By Golmah Zarinkhou
The narrow, serpentine streets of Boston welcome hundreds of thousands of students per year who traverse the country and the globe to attend one of the city’s 35 institutions of higher learning. Students can get to know their new home-away-from-home in a number of ways. You can take pathways that once supported horses and carriages that still lead to the home of Paul Revere, silversmith and first forensic dentist in America, or go for a run along the Charles River, where you might forfeit your phone to the waves as I did while kayaking. Among the firstborn fragments of our country, Boston offers history and adventure. Here are some suggestions from Harvard medical and dental students to maximize your free time this spring:
Take the D-line train to Riverside
Who: Deyang Nyandak, third-year medical student
Why: “This train ride took me through one of the most beautiful areas around Boston. The views of the cottage-like houses in Chestnut Hill and the golf courses by Woodland were perfect for a day of unplanned sightseeing.”
When and How: Boston inaugurated America’s first subway, colloquially called the T, in 1897 and connected the system to aboveground trains. Although the streets of the city had grown congested with modern conveyances, the Blizzard of 1888 also affected the decision to invest millions into underground transportation. “The White Hurricane” dumped an unexpected 40-50 inches of white powder on the streets as it stranded Bostonians. The T now runs through the Longwood Medical Area every 6-9 minutes on weekdays and every 9-12 minutes on weekends with a stop one block from HSDM. Multiple lines connecting the Greater Boston Area help graduate students survive easily without a car.
Find your om in Olmsted Park
Who: Anthony Ewell-Kollmann, third-year dental student
Why: “In the center you're surrounded by trees and can block out the city. I enjoy the countless meandering paths, the peaceful pond for skipping rocks, the Pokémon lurking alongside dogs on daily walks, and the cute old couples on benches.”
When and How: Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who coined the term for his profession and devised Manhattan’s Central Park with his partner, Leverett Park was renamed in Olmsted’s honor in 1900. A mile and half from HSDM, it includes athletic fields, a wildflower meadow, and two islands in Leverett Pond created for nesting birds as they seek shelter in a bustling city.
Hop over the river to Cambridge
Who: Chloe Wong, third-year dental student
Why: “It is very easy to get around by foot and just get lost in the heart of this community. The restaurants, artwork, and fun mix of people all add to the feeling of home. Sometimes the Longwood Medical Area can feel sterile and isolated, but when I spend time in an established neighborhood, it’s grounding to be surrounded by such vibrant colors, scents, and people.”
When and How: A city just on the other side of the Charles River, Cambridge is a free, 20-minute, shuttle ride from HSDM. It boasts the Harvard University undergraduate campus and more activities than a toiling graduate student could ever hope to enumerate for a blog.
Sample local favors in the Seaport
Who: Tyler Haeffs, third-year dental student
Why: "While surveying Trillium Brewing Company's incredible offerings in growlers, cans and bottles, you'll have the privilege of basking in a wonderful aromatic blend of bready malt and hops. After filling up on delicious grog, I always like to venture over to the Barking Crab, located directly over the harbor, for some wonderful seafood.”
When and How, according to Tyler: Boston has plenty to satiate the palate of the beer enthusiast. Trillium, with locations in Seaport and Canton, boasts some of the world's best IPAs and pale ales. A 5-minute walk from the South Station T stop, Trillium's Seaport location is the embodiment of a small, yet refined pour house. And if you're willing to drive 90 minutes to Monson and wait hours in line, Tree House is another legendary brewery that currently holds several top 20 world beer rankings.