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Boston changes since 2001

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Durham, North...
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Boston changes since 2001

My husband and I lived in Back Bay with our first 2 kids from July 2000- July 2001. We are returning this weekend with all 4 kids (had 2 more since!) to visit all our favorite things from that year. It is really tough making the itenirary because there is too much that were our favorites! I have a few questions for those currently familiar with the city. I had heard after 9/11 that the John Hancock Observatory had been closed indefinitely. Is that still closed? If so, did the one on top of the Pru close also or is it still open? We always thought that was a nice start to a tour, or a nice wrap up at the end of one. I understand the Tea Party ship was closed due to fire. (bummer, that's one thing I always wanted us to do and we never got to!). I am assuming that the Aquarium T stop on the blue line is now reopened? Is the Mapparium at the Christian Science Church open? Is that a good thing to do? It was closed when we were there. Some restaurant favorites now- Jae's on Columbus, Thornton's on Huntington, McCormick and Schmick's on ? (near theatre district), No Name- are these still there? For good seafood (esp lobster, that's what I want) where do you recommend? I had 2 great lobster meals at McCormick and Schmicks, and a mediocre one at Legal in Copley, and we never made it to No Name, though heard good things about it. Was the Legal meal just a fluke? The service was really bad/long that time too at Legal- not a good thing with 4 kids, esp a 2 and 1 yr old! And finally, any new things around or festivals this weekend that would be must sees? Oh- aren't swan boats going until Oct? We are staying at the Lenox at Boylston and Exeter and I am very excited about that!

thanks for any help!

Kristen

Cambridge, MA
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1. Re: Boston changes since 2001

The Hancock Tower observatory is indeed still closed. The building's management has no intention of reopening it. 'tis a shame, since you could "see the world" from it. You can, however, go to the Prudential "Skywalk" or quickly duck into Top of the Hub for the view.

I share your observation that Legal's has seen better days. They've gone into "expansion mania" and now have six restaurants in Boston and Cambridge alone. Regrettably, No Name was more worth the trip before you ever lived here. McCormick and Shmick IS good, but with young-un's in tow I'm not so sure. For lobster, here's a thought: ride the Orange Line to Sullivan Square, then walk a block north from the station to the Mount Vernon restaurant. It's what guidebooks call "locally popular," and touts its specialization in lobster dishes. Often they have a "twin lobster" special; phone ahead to see what's in store for your favorite crustacean there and plan accordingly. On the whole, their menu has good variety and the quality of whatever you order will be no worse than acceptable and could be memorable. (A friend once ordered steak tips that were more like filets mignon!) The Mount Vernon also has a children's menu. If you go there, you're under my command to try the fried pickles.

Should you happen by the Public Garden (yes, the swan boats will still be sailing) don't forget to take the kids by the "Make Way for Ducklings" statue. And take them to where FAO Schwarz had its store on Boylston St nearby. As far as I know, the big teddy bear remains on the sidewalk in front.

Durham, North...
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2. Re: Boston changes since 2001

Spensworld- thank you so much for the updates, and especially the restaurant recommendation. I hope we will be able to try Mount Vernon- sounds great! Any recommendations for family friendly, really good Italian in the North End? I ate at a couple good places there, but have no idea the names or even where they were, we just stumbled on them. With 4 kids in tow, I want to have a plan for a destination- and then leave it open for stumbling on something. We'll be at the requisite Paul Revere's house and Old North Church.

I am thinking for breakfasts (2)- Marche (the kids favorite place when we lived there) and Thorntons (if still there- we lived in the Greenhouse above it and they had great pecan waffles), lunches (3)- Quincy Market eateries, North End, and ?, dinners (2)- take out from Jae's on Columbus and either picnic at Sparrow park at Newton and Columbus or at the hotel, and Mt Vernon.

Any other suggestions? Can you tell I loved the restaurants in Boston and miss them dearly??!! Too bad we'll have to miss Ambrosia, Brasserie Jo, Oak Room, was sorry that Anago is gone as it was fabulous. Anyone tried Azure in its place or the Citibar that took over the Sam Adams brewery?

Thanks!

Kristen

L4R
Boston, MA
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3. Re: Boston changes since 2001

Marche closed years ago.

Boston
Destination Expert
for Boston
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4. Re: Boston changes since 2001

You know that all these posts were from 5 years ago, so no wonder some places are gone. I think we can now let this one die, huh?

L4R
Boston, MA
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5. Re: Boston changes since 2001

Didn't even notice. Why was it on the front page if it's from 2004?

Boston, Ma
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140 posts
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6. Re: Boston changes since 2001

Yeah,

Thanks for pointing this out.

It got weirder and weirder...

except maybe those of us who have been living here all these years can continue this Twilight Zone post & see who knows the city TRULY in spring of 09.

Hey, and I still think Legal , regardless of "expansion mode" is pretty damn good.

The teddy is gone from in front of the abandoned FAO Schwarz--I think it's in front of the Children's Museum.

And I walked down Boylston today and counted 9 abandoned store fronts.

Sad.

so, anything else new and be-musing to other Beaners?

cheers .

Kate/boston

Southern California
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7. Re: Boston changes since 2001

We are also returning after growing up in Boston...it's been almost 7 years since we've lived there and the first one back with both kids, 4 and 5.

I saw on the news that there was a huge fire at Thorton's...one of my favorite restaurants too! Their nachos and caesar salad were to DIE for! I don't know whether it re-opened, but I do remember the fire being significant and hitting a number of the restaurants on that block.

8. Re: Boston changes since 2001

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