Student Snippets


Walk the Walk (on Commonwealth)

Last week I somehow caught laryngitis. To my memory, I have never been that sick in my entire life. I was sleeping 20 hours a day, quarantined to my little apartment, voiceless and surviving on canned soup, white rice, and rolled-up tortillas, and mentally swaying back and forth on whether I wished I still had roommates: On the one hand, I'd have someone to take care of me. On the other, they would be forced to be witness to my sickness and squalor. Thankfully my prescription meds worked wonders and I'm on the up and up, but my lost week means that autumn in New England appeared out of nowhere for me. Before I was sick, the leaves were just starting to change, littering the streets with neon yellow slivers. Now, the reds and oranges have arrived, bold and utterly beautiful.

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On Sunday afternoons I work at the Boston Architectural College Library and I take advantage of the still mild weather and Boston's essential walkability and stroll through Beacon Hill, across the Public Gardens, and down busy but adorable Newbury Street on my way to my noon shift. The Public Gardens were beautiful, as usual, and as I exited the cast iron gates I was greeted by the long, tree-lined avenue that is Commonwealth. I decided to take a little detour from my usual routine and it was completely worth it. Avenues are meant to be walkable, a main thoroughfare that encourages strolling, people watching, and enjoying the general splendor. Commonwealth Avenue did not disappoint.

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Maybe it was because I had been essentially stuck in my apartment for a week as I recovered, but as I ambled down Commonwealth it felt like Boston was putting on its best nature show for me.  Leaves fluttered beautifully across the Back Bay mansions as if I were in a movie. Dogs of all kinds romped around with their owners and newly made dog friends. It seemed as though no one tree was the same color, and each block held yet another picturesque moment complete with a different statue and different autumnal hues. I ended up getting to work late because I couldn't help but take picture after picture, but thankfully no students were waiting.

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Because I loved this walk so much, I thought I'd share a little map so that you can take advantage of this amazing area of Boston before winter hits (which I'm sure will be sooner rather than later!).  I'd take the T to Charles MGH and follow Charles Street from there, though feel free to start on the Boston Common around the Park Street stop and walk across to the Public Gardens. I also extended the walk to include my other favorite walk in Boston: around the Fens, from Back Bay to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and (oh look at that!) Simmons College. On-campus students might be de-sensitized to this leg of the walk, but for an online student like me that spends far too much time downtown, all that nature is just what I need.

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New England