Thursday, January 24, 2013

The bookshops of Beantown

Jan 21: We flew down to Boston on Porter Airlines from Billy Bishop Airport, Toronto. Arriving at Logan we caught the free hybrid bendy-bus, Silver Line 1, to the South Station in Boston. After going through the 'Big Dig' the bus halts and switches to overhead catenary electric-power for the undergound ride to our destination. We walk a few blocks to the Hyatt, refurbished since our last stay in 2004.
We then walk to Max and Dylans Restaurant Bar, 15 West Street, for supper. I try the onion rings starter followed by Clam Chowder. $39.06 plus tip for two, rated 75%; came highly recommended by the hotel, but only so, so. Served Heineken beer in a bottle, had to wait too long for a glass. Team service always difficult to do well.
John Lennon's "Instant Karma" is playing in the hotel lobby. The only worse fate is your music isn't played at all.
Jan 22: Walk to Black Seed Cafe, 131 Tremont Street, fronting onto Boston Common, for breakfast. Veggie omelet, fry-up and two large coffees $16.32. Cheap and cheerful. We walk on to the Commonwealth Bookstores (2 Milk Street, 9 Spring Lane), which specialise in used books. I purchase: Unlocking The Sky, Glenn Hammond Curtiss and the Race to Invent the Airplane, By Seth Shulman, $15. We note the large Borders bookshop is closed up. The little guys have outlasted the big guns in this case.
We lunch at Bruegger's Authentic Bagels. On to Brattle Bookshop, 9 West Street, which has a large outdoor selection. I picture some bibliophile being found frozen to death at the racks. I go indoors before it happens to me. We walk to Salvatore's, 545 Washington Street, for supper at the bar. I try the Chicken, Wild Mushroom and Squash Risotto special and Samuel Adams Boston Lager. Dinner for two $52.38 plus tip, total $61. Service OK but not particularly engaging. I recommend booking a table in advance.
Jan 23: 08:00 walk to Boston Common for Green Line light rail to Boston College. There are no trains due to an electrical fire. We take stock in Starbucks, then managing to catch a crowded bus to Kenmore, where we switched to the streetcar. Some of the rolling stock looks like it came from a badly run museum. We arrive at the Burns Library at 10:45. Annette gets down to some serious research re Mad Jack Fuller. It is perishing cold. Back home on the Green Line we hop off at Boylston and take supper at Boston Common Coffee Company, 515 Washington Street. Veggie soup, quiche and cookies, $23.75.
Pic by RLT.

1 comment:

YMGW said...

Those two Commonwealth Bookstores are fantastic, aren't they.