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The Full 36 Hours

Some of you may be familiar with the 36 Hours feature in the Travel section of the New York Times.  It is a list of recommended sights to see, places to eat and ways to have fun with 36 hours in selected cities around the world.  Well, after being overlooked since these features began running in 2002, Boston finally got it’s chance to shine this past weekend.  I always love working with the New York Times but I was especially proud to be the one representing my town in pictures for this project.  36 Hours is tremendously popular feature and when I last check Boston’s segment was the second most emailed story on Sunday.  Unfortunately, as is often the case, not all the images I would have chosen made it into the story.  But since this is all about the pictures which don’t make it to the printed page, here is what you’ll miss if you pick up the paper or look the story up at nytimes.com (text by Katie Zezima).

HEAR THE BUZZ There are plenty of places to catch a show but not to hear live music with no cover. The Beehive (541 Tremont Street; 617-423-0069; beehiveboston.com), a restaurant where the lights are low and bands are chill, fills the void. Descend the staircase to be closer to the band, or stick to the quieter bar upstairs. Either way, don’t leave without catching the intricate, hand-painted bathroom walls.

In a city this historic, it’s not every day that a new neighborhood is built from scratch. But that is essentially the story with Fan Pier, a former industrial blight on the South Boston waterfront being transformed, albeit slowly, into a hub of fashion, art and dining. Anchored by the Institute of Contemporary Art (100 Northern Avenue; 617-478-3100; icaboston.org), a glass-and-steel museum that seems to hover over the harbor, it is becoming the go-to place for the cool crowd. Shopping’s a draw, too: LouisBoston (60 Northern Avenue; 617-262-6100; louisboston.com), the high-end store, has opened a 20,000-square-foot flagship next to the museum.

The Charles River is cleaning up nicely. Relive your Head of the Charles days and rent a kayak at Community Boating (21 David G. Mugar Way; 617-523-1038; community-boating.org) for $35 a day. Paddle out for some of the best views of Boston and Cambridge. Sunny days are spectacular, with light bouncing off the gold-domed State House and the city’s skyscrapers casting shadows on the intricate architecture of the Back Bay. The city has never looked so futuristic.

It’s a cliché for a reason: you can’t visit Boston, smell a salt breeze and not want to eat seafood. Steer clear of the waterfront traps and head to Neptune Oyster (63 Salem Street; 617-742-3474; neptuneoyster.com), a tiny spot where Sam Adams-swilling frat boys rub shoulders with fabulous Champagne sippers at the marble bar. The attraction? Why, the lobster roll, a mountain of warm, butter-slicked lobster piled into a soft brioche bun, with a side of crispy, skin-on fries ($25). For lighter fare, try yellowtail sashimi on a bed of kimchi ($13) and an array of clams and oysters plucked from nearby waters.

Downtown was once defined by an elevated steel highway. Then by the Big Dig, the seemingly never-ending project to sink the roadway underground. After billions of dollars and an untold numbers of delays, it is finally home to the Rose Kennedy Greenway (rosekennedygreenway.org), a mile-long ribbon of lawns, public art and much-needed playgrounds snaking along Atlantic Avenue. To explore this emerald oasis, start at South Station and meander toward the North End, stopping to frolic in the fountains or take a spin on the carousel. At Christopher Columbus Park, find a spot under a wisteria-covered trellis and watch as boats bob in the harbor and planes take off from Logan Airport. It’s been worth the wait.

6.) Shopping should be fun, and it doesn’t get more entertaining than Bobby From Boston (19 Thayer St; 617-423-9299), a playground for fans of vintage clothing that will entertain – and impeccably dress – even the most fervent shopping haters. A cross between a haberdashery and antiques store, the store is rare in that it’s mostly men’s clothing, with everything from designer three-piece suits to 1960s Dartmouth sweatshirts to someone’s old Lion’s Club jacket. Women have plenty of choice too, with rockabilly dresses and an impressive array of cowboy boots.

Tired of forking over $15 for a cocktail that doesn’t quite speak to your individual tastes? Then pull up to Drink (348 Congress Street; 617-695-1806; drinkfortpoint.com), where mixology becomes personal. Instead of providing menus, bartenders ask patrons about their tastes and liquors of choice, and try to concoct the perfect tincture. The bar is reminiscent of a booze-drenched chemistry lab, and any experiments that don’t turn out right can be sent back. You can’t go wrong with the Maximilian Affair, a smoky combination of mezcal, St. Germain, Punt e Mes and lemon juice. Beer lovers, on the other hand, should head to Deep Ellum in Allston (477 Cambridge Street; 617-787-2337; deepellum-boston.com), an elegant pub with 28 taps that regularly rotate with Massachusetts breweries like Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project.

One Comment

  1. jim rudick
    Posted 8 Nov ’10 at 7:36 pm | Permalink