Sunday, April 26, 2009

Well-Read Weekend #7


I think the sky in Boston knows when it's a weekend.  Every Friday afternoon rolls around and it decides to cut loose in celebration of the work week being over.  All winter this meant horrendously blustery snow storms every weekend.  The sky cloaked in grey, throwing gales of snow down like confetti.  Except for me this was no party.  People say they like the winter because they get to feel all 'cozy' when they go inside.  These people do not pay their own heating bill.  To get cozy I'd pile on two sweatshirts and wear my jacket while I ate dinner at home.


But now the sky is letting loose in a different way.  All week we had rainy weather, but on Friday--gorgeous.  It was as if the sky was obliged to do it's April shower thing all week and let loose as soon as the job was done. 


In honor of the beautiful sky, yesterday I spent the day exploring Brookline by going beer tasting to beer tasting by bike.  My guide along the way?  Not for Tourists. 


I highly recommend these books if they offer them for your city.   You'll know the ins and outs of each neighborhood better than a long-time local, be able to surprise your friends with the hippest bars in their neighborhood they didn't even know about and find where every swimming pool, skating rink and bowling alley is town.


This book was my bible in LA.   Well-worn and well-loved.  It lived in my bag or my car, depending on my mode on transportation and guided me straight to the best eats and bars in town (and around the confusing highway system). 


In Boston it's indispensible for biking around when streets double back on eachother (did you know Tremont intersects with Tremont?) and knowing the story behind the old amazing church you're staring at. 


Each guide really does a great job at being for the local.  All the guides show you where banks, book stores, bars, etc. are.  The LA guide also has a detailed one-pager on each mall and beach.  Boston has dots on each map to show you where donut shops and community gardens are.  (Interesting commentary on what's important for Angelenos v. Bostonians, no?)   LA's guide is large with a pull-out highway map.  That would never work in Boston, where you usually get around by foot or T, so it's guide is condensed and fits in a pocket.  

Right now you can great deal on the notfortourists website: buy a customized wall map of your neighborhood and get a free book!

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