At the Prudential Tower bar on the 52nd floor, the fog was passing and the view was compelling.

It’s not the first time I’ve been in Boston but it was the longest and most independent time I’ve spent in the beautiful city of 600,000.

Around the annual national Online News Association conference, which I enjoyed thanks to the support of Philadelphia’s new Center for Public Interest Journalism, my colleagues and I sought a more balanced taste of the town.

Most recently in May 2010, I grabbed a cup of Clam Chowder at Sonsie in the Back Back with colleagues after a work event and before then, in January 2008, I visited a high school friend in Amherst, Mass. and we took in some of the tourist spots. In 2003, while looking at a number of colleges in preparation of applying, I visited with family, something we had previously done in the mid 1990s.

This trip, I had the chance of doing even more.


View from the Prudential Tower 52nd floor bar.

After a cancelled flight, we arrived in Boston in the afternoon, threw our bags in our Copley Marriott hotel room, and we took to the streets.

  • First, we walked across the street to the Prudential Tower, the second tallest in the city, to grab drinks on its 52nd floor bar and restaurant.
  • Walked along Boylston Street through Boston Common
  • Ate chowder, lobster ravioli and oysters from the Union Oyster House, the country’s oldest restaurant and not among the cheapest.

Delicious hazlenut cannoli

  • We then meandered through Quincy Market and then the North End to grab cannoli and gelato from famed Mike’s Pastry
  • Walked through the MIT campus in Cambridge, Mass., which we visited for the ONA opening reception
  • Went out for drinks at River Gods, a small neighborhood bar off the main strip.
  • Danced the night away at 80s night in tiny Zuzu, a small dance club on Massachusetts Ave.

80s dance night at Zuzu in Cambridge. This is how journalists get down


  • Enjoyed a cocktail reception for Philadelphia journalists held by the Center for Public Interest Journalism, with funding from the Wyncote Foundation, at Legal Seafood.
  • Rocked out at karaoke at Limelight Studios in the Theater District near Boston Common, including leading a fine group rendition of ‘I’ll Make Love to You’ by Boyz II Men



  • Used the new Hubway bicycle share to ride around the Back Back area beyond.
  • Took bicycles to visit Fenway, then ride along the Charles River and then back to the hotel.
  • Walked to and through Beacon Hill, stopping for burritos at Anna’s Taqueria.

  • Took the Boston T to Cambridge to walk the Harvard campus, including Harvard Square
  • Walked over the Charles River
  • Had a good plate of eggplant parmasean and spaghetti from Spagnuolo’s Restaurant in the North End
  • Walked Harborwalk in the North End, enjoying the nighttime view

Boston neighborhoods

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