THE INSIDERS LITERARY BOSTON
GO: Boston is one of the great US cities, with an amazing history at the heart of the American Revolution, fantastic art collections, magnificent urban planning and architecture, and a unique literary tradition. The historic parts are best experienced on foot. North of the city, across the Charles River, lies Cambridge, which is home to Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology; boston.gov/visiting-boston.
LEARN: Cambridge Historical Tours offers intelligent and informative historical and cultural walking tours of Cambridge and Boston. They also go further afield to the revolutionary battle sites of Concord and Lexington, well worth visiting to understand this dramatic part of history; cambridgehistoricaltours.org.
ART: Not to be missed is Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, which has one of the world’s great collections, dazzlingly presented in a magnificent building. The Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge has one of the US’s finest university collections; mfa.org; harvardartmuseums.org.
ARCHITECTURE: Harvard Yard, at the centre of the university, Cambridge and Boston all have wonderful historical buildings. Not to be missed are the interiors of the Boston Public Library and Trinity Church, both in Copley Square, and the over-the-top Boston Opera House, originally a 1920s movie palace.
EXPLORE: Visit the Boston Athenaeum, founded in 1807 and one of the oldest independent libraries in the US. At Cambridge Cemetery find author Henry James’s grave. If you have an interest in US presidents, head for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and recreate his time in the White House; bostonathenaeum.org; jfklibrary.org.
ENJOY: Cambridge is a great place to stay when visiting Boston. There are lots of restaurants and bars within walking distance or a short taxi ride. One of the nicest places to dine is Oleana, which serves a modern take on Middle Eastern food in a great atmosphere. For a night out, head to Boston’s Congress Street. There are superlative oysters at Row 34; also try nearby bar Drink for excellent cocktails; oleanarestaurant.com; row34.com.
Peter Rose is the editor of Australian Book Review. His own publications include a family memoir, Rose Boys (Text Classic). He recently led an ABR Tour to the US. Next year, a nine-day ABR tour to Britain will be Shakespeare themed. More: australianbookreview.com.au; academytravel.com.au.
Graham Erbacher Graham.Erbacher@news.com.au