In preparation for her New Year’s Eve show with the Boston Pops, Blast asked Boston resident and musician Amanda Palmer about her preferred spots in and around the city. Here’s what she had to say:
On her favorite Cambridge spots:
"My favorite mainstays haven’t all gone away. Algiers (Coffee House), Caf© Pamplona, The Brattle. â€¦ Honestly, you know, if I were to move to Mars and you said, â€˜You can only have one day in Boston, where are you going to go?’ I would grab a book and I would head to Caf© Pamplona. That’s my number one location. â€¦ The day Caf© Pamplona closes, that’s it. I’m movin’ shop."
Harvard Square or Newbury Street?
"It’s funny. You know, I grew up going to Harvard Square as a teenager in the â€˜80s. And even then, people were telling me that it was losing its soul. And now I feel like the â€˜80s were, like, this bohemian heyday! … It hurts me, actually, to hang out there a little bit. I miss the funk. I miss the cool little stores. I mss all the street performers. I miss walking around and feeling city life. It feels more and more like a mall every summer, and that hurts me, because I always felt like Harvard Square was sort of my spiritual home. â€¦ Even with the soulless jewelers and bankers, it still beats Newbury Street."
Axis/Avalon or the House of Blues?
"I haven’t been to the new House of Blues (so) I can’t say. Everything I’ve heard leads me to believe that I would probably vote House of Blues. Axis and Avalon, as clubs, had very bad feng shui."
The Middle East, TT the Bears or Paradise?
"It’s a toss-up between the Middle East and Paradise. I’d say the Middle East probably wins just because there’s actually a real bar and you can sit down and eat."
Boston Common or the Esplenade?
"I’m a Common person."
Museum of Fine Arts or Institute of Contemporary Art?
"I haven’t been to the new ICA, but I have special attachments to the MFA. Probably MFA."
On where she goes for inspiration:
"Especially in the fall and spring, just walking around the South End, it’s so breathtakingly beautiful because of the architecture and the trees. And when I want to just go on a solitary walk, I actually go out to Castle Island and do that circle. But I’m kind of a hometown girl at heart, and even though my hometown has changed a lot, I still go back to Lexington constantly and visit my folks and hang out in the center of town there."