Archive | February, 2011

Hop on a Boston Bus

25 Feb

When I was in London, my favorite thing to do was to walk until I was a little tired, find a bus stop and get on the first bus that came. I saw parts of London that I know my classmates had never seen and would never see. I saw the most beautiful buildings in the outskirts of town. If I passed by something that looked interesting or fun I would get off at the next stop and just wander around. It was perfect. I experienced so much of London and never got lost. After all, the buses there and in Boston usually stop at a subway stop at some point on the route. And you can always get home from there.

I know this post is a long time coming, but I have not been able to go anywhere in the Boston the past few weeks due to work and going home. But this is one piece of advice that I give anyone: get on a random bus and see where it takes you. You will see parts of Boston you never knew existed and you will see parts of Boston you wish didn’t exist. But it will open your eyes and you will become more knowledgeable about the city you live in or you’re visiting. It is fun and it’s relaxing because all I ask of you is to stare out the window and take everything in.

I don’t want to give you any suggestions on buses to hop on, just take the first one that comes wherever you are. Or if the T is an option, but the bus is going to the same destination, take the bus instead. The view is a thousand times better and you will see your normal route in a different light. It’s fun.

Valentine’s Day Walk Around Boston

14 Feb

One of the people I follow on Twitter posted this link. It is a blog called Bostonography, which is “the study of Greater Bosotn through maps and graphical representations.” Although it doesn’t seem to be the most interesting site, they did post a suggested walk around Greater Boston- in the shape of a heart (Happy Valentine’s Day by the way). It is very creative and may be interesting to walk part of it if you are bored one weekend and have no idea what to do. It seems to go through many familiar/popular areas but there is bound to be some hidden gems.

Southwest Corridor Park- A Hidden Gem

13 Feb

This past weekend I was bored and did not want to sit at home. I had yet to get a library card (mostly because I never had mail that had my Boston address on it) so I went to Copley. After the two seconds it took to get a library card I was not ready to go home so I started walking down Dartmouth Street toward the South End.

As I passed Copley Place (a ridiculous mall that I went in for the first time in December) I noticed a lot of people turning and walking down a pedestrian street next to Copley Place. I turned down.

I was very surprised. It was serene yet energizing. It is apparently the Southwest Corridor Park. Of course there was snow everywhere but I could tell that in the spring/summer there would be beautiful trees and flowers along the walkway. As it was, it was peaceful and relaxing. Dozens of people were walking the trail, many with dogs, which I love because it adds a suburban, residential feel to an area.

The park is straight and narrow and surrounded by brownstones. But it was amazing because you could see all the tall Back Bay buildings above the brick buildings. The old and the new. The residential and the urban. Seeing the two worlds collide is one of my favorite things and one of the reasons why I loved Europe so much.

Many of the side streets off Southwest Corridor Park were picture perfect (I took a ton of photos, some of which are below) and decorated for the season. I passed a church (no idea which one), a playground and an abandoned basketball court.

I eventually ended up on Mass Ave by the Orange Line station and decided to head home from there. I walked down Mass Ave past the Christian Science Plaza (my favorite place in Boston) and Symphony Hall until I got to Hynes. When I mentioned this walk to my roommate she explained how the park continues and she took it to get to the Arboretum. She said it was perfect for a bike ride.

I loved this park so much that I looked it up as soon as I got home (and uploaded my pictures, of course). It turns out Southwest Corridor Park is a linear park that stretches for 4.7 miles from Back Bay to the Arboretum and Franklin Park; it passes through the South End, Roxbury and Jamaica Plain. According to the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the park has 11 playgrounds, 2 spray pools, 7 basketball courts, 5 tennis courts, 2 street hockey rinks, 2 amphitheatres and approximately six miles of biking, jogging and walking paths. How cool is that?

So I say if you are ever bored and just want to take a walk wander over to the Southwest Corridor Park. Or if you find yourself walking somewhere and walking through the park is option (like with me), take it.

How to get to Southwest Corridor Park: Take the Orange Line to any stop between Back Bay and Forest Hills. Take the Green Line to Copley and walk down Dartmouth Street.

Chinese New Year Parade and Chinatown, Boston

9 Feb

We are about a month and a half into the new year. How are you doing on those resolutions? That bad, huh? Well, I was thinking that we should start new resolutions and had them start on the Chinese New Year. It may be easier.

Anyways, that was random. But the Chinese New Year was February 3rd. But here are some fun facts about it: In China it is known as the Spring Festival, the festival starts on the first day of the month and ends on the fifteenth, it is the most important Chinese holiday and this year is the Year of the Rabbit.

To celebrate the new year, there will be the annual Lion Dance Parade in Boston this Sunday, February 13th. The parade begins in the morning at the main stage in Phillips Square (Harrison Avenue and Essex Street). It then continue throughout Chinatown all day. The Lion Dance is meant to bring prosperity to local businesses while entertaining the masses with lively music and sounds. The parade starts at noon (I read that somewhere, can’t remember where) and it is free. I have never attended but it should be incredible; the atmosphere has to be electrifying.

If you want a little more information on the festival and on Chinatown as as whole, there is a website called Chinatown Main Street. In addition, here is the link to Boston.com’s Chinatown’s neighborhood page. It has a ton of information including restaurants and maps. If you are going to go, I suggest taking five minutes to browse that page.

Also, while you are there, or on a whole different day, you should explore Chinatown. It is the only historically Chinese neighborhood in New England and it is centered on Beach Street. There are dozens of restaurants that you can try out and most are inexpensive. Although it is not my favorite place in the city, it is a lot of fun to explore a new neighborhood and experience another culture.

How to get to Chinatown, Boston: Take the Orange or Red Line to Chinatown and walk south and east. You can’t really miss it as a lot of the signs are in Chinese.

Also, here are some pictures that Lane Turner of the Boston Globe took. They are magnificent and capture the importance of the holiday throughout the world. If you are at all interested in photography, different cultures or the Chinese culture I suggest taking a look.

Baseball Season is Almost Here: Truck Day for the Red Sox

7 Feb

The truck from last year.

Football season is officially over, and although this is the first time that fact has made me sad, I am very happy to say that baseball season is here! Okay, so not quite yet, but spring training is right around the corner and pitchers and catchers report in about a week (depending on the club). But spring training can’t start until all the equipment is in Florida, because otherwise, well, it would be hard.

The Red Sox realize the importance of equipment and hold an annual “Truck Day”. I will be the first to admit that this is a pretty cool PR tool. After all, we all know how dedicated (read weird) the Red Sox fans are. So Truck Day is tomorrow, February 8th at approximately noon. So, what the hell is Truck Day you ask? It is where the Red Sox equipment truck will depart Fenway Park (at Gate D) and make the 1,480 mile trip down to Fort Myers, FL where the Red Sox make their spring home.

This isn’t just a truck making its way to the highway. No, there will be a processional of flatbed trucks carrying Wally the Green Monster and Fenway Ambassadors who will be tossing Red Sox baseballs and JetBlue giveaways.

Although I have never been due to me being out of the country or working, I think this is a great event. It is short, sweet and memorable. Why not take advantage of it? Plus, while you are by Fenway explore the area, catch a movie, grab a bite to eat. And enjoy the start of Spring.

How to get to Fenway Park: Green Line to Kenmore, turn left out of the turnstiles and left at the top of the stairs. Follow the stadium around until you see the crowd of people and the truck. Of course you can also get off at Fenway on the D line.

Newbury Street- Try it Again

2 Feb

Okay, so it is snowing. Again. But we do live in New England, so while you can discuss how you have never seen this much snow and how it is infuriating you, you truly can’t complain that much.

Now on to the point of this post. Last weekend was one of the first times in months that I have had time to explore Boston. So my friend and I decided to walk down Newbury Street. Now I know that if you are from here, you are thinking this: “Seriously, she is telling me to go to Newbury? I have already done that a thousand times. I do live here.” Well, I am saying go again. (And if you are a tourist or visiting family, I also say go there.)

I had not been on Newbury in probably four months due to Winter Break and school. I was shocked by the number of changes that had happened during that time. Converse and Forever 21 (which is clean, spacious and beautiful) are now open along with a few pet stores and designer stores. The landscape of the street is always changing; there is always a new bakery or little restaurant to try. Plus, there are so many places that always change their inventory, such as Johnny Cupcakes and Newbury Comics. Walking into both of those places, even if you went last month, is a whole other experience.

So I suggest, if you are bored and feel like you have been everywhere in the city, to take another trip to Newbury Street and see what has changed. The atmosphere and energy is something that cannot be replicated, so if all else fails you have that. And if you haven’t been to Newbury, go. Now.

How to get to Newbury Street: Green Line to Hynes. That is on the very end of Newbury where the shops are cheaper. Or you can get off at Copley or Arlington. If you want an adventure, get off at Kenmore, walk East down Commonwealth Ave and look at all the brownstones and parks. It’s pretty.

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