Please Comfort Me/Tell me cool things in Boston

My GF and I just made our reservations to fly to Boston in July so I can meet the parents. Also I have wanted to go to Boston for a long time. Now I have an excuse plus a place to stay for free.
The only problem is that I am terrified of flying. My girlfriend just keeps telling me to suck it up and get on the place.(all in good fun, she knows I hate flying) So would one of you aviator Dopers tell me that the flight from Michigan to Boston and back is the safest flight ever.

Also tell me some cool things to see or do in Boston. All I know about the place is what I have heard in Johnathan Richman songs.
Groovy, and Thanks.

A couple of suggestions for things to see/do in Boston.

First, the USS Constitution.

Then, if you want to get the whole conspicuous consumption thing out of your system, Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

And then don’t forget to stop at Durgin-Park for a meal. Great food, rude servers. A Boston experience not to be missed. :smiley:

(Sorry, can’t help with the fear of flying thing other than to remind you that per passenger mile traveled flight is the safest mode of trasportation in history.)

soul radiation, I understand the fear of flying. I was afraid to fly for over thirty years and didn’t get on an airplane from 1973 until 2004.

Then I decided that I wanted to go to Paris and that I was just going to do it come hell or high water. I thought that I would be in little pieces by the time I got on the plane, but I just did everything I could to make myself feel confident. Surprisingly enough, I never did develop the fear that I thought I would. Two days before the flight, I was just as calm as I could be and I stayed that way.

Wear clothes that make you feel good. Listen to music that makes you feel good, etc.

Those Bose headphones that cut down on the noise help a whole lot. They are very expensive, but you might want to invest if you are going to be flying to Boston a lot in the future. :slight_smile: Or you might borrow some from a friend.

There is also a CD that you can listen to that is made to sooth you if you are uneasy flying. You can probably find it at Amazon. (Sometimes when you buy the Bose headphones, you can get a free Bose CD player to go with them.)

Your physician can perscribe something to take the edge off of the trip. Don’t forget to get one for the flight back. If you take medication, however. Don’t drink alcohol.

One of my favorite places in New England is just outside of Boston near Concord. If you liked reading Thoreau’s Walden in high school, the woods and the pond are still there. There’s a path leading to the hearthstone of the house that Thoreau built.

And flying really, really, really IS the safest way to travel. I won’t hesitate now to get back on a plane.

SDMB Found Poetry, haiku division:

Soul Radiation
Fevered with apprehension
Seeks calmer wavelength.
Tell him Cool Things in Boston
The Hub of the Universe.

My guess is that GF’s probably got plans for you already, but the Freedom Walk, BSO and the aquarium are all worthwhile.

Hey thanks for the info/support so far. The aquarium has been discusses and Durgin-Park sounds like fun. I will have to ask about it later.

Lets keep the info/ego boosting coming.

How close to the city are you staying? There are a lot of things to do outside of the city and if you narrow down a bit where you’ll be, there’s a bunch of us in varying parts around and outside of the city who would love to tell you where to go and what to do when you get there. We’re good at that around here. :wink:

I believe that I will be staying in Westwood.(although I’m never quite sure where I’m going to be staying until I’m there so I can’t say for sure). As far as I know it’s a a boring suburb. Please someone tell me otherwise.

Look on the bright side----you are far safer flying than you will be dealing with the Massachusetts drivers on the ride to and from the airport. :eek:

You can see your tax money at work–the tunnel to the airport and under Boston cost about 14.5 billion.

The locals refer to it as the worlds longest carwash due to the many leaks
Westwood is quiet, but that is not a bad thing.

There’s the corny tourist stuff that’s interesting nonetheless.

The Freedom Trail. It’s a path marked on the sidewalk that goes past about a dozen or so of the main historical landmarks, including the Bunker Hill Monument, the USS Constitution, Old North Church, Paul Revere House, Haymarket, and ending in the Boston Public Gardens near the State House. Covers a few miles and can take a couple of hours to a whole weekend, depending on how much time you spend at each place.

Harvard Square. School’s out, but it can still be an interesting place to see. Lots of shops, no real bargains. The Coop in the middle of the Square has all the Harvard souvenirs you could want (although J. August, about a block down Mass Ave, has better stuff, in my opinion). Lots of museums all around the university, including the Fogg Art Museum and the Botanical museum’s glass flower exhibit (ask for the Peabody Museum. It’s the anthropology museum, but they’re both in the same building).

The Museum of Fine Arts is always good.

Copley Plaza is good for upscale shopping, as well as some good restaurants nearby.

Newbury Street is a great place to shop and wander, with shops ranging from second-hand CDs and tattoo parlors to expensive art galleries, plus lots of unique niche shops (The Gargoyle Shop, for example). Newbury, Copley and the Museum of Fine Arts are all within a reasonable walking distance of each other.

Chinatown wasn’t the safest place when I lived in the area, but there are lots of great place to eat there. It may be better now, but my recommendation (which may be ten years out of date) is to stick to lunch time.

Try some clam chowder. Even the fast-foody places in Faneuil Hall / Quincy Market have some delicious chowder.

Oh yeah, about the weather. June is typically around 80 degrees (varying between 60 and 95) with intermittent downpours, so bring sunscreen and maybe a mini-umbrella for walking around town.

Not to worry, soul radiation. As far as the flight goes, you will have far more adventure checking in and going thru that glurge known as “security” than you will on the plane.

Modern aircraft are so stable (they’re basically flying tanks) and without drama that you will probably find the flight itself rather…well, boring.

Good luck with the parents and I hope you have a great time!

Re-watch or re-listen to Schoolhouse Rock’s “Shot Heard 'Round the World” (lyrics here) then come up Mass Ave a bit further to visit Lexington & Concord (properly pronounced KAHN-kd, or KAHN-krd if you really must pronounce the r). I live just off the Battle Road. The exhibits out at the Minute Man National Historical Park & Old North Bridge are cool and surprisingly non-anti-British.

Also make a point to see the Old North Church (“one if by land, two if by sea…”) which is one of the sights on the Freedom Trail.

On my first trip to Boston I was fairly indifferent to a lot of the historic sights, but it is weird actually seeing the places & buildings teachers have been talking to you about since first grade.

'fraid I can’t do that. I lived in a few miles north of there in Dedham, MA for a year and I know that area well. It’s pretty dead. Mostly stripmalls and whatnot.

Good news is that it isn’t a far drive to Boston from there (20-30 minutes). There’s also rail service nearby.

For the most part, Boston consists of Fenway Park to the west, Faniel Hall to the east and Boylston and Newberry streets more or less connecting them like the handle of a dumbell. Those areas have all kinds of stores, bars, restaurants and stuff.

I live in Metro-West Boston and I’ve only barely heard of Westwood before. Not that my personal awareness of something bestows importance on it, but I think the fact that I couldn’t tell you anything about it, including where it is, probably means it’s pretty insignificant. But don’t worry-- especially if you’re from out West, I think you’ll find the suburbs quite close to Boston.

The Aquarium is cool but it’s much smaller than I remember it being when I was a kid (and it smells funny). The jellyfish exibit and the penguins are totally cool though. I can spend hours just watching the penguins.

The Science Museum is also worth a visit.

If and when you tour the USS Constitution, see if any of the other ships in the harbor have tours. They’re just as interesting. There are also at least 2 museum type buildings at the navy yard.

Fanuel Hall is boring (in my opinion) but the Freedom Trail is a always interesting.

My favorite recent trip was to Georges Island. It’s supposed to be haunted. Ghosts are always cool.
If you feel the need to get away from Boston while you’re here (happens to me about 3 hours after I get there), you can find a lot of interesting things in the rest of the state. Plimouth Plantation is cool. I’ve always wanted to visit Salem but have never gotten there. If you like history, I’d say make the hour/half or so drive to Sturbridge Village and Higgins Armory (a medieval museum in Worcester). Also, the Ecotarium (used to be the New England Science Center, also in Worcester), and the Worcester Art Museum are always worth a visit.

If you’re a basketball fan and don’t mind an even longer drive, come out my way to Springfield and visit the Basketball Hall of Fame. It takes me about 2 to 2-1/2 hours to get home from Boston so it can be too long - but not if you’re a fan.

Peking Toms. Best chicken wings!!

Not only does Georges Island have the Lady in Black (And it’s a shame that one can no longer hear Edward Rowe Snow telling the story of her…) but it’s also the site of the story that allegedly inspired Edgar Allen Poe’s “A Cask of Amontillado.”

If you like gruesome, and have the imagination for it, wandering around Georges Island is a trip. :smiley:

Without the imagination, though - it’s just an old, Civil War era fort that’s mostly off limits.