Subject: Weekend in Boston
Thank you to The Travelzine for helping to make my friend's and my weekend in Boston such a success.

First, thanks to John Rule, we used Priceline to secure hotel reservations. We bid $80/night for a three star hotel in downtown Boston and got the Boston Swissotel. We found our accomodations delightful and we even had a nice view from the seventeenth floor. The hotel seems to be quite new, but it is in an area that is a little seedy, but still close to the Boston Commons, etc., and the price was certainly right.

We saw the John Singer Sargent exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. There are also Sargent murals under one of the main domes of the museum which are quite amazing. We also went to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, where there was a small exhibit of Sargents later landscapes. This museum is absolutely chock full of art work from the Middle Ages to the first quarter of the this century. The collection contains many Sargent watercolors and his portraits of Isabella Steward Gardner. The museum, based on a Venetian Palazzo is rather dark and the works are rather hard to see. Also lack of labeling of the works is somewhat frustrating, but worth the visit. We had lunch at the Gardner, which was a little pricey for lunch, but the food was very good.

We also saw Sargent murals at the Boston Public Library which are very dirty and money is being raised to clean them. They are based the New and Old Testaments. We went in time for the Saturday afternoon lecture which was very interesting which made the frustration of not really being able to see the murals clearly worthwhile. Our last Sargent exhibit was Harvard's Fogg Museum which holds many of Sargents notebooks with studies for his murals in its collection. Also there are sketches, and a watercolor study for his portrait of Madame X. Again, there were very knowledgable tour guides explaining the works in the collection and holdings of the Fogg. If interested, you can access this website:

Legal Seafood Restaurant was recommended to us by several people on the list. I had eaten there before and had good meals. This time was no exception. This restaurant has grown into a huge chain but the quality does not seem to have suffered. We also had very good dinners at Six North Square in the North End. We got to this restaurant just in time as a huge line of people formed soon after we arrrived. We had very good Italian food. We walked slowly over to Mike's Bakery where lines were 10 deep to sample Italian pastry. The piece d' resistance was a cannoli dipped in chocolate with chocolate chip/cheese filling. Everything looked sinful!!

My friend wanted to go to an Irish Pub so my nephew took us to one in Cambridge. I think that Guinness is an acquired taste which I do not have. There was an Indian restaurant right down the block on Mass Avenue and we had a very good dinner there. I really liked the bagels at Finagle a Bagel.

We took an architectural tour sponsored by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts which looked at Federal, Victorian, and modern buildings in Boston on bus and on foot. We spent quite a bit of time walking on Beacon Hill, Back Bay to Copely Sqare and on Newbury, Marlborough, and Commonwealth Avenue. We had very good weather and had a most enjoyable 4 days. We also saw three movies that will probably not come to our town. We bought a 3 day pass for the T and really used it. Either by foot or on the MTA, Boston was quite easy to get around, but it was not always so easy to find what we were looking for once we got to the right vicinity!!

Michele Missner