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Registration, Lodging, Hedonism

2nd Biennial Meeting of the BABEL Working Group

20-22 September 2012

Northeastern University

Boston, Massachusetts


Figure 1. Beth Dow, Young God, Sissinghurst, Platinum Paladium print [from In The Garden; all other images on this page from this portfolio]


$100 REGULAR PRE-REGISTRATION [paid online by August 15th]

$125 LATE REGISTRATION [paid on-site during conference]


$25 DONATION to BABEL Working Group [required of all registrants]

*registration fee includes two receptions + one after-party + neuron turbo-charging + ribonucleic acid trips; donation to BABEL assists in the building of temporary shelters for intellectual vagabonds

Go HERE to register.


Our TWO main conference hotels, with special discounted rates (and be sure to ask for the BABEL Conference and/or Northeastern University English Department discount), are:

Colonnade Hotel

All that one would expect in a luxe downtown hotel.

Prudential Stop, Green E Line, 12-15 minute walk to NU campus

120 Huntington Ave

Boston, MA 02116


Reservation Code: NOI19B

Midtown Hotel

A 1960’s two-story hotel that has scarcely been upgraded; a mix of fun retro and, well . . . not. Owned by the Xtian Scientists. No restaurant, but the hotel offers 15% off any meal at Brasserie Jo (@ the Colonnade down the street).

Symphony Stop, Green E Line, 12-15 minute walk to NU campus

220 Huntington Ave

Boston, MA 02115


Best Western Boston-Inn at Longwood

342 Longwood Ave.

Boston, MA 02115


[mention Northeastern University English Department AND BABEL Conference when making reservations at either the Colonnade, Midtown, or Best Western-Inn at Longwood]

Hotels with special rates for Northeastern University events [mention NU when making reservation]:

Boston Back Bay Hilton Hotel

Prudential Stop, Green E Line

40 Dalton Street

Boston, MA 02199


Fairmont Copley Plaza

Copley Stop, Green B, C, D, E Line

138 Saint James Ave

Boston, MA 02116


Best Western University Hotel

Washington Street Stop, Green Line (40 minutes)

1650 Commonwealth Avenue

Boston, MA 02135


*mention BABEL Conference for special rate of $149.00

The Inn @ St. Botolph

99 St. Botolph Street

Boston, MA 02116

(617) 236-8099

Other (Affordable-Thrifty) Lodging:

Friend Street Hostel

234 Friend St.

Bostson, MA 02114


HI-Boston (hostel)

12 Hemenway St.

Boston, MA. 02115



Go HERE for various maps of the Northeastern University campus plus driving directions [primary on-campus meeting locations: Curry Student Center and NU’s Alumni Center]; several maps will be provided with registration packets.


Logan International Airport is serviced by the Blue and Silver lines. For more information, visit

On the subway: that is, the MBTA, or simply the “T.” Get an app:, MBTA Tracker, OpenMBTA, NextTrainT. Here’s an article on navigation apps:

For late-night excursions and revelry, there are taxis and, of course, your BABEL-provided jet-packs.

Getting to NU: Sessions

All sessions are in the Curry Student Center. The McLeod Suites and Room 333 are on the third floor, and the Ballroom is on the second floor. See

  • Walking from the Colonnade or the Midtown, turn left on Huntington Ave and stay left. Cross over Mass Ave, and pass the Huntington Theatre and the Boston YMCA (where NU began, as a night school for working-class men). NU immediately follows. Turn left at the quadrangle with the big NU sign: Blackmun Auditorium/Ell Hall is right in front of you. Walk along either side to the Curry Student Center, which is connected to Ell.
  • From the Green Line, walk onto campus to the quadrangle with the big NU sign.
  • From the Orange Line (Ruggles Station/commuter rail), walk onto campus down Forsyth to the first right. Take it past the Egan Center and follow the path as it turns left past Snell Library and opens into a quad. Cross to the CSC.


  • Plenary 1: Colonnade Hotel, Thursday, 20 September: see the Back Bay map included with registration packet. From campus, take a right on Huntington to the Colonnade, 120 Huntington Ave. About a 15-minute walk, or take the Green Line toward downtown to the Prudential stop.
  • Plenary 2: NU Alumni Center, Friday, 21 September and Plenary 3: Gordon Chapel, Old South Church, Saturday 22 September: see the maps included with registration packets for directions.

Directions to and from Hotels

  • The Colonnade, 120 Huntington Avenue
    • T: Prudential Stop, Green E Line; 15-20-minute walk to campus.
  • The Midtown Hotel, 220 Huntington Avenue
    • T: Symphony Stop, Green E Line; 10-15-minute walk to campus.
  • Boston Back Bay Hilton Hotel, 40 Dalton Street
    • T: Prudential Stop, Green E Line; 15-20-minute walk to campus.
  • Best Western Boston-Inn at Longwood, 342 Longwood Avenue
    • T: Green Line at Longwood Station toward D-Riverside to Brookline Village Station; get out and go west on Washington St/Rte 9 W to Riverway Station, and take the Green Line toward Lechmere to the NU station (30 minutes because you’re changing lines, and going out to go in), OR The Green Line at Longwood Station toward Government Center; get out at Copley Center (you could walk from here, down Huntington. About 15 minutes). Take the Green Line toward E-Heath Street to the NU Station (40 minutes because you’re changing lines, and going in to go out).
    • Walking: go east on Longwood Ave toward Chapel St. Turn left onto Riverway. Turn right onto Short St. Turn left onto Pilgrim Rd. Turn right onto walkway. Proceed east through Simmons College. Turn left onto Brookline Ave. Turn right onto walkway. Proceed southeast through Emmanuel College. Turn left onto Avenue Louis Pasteur. Turn right onto Fenway. Turn slight right onto walkway. Proceed east through Back Bay Fens. (Don’t do this at night.) Turn left onto Forsyth Way. Turn left onto walkway. Proceed southeast. Turn slight left onto Fencourt St. Turn left onto Huntington Ave/RT-9 W/Avenue of the Arts (35 minutes).


You’re in competition with students for spots on the street, almost all of which are metered, on Thursday and Friday. Saturday may be a tad better. You can park (and pay) in the Renaissance Garage on Columbus Street, and access the campus through the Ruggles T stop/commuter rail station. (It has a Dunkin Donuts.) Once on campus, turn right to head to the Curry Student Center (see directions, above). Sometimes the Renaissance is full, and the attendant will direct you to another garage. More information on where visitors to NU can park can be found HERE.


A Special Word: On Irish Bars

While the Cambridge Brewing Company (1 Kendall Sq, Cambridge) is the official BABEL go-to pub—see the session “Wild Fermentation: Disciplined Knowledge and Drink,” in which CBC brewer Will Meyers is presenting, and see the map in your packet—you have many other choices.The number of Irish pubs in Boston is legion. Legendary. Some are down-and-dirty bars, others are tarted up for tourists, some are sports bars, and others feel like Ireland—not that down-and-dirty, tarty, and loud and annoying sporty doesn’t. Many are simply neighborhood bars. Most have live music. You may want to take the pilgrimage to Dorchester and South Boston (Southie) for a few famous ones. However, for ease of travel, consider one of our favorite Boston pub (pigs-in-blankets!), Emmet’s, near the State House (6 Beacon). Take the Green Line to Park St. Also, and much more neighborhoody, the Brendan Behan Pub, 378 Centre S., Jamaica Plain. Take the 39 bus or the T (Jackson Sq, Orange Line). An Tua Nua (835 Beacon St) plays 70s and 80s hits on weekends. The Dropkick Murphys’s favorite spots are rumored to include the Silhouette Lounge (200 Brighton Ave., Allston), Joey’s (416 Market St., Brighton), and The Irish Village (224 Market St., Brighton). They’re playing the Bank of America Pavilion on the harbor on the 21st. And while not Irish, the Sunset Grill & Tap (130 Brighton Ave, Allston) offers craft beer—and mead on tap.In Cambridge, in descending order of greatness: The Druid (1357 Cambridge St), The Plough and Stars (912 Mass Ave), and, because it’s easy if you’re in Harvard Square, Tommy Doyle’s (96 Winthrop St). If you’re out this way, you might want to travel a bit further to Davis Sq, Somerville (on the Red Line), and go to the Burren (247 Elm St). Two others: Kinsale (2 Center Plaza, Cambridge St) and Asgard (350 Mass Ave).The oldest pub in Boston is supposedly the Bell in Hand Tavern (45-55 Union St), est. 1795, which you can visit going to or returning from the North End.


The list of restaurants, below, represents favorites that some of us go to again and again.[i] There are, however, many other options: one can stroll down Tremont (pronounced trehmont) and Columbus in the South End and find any number of restaurants (such as B&G Oysters, The Butcher Shop, two French restaurants—Aquitaine and Petit Robert—and Columbus Café). One can go to Chinatown, where chefs come and go and reputations rise and fall (take the Orange Line to the Chinatown stop, or the Green Line to Park Street, and cross through the mega downtown shopping area). We have a version of Little Italy called the North End (Haymarket stop on the Orange Line or North End on the Green Line) with small winding streets crammed with restaurants (don’t miss Mike’s for pastry and espresso). If you decide to go to the Aquarium (which is a great way to see the Boston Harbor), try the Black Rose, a once quite rascally Irish pub.

And of course there’s Faneuil Hall (pronunciation a point of contention in Boston: try fannel) on the harbor, which is a complex of shops and restaurants. Near here is the “oldest restaurant still operating under the same name”—the Union Oyster House, since 1714. The food is ok, but come for the oysters—unless you go to Neptune Oyster near the North End. UOH = history in the uneven floors; NO = stylish and way delectable. Charlestown, adjacent to the North End, is a piece of old Boston (Bunker Hill is here), and Charles St (Beacon Hill) is another (on the Red Line, or a good sightseeing walk from NU down Newbury St and through Boston Common): both neighborhoods have a galore of restaurants. Try Lala Rokh for Persian food on Cambridge St, around the corner from Charles St—and, since you’re in the neighborhood, check out Clink for a chic bar scene: it’s in the Liberty Hotel, once a jail. Really. Also at the hotel is Scampo: amazing high-end Italian food.

Finally, while the food is overpriced and not so great, you can sit at the bar at the Top of the Hub at the top of the Prudential on a clear day or night, and get a spectacular 360º view of the city. There’s also an observation deck at the Pru—but no champagne.

Not all restaurants listed below take reservations, but many have bars in which one can wait or eat. Otherwise, reservations are recommended.

Special Note: If you’re staying at the Midtown, you get a 15% discount on all meals at Brasserie Jo at the Colonnade. The tarte flambée classique! Ask for coupons at the front desk.

Boston, walkable (that is, within a mile and a half) from NU and points in the Back Bay:

Boston isn’t crammed with Ethiopian restaurants, but this one is excellent. Two locations. Yummy Ethiopian/Eritrean, with a small beer/wine selection.

Enoteca. Great for grazers!

A huge space with lots of room at the bars and tons of seating for dinner; live jazz, tasty whiskey selection. Also does a great weekend brunch!

At the Colonnade. Great bar for hanging out. Love the steak tartare! Fab mousse. A straight-ahead Americanized French Bistro menu, with veg options. Good wine selection, beer selection uninspired. Pricey.

  • Bukowski Tavern 50 Dalton Street, Boston (Back Bay) (617-437-9999)

A dive bar institution! Overhanging the Pike for even more of a down-and-dirty feel. Basic menu. Two doors down from the Summer Shack.

The food is ok. But the blues and soul music make it worth it. If you sit in the front room, be prepared to get blasted out of your seats. The back room is quieter, but not as fun.

  • DeLux Café 100 Chandler Street, Boston (Back Bay) (617-338-5258)

Little corner dive bar, with good food.

Great cocktails, very good food (at bar and booths); tiny, loud, cool crowd.

Excellent cocktail bar and restaurant; fun and crowded. Reservations for 6 or more only.

Serving delicious schnitzel, wurst, and beer since 1868. Now with gluten-free options! On Fridays, there’s a massive sing-a-long fest in the main dining room. You can sing, or eat in the large bar.

Newish place with menu of “historical” food and drinks.

21 September, 10:00 pm – midnight, @Kitchen:

After-Event: Tom Meyer reads from his translation of Beowulf

Upscale Mexican food, large dining room + a great bar with excellent tequilas and mezcals; reservations accepted but there is often space for dinner, and food is also served in the bar.

Funky Asian-Fusion diner in the South End. Many veg options. rs Fun + funky Asian with many vegetarian options; gluten-free and cilantro-free menus available; gets packed on weekends, but reservations accepted (some tables saved for walk-ins).

Has a huge backlit black and white mural on the wall, rather Fellini-esque. A very chic, modern restaurant with excellent and very expensive food. Sit at the bar for tizers, accompanied by small warm crusty loaves of bread.

Ok, you can go to Legal Seafood if you feel you must take the pilgrimage to a Boston institution (fresh, yes, but unimaginative), but this fun restaurant has great seafood, oysters, and lobster. Try the Rhode-Island style fried calamari with hot peppers.

Excellent sushi, reasonably priced, in the Symphony district, very near NU. Pleasant atmosphere, veg options.

See Dali, in Cambridge, for details. Inventively decorated. On the most famous shopping strip in Boston.

Innovative new American with Asian and Caribbean influences. Sunday brunch in pajamas!

Books, beer, sandwiches! Many veg and vegan options.

Boston, by T or cab:

Excellent Cambodian and French-Cambodian cuisine. Three locations.

First-rate Japanese restaurant in Coolidge Corner. Exotic cocktails and great food. The largest Japanese restaurant in New England, according to the website. Sit at the bar and watch dishes float by! Sit on cushions in an “authentic” Japanese dining room! Check out the chrome, red and black bar straight out of a James Bond film!

Expensive and lovely menu where food is all paired with wines.

Excellent, reasonably priced Vietnamese food in Coolidge Corner.

People don’t come to New England for the Mexican food, but this is excellent. Two locations (the Newton one is tucked away in a courtyard in Newton Center, with a beautiful leafy deck).

Elegant, high-end tapas. Favorite dessert: chocolate truffles with grilled crusty bread sprinkled with cocoa powder, salt, and olive oil.

A new, casual restaurant that is getting good reviews, and is open late.

Japanese. Rated by Frank Bruni the #1 restaurant in the Top Ten Outside of New York in 2008 and chef Tim Cushman was named by the James Beard Foundation as Best Chef, Northeast Category, 2012. Tiny place where reservations are a must—but you can sometimes score seats at the bar which they book through Open Table. Super expensive. Magical.


We’ll be serving coffee, tea, and water outside the session rooms. We’ll have a fruit bowl and some snacks as well.

All the details for on-campus dining, including some venues not listed here, such as campus cafeterias, can be found HERE.

 Food venues in the Curry Student Center (site of all sessions)

Kigo Kitchen (Asian)

On-​​The-​​Go (con­ve­nience store)

Popeye’s Fried Chicken

Star­bucks (in after­HOURS)

Sweet Toma­toes Pizza

Taco Bell

The West End (mega salad bar)


 Other On-Campus Sites:

  • Chicken Lou’s, on Forsyth off Huntington: the oldest “food truck” on campus, now permanent. Breakfast sandwiches and lunch options. Love the spicy fries: ask for ‘em well done.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts, Hayden Hall & Shillman Hall
  • H3 Food Truck in the quad outside the CSC, in front of the library: various lunch options.
  • International Village Cafeteria, Columbus Ave.: all you can eat buffet for $11.60. A series of stations: American, Chinese, Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern, with plenty of vegetarian options.

Opposite the NU Campus on Huntington and/and near Forsyth:

  • Au Bon Pain at the Marino Center
  • Boloco
  • Boston House of Pizza
  • Boston Shawarma
  • Conor Larkin’s (standard college bar and bar food)
  • Qdoba Mexican
  • Wollaston’s at the Marino Center (convenience, sandwiches)

 At the Corner of Huntington and Gainsborough St. (if you are coming from the Colonnade and the Midtown, before campus; if you are on campus, turn left on Huntington toward downtown):

  • Uno Chicago Grill (280 Huntington)
  • Panera (289 Huntington)
  • Pho and I (267 Huntington)
  • Our House East (52 Gainsborough): bar, bar food
  • Pavement Coffeehouse (44 Gainsborough)

Other Locales Close to Campus:

  • Woody’s Bar & Grill (fresh pizza and other dishes) 58 Hemenway St (take a right on Gainsborough and left on Hemenway)
  • Symphony 8 (8 Westland Ave): restaurant and bar
  • Siánsa 8 (8 Westland Ave): Irish casual, pub food and more

Two Great Lunch Options:

The Museum of Fine Arts, right past NU on Huntington on the right as you look away from downtown, has a fine dining restaurant (Bravo) and two casual restaurants, the Garden Cafeteria and the American Café near the new American wing—a great open space. Dinner is also available. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, a bit more of a walk (walk past the MFA to Louis Prang St, take a right, stay left on the Fenway, and the Gardner is on your left, on Palace Rd.)

[i]Contributors: Kathleen Kelly, Marina Leslie, Karen Oberbey, and Robert Stanton.


Get outdoors: the Arnold Arboretum was designed by Frederic Law Olmstead as part of the “Emerald Necklace”—a series of linked green spaces in Boston (; Orange Line, Forest Hills stop or 39 bus, Custer Street).Boston Harbor cruises are another outdoor option. The New England Aquarium (Blue Line, Aquarium stop;

One might want to go across the river to Harvard Square (Red Line, Harvard Sq stop) for sightseeing, dining, and shopping, as well as for the museums on Harvard’s Campus ( The Fogg and Busch-Reisinger Museums are undergoing renovations, but the best of the collections are on view at the Sackler.

Mt. Auburn Cemetery ( is a short bus ride (the 74 or 73; pay when you get off) from Harvard Sq. Not only a great place for a walk on a fine September day, one might visit the graves of John Bartlett, Edwin Booth, Buckminster Fuller, Julia Ward Howe, Harriet Jacobs, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and many other notable Americans. Climb the tower for a great view of Boston.

Runners and walkers: head to the Charles River. One can cross back and forth between Boston and Cambridge over various bridges. Great views of the city and harbor.

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