Nowhere to Go in Downtown Boston

Earlier this week, my cousin, who is a medical resident in New York City, came to visit my office in Downtown Boston after work. After giving him a quick tour of my office, we thought we’d chat over a cup of coffee. I’m not aware of any locally-owned downtown cafés or coffee shops, so we thought we’d have to settle for a Starbucks. The Starbucks across the street from my office, however, had just closed at 6pm. Although I’d been to the Peet’s Coffee around the corner dozens of times, it wasn’t until I actually tried to go there with my cousin that I realized that they don’t have any seating. We attempted to go to five other similar venues, and they were all either closed or without seating (including an Au Bon Pain right near Downtown Crossing that just has a walk-up counter).

Finally, we settled for a Dunkin’ Donuts that had two tables and was open for another half hour. The staff were busy mopping up and listening to a loud radio that was half-tuned to pure FM static.

I realize Downtown Boston isn’t the most residential area, but aren’t there other people who want to meet up after work at some place other than a bar? Isn’t this supposed to be a world class city? What about all the luxury condominiums that have been built recently in walking distance to the financial district… is it all a fiction?

It’s times like this that I have to admit feelings of New York envy.