Sunday 26 July 2009

Last Day of Adventure

After an eventful weekend, it was time to check off the last on the To Do in Boston List: visit the famous Museum of Science! With over 500 interactive exhibits and days worth of shows, this attraction surprisingly provides interest for all ages (a few professionals even told me that it was a good date place!). We started off with the Black Holes exhibit to which I found the most fantastic quote:

True story!

The Marine Animals exhibit took me back to the elementary school days, down the my second grade report on humpback whales. Mrs. Malittie would be proud!

Journey to the Edge of Space and Time planetarium show

After the Planetarium Show, we headed to see the cotton-top tamarin monkeys. Contrary to popular belief, there are actually over 100 live animals in the museum. Cute ones too!

Cotton-top tamarin monkeys!

We walked on over the CambridgeSide Galleria for lunch where they caught me with the free shrimp samples. Shrimp carbonara for lunch it is!

It was time to head back to South Station to get back to New York (only $17.50 on the Bolt Bus!). Boston, I shall return to watch a game in Fenway!

Saturday 25 July 2009

The Best of Boston

I was lucky to awaken to such a beautiful and sunny day in Boston after yesterday's dreary rain! Brit and I headed off to the Samuel Adams Brewery Tour in Jamaica Plains.

Tip: Get to the Samuel Adams Brewery Tour early! We arrived at 11AM and waited for the 11:40AM tour. If you come later in the afternoon, you might even be turned away. And know that it's not so much a tour, but a very fine tasting!

We first took part in the Beer Lover's Challenge, in which we could vote upon next fall's new flavor. I hope Sam Adams Pils beats Sam Adams Ale! Surprisingly, beyond receiving the tasting, the brewery also provided us with free 7oz. glasses as souvenirs. Good stuff!

We had the opportunity to try three different types: regular ale, summer ale, and a new research beer. The tour was a treasure as our guide was hilarious. Somebody asked "How many glasses of beer to do you drink a day since you do these tours?" His response was, "I wish that you would stay out of my personal life!" He would also give us toasts, such as, "Here's to everybody celebrating a birthday this year!" Ahaha, just a couple jokes amongst many!

Brit and I enjoying the Samuel Adams Brewery Tour

We headed off to the Prudential building as everybody told me I had to see the view. However, it was $12 for the observatory tour and/or one would have to buy something at the Top of the Hub restaurant. As I already saw the Bunker Hill view for free, this seemed quite unnecessary. Thus, we grabbed lunch instead!

Tip: If one shows his or her CharlieCard to the Prudential Building Customer Service Booth, one will receive a 10% discount card off most stores in the building!

The Boston Public Library was normal, but did provide a good children's photography exhibit downstairs. It also provided a chance to charge a camera battery!

We headed back to the Boston Public Gardens for a photoshoot where we ran into a man playing a guitar singing, "She got divorced and then she left me too!" Oh, geez.

On the world's smallest suspension bridge

Established in 1837, the Gardens were a creation by philanthropist Horace Gray. He petitioned for the land to be the first public botanical garden in the United States.

First statue ever built of George Washington

We walked through Commons to walk to the North End. There, one can see seals right outside the Aquarium! So cute! We soon met up with Brit's friend, Evona, and headed to the Hatch Shell for the free outdoor Beach Boys concert! Although the show started at 7PM and we arrived at 4PM, there was already a huge crowd present. We soon saw why as when I looked onstage, the Beach Boys were there themselves performing!

The Beach Boys!

We staked out a good patch of grass until the show and met the nicest Bostonians, a nice, older woman named Marilyn and some college students who came prepared with cookies, cheese, mojitos, and even a cutting board for cheese! Preparation.

On the bank of the Charles River, the sun set in front of the bowl-style stage. The Beach Boys concert was amazing to say the least; we spent two hours singing and dancing to all the greatest hits including "California Girls." Even John Stamos came out to play and perform "Forever" from the show "Full House."

After the concert, we walked by the bar featured in the comedy "Cheers" and headed off to The Living Room. We spent the night relaxing with some other "young professionals" and ate some delicious fried tempura avocado and dumplings. Eventful day, Boston!

At The Living Room. Height order was not on purpose and is not to scale!

Friday 24 July 2009

Bostonian Culture

After enduring a four-hour bus ride (for only $10 I might add), losing my umbrella, dealing with a lost taxi cab driver, and standing in the pouring rain for a bit, I finally made it to Boston! After the night's ridiculous adventure, it was time to explore the city.

Brittany Burton had work that Friday, so her roommate was kind enough to walk me to the T station. The strong winds blew our umbrellas topsy-turvy while the misty rain sporadically came down on us. Let's hope for consistency!

The first stop was to the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). Focused on contemporary art beginning 1948, the museum not only features the best-known contemporary artists, but has had a large hand in developing the artists themselves.

The two open galleries featured Shepard Fairey! Besides designing the world-recognized 2008 Presidential Election picture of Barack Obama, Freley was also responsible for the OBEY movement, an experiment in phenomenology.

The most famous of Fairey's work: The Obama Hope Poster

I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit in part because of Fairey's background story: he started his career as a college student just making a practical joke with "Andre the Giant Has a Posse." His influences were not traditional artists, but rather hip hop culture, Warhol, and the Sex Pistols amongst others. He also understood the imagery utilized by Corporate America in advertising and soon he grew into making political and societal statements.

Next stop: Bunker Hill! This was easy to find as one would just have to walk towards the giant monument! Be warned; however, the reaching the top consists of climbing 294 steps up the circular staircase!

The Bunker Hill Monument

Of all the lost battles for the United States, the Battle of Bunker Hills was arguably the most important. It showed that the young country could stand against the British as they thwarted the British plans to invade Dorchester Heights. This led to the eventual dismissal of the British from Boston. I made my own mark by putting a coin through the window!

View from the Bunker Hill Monument plus my dime!

It was a walk down Freedom Trail to the U.S.S. Constitution, the oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat in the world. Charlestown was so quiet! Although a Friday afternoon, there were hardly people walking the sidewalks or cars driving in the streets. However, it does look like a very nice palace to raise a family!

The wait for the free tour on the Constitution lasted roughly forty-five minutes. Standing in line behind me was actually an individual that dated a girl that went to high school with somebody that lived on my floor freshman year of college! Further, he went to dinner at my roommate's apartment senior year; thus, he had dinner in my apartment before I moved in. Small world!

The U.S.S. Constitution a.k.a. "Old Ironsides"

The Constitution tour was fantastic! It was very interesting to learn that canonballs could not dent the boat because it was made out of live oak. Thus, the ship is nicknamed "Old Ironsides" as one of the original seamen shouted, "Huzzah! Her sides are made of iron!" during the War of 1812. They actually provided an interesting lecture as we learned all about "powder monkeys," the kickback of a canon, and how live oak only exists in the Southeastern United States.


One can also stroll next door to the U.S.S. Cassin., a destroyer commissioned in 1913 and utilized for WWII. The Constitution Museum was a good treasure as well. It was very heartfelt to see how the Constitution means so much to our nation's history and touchs the hearts of our veterans. It is a must-see in one's lifetime!

Tip: Make sure to watch the movie at the Constitution Museum! It will be well worth your time. Although super cheesy, you will learn a thing or two!

Brit and I met back at her place in South End . We chit-chatted a bit with the building mates and then took a night tour around B-town. We walked from the Prudential Building to the Public Gardens to Common and to the North End. Nice and quiet!

We ran into Brit's friends on the way back to the apartment and headed to "Our House" for a bit. As Northeastern's local campus bar, one can only stay there for a bit!