Designing Boston with John Maeda
President of the Rhode Island School of Design
My earliest travel memory is going to Honolulu as a child because my mother's family is there. I recall the beautifully branded vinyl colored travel bags that were once complimentary. My travel cravings are for people who think radically differently than me – not necessarily having to be exciting. Sometimes the more dry and boring, the better. I would spend my perfect day in Boston because I like to jog, and it’s hard to beat jogging along the Charles River during the golden hour. I would stay at Kendall Fire House (run by Charlotte Forsythe and Gerald Fandetti).
The activities that can't be missed
- People-watching in Harvard Square on a sunny day. There are still 1960s-style troubadours that play with handmade, wacky instruments.
- A game at Fenway Park (I’m not a sports fan, but live in this town long enough and you get indoctrinated).
- Seeing the glass flowers at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.
The places you should definitely see
- A stroll through the public gardens to Newbury Street – if you squint you can almost imagine you’re in Europe, not America, with the formal gardens and chic, walkable shops.
- The new Institute of Contemporary Art for the architecture and the view as much as the art.
- If you have time, drive out 6A on Cape Cod. It's as picturesque as it promises.
My favorite places to eat
My favorite hidden gems
- Porter Exchange: A mall with Japanese food and retailers in Cambridge.
- MIT Press bookstore, Kendall Square: Technology and innovation, in book format.
- Toscanini’s ice cream: New Englanders are known to eat more ice cream per capita than anywhere else in the country, and this is the best of the best.