Six, Maybe Seven, Things to do Before Graduation


Take a deep breath my fellow 3Ls and imgaine inhaling the scent of freedom. For me in San Francisco, it smells like damp fog and the salt of the sea, with a faint hint of garlic fries, but for you it might be the pizza and Indian joints downstairs in your Brooklyn flat, or the freshly cut grass of your parents’ house somewhere in the suburbs.

The countdown has begun. In mere weeks we will be exchanging textbooks for, I’ll admit, Bar exam review books, but at least it will be the last exam most of us will take for a good long while.

If any of you are feeling nostalgic, rather than reading “One L,” I would recommend reading “Anarchy and Elegance” a book about another prestigious New England law school.

I read it the summer before I started here on the recommendation of a Stanford Law graduate, and looking back, I consider myself to have been forewarned if not forearmed. All but perhaps the most resistant of us have had how we think about the world and the way the law and society is structured change over the past three years. I suspect it will take me a few more years, or decades, to decide if that systematic deconstruction of my previous worldview and its replacement with something more flexible and expansive, yet more manipulative and morally neutral, was a good thing.

Despite what my past columns may have suggested, I have occasionally cracked open a book during my time here at the law school, and now that my tenure here is measured in weeks, I am beginning to wonder at how little I have seen of Boston. Part of that is due to my fear of Boston drivers. I have driven exactly once in New England in the past three years and that was a trip to Maine, where the drivers are thinner on the road and more courteous. But let’s not dwell on the have-nots. I am setting myself the goal of going 7 “new” places before I graduate from law school. I use parentheses around new because I have been to a couple of places on my list, but didn’t have a chance to explore them as much as I would have liked. My list attempts to include the full range of cultural experience – from restaurants to museums to neighborhoods.


1. The Publick House (Brookline): My significant other and I ended up here during the term break. It had the largest selection of beers I have ever seen with an enormous range of beers on tap, any of which can be combined into a 4 beer sampler. If you like Cambridge Common, you will love Publick House. One trip was not nearly enough to sample as many beers as I would have liked.

2. Grasshopper Restaurant (Allston): I have been told that as a vegetarian, I must try this place. It has mixed reviews online, but any place that has deep fried fake gluten meat (ah, Berkeley, how I miss thee) is worth trying at least once. Word on the street is to go with the “No Name” an imitation sesame chicken dish. It’s only a mile from the business school, and it might just be worth walking over sometime, though walking across the Mass Pike does not sound like a good time.

3. Rialto (Harvard Square): Some people say this place is over-priced and under-ambienced for the money, but I wouldn’t know because I’ve never been there. I’m going to have to cook up some special occasion for why I should have a meal here. I think Purim might be coming up soon, and as the odds of my being invited to a Megillah reading are pretty slim given the observance level of my Jewish friends here, I’ll probably have the evening free. But, hey, you never know. Purim is up there with Christmas, Mardi Gras, and the 4th of July on the fun holidays list.


4. The Harvard Museums: I have loved Islamic art since visiting Spain almost a decade ago. Harvard happens to have an entire museum, the Sackler Museum, devoted to ancient, Asian, Islamic, and Indian Art. I would estimate that I have walked by this place approximately 50 times and thought, “Gee, I really should go check that museum out before I graduate.” That felt like an eternity last semester, but suddenly it feels very, very close. There are also museums for European and North American painting (the Fogg); German Expressionist painting (the Busch-Reisinger); Archaeology (the Peabody); and, as you may have noticed across the street from us, Natural History.

5. The Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston Waterfront): I wouldn’t say that I know much about art in general or modern art in particular, but most modern art museums are fun to explore and often hideous to look at. Based on what I’ve seen of ICA’s cantilevered building from the harbor, I would call this structure more distinctive than MoMA in New York, which is a standard looking building from the outside, and bolder but less hideous than the Tate Modern in London, whose giant smokestack always makes me vaguely uncomfortable. In my mind, the building to beat is the Pompidou. Though many people rave about Gehry, his designs leave me underwhelmed.


6. Southie (South Boston): Many years ago, when I was but a child, I saw a coming of age movie about a bunch of young men from a place called “Southie.” Though I was excited to spot “Good Will Hunting” locales around Harvard Square like the Dunkin Donuts near Grafton Street, every once in a while I find myself wondering where exactly is Southie? Wikipedia says you can get there on the Red Line, so one of these days I’m going to take the advice of my friends on Yelp and try Mul’s Diner down in South Boston.

7. Foxwoods (South East Connecticut): Not technically a neighborhood, but I just finished doing a case study of this Native American casino for the aforementioned class at HBS. It’s incredible how far the Pequot tribe has come in less than two generations, from a sole resident on tribal lands, to being one of the largest employers in South East Connecticut and a huge source of revenue for the state. Plus, they have slots, which is the only form of gambling I much enjoy, and an arcade, which sounds like more fun than the slots. Maybe I should save myself the trip and go to an arcade somewhere in Boston instead.

Erin Archerd is a 3L.

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