USA Adventure: 24 Hours in Boston (not Austin)

In October and November 2006 I was lucky enough to go to the USA for work, so I took the opportunity to travel around while I was there. My travel emails were well received back home, so I’m posting them here for all to enjoy.

Original Date: 11 November 2006

Sorry, little Road Trip reference there.

I'm just finishing up here in Boston, and about to head back to New York. I really wish I had more time here, Boston is a really nice place. It has a completely different feel to the other places I've been to, but it's hard to explain. It sorta feels like a city where people live and work, rather than come to visit. It put me in a really good mood walking around yesterday...

Fall in Boston

Boston Leaves

Walking seems to be the done thing in Boston, they even have signs up saying it's America's most "walkable" city. I think that's because they don't have that many subway stations around! Each town calls their subway different things - NY calls it the "subway", DC calls it the "Metro", and Boston calls it the "T". What stations Boston has are kinda cool though, they have these weird automated gate things that do a little bow for you when you stick your card in the slot. Quite cute :P

There's so much history in this town, which is not unexpected seeing as it was one of the first places settled by the pilgrims. I had clam chowder in a building that is 250 years old, and has been serving customers as a restaurant for 180. We also walked through the district called "North End", and it's just full of old houses where relatively famous people (in terms of the Revolution) lived.

Paul Revere Statue

A beautiful day in Boston, overlooking the water

Ajay and I also met up with a friend of his that now studies at MIT. He showed us around campus a little, it's really quite an amazing place. The computer science work is done in a brand new building that cost $40 million dollars, and was designed by the US's most famous architect... I don't think this building has a right angle in the whole place! Even the main lecture hall has the walls slightly off-centre, so that when you stand there you start to think the floor is actually tilted (rather than the walls) and you start getting a little light-headed. Very strange.

(Update: I worked out that this building is called the Stata Center, and was designed by Frank Gehry)

He told us a lot about MIT culture and the workload that is expected. This guy was top of his class at University of Sydney, averaging something like 98% - but at MIT he's averaging in the 70% range. Just crazy. It's also very competitive, but they seem to have a "can do" culture - if you can think of it, you can do it. The funny thing is, most of the time people actually do it!


I have to run, got a train to catch back to NY. As always, hope all is well and life's treating you all well. Just over a week to go now!!

For a lot more photos from the trip, have a look at my Flickr set. I've geotagged them, so the map is pretty interesting too!

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