Alan Maltzman

Harvard Square, Cambridge, Boston

I’m often asked, “Is it worth it to visit Harvard Square?” After all, you have to get on the subway and take it all the way to Cambridge, which takes all of 15 minutes.  Well, the short answer is, “Definitely, YES!”

First, Harvard Square itself is such an interesting place.  You can watch the chess masters in action at Au Bon Pain while enjoying a cup of cappuccino. You can listen to the street musicians.  Or you can just watch as, literally, the world goes by.  If you stay at the Charles Hotel, you’ll be right there. Read More »

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The Hatch Shell in Botson hosts free live music throughout the summer months

Boston is great live music town all year round, but in the summertime, special outside venues provide concert-goers with sea breezes to go along with the lovely sounds – many of them free!

From the last week in June through the end of August (from 6 to 10 p.m.), Rowes Wharf is home to The Blues Barge, compliments of the Boston Harbor Hotel’s Intrigue Cafe. You can enjoy a bite to eat at the cafe’s outside seating or get a free seat on the steps (with complimentary pads) as you listen to soul on Tuesdays, classic tunes on Wednesdays, and blues on Thursdays. Read More »

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King’s Chapel Burial Ground in Boston

Boston is one of the earliest settlements in America and, of course, folks have been dying here since day one.  As a result, the city has four cemeteries worthy of the most picky history nut.

The oldest cemetery was created the same year Boston was founded, 1630, so it houses its oldest settlers. King’s Chapel Burial Ground is, as the name implies, next to King’s Chapel but actually predates the church by many decades. It was originally just called The Old Burial Place. Famous occupants include John Winthrop, first Puritan Governor of Massachusetts; William Dawes, the real first arrival in Lexington and Concord on that famous ride in 1775; and Mary Chilton, the first European woman to step ashore in New England. It’s located at the corner of Tremont and School Streets, across from the Omni Parker House hotel. Read More »

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Boston's House of Blues

Boston is a great live music town. Even in the dead of winter, music can be found permeating throughout the city. Here are some of the larger venues that normally have live musicians throughout the year.

Boston’s House of Blues (15 Lansdowne Street) recently reopened after a long absence. Of course, the specialty is blues, but you can also hear rock, gospel, and other musical genres as well. Lots of big-name entertainers star here, so you’ll want to book tickets in advance. The one downside is that most of the venue is standing only. Read More »

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Wrentham Village Premium Outlets

Boston has a good number of discount clothing stores, including TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, DSW Shoes and Filene’s Basement. However, when “discount” isn’t enough, then thoughts turn to “Outlets”.  Indeed, many of our welcome visitors from overseas make Outlet Shopping one of their top priorities.  While we don’t have Outlet Malls within the city itself, we certainly do have them within a short distance.

The Granddaddy of outlet malls is the famous Kittery Outlets in Kittery, Maine (less than an hour from Boston). It has over 120 outlet stores, including Ralph Loren, Banana Republic, Bass, Calvin Klein, J. Crew, Nautica, Tommy Hilfiger, and Levi’s. Read More »

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Where to shop in Boston

by Alan Maltzman on March 12, 2010

Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, Downtown Boston

Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, Downtown Boston

Many folks come to Boston to experience its history or enjoy the beautiful architecture.  Then there are those who come to shop!  Here’s a little primer to help you find the most fruitful areas.

The traditional shopping area is called Downtown Crossing, an area where Washington, Summer, and Winter Streets cross.  While it no longer has the five or six department stores it once did, Macy’s, TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, H&M, DSW Shoes and a host of smaller stores and pushcarts still make it a major shopping destination.  Nearby, you can stay at the Hyatt Regency Boston. Read More »

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Parker's Restaurant at the Omni Parker House

Parker's Restaurant at the Omni Parker House

Although many people come to Boston to enjoy a great steak or a good Italian meal, there are a number of foods that are truly associated with Boston, either because they were invented here or because they play such an important role in Boston’s culinary scene.

What could be more Bostonian than Boston Cream Pie?  Not much.  After all, it’s the official dessert of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts!  It was created by French chef M. Sanzian at Boston’s Parker House Hotel shortly after it opened in 1855.  Of special significance, Boston Cream Pie was the first time chocolate was used as an ingredient in a recipe. So the obvious place to get the real thing is at Parker’s Restaurant at the Omni Parker House Hotel (60 School Street). And while you’re there, you can also enjoy another unique-to-Boston treat: Parker House Rolls.  These buttery oval rolls with a crease through the center were invented here in 1867. Read More »

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Old City Hall is the home of Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Everybody loves a good meal, but sometimes that’s just not enough.  For those of you who would like a dose of history with your dinner, Boston is the ideal place to get just the right mix.  Here are some of the top choices, although there are many more as well.

Boston’s Old City Hall, built in 1865 in the French Second Empire Style, is the home of the Ruth’s Chris Steak House. On the way in, check out Ben Franklin’s Statue, which is where the first public school in America was built. Hence its address: 45 School Street. Read More »

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Lyndell's Bakery in Boston's North End

Lyndell's Bakery in Boston's North End

Boston’s North End is referred to by visitors as “Little Italy,” although never called that by Bostonians.  It has an Old World charm and feel that makes it a pleasure to roam the streets.  And it all centers around the food — especially Italian pastries. Locals are always arguing where to get the best pastry.  Usually, it comes down to the two best-known competitors:  Mike’s and Modern. Each shop has its own supporters insisting that’s it’s really no contest at all.  But there are other contenders as well vying for the title of “King of North End Pastry.”

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View from Top of the Hub Restaurant in Boston

View from Top of the Hub Restaurant in Boston

Boston has a wealth of fine dining establishments, but if you want to have a beautiful view to help you digest the food just a little better, the list of choices diminishes considerably. If you’re one who appreciates the ambiance a great view can provide, then please read on!

The best known “view” in Boston is at the Top of the Hub Restaurant, which sits high atop the Prudential Center Tower in Back Bay (800 Boylston Street, adjacent to the Sheraton Boston Hotel). Plus, if all you’re after is a great view, you can just have a nightcap in the lounge.

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