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  • PRIM&R Staff Top Boston Picks

    Avery AvrakotosAvery Avrakotos, education and policy manager: One of the best things about living in Boston is easy access to fresh seafood. Being able to stroll around town and take my pick from any number of seafood restaurants is a great perk to living here. Because, really, what better way to end a day than with a delicious lobster dinner? Island Creek Oyster Bar, located in the Fenway area, makes a mean lobster roll. James Hook and Co. is located near the Waterfront and is a less formal option if you are looking for some good food in a casual setting. 


    Joanna CardinalJoanna Cardinal, assistant director for membership & IT operations: I recommend grabbing a drink at The Top of the Hub and enjoying the view!




    Mariellen DiemandMariellen Diemand, associate director for conferences: While in Boston for the 2015 IACUC Conference, don’t miss visiting the Museum of Fine Art (MFA) located on Huntington Avenue in Boston. Specifically, guests to the MFA should explore the new Art of the Americas Wing – four levels of American art from ancient to modern, as well as the new west wing, which is devoted to contemporary arts. During the IACUC Conference, several exhibitions will be on view, most notably, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Selections from the Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection, National Pride (And Prejudice), and Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott. More information about upcoming exhibitions can be found here, and more information visiting the museum can be found on their website.

    Mason DrastalMason Drastal, registration and operations assistant: If you can, try to fit in a trip to Symphony Hall, for wonderful music and a chance to celebrate one of Boston's most-esteemed cultural landmarks.



    Meredith ElkinsMeredith Elkins, director of marketing and communications: Although it’s off the beaten path, I love the Glass Flowers Collection at Harvard’s Museum of Natural History. As noted on their website,"This unique collection of over 3,000 models was created by glass artisans Leopold Blaschka and his son, Rudolph. The commission began in 1886, continued for five decades, and the collection represents more than 830 plant species."

    Megan FrameMegan Frame, membership coordinator: Charles Street: Located in Beacon Hill, this street is an essential stop during anyone’s visit to Boston (and part of my daily commute to work!). Lined with century-old brick buildings that house restaurants, shops, and apartments, this street is both entertaining and historic. Hungry for a quick bite? Order a cookie sheet pizza at Figs and try some of their creative toppings (My winning combination? Half fig prosciutto, half fried calamari). Looking to pick up a gift for family or friends? Stop in to one of the many Charles Street boutiques. Black Ink is a personal favorite, with shelves that reach to the ceilings stocked with beautiful paper, rubber stamps, kitchenware, greeting cards, novelty items, and other trinkets (they have a store in Alysa-recommended Harvard Square as well!). Searching for something sweet after all that walking? Grab an ice cream cone at J.P. Licks, a local Boston business that makes homemade cold treats throughout the year. Just beyond J.P. Licks you will see Massachusetts General Hospital and the Charles/MGH Station on the Red Line of the T, which will take you right into Cambridge in a heartbeat.

    Kimberly HensleKimberly Hensle Lowrance, managing director: A visit to Boston is incomplete without a sojourn to Fenway Park, home of our cherished Red Sox! Though generations have come and gone, Fenway Park remains much like it did the day it opened in 1912. Visit the park where the Babe pitched, "The Kid" hit, the Yaz dazzled, and where fans today cheer on the team that took home the World Series pennant in 2007, 2004, 1918, 1916, 1915, 1912, and 1903. Fenway’s tours provide fans with a behind-the-scenes look at America’s most beloved ballpark. Come and soak up the rich history while hearing the echoes of the past, touching the Green Monster, as you see the view from the Press Box, and visit the State Street Pavilion Club before strolling around Fenway Park. Tours leave from the Souvenir Store across Yawkey Way hourly seven days a week—even in March!—from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Contact the tour office at 617.226.6666 for additional assistance.

    Elisa HurleyElisa Hurley, executive director: For anyone visiting Boston, especially when the weather may not cooperate, I always recommend a visit to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. It has a little something for everyone. The original Museum building is in the style of a Venetian palazzo, and its center courtyard is one of the most idyllic spots in Boston. You can spend hours strolling through the grand rooms of the palazzo, each one decorated with an incredibly eclectic collection of art that somehow all works together, but one of the beauties of the Museum is its manageable size. I highly recommend taking a tour to get the most out of the Museum. And for those more interested in contemporary art, the Museum gained a new wing in January of 2012, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano.

    Jen Levine-Fried

    Jen Levine-Fried, staff accountant: South End: I moved to the South End neighborhood of Boston twelve years ago, and I am still wowed by its beauty and charm. The South End has undergone an amazing transformation in the past 15-20 years, and it is one of Boston’s most diverse areas. I have two fun suggestions for this year’s IACUC attendees! If you’re an art lover, the South End’s galleries and studios can’t be beat. Visit SoWa’s website for a list of galleries located on Washington St. Secondly, since I have two children, one of my favorite stores is Tadpole, a funky children’s store located at 58 Clarendon Street. If you have kids eagerly anticipating your return from Boston, stop by Tadpole for something special to bring home!

    Maeve Luthin

    Maeve Luthin, professional development manager: Located in Copley Square on Boylston Street lies the Boston Public Library, the nation’s first public library. Go to one of the free exhibits, or explore the historical McKim Building by taking a guided art and architecture (or a self-guided) tour, on which you will view the John Singer Sargent murals and the twin Louis Saint-Gaudens lions that guard the interior Dartmouth Street entrance hall. If you are unable to visit the library in person, you can always view their extensive historical online collections!

    Anne Meade

    Anne Meade, senior manager for website and social media: As the resident PRIM&R foodie, I’d be remiss not to offer up a rundown of some of the city’s best restaurants. If you’re looking for fine dining, Deuxave on Comm Ave, is my pick. Chef Chris Coombs has been highlighted in Forbes magazine’s "30 under 30: Food and Wine" list (his newest restaurant, Boston Chops, is also worth a visit). For those looking for a lower price point, Silvertone Bar and Grill, in Downtown Crossing, has the best steak tips in the city for just $12! And if you’re on the hunt for something more casual, Salvatore's, just down the street from the Westin, has great pizza and pasta. And if you see me on site at the conference, and are looking for a restaurant recommendation, I’m always happy to help!

    Alysa PerryAlysa Perry, program coordinator: I always recommend a trip to Harvard Square for anyone visiting Boston. Though it is technically in Cambridge, the journey is just a mere 10 minutes on the Red Line (public transportation). Not only is the campus a historical site to see, the quaint shops and dozens of restaurants nearby are perfect for a day or night. If there is a chill in the air (which there will be because it's Boston!), you must stop at La Burdick Chocolate Shop and Cafe, they make the richest cup of hot chocolate I've ever had in the USA.

    Alexandra Shlimovich

    Alexandra Shlimovich, webinar and publications specialist: The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) is one of my favorite museums in the Boston area. Located in Fort Point, across the channel from the main cluster of downtown Boston, the ICA’s new home is on the waterfront, literally hovering over the Boston Harbor. Visit on a Thursday evening during free admission hours and tour the galleries, and then venture a few blocks over to Drink, chef Barbara Lynch’s cocktail bar, where the knowledgeable bartenders will conjure up a beverage just for you, based on your flavor and liquor preferences. Fort Point is accessible by Silver Line, or walking distance from South Station.

    Caroline SlymonCaroline Slymon, executive coordinator: If you are looking for some fresh air and a nice view of the city, head to Paul Revere Park, where the Charles and the Inner Harbor meet.

    Marley ThrasherMarley Thrasher, director of education and professional development: Whether you are looking for some early evening entertainment or an after dinner adult laugh, improvboston will have you in stitches. Located just off the MBTA Red Line Central Square stop in Cambridge, it is only a 20 minute train ride and conveniently has shows from 6 to 10 PM. Going to dinner in the North End? Try the Improv Asylum on Hanover Street with shows running at 8 PM and 10 PM.