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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Christmas in December and July by Matt McGann '00

I’m back at my parents’ home now (watching reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), after spending a wonderful long weekend in Boston with them. On Saturday, we started at China Pearl, then walked through Downtown Crossing, Boston’s main shopping area (along with Newbury/Boylston and Quincy Market). Then we walked through Boston Common, up Beacon Hill, across the Longfellow Bridge to check out the Stata Center at MIT, which they hadn’t seen before. We had planned to cap Saturday with dinner at Fire & Ice, but the wait was an hour and a half, so we headed down to Cafe of India, where the food was delicious and you can watch as they make the naan and other foods in the tandoor. On Sunday, we started at our favorite brunch place out in the suburbs, Strawberry Fair, then made our way down to Plymouth, where we saw the Rock. You may have already heard that Plymouth Rock is not very big, and that is true. It wasn’t as small as I had imagined, though it isn’t large by the standards of national parks in the West. Plimoth Plantation, which is mostly closed for the season, was next, and I was surprised at the amount of respect the exhibits paid to the local Native tribe, the Wampanoag. Then we drove around Miles Standish State Park and southeast Massachusetts’ many cranberry bogs (did you know that Ocean Spray is a grower-owned cooperative based in Massachusetts?), which were really cool, then did some shopping. Dinner was at The Burren, an Irish place near my house. We sat right next to the traditional Irish band, tapping our feet to the fiddlers. Finally, Monday morning we had a nice home-cooked breakfast of congee with pork and preserved egg, fresh bread with butter from the previously mentioned Vermont Butter & Cheese Company, and mango juice.

My parents have visited many times during the past eight years I’ve been in Boston, and we’ve never strugged to find something fun to do. With the great culture and food, Mom-certified awesome shopping, and lots and lots of history, your parents will love visiting you here.

My family has lots of Christmas-time traditions; I’ll try to post some photos of them over the vacation-time, as well as try to answer my backlog of admissions-related questions. For a quick MIT fix, check out former Admissions Officer Amrys’ blog entry on MIT course number pronunciation. For you admitted students, you should go check out the new admitted students directory on the MyMIT Portal. And starting today both early action admitted and deferred students will find a message from Dean Marilee Jones on the Portal.

And finally today, it was announced that the sixth Harry Potter book, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” will be released on July 16. I’m wondering who among you will be outside of a bookstore at just before midnight July 15, who will wait to borrow it from a friend or library, and who’s not into the Harry Potter craze at all. Are you excited?

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