Friday, January 21, 2011

You Ask, I Answer: First Time in Boston?

I have another "Ask Cheap Thrills" pending. This was a comment on the previous post and seemed like it required a quick response:

My girlfriend and I are planning on going to Boston tomorrow. It's our first time in Boston so we'll see the Freedom trail, but want to get a real Boston-experience.

Do you have any suggestions on what to do and see? Any interesting events you can recommend?

This is the best quick response off the top of my head...

The Freedom Trail is always good for a first visit.

Don't skip the Haymarket on your way to North End; the pushcart vendors will be out tomorrow selling produce, fish, etc.

It's a concentrated version of the Boston experience with uncooperative people packed together and trying to push their way down the rows.

The vendors are loud & rude, and you'll probably hear someone yell at a customer. (The only place where the customer is wrong.)

The best cheap lunch in town is Galleria Umberto in North End. I usually get a spinach & cheese calzone, but there is pizza/arancini/etc. They make a certain amount of food then they close when it's gone. And how many places serve wine in a dixie cup?

There are cheap Saturday events on the calendar already, and I hope more detailed weekend cheapness will be up soon...

There are also links to some Boston sites on the right side of the page for other ideas.

My tip to every visitor is go to the Mapparium. Your time inside the giant stained-glass 1935 map of the world isn't long enough (about 15 minutes?), but you can't see it anywhere else.

The Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market area is touristy although still historical...

Real Boston experience? There are so many ways to go. Walking down Newbury Street is a good stroll for visitors. You should end up near Mass Ave, and there a places like Bukowskis Tavern or The Other Side Cafe or even Steve's Greek.

You could take the Red Line to Harvard Sq or Davis Sq, and pick a spot that looks good to you.

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