Author Topic: Need help for an hypothetical trip to Boston  (Read 7061 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Need help for an hypothetical trip to Boston
« on: July 24, 2009, 08:34:10 PM »

Offline Drucci

  • Global Moderator
  • Tiny Archibald
  • *******
  • Posts: 7079
  • Tommy Points: 401
Hey guys,

As you may know, I'm a French Celtics fan, living in France. I thought many times how cool it would be to visit Boston and to attend some Celtics games, although it sounded like a pipe dream to me. But, now that this idea has been in my mind for a while, and because I may have the opportunity to visit the city next year, my first thought was that I needed advices from people who could help me with their knowledge since they are living in Massasuchetts (or at least in the USA). So, your help and advices will be really appreciated, and I have no doubt that you can be really helpful to me since I've seen many of you guys benefit from their fellow "colleagues" of CB (for many cases, by the way : love, diet, etc).

So, to give you some idea about my hypothetical trip, here are some ideas/questions I throw around in no particular order :

- Would there be a legal problem with my age? I would do the trip on my own. To book an hotel, to visit, etc. I'm 19, I've reached the majority in my country (18), but it's 21 in the USA so I wonder if it could be an "obstacle".

- The main goal would be to attend Celtics games. Of course I would visit the city of Boston too, but my priority would be to attend Celtics games in the Garden. I know it sounds foolish to make such a big trip to attend basketball games, and it probably is truly foolish but hey, I really want to do it, I think it's a kind of a "once in a lifetime experience" and I want to experience it with the current Celtics team.

- The estimated date of the trip would probably be around the end of January or the beginning of February, since it would correspond to my college holidays and to the NBA season. Is it the best period for NBA games? I know there is the risk of injuries, but what period is considered the best for NBA games?

- Boston is known as a cold city, but is it really THAT cold? I guess so, especially in February, but you certainly know better than me.

- Do you know some places (hotels, restaurants) where I could go and not pay too much? Since I would probably benefit from a special offer, I wouldn't have to pay the flight tickets so I would have more budget at my disposal, but still not so much, so...

- I will know what locations are to visit after reading a guide but what places should really be seen by tourists in Boston, in your opinion?

- Where are the best seats of the Garden, who put you near the court while staying affordable? Are courtside seats too costly?

- Is it true that players from the team always sign autographs and meet fans before games? I've heard it somewhere but I don't know if it's true or not.

Again, these are just ideas I've thrown around like that, my trip is really hypothetical right now. So, please feel free to give me answers/advices to whatever questions you can answer.

By the way, CB has clearly made my passion for the C's grow up this year, so thanks to the whole community, and hopefully my project can become reality with your advices.  ;)

Re: Need help for an hypothetical trip to Boston
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2009, 08:57:39 PM »

Offline BASS_THUMPER

  • Scal's #1 Fan
  • Satch Sanders
  • *********
  • Posts: 9157
  • Tommy Points: 4521
  • ~THUMPER~
im sure seats prices went up when scalabrine kevin g and ray allen got there...

Re: Need help for an hypothetical trip to Boston
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2009, 09:21:55 PM »

Offline jackson_34

  • Bailey Howell
  • **
  • Posts: 2037
  • Tommy Points: 166
I've done this exact trip before drucci. In february, coming from overseas at the age of 19. So i'll try and answer your questions as best I can.

Quote
Would there be a legal problem with my age? I would do the trip on my own. To book an hotel, to visit, etc. I'm 19, I've reached the majority in my country (18), but it's 21 in the USA so I wonder if it could be an "obstacle".

No, you wont have a problem, just wont be able to drink that's all. (though we did get away pretty easily with buying beer from the corner store.

Quote
The main goal would be to attend Celtics games. Of course I would visit the city of Boston too, but my priority would be to attend Celtics games in the Garden. I know it sounds foolish to make such a big trip to attend basketball games, and it probably is truly foolish but hey, I really want to do it, I think it's a kind of a "once in a lifetime experience" and I want to experience it with the current Celtics team.

It's doesn't sound foolish to me, it's a fantastic experience to be had and seeing an NBA game in the flesh is a truely unique experience, you wont regret it.

Quote
The estimated date of the trip would probably be around the end of January or the beginning of February, since it would correspond to my college holidays and to the NBA season. Is it the best period for NBA games? I know there is the risk of injuries, but what period is considered the best for NBA games?


that's just before the all-star break, so I wouldn't think you would see many injuries but it's something you can never count on. We were unlucky enough to not get to see KG play as he was injured for a few games (championship season).

Quote
Boston is known as a cold city, but is it really THAT cold? I guess so, especially in February, but you certainly know better than me.

Boston IS COLD!!!, but it didn't stop us from walking around in it. Just make sure you keep warm as possible and it'll be fine. You will probably find it more pleseant than me since i'm used to the warm.

Quote
Do you know some places (hotels, restaurants) where I could go and not pay too much? Since I would probably benefit from a special offer, I wouldn't have to pay the flight tickets so I would have more budget at my disposal, but still not so much, so...

I cant really help you here as we stayed in Hostels, we stayed at the YMCA, the room was not heated enough and we were quite cold, but they had an indoor basketball court at their disposal so we made the most of it and played some pickup games with the locals which was good fun!

Quote
Where are the best seats of the Garden, who put you near the court while staying affordable? Are courtside seats too costly?

We sat in the first row opposite the c's bench (not courtside, but no seats infront of us). I highly recommend investing in good seats, especially if it's a one off trip! If your really well prepared you could buy them through the celtics at the start of the season. But we still had no troubles finding good tickets through the third party ticketing agencies (ie, Coast to coast, acetickets.), they're more epxensive but it definently didn't change the experience 8)

I hope this helps my friend! It's definently a worthwhile trip to say the least!


 

Re: Need help for an hypothetical trip to Boston
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2009, 10:24:07 PM »

Offline Brickowski

  • Antoine Walker
  • ****
  • Posts: 4207
  • Tommy Points: 423
1. Legal problem with your age? No. It would help, however, if you had a credit or debit card that U.S. businesses will accept, e.g Mastercard, Visa or American Express.

2. Check the schedule on Celtics.com. I would book tickets to the games well ahead of time.  IMHO the best deals are in the upper balcony near midcourt in the first few rows.

3. Boston is not much colder than Paris in February.  A little more snow, a little less rain.

4.  I would try to get a tour package with airfare and hotel. You can get a clean, but not luxurious, room for a decent price (around $100 per night) at most of the big U.S. hotel chains, e.g. Holiday Inn or La Quinta.  As for restaurants, stick with ethnic food (Chinese, Thai, Indian, Mexican, Cambodian, Vietnamese)in areas frequented by students, such as Cambridge or Allston. There are good Italian restaurants in the North End, but they are not cheap.

5. Boston has alot of attractions, but not so many in February. For example, the whale watching boats do not run in the winter. What are your interests?  The one attraction that comes immediately to mind is the Museum of Science.

The Museum of Fine Arts and the Gardner Museum sometimes have good exhibits, but these do not compare to the great French museums.  Alas, there is no Louvre in Boston.

Boston is famous for two things: its universities (Harvard, MIT, etc.) and its hospitals, which are among the best in the world (Mass General, Childrens, the Brigham, Beth Israel). If you are interested in things academic or medical, I would just poke around those places.

Have a great trip!  I hope you enjoy coming here as much as I enjoy going to France.

Re: Need help for an hypothetical trip to Boston
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2009, 10:28:27 PM »

Offline nickagneta

  • Global Moderator
  • Red Auerbach
  • *******************************
  • Posts: 31027
  • Tommy Points: 5170
Drucci,

I live less than two miles from the Garden and have been a life long Celtic and Bostonian. For the most part. First a couple of things:

1. Find someone to travel with, it's always more fun and safer.

2. I don't know where in France you are from but Boston is on the ocean and cold and the windiest city in America. In January and February you can almost count on at least one good 12 inch dump of snow in one storm every two weeks during that time period. Never expect temperatures to be above 0 degrees Celcius and expect the nights to be -10 to 0 degrees C. and wind chill factors much lower than that. If you are not use to that type of weather buy Thinsulate boots and gloves and dress in thin layers. Tee shirt, shirt, sweater, heavy coat.

3. I don't know what your budget is but really good front row balcony seats on the side of the court will run $100 American easy and maybe more. Something in the lower log on the sidelines about $150-$200 American and floor near court side $300 + American. That's all per ticket from third party vendors. You can always find sclapers outside looking to drop tickets for a lot less but the seat selection isn't always great.

4. It's best to find a hotel outside of Boston close to the public transportation trains(MBTA subway). The hotels will be much less expensive and riding the T, as it is called will get you right into downtown and right outside the Garden in mere minutes.

5. You're under 21 so the nightlife will be limited. There are a ton of great pubs and clubs but you won't be able to get in. As for other attractions Fanuel Hall day or night is outstanding with lots of restaurants, shopping, street entertainers and in the winter it's lit up beautifully at night. The Museum of Science is a great day time take. The Museum of Fine Arts is also a good daytime attraction. Copley Plaza and the Copley Square Mall as well as Newbury Street are excellent shopping areas if a bit expensive. Being 19 you will be the same age as a ton of students at many of Bostons and America's best college's and universities. Visit one or two during a Friday or Saturday afternoon and I'm sure you could find a party for that night. With a French accent, you'll fit in well and score some night time fun for sure.

6. It's always safer to carry a debit or credit card than cash. If looking for someplace to stay avoid areas just south of Boston like Mattapan, Roxbury, Dorchester, or South Boston. You'll be better off staying in the city(if you have the budget) or in metro north or west near an MBTA stop. Charlestown, East Boston and Chelsea are areas north of the city you might want to avoid as well. I recommend areas west of Boston like Somerville, Cambridge, Watertown, Brighton on the Red and Green lines or Medford or Malden on the Orange line or areas well south of Boston like Quincy or Braintree on the other end of the Red line.

7. Boston is a fast paced town, expect to be on the go from sun up to sun down. Have fun

Nick

Re: Need help for an hypothetical trip to Boston
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2009, 11:35:57 PM »

Offline Nowee

  • Brad Stevens
  • Posts: 256
  • Tommy Points: 41
  • Celtic Pride
I'm also 19 and life in the Netherlands. I did not go on vacation this your because i also want to do a Boston trip next year! So i will keep checking this topic for info!

Europe + same age = perfect topic for me! TP!

By the way France is a great country i went a few times to Paris with the speed train 'Thalys'. From Rotterdam to Paris just 4 hours!
Dutch Celtics Pride

Re: Need help for an hypothetical trip to Boston
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2009, 07:24:15 AM »

Offline Drucci

  • Global Moderator
  • Tiny Archibald
  • *******
  • Posts: 7079
  • Tommy Points: 401
Wow, I didn't expect to get answers so fast, and with so much details! A big thanks to you guys for your help and for taking the time to answer me. I will try to resume what would be best for my trip according to your advices.

- No problem with my age, expect for pubs and nightclubs, so it's OK (since I knew from the start that you must be 21 for pubs). As for the credit card, I have on and I can use it in the USA (I had no problem while in New York).

Quote from: jackson_34
No, you wont have a problem, just wont be able to drink that's all. (though we did get away pretty easily with buying beer from the corner store.

Thanks for the news, and thanks for sharing your trip's details, it's kind of "encouraging" to know that you did this trip in the same circumstances.

Quote from: Brickowsky
2. Check the schedule on Celtics.com. I would book tickets to the games well ahead of time.  IMHO the best deals are in the upper balcony near midcourt in the first few rows.

That's what I plan to do if I do the trip, and the NBA schedule's release should be made in the first week of August so I'll look at it with interest, trying to select the best games of February. Hopefully there is a stretch of home games for the C's.

Quote from: Brickowski
Boston has alot of attractions, but not so many in February. For example, the whale watching boats do not run in the winter. What are your interests?  The one attraction that comes immediately to mind is the Museum of Science.

The Museum of Fine Arts and the Gardner Museum sometimes have good exhibits, but these do not compare to the great French museums.  Alas, there is no Louvre in Boston.

Boston is famous for two things: its universities (Harvard, MIT, etc.) and its hospitals, which are among the best in the world (Mass General, Childrens, the Brigham, Beth Israel). If you are interested in things academic or medical, I would just poke around those places.

I'm not a big fan of museums, though it's always interesting to visit them, especially in foreign cities/coutries in my opinion. So I guess Boston's museums would be part of my trip, as the universities would be (they are really intriguing to me), although you can't visit them I suppose, but just stay around?

What I usually do when I'm touring is that I visit a big part of the city by walking, everyday and during all my trip, trying to avoid the subway or the bus as much as possible to discover the most part of the city. The problem is, the weather in February doesn't seem to allow this kind of visit, so it could give me a problem in my occupations in the city (although Nick gave me some interesting advices about the animated places which sound really attractive to me).

Quote from: nickagneta
1. Find someone to travel with, it's always more fun and safer.

Well, I would travel with someone if I could but... unfortunately only one of my friends is a big fan of basketball and NBA, and he would enjoy the trip but he wouldn't have the budget to pay the tickets + the hotel + the restaurants + the games, etc. My other friends wouldn't do a trip to Boston just for NBA games, and especially in late january or early february. As for my family, I usually travel with my father but he wouldn't come to Boston either (and once again the period isn't appropriate for him).

I know it would be cooler to visit the city with someone but at the same time I thought that it would be interesting to make the trip on my own. It's part of the experience in my mind.

Quote from: nickagneta
2. I don't know where in France you are from but Boston is on the ocean and cold and the windiest city in America. In January and February you can almost count on at least one good 12 inch dump of snow in one storm every two weeks during that time period. Never expect temperatures to be above 0 degrees Celcius and expect the nights to be -10 to 0 degrees C. and wind chill factors much lower than that. If you are not use to that type of weather buy Thinsulate boots and gloves and dress in thin layers. Tee shirt, shirt, sweater, heavy coat.

Wow, much more colder than I expected! :o Now I know what to expect (and what clothes I should bring), thanks for the accuracy.

Quote from: nickagneta
3. I don't know what your budget is but really good front row balcony seats on the side of the court will run $100 American easy and maybe more. Something in the lower log on the sidelines about $150-$200 American and floor near court side $300 + American. That's all per ticket from third party vendors. You can always find sclapers outside looking to drop tickets for a lot less but the seat selection isn't always great.

OK, so if I resume with what jackson_34 and Brickowki told me too, the best affordable seats are the upper balcony near the court. 100/150$ is fine. I think I would envision more easily the seats you're talking about when I will see the plan of the Garden. When do they usually start the tickets selling on celtics.com? Just after the NBA's schedule release?

By the way, how much a courtside seat costs? And is it really worth this price (you're close to the players but do you really see the game well, if you are in the middle of the court for example?) Maybe I could go in the balcony for one game and try courtside for the following one, to experience the two. Once again it depends on the interest of the courtside seats and its cost.

As for my budget, since the flight tickets would be gratis, I would say it would be around 2130$ dollars for the whole trip (hotel, restaurants, tickets for the games + souvenirs). I have no idea of where I "could go" with this budget so your advices are welcome once again. Anyway, this is the budget I have right now and it can only grow until february since I'm not spending much to increase this value.

Quote from: nickagneta
It's best to find a hotel outside of Boston close to the public transportation trains(MBTA subway). The hotels will be much less expensive and riding the T, as it is called will get you right into downtown and right outside the Garden in mere minutes.

Good idea, I would never have thought of it myself, so thanks again. Do you have some names of hotels, or addresses you know? Or just some suburb area's name to find some hotels in this area on Internet to compare the prices and the locations.

Quote from: nickagneta
You're under 21 so the nightlife will be limited. There are a ton of great pubs and clubs but you won't be able to get in. As for other attractions Fanuel Hall day or night is outstanding with lots of restaurants, shopping, street entertainers and in the winter it's lit up beautifully at night. The Museum of Science is a great day time take. The Museum of Fine Arts is also a good daytime attraction. Copley Plaza and the Copley Square Mall as well as Newbury Street are excellent shopping areas if a bit expensive. Being 19 you will be the same age as a ton of students at many of Bostons and America's best college's and universities. Visit one or two during a Friday or Saturday afternoon and I'm sure you could find a party for that night. With a French accent, you'll fit in well and score some night time fun for sure.

These places sound really cool to visit and to stay around! Especially Fanuel Hall and the Mall. As for my accent, it would be cool if I could use it an asset, hopefully you're right about the party possibility.  ;D

I also take note of the areas to avoid and the areas to see that you mentioned after in your post, and I'm going to do some research (or buy a tourism guide) about Boston and its suburbs to envision the places you quoted.

Thanks again to you guys for all your advices, it's great and it helps me plan my trip. TP's for all of you (and more coming after the karma limitation).

PS : Nowee, of course it would be cool if this thread could be used to help all the people planning this kind of trip to Beantown! :)

Re: Need help for an hypothetical trip to Boston
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2009, 08:30:00 AM »

Offline Prof. Clutch

  • Bailey Howell
  • **
  • Posts: 2199
  • Tommy Points: 237
  • Mind Games
What's up Drucci,

Well, if you come to visit this year please feel free to come by and visit me at my job (I work at an international school.)  I'll introduce you to some other people from France if you'd like and you can go out and chill with them.  They'll have been in Boston for four months already and will be able to show you around.  Just send me a message if you're interested and I'll give you the details.

Also I have a few different hotel recommendations.  One that I've pointed a few different people towards is this one:
http://www.beaconinn.com/

Located on the border of Brookline and Boston, its a really safe area with T access right outside the door which can take you quickly to anywhere in the city (including the Garden.)

Glad to hear you're coming.  Hope to catch up with you at some point.

Peace.

Re: Need help for an hypothetical trip to Boston
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2009, 08:55:22 AM »

Offline Champzilla

  • Gordon Hayward
  • Posts: 577
  • Tommy Points: 102
Nick your from Boston... TP.  Us Boston people have to stick together on this site, aren't that many of us.  Boston actors man.. Boston actors.
Boston is the Greatest City in the World !!!

Re: Need help for an hypothetical trip to Boston
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2009, 06:58:55 PM »

Offline dark_lord

  • Don Nelson
  • ********
  • Posts: 8793
  • Tommy Points: 1123
Nick your from Boston... TP.  Us Boston people have to stick together on this site, aren't that many of us.  Boston actors man.. Boston actors.


Re: Need help for an hypothetical trip to Boston
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2009, 08:20:14 PM »

Offline cdif911

  • Antoine Walker
  • ****
  • Posts: 4867
  • Tommy Points: 43
Nick your from Boston... TP.  Us Boston people have to stick together on this site, aren't that many of us.  Boston actors man.. Boston actors.

I'm a suburbanite, but have lived in Boston when I went to college.. It is a great place to visit, there is so much to do...

because others have given pretty full synopsis's, I'll keep it simple

1) Yes travel with someone else, or someone else's - sometimes just being with one other person for an extended period of time can get pretty rough, especially if they aren't into what it is you came to do (watching the celtics)

2) Tickets are fairly easy to come by - I'd buy in advance, either through the box office or stub-hub; we've actually got tickets for cheaper on stub-hub than at the box office.  Better yet, find a season ticket holder who's on vacation that week or willing to sell a couple seats.

3) Depending on funding, I'd stay a little bit outside of the proper city; it gets expensive.  There's a couple of pretty good places in the Allston/Brighton area, which is more the college area and about a 25 minute T ride to the Garden.

4) Boston has some great places to eat - as someone said the ethnic food is great. There's also some good pub/American food.  We're not known for our French cuisine though, but I bet you want to get away from that anyways =) (though I remember going to London and all the Americans wanted to eat at Micky D's, stupid americans)

5) Plan extra travel time.  Logan airport will shut down if someone looks at it wrong. A snow storm ruined my 1st attempt to go to Vegas, as the "next flight" was 3 days later due to bumping. You wouldn't want to buy game tickets and not be able to actually go to the game.

hmm what else? If I think of anything, I'll throw it out there

We should contact group sales and do a CB Night at the garden! 
When you love life, life loves you right back


Re: Need help for an hypothetical trip to Boston
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2009, 09:11:02 PM »

Offline Champzilla

  • Gordon Hayward
  • Posts: 577
  • Tommy Points: 102
TP for u cdif.
Boston is the Greatest City in the World !!!

Re: Need help for an hypothetical trip to Boston
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2009, 09:37:13 PM »

Offline BudweiserCeltic

  • Kevin Garnett
  • *****************
  • Posts: 17211
  • Tommy Points: 1591
When you arrive to Boston, you only need to know two words: Ana's Taqueria.

Re: Need help for an hypothetical trip to Boston
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2009, 09:43:43 PM »

Offline Kwhit10

  • Antoine Walker
  • ****
  • Posts: 4254
  • Tommy Points: 923
TP to other Bostonites in the thread.

But you may want to look into being a club green member.  This way you can buy some tickets before they go on sale the the public, most likely a few days before they're released.  Also IIRC the tickets generally go on sale around the 3rd week in September.

For the price the sidelines on the balcony are great seats.  The Garden isn't that big, and you can see everything from every seat.  Have fun, and TP for making the trip.

Re: Need help for an hypothetical trip to Boston
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2009, 09:47:23 PM »

Offline Champzilla

  • Gordon Hayward
  • Posts: 577
  • Tommy Points: 102
Ana's Taqueria is awesome, great call.  Many try to copy Ana's but none succeed.
Boston is the Greatest City in the World !!!