In honor of the Fourth on Friday, I’m blogging this week on some different, iconic American locations as best as I can. These posts will cover a couple of different spots around the country, and I’ll post in some different formats as well. If you’ve been following the blog lately, you may have noticed my new City Guides feature. I’ve been working on constructing some comprehensive guides to cities I know well (“local cities”) and other cities which I have only visited (“visited cities”). It’s been a process getting these in a uniform format, but I’m making progress. Today, I’m publishing some highlighted places from my Boston city guide, and if you like what you see, check out the full version here.
North End—Boston’s famous Italian quarter, the North End is fun for visitors and a thorn in my Italian professors’ side (for perpetuating Italian stereotypes). There are tons of restaurants and famous cannoli shops: Mike’s Pastry draws hoards of visitors who line around the block to get a massive cannoli. While they’re great, Modern Pastry is also a good choice, also with a line, and their cannoli are customizable and a lot more manageable. Overall, the North End is a nice little neighborhood to explore, and it’s fun to eavesdrop on some of the actual Italian speakers. For some good food, head to Mamma Maria for a modern spin on classic Italian flavors in a small but open setting.
Fenway–Probably one of the most iconic baseball parks in the country, Fenway is home to the Boston Red Sox and one of the most spirited and beautiful parks in the country. Going to a Red Sox game is almost a Massachusetts must in the summer. Although tickets may be expensive, they are worth buying to watch a game and join the fans in a round of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline and eating a Fenway Frank for dinner. If going to a game is out of the question, seeing the surrounding area before a game might give a good sampling.
Boston College Hockey (and other sports)–If rooting Boston’s professional teams is out of the question on your budget, BC sports are a good alternative. Their hockey team has ben national champions multiple times in the last few years, and both students and alumni have a lot of spirit and Eagle pride.
Public Garden–A beautiful area open to the public and home to the famous swan boats, Boston Public Garden really comes to life in the spring when all of the flowers are in bloom. It’s a good place to bring a picnic (maybe a pizza from the Upper Crust). The Walk for Hunger, a great 24 mile charity walk that goes through Boston and its suburbs, ends with a walk through the garden as well, and it’s a gorgeous place to be inside of the city (especially after all of that walking).
Picco–I went here once for pizza with my dad and sister before a Boston College hockey game, and this place knows pizza. They place their perfectly charred pizzas on old tin cans on your table in this dark and warm restaurant. Unfortunately, I haven’t been back since, but the pizza here was warm, hearty, and perfect on a really windy and cold night.