Hyperlocal touring in Massachusetts
November 7, 2018 6:29 AM   Subscribe

I'm planning a quick "tour" of New York City where I'd play five shows in the five boroughs over a five-day period. I would like to do a quick, hyperlocal tour in the Boston area that has a similar approach. What would be an equivalent tour in the Greater Boston area? Things I'm thinking about:
  • Seven Hills of Somerville
  • Thirteen villages of Newton
Things I've already done: - MBTourA (playing all 56 MBTA stations over a year-long period)
posted by pxe2000 to Media & Arts (25 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
All undergraduate college campuses within Boston city limits
posted by dywypi at 6:39 AM on November 7 [3 favorites]

I feel like the 13 villages of Newton would be awfully boring. Newton Highlands? Yikes.

Boston has 23 official neighbourhoods!
posted by wellred at 6:39 AM on November 7 [4 favorites]

Seven Somerville Squares.
posted by enfa at 6:46 AM on November 7 [2 favorites]

Every town that has a town square with a gazebo, inside 128.

Unitarian Universalist church lawns [because they won't kick you out, probably] only in towns that I-495 passes through.

Each of the historical markers on the Battle Road Trail at the Minuteman National Historical Park.

Outside the post office in MA towns with "New" in their name (because they're named after places in the old country), like New Bedford, Newburyport, and Newton -- or else the towns that are named after a place but without "New " in their name, like Bedford, Cambridge, and Gloucester.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:51 AM on November 7 [2 favorites]

Towns with unpronounceable-to-outsider names: the "Masshole Tongue-Twister Tour" of Worcester, Gloucester, and Peabody.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:52 AM on November 7 [3 favorites]

wenestvedt: Also Leominster, Needham, Reading, Billerica...on and on
posted by wellred at 6:57 AM on November 7 [3 favorites]

All of the "First Church ____" in some defined area.

Seven Somerville Squares.

That list isn't exhaustive, though. Missing: Teele, Assembly, Powder House, probably others I'm not thinking of.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:09 AM on November 7 [1 favorite]

Or what about all of the "___boro"s or "___ton"s in some area?
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:12 AM on November 7 [1 favorite]

History themed - like follow Paul Revere's ride, that kind of thing. Major battle sites.
Major literary sites - Walden Pond, etc
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:26 AM on November 7 [3 favorites]

A Paul Revere's Ride-themed tour? Traditionally the stops are Boston, Charlestown*, Medford, Arlington, Lexington, and Concord. If you add Dawes's route as well you pick up Roxbury, Brookline, Allston/Brighton, and Cambridge.

* What was called "Charlestown" then is now partly the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston and partly the city of Somerville.
posted by mskyle at 7:27 AM on November 7 [1 favorite]

You could hit five counties (Norfolk, Suffolk, Middlesex, Essex, Plymouth) without going too far outside the city.

You could expand the MBTA thing and play all stops on the commuter rail lines (Haverhill, Bradford, Lawrence, Andover, Ballardvale, Reading, etc.).
posted by kevinbelt at 7:31 AM on November 7 [1 favorite]

Towns that the Cochituate Aqueduct passed through.
Towns that the Boston Marathon passes through.
Pick a commuter rail line (may I suggest Worcester) and play at every stop.
posted by bondcliff at 7:34 AM on November 7

All the jewels in the Emerald Necklace? Weather permitting, of course. (Also, please post to Projects when you do this so us Massholes can come see you!)
posted by prewar lemonade at 7:39 AM on November 7 [5 favorites]

Another vote for a "Paul Revere/Billy Dawes Ride" tour.
posted by briank at 7:45 AM on November 7 [2 favorites]

One town per letter of the alphabet. Since we don't have any J, X, or Z towns you can call it the Absent JXZ tour...
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:04 AM on November 7 [1 favorite]

You could do a show at every planet.
posted by bondcliff at 8:08 AM on November 7 [7 favorites]

How many liquor stores are there inside the city limits? You could do a "Meet Me at the Packie" Tour 2019.
posted by baseballpajamas at 9:28 AM on November 7 [2 favorites]

There's a packie on every damn block in some neighborhoods -- she'd never finish in ten years!
posted by wenestvedt at 9:53 AM on November 7 [3 favorites]

A tour based on American history, to include Old North Church, the bridge in Concord ("shot heard 'round the world), the Boston wharf where the teas was dumped, U.S.S Constitution, etc.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:55 AM on November 7 [1 favorite]

Then, the "Somerville Squares That Are Truly Worthy Of A Wikipedia Article" tour?

How about all the bicycle shops in 128? You could bike to each?

Tour de JP Licks locations?
posted by enfa at 11:27 AM on November 7

Over the past few years I've been eating at every restaurant on Mass Ave in order from the Arlington line through Boston. Highly recommended!

Tour de JP Licks locations
Not sure why one would limit it just to JP Licks....

How about paddling along the shoreline from the Newton CRCK location out to the harbor?
posted by cocoagirl at 11:40 AM on November 7

Branches of the Boston Public Library? My daughter and I visited them all (about 25) over the course of a year, and it was a ton of fun. I feel like Matt Heaton often seems to be performing his way through all of them.
posted by teditrix at 12:35 PM on November 7 [2 favorites]

JP Licks & Toscanini's (and please eat some burnt caramel ice cream and vienna finger cookie if they still make that).

You could totally play Marty's Liquors on the Newton/Watertown line, that would be one hell of an in-store. With excellent snacks.
posted by wellred at 1:25 PM on November 7 [2 favorites]

Over the past few years I've been eating at every restaurant on Mass Ave in order from the Arlington line through Boston. Highly recommended!

I vaguely remember someone did this (or at least started) sometime between 2001 and 2005. They had a blog. This is totally ungooglable though.
posted by madcaptenor at 7:55 AM on November 9

How about playing on all the streets named "Beacon" or all the streets named "Washington"?

Another thought: high points. Corey Hill Overlook, Larz Anderson park, that park in Waltham with a great view of the city.... Top of the Hub?
posted by Sublimity at 7:10 PM on November 10 [1 favorite]

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