STROLL
"In summer on Sundays, they close Memorial Drive on the Cambridge side of the Charles River. There are people out there selling stuff and people riding bikes and rollerblading and walking. It's like a little street fair. From the Cambridge side, you can see all of Boston. You can see the capitol dome, which was plated in gold, because originally Boston thought of itself as the hub of the universe and believed that their model of government was going to be 'a city on a hill' and a beacon for all other nations. That's why there's an area called Beacon Hill, even though it only has an altitude of 20 feet."

ONE GREAT BOSTON WALK


Boston is contained and you can get almost anywhere on foot. When I was a little kid, my dad and I used to walk in the afternoons in the summer. We could walk from where we lived, down over the river, across the Boston University Bridge, and over to Fenway Park. You could still buy bleacher seats for a couple of bucks. We'd go sit in the bleachers and watch the Sox. We'd walk on the beautiful old cobblestone streets. … That walk I used to take with my dad still means a lot to me. I go back and take those little walks again, walk over to Fenway Park, walk down through the North End, the Italian neighborhood, all the way down over to South Boston and down through the Back Bay. You can do all that in a day. It's just a gorgeous city. I think about my dad and where I grew up and the way I grew up. It's nice. You can still go home again."

ben affleck's boston essentials


hotels
the charles hotel
, expensive; (800) 882-1818

the four seasons, very expensive; (800) 332-3442

the ritz-carlton, very expensive; (800) 241-3333

restaurants
brookline lunch
, diner; inexpensive; (617) 354-2983

b-side lounge, new american; moderate; (617) 354-0766