After a stupor-inducing tailgate — or perhaps in lieu of it — those making the pilgrimage to Cambridge this weekend shouldn’t leave Boston’s numerous cultural attractions unexplored. The “city on a hill” boasts museums, movie festivals, plays and interesting landmarks to provide a change of pace from the Elm City. Whether you have a few extra hours or a few extra days, take some time to sample the diversity of entertainments.
Like Yale’s own, Harvard’s art collection is world-renowned. The Fogg Art Museum, at nearly 120 years old, is the university’s oldest gallery. Featuring Western art from the Middle Ages to the present, the museum’s collection prominently features Italian early Renaissance art, pieces from Britain’s pre-Raphaelite movement and French art from the nineteenth century. According to the gallery’s Web site, the Fogg possesses the largest collection of Picasso in the nation.
The Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museums are two other Boston galleries well worth the visit. The Game this year falls at the beginning of the 11th Annual Boston Festival of Films and Music from Iran held at the Museum of Fine Arts. The month-long event, which began Nov. 12, includes musical performances for the first time this year. On Sunday, Ali-Reza Amini’s “Tiny Snowflakes” and Moin Samadi’s “Stop It, I’m Out” will be shown at 4:00 p.m. at the Museum of Fine Arts. The films are in Persian with English subtitles.
This Saturday, the Zoufonoun Ensemble will perform at the Museum of Fine Arts in the second concert of the festival. The quintet (featuring a father and his four sons) uses a combination of traditional and modern instruments and music. Tickets are available online.
If you would like to spend some time in Boston reflecting rather than reveling, you might also consider Boston’s elaborate, symbolic New England Holocaust Memorial. Consisting of six, 54-foot lighted glass columns. The structure, located outside, names six concentration camps and has six million numbers carved into the glass columns. The numbers are structured to mimic the tattoos given to Holocaust victims.
For those craving a dramatic Boston experience, the Wang Center for Performing Arts is the site of Broadway shows, productions geared towards children and families, and dance performances. This weekend, the musical “Big River,” which tells the story of Huckleberry Finn, will be performed and all tickets are offered at half-price thanks to a private grant. The actors act, perform ballet and incorporate Spanish and American Sign Language in this lively show, which won six L.A. Drama Critics’ Circle Awards.
The show is part of the family-friendly performance series “Artropolis,” which also features productions of “Frog and the Toad,” “Cirque Dreams” and “The Little Prince.”
Finally, for those who crave the quirky landmarks to be found in any city with a rich history, Boston has plenty to offer. From a full-size replica of one of the three ships looted in the infamous Boston Tea Party in the Boston Harbor to a 16-stop tour of landmarks of the American Revolution titled the Freedom Trail, the city boasts numerous interesting sites.
For those interested in Boston during the American Revolution, there’s the Bunker Hill monument in Boston National Memorial Park in Charlestown. The obelisk memorial, which was dedicated to the 1843 battle, is one of the nation’s oldest historical landmarks.
A few miles away lies the Boston Massacre Monument. Erected in 1888, the memorial features a granite monument and statue of Crispus Attucks, the first person to die for America in battle. The monument is part of the Freedom Trail.
If your historical interests lie more around the Civil War era, the Emancipation Monument in Harriet Tubman Park in Roxbury features a statue by Meta Veux Warrick Fuller and double lifesize statue of Underground Railroad leader Tubman. The Boston Women’s Heritage Trail offers tours of the site.
If The Game is the main course for this weekend and Boston’s numerous attractions comprise the sprawling array of side dishes, there’s something for nearly every tourist’s tastes.
So try some historical monuments, and try some foreign film — just don’t forget the entree.