So, it's your first weekend in Cambridge and your first big excuse to procrastinate. And, even if those orgo books and problem sets are still sitting on your desk untouched, it'll be easier to ignore them now then it will be in a few weeks. So, if the summer school planners' idea of fun isn't yours (getting up at 7:30 A.M. Saturday to take a bus ride to crowded, touristy Newport) here are some suggestions of places to go, and things to do. Have fun.
If it's a nice day and you feel like checking out the city and frolicking a but, take the Red Line to Park St. where you'll find the Boston Common and the nearby Boston Public Garden. The Garden, with its flowerbeds, duckpond setting and swan boats is a nice place for a picnic (furnished by the gourmet grocery stores around the corner on Charles St.) And if you're up for some historical hiking, you'll be at the start of the Freedom Trail, a walking tour which snakes past the Old North Church, Paul Revere's House, and the magestic gold-domed State House.
A ten-minute walk from the Common, or a ride on the "T" to Government Center will take you to Quincy Market, located behind historic Fanueil Hall. Shopping here provides a real challenge, as many of the trendy stores sell their wares at unreasonable prices while the small vendors which line the walkway are on the gimmicky side. The food, however, makes the trip well worthwhile. It takes a person with real discipline to make it from one end to other without stopping at one of seemingly endless foodshops to sample either some sweet, creamy desserts or one of the infinite number of fried, greasy things.
If you're still in the area, and you're a fan of the band Santana, you can catch them at 6 p.m. tonight performing at this summer's second in the Concert on the Common series (tickets $13.50 and $12.50.)
If Santana isn't your speed, also on Friday night is the finals of the WBCN Rock Rumble in the Orpheum Theatre, Hamilton Place, Boston at 7:30 p.m., where some of Boston's baddest local bands will battle out for the championship.
Saturday morning is a good time to check out the Museum of Fine Arts (465 Huntington Ave) on the Green Line. The admission if free until noon (normally it's $4). Through July 7, the museum is showing a special collection of American prints from 1914-41, and until July 28 an exhibit of 18th century European textiles.
Or if you're a science nut or want to be reminded that you are in an coastal state, try either the Museum of Science (Science Park) or the Aquariam(Central Wharf). At the museum, don't miss the electricity show with world's largest Van de Graffe generator to make hair stand on end. There are a whole lot of other neat exhibits on everything from the space program to wave mechanics and blood pressure. The Aquariam boasts a huge, four-story-high fish tank with sharks, sea turtles, moray eels, tarpons, spotted eagle rays, and other fun sea creatures. Even if you decide not to pay the admission price, don't miss the seals which swim around in a tank outside the entrance.