My home for three years, and one of the more beautiful cities I've come across, Boston proved to be a lot more than a land of highly educated Puritans. A range of vibrant neighborhoods, some age-old and some brand new, and a rekindled spirit of innovation and progress make Boston a city to look forward to, with a future equally as exciting and influential as its past.
Completed in 2006, the ICA is a work of art in and of itself. Bright hallways, futuristic staircases and open spaces lead you through a rotating array of intriguing contemporary art exhibits. Linger on the third floor observation deck for panoramic views of Boston Harbor and keep an eye out for upcoming shows and exhibits on their pristine outdoor amphitheater.
Museum | ICA
100 Northern Ave
With a well-organized, extensive selection of high-quality vintage shoes, clothing and accessories of all shapes and sizes, this eclectic shop has every bit the character of its forenamed founder, who has been stocking the shelves with his timeless taste for decades.
Vintage Shop | Bobby From Boston
19 Thayer St
Blending old and new in true Bostonian fashion, the Boston Public Library functions as a two-headed labyrinth; the research-focused McKim building, built in 1895, is a wonderful renaissance-style marble and stone structure, while the modernist Johnson building's towering concrete walls, added in 1972, will satisfy your minimalist side. Linger in the grandiose reading room or relax in the courtyard for respite from the urban grind.
Library | Boston Public Library
700 Boylston St
A small, bright urban oasis for those in search of all things green, peruse the trays of ornate succulents, hanging plants and large-leaf floor sitters. With reasonable prices, a friendly, knowledgable staff, and close proximity to the South End's best restaurants, consider it on the way no matter which way you're headed.
Horticulture | Niche. Urban Garden Supply
619 Tremont St
Boston is known for several things: its multitude of universities, puzzling accent and hatred of tea, but above all else is its obsession for sport. If it's summertime, get to a ballgame. Built in 1912, Fenway Park is the oldest active ballpark in the Major Leagues, and its intimate setting proves inspirational to fans of all ages. With games nearly every day, modest ticket prices, and easy accessibility from any part of the city, it's an experience even a Yankees fan could appreciate...maybe.
Sports Venue | Fenway Park
4 Yawkey Way
Certainly not the best kept secret in town, natives and touring javaheads alike flock to Thinking Cup not only for their laid back cigar lounge meets jazz bar in a remote cabin interior but also because they're one of the only coffee shops in the city grinding Stumptown beans, one of the best tasting blends you'll find anywhere.
Coffee Shop | Thinking Cup
85 Newbury St
Books seem to stretch like ivy up the red brick walls of this alley shop planted smack dab in the middle of downtown Boston. Venture inside and explore the vast collection of one of a kind mementos and out-of-print stock that’s been growing since their doors first opened in 1825.
Book Store | Brattle Book Shop
9 West Street
This boutique hotel dwells in a 1920’s sandstone brick building on the bustling corner of Massachusetts and Commonwealth Avenues. Steps from the subway, you’ll be able to gallivant the city with ease, but the hotel's proximity to the impressive Comm. Ave mall and the Charles River Esplanade will make you seriously consider walking the oak-lined corridors instead. When it’s time to eat you won’t have to look far - their basement is home to Uni, arguably the best sashimi restaurant in the city, and did I mention their midnight ramen menu?
Hotel | The Eliot Hotel
370 Commonwealth Avenue
As close as Boston comes to a speakeasy, only a small sign on the door reading "Bar 500A" reveals the identity of this upscale lounge tucked underneath the Commonwealth Hotel in Kenmore Square. You'll have to drop in to see what lineup of creative cocktails and high-end bar food they're serving, since the menu isn't published online.
Bar | The Hawthorne
500 A Commonwealth Avenue
Skip the block-long North End line and head to Columbus Ave. in the South End where reservations are accepted, and service is superior. Specializing in seafood pastas, Giacomo's is the place you go if you're only in Boston for one meal, and it's the only place in town you can get lobster fra diavolo with clams, mussels, and calamari for $20.
Restaurant | Giacomo’s
431 Columbus Ave
Operating out of greater Boston since 1973, The Tannery is one of the city's longest-standing and most well-rounded region-exclusive lifestyle stores. Stocking brands from Red Wings to Maison Margiela, its mix of urban high fashion and rugged backwoods (see: Wilderness Workshop) items cover all the bases, whether you're kicking pavement in the city or outfitting an upcoming trip to Zermatt.
Men’s Shop | The Tannery
711 Boylston St
Boston's Little Italy is home to a swath of great restaurants and bakeries. The sweet smells and old-world facades make for a strikingly authentic Italian feel. Walk past the stretching lines of Mike's and Modern pastry and make your way to the corner of Prince and Salem streets, where Bova bakery not only serves a better cannoli, but also offers take away items like sandwiches and calzones, all of which are served 24 hours a day. Continue a couple blocks east toward the waterfront, and take a seat in Christopher Columbus Park, overlooking the harbor, to enjoy your catch.
Bakery | Bova’s Bakery
134 Salem St
Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why a restaurant’s food tastes different than anything you’ve had before, but the South End Buttery has that “it” factor. Simple but thoughtfully prepared dishes will leave you wondering how an egg on a muffin could possibly taste so good. Their two-pronged café-restaurant setup offers baked goods and coffee to go, or a full brunch menu in their cozy dining room, but be sure to make a reservation; their tables are rarely vacant.
Restaurant and Café | South End Buttery
314 Shawmut Ave
Restaurant | Select Oyster Bar | 50 Gloucester St | www.selectboston.com
Men’s Shop | Riccardi | 116 Newbury St | riccardiboston.com
Museum | Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum | 25 Evans Way | www.gardnermuseum.org
Restaurant | Asta | 47 Massachusetts Ave | www.astaboston.com
Coffee | Barrington Coffee | 303 Newbury St | barringtoncoffee.com
Home Shop | Il Décor | 10 St James Ave | www.modernfurnitureinboston.com
Brunch | Cafeteria | 279 Newbury St | www.cafeteriaboston.com
Restaurant | Coppa | 253 Shawmut Ave | www.coppaboston.com
Outdoor Market | SoWa | 460 Harrison Ave | newenglandopenmarkets.com
Rooftop Bar | Rooftop at the Revere | 200 Stuart Street | www.reverehotel.com
Coffee | Ogawa | 10 Milk St | www.ogawacoffeeusa.com
Food Court | Super 88 Market | 1 Brighton Ave
Shoe Store | Bodega | 6 Clearway St | shop.bdgastore.com
Late Night Food | Peach Farm | 4 Tyler St | www.peachfarmboston.com