As I write this, I am sat in Boston Public Library. The snow is falling outside, but I am cosy and warm underneath the beautiful desk lamps and surrounded by gorgeous wood furniture. Though I’ve travelled across an ocean, it doesn’t feel much different to Founders’ Library at Royal Holloway, with similar furniture and interior design. What’s changed is the demographic – people young and old have come here to enjoy this oasis of peace and quiet in the middle of the city.
So, what can you do in Boston? Well, Boston is basically where the country of America was born, as New England was the first place the British settlers came to (hence the name)! If you want to learn about this, then take the Freedom Trail. Not so great in snowy weather, this 2 and a half mile path is marked clearly by the red lines in the pavement, and the best thing is it’s free to do. So if you’re travelling on a budget, what a way to see the city!
This trail also brings you through the heart of Downtown, Boston’s modern centre. Buildings tower over you. Take the lift up to the top of some of these buildings, if you can – the camera shots you’ll get will be awesome. The great thing about Boston is that as well as having an underground system, many things are within walking distance of each other, so you don’t have to spend much on transport. Good job, too – taxi prices are quite high in this city.
Boston is a city by the sea, so take a walk along the Charles River, past Downton and along the bay. In the winter, a lot of the river is frozen up, and if you’ve never seen anything like this before it’s a real sight. Talking of ice, in Boston Common (kind of like Boston’s version of NYC’s Central Park), there’s an ice rink by the pavilion in winter. If you love winter sports, with all this snow around, Boston in February is definitely the place for you! Bring a tray and slide down some of the hills on your makeshift sled. Because nothing beats good old-fashioned fun.
Boston is also home to 2 of the US’ most famous and prestigious universities, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Perhaps if you’re an aspiring genius, these two institutions will make you want to bump up those grades, so you can study here.
Something you might notice about Boston is the accent of the local people. It sounds nothing like your typical American accent, and the way they pronounce some words is really odd. Take the famous Harvard University, which is here in Boston. They even have hoodies and other merchandise that makes fun out of the accent – it’s written “Hahvad”!
If you can’t fill enough time to spend the week (though I’m sure you will, we haven’t even gone into the amount of museums here), then Boston is close to a number of American and Canadian cities, all within a day’s drive or train ride. Many people take the train from Boston to New York, so start your American adventure on the right foot, where the entire country was born.
Image: Alice Barnes-Brown