Favorite Places to Go
All these places are noted for their atmosphere. These are places where you can be comfortable regardless of your age, race, pocketbook, sexual orientation, or appearance.
The Grolier (Harvard Square)
Perhaps Boston’s only literary bookstore where one can encounter living writers and the most accessible collection of available out-of-print world poetry that includes local, American. Its current owner, Ifeanyi Menkiti, is a fine poet who teaches at Wellesley.
Symposium Books (Kenmore Square)
Very serious bookstore for the scholar and the readers of the New York Review of Books and other serious periodicals. Not for the superficial person driven by ego but a genuine lack of cognitive thought.
Commonwealth Books (Kenmore Square/Boylston St.)
Similar to but a little more frivolous than Symposium, but nevertheless a bookstore where your mind does not have to be checked at the door.
New England Mobile Book Fair (Newton)
New England Mobile Book Fair, populated by characters, eccentrics and just about everybody else in Boston for its 20% off and its range of art, fiction and photography books. With some of the most interesting staff you’ll find anywhere on the planet, including one poet laureate. The manager, who looks like Ernest Hemingway, and frequently charms dogs off of meat wagons.
CaféNation (Brighton Center)
where even older people such as myself are welcome to bring laptops and sit with students of all ages, drink coffee, eat healthy food and schmooze with the hippest and most comfortable staff in the food service industry. Has had some great art shows in the past.
Devlin's (Brighton Center)
Boston Public Library (Copley Square)
For those who remember libraries, the BPL is where you want to find yourself in the stacks, the information centers and the coffee shop/café. The office of the Poet Laureate, an exquisite, but inexpensive dining hall and coffee shop, a garden which will immediately transport you to an exotic place without the cruise ship.
Favorite Neighborhood Meeting Place You Want to Give to the World
The Palace Spa in Brighton Center. For lovers of Keno, scratch tickets, newspapers, magazines and magazines for adults and others and neighborhood characters that Damon Runyon would envy, Boston at its most interesting.
Comic Book Stores
Comicopia, because it is a bookstore that sells comics. New England Comics, its staff and décor. Like stepping into a world populated by people who love comic books and appreciate the artistry of the graphic novel without being pretentious. It’s also managed by women and the occasional man and avoids the sexism and infantile character of many other comic book and graphic novel bookshops of the past.
Newbury Comics. Do not be fooled by the name of the shops. Newbury Comics is a world of bargains, soundtracks, jazz, world music, classical music, comics, graphic novels, t-shirts, coffee mugs and a staff that is beautifully tattooed, coifed in many vibrant colors and more than willing to share their interests and love of the most bizarre but fulfilling artifacts and products of our contemporary culture. It is the world of today, this afternoon and most of all, it can be notoriously inexpensive. Be sure to check out the DVD bins for classic movies that may not be available in years to come.
Favorite Boston Neighborhood
Like Davis Square in Somerville, it’s reshaping the new underground in Boston, where you encounter the new Massachusetts and the old Massachusetts residents who are polite, resilient and remained here in spite of “white flight.” Creating a comfortable yet cosmopolitan community of shops, eateries, ice cream shops, bakeries. We even have a white bread bakery and Athan's, which is a more contemporary bakery.