Boston's Night Life
by Joseph Fonseca - 3 years, 10 months ago
The great U.S. cities each have unique personality traits that set them apart from one another, whether it be Seattle’s laidback earnestness, Chicago’s defiant self-reliance or New York’s massive (deserved) ego. Boston is unquestionably one of the elite American cities, boasting a tough but sentimental persona. This is the city that will stop everything it’s doing to sing along to both the Dropkick Murphys’ “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” and Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.” The population has been hardened by the environment, but their soft spot is filled with beer.
I moved here in September on the tail end of summer, plenty of time to get to know the city before the brutal winter’s cold blanketed everything. The fall is a great time to visit Boston, because while it can get chilly, the city is beautiful in transition. With so much history built into the very foundation of the city, just walking around downtown feels like you’re on a historical tour. Of course, there are plenty of actual tours one can take through Boston, or if you’re not into the group thing, you can just walk the Freedom Trail on your own.
The Freedom Trail is designated by a line made of red bricks (or red paint in some areas) that takes you through many of the important historical spots in the city. While there’s plenty to learn there, my friends decided to make our own version of the tour a bit more spiritual. We started our October evening with Italian food and wine at Ristorante Saraceno in the North End before beginning our pub crawl in earnest with beers at the Bell In Hand Tavern, “America’s Oldest Tavern.” From there we wandered through a couple of spots before settling on whiskey at the Black Rose while an Irish folk band played covers and traditional songs.
Our night ended near Fanueil Hall at Ned Devine’s Pub. Ned’s is not what you would call a locals bar, as it’s definitely built more as a club for the visiting tourists, but we were half a dozen or more drinks into the night and dancing to a 90s music cover band had a strange appeal. I can’t say I’d ever heard blink-182 or Rage Against the Machine done as bouncy club bangers before, and certainly not in the same spot. Maybe that sounds terrible (and maybe it is) but alcohol and dancing are the spice of life and we lived well until we were covered in sweat and liquor.
(Somehow we found a taxi that took us back home, which must be some kind of miracle. As a pro tip, getting a cab in downtown Boston after the bars close on a weekend night can be near impossible, so plan ahead and be prepared to wait.)
There is a lot more to Boston than bars and historical walks, and plenty of areas far outside of downtown that are worth visiting. If you have the time, get out of Boston proper and check out Cambridge. However, if you’re only here for a short trip, you’d be remiss not to walk in the footprints of this nation’s forefathers and throw down a few pints along the Freedom Trail.