Atlanta native Charles Lewis came to Boston four years ago to go to dental school at BU. He did his undergraduate work at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, so it was the first time he’d lived in the Northeast. Lewis (SDM’18) is now about to graduate from the Goldman School of Dental Medicine.
Once in Boston, he began exploring the city by bike, getting lost on purpose to get to know his new home. A serious student, Lewis says he’s wanted to be a dentist since seventh grade. The demanding curriculum at BU has taught him that “the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know.” It’s also taught him about the importance of striking a balance between work and play. “There’s more to life than teeth, bone, and gums,” he says.
Now, as Lewis will soon leave Boston for San Antonio, where he’ll begin serving four years of active duty as a dentist with the US Army, he shares with us three of his favorite places in and around Boston.
Boston Esplanade Exercise Course
Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path, Boston
Don’t let its playground appearance fool you: this exercise course not only offers stunning views of the Charles River, but is one of the best spots for a serious workout—and it’s free. Just a short walk from the Charles River Campus, the outdoor gym provides basic equipment for a variety of body weight exercises and stretching. “Unlike your local gym or FitRec, it’s never really that crowded,” says Lewis.
Lewis recommends: “Go for a light jog along the Esplanade. It’s just a really picturesque setting.”
Entrance at Alewife Station, Cambridge
The Minuteman Bikeway, “America’s Revolutionary Rail Trail,” is a 10-mile path built on an old railroad corridor that charts the route of Paul Revere’s legendary 1775 ride. It begins at the MBTA Alewife station in Cambridge and winds through Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford. For Lewis, it’s the ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. “Biking in the city is not for the faint of heart, and it requires all your attention,” he says. “But the Minuteman is the polar opposite—it’s a very tranquil ride.”
Lewis recommends: Save some time for pit stops. “What really makes the Minuteman Bikeway special is that I get to experience different towns that as a student in the city, I otherwise would never have gone through. The suburbs are really beautiful.”
Boston Public Library
700 Boylston Street, Boston
Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library, or BPL as it’s familiarly called, is the second-largest public library in the United States. The main branch, in the heart of Copley Square, comprises two buildings: the majestic beaux arts McKim Building, which includes Bates Hall, and the recently renovated Johnson Building. Designed by architect Philip Johnson, it has new floor-to-ceiling plate glass windows, a satellite radio studio for WGBH, Boston’s PBS TV station, and the Newsfeed Café. Lewis says it’s his favorite place to study. He prefers the new wing to the old, and he loves being around people studying all kinds of subjects, not just dental medicine.
“It doubles as a tourist destination whenever I have friends come and visit,” he says, “while also being a place where I can be productive and get some studying done.”
Lewis recommends: Weather-permitting, the outdoor courtyard is a dream spot for work or leisure. “It’s a little outdoor oasis.”