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Burst the Tufts Bubble

Opinion | November 16, 2015

As a college student, it’s all too easy to stay on campus over the weekend. There’s so much to do in Boston, and specifically, in areas close to Tufts. If you think you’ve done everything there is to do and eaten everything there is to eat around Tufts, it’s time for you to explore life outside the college bubble!
Food: Tired of dining hall food? Leave campus for more enticing options. Grab a group of friends or go alone with a good book in hand. Here are a few places, most of which are on the cheaper side:

  • Clover Food Lab (closest location is in Harvard Square) – Meatless fast food with fresh, seasonal ingredients. The menu is always changing, so there will be something new every time you go. (Also, the rosemary fries are undeniably delectable.)
  • Ramen in Porter: The line outside Yume Wo Katare that begins 30 minutes before they open should signify that the ramen is worth eating. Finish your bowl and earn a “Perfect” rating. The line that stretches for Sapporo Ramen, located on the bottom floor of Lesley University’s shopping center, is comparable.
  • Chinatown – There are so many different options in Chinatown. Who doesn’t want steaming bowls of soup dumplings (Gourmet Dumpling House) or plate after plate of dim sum (Hei La Moon) or a nice hot bowl of pho (Pho Pasteur)? If you don’t know what you want or like, I’m sure you’ll find nice surprises in any restaurant you step into.

 

Bookstores: It’s easy to lose yourself juggling all of your chemistry, philosophy, and psychology readings. Leave those textbooks for a few hours and pick up a novel or book in an entirely different subject.

  • Goodwill (Davis Square): Softcover books are only $2 each. They have everything from romance novels and classic literature to cookbooks, textbooks, picture books, travel guides, and art history catalogues.
  • Porter Square Books (Porter Square): Pick up a stack of books, purchase a cup of tea or coffee from the coffee shop inside the bookstore, and get lost in a good story!
  • Rodney’s Bookstore (Central Square): There are stacks and stacks of used books and new books. The randomness of the selections doesn’t always allow you to find a specific book, but it does entice you to discover something you never knew you were interested in.
  • Commonwealth Books (near Downtown Crossing): In my opinion, this is one of the coolest bookstores in Boston. The smell of books envelops you as you walk in. Imagine piles of books about history, psychology, languages, and fiction. Imagine stacks of old maps carefully encased in frames. Imagine bins of old prints and engravings. Leave the bookstore with an armful of books and explore nearby Faneuil Hall and the Boston Commons.
  • The Boston Public Library (Copley Square): This beautiful old building holds 23 million items, including books, photographs, and maps. The vaulted ceilings of the reading room create the perfect environment for studying.

 

  1. Feeling active?
  • Minutemen Bike Trail – Perfect trail for biking if you don’t like hills. Start at the trail behind the Davis Square T stop and follow the path through Cambridge, Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford. It’s around 11 miles to Bedford, the end of the path. Stop at Trader Joe’s at the halfway point to pick up snacks and have a victory picnic at the end of the trail!
  • Middlesex Fells Reservation – Bring a buddy and an old pair of sneakers and explore some scenic trails and hills! You can wander around and explore the wildlife in this beautiful reservation located near Medford Square.
  • Mystic Lake – The warm weather won’t last for too much longer, so grab a bathing suit and a towel and go swimming at the lakes! Once it gets cooler, there is a very scenic and beautiful running path around the lakes. Bring a book and read on the shores of the lake.
  • Charles River Canoe & Kayak – Hop on the Red Line and make your way to Harvard or Kendall Square. Canoeing, kayaking, or paddle boarding on the gorgeous Charles River all cost less than $15 per person per hour. You’ll get a nice view of the Museum of Science and the MIT and Harvard campuses from the water. The Boston skyscrapers are visible from far away, and you’ll be surprised how close and connected the city is.

 

  1. Explore.

As corny as that sounds, I mean it literally. Never been down the Blue Line? Take it to the end to Wonderland and check it out. Hop on the Commuter Rail and go to Singing Beach by Ann Arbor. Go on a run or bike ride to somewhere new, get lost, then eat at a cool café or restaurant. Next time you say “I’m bored,” rethink how many opportunities you have to leave campus and travel, especially in a city as travel-friendly as Boston.