Category Archives: Boston

The final term has begun

It’s been a while, so please allow me to wish you a belated Happy New Year!

It’s been more than a month since my last post and I would love to tell you that it’s not because I was too busy to write, but truthfully I was just too lazy. During winter break, I ate a lot, slept well, played hard, and spent the laziest days of the past two years. But break is now over and my final term started yesterday.

For EC students, the first week of each term is an “Add/Drop period” during which we can attend all the classes we are interested in, deciding which courses to take. As a result, this week was supposed to be spent enjoying the “window shopping” and visiting with friends we had not seen in a long while. Nice and leisurely.

However, as some of you may know, the Northeast region (along the Philadelphia-to-Boston corridor) has been pummeled by an historic blizzard, Juno, which may turn out to be the biggest storm of many years, and it totally slammed cities today. Snow totals may exceed 2 feet in Boston, and we have been cautioned not to go outside. In anticipation of the shutdown, throngs of people rushed to supermarkets yesterday, making it difficult to even buy a bottle of water.

HBS is not immune to the whims of the weather or its consequences. All lectures and events were cancelled today and I could see no one on campus. HBS is known as a tough school, even in the Harvard community, and rarely cancels lectures due to bad weather, even when other Harvard schools do so.

In my memory, this is the second time HBS has been closed due to an emergency during the past two years. The first was April 19th 2013, after the Boston Marathon bombing when the suspect traded gunfire with police in the center of the Cambridge area. At that time, I was staying at a hotel in downtown Boston, and even though it was daytime and the weather was fine, I could see no one on the street. It was like a ghost town – the strange scene is engraved in my mind’s eye.

The blizzard has been getting fiercer this morning and I can see nothing from the window because of the whiteout. I hope everything returns to business-as-usual before long.

Blizzard


Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving Day today. At this time last year I was in NYC, watching the rambunctious and animated Macy’s parade from an unbelievably crowded sidewalk on Broadway. In sharp contrast, this year I’m staying here in Boston and spending a serene, peaceful day. Most of my fellow HBS students left a couple of days ago to spend the holiday in their respective hometowns. Campus is now very quiet and very empty. The city of Boston, as well, is eerily empty, and the majority of the stores are closed.

Glancing at the calendar, I notice that I am only 180 days (!) away from graduation. Looking at it another way, three-quarters of our life at HBS is over. Time really flies.

Recently I’ve been working hard on preparation for my start-up company. After spending considerable time on the market research, I’m anticipating an auspicious future. In conjunction, I’m developing a detailed schedule of next semester and will be spending a large amount of time on business development. I’m hoping I can post my start-up’s progress next year.

Today I visited my friend’s home and spent a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with her family. Colorful, sumptuous appetizers, a huge turkey with delicious gravy, crispy baked apple pie and chocolates. I’m super stuffed…!

Turkey

Thanksgiving


Going Charles River

Do you know the top 3 most popular sports in Boston?  Baseball (Red Sox), ice hockey, and regatta. Last week, there was a famous regatta competition named Head of the Charles and the street along the Charles River was wall-to-wall with a gallery comprised of people from all over the U.S.

First held in 1965, Head of the Charles is the world’s largest two-day rowing competition, and every year more than 10,000 athletes and 400,000 spectators converge on Boston for the event. The three mile course, starting from Boston University’s DeWolfe Boathouse and finishing at Northeastern University’s Henderson Boathouse, passes just in front of the HBS campus and luckily I can see the exciting race from my apartment.

Head of the Charles

It’s not only the athletes who enjoy recreation on the Charles. There are several rental shops along the river, and from spring through autumn, many Bostonians enjoy kayaking. Since the Charles has no current, it’s extremely easy to paddle up and down the river, enjoying the beautiful riverside view of central Boston. The most spectacular of which is, when you pass by the Hatch Memorial Shell which is located across from MIT, where, with any luck, you can hear the sound of an orchestra playing classical music! All while sitting in the comfort of your kayak.

Hatch Shell

It’s almost the end of October and in a very short time, Boston will get into severe winter weather which will freeze the Charles. And now I’m wondering how much time I have to enjoy the beautiful view of the Charles from my room.

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On the lawn

A two and a half hour drive north of downtown Boston is a music venue known for its annual summer music festival – Tanglewood.

I had long wanted to come here and finally achieved that today. It was a perfect day; fine weather, comfortable temperature, and an All-Beethoven Program.

 

At 12:30, two hours before curtain, we arrived at Tanglewood’s huge parking lot. When we passed through the gate, there were already many people on the lawn, sitting on camp chairs with wine and cheese. We somehow got a position in the front row and opened our lunch boxes.

The price of the lawn seat is only $15. Although there are regular roofed seats ($20-92) right in the front of stage, I recommend this lawn seat since that’s the best part of Tanglewood.

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The two hour program finished all too soon. It was the first time I listened to live orchestral music in such a nice place. I’m not sure if I will have a chance to come again once my classes start, but I’m sure this is one of the best places every visitor to Boston can visit.


An afternoon at Fenway Park

Opened in 1912, Fenway Park is the home ballpark of the Boston Red Sox, and the oldest Major League Baseball park still in use. Because of its low capacity (less than 40,000 spectators), it is not easy to get a ticket. In fact, since May 2003, the Red Sox have sold out every home game, an MLB record.

 

A few days ago I received an email from two of my ex-colleagues at BCG, saying they had just left BCG and were coming to Boston to attend a week training program at Bain Capital, their new company. Thinking it would be a nice opportunity to get together for the first time in 6 months, and since I had never been to Fenway Park, we decided to go to the Red Sox – Diamondbacks game on Sunday. The price of our grandstand seats was $150/person.

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Grabbing a hotdog and a beer, we watched the game surrounded by hundreds of enthusiastic Red Sox fans. Although our eyes were chasing the white ball, our conversation was mostly about our days at BCG and our careers after consulting. They told me that they were going to apply to business school next year. Such a career path (2-3 years at a consulting firm or investment bank, 2-3 years at a private equity firm, and 2 years at business school) is called a “fast track”, and right after they graduate from business school, most of them will become board members of companies they invest in. “How much are you going to earn?” I asked. “Far less than those Red Sox players,” he answered.

The Red Sox won 4-0. We left the stadium in a chipper mood.


At a summer retreat

A short 40 minute drive from downtown Boston is the ocean-side summer resort of the very wealthy – Marblehead. Today one of my HIT teammates hosted a barbecue at his family’s summer residence there where we grabbed some hamburgers while we sipped champagne and enjoyed the friendly sea breeze and the roar of the waves.

I know that once class starts my leisure time will be limited and I probably will not be able to enjoy it anyway – what with the concerns of academic life weighing on my mind. That said – it was so nice to escape the hustle and bustle of the past week…

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