Designing Boston with John Maeda

President of the Rhode Island School of Design

Business Traveler

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

  1. People-watching in Harvard Square on a sunny day. There are still 1960s-style troubadours that play with handmade, wacky instruments.
  2. A game at Fenway Park (I’m not a sports fan, but live in this town long enough and you get indoctrinated).
  3. Seeing the glass flowers at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

The places you should definitely see

  1. 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.
  2. The new Institute of Contemporary Art for the architecture and the view as much as the art.
  3. If you have time, drive out 6A on Cape Cod. It's as picturesque as it promises.

My favorite places to eat

  1. Clam chowder at any Legal Sea Foods.
  2. Top of the Hub at the Prudential to eat the delicious view. Touristy, but good for a reason.
  3. Hammersley’s Bistro in the South End – a classic. Quiet, refined, delicious, and full of blue blazers (something you’ll see more of in Boston than most places).

Designing Boston with John Maeda

My favorite hidden gems

  1. Porter Exchange: A mall with Japanese food and retailers in Cambridge.
  2. MIT Press bookstore, Kendall Square: Technology and innovation, in book format.
  3. 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.