Trip Start Nov 09, 2012
Trip End Nov 12, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Sunday, November 11, 2012

Day 2 in Boston turned out to be college day, in a good way :)  We started the day off by walking down to BU, where my friend Liz is a grad student.  Note: get the raspberry and lemon scone at the Espresso Royale there, near-religious experience.  Next, we hopped on the Esplanade, which is basically a souped-up river walk along the Charles River.  It was another beautiful sunny day, and we enjoyed watching an MIT sailing class (with some hilariously tippy boats), and looking for turtles in the lagoons.  In addition to the wonderful scenery, I also enjoyed hearing about the storied history of the Harvard Bridge.  The bridge actually leads to the MIT campus now, but MIT "didn't want to be associated with a bridge that poorly constructed," so the name has stuck.  Hi-larious.  Liz also regaled me with the story of Oliver Smoot, who was the source of a new unit of measurement--see Wikipedia for the full story here:

After our long walk, we T-ed over to Harvard (yeah, not sure if T-ed is a vowel, but decided to invent it, ala Smoot).  Most of the campus buildings are the classic red brick with white trim, but a few have interesting Neo-Gothic details thrown in here and there.  Richardson (one of the three most famous American architects) designed a few of the buildings on campus, including Austin Hall, along with Trinity Church in Boston proper.  Looking for his checkerboard details on various buildings was kinda a fun/nerdy game of architectural Where's Waldo for me.  Unfortunately, I didn't have the ideal camera for capturing all these interesting details (or maybe fortunately for you, o reader, if the phrase "Neo-Gothic architectural details" bores the bejesus out of you), but I still enjoyed our stroll around campus.  

We took a brief rest stop at Grafton Street pub, and I dished with Liz over how Grafton Street is one of the main shopping drags in Dublin.  We had a great window seat with solid views of the street and campus, and over apps we discussed the history of Latin singing diction, which I thought was a very Harvard-appropriate subject of discourse.  We ended our Cambridge visit with a photo stop at the Harvard law school, and another stroll past the John Harvard statue.  I decided not to do the traditional foot-rubbing ritual, since I knew some students have been known to pee on it.  Yeah, gross.  I did, however, like Liz's story about how Harvard was named after a dude who donated his personal library to the university, and they were so grateful for his 30-odd books that they named the university after him.  Small beginnings, my friend.

My last night in Boston was a cozy evening of catching up over some solid pizza at Regina Pizzeria, and watching/shouting at da Bears with Liz and Eric.  Thanks again, you two, for an awesome weekend!! 
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