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Old 08-13-2013, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Up North
3,404 posts, read 7,265,091 times
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Buckminster always creeped me out. We used to "party" there in high school. I would never stay there...its just sketchy.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Quincy, Mass. (near Boston)
2,052 posts, read 3,469,132 times
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Goy guy: very enjoyable post to read. Thank you.

As others have said, perhaps he does wish to see historic stuff and nice neighborhoods where he'd like to actually live -- w/o getting trendy and fashionable. But that's why I originally recommended all of Dot Ave. and similar...just to get away from tourists.

He could do that and Roslindale and/or Southie in order to complement the trolley, duck and boat tours, if enough time. At least that's something most tourists don't do...heck, even do the quick trolley tour of Quincy's Adams' houses, John Hancock grave and such. They even have a "Discover Quincy" brochure at Boston hotel brochure racks. That and the JFK Library are somewhat combinable.
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:16 AM
 
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Hey, all.

Thanks VERY MUCH for your replies. I enjoyed them and will return to them. I don't want to romanticize or patronize, but your smarts and wit affirm what I've heard of/intuited about Bostonians.

A quick clarification: I teach American Lit & History. So as long as a place isn't ruined/smothered by trendiness or tourists, it would much interest me. I'm there in good measure for the history, but don't like my history canned. (That's one reason I'll be going mid-week.)

I've of course heard a lot about Boston all these years--most of it very positive in just the ways that intrigue me most about a city. So I'm more worried that I'll fall in love with it too much than be disappointed. I make the best of where I am, but I'm eager to be able to move northward again. The parts and aspects I like most about NYC, Toronto, etc., seem to be most characteristic of Boston: the anti-mega places, quirks, neighborhoods, history, architecture, customs. Classy grit over new gloss, Pedroia over A-Rod, any day.

By the way, can anyone suggest a good tapas place in/near Brookline (where I ended up booking accommodations)? I know this all makes me sound like a hillbilly or hermit, but I've never had tapas. And what are some of Boston's "Boston" dishes--the way that Buffalo had wings, Philly cheese steaks, etc.? I'll be around too many people to dive into the baked beans thing, so any other suggested local favorites?

Finally, anyone know when they open up Fenway for a 7:10 game? I'd love to get in there ASAP--for the stadium even more than for the batting practice. I've had dreams about going to that place since Yaz had the sideburns.

Thanks very much once again.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:43 AM
 
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Welcome hillbilly! You're going to love Boston. It's too bad you don't have more time. If American history is yo thang, hold on tight bro. There are pubs in the city where the revolutionaries met to plan their activities (give me liberty or give me beer!). My wife and I were in one of them and realized that the dudes who planned the revolution were just kids...young adults! They were probably just drunk kids and were like "Dude, that king is a complete Dyckhead. I'm gonna get my crew together and bust up his boys." Then they high fived and vomitted.

Minute Man park in Concord is steeped in history, as is all of Concord - if you go there make sure to where something American - there are flags everywhere. I can go on and on, but you get the picture, tons of history. It's kind of Boston's thing.

I live in Brookline. The only thing in terms of history we have here is the JFK house on Beals street - I live about 5 blocks away in one of the Brownstones off Beacon St. Beacon is where the Marathon runs when goign through Brookline BTW. THe Edward Devotion school on Harvard St. is where JFK went to school up until the 3rd grade. It's the closest school to my place but our kid is going to a different one. Brookline is a fun town and you can just take the C to many of the sites Boston Public Library (has terrific tours), Common (many walking tours leave from there), Swan boats at the Public Garden, Churches, etc. Like I said, I can go on for hrs...and apparently I am! And let's not forget all the Universties. The Harvard tour is fun and historic. There are so many towns with history as well (Salem is fun). Fishing towns, etc. Tapas places in Brookline - Barcelona and Taberna de Haro are both on Beacon. I've been to both and they were good but I'm not really a tapas connoisseur, just wanted to have a nice time. And frankly, it was a night out without the kid so I could have been served rat tail by a hairy fat guy in tighty whiteys and would have been happy. I'm sure there are plenty of reviews on yelp or something, Boston people love to review. And if you like anti-mega places, you'll enjoy Brookline. It has a local feel with both an urban and suburban personality. You won't see any Walmarts or other big box places and it's a walking town. People do things like go to the Trader Joe's on Beacon, get some food and drink (they sell alcohol!) and walk up Pleasant st, go right on Browne and hit the Rose Garden (Minot) park and have a picnic). Brookline also has a Farmers mkt on Thursdays starting at 1:30, you can google that if interested.

Driving in Brookline sucks because the pedestrians are like little cockroaches. I hardly ever use my car - I'm either walking, cycling, or on the T. Oh yeah! You can also get a hubway bike and ride the Esplanade (Charles River path). Or maybe take a bike tour with Urban Adventures, or one of those segway tours. Or rent a kayak and paddle the Charles River. Museum of Science is awesome BTW.

Fenway oftentimes has tours of the place before a game. I haven't been on a tour but here it's great. You can go to Fenway hrs before the game. It's a parade like atmosphere. There are streets around the stadium that they close and you need to show your ticket to get into them. The streets are packed with musicians, vendors, other fun stuff. And that's before you get into the stadium. And if it's your first time you can get a free squishy ball or something - usually for kids but hey, maybe your a kid at heart.

A casual boston dish that comes to mind is lobster roll. I'll let others chime in with other dishes and where to get them.

Anywhoo, best of luck and have fun.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:45 AM
 
5,032 posts, read 4,846,280 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 58Belvedere View Post
about Bostonians.
I like to say Bostonites, just to be oppositional.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:25 AM
 
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I like Taberna de Haro for tapas.

Welcome to Taberna de Haro


A lot of what is attributed as being "Boston food" is really just a lot of tourist stuff or else, stuff people make at home. I cannot imagine there are many locals going out for baked beans. That said, you might try steamers, fried clams (whole bellies, not clam strips) and a lobster roll. Because MA doesn't have Happy Hour specials for drinks a lot of places do them for food instead, so you can find dollar oyster "Happy Hour" specials (I like Marliave for that).

I like Puritan and Co. in Cambridge a lot--it's a very modern take on classic New England food. Belle Isle seafood is good for no-frills stuff, though a pain to get to without a car. Neptune Oyster has a terrific lobster roll but it's smack in the heart of tourist-centric North End and its a tiny place that doesn't take reservations, so you need to plan accordingly.

I'd also recommend Island Creek Oyster bar in Kenmore Square. Great seafood, terrific service.
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Needham, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantabridgienne View Post
I like Taberna de Haro for tapas.

Welcome to Taberna de Haro
Taberna de Haro is a great restaurant. I also like Toro in the South End for tapas.

I would agree with everyone else that there really isn't a dish that I would identify with Boston but what we do pretty well around here is fresh local seafood.
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Old 08-14-2013, 11:14 AM
 
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I love Toro. That would be my first pick for Spanish food, actually.
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:51 PM
 
5,032 posts, read 4,846,280 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantabridgienne View Post
I love Toro. That would be my first pick for Spanish food, actually.
We know the owner. My wife's been there (I haven't because I was being a curmudgeon that day I guess) and she wasn't as impressed as she thought she'd be...expectations were too high maybe? She did say it was good though.
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:11 PM
 
5,680 posts, read 5,023,052 times
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Tell Ken to start taking reservations for Toro! That's my one complaint.

(Full disclosure: I know the chef there so I've gotten some special treatment and off-menu dishes. But I still think the regular menu is pretty darn good and I lived in Spain for a little while).
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