Great Location-- Boston!                                            by Patti Brugman

     Notes from last week:  I had just returned from touring colleges in Boston, a college counselor’s dream town! I reported on my tour of MIT, the ease of riding the MTA, (the Boston subway), and lunch with a student.  But despite the wonderful and inexpensive underground, I did choose to take one taxi…

      I hailed my one and only cab of the visit while trying to catch up with an MIT student-led tour of the city.  Alas, I missed the first stop and decided on another plan.  Smitty-the-Cabbie made me an offer that I couldn’t refuse.  He said he’d take me around to all the colleges in town and would turn off the meter while I stopped at each to get out, talk to students and take pictures. Our first stop was Emerson College.  Emerson is in a great location, central to downtown and close to the Freedom Walk of historical sights. Emerson was also much bigger than I’d imagined, and while there is no quad or central outdoor meeting place, it is right across the street from Boston Common, the most gorgeous park in the city. Banners waved from every lamppost. The place was regal, and the students happy and busy indoors or out!

         Next, we toured Northeastern University. The campus reminded me of the United Nations with a clean exterior and many flags flying.  Northeastern was printed on every building I saw, and access to the campus was very easy. The campus was almost deserted on a Sunday afternon, but the students I met were friendly and happy. Northeastern is large and sprawling and yet, with well placed intimate gardens.  I liked it.

         Next was Boston University.  The catchy phrase in the literature reads: “You can be yourself at BU!” Once on campus, I took a few pictures, then ventured out to look for more.  Smitty pointed to high rises on the other side of the turnpike, more of Boston University. The campus is divided, but with easy transportation back and forth.

         From there Smitty drove me to Harvard and Harvard Yard, the center of the undergraduate campus. Massachusetts Ave (the same street that runs past MIT) was a great place for me to start my tour.  In February, the trees were bare which made photography in that gorgeous bright winter light, easy.  Every building sparkled and none were blocked by foliage—but, ah-h, to come back in spring… It will be sensational in just a few weeks.  Even on a Sunday, the campus was bustling.  Outside the wall, Harvard is a tourist magnet with Harvard sweatshirts and caps sold everywhere.  Inside the campus, students, professors, and many tourists hurry along the footpaths.  Students here are a certain type.  They are self-motivated, high energy, and driven. I got all of that from the few I talked with. Here, the reputation attracts everyone for a look, including me!

--Next week, Boston Colleges, Part 3,