Boston - more than just Beantown to me!

Boston Travel Blog

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Downtown Boston

I'd visited Boston back in 2001 and I'd really loved it then. Fresh off of graduation from Uni and Texas borders, I was both amazed and curious at how different East Coast life is. It seemed very European to me. Well, 9 years later, I've travelled so much more but even then this is an amazing place to be. All I can recall at the time was going to the North End (Little Italy) and being amazed at life there - so open, the weather was crisp and the sea was right next door. I really didn't do much in my first trip back in 2001, infact I didn't have a digital camera thsoe days, God knows where the pictures are. I also remember spending sunset (Sept in Boston is really nice) at the Harvard Square watching artists and the like performing.

It was very nice. We had dinner that night in a Malaysian rsnt in downtown, again a new experience for me. It had been just 3 months since I had started working so this was my first trip where I hadn't borrowed money from someone, LOL! We (one of my friends and collegemates had moved to Boston, he had 3 roommates) had decided to go camping but it didn't work out as we hadn't booked in advance and all the camping grounds were full. Sadly, I mised the autumn, the leaves hadn't started changing colour yet.

My final day of Labour Day wknd was very pleasant again - as mentioned above ,we went for a long loooong walk starting off at the North End - had some fantastic cake and coffee at a little Italian rsnt, then went to Harvard Square and shopped at HMV, then to the downtown, surfed @ Virgin Megastore and walked through Beacon Street (first time I saw an FCUK store), and finally to the airport.

Nearing Fenuiel Hall
This was the week before 9/11 btw, kind of spooky looking back that I took off from the airport.

So, fast forward to 2007 - I was all set to go for a fortnight to Iceland but some things happened and I wasn't able to. Yet, I had a week of holiday that I had to use, and it seemed only natural that I'd choose Boston. I'd been talking to so many people courtesy other websites like Tripadvisor and I was intrigued and surprised at how many people from Europe chose to visit more of New England than say, NYC or Florida. Everyone raves about the scenery over there, so I felt like picking it apart myself. I checked with my friend and wife if they'll be free,  and we even planned a weekend camping trip. So it looked like a fun trip. I was also fortunate to get a good deal on AA.

Wagamama everywhere I go
com.

Tuesday 02Oct: The flight from DFW was delayed because of aircraft problems. And then, after a 4pm arrival, my luggage didn't come. So took some time to sort out that mess. My friend works in the financial district, he came by train to pick me up and we both went to the South Station. He proceeded to work, I walked around the area till sunset. Didn't do much, hung around the Macys' area (roads are named after season there I believe), found a nice place where they make good bagels, and caught the subway to my friend's house (Oak Grove). From there, my friend picked me up. Dinner was barbie and lots of dry curries/subjis. They live in a very nice neighbourhood. And their house is also a typical "East coast" house (for us Texans). Very spacious for Massachusetts standards, has a basement (how long has it been since I saw a basement!) and a lovely garden.

There are lots of woods nearby, looks dark by night but in the morning, it's beautiful - esp. when you go around autumn. Who'd have thunk that a walk to the railway station would be that good?!

Wednesday 03Oct: My first proper day in Boston! Started off at Newbury St, walked over to Beacon St, loved it. Very London-ey, then met up with my friends for lunch in the downtown, and spent the rest of the evening again in the same area. It appears I'll never get bored! Boston Gardens again is very nice - the leaves had about started changing colour but not the falling yet.

Thursday 04Oct: Went to the Museum which was so-so, and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening walking around Harvard. Met my friends for dinner at the North End, and had lovely dessert at a little Italian joint afterwards.

Quincy Market

Friday 05Oct: We had to leave for camping in the afternoon, so the only time I got in the morning which is when I did the Freedom Trail. I could do this any number of times and I'll still love it. The weather was crisp, and I had bagels at the same place. I went during major sports season - the Red Sox were a couple of games away from winning the World Series, and the Patriots' talk of an undefeated season has started. I've never known a city as supportive of its teams as Boston is. It's kinda cool! Anyway the Freedom Trail was great fun, especially walking through Little Italy. It's such a different world compared to the Texas that I live in. I didn't do the full Trail though, simply due to a lack of time. Boston's funny: you've got some roads where it's very small and European and all, and suddenly you're thrown into America with the skyscrapers and all.

Boston Public Garden
I got home around 2pm - had something to eat and my friends had finished packing for the camping trip. We left by 4pm, it was supposed to be a 2-3 hour traffic without traffic, without being the operative word.

Sunday 07Oct: Got back from the camping trip around noon and I left for another walk around Boston downtown by 3pm. I pretty much walked through Newbury St, Beacon St and the harbour. I really enjoy it. The one regret I have is that I didn't go to MIT, but I've heard it's nothing big anyway, compared to Harvard. Got home that night around 9pm and left early morning the next day, back home. One of my favourite things to do in Boston is to go to Quincy Market for lunch. It's great, it's filled with all kinds of stalls, a dream come true for fans of sea food especially, and overall very nice variety of cuisine.

View of Boston Financial district from the Public Garden
It's also packed. Carry cash though, lots of places don't take credit cards. There's also all kinds of things going on - comedians, etc.

Thoroughly enjoyed my trip, I'm hoping next time I can do more and visit places like Cape Cod, etc. There's a lot to see in  NE, and Sept-Oct is definitely the time to go.

Favourite experience: going for long walks on Beacon Street. Reminds me so much of London!

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Downtown Boston
Downtown Boston
Nearing Fenuiel Hall
Nearing Fenuiel Hall
Wagamama everywhere I go
Wagamama everywhere I go
Quincy Market
Quincy Market
Boston Public Garden
Boston Public Garden
View of Boston Financial district …
View of Boston Financial district…
Boston Public Gardens
Boston Public Gardens
Boston Public Gardens
Boston Public Gardens
Boston Common
Boston Common
Boston Common
Boston Common
Beacon Street - reminds me of Lond…
Beacon Street - reminds me of Lon…
Comm Ave
Comm Ave
Harvard
Harvard
Faneuil Hall
Faneuil Hall
Museum of Arts
Museum of Arts
North End
North End
Little Italy - north end
Little Italy - north end
The Freedom Trail
The Freedom Trail
The harbour
The harbour
Boston
photo by: bubu932