Boston, Massachusetts: The Back Bay Fens and Fenway Park

Bostonians playing baseball

Trip Taken: 2010

The Back Bay Fens in Boston is really close to the Museum of Fine Arts. Visiting any museum can usually work up anyone’s appetite. The MFA was no exception. By the time we exited the museum, it was already dark and time for some serious grub. My brother did a quick search on his Android phone and came up with two viable options close to us. There was a Thai restaurant and an Italian restaurant across the Back Bay Fens of Boston. Not too far about half a mile away. There was a still a lot of activity going on in the park. Runners doing their daily exercise and what looks like adult baseball leagues playing in the diamonds.

The park itself looked pretty big with remnants of the marsh visible in small pockets of the park. The whole area in the Back Bay was entirely underwater before the city decided to make more land here. I can see that it could be a very pretty park for the residents of the area and probably why the Back Bay is considered one of the more expensive areas of Boston.

Trattoria Toscana


We arrived at Trattoria Toscana not too long after we set out for it. Half a mile is really nothing. The restaurant is a small place with about six, maybe seven tables in the whole restaurant. There were about a handful of tables that were occupied. It created an atmosphere of relaxed nature.

Onto to the food. The bread was the same as you would find in any other Italian restaurant. Some hearty bread to dip into olive oil and balsamic vinegar. We ordered the bruschetta as an appetizer. I had the Porcini Gnocchi and my brother had the special salmon. The bruschetta was fine and tasted like any other bruschetta. It is very difficult to mess it up. Get some good bread, tomatoes, oil, basil, and voila; the sum of the ingredients becomes the perfect summer finger food. As for the Porcini Gnocchi, the gnocchi was probably some of the best I have ever had. Light, fluffy, and not too much starch sticking between each bite. It was like biting into soft edible pillows. The sauce however… Ugh. The sauce seemed like it came from a Chef Boyardee can. Edible but not something you would expect when you hear porcini. I have no idea how my brother’s salmon came out but it looked flaky and tender.

Fenway Park

Fenway Park

Fenway Park was of course closed at this time, but we wanted to take a quick circle around the stadium to see this legendary ballpark. The area around the ballpark was pretty dead. It was very different from the experience of walking around Wrigley Field. I actually felt a little bit unsafe in this area.

There was one bar near the stadium that was open, but the streets were pretty deserted and there was an overwhelming sense that the area was absolutely supported by the Boston Red Sox. If they weren’t here, it would probably feel even less safe.

Parting Words

It would be pretty awesome to be in Fenway Park during an actual Red Sox game. I, myself, cannot profess to be a baseball fan. Hell, I walked out of the only two baseball games I have ever been to. But to feel the energy of actual enthusiastic fans would be an experience. The collective energy of hope, tension, and celebration would probably be unlike any other experience.

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About the Author

John is always trying to find his way back to the road. He has an affinity for Germany due to his three years studying German at Cal, and a year working as an intern in the Stuttgart area. He also likes chocolate cake and good cheese.