Top Tech Destinations
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Plugged in: Thanks to MIT and Harvard, Boston (view slideshow) has eggheads galore. As a result, investment dollars abound and the high-tech industry has flourished—from topflight venture capital firms like Charles River and Bessemer Ventures, to iRobot (one of the military's leading robot builders, started by MIT grads), to the thriving biotech industry.
Homeport: One of the most stylish hotel options in Beacon Hill, not far from the business hubs downtown, is the new Liberty Hotel (view slideshow). The building retains traces of its former role as a jailhouse, such as original iron doors at Alibi, the hotel bar. The rooms have VoIP phones equipped with a touch screen for in-room services, flat-screen TVs with HD cable, and audio systems with MP3 docks. Instead of a corporate-bland minibar, there's a martini set.
Social networking: There's geeky, and then there's Cambridge geeky. At Miracle of Science, "M.O.S." to regulars, the menu (pictured above) looks like a periodic table, the drinks arrive in beakers, and the condiments come in test tubes. It's big among MIT profs and undergrads If you've got a new idea to pitch, head to venture capitalist haunt Noir in the Charles Hotel, where Mark Zuckerberg (at the time, a Harvard undergrad) first pitched Facebook to outside investors.
When to interface: There's no greater challenge than the Mystery Hunt, a puzzle contest convened every January at MIT that has spawned copycats in Seattle and San Francisco. The object is to find a coin hidden somewhere on the MIT campus. Sample problem: What do plague, adman, Yale, rime, pastries, and maracas have in common? Give up? Substitute one letter in each word, and they form a world capital. Duh.