The Brattle Book Shop Speaks Volumes

The Brattle Book Shop is tucked into an innocuous side street that branches off of one of Boston’s busy retail corridors, Downtown Crossing. If you’re not looking for the Brattle, you’re not going to find it unless you randomly turn onto West St. and glance away from your phone long enough to catch the outsized […]

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Women Do

At first it seems like the three women are just hanging out in the middle of the Commonwealth Ave. mall—a quiet, tree-lined promenade that runs like an artery through the heart of Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Abigail Adams, Phillis Wheatley, and Lucy Stone appear as life-size bronze statues, posed around large granite blocks. Quotes from […]

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Hail Mary

I’m not interested in church for the religion as much as I am for the variety. Visit a city or even a mid-size town and pop into a few of these institutions and you’ll see what I mean. Some resemble medieval castles with their lethal spirals and flying buttresses while others are modest boxy things […]

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Funky Town: Graffiti Alley

Every city has its kink, its pockets of oddball charm like the shag rug underneath the grand piano. Seattle has an entire second subterranean city sunk underneath its streets. New Orleans encourages graveyard tourism. Los Angeles is block after creepy block lifted from a David Lynch film. Boston has Graffiti Alley—funk central in the form […]

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Boston’s Magnolia Queen

Laura Dwight started keeping a mental inventory of all the ways her once great neighborhood in Boston’s Back Bay was headed for the garbage chute– crumbling front stoops, broken gates, dirt and litter patches passing for gardens and flower beds. She lived in the Back Bay, the tidy track of streets surrounding Newbury St, Boston’s […]

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Stacked: The Boston Public Library

After living here for more than a decade, I thought it was time to visit the Boston Public Library. I wasn’t avoiding the library. I don’t have any past traumatic library experiences like racking up enormous overdue fines or getting busted reading a copy of the Karma Sutra tucked behind A Brief History of Time. […]

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Grateful Dead

In Boston, the dead are everywhere. They are immortalized as statues in the middle of courtyards and public walkways; they show up on plaques tacked onto the outside of historic buildings and screwed onto the backs of park benches. They lie in the ground across nineteen different cemeteries spread out across the commonwealth. The city […]

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