Boston 2010: Day 1

( #Boston, #Travel )

I woke up this morning with the sky still dark to embark on my journey to Beantown. I was pleasantly surprised to find the proprietor (Al) of the local transport service pulling up to my house with a stretch limo instead of the usual green towncar (he couldn’t get back home in time to switch cars).

The Philadelphia airport was pretty painless this morning. The line for baggage check-in was around the building, but we only had a small carry-on and did pre-boarding, we got to skip right to security. In the security line, the girl allowed us to jump in a new line and we went through in 10 minutes tops. The flight itself was undersold, so we had plenty of room.

Once in Boston we opted to get a cab; I was not happy about dropping $30 on a 3 mile drive, but we didn’t do any homework on the subways. At the hotel (DoubleTree), we were greeted by a rather rude gentlemen. At 8:45 AM, I had no expectations that I was going to get my room, but he didn’t offer to take our bags (I had to ask) and he looked put out by the whole process. I asked him of a nice local place to grab breakfast and he recommended a diner 20 minutes away. We are in Chinatown and this asshole couldn’t find a dim sum place to recommend. Luckily, Allison did some research.

PS: I will probably do a much bigger rant about this hotel, but they also charge $13 per day for Internet in the room.

[Mike and Patty’s]

Address: 12 Church Street
Website: Mike and Pattys

This little corner shop is TINY. Only one table tiny (the whole place couldn’t be more than 200 sq ft.). But I loved the neighborhood and the food was good. I enjoyed the spunky gal slinging eggs and hash-browns in the kitchen (I could have reached over and cooked my own).

The place got crowded (meaning 6 people in line) fast, so we ate quickly and made room for the next group.

[Freedom Trail]

Website: Wiki: Freedom Trail

Since we had time to kill, I thought the fabled Freedom Trail in Boston’s historic district would be nice way to spend a morning. It wasn’t. While the whole area is historic, the trail (which is actually 2.5 miles one way) seemed to run people through stores and restaurants (which were mostly closed in the morning) instead of interesting historic places. For the legit sites, you have to pay to really see the building. I found the whole thing disappointing, but I think it might be better to do it later in the day while the businesses are open, so you can pop in, have a drink or snack.

By the time we got to the USS Constitution, my feet were beat. We took a cab to Boston Common because my wife wanted to take a picture at the duck statues at Boston Common. Funny thing happened in the cab – we had the same driver from the airport – totally random! We walked around the park for a half-hour and then back to the subway so we could check in at the hotel.

On an up note, Bostonians are a friendly people. A gentlemen stopped us in the street because we had a map and asked us if we needed help. His name is Arnie Marcus and he runs a gift shop in Faneuil Hall called “Greetings from Boston” (website). Go over there and buy some postcards because he is a really nice guy.

[The Green Dragon Tavern]

Address: 1 Marshall Street
Website: Green Dragon Tavern

At the hotel we met up with our friend Jess and then headed out for a late lunch at The Green Dragon Tavern. Typical bar food, nothing outstanding, but nothing wrong with it. For some reason people took a lot of pictures of paintings in the bar. I finally asked someone about it and they said, it was historic, but didn’t know why.

I will have to dig up more about that.

[Joe’s Tavern]

Address: 181 Newbury Street
Website: Joe’s Tavern

We met up with Allison’s cousin Pat on Newbury street and had a light dinner after walking around window shopping. Newbury street is a very nice area to walk around, commercial, but very ncie. The food was good (but I don’t think a salad is representative of a restaurant). After a nice chat and dinner, we headed back to the hotel.

Crappy hotel aside, we had a very nice first day in Boston and I am looking forward to tomorrow’s adventure (it’s actually tomorrow – but whatever…).

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