Concierge Guide: Boston’s Financial District

Boston’s Financial District feels like the backdrop for many a Hollywood film, not just the ones about Beantown, but really any seeking to evoke power and money. Clusters of three-piece suits flow in and out of tall glass buildings during the day, and swanky lounges and Irish pubs spill over with those nursing work stress at night. And yet, because this is Boston, this chunk of downtown is filled with historical coolness and charm that separates it from so many other American city centers. Our Carr Workplaces is in the heart of Financial District at 10 Post Office Square, and below is what we like to enjoy when we’re out of the office.

First, our home, Post Office Square, is home to Norman B. Leventhal Park, a delightful patch of green that provides balance to the steel and glass towering above. There’s a garden trellis and walk-through sculptural fountain and the park is particularly serene when there’s snowfall, which, being Boston, is almost guaranteed each year.

One of the nicer things about Boston’s downtown is that it’s imminently walkable and one of the best ways to take it in while getting a thorough history lesson is by strolling the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail which connects 16 of the city’s (and country’s!) most historical landmarks all while weaving through downtown streets.

You can walk the trail unguided, of course, or enjoy a more immersive take as presented by the Freedom Trail Foundation Players, a troupe of actors, historians and teachers playing the part in 18th century-era costumes.

Of the many landmarks to be savored along the trail, perhaps our favorite is Boston Common, which, dating back to 1634, is America’s oldest public park. Puritan colonists purchased the rights, calling the area “Common Land” and used it to graze local livestock until 1830. It was also the site for Puritanical punishments having a whipping post, pillory and stocks. Good times. Today, your only punishment might be self-inflicted, like if you neglected to bring sunglasses or a latte when sitting on a bench to people-watch.

At the head of the Common is possibly America’s prettiest state legislature building, the Massachusetts State House, dating back to 1798 and still in vigorous use. The free tours last just 45 minutes and are a great way to inject a shot of history and art into your day.

As you rack up steps soaking in the birth of American independence, your appetite will likely follow suit, and, fortunately, Financial District doesn’t disappoint the hungry or the picky. Despite having only been in existence since 2014, Bostonia Public House feels very Boston. It too could be a film set, perhaps for a scene where the lead takes a date to a place that’s nice but not stuffy, where the food is Instagram-worthy, but tables might get pushed aside for dancing if the mood is right. The menu has plenty of New England and North Atlantic touches such as tater tot poutine and Faroe Islands salmon, and if you’re there on the weekend the Bloody Mary competition is quite a sight (see below). Before moving on, did you know the term pub derives from public house, which is, essentially, the ancient origin of the modern bar? Dating back to 10th Century Great Britain, public houses were outgrowths of people’s homes where the public could purchase drink and gather, without requiring any sort of membership. Okay, moving on.

Now, if you are looking for some place to truly impress someone, or simply to dazzle your own senses, Mariel is that. This Cuban-inspired restaurant has won accolades for its breathtaking design, but its cuisine is equally noteworthy and do make reservations well in advance as it can be hard to land a table on the spot. Pan queso frito, fufu gnocchi and Havanese lamb are a few of their fusion dishes we’d love to repeat.

The bird’s eye view of Boston feels somewhat maze-like with waterways carving through peninsulas and islands. The reality is that when you are downtown, you can get around incredibly fast on the T (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, aka, Boston’s subway) or even on foot. With that in mind, another can’t miss restaurant is Woods Hill Pier 4, just a 20-minute walk from Carr Workplaces, and a true farm-to-table standout in the reinvigorated Seaport District. The restaurant has its own 360-acre farm in nearby Bath, New Hampshire and prides itself on providing only grass-fed proteins.

While at the Seaport, stop in the Institute of Contemporary Art, or ICA, which is arguably New England’s best modern art museum. The building itself is a stunning work of modern architecture overlooking the Boston Harbor and the museum reels in some of the biggest modern art exhibits touring the world.

As we bring this Concierge Guide to a close, we want to give a nod to two other dining destinations that are just outside the Financial District but very worth your time. First is North End’s Casarecce. The North End has the distinction of being Boston’s oldest residential community, dating back to the 1630’s, but in the last century it’s been known for its well-established Italian-American population and abundance of excellent Italian restaurants. That we’re making a point of giving a shout-out to Casarecce, then, means something. The restaurant’s name originates from the short twisty type of pasta common to Sicily, and on that subject, all of Casarecce’s pasta is made in-house. Simple yet divine dishes will have you’ll thanking us afterward.

When it comes to Bostonian drink, one instantly thinks of iconic beer brands like Sam Adams. We’d like you, though, to give Nightshift Brewing at Lovejoy Wharf, a 17 minute walk or two-stop ride on the T from Carr Workplaces, a try. A favorite among regional beer geeks, this location of the brewery has seating for 300 people and, of course, an impressive selection of standard and even more experimental brews as well as tasty small plates like their winter spice hummus which features roasted pumpkin, chickpea, spicy pepitas, chili oil, and grilled naan. Yum.

When it’s time to tuck in for the night, you’re smart to guess that Downtown Boston has an abundance of high-quality hotels. For our money, the Boston Yacht Haven Inn is among the most pleasant. Right on the North End waterfront and next door to Quincy Market, the newly renovated Inn has just 10 guest rooms, 5 of which have private decks and 9 of which have soaking tubs. Indeed, the Inn would feel equally well-placed in one of Boston’s famous vacation islands like Martha’s Vineyard or Cape Cod, so having it in the heart of this metropolis is a treat.

Whether you’re seeking a happening spot to work at a serviced office, or seek a Boston virtual office address that evokes professionalism and class, our Carr Workplaces Financial District location checks off all of the boxes.

 

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