Boston architecture, decorative arts, & food

Old May 21st, 2017, 01:51 PM
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Boston architecture, decorative arts, & food

I will be spending 4 or 5 days in Boston, for the first time ever, this summer. I love American decorative arts, architecture, gardens, urban planning issues, and food (and coffee). Of course I am going to the MFA, but other than that, need recommendations. Does the hive have any advice? Regarding food, no shellfish, pork, or Ethiopian. Thanks!
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 03:18 AM
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I have gone on both Michelle Topor tours - North End (Italian) and Chinatown (which ends in a dim sum lunch with your guide). Both provide a lot of historical information as well as the fun of going into different small shops for food samples.

There are a lot of restaurant discussions for Boston on It's not the best restaurant but I think anyone interested in Boston should eat at Durgin Park and have some Indian pudding for dessert.
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 06:36 AM
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Hi There,

One of my FAVORITE museums in the world is in Boston. You must visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum while in Boston. Every trip to Boston I manage to fit in a quick visit. It will not disappoint

Enjoy this little gem
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Old May 23rd, 2017, 12:34 AM
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The Boston Society of Architects has published various guides to Boston architecture over the years. An old one is as good as a new one.

The American Collections at the MFA follow the lead of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts by hanging paintings among furniture, artifacts and fabrics characteristic of the period. The MFA also has complete period rooms that are a bit tucked away, but they account for the odd fenestration on the new wing because they are lit by daylight through windows.

The Gardner is a splendid example of turn of the [last] century money at work. It is appropriately on Palace Road. I like the new glass building which houses the museum auxiliaries, but it spoils the entrance to the house itself.

There are various house museums on Beacon Hill and in the Back Bay, from Federal through 1910. I like the Harrison Grey Otis House on Cambridge Street a lot, and the Paul Revere House in the North End is a good representation of the beginnings of an early 18th century merchant's house. Finally, the JFK Birthplace in Coolidge Corner, Brookline, is fascinating, not least because of the modesty with which the Kennedy's lived before Joseph hit it big.

When I lived on the Waterfront, I used to explore the Financial District and North End very early in the morning. Both are rich in architectural details, particularly bronze friezes just above street level in the business district, you know, Labor Greeting Diligence, that kind of thing.

Take the tour at the Boston Public Library, free, and at Trinity Church, not free. The latter is HH Richardson's masterpiece, though his Thomas Crane Library in Quincy Center is easy to get to on the Red Line if you like Richardson.

I could go on.
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Old May 23rd, 2017, 01:36 AM
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I realize it isn't IN Boston but one of my favorite museums in the world is the Peabody Essex in Salem. Some wonderful early American decor, and since you have an interest in architecture- google yin yu tang Chinese house. So very cool. You can (or could) take a ferry there in the summer and that was a great way to get out on the harbor.

But I could easily spend the whole time in MFA. I think I did two days there my first trip. Gardner is fabulous too- much smaller but due to the set up, can't be rushed.

North end is probably my favorite area to wander around; I love the church. Also, last time, I spent a lot of time sightseeing just the memorial statues around the city. Could probably spend a whole day just doing that.
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Old May 23rd, 2017, 06:52 AM
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Are you looking for suggestions or just stating a preference? There is no city in the US where Ethiopian is the dominant ethnic cuisine, so even stating that preference is superfluous. Check for Boston eateries. A lot will be neighborhood dependent (Italian in North End, etc.) and relative to where you'll touring.
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Old May 23rd, 2017, 07:50 AM
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Noting suggestions for our next visit!

Re: restaurants, we liked Sportello, which is Italian in a casual, modern setting:
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Old May 23rd, 2017, 08:10 AM
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My trip to Boston included the Peabody Essex, the MFA and the Isabella Gardner plus a couple of other places.

Start here (links at the top):
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