Boston (08/20/03 - 08/22/03)

Last updated 9/26/03                                                                                                                                    

First off, if I had to leave the bay area and pick any other city in the country to live in, Boston would probably be my pick, and here are the reasons: the weather was more tolerable than places further south (anywhere from New Orleans all the way to DC), there were fewer people than in Manhattan so it felt a lot less crowded, they've got the feel of a "nice" city with parks and the like, there is plenty of culture and history all around (eg: the freedom trail, little italy, MIT [?]), and they have a decent subway system. Hopefully more details about some of these points will be provided throughout the blog.

When we visited Boston, we experienced the kind hospitality of my cousin Vanita, her husband Raman, and the enjoyable company of my 2 year old nephew Rohit (see below for pictures). It's wonderful having family that you can visit without having to take a plane across an ocean (the trip to India is an especially long and draining ordeal -- about 24 hours of flight time including layovers, etc). In Boston I also got to meet a couple of old friends from high school (amazing isn't it?): George Borg [an old chum who ended up at Harvard and is shown below] and Ryan Lowe [another friend who ended up as a bigwig at a telecom startup in Boston -- not shown because Puneet was dumb and forgot to take pictures...].

Boston's "Freedom Trail" is a delight for those out there who enjoy a walking history cocktail: 1 part walking around Boston following a red-line on the ground, 1 part healthy dose of American history (Paul Revere, Bunker Hill, ...) and ice (well actually, there wasn't any, but lets just assume for the cocktail metaphor to work out), shaken not stirred... The trail reminded me of the historic trail in Monterey, where you follow these markers and a little yellow line all around historic downtown (similar concept, only with a red line).

There's a lot more I'm leaving out (partly since it's been over a month since we visited, and partly since its almost midnight as I write this), but I'll end with a few words about the world famous campuses to be found in Boston (Cambridge actually, but it's close enough). Harvard and MIT are synonymous with excellence in higher education... they aren't really known for the aesthetics of the buildings on campus. And for good reason: both campuses are pretty darn ugly. Actually, I found Harvard to be both boring and ugly, with these dull red-brick buildings everywhere. The buildings at MIT served their functional purpose but didn't have much else going for them (though there was this new dorm building that looked kinda cool, but like most other campuses, the construction on campus was pretty annoying) -- the Dome at MIT, a symbol of the campus and the site of some cool student pranks, was the one exception to my complaints. It looked pretty darn cool (look at the pic below). That's all I got to say about Boston... other than the obligatory urge for people to visit this fine city and help out the slumping tourism industry.


                            Views of Boston along Freedom Trail

                            More walking around the city...

                            Friends and family in Boston

                            Harvard and MIT campuses