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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Where To Go

Apparently, in my 22 years lived in Boston/Cambridge, before our move to Magical Valhalla, all I did  was people watch, eat and wander around bookstores.

OK. Cool.

Couldn't sleep at all last night so I began working on a list for my cousin Della. She and her terrific daughter Maya will arrive from Berlin on Tuesday evening. Since I'll be  spending a lot of time this week doing the Chemo Crump with The Amazing Bob at MGH, I wanted to provide them with a collection of ideas—cool things to do and see.

The list, which I thought would be just a short little tab of restaurants worth going to blew up into something a bit more. Below is what I sent off to her.
Just a few thoughts for now.

Back Bay
Apart from the people watching, bookstores, frock shops (at least one really fab second hand place) and all the galleries, there are just so many good places to eat and imbibe.

Get off the T at Park Street Station and walk through the Common, stroll through and around the Public Garden. Cross Arlington Street to the Back Bay and promenade up Beacon Street, Marlborough and the Commonwealth Mall before diving into Newbury and and Boylston Streets.

All the trees are in bloom now and there’ll be tulips everywhere.

Piattini (Italian)
Atlantic Fish Company
Bukowski’s (pub fare but very good. I just love this place. If the Sox aren’t playing, the atmosphere very chill)
Sonsie—I haven’t eaten here in years. Mostly what I remember is the great vibe, good people watching. Worth going to if only for a drink.
Trident Bookseller Cafe—great food and BOOKS.
There’s a very good Middle Eastern place (name escapes me) on Hereford between Boylston and Newbury. Dunno if it’s still there BUT it’s def worth going to.

Take in the Society of Arts and Crafts on Newbury. Stunning crafts for sale on the first floor and two floors of gallery space above. There's ALWAYS a good exhibit happening here.

Central Sq
Food-wise, you just can’t go wrong in Central Square. People watching is also awesome here. And then there’s all the great shops (books, clothing, curios, etc)—Central Sq is DEF worth a full afternoon plus.
Mary Chung (Chinese)
Shalimar of India
Life Alive (Awesome vegetarian joint—a great lunch option)
Just a few doors down from Life Alive there’s a good Mexican restaurant—I forget the name.
Really there’s too many great grub joints to list.
Harvard Sq
Get a cuppa at Au Bon Pain and watch the parade of humanity go by. Stop in Grolier’s (poetry bookshop on Plympton), see if the Revolution Books is open, listen to street musicians and you may see a juggler or two. Wander. Check out Longfellow’s house on Brattle.

Heading north up to Porter Sq along Mass Ave there are some decent places yo eat. Temple Bar stands out in my memory. Of course, the names of all the others escape me. Def a good Mexican place right near Temple Bar too.

In the Square itself, I’m not sure where's best to eat. Grendel’s Den is still there though.

Check out The Fogg, Busch Reisinger and Sackler Museums. The natural history museum's worth a visit too particularly the glass flowers.

Davis Square (take the Red Line from Harvard up 2 stops or walk—30 minutes?) has a lot of good restaurants and cafes. The neighborhood used to be pretty cool/hip, good bookstores, cafés and people watching. I expect it’s still worth a visit. I used to hang at a fair sized Irish joint (The Burren?)—dandy food, atmosphere and of course, the people watching is lovely.

There’s a splendid Indian joint across the street from it.

Johnny D's is a club/restaurant in Davis Square. Great place to catch a band AND the food's truly fab.

In this long note I didn't even touch on Beacon Hill spots, North End nosheries and bakeries OR the South End. Sheesh!

It would seem that I'm perfectly content to wander about gaping at buildings, people, galleries and bookstores—after which my keister is happily parked at a pub/restaurant/café whose most important attribute should be it's atmosphere.

Of course.


  1. wow, the photos really kick it up! great!! 😃

    1. :-) Bring your camera. Spring is gorgeous here but then, I suppose that's so everywhere. Best season EVAH!

  2. The Middle Eastern joint on Hereford Street is called Café Jaffa. It’s still there and still quite good. I go there for lunch off and on.

    Not too far away is one of my favorite obscure Boston sites: the Mapparium housed at the Christian Science Center. It’s a globe 30 feet wide that you can walk through at the equator. It’s a bit of a time capsule too since they have not updated the borders or country names since it was built in 1935. The acoustics alone are worth the visit.

    Around the corner at Jordan Hall, check out the schedule of usually free concerts. The faculty and grad students put on recitals several times a week that are varied and remarkable. And the MFA is right down the street. I think admission on Wednesday evenings is still free, but check into that.

    Yeah, Boston’s a fun place to wander. Enjoy!