Subject: Re: Boston
Sandie, My wife and I visited Boston last month for the first time. We were completing a ten-day vacation, most of which was spent in Nova Scotia. With only two days in Boston we opted to just attempt get a general sense of this captivating and history-rich city. To that end we accepted Pat DeCuir's invitation for a walkabout through her hometown. We could not have made a better decision nor had a more engaging, informed, and friendly guide, ;-) (Hope I'm not embarrasing you Pat). One of the things we enjoy most when visiting a city is walking throughout its streets. After meeting Pat at the Commons we walked by the State House, through Beacon Hill, out to a park along the Charles River where the Boston Pops plays its 4th of July concert, through Quincy Market (stopping for a refreshment), past Paul Revere's house in the North End (passing the Big Dig in the meantime), over to the Waterfront Park, took the ferry over to Charlestown, back to Waterfront Park (lunching at Long Wharf), then strolled back through Boston Commons, the Public Garden, to the Back Bay, Copley Square and Trinity Church. It was a perfect day and Pat was a fantastic hostess. When we return to Boston (and we will) we shall be ready to partake in more time-consuming sightseeing, such as museums. As far as restaurants are concerned we opted to forego seafood after having spent more than a week enjoying the lobster, mussels, scallops, and salmon of Nova Scotia. Plus the fact that I work in an upscale seafood restaurant here in San Diego helped to steer us towards the many fine Italian eateries in the North End. The first night we dined at Artu (6 Prince St., between Hanover St. and North Sq., 742-4336) where we had a real fine meal. Joining us was an old friend who had relocated to Boston two years before. Asking her boss (a fourth or fifth generation Bostonian of Italian heritage) for suggestions regarding dining establishments he said one couldn't go wrong among the many choices in the North End. After the meal we sought out a pasticceria for dessert. Unwilling to wait in line at Mike's Pastry, arguably the most popular, we crossed the street and headed into Modern Pastry just as the shop emptied out. As others followed us in we were pressured into ordering before we had really looked over the selection. We were not disappointed with our cannolis and Florentine cookies but afterwards had wished we had tried one of their sfogliatelli. The following night Sara (my wife) and I returned to the North End seeking more Italian delicacies. This evening our choice of restaurant was determined by how open and cool the establishment was. The temperature that day had reached 90F and it wasn't much cooler that evening. Our intention was to eat at Maurizio's but as we approached the door the heat from the kitchen blasted through the dining room and out onto the street. Too hot for a comfortable meal. We turned around and walked down to Alloro's (351 Hanover St., between Prince and Fleet Sts., 523-9268) where we once again had a fine meal lending credence to the statement regarding the ease with which one can find a good meal in the North End. And now to wrap this up. Two suggestions we would make for sightseeing while you are in Boston are:

1. Do get out on a ferry so that you can take in the skyline from the harbor. I think this one rings true for just about any city with a waterfront.

2. One of the most pleasurable moments we had was walking down the landscaped median on Commonwealth Ave. at dusk. We were able to watch the locals from this residential street taking their dogs for their evening constitutional, admire the Back Bay architecture, take in the well-planned placing of these stately elms down this central artery. As you continue down this walk it leads you out into the Public Garden and then into The Boston Common. A really top rate design for urban greenspace.

Have a great trip,

John Rule San Diego, CA