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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Hit the Street in Boston


5. Oddball Day

The Frank Gehry–designed Ray and Maria Stata Center at M.I.T.  

Head to Cambridge’s M.I.T./Kendall Square neighborhood for a day of free cultural pursuits. Take the T to Kendall Square to see Paul Matisse’s musical sculpture Kendall Band, which hangs between the train tracks and was recently refurbished by a group of M.I.T. engineering students. Next, grab coffee and house-baked breakfast pastries—like mini cinnamon rolls ($1.50 for 3), maple-bacon bread ($2.25), or craquelin (sugar-cube-stuffed brioche, $2.50) at Area Four. Next, walk to M.I.T.’s Frank Gehry–designed Ray and Maria Stata Center, an architectural cluster of haphazard-looking angles and metallic surfaces. Midday on weekends, you’ll likely see members of local parkour group Hub Freerunning acrobatically vaulting, scaling, and balancing around the building’s central courtyard. Hub members welcome drop-ins at their “jams,” as well as watchers (those interested in learning from them can sign up for Parkour 101, a class that founding traceurs Dylan Polin and Curran Ferrey regularly lead at the Boston Center for Adult Education). Spend another hour or two on campus, wandering among the many public art installations (by Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, and others), and check out the free exhibits at the List Visual Arts Center (Lichtballett, Otto Piene’s light-based sculpture installation, opens October 20). Then head back to Kendall Square for upscale Southern-fried cuisine at Hungry Mother (try the crispy-duck-and-hominy stew, $12, with a side of country ham biscuits and red pepper jelly, $5). Finish the night by choosing from 100 beers on tap at newly opened brew emporium Meadhall.

Published on Sep 16, 2011 as a web exclusive.

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