Ask a Local – Feature #1 Boston

MAD Ask a Local Series

Emily Kushvaliev

Bostonian Emily Kushvaliev



Emily Kushvaliev oozes love for her beloved city whenever she talks about Boston. That been my impression of her every time I have met her – from food and new restaurants to the history to how much she enjoys discovering the hidden corners of her city – she explores it all with hubby and her friends despite having a hectic corporate job. She has also introduced me to reiki, a passionate hobby of hers.

Here Emily takes on our “Ask a Local in 10” telling us about her Beantown!



Describe your city in 5 sentences.

The largest city in New England, Boston is rich in history and renowned for its culture and arts.  Home of some of the most prestigious universities and hospitals in the world, Boston is a thriving community of diverse people. Situated on the coast, it is one of the principal ports on the eastern seaboard and boasts amazingly fresh seafood throughout dozens of wonderful restaurants.  A truly walkable city, one feels at home almost immediately when in Boston.   A great hub for entertainment, the city offers remarkable museums, symphony, ballet, theatre, sports, nightlife, and has even been featured in a number of great films.

What’s the best thing about living there?

I love the smaller, more connected feel of Boston, mixed with the seemingly endless opportunities to explore the unique architecture, sample the delicious food, and immerse myself in the marvellous art and culture.

What’s your favourite time of year in Boston for you? Why?

Tough question – I’d have to say it’s a tie between the spring and fall seasons. Spring brings such gorgeous flowers all over the city, especially in the Public Gardens, and the fall foliage in Boston and the surrounding areas is really spectacular.

Is there one place visitors shouldn’t miss seeing?

I highly recommend enjoying a sunset cruise around Boston Harbor to enjoy a truly magnificent view of the city from a completely different vantage point.  As a resident, I waited far too long to enjoy this experience and now I always make sure to mention it when visitors ask what not to miss while here.

What’s your favourite local dish?

Hands down – New England clam chowder!  It is served in a lot of restaurants and I have yet to have a bad cup of the stuff anywhere in Boston.

Do you have a favourite local place to eat/drink you would share with visitors?

Boston has so many amazing restaurants, but I’ve discovered one hidden gem – Troquet. The food is delicious, the presentation is beautiful, and they have a renowned wine list.  Do NOT skip their cheese course – it is sublime.

How about a favourite local coffee/tea shop?

L.A. Burdick chocolate shop and café is a decadent treat and a great place to enjoy assorted chocolates, pastries, and even delicious drinking chocolates.  They have two locations in the city – one in Back Bay and the other in Cambridge .  I am also a huge fan of the wonderful art of afternoon tea and I consider myself very lucky to live in a city that offers several great choices to partake in this experience.  The Taj, the Four Seasons, and the Boston Harbor Hotel are all great options and if you feel like trying something different, afternoon tea is also served at the Courtyard Restaurant in the Boston Public Library overlooking a beautiful little enclosed courtyard.

What three local words every visitor should know?

  • The T – refers to the Boston subway system
  • Wicked – a general intensifier to any sentence (i.e. “She’s wicked cool”)
  • Outbound – refers to any train moving away from Park Street Station downtown

Why should someone visit Boston?

Boston is a perfect mix of small city feel with large city entertainment.  There are always a million interesting things going on at any given time.

What advice would you give someone visiting Boston?

One of the wonderful things about Boston is that it is so walkable.  Mapping out the city in advance and enjoying it by strolling through the different neighbourhoods is a great way to really get a feel for the beautiful architecture, the incredible choice of cafes and restaurants, and a real sense of the history of the city.


Emily is a star for sharing her tips, hidden treasures and advice for visiting Boston. For a sneak peak on the city have a look at this photo blog of mines “A Walk to Remember – Picturesque Boston”