Boston: The bold and beautiful
August 16, 2012 | 1:00 pm
(Updated: December 27, 2012 | 2:48 pm)
My very first business trip as a 21 year-old sales and marketing analyst landed me on a top floor of the Copley Square Marriott, Back Bay Boston, MA. An entirely company-funded trip? I felt like I had arrived. I remember jumping up and down on the bed talking to my mom like a teenager about how I could see down the river to Cambridge – “gosh ma, I have rooooom service!” After dozens and dozens of trips to Beantown, I find a never-ending string of surprises, and I won’t lie – sometimes I still jump on the bed. I’ve come to appreciate Boston (a town that I lovingly refer to as Bawwston) for balancing it’s brilliant past and brazen future – a future that’s projected from everyone’s determined faces as they rush to work down choppy cobblestone, clutching hot coffee.
Jetsetter, go getter.
As a Coloradan, you thought it was high time you check out the delights of the balmy East coast for a carefully planned sight seeing tour with many, many unexpected twists. There’s only so much you can read about before you decide it’s time to live it!
It’s the end of the summer and after a few days in NYC, you hop a short flight to the big apple’s rival to the north. The humid air warms your lungs outside Boston Logan Airport, and you hail a cab and holler a destination. The driver nods and teleports you through a series of meandering tunnels underwater, over highways, and across bridges. The Back Bay, central to Boston tourism, is home to The Lenox Hotel, a family run hotel that’s fully restored to it’s c. 1900 luster, complete with uber-modern finishes. It’s late afternoon on a Friday and you stash your bags and step outside feeling charged with energy – standing just feet from the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Glance at your watch. You have time before heading to Fenway, so you decide to walk over to Newbury Street for some people watching and window shopping. Newbury is lined with a diverse cluster of boutiques, some indie and some commercial. Today, you smile at the locals ditching work an hour early to spend time with friends at bistro tables. After a few blocks, you cut down towards the water, pausing to look up at all the fancy row homes with immaculate detail. Marvel turns into architectural envy and you indulge in silly daydreaming about the people that call these gorgeous places home. It’s time to head back to the hotel to drop your bags of small purchases off before heading to a rowdy game.
“Get your TICKETS!” Whoa, that was seriously loud. Careful not to spill your iced DD’s coffee. Your sweetheart ushers you through a crowd towards a ticket counter of the ridiculously historic Fenway Park for a Red Sox game. The game has just started, which means it’s prime time to score some “standing room only” tix for a bargain of 25 bones. Add an authentic, real-deal, right-off-the-boat Italian sausage and a cold beer to the mix, and you’re all smiles from the top of the Green Monster, face lit up from the field. A victory means you’re out for the night and a short cab takes you back within walking distance of the hotel. Destination dive bar lands you at McGreevy’s. Irish punk music fills the bar and you’re pretty sure a headache might be on the agenda tomorrow. Time to turn in!
It’s morning in Boston and the air is a bit muggy and heavy, but despite that you still opt for a run. A 4-or-so mile run takes you down to the Charles River where you run along a dirt path before crossing into Cambridge. Your legs feel strong at sea level and you extend the jaunt around the MIT campus a bit, pausing a couple times to read the captions on statues. You’re such a curious kid.
Hungry from a respectable run, you head to Faneuil Hall, Boston’s meeting and marketplace since 1742. Honestly, you could walk forever in this city without tiring of sights and sounds. A flimsy map from the hotel concierge helps you navigate the historical landmarks, as you snap photos and post them leisurely on Facebook.
Back at the hotel, you and your sweetheart put on snazzy outfits – and feel, for one fleeting moment, like a celebrity. You’ll fit into this sexy city just fine tonight. Off to dinner in the North End for the best Italian food, outside of Italy and your grandma’s kitchen (of course). The wrought iron fire escapes, darkly lit alleyways and narrow buildings time warp you to the set of film noir. You fully expect to see large men with cigar and femme fatales with large black hats slinking out of dark unmarked cars.
After selecting one of the many heavily populated pasta-slinging restaurants for dinner, it’s right to Mike’s Pastry for a … Cannoli? Gelato? Pizzelle? How can you choose when this place has been packed until midnight, every night for decades? Sugary delight in one hand, lover in the other, you stroll down the backside of the busy main street and find yourself on the vertical brick path that signifies the Freedom Trail that lands you right in front of Paul Revere’s House. Dramatically you yell, “the British are coming!” and almost snort your pistachio gelato with a laugh. Freedom, indeed. Squeeze your sweetie closer and thank the stars that you still have a few more days to enjoy Bawston.