Things not to miss in the city of Boston
After nine months in the States, and having visited six other major cities in the country, I can confidently say that Boston is by far my favourite city of them all. Being the place where the American Revolution began, Boston has an extremely rich history and therefore a distinctive, Bostonian culture. Boston is one of the smallest major cities in the US, making it wonderfully easy to walk around and appreciate. Boston is also home to a vibrant, multicultural community, which manifests itself in various ways around different parts of the city; one of my favourite facts about Boston is that there is no Walmart in sight, because the Mayor of Boston wants to help independent businesses grow instead. During my year here, I not only tried to do all of the obvious sights, but also some of the alternative, underappreciated sights. I still probably missed a lot, but I suppose that will be my excuse to come back. Below are some of the more unconventional sights of Boston that are really worth a visit, after you’ve done everything in the tourist handbook:
Jamaica Plain – Jamaica Plain is one of the most eclectic, multicultural neighbourhoods in the city of Boston. Filled to the brim with independent shops and restaurants, JP is lovely on a summer afternoon. Make sure you keep an eye out for the murals in the main street, as well as visiting Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum. Insider’s Tip: Try the Portuguese French Toast at Vee Vee’s!
MIT Media Lab – You probably don’t need to be told that Boston is where all the intellect of the US is seemingly concentrated. BC aside, there are several other universities: Tufts, Emerson, Boston University, the Berklee College of Music, and of course, Harvard and MIT. Harvard is the obvious tourist attraction, but I would highly recommend attending an event at MIT as well. The Media Lab is a particularly striking building.
Society of Grown-Ups – In a city of intellects, with a soaring population of young people, there always seem to be new and exciting ventures taking place. The Society of Grown-Ups is one such venture; located in Brookline (about 20 minutes from the Boston College Main Campus), this company aims to educate young people on being a grown-up, fresh out of college. That may sound incredibly boring but I assure you, the team are really welcoming, the space they have in Brookline is beautifully decorated, and this is yet another opportunity to meet new people outside the Boston College bubble!
Chestnut Hill Reservoir – Commonly referred to as the ‘Res’, this body of water plays a huge role in every Boston College student’s life. It was one of the things I noticed immediately when I moved here. BC students will always be running around the Res, regardless of the time of year and the temperature, and the sunsets are just stunning as well. I am truly thankful to have been able to live thirty seconds away from this beauty.
Chapin Beach – I’m cheating a little bit with this one because it isn’t exactly in Boston. In fact, it isn’t in Boston at all, but only a two-hour drive away, in Cape Cod. Cape Cod is one of the signature areas of the state of Massachusetts, a vast expanse of endless seaside towns and views. The main towns are Hyannis and Provincetown, but on our road trip, we almost accidentally stumbled across a town called Dennis, and Chapin Beach. It’s probably the most tranquil place I’ve ever been to in my life. If you can drive there for the sunset, do it.