill Hotel + Bistro is fantastic (highly recommend). I also suggest you stop in North River Outfitter (NRO) my friend Alice’s store, it’s a great place to pickup a Smathers & Branson belt or a new pair of top siders.

    The South End has a lot to offer as well, Gaslight is a great inexpensive French restaurant with a fantastic cocktail menu (real drinks, not fruity concoctions) and general panache. Toro is also great (awsome appetizers) 28 Degrees serves up a more hip vibe with a video bar and favorites such as oysters on the half shell (sometimes $1 a piece).

    The North End (primarily Hanover St.) has an array of Italian restaurants, stop into any of them for fantastic wine and pasta or Campari & soda. There is always a line around the corner at Mike’s Pastry – try a cannoli from Modern Pastry (they’re just as good…)

    Newbury St is the Rodeo Drive of Boston, or so they say on the Duck Tours (not a bad way to see the city). Copley Plaza, connected to the Prudential Center is an indoor mall with Thomas Pink, Louis Vuitton, Barney’s, Saks, etc. Also, try a cocktail at Bar 10 in the Westin Hotel.

    Hope you have a great stay in Boston!

  16. Jason, thanks! Sounds like we’ve got a couple of great stops to make. And it is a toss up between the Duck and the Trolley.

  17. Nick says:

    For a modern and very well executed take on food from the Virginia highlands check out Hungry Mother just north of MIT in Cambridge. http://www.hungrymothercambridge.com/

  18. Thanks all! We’re off!

    Oh, any suggestions for a scenic breakfast? It’s going to be an early morning.

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