Sunday, August 30, 2015

My favorite Boston bookstore

Boston is one of my favorite cities. It offers a wonderful mix of old and new, has a great restaurant scene for foodies like me, and it's a comfortable walk from one side of the city to the other. I have not yet prepared a "so you're visiting Boston" article as I have for New York City, but I thought I'd tell you about my favorite Boston bookstore.

Brattle Book Shop touts itself as America's oldest bookstore, founded in 1825. That's the Nineteenth Freakin' Century! Even if that were just a marketing gimmick I'd still encourage you to visit when you're in town. They stock more than 250,000 titles, but the great thing about the shop is the selection on the shelves. You won't find those run-of-the-mill B&N coffee table books and latest best sellers. Instead you'll see more obscure titles that came from the collections of book lovers. Boston is a city of intellectuals, so the selection is one you won't find anywhere else in the country.

And here's the great thing for the scale modeler. Brattle has an awesome selection of military titles, filling up nearly an entire aisle.

Here's a small selection of Brattle's aviation titles.

I even found a bound collection of journals from the American Aviation Historical Society spanning 1956 to 1984. The price? Over $1,000, although membership in the AAHS provides online access to these same journals. But they sure would look great in your library, right? You can browse the journal index on their web site.

While I'm writing about Boston, I should briefly mention two of my favorite places to eat. For lunch go to the Parish Cafe on Boylston Street in Boston's Back Bay. They have a unique selection of sandwiches, each designed by a prominent American chef. For dinner I recommend Cragie on Main in Cambridge. This is a manly restaurant (their dining room and menu are reminiscent of Resto, one of my NYC recommendations), with a rotating menu that usually features oysters, clams, sausage, and even pig's head. My girlfriend wasn't game for the latter on our last visit to Boston, so if any of you are interested, ping me and we'll make a reservation!

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