Hidden Boston

There are many things to do in Boston that appeal to both the senses and the wallet. You just need to know where to go...

Hidden Boston

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by Beth on September 14, 2000

Boston Public Library offers free tours, there are free movies and plays held at Boston Common throughout the summer, and window shopping is always interesting.${QuickSuggestions} ${BestWay} ALWAYS take the T in Boston. A car is simply not worth the hassle and expense of driving and parking. It is almost always easier to get around by foot. Most T stops are quite convenient to popular spots and all stations have an information booth where they can answer questions and give you directions.

Buzzy's Roast Beef

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Beth on September 14, 2000

If you like your beef, Buzzy's Roast Beef is a Boston classic. It's ideal for lunch when you've spent some time exploring the Beacon Hill area and are now headed to the Charles River esplanade to relax. Buzzy's is at the end of Cambridge St in a sort of hairy traffic area but don't let that deter you. The sandwiches and burgers are all great and HUGE! Fries are very good also. This is a very popular place when the bars close but it's just as good at 1pm as it is at 3am!
Buzzy's Roast Beef
327 Cambridge Street
Boston, Massachusetts, 02114
(617) 242-7722

Boston Public Library

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Beth on September 14, 2000

The BPL was built in 1845 and was the first free municipal library in the United States. The original side is typical of the 1800s -- ornate, lots of marble, etc -- while the modern side built in the 1970s is a very clean and simple design. Tours of the BPL focus on the original building and the murals by John Singer Sargent, the murals by the grand staircase by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and stories behind many of the other sculptures and paintings. Tours are given by Volunteer Office and last about an hour and a half. If you are interested in art, history or literature, I highly recommend making a visit.
Boston Public Library
700 Boylston St
Boston, Massachusetts, 02117
+1 617 536 5400

A Guide to Visiting the North End

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by Beth on September 14, 2000

The North End is the Italian neighborhood in Boston in between the North Station area and Faneuil Hall. There are a ridiculous number of restaurants in the small neighborhood so it is a very popular place for diners. Restaurants range from pizza, take-out subs, typical red sauce-and-pasta and classic Italian cuisine. Every Friday and Saturday night after about 6pm there are lines outside many of the most popular restaurants. The best way to avoid having to wait is to come for lunch or for an early dinner. If you come for lunch the food is just as good and usually a lot cheaper. Another way to save some money is to try eating at Il Panino Express on Hanover. This is a cafeteria-style restaurant so by cutting out the service you wind up getting great Italian food for less. At this place and almost every restaurant in the North End, seating is quite tight. So, be prepared to sit real close to your neighbors. If this isn't your thing, again, I recommend eating mid-afternoon.

Pizzeria Regina is an extremely popular pizza place on Thacher Street. If you've heard raves before you come, go ahead and wait in line. You should know, though, that a place called Ernesto's on Salem Street, while a different style of pizza, is also quite good and you get A LOT for your money. One 'slice' is a good two slices anywhere else. They always have a bunch of pizzas with a wide range of toppings to choose from.

After dinner, you have to try some authentic Italian pastry. Mike's Pastry on Hanover Street is the most popular and has the lines to prove it. You should know that there are several other pastry shops that are just as good but rarely have lines like Mike's. Modern Pastry on Hanover and Bova's on the corner of Prince and Salem also have a great range of desserts. Bova's also happens to be open 24 hours a day -- that's right, if you need a loaf of bread or a brownie at 4am that's the place to go. Bova's also sells a variety of pizzas, breads, sandwiches and serves as a deli. There are several other shops that sell desserts, so if you see something appealing, go for it! It's pretty hard to go wrong.

If tiramisu or cannoli isn't your thing, go for some gelato. This creamy, Italian ice cream is sold at several shops and is just like the real thing. I've been to Rome and it tastes the same! The Caffe Dello Sport on the corner of Hanover and Prince is my favorite place for gelato and there is usually a crowd of Italian men watching soccer so you definitely get the European ambiance. Another place to try is Cafe Pompeii on Hanover for gelato. If you're looking for something to take home to remind you of your visit to the North End, stop in Daily Fresh Candies on Salem St. This shop has a wide range of candies, sauces, etc. and sells fudge and other homemade candy. Another place to try is Martignetti's -- this liquor store on Cross St. recently was ranked best Boston liquor store by one of the local magazines. They have a good wine selection and plenty of other spirits to choose from.

Faneuil Hall & Area

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by Beth on September 20, 2000

Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market is touted as one of the most, if not the most, popular tourist site in the United States. This area combines culture, history, dining and local ambiance for visitors and Bostonians. If you want to fit in, be sure to say 'Quin-zee.'

Every year, performers audition to perform during the spring/summer tourist season. Only a fraction win a gig as a juggler, musician, artist, etc., so you can always count on interesting entertainment for families.

The shops have mostly made way to large, national chains like Banana Republic, Gap and Ann Taylor. However, there are still several 'local' shops wedged in between and the pushcarts sell a variety of local goods from clothing to crafts to food. In fact, you can buy almost everything you can think of in the two Market buildings.

The actual Faneuil Hall is a major historic site in Boston where many famous orators from our country's history incited the public. There are some shops in the underground, including one that sells reprints of significant moments in sports. Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird -- you can buy prints of these kinds of athletes for a reasonable price. You can also get prints of black and white photos from Boston's early days like ice skaters on the Boston Common. Great souvenir.

Just to the side of Faneuil Hall is Bostix -- one of the day-of theatre ticket purchasing kiosks. The bulletin board lists all the performances for which Bostix is selling half-price tickets for shows that day. Definitely worth scheduling this stop in if there's something you want to see.

Faneuil Hall has a variety of restaurants selling everything from Italian, nouveau cuisine, burgers and seafood. For nightlife, there are several Irish pubs, Lily's Piano Bar, and the Rathskellar for pool. The Comedy Connection is the best comedy club in Boston with the most history. You name the comedian, they've performed here.

Be sure to get a look at the area just outside of Quincy Market. The Rack was named by Boston Magazine as the best place to play pool but this is also a see and be seen kind of place with lots of live music. A film crew and Jules Asner from E!'s Wild on... show was just here to get the lowdown on Boston's wild side.

If you're thinner than any of the waitresses at the Rack, be sure to eat! There are lots of take away places in Quincy Market but few places to sit, especially in inclement weather. Some of the restaurants in the Market are tourist traps. I recommend heading to one of the places on Union Street or Marshall Street. The Green Dragon and the Purple Shamrock both offer lobster dinners for $9.95. The Marshall House has great burgers and a good selection of seafood. Many menu items come with your own little pot of Boston baked beans.

The Bell in Hand, established in 1795, is billed as the oldest tavern in the United States. Some of the pubs in the Washington DC area might give them a run for their money at that claim, but it is a fun bar that often has live bands in the front and/or back rooms. All of the bars along here are at full capacity when there is a concert at City Hall Plaza. Various radio stations sponsor a variety of shows, recently folk singer Dar Williams performed and Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Check out the Calendar section in the Thursday edition of the Boston Globe (www.boston.com) for all things entertainment.

Also along Union Street is the holocaust memorial -- six glass towers etched with the numbers of all the camp prisoners. This is a really interesting and effective memorial.

Every Friday afternoon and Saturday Haymarket is held -- produce and seafood is sold at great prices. It's crowded and you should be careful of your pockets and belongings but you can get great buys if you are in the market. The seafood is good too -- in the past few years I've only gotten one batch of bad scallops but no problems with salmon, shrimp or swordfish. This is a messy, smelly area on Saturday nights, however.


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