Boston, an Extraordinary City
Here a country was born
Docked near Congress Street bridge is the Boston Tea Party Ship, a replica of the merchant vessel that was the stage for a rebellion in 1773 — the famous “Tea Party” that would later lead to the independence of the United States of America. This is just a small example of how the city's history is present on its streets, through many monuments and locations that evoke the past and express the local identity. On Boston Common and at King's Chapel we see signs of the presence of the first settlers that arrived here during the 17th Century. The old building of the Boston Latin School — the United States' first public school — is proof of Boston's enduring intimate relationship with education, science and knowledge. Right at the city centre, amidst crowded streets and modern skyscrapers, we find one of the country's most important historical buildings: the Old State House, a former courthouse where the independence of the United States was proclaimed in 1776. All of these places are part of the Freedom Trail — an official walking tour through the places and monuments that tell us the history of this city.
Outdoors... and on the high seas
There are many green areas to enjoy, such as the aforementioned Boston Common, the Charles River Esplanade, a public park in the Back Bay area with a view to Massachusetts Bay, or the Public Garden, whose highlights include several fountains, statues and a monument paying tribute to George Washington, the country's first President. This attraction for the outdoors is also connected to the Bostonians' deeply entrenched sports fanaticism, which we can witness when on baseball, basketball and ice hockey games. If you come here at the right time, you might be swallowed by huge crowds cheering athletes competing at the Boston Marathon, incidentally the USA's oldest.
During October, all eyes are set on the Head Of The Charles Regatta, a rowing head race that attracts thousands of athletes. It is an example of Boston's condition as a coastal city with a symbiotic relationship with the sea. In the downtown restaurants you can actually taste this connection, since the local cuisine relies heavily on fish. You can also meet several creatures of the sea at the New England Aquarium and if this doesn't satisfy your interest in the ocean, you can always contact a tourism operator, get on a boat and go whale-watching on the North Atlantic Ocean!
Science, Knowledge and Art
Boston is also famous for its academic and innovative side. After all, this is the home of the renowned Harvard University, known as an elite institution from which several US Presidents graduated. Its lovely campus buildings and local art museums are definitely worth a visit. You might also want to attend a science conference at the world-famous M.I.T. (Massasuchets Institute of Technology), alma mater of several Nobel Prize winning scientists. Or perhaps you wish to meet the new generation of jazz musicians and watch a student recital at the Berklee College of Music, where some of the best American musicians learned their skills.
Those who appreciate the visual arts can take a peek at the collections of the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum or the Museum of Fine Arts. The South End neighbourhood artists community gathers in several art galleries and around the Boston Center for the Arts. Boston is also home to charming architecture: colonial buildings such as Paul Revere's House, historical and quaint neighbourhoods such as North End and its “Little Italy”, religious buildings such as Trinity Church, or fascinating places like the Boston Public Library, an institution that, together with local universities, has helped to forged this city's reputation as the “Athens of America”.
Boston by Night!
But Boston's environment also generated an interesting dynamics for performance arts and show business. Besides the Berklee music school, there are several theatres and performance venues where one can be surprised by the creativity of both international and local artists (often young students who want to experiment and dazzle the world). You can enjoy musicals and theatre plays at the area known as Theater District, where many historic local venues are located — this is where you find the Wang Theatre, one of the city's main venues. Classical music lovers can head to the Boston Opera House or to the Tanglewood Music Center. Those who prefer jazz, rock or other kinds of popular music should look for what they want at one of Downtown Boston' many bars or go directly to music venues such as the Lizard Lounge (located in the Cambridge area) or the Paradise Rock Club (in the Allston neighbourhood). The Hatch Memorial Shell is also worth a visit — it is an open air auditorium where Summer nights are often filled with the sounds of classical music.
Boston's nightlife is full of new and refreshing experiences. The local vibe is very multicultural, partly because of the different origins of the students who live here, and a great American city is never complete without its very own Chinatown and Little Italy! Begin your evening with a traditional or exotic dinner in one of the restaurants at the Jamaica Plain neighbourhood and finish it off with some dancing in one of many Downtown clubs and discos.
Finally, it must be pointed out that even though Boston's population has a lot of variety, the local culture is strongly influenced by Irish communities. If you happen to be in town during St. Patrick's Day look for the nearest Irish pub (there are several of these all around Boston) and you will realise that dancing and drinking beer while wearing a green wig is a perfectly natural thing to do!