It’s really true. As a Yankees supporter, I wanted to hate everything there is about Boston. The RedSox fans with that accent, juice-head Curt Shilling & his fake bloody sock, Ben Affleck, all of it.
Then work sent me there in November and I got a glimpse of something more than a giant green wall and Jon Lester’s ugly face.
Then work sent me there again in May and I ended up with some spare time to go exploring. I saw a guy dressed up in colonial garb, but didn’t ask him for a high-five because I wasn’t sure if they had that gesture back then. (I assume Ben Franklin and one of his eskimo bros invented the high-five sometime after the revolution. Science has yet to prove me wrong.)
This week, though, I think I had my best time in the city. While the conference turned out to not be my favorite, it’s unexceptionalism did free up time for taking in the environment.
1.) The Walk
Due to the wonders of procrastination, we ended up being booked at a hotel about a mile and a half away from the convention center. This did, however, enable me to have a terrific morning commute from Beacon Hill, down Charles Street (Buildings from the early 1800s anyone? Yes, my european friends, 1800s is a very old age for America.), through the public gardens and up Bolyston St to the end of the marathon route. If Phoenix had neighborhoods and walks like these, I’d probably never think of leaving.
2.) The Food
Pret! Holy crap this place has Pret.
Right, I did just geek out about a chain place. I know that flies in the face of so many things I’ve written, but I have an illogical love for Pret. Maybe it’s because the sandwiches remind me of travel days in Europe, when we just grabbed a baguette sandwich en route to our next destination.
Other places to check out:
Parish Cafe on Boylston. Great sandwiches, huge beer selection and good people watching from the patio
Antico Forno on Salem in the North End. Previous to this trip, I wasn’t aware that Paul Revere was Italian, but this brick-oven eatery does it so right, I’m considering adding some vowels to my last name.
Felcaro Pizza in Beacon Hill. For a neighborhood pizza joint, this place has awesome thin crust and cheese. If Boston can make a decent NY-style pizza, maybe my world is all upside down…
3.) The Pubs
There’s really nothing I can say here that Cheers didn’t already say years ago. I guess the best thing I can say is that the show was pretty accurate. Dark wood and good drinks. I’m not sure if anyone there knows my name, but it’d be cool if there was.
4.) The Shops
Admittedly I didn’t spend much time in this regard, but you could spend weeks just going into all the fascinating store-fronts along Charles St. I can only imagine what the rest of Beacon Hill had in store. For a fun gift to bring back home, check out Black Ink. Also, Sugar Heaven on Boylston has a big selection (Harry Potter jellybeans in 2013? Whoa.), and very friendly service. Plus, if anyone deserves some love and support, it’s these guys.
I’m pretty sure I’ll end up back in Boston soon enough. Now if they’d just start wearing the right ball cap, we can all be bros.
P.S. We’ll talk about how you’re ruining Batman soon enough, Bean Town.