Whenever most people think of Boston, they think of Paul Revere, the Freedom Trail, Quincy Market, Harvard and the many other universities there, but not me! I know of some other cool places to go when you're up in the largest city in New England.
Transportation is plentiful. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority or MBTA offers a very reliable Commuter Rail, Subway, Bus, and Ferry service to, from, and around the city limits (It's referred to as the "T"). To get from the New York area, you take Amtrak. Timing of the trip depends on the train you take, if you take the Northeast Regional, it will take a little over 3 hours to get up there. However, if you take the Acela Express like I did, it takes a little under 3 hours, and it's a real thrill to ride the Acela to Boston since it races along at 150 mph along the gorgeous Connecticut coastline. I took a snapshot of my phone GPS that showed my position and how fast I was going. Check it out!
Once I got to Boston, I took a quick trip over to the North End and Quincy Market. I walked along Hanover St. but did not find anything that really turned me on. I then decided to head over to Quincy Market. I browsed around the typical touristy shops. When I was walking by a restaurant called Dicks Last Resort, I noticed diners wearing strange looking paper hats. I hear that is part of the restaurant's shtick. I also read that the serving staff is known for their rude behavior. If this is your idea of a good time, this is the restaurant for you.
I then went to Cambridge, which is only a 10 minute ride on the T from Quincy Market. You know what schools are there. There were lots of students on the street as well as street musicians. The stores consisted of college apparel shops, restaurants, and Boston souvenir shops. There were a couple of high end stores, but they were few and far between. Now on to an edgier spot and what I find more interesting.
I took the red line from Cambridge over to the green line T, which brought me to the neighborhood of Allston. This line of the T is a light rail and runs both above ground and underground. On the ride, I had a chance to see the Boston University Campus. Shortly after passing the campus I got off at Harvard Avenue. which is the main drag in Allston. Allston is considered to be Boston's "rock city." Everywhere you look there are music stores and dive bars featuring live bands. My favorite music store is called Mr. Music located at 128 Harvard Av. Their main focus is guitars and guitar accessories. The staff is friendly and cool. The rest of Allston has an eclectic mix of fun stores including tattoo shops, comis stores, and tarot card readings.
After exploring Allston, I hopped on a bus down Harvard Avenue over to the town of Brookline, MA. This is also a fun place to look around. Here too, is an eclectic mix of shops, but a little higher end than in Allston. Before I left Brookline, I went over to Anna's Taqueria to get a tasty Burrito. Anna's has many locations including Cambridge, Somerville, Allston, and Brookline. It's a good choice for an inexpensive meal.
This ended my trip to Boston and I had to catch the Amtrak back to New York. Once again I enjoyed the beautiful views of the Connecticut coastline before it got dark.