Playing Hooky

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Remember? When you decided to come to HLS, you thought Boston would be a pretty cool place to live. So buck the trend, throw off those chains and explore.
Boston Museum of Fine ArtsTake the green line (E) to the BMFA stop. So, like, there’s this big building with lots of really cool paintings by really famous people, and it’s, like, totally free!! Count me in. Wait, what’s that? No way, a 40-minute T-ride? Screw it. Then again, aren’t museums a great place to meet intelligent, well-groomed members of the opposite sex? With all those rock-solid Greek gods around, you’ll get lots of exposure to one medium in particular: wood.

Boston Symphony OrchestraTake the green line (E) to the Symphony stop.For more traditional classical music fare, check out the Symphony Orchestra. For students on a budget, the open rehearsals cost $10, or show up 90 minutes before a performance to try to get your hands on student rush tickets (usually available Tuesday and Saturday evenings, and Friday afternoons.)

Cambridge Center for Adult EducationPick up a catalog at 42 Brattle St. or check out their website at www.ccae.org.Can’t cook? Dying to express your inner artist through sculpture? Want to explore your sensual nature? Check out the reasonably priced classes in adult education. If you can think of it, they probably can teach you how to do it. For the low, low price of $570, you can even learn to blow glass, which will impress your college friends far more than your newly acquired knowledge of Civ Pro.

Museum of ScienceTake the green line to the Museum of Science stop, or walk from the red line Charles/MGH stop.We’ll begin with the presumption that you’re a dork. Though you may be trying desperately to avoid being pigeon-holed, sooner or later, people will see through that facade. So get in line with all the other geeks and get on down to the Museum of Science. Make your loved one’s hair stand on end in the Theater of Electricity. Boston’s largest movie screen is here – an IMAX number currently showing “Attack of the Fifty-Food Woman.” Just kidding. But seriously, four-eyes, you haven’t really lived without seeing the Museum’s free laser “rock” show. This cunning combination of multi-colored light beams and Def Leppard tunes will leave your pasty-white skin flushed with excitement. And, if you get a date, you can take him/her to the planetarium show. (Be prepared to share your date with 250 small, screaming children.) On Fridays, cap off your night with a visit to the museum’s open telescope.

Museum of Bad ArtTake the Orange Line to Forest Hill, and take the Dedham Mall bus to the end of the line (the mall). Ask the first passerby you see how to get to Dedham Center. This is not a joke. Collected from around the nation, this museum of truly horrific artwork is a must-see. The masterpieces “Pablo Presley” and “Sunday on the Pot with George” are classics. With the amount of framed crapola on the walls of MOBA, you’re sure to walk away with a personal favorite.

New England AquariumTake the blue line to the Aquarium stop. Did you see “Next Stop Wonderland”? Have a penchant for fishy-smelling, wetsuit-wearing college graduates? Then the Aquarium is the place for you. Even better, it’s got its own T stop. Although the seal tank has been boarded up (too many noise complaints about poor trumpet playing, apparently), they’ve still got sharks. And, unlike HLS, the predators here are all safely behind glass.

Downtown CrossingTake the red line to the Downtown Crossing stop. Two words: Gap Outlet. Three more: Eddie Bauer Outlet. Add in a huge Barnes and Nobles, a Borders, the original Filene’s Basement, a Macy’s and a number of other random stores. And nothin’ but nothin’ beats a buttered one from Pretzelmakers.

Faneuil HallTake the red line to Government Center; go down the big stairs and cross the street. Faneuil Hall is a favorite hangout for tourists during the day and twenty-somethings barhopping at night. With a number of outdoor eateries, several bars including the Purple Shamrock and the Black Rose, as well as a Brookstones, a Warner Brothers Store and other cool shops, Faneuil Hall has something for everyone. For a truly unforgettable experience, forget the touristy eateries inside Quincy Market. The one thing your tastebuds need to get a hold of is the hot sauce labeled “Inferno” at the Spice Rack.

The Garment DistrictTake the red line to Kendall/MIT, then walk to 200 Broadway. If you’re the type that likes shopping at Salvation Army, and you don’t mind putting on someone else’s used clothes, then this is the place for you. Check out the garbage pile (only 50 cents a pound on Fridays) to find the leather midriff of your choice. Most of the items are in the $10 range, and aside from the occasional sweet find, you get what you pay for. Better selection for gals.

Newbury Street Take the green line to Arlington. Definitely the easiest place to drop $200, Newbury Street is home to Boston’s chi chi and chicest shops. Here, you’ll find Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Guess, Banana Republic, Structure, Anthropology, Cole Haan and so on. For your own protection, leave your credit cards at home.

The Prudential CenterTake the green line to the Prudential stop. The shops at the Pru look a lot like your generic suburban mall, a comfort to those who can’t find anywhere in Harvard Square to buy socks. Even better, the mall is connected by a skyway to Copley Place, where you can find a slightly snootier shopping experience. You’ll also find some good shopping in the neighborhood, including an Anthropologie. Wander around and see what you find, then stop for a snack at Legal Seafood.

Community BoatingTake the red line to the Charles/MGH stop. Located just across the river and open from April 1 through November 1 each year, Community Boating offers discounted memberships to students. Membership gives you access to beginning and advanced instruction in sailing and windsurfing, as well as free use of their sailboats and windsurfing equipment.

Whale WatchingHop a ride at the docks by the New England Aquarium. $21 for students, four hours. Big, blubbery, barnacle-encrusted mammal with soft, soothing voice seeks young, intelligent human with fondness for animals. Like: swimming, diving, and singing sub-sonic love songs. Must have enormous lung capacity and respect for ocean ecosystems. Card-carrying members of Greenpeace preferred. Norwegian applicants subject to strict scrutiny.

Walden PondCommuter rail. Take a stroll through Henry David country. Purify mind and soul in the sacred waters of America’s most transcendent pond. Sit and contemplate your worldly detachment in the replica of Thoreau’s stoic log cabin. In stort, take in some nature and philosophy by one of New England’s most idyllic historic landmarks.

Red SoxTake the green line to the Fenway stop, or get out at Kenmore Square and follow the crowds.There’s a Green Monster in this town, and it ain’t Godzilla. Don’t let the fall pass you by without a visit to the historic confines of Fenway Park. It won’t be there too much longer. Cheer on some of the best-known names in baseball from butt-bruising seats while chomping on boiled hot dogs. Purge your post-game frustrations with a Beantown drinking binge in the neighboring pubs and clubs of Lansdowne Street.

CelticsTake the green line to North Station.The fabled Celtic legend lives on. The current crop of b-ballers may not inspire awe, but the raw talent of Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker just might make a Celtics fan out of you. The Fleet Center itself is modeled along the repetitive lines of ’90s arenas (read: atmosphere-controlled airplane hangers with annoying, less-than-hip announcers who spout off “Aw, yeahs” after every lay-up), but more than makes up for its sterility by straddling the T lin
e. Another bonus: Alan Dershowitz sightings are not infrequent.

New England PatriotsTake the commuter rail from South Station. Contrary to what you may have heard, not all fans at Foxboro are Massholes. Some of them are from Rhode Island. Even though they’ve struggled as of late, the Pats are always contenders in a crowded AFC East. So throw on your Tony Eason jersey, grab some kielbasa and arrive early for the tailgate. Exorbitantly high opinions of Drew Bledsoe encouraged, though by no means required.

Boston BruinsTake the green line to North station. There’s only one way to watch hockey. Live. No illuminated puck to strain your vision. Not a single toothless French-Canadian to provide superfluous color commentary. Just the crisp scent of skate-shaved ice, the sweet sight of frozen blood droplets, and the heavenly chorus of blue-haired grannies pounding glass after a particularly hard cross-check.

Ben & Jerry’sThe Garage. Pretty self-explanatory and a crowd-pleaser, but nothing you can’t get at the supermarket for less moolah.

Burdick’s520 Brattle St. Nothing at L.A. Burdick’s costs only slightly less than a fortune, but one glance inside this chocolatier proves that the high prices aren’t hurting business. Burdick’s specializes in dark and milk hot chocolate so thick it turns your teeth brown. If you’re a chocoholic, welcome to Mecca.

Herrell’s Ice Cream 15 Dunster St. This franchise gets mixed reviews: Some swear it beats all comers, and others complain that the ice cream is watery. Either way, Herrell’s keeps it interesting with flavors like Earl Grey and Jalapeño.

Toscanini’s 1310 Mass Ave. When you get a craving for homemade flavors like Creamsicle, Belgian Chocolate or Guiness (and, trust us, you will), head for the Square. The more amazing thing about this place (aside from the ice cream) is how crowded you’ll find it at 11 p.m. on a freezing January night. Warning: The employees are definitely cooler than you are.

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