Off The Beaten Freedom Trail In Boston

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.   IMG_2567I 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."   IMG_2596Everywhere 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.   


Yellow Rat Bastard... A Clothing Store Other Than the Norm

YRB store frontIf you want to piss off your teachers at school, you might want to check this place out.  The clothing store Yellow Rat Bastard is not the typical raunchy boardwalk logo shop, but it's not your regular clothing store either.  It is situated on Broadway right in the heart of Soho.  To get there, you can take the N,R train to Prince Street or the 6 train to Spring Street.  It can be a little hard to find at first.  All you have to do is look for three window panels that have open spaces in them.  There are three yellow signs on top of the window panels that have their logo, which is a dead rat.  When you walk inside, it looks like you are walking into a castle.  The place is very dark and is lit with old chandeliers.  There is a guy standing randomly to the left of the doorway awkwardly close to you.  I think he's there to monitor the flow of what comes in and out of the store.

Anyway, when you walk in there are several different articles of clothing, mainly T-shirts that have almost every design and logo you can think of, many of which are very explicit.  They have everything from heavy metal band covers, to a variety of designs. One example is a man painting a graffiti mural on the giant wall.  You can also see many different uses of swear words on shirts that sort of make fun of actual items.  I saw a shirt that had a picture which was similar to the person on an itunes gift card.  The  message said if**k instead of itunes.  That's how crazy this place is.  I have to say, this place will really appeal to teens like me.