Category Archives: Cambridge

4th of July Fireworks!

I won’t be in Boston for the fireworks show on July 4th. But if you show up at the last minute to see the fireworks, they start at 10.30pm, you can head onto to Harvard Bridge, commonly know as Mass Ave Bridge and get some decent view of the fireworks.

The last time I watched the fireworks from the bridge was in 2007, and I was near the middle at the 200 smoot mark:
200 Smoots!

The views of the fireworks was quite good, not as good as being on the river banks. Considering you could show up 5 minutes before the start of the display instead of 12 hours before is a good tradeoff in viewing quality. 🙂 Continue reading 4th of July Fireworks!

Boston Linux and Unix InstallFest XXXII

I won’t be able to make it, but if your interested in Linux and are in or around Boston/Cambridge, the BLU is having one of their installfests:

Boston Linux Installfest XXXII
When: Saturday February 28, 2009, 2008 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: MIT Building E-51, Room 061
2 Amherst St, Cambridge
Plenty of free parking in front of the building.

What you need to bring: Your computer, monitor, power strips and your
Linux distributions. We do have copies of some distributions.
In general we have expertise with most distros, but if you need special
expertise, please email the BLU discussion list in advance.

COST: It’s free! However, we DO have expenses, and contributions are
welcome. Please consider contributing $25 per machine.

Our volunteers will help you to install Linux on your own system. While
Linux runs on most systems, some systems do have configurations and
hardware that may not be supported. Please consult the following web
pages for hardware compatibility. While we prefer you to bring your own
distros, our volunteers will normally have

Hardware HOWTO:
Linux Frequently Asked Questions:

Generally our volunteers have sets of the latest Fedora, SuSE and
Ubuntu distributions:
* Fedora – (Fedora 10)
* Open SuSE – (OpenSuSE 11.0)
* Ubuntu – (Intrepid Ibex 8.10)
* Debian –

In addition, you can run Linux on your Windows PC through a virtual
machine manager, such as Virtualbox. You can install this in your
Windows machine and run Linux as a guest OS, or install it in your Linux
machine and run Windows as a guest. VirtualBox 2.1
( is free and is available for Linux, Windows
XP and Windows Vista. Additionally, there are some VMWare clients that
are also free for Windows.

Please refer to the BLU website ( for further
information and directions. Parking is available in front of the
building on Amherst St. Enter the building, and take the elevator to
your left down 1 floor. Room 061 is opposite the elevator.

Canadian Living article about Boston

Written by my friend Helen, and with input from meself:

Boston Twilight

By Helen Racanelli and Mick Timony

Traveling to Boston for a vacation, either for business or with the kids? From Montreal it’s about a six hour drive, from Toronto, about 9 hours. Here are some ideas of what to do, where to go, and where to stay in Boston.

1. Boston’s museums are top-notch
What’s a vacation without a little culture-vulture action? Boston’s museums are among the finest in the United States. If you can only check out two, try the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA), and the Children’s Museum. Here’s how to get there: From South Station, where Amtrak has a big station, and the Red Line on the T (Boston’s subway) has a stop, you can walk about two blocks to the Children’s Museum where you can also have an ice cream cone.

Ice cream!

From there, the adults can go to the ICA (Institute for Contemporary Art), which just moved to a really cool building that overlooks the waterfront. Depending on their age, kids might enjoy it too.

2. Boston’s neighbourhoods are colourful
Boston is an excellent walking city, with many of its ethnic neighbourhoods intact. Bring your walking shoes! Boston has a small but active Chinatown, which is near Boston Theater district. On a side note, oftentimes the Theater District, which is a short walk from Boston Common, (the oldest park in the United States), will have plays before they get to Broadway, but usually it gets them after Broadway. There is an Italian neighbourhood, the North End, which has many Italian cafes and restaurants, and the beautiful Old North Church.

Cherry Blossoms on Beacon Hill

3. It’s easy to get around
You can walk, or “T” (short for MBTA: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) to almost all the things you’ll want to see. Taxis are expensive in Boston. For the MBTA, ask the attendant for a “Charlie Card”, fares are cheaper with this credit-card-like T pass, versus the paper “Charlie Ticket”. Alternatively, ask about tourist passes if you’re in town more than a day or two.

Mass Ave

4. There’s more to Boston than Fenway Park
There’s lots to explore whether or not you’re a Red Sox fan. (Though if you are a baseball fan, could anything beat seeing a game at Fenway Park?) Love the bustle of a food market? Sample gourmet fast food at Quincy Market, a can’t-miss indoor market in the city centre. It’s touristy, but not tacky. Into shopping? Check out the one-off boutiques on Newbury Street. Near Newbury street is Boylston street, that’s where the shopping really heats up with shops we don’t have in Canada, such as Anthropologie, Crate Barrel, and Filene’s Basement to name but a few.

Pillow Fight!

Harpoon Octoberfest

5. Harvard is nearby

If you’ve always secretly harboured Ivy League dreams for yourself or your kids, you’re probably aware that Cambridge, Massachusetts is where the famed Harvard campus resides. It’s very near Boston: you can get to Cambridge by the T (subway) with no extra toll, and it takes only about a half-hour to get there. Stroll around the historic campus, take in the beautiful buildings, and enjoy the town where you’ll find lots of pubs, a smattering of shopping (and another Crate & Barrel) and cheap student-thronged restaurants.

Head of the Charles, 2007

6. There are lots of free events in Boston

Similar to Toronto’s Shakespeare in the Park, is Boston’s Shakespeare on the Common, during the summertime, in Boston Common. The MIT Museusm is free the 3rd Sunday of every month. The Harvard Museum of Natural History is free on Sunday Mornings to Massachusetts residents (so don’t look like a tourist, hint, hint). The Freedom Trail is also free: it takes you around all the major tourist and historical sights in Boston.

Boston Beantown Jazz Festival

7. Hotels range from affordable to fancy

Whatever your price range, you’re likely to find something suitable in a good neighbourhood of Boston. For a special trip, like an anniversary or perhaps a honeymoon, Boston’s Kimpton Hotels, The Nine Zero and the Onyx are both the epitome of chic, friendly, comfy boutique hotels with a splash of luxury.

Intercontinental Hotel

The new Westin at the waterfront can have some amazing deals on rooms when there are no conventions on at the neighbouring convention centre. For those with kiddies in tow or on a tighter budget, La Capella Suites are family friendly with washer/dryers, fridges, microwaves and a self-serve breakfast included in the rate.

The Finale ... almost!

All of the photographs shown here (and not in the original article) were taken by myself.

Cantab & Burgers

Went to The Cantab Lounge in Central Sq in Cambridge on Friday night. Frank the chef (or one of the chefs?) from Tim’s Tavern, long closed, on Columbus Ave in Boston now cooks at The Cantab. Tim’s did a really good burger and that’s what we had at the Cantab, a really good big tasty burger for $5.95. The chips (fries for all your Amerikans) were kinda lame, but the burger was really tasty and big!

Ended up staying for the music, Shirley Lewis and the Fatback Band.
The Cantab

Shirly is 70 and she does rock the house. She’s a good singer and really knows how to pump the audience, might go back next weekend and hear her sing again!
Shirley Lewis & The Fat Back Band @ The Cantab

I think the band are a bunch of regulars who play most weekends with different singers, they’re good too. And worth hearing by themeselves. If you go, look for the mini-rubber chicken hanging off the bass drum!