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I turn 40 on July 4th - so how best to celebrate in Bean Tn

Dallas, Texas
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I turn 40 on July 4th - so how best to celebrate in Bean Tn

My hubby and I are arriving July 2nd and leaving July 6th. Making a short trip since we are leaving the little one with the grandparents. So, I want to do it up big!! I love my Birthday and want this one to be extra special. So, any advice would be appreciated. I want to watch the fireworks but don't want to camp out all day - so where is the best place to show up an hour or two before? Also, looking for great breakfast/brunch suggestions. We are staying at the Lenox and will be going all over Boston, Cambridge etc. We also want a suggestion for a great italian restaurant in the North End, and a great steak place for Saturday, the night before my birthday. Any other ideas welcome.

Thanks!!

Enfield, Connecticut
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1. Re: I turn 40 on July 4th - so how best to celebrate in Bean Tn

The Boston Pops has a concert the night before the fireworks, sort of a run through that is open to the public. You can check it out. There are places to watch the fireworks along the Charles River.

Two links to check out the different restaurants in Boston--Phantom Gourmet, a local food critic:

www.phantomgourmet.com/showpage.aspx… and chow.com/restaurants/regions/12/boston-area

Edited: 20 January 2010, 06:28
Boston, MA
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2. Re: I turn 40 on July 4th - so how best to celebrate in Bean Tn

For romantic Italian check out Mama Maria's.

For casual, wait-in-line, no reservations Italian check out Giacamo's and the Daily Catch.

A good spot to see fireworks if you are arriving 'late' is on the cambridge side of teh Charles river.

MA
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3. Re: I turn 40 on July 4th - so how best to celebrate in Bean Tn

My favorite spot to watch the fireworks is right on the Mass Ave bridge. The fireworks are shot right over you and no trees in the way

Boston
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4. Re: I turn 40 on July 4th - so how best to celebrate in Bean Tn

You might want to do a search for the North End restaurants and steakhouses....requests for these are asked almost daily.

I agree that the Mass Ave bridge is a good place to see the fireworks. I'm also a fan of watching them from Mass Ave in Central Square (Cambridge), and ducking in and out of various food/drink spots.

Boston, MA
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5. Re: I turn 40 on July 4th - so how best to celebrate in Bean Tn

Just noticed your user name. If you are a fan of frogs, be sure to stop by the Tadpole playground near Frog Pond on Boston Common and snap some photos w/ the frog statues. ;)

Boston
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6. Re: I turn 40 on July 4th - so how best to celebrate in Bean Tn

Mamma Maria's (in the North End) would be perfect for you! Despite the name it's an elegant place. Check it out on Google and you'll see how very pretty it is. The food is great. I love that restaurant, and it would be appropriate for a very special birthday. It's right near the Paul Revere House, and it is just very atmospheric. Steaks -- many opinions on this. I like Abe & Louie's which is right near your hotel. You might want a reservation at both these restaurants. Also in or near your hotel there is a Morton's (super expensive). You'll get lots of advice on July 4th, and there was a lively post on this topic yesterday or the day before that I'm sure you can find. You can see the fireworks fairly easily from the Cambridge side of the river, and don't have to camp out all day. However (important to know) it is still REALLY REALLY crowded and you have to think seriously about your transportation. If you think "we'll just take the subway" then you might be on a crowded platform watching 4 trains go by. But it can be done!

Brunch- it might only be on Sundays, but there is a very nice jazz brunch at Skipjack's which is on Clarendon Street in Back Bay. Do go over to Harvard Square for at least one meal and to explore a little. My favorite restaurants there (special restaurants) are: Upstairs on the Square, and Harvest. Completely different in mood, but both very good. Harvest has a lovely little outdoor terrace with trees. Upstairs on the Square is a hoot, but also very elegant (hard to imagine but true) -- do stop in for a drink, if not dinner.

Boston
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7. Re: I turn 40 on July 4th - so how best to celebrate in Bean Tn

I had another couple of thoughts. Your birthday is July 4th -- not to be macabre, but John Adams died on July 4th and is one of our big local connections to the Revolution. You could go to the John Adams presidential site in Quincy Massachusetts. I believe you might be able to get there on the "T" (subway) but am not positive.

Second, you might enjoy doing something on the Boston Harbor. One thing I think is cheap and really fun is to get on one of the ferry boats that goes out to the Boston Harbor Islands (which is a national park or national historic site, or something similar). The main island is George's Island, which is worth visiting. You also get a fantastic view from the boat of both Boston and the other islands, lighthouses, sailboats. It's a big bang for your buck! And there is a bar on the boat. George's Island has an amazing old stone fort -- a huge one-- that is really fun to explore. From the ramparts you can see even farther out to sea. There are lots of other boat related things you could do, too. Oh, and on July 4th, traditionally the U.S.S. Constitution (historic old ship) is turned around in the water -- I'm not sure if it will be different this year because they were doing major renovations to the ship starting last year. The Constitution is one stop on the Freedom Trail, and would be easy to look up what's happening there. It's very impressive to visit, but maybe July 4th this year isn't a good idea.

Dallas, Texas
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8. Re: I turn 40 on July 4th - so how best to celebrate in Bean Tn

Thanks for all of the suggestions so far!! I am so excited and making a list. Also, thanks for the advice on the fireworks. For obvious reasons, I love fireworks - so I want to be able to have this birthday be one to remember!!

With regards to Upstairs on the Square - it looks all pink and feminine - more of a ladies lunch place than a good place for the hubby and I. Am I wrong?

Thanks!!

Boston
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9. Re: I turn 40 on July 4th - so how best to celebrate in Bean Tn

About Upstairs on the Square -- the top level (the "fanciest") IS pink but is really tongue in cheek. However, I usually sit at the street level which includes the bar and is less pink. The menu is fabulous and not at all "ladies who lunch" -- or rather, it is sophisticated and hearty food including meat and potatoes. One thing you might do is check their event calendar for the night you have in mind -- make sure there is nothing that might affect your enjoyment if you want just a regular quiet night. Once a month they have live music, and that type of thing. Truly a special restaurant!

I hope you do visit the frogs by the Frog Pond -- I know the artist!

Boston
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10. Re: I turn 40 on July 4th - so how best to celebrate in Bean Tn

"Tongue in cheek" is a perfect way to describe Upstairs on the Square's decor. It always reminds me of a place I'd go with a kooky rich aunt (if I had one) but the food is inventive, non-fussy and solid. It's definitely appropriate for a couple.

One of my favorite restaurants in Cambridge is Rendez-Vous (relaxed fine dining, if that's not too much of an oxymoron) in Central Square. I like it for snacks and drinks at the bar as much as I do for long, leisurely dinners.