One of the many things I love about Boston is that it’s a walking city. It’s easy to spend hours in just one of its neighborhoods in the shops, restaurants, bars, or public green spaces, or to walk through several neighborhoods and experience different people-watching scenes in each one. My mister and I prefer the second option. Over time we’ve compiled a short list of favorite itineraries.
Here’s the route of a walk we took on a windy Saturday in March. The weather was still chilly, but we needed to get out and get some sun. So our plan for this walk was to do our long stretch during daylight hours with a movie theater as a destination, have dinner afterwords nearby, and then head back home after dark.
Our walk began in Copley Square in the Back Bay, where the only thing we did this time around was to pick up the classic Massachusetts breakfast—Dunkin Donuts coffee and a croissant—and spotted a very large ad for the iPad 2 (BTW: How many of you iPad 1 owners are trading up for 2?). We then walked across the Mass Ave Bridge, where we stopped to watch the sailing class on the Charles River. As cold as we were on the bridge, it must have been much colder for the student sailors. We watched a few tip over and fall into the water. The instructors in nearby motorboats were on hand to lend a hand “just in case”, but stayed back to let the students practice righting their boats and getting back in. Brrrr! (Click on the pictures to make them bigger.)
After the bridge, we cut through MIT lab campuses where we snapped the picture of the unique parking lot sign. We wound up in the back of the Stata Center. From a distance the building is meant to look like it is falling apart. Close up … well, you get the same impression … but there’s also cool architectural details that we made us stop to investigate, like the reflective wall that we took our picture in. I have mixed feelings about the design of this building. Loving old houses and historic sites like I do, and the patina of daily wear by many people coming and going over the years, the look of this building has seemed to me to be just a “statement” piece for the architect to put in his portfolio. On the other hand, it’s very creative and certainly fits in with the industrial/research area. But, of course, the real test of a building’s success is if it serves the purposes of the people using it. Kind of book design: it’s not enough to look cool and different—the design must serve the text and the reader. Some design principle are universal. That’s cool.
From the Stata Center, it was a short distance to the Kendall Square Cinema. This is the only theater I’ve been in that offers vegan baked goods and a wide variety of juices. Makes it easy to pick up a healthy snack instead of having to depend on the usual candy and soda options. Win/Win got two thumbs up from us. Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan? Yes, please.
After the movie, we had dinner at The Friendly Toast, a fun pop-culture themed restaurant. On one of the columns near our table, I got to enjoy the art on the covers of some old sci-fi books. My favorite entree there is the falafel wrap—mmmmm, so tasty.
I’ll post more walks as the year goes on. This is a great opportunity to document our favorite walks, as well as try some new ones to talk about. One walk I will post is one around Harvard Square, including a visit to Paige M. Gutenborg at the Harvard Book Store. If you would like me to check out any area attractions and take some photos of them on a future walk, give me a shout.