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March 31, 2009 6:56 AM   Subscribe

Going to Boston/Cambridge for few days (April 2-7th) and wondering what I should see, do, or eat ...

Details: I've been to the area before, albeit many years ago and done the standard tourist stops. I'll be staying in Cambridge. I don't have a car. Very interested in weird or neat events and shows, what local listings should I check out?
posted by The Whelk to Travel & Transportation (17 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
The Boston Phoenix for event and show listings. All the local schools have their own event listings too if you like the more academic stuff. (Harvard, MIT, etc.)
posted by phoenixy at 7:01 AM on March 31, 2009

Subscribe to the RSS feed of the Bostonist arts and events page.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:33 AM on March 31, 2009

The Harvard Museum of Natural History and the adjacent Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology are pretty great.
posted by ArgentineBlonde at 7:54 AM on March 31, 2009

This isn't out of the ordinary, but it is cheaper than usual: the Musuem of Fine Arts in Boston is free on the first weekend of the month with a Bank of America card, if you have one of those.
posted by teragram at 8:08 AM on March 31, 2009

Live Music just up the Red Line in Davis Square:
Johnny D's .
The Somerville Theater

or in Harvard Square at Club Passim

or in Central at The Middle East
or TT the Bear's Place. There's also Bluegrass night, Poetry Slams and Bands at the Cantab Lounge.

Unique/Older/Art Films at The Brattle Theater in Harvard Square.
posted by MasonDixon at 8:17 AM on March 31, 2009

Check out the Cambridge Office of Tourism for some suggestions. The Boston Museum of Science is pretty impressive and a fun time.

Don't worry about a lack of a car, the entirety of Cambridge is T-accessible if you're willing to walk about a mile aside from riding the train. I live in Cambridge, and a car's a liability more than a convenience.
posted by explosion at 8:18 AM on March 31, 2009

Also, live music at Toad in Porter Square (no cover, small place, I like Monday night in particular).

If you like beer, try Bukowski's in Inman Square (the beers tend to be $1-$2 more expensive than you feel they should be, but it's my go to bar anyway) or Sunset Grill and Tap in Allston (somewhat of a college-y crowd, but 112 beers on tap).

Restaurants I enjoy include East Coast Grill (not cheap but very tasty seafood and bbq, Inman Square), All-Star Sandwich Bar (sandwiches! Inman Square), Red Bones (bbq, nice beer selection, Davis Square), R.F. O'Sullivan's (BURGERS! between Inman and Porter Squares), and Baraka Cafe (North African food, nice small space, Central Square).
posted by teragram at 8:29 AM on March 31, 2009

Definitely seconding Red Bones in Davis Square -- I used to live in Porter, a short walk away, and there is a TON of stuff to do just in the Harvard-Porter-Davis area alone (all are stops on the Red Line T, too). My friends' shop Magpie in Davis is awesome if you want to find handmade stuff by local artists and crafters to take home with you, and if you're more of an eco-bent, someone I know just opened Greenward nearby, too. The Lizard Lounge (Harvard-Porter area, more towards Harvard) also has lots of good shows. Ditto the Middle East and TT the Bear's above. And apparently there is a new CHOCOLATE FACTORY in Somerville giving tours. Oh why, oh why did I move away?
posted by at 8:42 AM on March 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: On the "weird and neat" front:

- The home of offbeat music and performance art: The Lily Pad.

- Johnny's List of Weird Boston Events.

Check the LiveJournal b0st0n and davis_square groups for announcements of upcoming events, too!
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:26 AM on March 31, 2009

You should also check out Tourfilter Boston for listings.

Depending on your tastes, the WMBR Noise/Experimental Music Concert Report may be your thing. There's also the WMBR Rock/Pop/Punk Concert Report.
posted by galaksit at 10:25 AM on March 31, 2009

Response by poster: Wow! great so far. Any recommendations for eating in Cambridge? Bars of both the straight and bent variety?

(wanders off to check the listings links)

seriously, a chocolate factory? Does it also have fireworks and puppies and water slides?
posted by The Whelk at 11:12 AM on March 31, 2009

Plenty of fine recommendations. The only thing I can think to add is that the Institute of Contemporary Art is free on Thursday nights.
posted by YFiB at 11:40 AM on March 31, 2009

if you have any interest whatsoever in contemporary art, go to the aforementioned Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). i just got back from Boston and other than hanging out with my brother, the ICA was the highlight of my trip. it's easy to get to (right off the T, and they have clear directions on their website) and it's on the water (great for photos) and the Shepard Fairey exhibit is on right now. i love it. i love it.

for food, i have 2 recommendations:

- Miracle of Science in Cambridge (excellent food, good atmosphere, and you get to order off of the periodic table -- would probably go here for lunch)

- Emma's Pizza in Cambridge (the best pizza i've had outside of Naples, awesome service -- very busy so maybe call ahead to see how busy it is, or be prepared to wait 10 or 15 minutes)
posted by gursky at 12:10 PM on March 31, 2009

The Border Cafe & Mr. Bartley's are both excellent.
posted by thekiltedwonder at 8:54 PM on March 31, 2009

Oh, and the New England Aquarium is excellent. They currently have a great penguin exhibit and their main aquarium is fantastic.
posted by thekiltedwonder at 8:58 PM on March 31, 2009

When I was in Boston last spring, I had an excellent meal at The Elephant Walk, a Cambodian/French restaurant. I went to the one in Boston itself, but it looks like they have a Cambridge location too. They've got lots of vegan/vegetarian options as well as meat and seafood.

Mmm. I'm hungry just thinking about it.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:34 PM on March 31, 2009

Response by poster: We ended up taking part in the huge pillow fight courtsey of the weird Boston event's page. Thanks Metafilter!
posted by The Whelk at 9:10 AM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

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