Reflections on my short trip to Boston:
- I personally found Boston to be the older and more attractive sibling of New York: the streets are cleaner, the people are friendlier, and the architecture is diverse. (Boston is the perfect mix between tradition and modernity). Plus, Boston is quite small, making the walk from the North end all the way to Cambridge a charming afternoon.
- The city has a bustling culture scene. I was fortunate enough to catch a Puerto Rican festival this past weekend. First, my friend and I stumbled upon a full free night concert and the next day we saw a parade! The atmosphere was absolutely joyous due to the wonderful Bostonian people and hispanic pride. The cultural diversity of the city adds to its dynamic ambiance. (Fun fact from a local: Boston has a large Puerto Rican community).
- Boston could easily be identified as a university area. The actual city is filled with names ranging from Northeastern, Berklee School of Music, Tufts, Boston University, and Boston College. And just across the Charles River are MIT and Harvard in Cambridge. As a student aspiring to their high calibre, I found the two prestigious universities to be aweing and yet normal. By talking to current students, it became clear that going to Harvard or MIT was difficult (but DEFINITELY not unattainable through hard work). Insider information: Harvard students pee on the statue of John Harvard, so DON’T rub the foot. Also, MIT students love climbing on things… buildings, the alchemist statue, etc.
- The transportation was easy to use and efficient. I was staying at MIT in Cambridge, which was closely connected to the city through the T (metro). There were also buses and other quick links. I’m biased because I live in London, but hey, for an American city the public transportation was pretty good!
- So much to do! So much to see! So much to enjoy! There are museums, historical sites, comedy clubs, malls, movie theatres, Red Sox games, food markets, parks and so so so much more. Additionally, the city appears to care for its citizens. For example, the greenway is a park stretch from the North End to South Station. AND there’s free wifi on this strip (it also has benches, tables, fountains, and vegetation).
- The people were absolutely lovely. The population sample was probably skewed away from students because it was summer, but I found Boston to have a nice mix of students, young professionals, and established business suits. Although it heavily depends on the area, Boston also has a nice balance between the different socio-economic classes.
Personal recommendations for places to visit:
- Boston Commons
- Faneuil Hall Marketplace/Quincy Market – bustling food and clothing stores
- Beacon Hill – where the rich people live
- North End – Italian part (must try cannoli)
- Newbury Street – shopping and beautiful area
- Freedom Trail
- The financial district
- The Boston Harbour Inn
- The different university campuses (especially Cambridge)
- Eat lunch or dinner on top of the Prudential Tower for an amazing view of Boston
- Coffee and a sandwich at Thinking Cup
- Coffee shop experience = Flour Bakery and Cafe
- Brunch in Cambridge – Area Four (they serve pizza!)
- Boston Common Coffee (why go to Starbucks when Boston has its own chain?)
- La Burdicks – for a hot chocolate experience like a true Harvard Student
- Georgetown Cupcakes – there’s one on Newbury street
Final Conclusion: Boston… I’ll be coming back for you someday. You absolutely took my heart away!