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Thread: Going to Boston Aug 27th-31st -- Any photographic suggestions?

  1. #1
    Brett Simison bsimison's Avatar
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    Going to Boston Aug 27th-31st -- Any photographic suggestions?

    I'm accompanying the wife on one of her academic symposiums in Boston this August and will have quite a bit of free time on my hands. Do y'all have any suggestions on photographic activities -- museums, exhibits, stores, etc?

    Thanks!
    -Brett

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    Re: Going to Boston Aug 27th-31st -- Any photographic suggestions?

    Most of Boston is walkable, though I never tried it with LF. The Museum of Fine Arts is great and there are others that I never made it to - Isabella Stewart Gardner and the new one near the harbor (I'm sure someone will know the name). The MFA will let you take pictures, but no flash and no tripods. For just vacation-type excursions, the aquarium is pretty good (it's sorta dark and tough to shoot in). If you like Italian food, you have to go to the North End and have dinner.
    Walking the Freedom Trail is nice and historical, too. It also goes right through the touristy, but nice, Faneuil Hall / Quincy Market area in downtown Boston. The public gardens are very nice as well.
    Bethe King
    www.ewfisher.com

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    Re: Going to Boston Aug 27th-31st -- Any photographic suggestions?

    Brett, I can only help as a former "tag along," but Ted used to come down with me once in a while when I was teaching at Suffolk, and he beelined right for Bromfield Camera, near Downtown Crossing (it's just about at the corner of Washington & Bromfield Streets -- yes, they named a side street for it!). MFA is always a "must," whatever's going on there. He'd also have advised you to hit the coffee shop in the Parker House so you can say you had some Boston Creme Pie where it was invented.

    Travel safely,
    Amy

    Quote Originally Posted by bsimison View Post
    I'm accompanying the wife on one of her academic symposiums in Boston this August and will have quite a bit of free time on my hands. Do y'all have any suggestions on photographic activities -- museums, exhibits, stores, etc?

    Thanks!
    -Brett

  4. #4

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    Re: Going to Boston Aug 27th-31st -- Any photographic suggestions?

    The new Institute for Contemporary Art on the Fan Pier (South Station MBTA stop) is in a very interesting waterfront area and usually has contemporary photography shows. There is a famous seafood shack across the street. The Museum of Fine Arts is in the midst of a grandiose construction project, so they've cut back on their already parsimonious photography displays. The DeCordova Museum on Lincoln is an excellent Museum on a wooded lake, but you need a car to get there. Concord is an excellent area to walk around and very accessible by commuter rail or car. Minuteman national park is nearby as well and accessible by bus. Also accessible by commuter rail (North Station) is the City and port of Salem, once one of America's wealthiest cities. They have a first rate Museum there designed by Canadian architect Moshe Safdie (Peabody-Essex), and amazing 18th century streetscapes (Chestnut Street and others).

    Calumet is the best source for LF supplies, they're in Cambridge near MBTA (Kendall or Lechmere on the "T"). Your best overall experience might be gained by taking one of the harbor or harbor and islands tours leaving from Long Wharf (Aquarium stop). The harbor is beautiful as are the islands and LF would be particularly tenable on George's Island, which is the first stop on the harbor islands ferry and has a revolutionary war fort. For shooting downtown, a tripod would be very awkward, I would bring a MF or 35mm for that. You can get a 3-day unlimited pass on the MBTA for small change. Driving a car around Boston proper, other than getting to a Hotel, would be a major mistake.

  5. #5
    Brett Simison bsimison's Avatar
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    Re: Going to Boston Aug 27th-31st -- Any photographic suggestions?

    I've been traveling and offline for the last few weeks and missed these posts. Thanks Winger, Amy, and Toyon for the information!

    -Brett

  6. #6
    Louie Powell's Avatar
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    Re: Going to Boston Aug 27th-31st -- Any photographic suggestions?

    Brett -

    Last summer, my wife and I spent several days in Boston. I had the LF gear with me, and found that it was possible to use it without a great deal of problem.

    Toyon's comments are generally pretty good. I don't mind driving on the surface streets in Boston - yes, traffic is heavy, but the real challenge is finding a place to part! There are two parking garages that are strategically located to be very practical - one underneath the Common (entrance on Charles Street), and another immediately adjacent to Quincy Market (entrance on Clinton Street). There is also a garage near Harvard Square (corner of Mt. Auburn and JFK) that is convenient.

    However, driving on the interstates is another matter altogether. In the post-'big-dig' era, everything is in tunnels. Traffic moves very rapidly, exits come up suddenly with little advance warning in the form of informational signs, and because you are in a tunnel, you can't see any landmarks. So my advice is to use the interstate to drive into town, but from there, stay on surface streets.

    I was able to use the LF on the sidewalks and in some of the churches, and even in Faneuil Hall. Museums generally don't allow photography at all. Great opportunities in the Public Garden.

    We took one day to drive up to Cape Ann. Lots of interesting photography opportunities there.

    Food - yeah, lots of good food in Boston. Chowdah and a Sam Adams at the Union Oyster House makes a great lunch; Italian in the North End, seafood at any of the Legal locations, or at No-Name. And Durgin Park is a classic. Mrs Bartley's in Cambridge.

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    Re: Going to Boston Aug 27th-31st -- Any photographic suggestions?

    Check to see if any of your wife's "myriad academic symposiums" will take you back there a month later! -- http://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/sub.a...15&subkey=5726

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    Re: Going to Boston Aug 27th-31st -- Any photographic suggestions?

    The Boston Harbor Islands offer some of the best photo opportunities. Georges has an old 19th century fort, and Lovells has early 20th century fortifications and lots of interesting vegetation. See http://www.bostonislands.org/ for information and boat schedules.

    E.P. Levine is a great place to look at used MF and LF equipment as well as new stuff.

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    Re: Going to Boston Aug 27th-31st -- Any photographic suggestions?

    Near Boston (38 miles northeast) is Marblehead. If you have enough time and a ride, I recommend a visit. It is a small town that is easily walked and has over 200 well preserved pre-revolutionary war buildings.


    http://www.visitmarblehead.com/index.asp

  10. #10

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    Re: Going to Boston Aug 27th-31st -- Any photographic suggestions?

    The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem has an exhibit of photos about Moko, the Tattoo art of the Maori people of New Zealand, as well as excellent permanent collections of Asian art, Maritime art, and even a complete Chinese merchant family house. Salem is a short commuter train ride from North Station in Boston.

    Further up the rail line is Rockport, Massachusetts, with its infamous Motif #1, the most over-photographed fisherman's building on the East coast. Personally I find Pigeon Cove, Halibut Point, Folly Cove and other places to the North of the tourist trap part of town in Rockport more interesting. They are a long walk from the train, but there is an occasional CATA Blue Line bus that goes up there and back.

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