By Lisa Hickey
The standard response when I say, “I live in Boston,” is: “That’s a great city!” And yes, it is. Boston isn’t huge like New York, or timeless like San Francisco, or hip like Austin. But what sets Boston apart from other cities is that it’s a place where the past and the future collide.
Your spunky Chevrolet Spark looks fabulous against such a backdrop. It’s the future, after all. It’s innovatively designed, high-tech, compact and eco-logical. There’s a story about how the streets in Boston are small, narrow and meandering because they were based on cow-paths. You gotta admit: The Spark fits Boston.
So where to find the most innovative hot spots in Boston? Let’s take a look.
Where the Future Turns Into History: MIT Media Lab
The Media Lab at the famed Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a community of inventors who work together as members of research teams, doing the things that conventional wisdom typically says can’t or shouldn’t be done. There are approximately 400 projects underway at the Lab that are as varied as the students who conduct them: from tools for learning and expression, to innovative devices for human adaptation and augmentation, to new modes of transportation for tomorrow’s smart cities. The public is welcome to ongoing exhibits about 3-D printers, conferences about human-machine systems and special programs that focus on using robotics to help people with disabilities. The future fast becomes history at the MIT Media Lab.
The Park That Opened Up the Sky
The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway is Boston’s newest linear urban park. It’s a ribbon of gardens, promenades, plazas, fountains, lighting, a carousel and art that meanders for a full mile through residential neighborhoods, the Financial District and Harbor communities. For those who lived in Boston during the ten years of roadway construction known as “The Big Dig,” the Greenway is a breath of fresh air—literally. It brought down the elevated highway that had blocked the view and divided the city. It opened up the sky in downtown Boston and connected the city back to together, and also back to nature.
Sometimes, you just want a night filled with laughter. And imagine how clever someone needs to be to make you laugh—over and over and over again, while making up jokes on the spot. That’s the beauty of improvisational comedy—you’ll be shaking your head the whole night, saying, “How did they do that?” The two best spots to see improv shows are Boston’s Improv Asylum in the North End and ImprovBoston on the other side of the river.
Can’t decide? See them both. Drive time between the two is just 10 minutes. Set your Spark’s available BringGo* navigation system and go!
An Architectural Wonder for Creative Innovation
A fairly new addition on the Boston scene, the Institute of Contemporary Art is an expanse of glass and light that appears to be precariously hovering above Boston Harbor. The architecture alone has revitalized an entire waterfront district. Paintings, graphics, design, dance and film combine for a truly multimedia exploration of all that is new, experimental, artsy and gutsy.
Eat, Drink and Be Very, Very Merry
With everything new under the sun, you’ll want to spend at least part of your time re-fueling yourself. (Your Spark, on the other hand, with its fuel-saving technology, is probably doing just fine). Head on over to Boston’s South End and enjoy seafood at B&G Oysters. Room for dessert? Check out a petite bakery called Flour. The sticky buns, macaroons and tartlets are divine.
The trademarks mentioned in this story are held by their respective owners.
Lisa Hickey is publisher of The Good Men Project. She likes to “create things that capture the imagination of the general public and become part of the popular culture for years to come.”
This is part of a series of Spark City Guides on Chevy Culture.
*BringGo app must be purchased separately. Requires compatible smartphone. Data plan rates apply. See dealer or call 1-855-4-SUPPORT (1-855-4-787-7678)
for more information.