Tag Archives: Red Line

Pretend You’re a Braniac: Visit MIT

11 Aug

If I were smarter and into science and into math and could handle all the braniacs, my dream school would be MIT. It is absolutely incredible and one of my favorite places.

I first discovered it during a trolley tour of Boston when I was younger. All I could remember was that it looked so cool, and weird. I then rediscovered it my sophomore year of college when I lived at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge for a semester. Because I was all of a sudden on that side of the river, my best friend and I would explore Cambridge on the weekends when we got bored- and when we didn’t want to walk to a subway across the BU bridge (every time I go over that bridge I think I am going to die).

I am not going to go into every detail of how amazing every building at MIT is; you will have to walk the campus for yourself and open your eyes. But I am going to give you some direction and advice.

MIT Stata Center

If you walk down Vassar Street you will see much of what makes MIT unusual. The Ray and Maria Stata Center is unlike (almost anything else). It was designed by Frank Gehry, a world-renowned architect. If I were you I would definitely go inside of it and walk around, look out the windows, go on the roof. It is basically MIT’s student center so anyone is allowed in. Also on Vassar you will see a funny shaped building with different colored square windows. It’s a dorm. Yup, it is a dorm. You will also pass by Henry G. Steinbrenner Stadium. And yes, that Steinbrenner is related to the Yankees (Henry was George’s father. He went to MIT and donated a lot of money to them).

View from inside the Stata Center

So there is the unusual, the “out-there”, but there is also the classic. Walk down Memorial Drive between Ames Street and Massachusetts Avenue and you will see some of the most gorgeous, classical architecture there is to see in the area. When you get to Harvard Bridge, turn up Mass Ave and keep your eyes peeled. The stone work and random structures abound (not sure if that is the right word, but it sounds good!).

Lincoln Laboratory MIT on Memorial Drive

How to get to MIT: Take the red line to Kendall/MIT (clever, right?). There are also many, many buses that take you right into Kendall: CT2 (weekdays only, found that out the hard way while it was pouring), 64, 68, 85 and others that run through MIT’s campus (47 goes close as well).

Lions and Tigers and Monkeys in Boston!

26 Jul

This is my favorite picture I took while at the zoo!

Everywhere I go, I try to go to the zoo.  For reference, the best zoo I have been to was in Dublin, closely followed by Cleveland and then Atlanta. The worst zoo is by far Washington, DC. Just so you know, because you had to have been wondering.

I am not even joking when I say the following: one of the first things I did when I decided to go to school in Boston was to look up where the closest zoo was. Lo and behold, it was in Boston! Who freakin’ knew?!

Franklin Park Zoo is, surprise surprise, in Franklin Park. I say that Franklin Park is in Dorchester, but honestly I don’t know. It is on the border of Dorchester, Roxbury and JP. So you choose. (Just so you have all the information, Franklin Park Zoo is part of Zoo New England, which also includes Stone Zoo in Stoneham. Creative names, huh?).

Freshman year, my best friend and I took and day and decided to go on an adventure to the zoo. It took absolutely forever to get there! We were not prepared. But it was worth it. It was raining lightly so we had the zoo almost to ourselves. We could stare at the tigers (including a white tiger!) and lions however long we wanted. It is understandably smaller than many zoos, but that is also the great thing. You don’t feel rushed to get through everything and you feel fine staring at the monkeys for half an hour.

How to get to Franklin Park Zoo: Drive. No, you can get there using public transportation. We took the Red Line to Andrew and then took the 16 bus to the zoo (we couldn’t find the 16 bus going back so we took a random bus to Ruggles). That was long
but we discovered the South Bay Center (which has a Target and Stop and Shop!). You can also take the Orange line to Forest Hills and take the 16 bus. Or take the Orange Line to Ruggles, then take the number 22, 28, 29, 44 or 45. All work.

General admission is $16 for adults, but all rates can be found on their website.

Oh, and take a ton of pictures!

Davis Sqaure- A Bit of Everything to Make You Happy

6 May

My best friend got a job in Boston (yup, not fair) and found a place to live (rather easily I may add)
in Somerville. Davis Square to be exact.

Davis is awesome. It is a complete mix of the old and the new. There are family-owned businesses that have
been around forever next to hip, trendy jewelry shops. Bricks, some painted, make up the sidewalks and trees line the streets. You can tell that the area is very artsy, but not overly so that you can’t stand it. Though, there are a lot of emo people that live and work in the area. You have been warned. But also note that that is a good thing and the people that live there, meaning the people walking around, are not snobby, rich jerks. And that is a good thing.

Some of the most amazing fooderies I have been to are in Davis Square. Redbones is phenomenal. It is
southern comfort food. They even have fried okra and collard greens, that’s how southern it is. Then there is Kickass Cupcakes. I mean, come on, how can you not go to a place called Kickass Cupcakes? Seriously, how cool is that?

Anyways, also down the street about 10 minutes is Tufts University. Yeah, I always forget about it too. As I
have said before, it is always fun to explore a college campus and I heard that the view of Boston from the top of campus (it’s on a hill) is pretty awesome.

So, check it out and let me know what you think. I love it. I think I love Somerville. Remind me to live  there if I ever find a job.

How to get to Davis Square: Easiest way is to take the red Line to, surprise surprise, Davis Square.

Free Cupcakes: Cupcake Camp Boston 2011

12 Apr
 One of my best friends/roommates has to do this huge project on bakeries. Sounds weird, I know, but there is a lot more that goes into it than we all know. Anyway, she (well her group because she has class) is going to this thing that she stumbled upon a few weeks ago. It is called Cupcake Camp Boston 2011. How freakin’ cool does that sounds?!

Cupcake Camp Boston is April 13th, so tomorrow. It is at 7 p.m. at The Center for Arts at the Armory at 191 Highland Ave. in Somerville. So what is Cupcake Camp you ask? Basically, it is a gathering of bakers, chefs, wannabe bakers and wannabe chefs all giving out cupcakes to you. For free. Yup, that’s right, for free. Honestly, you show up, you can give a suggested donation but you don’t have to and you eat cupcakes. As many as you want.

Also, if you are one of those people who love baking and want to participate, or you want to get noticed, you can fill out a registration form and bring your own cupcakes to give away. That form, and a lot of other information including interviews with bakers and a list of bakeries participating, can be found on Cupcake Camp Boston’s blog.

I have never been and won’t be able to go this year (stupid class) but this sounds amazing. And yummy. Let me know if any of you check it out, and make sure you eat a cupcake for me!

How to get to Cupcake Camp, The Center for Arts at the Armory: This truly depends on where you are coming from. It looks like the easiest way would be to take the Red Line to Davis Square. From there you can take the 90 bus or the 88 bus toward Lechemere (about 4 minute ride) or you could walk if it is nice out. Also, you could take the Green Line to Lechemere and then the 88 bus. I would Google Map it.

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.

Beaches: Who knew they were accessible via public transportation?

9 Dec

New England Sand Sculpting Festival

It is officially winter. It is negative bajillion degrees outside and everyone is in full complaining mode. Ain’t life fabulous?

Well, you can make it even better by going to the beach. No, that was not a sarcastic comment, it was real, honest to goodness advice. The beach is one of the best places to visit during the winter because it is so peaceful, calming and tranquil (yes, I know all those words mean the same thing). I absolutely adore walking the beach when I am the only one there and being able to pick up the best shells without fighting with a small child (who should know to get out of my way!).

But we are in Boston, without a car. No fear, public transportation is here! There are two fairly okay beaches accessible via public transportation. I have always gone to Revere Beach. I have read reviews of it that say it is not clean, there are creepers everywhere and the shops are scum. To be honest I think the very opposite. I have gone a few times and have always loved it. During the summer it is always filled with people, but everyone is respectful. During the winter it is quiet. There are also some festivals that are held here throughout the year (I went to the sand castle building competition) and the restaurants/shops remind me of a mini boardwalk. I really do love it.

New England Sand Sculpting FestivalNew England Sand Sculpting Festival

How to get to Revere Beach: Take the Blue Line to Revere or Wonderland. Then walk across the street. Then you will be standing on sand. I always get off at Revere and walk down until I find a good spot because the last thing I want to do after a long day relaxing on the beach is walk too far back to the subway.

Another beach that I haven’t been to but my best friends have is Carson Beach. I have heard phenomenal things about this beach as well and have been meaning to give it a try. How to get to Carson Beach: Take the Red Line to JFK-UMass and walk a short distance.

If you want a “true” beach, there are numerous commuter rail lines that go to the North Shore, the South Shore and Rhode Island. Although they are further away they are probably a little nice, and almost nothing beats the beaches of Rhode Island. But, then again, nothing beats a beach accessible via public transportation.

I absolutely love my pictures from the sand sculpting competition (I mean, really, who can do that?), so the rest are below.

The winner!

New England Sand Sculpting Festival

New England Sand Sculpting Festival

New England Sand Sculpting Festival

New England Sand Sculpting Festival

New England Sand Sculpting Festival

Go Back to College

28 Nov

Marsh Plaza at BU, and the sculpture dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

A while ago I talked about going to sporting events at different schools in the Boston area. But I suggest going to a college or university whenever you are bored (and not for the parties. Well, if you want to go to the parties I guess you can, but I am talking about just exploring the areas).

This past summer, my job involved traveling to other universities for tournaments and camps. I went to Umass Amherst (not my favorite), Amherst College (gorgeous), Tufts University (beautiful and close), Endicott College (umm… it is essentially on the beach) and Harvard University (the stadium looks like the Colosseum in Rome- amazing).

I know, I know, why the hell would you want to either go to another school that you don’t go to or never went to? Isn’t it kind of boring, dull and a waste of time? I say no, and the people who say that don’t appreciate different cultures, because that is what I ultimately think a college campus is- a culture. They all have something different to offer and they all have a different feel to them. Some are more modern, while others look like castles, and they all have something special about them.

I got tickets to a Boston College football game in September. Now, BC is our rival but I have never been on their campus. I was honestly scared that I would walk on that campus and fall in love, feel like I made the wrong choice when choosing a college. But it was amazing to see different schools, the schools’ library, the church on campus; it really was phenomenal and made me think about the students and alumni of that school and how they spent their four (plus) years there. It made me feel more connected to others and more connected to Boston, and Boston’s culture of being a student city.

Boston College

I say go to the area of the college and then walk around the area. If you take the Green Line ride it until you pass something that looks interesting and then get off the next stop. Not included in this list are numerous colleges on the commuter rail, including Endicott, Bridgewater State and Umass Lowell. Here is a list of how to get to…

BC: take the Green Line, either B Line to Boston College or D Line to Chestnut Hill.

Harvard: Red Line to Harvard Square.

Tufts: Red Line to Davis Square.

MIT: Red Line to Kendall Square/MIT; number 1 bus.

BU: Green Line, B Line to BU Central.

Northeastern: Take the Green Line, E Line to Northeastern, or Orange Line to Ruggles.

Wheelock, Simmons, MCPHS: Green Line, D Line to Fenway, or Green Line, E Line.

Wentworth: Green Line, E Line.

Suffolk: Green Line or Red Line to Park Street.

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