Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Visiting Boston aka Harvard, here I come

In September, Inna decided to visit Boston, to explore the city and discover its main attractions. She has always wanted to visit Boston but never found the time or the occasion. She found some really great tickets on JetBlue with a direct flight from San Francisco to Boston. It was a very early morning flight (flight 434, departing  SFO at 7:00am PST and arriving in Boston at 3:37pm EST).

Inna had a really hard time finding affordable lodging in Boston, for the first week of October. The prices for hotels seemed stratospheric, so she decided to look on Airbnb. She found an apartment near Northeastern University, close to downtown (which turned out great).

She found that Boston has a great public transportation system (though the buses were a bit old), and he took public transit to her apartment on her day of arrival.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

One of the first stops as a tourist was the Trinity Church.

Afterward, she explored Copley Square. She found that she really liked Boston.

She liked some of the quaint Coffee shops and eateries downtown. She also found that seafood, in general, was of much higher quality than in San Francisco (surprisingly).

She was really impressed by Boston's Public Library. She did not expect it to be so vast.

She spent a few hours in the library exploring books.

One of the museums that Inna planned to visit was. Inna visited the museum and was very impressed by the vast and extensive collection of paintings.

There are some old and some very modern pieces of art there.

A famous painting of George Washington crossing Delaware by Thomas Sully is prominently displayed.

There is a also famous painting of Paul Revere by John Copley.

I was surprised to learn that the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) also has a very extensive collection of French Impressionist art and many paintings of Monet were on display.

Monet's Camille Monet and a Child in the Artists' Garden in Argenteuil had lovely impressionist strokes and rich colors.

The museum is vast and Inna enjoyed it a lot.

There was an ongoing exhibition of Jamie Wyeth, so Inna explored some of his works.

There were also exhibits of contemporary Japanese art.

Inna really enjoyed the exhibits at MFA and would like to back again.

After leaving the museum, Inna learned that the Boston Symphony had a concert planned and she decided to get tickets and enjoy it.

Boston Symphony orchestra featured selections from Beethoven Symphony No. 8 in F, Bartok's "The Miraculous Mandarin", and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 in B minor.

Inna really liked the Tchaikovsky piece, as she was not very familiar with Bela Bartok. The full program is shown below:

Friday, October 3, 2014

One of Inna's first stops was the Church of Christ Scientist. It's an interesting looking building in Boston.

Afterward, she went on the Freedom Trail walk (to explore the historical artifacts from the time of the American Revolution and the war for independence)

Along the way, she saw a few monuments, one for Benjamin Franklin, a very famous American, and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Here is a memorial for Paul Revere.

The Old City Hall is a three-story colonial building on the Freedom Trail.

After the Freedom Trail walk ended, Inna walked to the Quincy Market, a large indoor market built without taxes or debt.

There was an interesting exhibit of "The Art of The Brick" - using Legos to build fine art - and Inna decided to explore it.

There were many Leg0 versions of fine art - including a copy of a "Girl with Pearl Earring". Originally, this was painted by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer.  The Lego version is also quite intriguing.

Of course, there was an obligatory "Mona Lisa", originally painted by Leonardo Da Vinci (and is now hanging in the Louvre Museum).

There were many interesting sculptures as well, including skeletons of dinosaurs.

From here, Inna walked to the Massachusetts State House and then onwards toward Boston Commons.

The Boston Common Frog Pond has a few cute statues.

Inna stopped by to admire and photograph some still blooming flowers.

The fall has arrived in Boston, and many trees were turning to beautiful reds.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Today, Inna decided to visit the famous Harvard University.

Sometime in the 1990s, tour guides began encouraging visitors to emulate a student "tradition"—​nonexistent—​of rubbing the toe of John Harvard's left shoe for luck, so that while the statue as a whole is darkly weathered the toe now "gleams almost throbbingly bright, as though from an excruciating inflammation of the bronze

Inna decided to uphold the tradition.

Harvard campus is rather beautiful, especially in the fall, when all of the tree's leaves begin to turn red and orange.

Harvard's campus is quite beautiful.

For fun, I told Inna to try to audit one of the classes at Harvard, just to get a sense of what taking classes at Harvard would be like.

Inna sat down in a Harvard classroom but the class was not of much interest to her. It was a C Programming class. Harvard has a very impressive projection system.

After enjoying Harvard, Inna decided to explore the campus of M.I.T. Inna did not have time to audit classes there, but she was impressed by the contrast between Harvard and MIT. Harvard has the American Colonial Classic look and feels, while M.I.T. looks thoroughly modern.

MIT's buildings look like they're from the future.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How time flies! It was time for Inna to return back to sunny California. She enjoyed her last day in Boston (but did not take any photos), since her Canon G15's battery ran out (and I did not get her a charger).

She had a great time in Boston, and would happily return for more sightseeing.