Michal and I spent our last morning in Boston by having a breakfast picnic by the sea before heading to Cambridge to explore Harvard. The previous day we had toured MIT which had some pretty cool architecture. The Stata Center is a really funky building that houses the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratories among other things. For those of you who know Michal, you know why we stopped by this campus. While MIT is full of brilliant minds, the campus is quite modern.
Visiting Harvard’s campus was like stepping back into time. It was hard for me to believe that Harvard was established as a university in 1636. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Walking through the main gates of Harvard, I could not help but think that I was walking where so many intelligent people have walked for hundreds of years. A few famous Harvard alums consist of John Hancock, John Adams, FDR, JFK, Obama, TS Eliot, Henry David Thoreau, E.E. Cummings, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Bill Gates. The oldest building on campus is Massachusetts Hall which dates back to somewhere around 1720 and is still used today. Michal and I enjoyed a stroll through Harvard Yard and admired the old red brick buildings. We eventually stumbled upon the Weidener Library which is the largest university library in the world. However, the only way to enter the library is you have a Harvard ID. Who knew that access could be limited to be a library.
My favorite building on the campus is Memorial Hall. It is a gorgeous gothic style building built as a memorial to honor Harvard graduates who fought for the Union in the Civil War. I love the history behind this university. The campus was quite charming, but I have to say that in my humble opinion, Cornell’s campus, especially the Quad is much more beautiful.
After we left the campus, we wandered around Cambridge for awhile. I found it interesting that we saw more homeless people in Cambridge than we did the whole time we were in Boston. It was interesting to stand outside the gates of Harvard, which costs approx. $40,000 in tuition per year, and see homeless people sleeping on benches or sitting in doorways holding out cups for money. It was a pretty clear picture of the haves (even in they are/will be in hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt) and have nots.
Cambridge was the last stop on our trip. We left this ivy league town and headed for the ivy league town we call home. We had an amazing time in Boston! I loved the history, the beauty, the culture, the cleanliness, the baseball and the people. Did you know that people in Massachusetts, even Boston, stop in their cars to let pedestrians cross the road? That was unreal to me. Every time we came to cross walk, people stopped and waved us through. While we did not see and do everything that we had wanted to do, we could not have asked for a better time. Boston is hands down my favorite city in the US that I have been to. I will be going back again someday.