Places to Visit »Boston

brookline trolleyThe great thing about cities is that every visit brings a new experience. On a recent shopping trip to Boston for work, I revisited some familiar areas and was introduced to unexplored ones.

The day began in Cambridge with Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage, a beloved local haunt that has been a landmark since 1960. Hundreds of burger combinations, salads and sandwiches fill the menu and my medium rare cheddar and guacamole (named after some sports person I can't recall) was superb.

We wandered around the Harvard Square area, hitting shops like the two story children's book mecca Curious George, the hip stationary and quirky doodads haven Black Ink, and the cool Museum of Useful Things which sells things like humane rat traps and staple free staplers.

The only dud all day was a tea shop called Dado, where the workers had gigantic chips on their shoulders and made a crappy cup of chai to boot. Avoid it and make for a Tealuxe instead.

Venturing into the shmancy area of Back Bay in the evening, we dined in style at B&G Oysters Ltd.; a snug, bustling restaurant with a huge selection of marvelous and varied mollusks and a spicy clam stew to die for. This highly rated spot is well deserving of the title Best of Boston's 2007 Seafood.

Back to Back Bay in the morning for the ridiculous and oh so fun to browse Louis, where hundred dollar fake apples sit next to custom made cards hand pressed with real gold, and a pair of Dries Van Noten fetish booties can cause one (me) to nearly flip out.

After wondering who is spending so much money when the economy is about to fall, we headed to more modest areas, including Brookline, a beautiful part of Boston I had never seen before. The quaint, old fashioned feel of the area is manifested in the adorable trolleys that criss cross the red bricked commercial area.

It was here that we wandered into Crossroads Trade, a store of “Ethnic Art Traditions of the World” which I presumed would reek of batik sack dress womanhood, but actually had great stuff, including bizarre tree ornaments (like a beaded nude Adam and Eve set) and exquisite over the top Arpilleras (three-dimensional appliqu? textiles of Latin America), my favorite of which showed Noah's Ark in vibrant colors, but cost five hundred dollars (otherwise it would be mine right now.)

At around a four hour drive away, Boston is almost too far to be convenient, but a trip there is never disappointing, and every visit is unique.

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Posted on November 26, 2007

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