Friday, October 16, 2015

Boston, Part I

I'd never been to Boston. I'm sure I only saw a small subsection of this great city, but I was enchanted by the parts through which I walked. I spent two days in the city, around eight hours of which were spent on an interview, and did not get to see nearly enough of it.

I took a shuttle from Logan International Airport to the Hynes Convention Center in Back Bay. Observations: the trees are different, the buildings are old, and there sure are a lot of bricks. My plan of the day was to get some coffee, get some food, and sit around by the Charles River before walking to MIT to meet a friend, JC. This route took me through Back Bay, which was a serious wonderland of the most picture perfect Victorian brownstones.

Back Bay did not seem real. Of course, probably not representative of all of Boston, but still, it was a wonder to walk through. I was dragging my suitcase (very small, very light) over old road and brick while tired and dehydrated to the point of headache, but I felt pretty motivated by all the beautiful architecture around me.

Back Bay, and all the rest of Boston that I saw, was extremely walkable. If I'd walked that same distance (Hynes Convention Center to MIT: 1.2 miles, according to Google Maps) in Berkeley in my condition, I would be in for a bad time. Boston is flat, Berkeley is not. Anyways...

Crossed the Charles River by way of the Harvard Bridge. Smoot markings were pretty funny to look at. It was damn windy here, but still a great view.

Made it to MIT in one piece, took a nap in the lobby of the Marriott while waiting for JC, who took me on a campus tour. Interesting fact: MIT's buildings are connected to one another! Perfect for avoiding the winter. The computer science building was very quirky and busy, and my favorite since that was where JC bought me a Naked juice, which revived me from my exhaustion. I had wanted to see the shipbuilding exhibit and it was cute, but underwhelming. Original plans were to visit the MIT museum and Harvard, but there was no way I was walking that far.

A gingerbread castle at MIT. JC informed me that it was a dorm.

After touring MIT, I walked back across the Harvard Bridge and west through more of Back Bay to get to Boston University to meet another friend, RN. On my way, I passed by the famous Fenway Park. I took a break to eat some of the baguette and salami I bought in the morning from Trader Joe's.

I sat around at RN's apartment, and she took me around BU campus, which is a narrow strip between 1-2 miles long. We walked the length of it, took the shuttle back to her apartment, where we talked and I ate more of my provisions and napped. It was good to catch up with old friends in a new (for me) city, and though my plans for being touristy and rambling all over Boston were trumped by my lack of energy, I had a wonderful day.

After my nap and dinner (provisions yet again), we went to Whole Foods for her dinner and to find a gift for my med student overnight host (some potted flowers). I took the BU shuttle down to the medical campus, and that was a day.

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