The opening scene to Last Tango is just great. Marlon Brando, standing under the elevated platform, wearing a brown overcoat, is yelling at the top of his lungs as the subway passes overhead, drowning out his cries. Boston, unfortunately, does not really have an elevated, except for the small part of the Orange Line which passes over Washington St., but if you try, you can gain some sense of satisfaction for your Cambridge-weary blood. No, you may not be Marlon Brando, or even Maria Schneider, but if you want to get away from Cambridge, your best bet is to take the Red line out to Park St., and then hitch up with the Orange, Blue or Green Lines, to begin your odyssey.
Having already mentioned the scenic wonders of Washington St., we should pass on to the Premier Deli, which sits just under the subway stop at Dover Station. The Premier Deli is a great place to run away to mainly because it has some of the best, lowest-priced Jewish deli food around; the people who work there are also incredibly nice, and for some unfathomable reason the place is never very crowded. The trip out there is fun, and if you are homesick for chicken soup or the like, this should do the trick.
For other kinds of food entertainment, Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market are musts for any visitor to Boston. The place has, however, really become a huge trough for every belly in the city, and unless you enjoy standing in a huage pack waiting for a piece of pizza or a bag of over-priced chocolate-chip cookies, you are better off going someplace else. Really, once is quite enough. Go if you must, but we're sure you will soon agree.
Haymarket--get off the Red Line at Park St. and walk down there--is as good a place as any to buy vegetables and pistachio nuts at reasonable prices. A big open market with a European-type atmosphere, Haymarket is usually closed on Sundays, and very crowded on Saturdays, but a lot of fun.
Now, forget about your stomachs for a while and consider a trip to Nantasket Beach and Paragon Park. This trip involves a little more than the subway--you have to take a bus from the Orange Line to the beach. But it's worth the extra work because the each there is so much better than Revere (on the Blue Line, just before Wonderland). Paragon Park is actually an okay amusement park, but stay away from the antique roller coaster; the wooden frame that supports it tends to shake a lot when the roller coaster goes over it, and the boards underneath tend to bang around a lot, and make all sorts of other noises that aren't in the contract. Of course, it's your life...
In short, it's difficult to find a nice beach without a car. The best ones are up on the North Short--Singing Beach in Manchester is about a 45-minute drive from Cambridge, but the parking is a chore there. Perhaps the most accessible and beautiful beach is Crane's Beach in Ipswich. It's very big, so you can feel some privacy, and there's loads of parking--the only hitch is a $4.50 parking fee.
And although there is access to the mighty Atlantic, Walden Pond in Concord is the perfect place to reconvene with nature. You're better off staying away from the little kiddie beach area, but there's lots of places to park yourself around the pond. And yes, the stone foundations for Thoreau's house are marked off in the woods, on the far side of the pond away from the beach.
For evening escapism Boston's most famous disco is Boston Boston (run by the same folks who run New York, New York, of course), which features all the loud, canned music and lavender-scented purple dust you could want. Of course, you've got to be dressed "properly" to hit Boston, Boston, and the admission price of $6.50 last time we checked. The bar is outrageously expensive, so you might want to check out some less flashy places...like King's Row in Boston--get off the subway at Kenmore Square at the same stop as Fenway Park. Now, King's Row really isn't a great disco, but it will do. The drinks are cheap, there's no cover charge, and there are two dance floors, featuring reasonably good disco music. And we guarantee you, you'll never find anyone from Harvard dancing there, unless everyone takes this seriously.
And then last, but not least, there's Fenway park. It now seems that the state will no longer yet you buy beer there after the sixth inning, so you'd better hope the home town heroes at least avoid the extra-inning contests. Yes, the stands can get pretty rowdy at Fenway, but the Sox are amazingly hot (.700 at last look), and you would be hard put to find a better team to watch this summer. Unless, of course, you're from New York.
These are really only a few hints, and most of them are pretty obvious. For more ideas, you might consult The Real Paper, which has listings of interesting things to do. And then, you can always try and use your imagination. Twenty-five cents, after all, is a pretty small price to pay for entertainment.