This sweltering summer season, Funsherpa will be talking to local experts to discover a mixture of established and off-the-beaten path destinations. We chat with Tim McCall, Boston blogger and Bean Town expert, and uncover everything cool about Boston. Indulge in our feature below to find out everything amazing and fun about the home of our nation’s Patriots.
What are some of the must see and must do activities in Boston?
Visit the New England Aquarium
The aquarium is a great place to visit whether you’re a tourist or live in town. The key features of this aquarium are the Shark and Ray Touch Tank, the penguin exhibit that is home to species such as the African penguin, but the number one thing to see is the Giant Ocean Tank. The Giant Ocean Tank is a four-story coral reef replica that is located in the center of the Aquarium. If you travel to the top of the tank you can look directly down into the water below as well as watch divers feed the animals. (Funsherpa says, yeah! Anything giant with water is something we always have our thumbs up for)
Go to Fenway Park for a game/tour
Whether or not you’re a fan of baseball Fenway Park is a must see if you’re in the Boston area. Home to the seven-time World Series champion Boston Red Sox; Fenway Park is America’s oldest and most beloved ballpark. Built in 1912 Fenway Park is named after the surrounding area the Fens, has a seating capacity of 37,495 people, is home to the “Green Monster” a 37.167 foot tall left field walland on March 7th, 2012 was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Walk along The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway
The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway is a roughly 1.5-mile-long and is home to a series of parks, public spaces and art installations. The Greenway was the final step of the Big Dig that put Interstate 93 underground and removed the elevated freeway that served as the main highway through downtown for more than 40 years. Accompanying the series of parks are different Food Trucks that began business in 2010.
Eat in the North End
Approximately one-third of the North End’s residents is Italian or Italian American and is considered to be Boston’s “Little Italy.” The North End is full of life during the summer with streets full of people and a picturesque wonderland during the winter. The restaurants of the North End have a common factor that they serve Italian cuisine, however no two restaurants are the same. Each restaurant has it’s own unique dishes, atmosphere, and of course homemade sauce.
Favorite bars and restaurants in the area?
Grendel’s Den-Located in Harvard Square Grendel’s Den offers a varied selection of imported and domestic beers from breweries small and large. You will find local favorites and classics such as Guinness to ‘cheap’ stuff like Narragansett. With a horseshoe shape bar and no televisions this classic bar is a place for all types of people to sit down, have a pint, and converse with friends and strangers alike.
The Avenue-Located in Allston, a neighborhood of Boston, this bar is home to $5 dollar pints, $4.50 mixed drinks, as well as daily food specials and $1 burgers everyday after 10pm. With ample space and plenty of televisions The Avenue is a perfect spot to watch a sports game or to play a game of darts on one of the two dartboards located downstairs.
Sunset Grill and Tap-Also located in Allston, MA this restaurant features a menu that offers something for everyone. From nachos and popcorn shrimp to jambalaya and large salads no one should leave hungry. If the food isn’t enough Sunset Grill and Tap also features 112 beers on tap, the largest on the east coast, as well as 380 microbrews and imports.
U-Sushi-Located in Brookline, MA a neighboring town of Boston, U-Sushi offers delicious well-presented dishes with daily lunch specials that include soup, salad, and three rolls of sushi for $11.50. U-Sushi offers an intimate atmosphere and is a perfect spot for a small lunch gathering or a casual date.
Zaftigs Delicatessen- Located in Coolidge Corner in Brookline Zaftigs serves breakfast (all day), lunch, and dinner with a twist on the traditional Jewish style restaurant. Serving more traditional dishes such as Knishes and Latkes to new style dishes such asPeanut Noodle Salad and Banana Stuffed French Toast. Zaftigs offers plenty of seating as well as parking, but be sure to get there early as wait times on the weekend ranges from fifteen minutes to an hour.
Chilli Duck-Located on Boylston Street across from the Prudential Tower, Chilli Duck serves Thai food at an affordable price with a large menu and quick service. Menu items that are a must try include their Drunken Noodles, Crispy Duck, and Crispy Pad Thai Noodle. Due to the large portion sizes dishes will often be boxed to take away.
Trattoria Toscana- Located in the Fenway neighborhood, this Italian gem is the best Italian restaurant that isn’t located in the North End (I would argue that it is better than some that are located in the North End as well). With a capacity of fewer than 25 people and their no reservation policy be sure to come early and be willing to wait. From the sauce to the pasta everything is homemade. The rich fresh taste one only finds with well-prepared ingredients makes Trattoria Toscana the perfect Italian restaurant in Boston.
Bova’s Bakery-Located in the North End, Bova’s Bakery has been family own and run since 1932. Nestled on a side street this 24hr bakery offers everything one would want from an Italian bakery including whoopee pies, cheesecake, and of course cannoli. Bova’s inexpensive menu, homemade pastries, and location make it one of the best bakeries in the city.
Favorite place with good music in Boston?
As a quick note all of these locations are located in Allston, MA, a neighborhood of Boston. Allston is nicknamed Allston ”rock city.”
Paradise Rock Club-Thebest place for well-known bands to preform shows and for attendees not break their budget. If you enjoy bands such as Of Montreal, Andrew W.K. or The Shins than Paradise is your venue.
Great Scott- One of the best places to catch a rock show whether it is an underground band or a more well known one Great Scott has always held the attitude that everyone should enjoy good music. On Friday nights they host there weekly dance/party music night dubiously named “The Pill” that has everything from Electro Funk, Ska, and Britpop being played. Some of the bands that have played there include Hot Chip and Wolfmother.
O’Brien’s-Live music every night. Nowhere else in Boston can that truly be said. O’Brien’s offers music from local bands to national ones with a small atmosphere and reasonable prices. Music of all kinds is welcomed and with live shows every night there is always something new to be heard.
Brighton Music Hall-Brighton Music Hall is one of the few places that every show is 18+. The venue is on the smaller side, but one would never it know it from the outside as the crowd is enthusiastic and loud. Bands that normally preform here are larger local acts or national touring bands. In order to preform here local bands must be able to sell out smaller local venues, thus assuring great music and a great show.
Given your Starbucks barista experience, is there anything that is off the menu that rocks? Or is there anything you recommend people try?
I would say that if you enjoy new and interesting concoctions I would suggest you try a Frappuccino with mocha, toffee nut, vanilla powder, and soy milk (the soy is made with vanilla and ads a nice flavor).
What are some of the things you are looking forward to doing this summer?
• Seeing BruceSpringsteen in concert
• Going to a Red Sox game at Fenway Park
• Canoeing/kayaking the Charles River
• Biking along the Charles River
Your blog address is tacoparties, while your blog is called No Worries – can you talk to us about how you got these names and why you chose them?
Tacoparties comes from a chapter titled “Taco Party” from comedian/actor Michael Ian Black’s book “My Custom Van: And 50 Other Mind-Blowing Essays that Will Blow Your Mind All Over Your Face.” I decided that this would be an address that would be free as well as funny to those that know that it came from Black’s book. As the title of the blog is concerned “No Worries” is a phrase that I say when people feel as though they have made a mistake or offended me when in reality I couldn’t have cared less about what they said or did.
What’s in your bucket list and which ones are you going to cross off soon?
• See Bruce in concert-crossing off this summer
• Eat at top of the hub
• Go to a championship game in any major sport
• Direct a feature length film
• Buy a town house
• Have a building named after me
• Go to the planetarium at the science center for a laser rock show-hopefully this summer is the music is good.
• Start a new dance craze-I’m close, but it still needs some work.
• Run the Boston marathon (funsherpa says, yeah, we’re behind you Tim!)
• Have a job that pays well and I have fun doing it-I’m not going to jinx this one.