Shopping

Supplies & Services
Groceries
Bookstores
Clothes
Gifts & Music

Banking

Where to Bank
Closest ATMs
Borrowing Money
International Students

Housing

Mailing + Shipping

National Post
International Delivery Services

Phone + Internet

Cell Phone Providers
International Students

Voting + Jury Duty

Jury Duty
Voting

Exploration

Biking
Cambridge by Neighborhood
Boston by Neighborhood
Boston and Beyond

Food

Food in 5 Minutes
Food by Type
Food by Location

Going Out

Clubs, Bars & Live Music
Museums, Arts & Cinemas
Sports

 


Shopping

Supplies

A few thoughts on where to shop for art, drafting and model supplies. Everyone has thoughts on where to go, so just ask around. For rare or hard to find items, ask the folks in the Fab Lab—they know everything. (In addition to the places below, Home Depot in Somerville and Watertown also has a vast supply of MDF, plywood and plexiglass.)

Blick Art Materials
619 Mass Ave
(617) 441-6360
They’ve got another store at Boston Landmark Center that’s larger. If what you need is out of stock, or you need to order large quantities, you can often special order with delivery to your home or to the store, so plan ahead if you need a lot of something.

Dickson Brothers True Value
26 Brattle St
(617) 876-6760
They have a good selection of hardware and housewares, plus a limited supply of basswood if you’re in a pinch.

Artists & Craftsman Supply
580 Mass Ave
(617) 354-3636
A hidden gem—usually lower prices and a decent selection.

Boulter Plywood
24 Broadway, Somerville
(617) 661-1340
A good source for MDF, Baltic Birch Plywood and thin sheets of birch for topo models.

Altec Plastics, Inc
116 B St, Boston
(617) 296-1400
Currently the best plastic store in Boston. Buy rare and colored plexi here. Stock up when you go, as other stores tend to run out during the semester. They do special orders, as well.

Online Resources

cnmodelnt specializes in scale model parts. A good source for scale figures and, surprisingly, ABS rods and square sections.

Pop Displays sells acrylic sheets in a variety of colors and thicknesses. Shipping is expensive, but less so if you buy more—so get a whole year’s supply at once. Be sure to buy the acrylic and not the lexan, which is forbidden in the laser cutters.

More for Less
Although storage space at your desk is limited (remember to keep the aisle clear for egress), buying in bulk can be much cheaper than buying piecemeal. Split boxes of chipboard and bundles of basswood with studio mates to save some money. Specialty plexi is cheapest online. Finally, lumber and casting materials are cheapest at Home Depot, so share a ZipCar and head to Somerville.

Studio Essentials
As you may know, you’re entering school at the tail end of a paradigm shift in the design disciplines. Hand drafting is employed less and less, and the computer will consume the majority of your days (and nights). Digital modeling drives design, but physical modeling is as strong as ever and will provide respite from inevitable screen fatigue.

For those of you in studio-based programs, here are lists of our favorite studio survival tools.

Studio Tools 101
You’ll likely use pretty much everything on this list at least once in your GSD career.
– computer
– external hard drive
– trace paper (24” will do)
– pens, pencils, markers
– drafting tape
– box cuter/Olfa knife
– Sobo glue
– hot glue gun & sticks
– double-sided tape
– sketchbook
– kneaded eraser
– 12” & 24” rules w/safety guards
– X-Acto knife & pack of blades
– Zap-a-Gap (super super glue)
– pad of Bristol (for quick laser cutting jobs)
– spray paint

Advanced Studio Tools
Once you’ve got the basic stuff, consider adding some of these items to your arsenal to make the leap from first-year core to thesis caliber skills.
– flash drives
– modeling tweezers
– mini right angle
– mini ruler
– 36” ruler
– sandpaper
– spray-mount/Super 77
– a good light
– good headphones
– dremel (a mini-drill for making little holes at your desk—no, not in your desk!)

Pro Studios Tools
These tools will ensure long-term survival and may even win you some friends!
– mini-fridge
– Advil, etc.
– electric kettle
– coffee maker (electric or French press)
– sleeping bag/Snuggie

Services

For binding, photocopying, cleaning or hauling, sometimes it’s better to trust the pros.

BFS Business Printing
76 South St, Boston
(617) 482-7770
Trusted by architecture firms throughout the area for many years. Best place for binding portfolios.

Extra Space Storage
460 Somerville Ave, Somerville
(617) 625-1000
Conditioned self-storage units for long/short-term.

Gnomon Copy
1308 Mass Ave
(617) 666-1340
Wide range of services: scanning, offset printing, copying. Easy to upload files. Friendly staff. Great for portfolios.

Hillside Cleaners
49A Brattle St
(617) 354-1872
Same-day dry cleaning and rush services—in by 3pm, out by 5pm. Tailoring and shoe repair, too.

Hunt’s Photo & Video
99 Mt Auburn St
(617) 576-0969
New and used, film and digital cameras, photo paper and other gear. Friendly, knowledgeable staff.

Groceries

In addition to the usual supermarkets, Cambridge and especially Somerville have an impressive variety of specialty and ethnic markets, as well as a few good Farmers’ Markets during the warm months. (Also check out smaller markets close to the GSD, such as Broadway Market and Savenor’s.)

Farmer’s Markets
Fresh produce, preserves, meat and dairy, but also baked good, chocolate, wine, kombucha tea, fresh-cut flowers and all sorts of sweet treats. If you’re really serious about where your food comes from, it doesn’t hurt to do a little research on the vendors before you show up—it can be a little overwhelming when you get there, and the farms aren’t all equal (or organic).

The Plaza at Harvard
Tuesdays 12pm-6pm
One of the most expensive farmers’ markets, but also quite convenient. Good for a mid-day snack while working at Gund.

Union Square
Saturdays 9am-1pm
Makes for a great start to a Saturday. Show up early, because they sell out of popular items, which are of course usually the best or the best deals

Charles Square
Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St
Sundays 10am-3pm
Not to be confused with the one in Harvard Plaza.

Central Square
Bishop Allen Dr & Norfolk St parking lot
Mondays 12pm – 6pm

Boston Haymarket
Blackstone St, Boston
Fridays & Saturdays dawn to dusk
The only true, historic market in the city is still the cheapest. Lots of organic options and a wonderful subterranean halal butcher. Saturday midday bounty when prices are slashed.

Supermarkets

Market Basket
400 Somerville Ave, Somerville
(617) 666-2420
Somerville favorite, super cheap!

Star Market
20 Sidney St 
(617) 495-5250
Just past Central Square.

Star Market
49 White St
(617) 492-5566
One of the very few open 24 hours. Porter Square.

Harvest Co-Op
580 Mass Ave
(617) 661-1580 
Great for bulk or health-food ingredients hard to find elsewhere. Central Square.

Whole Foods
45 Beacon St 
(617) 492-5500
Reliably high-quality, organic, often local, often pricey. There are a couple other locations nearby: in the Central Square area at Prospect Street and at River Street near Memorial Drive.

Trader Joe’s
748 Memorial Dr 
(617) 491-8582
The highlight of Trader Joe’s is its inexpensive prepared frozen foods section, as well as its snacks.

Specialty Markets

New Deal Fish Market
622 Cambridge St
(617) 419-1213
Family-owned and operated. Sushi-grade fresh fish, good raw or cooked. This is the real deal for East Coast seafood.

Reliable Market
45 Union Sq, Somerville
(617) 623-9620
A great place to pick up Korean and Japanese specialties. Fresh fish, kimchi, asian sweets and a plethora of ramens.

Cambridge Naturals
23 White St 
(617) 492-4452
The best selection of vitamins and supplements in the area. Plenty of natural cosmetics, bulk herbs and teas, and a fine selection of wholesome gifts.

H-Mart
581 Massachusetts Ave
An Asian specialty foods store, with a food court in the front. Not as inexpensive as some of the Asian foods stores in Chinatown, and other areas of Boston, though.

Bookstores

When you fall in love with some recondite design  book that Amazon doesn’t carry, or when every copy of Project Japan is still checked  out from Loeb, try a few of these local  bookstores. Casual book browsing can also lead  you to unearth a treasure (or thesis topic).

Harvard Book Store
1256 Mass Ave
(617) 661-1515
The best bookstore in the Square. Beside the warm fuzzies of supporting a local business, you’ll get to browse their skillfully curated collection and find things you’d never know to look for. Discounted and used books downstairs. They also often have big-name authors visit for readings.

The Harvard COOP
1400 Mass Ave
(617) 499-2000
Call it “the coop.” You can find textbooks on the top floor, across the skywalk. They’ve got lots of discounted books and a cafe.

Raven Used Books
23 Church St
(617) 441-6999
Specializing in carefully-selected scholarly used books, they add more than 1,000 books a week. Strong topics include philosophy, art/architecture, history, political theory and anthropology.

MIT Press Bookstore
292 Main St
(617) 253-5249
Fantastic resource for architecture, design and tech books (they carry other imprints, too). You’ll find good discounts on “hurt” books on the back wall.

Brookline Booksmith
279 Harvard St, Brookline
(617) 566-6660
Well-curated selection and bargain books, too. Frequently hosts authors for readings.

Clothes

Whether or not you don the architect’s all-black uniform, it’s best to layer—glass curtain walls and Gund’s glazed roof make for fluctuating temperatures year round.

Harvard Square
American Apparel, Mint Julep, Gap, Jasmine Sola, Tess & Carlos, Urban Outfitters, City Sports, The Tannery, Body Shop, Origins, etc.

Copley Place
100 Huntington Ave, Boston
Neiman Marcus, Barneys, Jimmy Choo, Ferragamo, David Yurman, Louis Vuitton, Armani, Elie Tahari, Christian Dior, Burberry, French Connecton, BCBG…. Connected to the Prudential Center Shops via a footbridge, so you can also hit up the stores there.

Newbury Street
Small boutiques, vintage and consignment shops, plus an expansive array of high-end retail chains like Burberry, DKNY and Cynthia Rowley. All of the outdoor cafes and people walking about make for a pleasant spring day.

Arsenal Mall
485 Arsenal Street, Watertown
For the basics. Old Navy, Marshall’s and the Gap outlet which has great bargains. (The RMV is also here, as well as Best Buy. Target across the street.)

Cambridgeside Galleria Mall
100 Cambridgeside Place
Gap, H&M, Banana Republic, J Crew, Sephora and the closest Apple Store to the GSD. There is also a RMV satellite office where you can renew your driver’s license with shorter lines than at the main office.

Assembly Row
340 Canal Street. Somerville MA
A new mega-center shopping destination, this Somerville spot has outlets and many popular retail locations for just about anything you could need.

The Garment District
200 Broadway
Where you go for all your Halloween and Beaux Arts costumes, stone-washed pleated dungarees and lime-colored jam pants. Buy clothes “by-the-pound” when you just can’t decide.

Dressing for Winter
Haven’t experienced New England winters? Get good winter boots with traction—whether or not it’s frigid, there will be ice, snow and slush (with salt in it that will stain your shoes) for three months of the year. You’ll also want a good winter coat, rain coat, hat, gloves, scarf and long johns.

North Face
326 Newbury St
(617) 536-8060

Eastern Mountain Sports
1 Brattle Sq, 2nd Flr
(617) 864-2061

Online Retailers
sierratradingpost.com
landsend.com
jcrew.com
sorel.com

Gifts & Music

Black Ink
5 Brattle St
(617) 497-1221
Quirky gifts, ranging from chopstick drumsticks to cast-iron whale-shaped bottle openers. You can always find a good card here.

Newbury Comics
36 JFK St [the Garage]
(617) 491-5035
New releases in music and graphic novels.

In Your Ear Records
72 Mt Auburn St
(617) 491-5035
Don’t be put off by the cranky dudes who run this place; it’s a good source for used vinyl, especially classic rock, blues, jazz, new wave and soul.

Brattle Square Florist
31 Brattle St
(617) 776-8855
When you need to make someone feel special, even if that person is you.

Joie de Vivre
1792 Mass Ave
(617) 864-8188
Selling fun, quirky and clever items for all ages since 1984. Plan to buy more than intended.

Stereo Jacks
1686 Mass Ave
(617) 497-9447
Small record shop a short stroll from the GSD. Nice lunch break with a nearby Wrapro falafel or Berryline froyo-or both if you just aced your review!

Banking

Most banks have a branch in Harvard Square, which makes shopping around pretty easy.

Where to Bank

Harvard University Employees Credit Union (HUECU) is a not-for-profit financial cooperative exclusively for Harvard students, faculty, alumni and staff. It offers a full range of banking services including free checking, online banking, debit cards, saving accounts—most require no minimum balance, and fees are waived or charged at a minimum.
16 Dunster St
(617) 494-4460

Bank of America banks and ATMs inundate the Boston area. They’re a good choice for sheer number and, although their banking charges are on the high end, they do have student rates.
1414 Mass Ave
(800) 432-1000

Cambridge Trust is a good independent bank with many outlets in the Cambridge area. No fees for student banking.
1336 Mass Ave
(617) 876-5500

Closest ATMs to GUND
Memorial Hall basement (Bank of America): 1 Harvard Yard
Broadway Market (Cambridge Trust): 486 Broadway
Harvard Market: 1621 Cambridge St

Borrowing Money
Watch out for too-good-to-be-true credit card offers and skyrocketing credit card balances. If you need additional money for living expenses, ask the Financial Aid Office about additional loan options.

Keith Gnoza
Director of Financial Aid
financial.aid@gsd.harvard.edu

International Students: Getting a Credit Card
Most banks and credit card companies require a Social Security Number for opening a line of credit, which is obviously a problem for international students. The Harvard Credit Union is the exception.

Crimson Cash
You can use your Harvard ID as a debit card! Accepted in Chauhaus, the fifth-floor vending machines, GSD copy machines, Broadway Market and several other establishments in Harvard Square. It is also the only acceptable payment method in the Shop Store, your main source for plexi. Adding money from your bank account online is pretty straightforward.
65 Winthrop St
(617) 496-6600

Mail & Shipping

GSD Mail Policy
The Mail Center only processes faculty and staff mail related to university business. Anything coming in that’s not addressed to faculty or staff will be refused upon receipt and sent back.

Internal GSD “Post” is done via email.

National Post
United States Postal Service (USPS) is the national mail system. If you miss a package at home, double check your package slips: your package may not be at the geographically closest post office. Get Forever stamps, which are good regardless of frequent stamp price increases.

Don’t forget to forward your mail before you move. Also, be sure to update your address in My.Harvard if you move during the year or over the summer.

Harvard Sq: 125 Mt Auburn St
(800) ASK-USPS
M-F 7:30am – 6pm
(self-service till 6:30pm)
Sa 7:30am–3pm

International Courier & Package Delivery Services

FedEx Office offers overnight delivery service that’s especially useful for those last-minute fellowship application deadlines. Each store has different “latest drop-off” times. There’s a drop box outside of Gund on Cambridge Street (the latest pick-up is 7 pm).

Harvard Sq: 1 Mifflin Pl
Porter Sq: 1770 Mass Ave
(617) 497-0125
M–Su: 24 hours

United Postal Service (UPS) is sometimes better for ground-delivery services. Most of the stuff you order online is probably sent this way. You might want to sign up for UPS My Choice, which gives you the option to reschedule delivery or authorize it to be left at your door (you’ll need to be on record as living at your address).

Harvard Sq: 955 Mass Ave
(617) 868-5055
Porter Sq: 1770 Mass Ave
(617) 661-7171

Phone & Internet

Cell Phone Providers

Opinions vary, but some say Verizon and AT&T have the best service in the deep depths of Gund’s basement. Sprint and T-Mobile are cheaper, but have less consistent coverage.

Harvard University Information Technology offers GSD students special rebates for new plans.

huit.harvard.edu/buy-cellphones-and-smartphones

International Students: Getting a Cell Phone
When purchasing a phone without a Social Security Number, you will be asked to pay a sizeable deposit. However, there are several ways to avoid this, such as signing up for a pre-paid phone plan. Verizon offers a reasonable one that includes unlimited texts and data for smartphones.

International & Internet Calls
There are a few cheap and free options for calling around the world. Google Chat has a video chat feature that you can use with your gchat account. All you need is a camera and microphone. Skype lets you call internationally Skype-to-Skype for free.

International Calling Cards and VoIP (Vonage) are the cheapest way to call overseas. Find the cheap ones in subway stations.

Internet Service Providers
Since wireless and high-speed internet are available throughout the GSD, you really don’t need super fast internet at home (25 Mbps is plenty of bandwidth) and you could even get by without home internet at all. For WiFi, you’ll need a modem and a wireless router, which can be purchased or rented.

AT&T offers DSL, VoIP, cellphone and landlines. Cheaper, but slower than Comcast.

Comcast provides cable internet and TV as well as VoIP. Good intro rates, but they go up after a year. Notoriously bad customer service.

Clear works by transmitting 4G signals from towers around town so you can get internet access at home and on the go. Plans are flexible, but service depends on your coverage area.

RCN is a good, smaller provider. Reliable customer service and consistent low rates that won’t increase over time.

Voting & Jury Duty

Jury Duty

If you’re a US citizen, you may be summoned for jury duty as an “inhabitant” of Cambridge. You don’t have to be a resident of Massachusetts or registered to vote—just someone who lives here for more than six months out of the year. No student exemptions. If you postpone, you are legally required to return and serve, even if you’ve moved, and may face a felony charge if you don’t. Yours summons is based on county, so many students get summoned to Lowell. You can call the Jury Commissioner to change it to a court that is easier to get to, especially without a car. You only have to serve once every three years.

Office of Jury Commissioner
(617) 338-6409

Voting

If you’re a US citizen and a resident of Massachusetts, you are eligible to vote in local, state and national elections in the city in which you reside. Voter registration forms are available online (or see John Aslanian in Gund 422, and he’ll give you one). Keep in mind that registration deadlines are typically well in advance of actual elections.

You can register to vote online if you have a current Massachusetts drivers’ license or non-driver ID, and a signature on file at the RMV. If you don’t yet have a Massachusetts-issued ID, or a signature on file, or if you have additional questions, contact your local election commission.

Cambridge Election Commission
(617) 249-4361

Somerville Election Department
(617) 625-6600 x4200

Exploration

Cambridge area neighborhoods

Cambridge and Somerville are made up of town squares, each embodying a different character.

Harvard Square is very close to the GSD, but its proximity to campus also makes for a high cost of living. Restaurants, bars, chain stores and local boutiques fill the square’s commercial spaces. Students make up the majority of the surrounding neighborhood’s inhabitants, while tourists and street urchins usually populate the square itself.

Kirkland Crossing is the intersection of Kirkland Road/Washington Street and Beacon Street. It’s densely populated with GSD students due to its relative affordability and proximity to the GSD.

Inman Square is home to a number of bars and restaurants that are worth the short walk from Gund. Inman’s diverse resident population of locals, families and students lends it a neighborhood feel.

Union Square is just up Kirkland Road/Washington. It’s not on the T, but buses and bicycles make the commute quite quick. It’s got a good selection of music venues, restaurants and specialty grocery stores.

Central Square lies one T stop inbound from Harvard Square and anchors a cluster of live venues that host dance parties and rock shows, not to mention a plethora of bars, eateries and clubs.

Porter Square is another great option for GSD students looking for an affordable place to live. It’s a five to ten minute bike ride away, one T stop outbound from Harvard Square. What it lacks in charm, it makes up for in a convenient Star Market grocery, hardware store, gyms, etc. and fantastic Japanese food at the Shops at Porter.

Davis Square, equal parts Cambridge and Somerville, is a bit far from Gund, but students living here make it work by cycling and taking the T. A mix of trendy new restaurants and working-class diners surround the historical Somerville Theatre.

Kendall Square is MIT turf, but a number of GSD students live around there, too. For the past decade, MIT and the City of Cambridge have invested heavily in making it a destination.

Boston area neighborhoods

Allston/Brighton is a large area directly south of the Charles River and home to Harvard Business School and the iLab. Allston’s Brighton Ave is great for all types of Asian food and plenty of bars; it’s also a popular student housing choice for Boston University. Brighton is more residential and more aligned with Boston College.

Beacon Hill is one of the most exclusive parts of downtown. Steep hills lined with gas street lamps give way to Boston Common on one side, and the Esplanade on the other. The north face of Beacon Hill was the first free settlement of African-Americans in the nation. Take the Black Heritage Trail.

Brookline is a wonderful town within the area of downtown Boston. There’s plenty of Olmsted work here including his home/office, the Emerald Necklace and Aspinwall Hill. Coolidge Corner is the primary commercial area with an excellent independent cinema and bookstore, and a great source for kosher food. Bike lanes all around.

Chinatown has great dim sum, karaoke, crooked streets and unique buildings. At one time it was also a large Middle Eastern community, where the poet Khalil Gibran was raised. Somewhat unique to the area, many places open late—until 4 am. It’s also connected to the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

Copley Square/Back Bay is known for the Boston Public Library, Trinity Church reflected in Hancock Tower, and people watching while window shopping on Newbury Street. The Back Bay neighborhood is what everyone imagines Boston to be: pristine brownstones,  tree-lined streets and uneven brick sidewalks. Just think, 150 years ago it was a muddy swamp.

Fenway/Longwood Fenway Park and its surrounding area is bordered by the rest of the Emerald Necklace, which stretches into the surrounding suburbs. The Longwood Medical Area is home to Harvard Medical School and to the most advanced collection of hospitals and specialists in the US. It’s curative urbanism.

Faneuil Hall & Quincy Market are splendid “old Boston” tourism. Don’t spend too much time here, though; it’s better in pictures. Walk around nearby City Hall—a Paul Rudolph masterpiece (according to architects, but not to laypersons). The newly updated Aquarium and the North End are nearby, and it’s connected to the Greenway.

Jamaica Plain is a bustling and diverse neighborhood filled with small Latino markets and restaurants, plus tons of green space. JP has a large LGBTQ community and a growing “midwestern hiptser” segment. It’s worth a trip to the Arnold Arboretum, especially for autumn leaves.

The North End is the Italian-American area of the city. It’s well known for its fantastic restaurants and numerous religious festivals, but also for the guys hanging around on street corners smoking, whistling and making emphatic gestures. This is the heart of the Freedom Trail, with the Old North Church and Paul Revere’s House.

Boston Common & Public Garden mark the threshold between original Boston and “infill” Boston. Boston Common is the oldest park in the country. Charles Street splits the Common from the Public Garden and was the beachhead staging grounds for British troops during the Revolution. The Public Garden is extra gorgeous in the springtime.

The South End is home to many hot restaurants, galleries and clubs. For jazz lovers, Wally’s is a must (it’s right by the building in which Martin Luther King, Jr lived while he attended BU). The Villa Victoria complex is a champion example of community-driven participatory planning. Brunch spots all around.

South Boston, or “Southie,” is the Irish-American neck of town. The barflys will know you’re not from there, so don’t go quoting any Ben Affleck movies. There is a great stretch of coastline from Castle Island to the JFK Library that’s perfect for biking and, if you’re brave, swimming.

East Boston is the corazón of Latino Boston and also home to Logan Airport. If you’ve got a few extra hours on the way in or out of town, grab something to eat at one of its fantastic South and Central American restaurants. Also features the best views of the Boston skyline.

Self-guided tours The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has recently launched an online guide to spaces of interest in landscape architecture in the metro Boston area. The guide features “tours” of Boston areas and landscapes by prominent local practitioners, including our own faculty members Gary Hilderbrand and Laura Solano. There is even a tour for the Harvard campus! The guide features key places to visit with photos, educational blurbs, and walking and cycling tour maps, which can be printed or accessed on a smartphone. It may be of interest not only to those in the design community, but to visitors to Boston and anyone interested in exploring our area.

Beyond the neighborhood

If you’ve got a car, or even just a Charlie Card or bike and a sense of adventure, you can quickly escape the confines of city life.

Mt Auburn Cemetery
580 Mt Auburn St
More of a park than cemetery, it was the first (1831) large-scale designed landscape open to the public in the US and an inspiration for Olmsted. Known for its horticultural collection and a favorite for birdwatchers. Plus, it’s got a tower that looks out over the whole city!

Whale Watching Boat Trips
Boston Harbor Cruises
It’s $45 for a three-hour rond trip to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Bring a jacket even in the summer. Sometimes there is an amazing display, and sometimes the whales are a bit more distant. In any event, it is a relaxing way to spend a day (unless it’s windy and the waves are high and rolling). Another company runs whale watch cruises from Provincetown for about the same price.

Boston Harbor Islands
Beautiful hiking, and worlds away. George’s Island, with the massive stone fort (an impressive piece of architecture) and Peddock’s Island, which has many old wood-framed army barrack buildings.

Castle Island
William J Day Blvd, Boston
This 22-acre urban park in South Boston was once Fort Independence, built in 1833. Walk around the circular walkway or bike on the boardwalk along the beach and take in the views of Boston.

Apple, Berry & Christmas Tree Picking
A wonderful way to spend a weekend afternoon in late September or early October. At the orchards, you pay for a bag and go out and fill it up. Fresh-pressed cider is also usually available. Popular towns in this area include Harvard and Stow, both west on Route 2.

Singing Beach
North Shore, Manchester, MA
One of only two beaches in the world where the sand “sings” (well, more like a squeak) when you walk on it. Though the Manchester Boy Scouts sell a limited number of beach parking spots, it’s much easier to take the commuter rail and walk to the beach as the town is strict about resident-only parking.

Cape Cod
“The Cape” is the easternmost part of Massachusetts that juts out into the Atlantic with a very old vacationing tradition (like, first-century Norse explorers old). The water is warm through the end of September.

Provincetown Ferry
baystatecruisecompany.com
bostonharborcruises.com
Definitely the most fun way to get to the Cape, but also pretty expensive and only runs May through October. There are both fast ferry (about 90 minutes, on a catamaran) and traditional ferry (weekends only, about 3 hours) available. You can get discounted tickets for the Boston Harbor Cruises ferries through Harvard’s Outings & Innings.

Concord, MA
South Bridge Boat House
(978) 369-9438
Concord is an historic town worth a visit, especially in October when the foliage is spectacular. Bring a picnic for the town green and meander among the beech trees in Old North Bridge Park, where the American Revolution began. Wander through historic graveyards, rent a canoe at the South Bridge Boat House and float down the Sudbury River. Visit Louisa May Alcott’s house or the Manse, home to Hawthorne and Emerson.

Walden Pond State Reservation
915 Walden St, Rt 126, Concord
The pond made famous by Henry David Thoreau. It’s a great place to swim in the summer, but also lovely to walk around during autumn and winter months. It’s $5 to park all day. At peak times, (i.e. summer), call ahead to find out about parking availability. Bathrooms and changing areas are open 10am–6pm.

Lincoln, MA
There’s no particular reason to visit the town of Lincoln itself, but the DeCordova Museum and the Gropius House make a great day trip. You could even combine it with a trip to Concord.

DeCordova Sculpture Park & Museum
51 Sandy Pond Rd, Lincoln
Thirty-five-acre sculpture park and museum of modern and contemporary art. Great for a picnic!

Gropius House
66 Baker Bridge Rd, Lincoln
The story of how Gropius came to build his modest family home for free on a rich lady’s land is an interesting one. The house opened as a museum in 1979 and contains a significant collection of Breuer furniture fabricated at the Bauhaus.

Up the Coast

Salem, MA
Aside from the GSD Halloween Party, there’s nothing freakier than Halloween in Salem.

Peabody Essex Museum
East India Sq, Salem
One of the preeminent maritime art and history collections, begun in 1803. The new China wing, includes a late Qing dynasty merchant’s house and gardens with indigenous plants designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates. It’s in the center of town, close to the Salem Witch Museum. You can get discounted tickets through Harvard’s Outings & Innings.

House of Seven Gables
115 Derby St, Salem
You know, the Nathaniel Hawthorne novel? It started here. Fun secret passageways and trick doors. The museum also has a nice garden.

North Shore, MA
The Ipswich Essex Express bus, offered seasonally, picks up from the Ipswich MBTA Station and drops off at some of the North Shore’s great destinations.

Crane Beach
290 Argilla Rd, Ipswich
Five miles of beach and trails through an extensive dune complex. In August, the annual sand sculpture competition, Sandblast, takes place.

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge/Plum Island
6 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport, MA
Remarkable kayaking and birding in an estuary that sits behind a sandy barrier island complete with toppled shoreline homes.

Rockport, MA
Head to Cape Ann for classic coastal New England and the best lobster south of Maine.

Paper House
52 Pigeon Hill, Rockport, MA
Designed as a summer home in the early 1900s by Elis F. Stenman, the inventor of the machine that folds paperclips, the house (except the roof and deck) and the furniture inside are made completely out of lacquered newspaper.

Halibut Point State Park
Gott Ave, Rockport, MA
The Point is composed of sheets of 440 million year-old granite. Once the site of the Babson Farm Quarry, today you can explore the park’s trails and tide pools, picnic on its rocky ledges and enjoy its sweeping views.

Arts in the Berkshires

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival
358 George Cart Rd, Becket, MA
One of the three major summer dance festivals in the US, “the Pillow” presents a series of performances by a diverse range of dance companie modern and ballet, national and international. The Pillow arts village is very charming.

Mass MoCA
87 Marshall St, North Adams, MA
In 1985, Sprague Electric shuttered its factory (which it had bought from Arnold Print Works in 1942) and soon after, it was converted into a center for large-scale contemporary art. Make it a day trip or stay in the night at gorgeous Porches Inn.

Museums in Upstate New York

Dia Art Foundation
3 Beekman St, Beacon, NY
Th defunct Nabisco box-printing factory on the Hudson River houses an expansive collection of artwork from the 1960s to the present.

Storm King Art Center
Old Pleasant Hill Rd, Mountainville, NY
An open-air museum sits on five hundred acres of landscaped lawns, fields and woodlands in the Hudson River Highlands. This “sculpture landscape” is home to large abstract welded steel sculptures by artists like Alexander Calder, Henry Moore and Nam June Paik.

New Hampshire

Louis Kahn’s Library at Philips Exeter Academy
20 Main St, Exeter, NH
Not far by car or by train, a great opportunity to see a stunning testament to his work.

 

Food

Food in 5 Minutes

The Biscuit [bakery/cafe]
406 Washington St, Somerville
(617) 666-2770
Everybody loves the scones, and the sandwiches and prepared to-go stuff aren’t bad either. Other pastries are weirdly enormous. Decent coffee. But that terrace in the back is paradise!

Clover Food Lab [vegetarian, sandwiches]
7 Holyoke St 
(617) 495-0055
Clover is one of Cambridge’s best for quick and cheap vegetarian eats. Seasonal menu items are inventive, colorful, local and usually organic. Bonus: interior by Singlespeed Design.

CGIS Cafe [cafeteria]
CGIS Knafel
(1737 Cambridge St)
(617) 496-5035
A good excuse to find the underground passage from the Gund basement.

Felipe’s Taquería [Mexican]
83 Mt Auburn St 
(617) 354-9944 
A GSD favorite, it’s basic, but fresh. Burrito, taco or quesadilla on the cheap. Just like Anna’s (Felipe got his start at Anna’s).

Food by Type

Coffee, Cafes & Bakeries

Cafe Pamplona [Spanish]
12 Bow St
(617) 492-1844
Opened in 1959 as the first cafe in Harvard Square. Come here for simple sandwiches, espresso drinks and a time warp.

Cafe Rustica [European]
356 Beacon St
(617) 491-8300
This cozy, European-style cafe has good coffee and better food. Cold soups during summer months and daily sandwich specials year round.

Bloc 11 Cafe [bakery/cafe]
11 Bow St, Somerville
(617) 623-0000
In 2007, Diesel Cafe owners opened Bloc 11 in a retired bank. Sit in the old bank vault or by the operable front wall. Great food, coffee, design. Alert: GSD faculty favorite.

The Atomic Bean [coffee]
904 Mass Ave
(617) 499-0942
Good tunes and plenty of outlets and comfortable places to work. They have board games, too—guess that’s a thing. Food and coffee are ok.

City Girl Cafe  [Italian]
204 Hampshire St
(617) 776-4944
Don’t be deceived by the lame name, this place is seriously good for casual Italian dinner and especially for weekend brunch. Quirky, intimate setting. Sandwiches make good takeout.

1369 Coffee House [coffee]
1369 Cambridge St
(617) 576-1369
757 Mass Ave
(617) 576-4600
Coffee, tea, pastries and board games! The original 1369 (on Cambridge Street) has a more relaxed vibe.

Asian

Qingdao Garden
2382 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 
617-492-7540 
This is a family owned restaurant. Depending on the season, the owner might deliver the food to your door on his scooter. Ask for the daily specials. Best dishes are on the red pages of the menu.

Zoe’s
296-298 Beacon St., Somerville MA
617-864-6265 
Spicy!
Favorites: Dan Dan Noodles with Minced Pork Vinaigrette, Fish Soup with Preserved Vegetable, Soup Hot and Sour Potato with Pepper

Koreana [Korean, Japanese]
158 Prospect St 
(617) 576-8661
Great, well-priced Korean food. Get a group and BBQ at the table together (if you feel confident in your abilities).

Cafe Sushi [Japanese]
1105 Mass Ave 
(617) 492-0434 
Great little sushi place that’s close by. Looks crappy from the outside, but you’re not eating the facade.

The Shops at Porter [Japanese]
1815 Mass Ave
It’s hard to recommend just one of the Japanese food stalls here. They’re usually crowded, tasty and cheap. Blue Fin is a good option for sushi, Japonaise bakery will fulfill your sweet tooth and Sapporo has ramen.

Oishii Sushi Bar [Sushi, Japanese]
1166 Washington St, Boston 
(617) 482-8868
A spectacular sushi restaurant, some say the best in Boston. Intimate and full of character.

Pho ‘n Rice [Vietnamese, Thai]
289 Beacon St, Somerville 
(617) 864-8888
Good place to get a huge bowl of pho on a cold night. Really sweet people. No MSG feeling after.

Shangri La [Chinese]
149 Belmont St, Belmont
(617) 489-1488
A little of the beaten track, on the Cambridge/Belmont/Watertown line. No delivery. I never do the ordering here, so I am not as familiar with the dish names, although I know the name of my favorite dish: Home style Egg Drop Soup.

European

Central Kitchen [French]
567 Mass Ave
(617) 491-5599
French country-style dishes. Expansive wine list, great charcuterie, nice ambience and friendly service. Almost no vegetarian options, but you can ask about alternatives/substitutions.

Bronwyn German [central European]
255 Washington St, Somerville 
(617) 776-9900
Chef Tim Wiechmann of TW Foods and his wife, Bronwyn, make elegant cuisine out of hearty food inspired by his roots and recent travels.

Chez Henri French [Cuban]
1 Shephard St 
(617) 354-8980
French chef who’s done some traveling in Cuba. Prix-fixe options make for more affordable fine dining. Grab a drink and a fancy sandwich at the bar for a less reckless splurge.

Rialto [Italian]
Charles Hotel [1 Bennett St]
(617) 661-5050
For when the ‘rents are in town, that is, if you have the kind that stay in the Charles. Chef Jody Adams is a talented lady. They shuffle through regions of Italy to highlight one each month.

Giulia [Italian]
1682 Mass Ave 
(617) 441-2800
Honestly? Just skip the North End and head here. Stylish, but casual. Michael Pagliarini (former exec chef at Via Matt in Boston) has serious pasta-making skills. Almost unanimous rave reviews since it opened last December.

Rendezvous [western Mediterranean]
502 Mass Ave 
(617) 576-1900
Fancy restaurant converted from a former Burger King. Farm-to-table, but pricey. They grow some of their ingredients on the roof!

Indian

The Kebab Factory [Indian/Pakistani]
414 Washington St, Somerville
(617) 354-4996
A bit expensive, but good. Hit up the buffet during weekday lunch.

Punjabi Dhaba [Indian]
225 Hampshire St 
(617) 547-8272
Delicious, authentic and cheap. Everything is served on those fabulous metal trays. Vegetarian platter is a steal.

Latin & Tex-Mex

Angela’s Cafe [Mexican]
131 Lexington St 
(617) 567-4972
If you haven’t ventured over to East Boston, Angela’s is a great place to start. Tiny space, big flavor and virtually impossible parking.

Anna’s Taqueria [Mexican (burritos)]
822 Somerville Ave 
(617) 661-8500
Fast Mexican. You can easily spend less than $5.

Border Cafe [Tex-Mex/Cajun]
32 Church St 
(617) 864-6100
The usual tex-mex, but with a cajun thing going on, too. The gumbo and étouffée ain’t bad.

Machu Picchu [Peruvian]
307 Somerville Ave, Somerville 
(617) 628-7070
Top notch Peruvian food and Pisco Sours for decent prices. Live Andean music on Friday nights. For a more casual vibe and roasted chicken and sides, visit the Machu Picchu Charcoal Chicken Grill down the street (25 Union Square).

Tu Y Yo [Mexican]
858 Broadway, Somerville 
(617) 623-5411
Upscale Mexican restaurant serves more authentic fare than most: flautas, octopus, mole and all come recommended.

Mediterranean

Algiers Coffee House [Moroccan]
40 Brattle St
(617) 492-1557
Good vegetarian food, coffee and teas. Charming interior. Good place to study alone or with a group.

The Blue Room [Mediterranean]
1 Kendall Sq on Hampshire St 
(617) 576-1900
Spectacular food always gets excellent reviews. Close to the Kendall Square Cinema, so it makes an excellent “dinner and a movie.”

Dalí Restaurant & Tapas Bar [Spanish]
415 Washington St, Somerville 
(617) 661-3254
Dalí is, well, quite a surreal place. Tapas for entrée prices, but the people are really very nice.

Oleana Mediterranean [Turkish]
134 Hampshire St
(617) 576-1900
Local celebrity chef Ana Sortun and pastry chef Maura Kilpatrick craft an Arabic/Turkishinspired seasonal menu using organic local veggies. Worth the splurge.

Pubs and Grills

Bukowski Tavern [pub]
1281 Cambridge St
(617) 497-7077 
This tribute to alcoholism carries a comprehensive rotating selection of craft beers and microbrews. Sometimes rowdy, but when the windows are open, you’re practically outside.

The Miracle of Science Bar + Grill [pub]
321 Mass Ave 
(617) 868-2866 
Helium walks into a bar. Bartender says, “We don’t serve noble gasses in here.” Helium doesn’t react.

Cambridge Common [pub]
1667 Mass Ave
(617) 547-1228
Marinated steak tips with crispy onion and mashed potatoes. Wide selection of beer and lots of Law School students. Lizard Lounge in thebasement.

Charlie’s Kitchen [dive bar]
10 Eliot St
(617) 492-9646
Good place to go after a review. Unpretentious and fun, cheap and great for groups. You could sit outside, weather permitting, but it’s a bit trashy out there, and the inside is actually rather charming.

Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage [burgers]
1246 Mass Ave
(617) 354-6559
Yes, it’s been around since 1960, but in all honesty, the burgers are far more famous than they are delicious. Can you figure out which GSD staff member used to waitress here?

The Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub [pub]
Memorial Hall [45 Quincy St]
(617) 495-5107
Well, it is just across the street.

Vegetarian & Vegan

Life Alive
765 Mass Ave 
(617) 354-5433
This health-food joint feels more California than Cambridge. Fresh, wholesome, filling vegetarian grub to ward off scurvy after too many dinners at the vending machine.

Veggie Galaxy
450 Mass Ave 
(617) 497-1513 
A novel approach to vegan: classic diner food. Here’s where vegan/veggie and healthy reach an amicable divorce.

Food by Location

Arlington and North

Flora [American]
190 Mass Ave, Arlington 
(781) 641-1664 
Once the Arlington Five Cents Savings Bank, the barrel-vaulted space is beautiful and the wonderful staff and inventive cuisine make it worth the trip to Arlington. For when the ‘rents are in town.

Boston and South

Verna’s Donut Shop [donuts]
2344 Mass Ave
(617) 354-4110
Classic, old-school donut shop complete with sassy old ladies and the best cake donuts in town.

Oishii Sushi Bar [Sushi, Japanese]
1166 Washington St, Boston 
(617) 482-8868
A spectacular sushi restaurant, some say the best in Boston. Intimate and full of character.

Central Square

Green Street [New England]
280 Green St 
(617) 876-1655 
This Cambridge landmark serves rich, amplyportioned New England throwback dishes.

Rendezvous [western Mediterranean]
502 Mass Ave 
(617) 576-1900
Fancy restaurant converted from a former Burger King. Farm-to-table, but pricey. They grow some of their ingredients on the roof!

Central Kitchen [French]
567 Mass Ave
(617) 491-5599
French country-style dishes. Expansive wine list, great charcuterie, nice ambience and friendly service. Almost no vegetarian options, but you can ask about alternatives/substitutions.

People’s Republik [pub]
876–878 Mass Ave
(617) 491-6969
Soviet Workers’ Party theme. Food is surprisingly fantastic. Expect to see your fellow GSDers.

Life Alive
765 Mass Ave 
(617) 354-5433
This health-food joint feels more California than Cambridge. Fresh, wholesome, filling vegetarian grub to ward off scurvy after too many dinners at the vending machine.

Veggie Galaxy
450 Mass Ave 
(617) 497-1513 
A novel approach to vegan: classic diner food. Here’s where vegan/veggie and healthy reach an amicable divorce.

Davis Square

Diesel Cafe [sandwiches]
257 Elm St, Somerville
(617) 629-8717
Trendy fare without the ‘tude.

Redbones [BBQ]
55 Chester St 
(617) 628-2200 
Probably the most famous BBQ place in Boston. Worth the trip if you’ve got a craving for ribs or if you want to try one of the 27 beers on tap.

Harvard Square

Algiers Coffee House [Moroccan]
40 Brattle St
(617) 492-1557
Good vegetarian food, coffee and teas. Charming interior. Good place to study alone or with a group.

Border Cafe [Tex-Mex/Cajun]
32 Church St 
(617) 864-6100
The usual tex-mex, but with a cajun thing going on, too. The gumbo and étouffée ain’t bad.

Cafe Sushi [Japanese]
1105 Mass Ave 
(617) 492-0434 
Great little sushi place that’s close by. Looks crappy from the outside, but you’re not eating the facade.

Chez Henri French [Cuban]
1 Shephard St 
(617) 354-8980
French chef who’s done some traveling in Cuba. Prix-fixe options make for more affordable fine dining. Grab a drink and a fancy sandwich at the bar for a less reckless splurge.

Charlie’s Kitchen [dive bar]
10 Eliot St
(617) 492-9646
Good place to go after a review. Unpretentious and fun, cheap and great for groups. You could sit outside, weather permitting, but it’s a bit trashy out there, and the inside is actually rather charming.

Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage [burgers]
1246 Mass Ave
(617) 354-6559
Yes, it’s been around since 1960, but in all honesty, the burgers are far more famous than they are delicious. Can you figure out which GSD staff member used to waitress here?

Cambridge 1 [pizza]
27 Church St
(617) 576-1111
Delicious pizza(thin crust, charcoal grilled) and a well-selected beer and wine list. GSD grads design ed the interior, and it’s quite nice!

Inman Square

Bondir [American]
279A Broadway 
(617) 661-0009
Tiny, cozy and popular, so may have to make reservations a week out. Jason Bond’s inventive, farm-to-table cooking next to the fireplace.

East Coast Grill & Raw Bar [seafood, BBQ]
1271 Cambridge St 
(617) 419-6568 
Quality seafood and make-your-own Bloody Mary’s. If you’re willing to pay the price (no, we’re not talking money), they have the spiciest “Hell” wings.

Trina’s Starlite Lounge [American, Southern]
3 Beacon St 
(617) 576-0006
One of the few places nearby to go for late-night eats (dinner served until midnight). Eclectic, with an emphasis on southern food dolled up to be fancy (and way overpriced, but that’s Cambridge).

Oleana Mediterranean [Turkish]
134 Hampshire St
(617) 576-1900
Local celebrity chef Ana Sortun and pastry chef Maura Kilpatrick craft an Arabic/Turkishinspired seasonal menu using organic local veggies. Worth the splurge.

The Druid [pub]
1357 Cambridge 
(617) 497-0965 
Housed in the oldest wooden mercantile building in Cambridge, the atmosphere is timeless and the food hearty. Live Irish music sessions on Tuesday nights and Saturday afternoons.

Olecito [Mexican]
12 Springfield St
(617) 876-1374
Tacos and burritos approved by the west coasters. Quiet little lot next door for dining al fresco.

1369 Coffee House [coffee]
1369 Cambridge St
(617) 576-1369
757 Mass Ave
(617) 576-4600
Coffee, tea, pastries and board games! The original 1369 (on Cambridge Street) has a more relaxed vibe.

Muqueca [Brazilian]
1008 Cambridge St 
(617) 354-3296
One of the best places to eat in Cambridge. Known for its seafood stewed by clay pot cooking. Classic Afro-Brazilian food. Perfect for sharing.

Puritan & Company [New England]
1166 Cambridge St
(617) 615-6195
Takes its name from the building’s original owners, the Puritan Cake company. Interesting takes on traditional New England cuisine. Space is well done.

Dwelltime [coffee]
354 Broadway
(617) 714-5536
An “island-style, multi-roaster coffee bar,” whatever that means. Fussy and pricey, but yes, they can draw a heart in your latté. They’re serious about their pour overs, so you gotta pick a specific roast. Good pastries and a lunch menu at lunch.

Punjabi Dhaba [Indian]
225 Hampshire St 
(617) 547-8272
Delicious, authentic and cheap. Everything is served on those fabulous metal trays. Vegetarian platter is a steal.

Tupelo Southern [Cajun/Creole]
1193 Cambridge St
(617) 868-0004 
Dressed up Louisiana-style grub. Really quite good, and nice staff. “Cheap Date Night” on Thursdays makes dinner, well, affordable—$30 for fried grits, salad or gumbo and a split entree. They also own Petsi Pies (see p. 123) and serve said pies here.

Kendall Square

Craigie on Main [French]
853 Main St 
(617) 497-5511
Might be the best restaurant in Cambridge, but it’ll cost ya, so get your [rich] parents to take you. Or sit at the bar for cheaper eats.

The Blue Room [Mediterranean]
1 Kendall Sq on Hampshire St 
(617) 576-1900
Spectacular food always gets excellent reviews. Close to the Kendall Square Cinema, so it makes an excellent “dinner and a movie.”

The Friendly Toast [breakfast-all-day]
1 Kendall Sq
(617) 621-1200
This super kitsch diner offers an inventive take on breakfast in large portions. Fantastic cocktails. Expect a wait on the weekends and an anamatronic cow head at the host stand.

Flour [bakery/cafe]
190 Mass Ave
(617) 225-2525
Fantastic breakfast pastries, sticky buns, fancy sandwiches and raspberry seltzer.

The Miracle of Science Bar + Grill [pub]
321 Mass Ave 
(617) 868-2866 
Helium walks into a bar. Bartender says, “We don’t serve noble gasses in here.” Helium doesn’t react.

Kirkland Crossing

Bergamot [American]
118 Beacon St
(617) 876-1655
Don’t be deceived by the bad decor (ugh, those light fixtures, that logo) or the old folks walking in and out. Bergamot definitely gets the food right, and that’s what counts right? Phenomenal bartenders, and here’s the secret: sit at the bar and order from the bar menu—everything is under $15.

The Kebab Factory [Indian/Pakistani]
414 Washington St, Somerville
(617) 354-4996
A bit expensive, but good. Hit up the buffet during weekday lunch.

The Biscuit [bakery/cafe]
406 Washington St, Somerville
(617) 666-2770
Everybody loves the scones, and the sandwiches and prepared to-go stuff aren’t bad either. Other pastries are weirdly enormous. Decent coffee. But that terrace in the back is paradise!

Porter Square

Anna’s Taqueria [Mexican (burritos)]
822 Somerville Ave 
(617) 661-8500
Fast Mexican. You can easily spend less than $5.

Cambridge Common [pub]
1667 Mass Ave
(617) 547-1228
Marinated steak tips with crispy onion and mashed potatoes. Wide selection of beer and lots of Law School students. Lizard Lounge in thebasement.

Cafe Rustica [European]
356 Beacon St
(617) 491-8300
This cozy, European-style cafe has good coffee and better food. Cold soups during summer months and daily sandwich specials year round.

Chez Henri French [Cuban]
1 Shephard St 
(617) 354-8980
French chef who’s done some traveling in Cuba. Prix-fixe options make for more affordable fine dining. Grab a drink and a fancy sandwich at the bar for a less reckless splurge.

Hi-Rise Bread Company [bakery/cafe]
1663 Mass Ave
(617) 492-3003
Great coffee, cookies, cakes and sandwiches. The Huron Village location has a bigger selection.

Petsi Pies [bakery/cafe]
285 Beacon St, Somerville
(617) 661-7437
31 Putnam Ave
(617) 499-0801
The best frittata around, and fantastic pecan pies. Putnam Avenue location has a larger, lunch-ier menu. Owned by the folks of Tupelo.

Simon’s Coffee Shop [coffee]
1736 Mass Ave
(617) 497-7766
983 Mass Ave (Simon’s Too)
(617) 945-2687
These people know what they’re doing. Some may even go as far as “best coffee in Cambridge.” Space is casual and cozy. Beware the grumpy counter dude at the new Central Square location.

The Shops at Porter [Japanese]
1815 Mass Ave
It’s hard to recommend just one of the Japanese food stalls here. They’re usually crowded, tasty and cheap. Blue Fin is a good option for sushi, Japonaise bakery will fulfill your sweet tooth and Sapporo has ramen.

Union Square

Bronwyn German [central European]
255 Washington St, Somerville 
(617) 776-9900
Chef Tim Wiechmann of TW Foods and his wife, Bronwyn, make elegant cuisine out of hearty food inspired by his roots and recent travels.

Bloc 11 Cafe [bakery/cafe]
11 Bow St, Somerville
(617) 623-0000
In 2007, Diesel Cafe owners opened Bloc 11 in a retired bank. Sit in the old bank vault or by the operable front wall. Great food, coffee, design. Alert: GSD faculty favorite.

The Independent [pub]
75 Union Sq, Somerville 
(617) 440-6022 
Pub with comfort food and good beer.

Journeyman Restaurant  [French]
9 Sanborn Ct, Somerville
(617) 497-5511
Began as a private supper club. For serious foodies and/or special occasions.

Machu Picchu [Peruvian]
307 Somerville Ave, Somerville 
(617) 628-7070
Top notch Peruvian food and Pisco Sours for decent prices. Live Andean music on Friday nights. For a more casual vibe and roasted chicken and sides, visit the Machu Picchu Charcoal Chicken Grill down the street (25 Union Square).

Union Square Donuts [donuts]
16 Bow St, Somerville
(617) 209-2257
Gourmet donuts made from scratch. They’re $3 each, so try not to develop a dependency.

Sherman Cafe & Market [market/cafe]
257 Washington St, Somerville
(617) 776-4944
Excellent sandwiches, funky sodas, great coffee. The counter at the window is awesome, spacious place to work. Stop by the market on the way out for organic, in-season groceries.

 

Going Out

Clubs, Bars & Live Music

The Sinclair/The Sinclair Kitchen
52 Church St
(617) 547-5200
It’s really all we’ve got in terms of a sincerely tasteful cocktail bar. Dinner and drinks at the Kitchen. The venue next door brings in many Pitchfork-approved bands.

Club Passim
47 Palmer St 
(617) 547-6789
A mainstay on the folk scene for over 50 years. Passim continues to present a diverse mix of music from a basement venue. By day, it’s the vegetarian restaurant Veggie Planet.

Temple Bar
1688 Mass Ave
(617) 547-5055
Upscale dinner and drinks. Sometimes overcrowded with fancy people, but great martinis and chocolate fondue make it worth the fuss.

Lizard Lounge
1667 Mass Ave 
(617) 547-0759 
Basement of Cambridge Common. Live music, but also open mic and poetry slam nights.

Ryles Jazz Club
212 Hampshire St
(617) 876-9330
Thursday nights are for salsa dancing, other nights feature different themes. As for food, they’re known for their ribs, and jazz brunch is worth a try.

Toad
1912 Mass Ave
(617) 441-5566
Free live music every night. Blue grass, local bands, singer-songwriter types. Fabulous bar and consistent crowd.

Brass Union
70 Union Sq, Somerville
(617) 623-9211
Union Square bar sometimes with live music in an old Somerville police precinct. The drinks and music are better than the food.

The Plough & Stars
912 Mass Ave
(617) 576-0032
Live music, cheap beer, comfort food. The atmosphere is pretty hip, the bartenders friendly.

The Cantab Lounge
738 Mass Ave
(617) 354-2685
Little Jo Cook, famous for his “Peanut” song in the 1960s, arrives in his gold Cadillac Thursday through Sunday nights and gets everyone on the crowded dance floor.

ZuZu
474 Mass Ave
(617) 864-3278
Sandwiched between the Middle East Upstairs and Downstairs. Dinner is served until 10pm, then the music starts.

The Middle East
472 Mass Ave
(617) 864-3278
Known primarily as a rock club, the Middle East also serves delicious food. Get tickets in advance, if you’ve actually heard of the band.

Atwood’s Tavern pub
877 Cambridge St
(617) 864-2792
Live music, laid back vide, good for a night out, or even lunch with Mom and Dad. The kitchen is open till midnight, so bring on the burgers!

Middlesex Lounge
315 Mass Ave
(617) 868-6739 
Good music, strong drinks and vintage movies projected on the wall. DJs and sometimes live music. Expect to find the rest of the GSD there.

Paradise Bar
180 Mass Ave 
(617) 868-3000
Cambridge’s best gay dance party. The drinks are strong, and so are the go-go dancers.

Great Scott
1222 Commonwealth Ave, Allston
(617) 566-9014
Good venue to see touring bands. The Pill on Fridays is one of Boston’s best dance parties.

O’Brien’s Pub
3 Harvard Ave, Allston M–Su 5p–1a
(617) 782-6245
Good live music, especially rock, metal, noise and punk.

Brighton Music Hall
158 Brighton Ave, Allston
(617) 779-0140
Great bands come through here, so check their schedule online.

Machine
1256 Boylston St, Boston M–Tu, F–Sa 10p–2a
(617) 536-1950
Located underneath leather-and-Levi’s haven The Ramrod, this gay bar is a great alternative to the madness of nearby Landsdowne Street.

The Beehive
541 Tremont St, Boston
(617) 423-0069 
Come for dinner shows at night, jazz brunch on the weekend or cocktails in this hip club in the historic Cyclorama building.

Museums

Harvard has a lot of museums, all free for Harvard students. Boston has a lot of museums, too, and many of them are also free with your student ID, or tickets may be available at a discount through Harvard’s Outings & Innings. Concerts, films, lectures and even Friday night cocktail hours are held at area museums, so keep an eye out on websites, Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Art Museums

The Museum of Bad Art (MOBA)
55 Davis Square, Somerville
(781) 444-6757
The art is ridiculous, the commentary is priceless. Not really worth going out of your way, but you might as well while at the Somerville Theatre (and you may need a movie ticket to get inside, anyway).

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
2 Palace Rd, Boston 
(617) 278-5188 
Built like a 15th-century Venetian palace, the Museum holds works by Titian, Raphael, Rembrandt and Sargent. The center courtyard is divinely beautiful. There’s usually an interesting landscape exhibition up, too. The newish Renzo Piano-designed wing hosts concerts and classy events.

Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA)
100 Northern Ave, Boston
(617) 478-3100
Wowza, look at that cantilever! Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, this harbor-side museum is good inside and out. And the robust performance space makes it probably the only good place to see contemporary dance in Boston. Too bad about the rest of that area—take the right bridge or you’ll have to walk across a huge parking lot wasteland.

The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA)
45 Huntington Ave, Boston
(617) 267-9300
As the largest museum in Boston, the MFA is not to be missed. First Fridays are always popular among young urban professionals. A variety of children’s programs, movies, concerts and live jazz also pepper the calendar.

Davis Museum at Wellesley College
106 Central St, Wellesley
(617) 478-3100
You might say this Rafael Moneo building is a poem of interior space with its scissor staircase and the dramatic top floor. The collection is quite good.

Historical Sites & Tours

The Freedom Trail
No need to worry about navigation; the 2.5-mile red brick or painted path that traverses Boston, will lead you to most of the city’s major historic sites. You can begin anywhere along the trail, but Boston Common is convenient.

Charlestown Navy Yard & USS Constitution Museum
1 1st Ave, Charlestown
Museum: Building 22
(617) 726-2000
The US Navy Yard operated from 1800 until 1974. Today, you can tour two retired battleships: USS Constitution (commissioned 1797)and USS Cassin Young (commissioned 1943).

Science Museums

MIT Museum
265 Mass Ave 
(617) 253-5927
Pretty small, but the permanent exhibit of MIT robotics work is rad, and there’s often lots of good temporary exhibitions, like holography and everyday object design.

Museum of Science & Mugar Omni Theater
1 Science Park, Boston Su–Th
(617) 723-2500
Dinosaurs, IMAX, planetarium…you know, a science museum. Waits can be long, so order tickets online.

The New England Aquarium
1 Central Wharf, Boston
(617) 973-5200
It may look like a jail from the outside, but the interior is sorta interesting in a ruined-parking-lot kind of way: giant fish tank wrapped in an ramp promenade to take you up and down exhibit levels. Penguin and fish feedings every few hours.

Harvard Art Museums
The Harvard Art Museums include the Fogg Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum and Arthur M. Sackler Museum. From renaissance to 1920s German abstraction, archaic Chinese jades to portraits of Harvard notables, there is a remarkable wealth of material about 500ft away from the GSD. Recently renovated and expanded to put all three museums under one roof, designed by Renzo Piano.

Index Magazine

Harvard Museums of Science & Culture
The HMSC is a consortium of six museums of ancient civilizations and natural history that aim to explore how science and culture shape the past, present and future. All are very close to the GSD.

The Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology collects cultural history artifacts from around the world, but is strongest in material related to the Americas.
11 Divinity Ave
(617) 496-1027
M–Su 9am–5pm

The Harvard Museum of Natural History is home to comparative zoology, mineralogical and geological material, and the Harvard Herbarium. Don’t miss the world-famous collection of glass flowers made by father and son Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka.
26 Oxford St
(617) 496-2460
M–Su 9am–5pm

The Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments is a remarkable collection of objects—from about 1400 to the present—related to navigation, electricity, medicine, surveying and more.
Science Center 371
(1 Oxford St)
M–F 11am–3:30pm

 

Performing Arts

Boston’s music, dance and theater scene isgenerally underwhelming, but there are a fewpockets of interesting work going on. Look forevents at the ICA and MFA, too.

American Repertory Theater (ART)
64 Brattle St
The closest thing Boston has to a serious theater scene. Although they seem to have abandoned Chekhov for [yes, they really did a play about] the Red Sox, they still garner awards year after year. They also run a “second stage,” Oberon, which hosts not only regular theater shows, but one-off cabarets, burlesques, and the weekly Saturday night disco dance party adaptation of Midsummer Night’s Dream known as The Donkey Show.

Blacksmith House Poetry Series
42 Brattle St
A legendary spot for established and emerging poets. It celebrates 40 years this fall!

Boston Poetry Slam
738 Mass Ave
(617) 354-2685
One of the longest-running slams in the US. A featuredpoet closes their Wednesday open-mic night.

The Dance Complex
536 Mass Ave
Volunteer-based and artist-run. Best known for their diverse dance classes and workshops, they also hold performances and a Sunday showcase of poetry, art, music and movement.

Berklee College of Music
939 Boylston St, Boston
More than just a music school, Berklee is an international soundscape of musical prodigies. They hold a variety of festivals throughout the year at the Berklee Performance Center, but their smaller student-run Cafe 939 is a great place to soak up the emerging talent.

Boston Symphony Orchestra
Boston Symphony Hall [301 Mass Ave, Boston]
One of the “Big Five.” Performs at the Tanglewood Music Center in the Berkshires during the summer.

Boston Ballet
The Boston Opera House [539 Washington St, Boston]
Not exactly avant-garde, but the Boston Ballet is one of the best ballet companies in the US. Mostly lots of Balanchine, but sometimes they do something interesting like Jiri Kylián or Wayne McGregor.

Cinemas

What Cambridge lacks in performing arts, it makes up for in film. Loeb Library is stocked, too.

Harvard Film Archive Cinematheque
Carpenter Center [24 Quincy St]
(617) 495-4700
In addition to select showings from their spectacular historical collection, they often invite contemporary filmmakers to screenings to discuss their work. Months-long retrospectives feature filmmakers like Antonioni, Pasolini, Wiseman and Hitchcock—and when they do Hitchcock’s silents, there’s live piano accompaniment!

Brattle Theatre
40 Brattle St
(617) 876-6837
Hollywood classics and international films. Many a clever double-feature.

Landmark Kendall Square Cinema
355 Binney St 
(617) 449-1996
New independent and foreign films in a nice modern theater. You usually can’t go wrong with blindly picking any of the films playing here.

Somerville Theatre
55 Davis Sq
(617) 625-5700
Built in 1914 and designed for stage shows, vaudeville, opera and the new fad—motion pictures. Recent renovations, not to mention beer and wine for sale, make this a nice place to see a mix of new and not-so-new releases. They’ve been hosting the Independent Film Festival each April since 2003. Matinees (before 6pm) are only $6.

Outdoor Sports

The Metropolitan District Commission is a good source for various Commonwealth-sponsored recreational sports. Their website lists public golf courses, running paths, skating rinks, bike paths, hiking trails, sailing, beaches, boating, swimming pools and more.

Downhill Skiing

Blue Hills Reservation
695 Hillside St, Milton

Wachusett Mountain
499 Mountain Rd, Princeton (MA)

Cross Country Skiing

Great Brook Farm State Park
984 Lowell Rd, Carlisle

Weston Ski Track
200 Park Rd, Weston

Running, Walking, Hiking

Appalachian Mountain Club
The AMC provides a monthly magazine and a flyer from the local chapter listing hikes and other activities for adults and families.

Harvard Outing Club
The Outing Club is both a gear cooperative and a network of people at Harvard who hike, backpack, canoe, kayak, etc.

Biking and Blading

Minuteman Trail
One of the nation’s best rail-trails, the Minuteman is a flat, easy ride that traces the route Paul Revere used to hightail it out of Boston. Heads 11 miles out past wetlands and meadows.

Harvard Cycling Association
Harvard’s diverse and dedicated cycling team, open to newcomers as well as experienced cyclists, undergrads as well as grad students.

Inline Club of Boston

Canoeing & Kayaking

Charles River Canoe & Kayak
Guided tours out into the Harbor. Leaves from Kendall Square or across the river in Allston, and offers one-way rentals between the two launch sites.

Essex River Basin Adventures
1 Main St, Essex
Forty miles north of Boston, sea kayaks are available to explore a lesser-known area.

Rock Climbing

Brooklyn Boulders Somerville
12A Tyler St, Somerville

Harvard Mountaineering Club
The HMC is a group of people at Harvard who plan climbing trips. All levels of experience are welcome.

Gear

Eastern Mountain Sports
1 Brattle Square
(617) 254-4250

Marathon Sports
1654 Mass Ave
617 354 4161

Spectator Sports

This is a serious sports town, so you might as well educate yourself.

New England Patriots [football]
Bostonians are proud of their football powerhouse. So much so that you’ll grow to hate them.

Boston Bruins [hockey]
The most recent champs in town. They’re still one of the top teams in hockey.

Boston Celtics [basketball]
Although they hold the record for most NBA championships, it will a while before the next.

Boston Red Sox [baseball]
The Sox play at Fenway Park, the oldest operating stadium in America. It’s worth going to a game just to visit the stadium itself. Or if you don’t think you can sit through a game, they offer free tours on non-game days.

New England Revolution [soccer]
New England’s soccer team with a Boston following.

Head of the Charles Regatta [crew]
Charles River
The world’s largest two-day rowing event lines both banks of the Charles with spectators and vendors. Volunteer and get a sweet windbreaker! The GSD hosts a party tent on the Allston side of the river.

“The Game” [football]
Harvard Stadium / Yale Bowl
The Harvard/Yale rivalry game is allegedly the oldest in the nation. Yes, our mascot is John Harvard.

Boston Marathon Race [running]
26.2 miles of Boston, April 21, 2014
The always famous, now infamous race will return
next year. Best place to watch is Heartbreak Hill.

Beer Guide

LOCAL BREWERY TOURS
From the largest American-owned beermaker to the one of the oldest brewpubs in the country, Boston is a beer town. Fantastic brewery tours, dozens of award-winning craft beers and even a “gypsy brewery” with a great story.

Sam Adams Brewery may have reached the big-time over the years, but it’s still a great tour. [Jamaica Plain]

Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall is an excellent craft brewery and just redid their space. [Seaport District]

Cambridge Brewing Company is a reliable local favorite with a solid food menu as well. [Kendall Square]

Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project has no home to visit, but their roaming events are cult classics.