What's up in Boston?
August 27, 2006 6:35 AM   Subscribe

I'm alone in Boston for a week. Anything specific I should do?

I'm a college kid, and I moved back up to Boston (well, Somerville) a week before everyone else. (And I mean everyone -- right know there are maybe two people I know up here.) Any ideas about what fun things I can do here, by myself, until everyone else shows up?

I know some of the basic stuff -- museums, cool shopping areas, the various and sundry squares, touristy nonsense, etc. -- as I've been here for a couple of years already. I'm looking for things I might not be aware of, or, even better, special events going on this week.

Other info: I'm not into the clubbing scene, I don't have a car (but I'm not averse to taking to T or commuter rail out to East Bumfuck), I'm a big music fan. I'm open to whatever suggestions you guys have.
posted by danb to Grab Bag (20 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
The MIT museum is little-known, free, and T-accessible (closer to Kendall than Central but accessible from either), and a good way to spend an hour.

This would be a good time of year to visit Mount Auburn Cemetary or the Arnold Arboretum, since the weather's still nice -- not as pretty as fall, but much more comfortable.

Depending on your tastes you might consider going to the Inman Square area to see what's going on at Ryle's (a jazz bar).

There should be some additional, funkier musical recommendations here: Bostonist sometime tomorrow; you can see recommendations for the week ended today here: Bostonist Weekly Music Picks.
posted by little miss manners at 7:17 AM on August 27, 2006

The Weekly Dig is a guide to many great things. Best indy local ever.
posted by Embryo at 7:23 AM on August 27, 2006

Take the ferry to Provincetown for a day? Go whale watching?
posted by LarryC at 8:06 AM on August 27, 2006

Go to Redbones in Davis Sqaure (red line T Stop) and eat a whole mess of BBQ. Go downstairs, sit at the bar. Ask for Joe the bartender. Best beer and BBQ in town.

Check out Central Square (red line T stop). The Middle East and TT The Bears for music.
posted by Gungho at 8:17 AM on August 27, 2006

I second Mount Auburn Cemetery.
posted by The Michael The at 8:27 AM on August 27, 2006

The ferry to the Harbor Islands is nice if it warms up a little, relatively cheap (~$10 during the week), and a nice break from the city.

The Mammals are playing tonight at Passim, which should be a great show.

Friday nights, admission to the Children's Museum is a dollar.
posted by nonane at 8:46 AM on August 27, 2006

Explore the courtyard and the older building of the Boston Public Library. Printable walking tour

Bring your camera, take the blue line out to Revere Beach, walk along the water, get food at Kelly's and take T back from Wonderland.

Free Stuff - Hatch Shell, Wednesday N.E. String Ensemble 7:00 PM, and on Friday "Back to the Future". Boston Harbor Hotel - also on friday, screening The Graduate

Oh and a Spike's opened in Davis Square over the summer. So you need to get a dog, now.
posted by FreezBoy at 9:09 AM on August 27, 2006

You probably already know about it, but this weekend is St. Anthony's Feast in the North End. If you're interested, be sure to be there tonight at about 11pm or so when they dump all the confetti during the closing ceremony.
posted by sophie at 9:42 AM on August 27, 2006

The commuter rail can get you to Ipswich pretty quickly, which is my favorite "Ye Olde New England Towne" destination. Some of the oldest houses in Massachussets, but not overly touristy. And very pretty hilltop views.
posted by occhiblu at 10:41 AM on August 27, 2006

The Boston ducktour was a lot more enjoyable and historic than I imagined it would be.

Having a Sam Adams in a pub where Sam Adams drank (beware revolutionary flute tune), across the street from where Sam Adams is buried; well, a toast to the continuity of life.

I enjoyed just walking around the city. Harpoon Brewery is in Boston too. Yum.
posted by buzzman at 10:49 AM on August 27, 2006

You said your not a fan of clubs so you may like one of these these 3 places:
The Plough&Stars on Mass Ave in Cambridge usually has decent live music in a small intimate pub (with a nice choice of beers). It's between Central & Harvard Sq's.

The Cantab near Central Sq has R&B/soul most nights.

Wally's Cafe on Mass Ave in Boston has live every (?) night of the week. It's a small tiny spot and can be good fun. It's at the corner of Columbus Ave.

I think walking the Waterfront in Boston is a great way to see the city in a different way. Maybe take one of the T ferry's for cheapish way to see the harbour, some don't run at the weekend. Go to the Boston Harbor Hotel and see if they have any Jazz or a Free Movie on the water.

See the last free movie of the summer at the Hatch Shell.

And you just missed a meetup last night!

Redbones does have decent BBQ and a nice beer selection.
posted by zaphod at 12:43 PM on August 27, 2006

The Literary Tour of Boston is also a nice way to walk around the city and get a better feel for its history. I bought the book (which was available at almost every bookshop when I lived there) and walked the trail myself after I had been in the city for years and knew it pretty well, and was still pleasantly surprised at how much I learned about the city and its history. It also covers Cambridge.
posted by occhiblu at 1:33 PM on August 27, 2006

See Body Worlds at the Museum of Science during the week when it's less crowded.

Visit Harvard's Natural History Museum and anthropology museum if you haven't already.
posted by cadge at 4:02 PM on August 27, 2006

Everyone has covered practically everything I would've said, but I did just find out that you can take a ferry from Boston to Salem. That would be a nice day trip.

Not sure where you are in Somerville, but Davis has a nice Farmer's Market on Wednesdays and the Somerville Theater has cheap(er) movies to watch.
posted by jdl at 6:10 PM on August 27, 2006

Wow, thanks everyone! There's some great stuff here. I went to Spike's on FreezBoy's suggestion, but was too late buying tickets to go to the Mammals show nonane mentioned. I planned to head out to the cemetary instead, but the weather didn't agree.

Anyway, you all don't care about that. I'll see how much of this stuff I can get done during the rest of the week. Thanks again for the responses.
posted by danb at 6:18 PM on August 27, 2006

Go to Great Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary in Concord

Walk or run around Fresh Pond Reservoir in Cambridge

If you like BBQ, go to Redbones in Davis Square in
Somerville (Somerville is Boston!) or East Coast Grill in Inman Square in Cambridge

Casablanca bar in Harvard Square

Go to Iruna down the alley on JFK Street for memorable dinnner
posted by madstop1 at 6:20 PM on August 27, 2006

Iruna's no longer there (unless it's moved).
posted by little miss manners at 1:15 PM on August 28, 2006

Here's something really different that's one of my favorite one-day excursions from Boston-proper.

Head down to Long's Wharf, and take the ferry out to Fort Warren on George's Island. Constructed of granite between 1833 and 1869, Fort Warren was used during the Civil War for training Union soldiers and later as a prison for captured Confederates. It's completely abandoned, and you can wander around anywhere on the 30-acre island. Bring a flashlight, and you'll easily get lost walking through tunnels, caverns, and passages. It's one of the few historic places that I've been to that has virtually complete access, without people telling you where you can and cannot go. It's great.

Bring a camera, lunch, and a flashight, and you'll have a blast.

posted by donguanella at 6:43 PM on August 28, 2006 [1 favorite]

I figured I'd update this for the benefit of searchers.

I went to the Mount Auburn Cemetery with camera in tow, and it's very nice. There was almost no one there, so it was very serene. I can see it being even better in the fall.

I also went to the last free classical concert of the summer at the Hatch Shell. There was no heavy-hitting stuff -- a lot of light/pop classical, and only short movements -- the orchestra was decent, and it was a fun atmosphere. I'm sure I was the youngest audience member (who came of my own volition) by about 30 years, though.
posted by danb at 9:02 AM on August 31, 2006

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