Nice Boston-specific gift for a friend moving to Bostom?
March 22, 2013 3:08 AM   Subscribe

Our housemate is moving to Boston for work. I'd like to get him something that will be immediately useful to him - museum card, gift certificate for takeout when he comes home exhausted etc. Thinking of spending around 50 euros (we're in the Netherlands). Any ideas?
posted by nerdfish to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Would he like a membership to the Museum of Fine Arts or the Museum of Science?

My first thought was a gift card to Williams-Sonoma, as he'll probably need to buy a few home wares, but they do not offer gift cards for international customers. (Memail me though if this does sound like something you really want to do & we can work something out:) Boston locals will have a much better idea of stuff like takeout places that would be able to arrange something like this. And there's always the very Boston Dunkin' Donuts card...
posted by knile at 3:27 AM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the tip! I should probably clarify - he's only there for six months, so he probably won't be investing in too many housewares. I like the idea of the Dunkin' Donuts card! I'm hoping to get something a little offbeat that'll be immediately useful.
posted by nerdfish at 3:34 AM on March 22, 2013

A membership to the area's bike share system, Hubway.
posted by cocoagirl at 3:39 AM on March 22, 2013 [4 favorites]

Maybe a ticket to go on the Boston Duck Tour to get a sense of the city and a gift certificate to Stephanie's on Newbury?

(Yes, as a Bostonian I know that Stephanie's isn't the best place on Newbury, but it is iconic and a good place to people watch.)
posted by kinetic at 4:08 AM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Will your friend have a car? If not, an unlimited bus/subway pass costs $70 a month. It is not the most exciting gift, but I am hard pressed to think of something that would be more immediately useful.
posted by phil at 4:17 AM on March 22, 2013 [4 favorites]

So, uh, does he like baseball?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:41 AM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've always found walking tours a great way of getting a sense of a new city while stuffing my face, drinking, and possibly learning something.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:47 AM on March 22, 2013

The Hubway suggestion is good. (The Hubway system isn't open yet - we still have snow here and I guess they don't get enough business in the winter to stay open - but I assume it will open very soon.) Honestly, the most immediately useful thing would probably be a loaded T pass, but of course it's unexciting.

If you're going with a museum gift card, I would go for MFA (Museum of Fine Arts), MOS (Museum of Science, with Imax tickets, that would be extra fun), or ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art).

Does he like music? You could buy him tickets to a few shows at the Paradise club, or tickets to the BSO (Boston Symphony Orchestra). Or the Boston Ballet maybe?
posted by Cygnet at 5:39 AM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Where in Boston is he moving? If he's anywhere nearby, I'd second knile's suggestion for an MFA membership. It's a great museum.
posted by Mayor West at 5:45 AM on March 22, 2013

Is your friend familiar with the city at all? If not, a copy of the Not For Tourists guide to Boston (it has info on museums, bars, etc., as well as on coffee shops, post offices, banks, and grocery stores) would be an awesome gift.

For easy takeout/delivery, I recommend a gift card to Foodler, which will let him order from a ton of different restaurants around the city.

Depending on his tastes, he might also like tickets to the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Mapparium (it's a giant glass globe! that you can walk around inside of!), or the Aquarium.
posted by rebekah at 5:52 AM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Seconding Dunks and MFA or MOS, as both those museums are on the pricey side for admission. And the Duck Tours are fun too. The ICA has free nights on Thursday (or used to anyway) and the giant ocean tank at the aquarium is closed until at least July (still worth a visit but not in its full glory yet so if you go that route be sure to let him know!).
posted by danapiper at 5:58 AM on March 22, 2013

The MFA is a great idea, given that it will support repeated visits--it's a huge amazing collection. The entire ICA can be seen in an hour or so--it's effectively only one floor with two wings (say 1/3 or 1/4 the size of the Witte de With in Rotterdam, if you've ever been). They have interesting stuff periodically, but their permanent collection is (in my opinion) overly focused on a few favorite artists that they leave up all the time. I'd recommend going for one of their party nights and seeing the museum that way.

Hubway is a great idea.

It would be great to know where he'll live.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:22 AM on March 22, 2013

Along the same lines as Rebekah's Foodler recommendation... Maybe a Seamless gift card?
posted by jshort at 6:29 AM on March 22, 2013

Regarding transit passes, it's probably good to check if his employer already provides such a thing.
posted by knile at 7:57 AM on March 22, 2013

The transit pass idea is great, unless his employer is covering it!
posted by sarcasticah at 8:36 AM on March 22, 2013

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