But since even someone as magical as Santa Claus couldn’t possibly fulfill that request, I’ll have to stick to a more conventional wish list this holiday season.
I’m not a big shopper but, not surprisingly, I’m a sucker for bookstores. And bookstores focused on travel? Nirvana. The Globe Corner Bookstore in Harvard Square is a place where I could spend hours, browsing the guidebooks and travelogues. But I also love all the maps and globes. For a geography geek like me, a gift certificate to the Globe Corner Bookstore is like a passport for the armchair traveler.
Another place I love to browse is the Eugene Galleries on Charles Street. Every time I go in, I eye an original copy they have of King’s Handbook of Boston Harbor. This guidebook to the sights around Boston Harbor dates from the 1880s, and I loved reading through it when doing the research for Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands. It’s filled with fantastic illustrations and offers a real trip back through time. The Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands did a paperback reprint, but I’d love to have the original on my bookshelf.
Speaking of old books, the Boston Athenaeum on Beacon Street has a treasure trove of them. Unlike many libraries, you can actually browse the shelves and check out books that may be 100 years old or more. I’ve found that to be incredibly valuable in doing research for my books. (It’s also a great sanctuary for working on my writing.) Now, I’m already a member of the private library, but I think it would make an incredible gift for a booklover to get them a membership to the Boston Athenaeum.
I’m not as well-dressed, unfortunately, as many of the members I see at the Athenaeum. My wardrobe is always in need of a serious upgrade since it hasn’t been altered in any meaningful way in 20 years. Maybe that’s because instead of buying nice sweaters or suits, I’m shelling my money out on sports T-shirts and baseball caps. Like any Boston sports fan, I find some of the T-shirts put out by Sully’s to be very creative. Their T-shirt that says “I Hate Peyton Manning” on the front and “Eli Sucks Too” on the back is truly inspired. I also love any of the throwback gear put out by Ebbets Field Flannels and Distant Replays.
Now, I’ve been really good this year. Really, really, really good. So I think I certainly deserve Santa to get me the Ultimate Monster Package for a Red Sox-Yankee game as a stocking stuffer this year. The package includes tickets for me and 27 of my closest friends atop the Green Monster, a chance to view batting practice from the field, a guided tour of Fenway, unlimited food, complimentary beverages, and a Red Sox jersey. The cost is just a mere $35,100, but like I said, I’ve been good this year.
And if Santa can’t come through for me on the Ultimate Monster Package, well, that’s fine. I’d rather get a visit from the Sandman anyway.
Christopher Klein is the author of Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands and The Die-Hard Sports Fan’s Guide to Boston. Both books are available at your local independent bookstore, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and online at Amazon.com. Feel free to check out some of Chris’ other great posts on our blog and as always, Read Local!