Boston, the capital, wealthiest and largest city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is surprisingly small in size, only 125.4 km². Thus most places of daily concern are within walking distance of one another, allowing 35% of office-goers to use public means of transport. Despite initial financial strength, the early and mid-20th century saw the city in decline as factories became old and businesses moved out of the region. The economic revival started in the late 1960s and the 1970s saw the city’s economic boom. High rises reflected the prosperity in the Financial District as the money kept rolling in up to the mid-1980s, stabilizing at national averages.
Today, it is known as an intellectual and technological center and one of its important industries is financial services, especially mutual funds, and insurance. The mutual fund concept, pushed vigorously by Boston-based Fidelity Investments as a viable means of investment, resulted in Boston rising to become one of the leading financial cities in the US. Prominent banks such as Bank of America, Sovereign Bank, and State Street Corporation, an asset management Service, have their regional HQ in Boston, which is also accepted as the focal city for venture capital.
Markets: Of the many markets in Boston, Faneuil Hall Market Place is the most famous insofar as a historical and cultural perspective is concerned. Many other shopping centers abound.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Address: Faneuil Hall Marketplace Inc., N Market St, Boston, Massachusetts 02109, (617) 248-0399; website: faneuilhallmarketplace.com;
Category: All-purpose Supermarket; Nearest Metro Station: Aquarium (210 m), Blue Line.
Hours: Marketplace Mon-Sat 10 am-9 pm; Sun noon-6 pm. Food court opens earlier along with bars and some restaurants. Accepts GBP, Euros, Mastercard, Visa and travelers’ cheques. Faneuil Hall also houses the Boston Classical Orchestra.
Faneuil Hall, near the waterfront, is the State’s Government Centre in Boston and features Boston’s signature gilded grasshopper weather vane. Faneuil Hall has a long history as a marketplace and trading center since 1742 and has now been absorbed into Boston National Historical Park. It is also referred to as “the Cradle of Liberty”, and is central to a larger festival market place, the Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which houses three retail markets, the North Market, Quincy Market, and South Market. It is a highly commercialized market, with a lot of money changing hands. It is very popular but expensive! This complex can satisfy your every need. A must visit the place.
Other Markets and Shopping Centres
Harvard Square: A pleasant area for shopping while ambling around, Harvard Square covers approximately four square miles and is a shopping district. Harvard Square includes dispersed brand-named boutiques, restaurants and nightlife venues. Address: Mass Ave at Peabody St, Cambridge, MA 02138; website www.harvardsquare.com
Newbury Street: Newbury Street stretches across eight blocks, but what sets it apart from normal shopping centers is its 19th century ‘olde world’ charm. It is often compared to Rodeo Drive, with its mix of antique shops, bespoke clothiers, and brand-name outlets. The address is Newbury St, Boston, MA; website www.newbury-st.com
Chestnut Hill: The Mall at Chestnut Hill houses under one roof brands like Coach, Gymboree, Bloomingdale’s, Crate and Barrel, Banana Republic, and L’Occitane. Address: 199 Boylston St
Chestnut Hill, MA; Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-9pm; Sat 10am-8pm; Sun Noon-6pm; Website:
Prudential Center: An exclusive shopping stop in the Northeast, Prudential Center has under Its aegis over 75 retail outlets, including Barnes & Noble, Saks Fifth Avenue, Franklin Covey, Lacoste, Lord & Taylor, and Club Monaco. Address: 800 Boylston St, Boston, MA; Hours Mon-
Sat 10am-9pm; Sun 11am-6pm; Website: www.prudentialcenter.com
Getting to Boston
Boston By Air
Logan International Airport is in East Boston. The cheapest way to Boston is the MBTA Blue line. Take the white Massport shuttle bus which is marked “Subway” or “Route 22” to the airport station. The Silver Line bus runs from the airport to an underground stop at South Station. Taxis are also available and a relatively short ride to the city.
Boston By Train
Amtrak arrives at South Station that links to the MBTA Red Line. Some Amtrak trains from Haverhill, Peabody, and Maine use North Station at the Fleet Center. The stations are a mile apart and linked by the subway.
Boston By Car
Boston has two main highways the I-93 and I-90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike)
Boston Business Hours
Banks 8.30am to 4pm Weekdays. Some banks open late Friday and Saturday mornings
Business hours 9am to 5pm Weekdays
Shops 9am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and some may open half day on Sunday afternoons.
Boston suffers from weather extremes so the best bet when traveling here is to come prepared for everything. Spring is beautiful in Boston due to the floral colors and the temperate climate. The Summer months of July and August can be hot and humid. The highlight of Boston’s seasons is Autumn due to the amazing array of colorful foliage and the mild weather. However, Winter does drag on and the cold weather can last from December to April. Temperatures plummet to below freezing and if you like snow, Boston in Winter will please you greatly.
Boston Emergency Numbers
It is the same emergency number for Ambulance, Fire or Police 911
Boston Medical Services
In case of a medical emergency call an ambulance on 911 or go straight to the emergency room at a local hospital. All people who turn up here are entitled to medical treatment but be aware that the waiting in these rooms can be horrendously long.
Massachusetts General Hospital (617 726 2000)
MGH International Patient Centre, 55 Fruit Street (617 726 2787)
The biggest shopping areas in the inner Metro are the Back Bay and Downtown Crossing. Shopping malls are The Cambridgeside Galleria, Copley Place, and Prudential Center. Newbury Street runs the length of the Back Bay neighborhood
Boston Post Offices
The opening hours of post offices is generally 8am to 5pm weekdays and 9am to 3pm on Saturdays
Boston’s main post office is located at 25 Dorchester Street (800 275 8777)
Take care in Roxbury, Mattapan, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, and Charlestown and avoid night time walking in these neighborhoods. Call 911 for police, ambulance or for fire.
The area code is 617 with some numbers using 857.
Even on local calls in Boston you still need to use the area code and then dial the 7 digit telephone number.
For local directory assistance call 411
When calling outside the area code dial 1, then the area code and then the 7 digit number
Boston Tourist Information
Appalachian Mountain Club Headquarters
5 joy Street (617 523 0636)
Boston Harbour Islands Tourist Information
Moakley Federal Courthouse
GBCVB Information Center
Tremont Street (617 426 3115)
MIT Information Centre
Lobby 7, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge (617 253 4795)
Cambridge Visitor Information
Harvard Square (617 441 2884)