Boston guide for Rubyists

The Voices that Matter Professional Ruby Conference is this upcoming week in Boston. To make your stay more pleasant, I’ve assembled a guide.

It is meant for visitors this week, November 2008.

Getting around

The T

The subway system is called the T, and has colored lines. The Green Line from Kenmore to Haymarket is the section of the subway system that you most care about for the part of Boston the conference is being held. If you want to go down to MIT, Central Square, or Harvard Square in Cambridge, take the #1 bus from Massachusetts Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue.

The Sheraton and the Prudential

The conference is at the Sheraton Boston (Google Map), which is attached to the Prudential. The Prudential building is the second-tallest in Boston and has a large, upscale mall that connects Huntington Avenue and Boylston Street, two main thoroughfares in Boston. It has a Starbucks, bunch of clothing stores, a Barnes & Noble, and a few chain restaurants (try the clam chowder at Legal Seafoods).

The indoor maze is nice bonus if the weather’s not up to Florida/Texas/California standards. There’s a skyway that connects the Prudential to Copley, a larger, more upscale mall. Less important than knowing where the shopping is, however, is knowing this cut-through when you’re trying to find food:

Food

Food: Tremont Street

These are all walkable from the hotel. Cut through Copley. You’ll end up outside, facing the Back Bay station (Orange Line). Make a right onto Dartmouth Street, walk about five short blocks and you’ll be at Tremont. Most of these restaurants are to your left on Tremont.

Food: Asian

  • Douzo is located just through the Copley mall described above. Excellent sushi.
  • Kaze Shabu Shabu is a fun place. Boiling water in front of you, drop in your chicken, pork, beef, vegetables, etc.

Food: the North End

This is for the adventurous, unafraid to leave the bounds of the hotel, especially for a great dinner. The North End is Boston’s Italian neighborhood. The food over here is amazing. It’s not right next to the hotel but it’s worth the $1.25 on the Green Line to Haymarket or a ~$10 cab ride.

You can’t go wrong with any of the restaurants in this neighborhood.

The Bars

Okay, the important stuff. There’s about a dozen good bars within three blocks of the hotel. Mostly on the 900 block of Boylston Street and on Dalton itself (the address of the Sheraton).

King’s

This place is huge with tons of activities.

Bowling, tons of pool tables and three bars. Big Buck Hunter, Golden Tee, Ms. Pacman, and Centipede.

On tap: Harpoon IPA, Sam Admas Octoberfest. Good pitcher specials.

Where: Dalton Street, closest bar to the Sheraton. (Yelp)

Bukowski

This place is named after a local writer. It’s got a Bohemian feel, is tiny (capacity under 50), and is known for having some of the best beer selection in town.

On the stereo: folk and country music, John Prine, Bob Dylan.

Booze: Green Flash, Leatherlips IPA (local), Stone Ruination, Ipswich IPA and Oatmeal Stout (local), Harpoon (local), Dogfish 90, Allagash Tripel, Victory Hop Devil, Great Divide Yeti and about 100 others…

Where: Dalton Street, tucked in between a parking garage and the Mass Turnpike… seriously. (Yelp)

Dillon’s

This place is classy. Dark wood, fans look like they belong in the Bahamas.

On tap: Guinness, UFO.

On the stereo: Van Morrison.

Where: Boylston street, next to the firehouse. Corner of Boylston and Dalton. (Yelp)

McGreevey’s

This place is a baseball bar. Very Boston. Irish bartenders, Irish food, Irish beer. Owned by Dropkick Murphys. Waitress says they’re bad ass guys and come in here all the time. Filled with superstition and Red Sox folklore. McGreevey’s 3rd Base is the last stop before home.

On tap: Red Hook Long Hammer.

Where: Boylston Street. (Yelp)

Pour House

Warm. TGI Friday’s feel (a.k.a. lots of crazy crap on the walls). Lot of musicians from Berklee hang out there. Huge beers of the Bud/Miller/Coors variety.

On the stereo: Runaround Sue.

Where: Boylston Street. (Yelp)

Lir

On Wednesday night of the conference, head to the second floor of Lir from 9pm-midnight. We’re holding the room for Rubyists only. Go up the spiral staircase to the room with all the bookcases…

Where: Boylston Street. (Yelp)

Other bars close by

If you’re a college student, or enjoy Southern-style barbecue chicken and ribs, try Whiskey’s. If you want a breathtaking view of the city, hit the Top of the Hub, which sits on like the 842nd floor of the Prudential. It’s a very expensive dinner (one of the nicest restaurants in Boston), but you can sit at the bar and get a drink and a snack for under $20 while reflecting on the Siege of Boston.

We hope your enjoy your stay in the Hub.

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