Venue

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Wikimania 2006 will be held on the Harvard and MIT campuses, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Both are generally accessible by T (subway), bus, and car. See Getting to and around Cambridge for specifics on traveling to the venue.

Buildings

Main conference

Wikimania 2006 will be held at the Harvard Law School, primarily in Pound Hall but also in the Ames Courtroom (Austin Hall.)

When getting on public transit, take the Red Line to the Harvard station. Pound Hall is located at 1563 Massachusetts Avenue. When walking north on Massachusetts Avenue from Harvard Square, Pound Hall is the large building on the right-hand side of the street. Here's some info about Pound Hall from the Law School walking tour.

The conference rooms are in Pound Hall (1563 Massachusetts Avenue) and Austin Hall (Ames Courtroom). Pound 100, 101, 102 and 107 are on the first floor. Ropes Gray, John Chipman Gray, and Pound 200, 201 and 202 are on the 2nd floor of Pound. Pound 335 is on the 3rd floor.

The Ames Courtroom is on the third floor of Austin Hall, a large red stone building on the campus of Harvard Law School. [1] When walking north on Massachusetts Avenue from Harvard Square, Austin Hall is visible on the right-hand side of the street behind a small white house (Gannett).

  • For the dorms and dorm check-in, see the lodging page.

Hacking Days

The Wikimania 2006 Hacking Days will be held near the MIT campus, at the OLPC Offices close to Kendall Square, a shopping and transportation hub, and the Charles River. See the Hacking Days article for details.

Other events

  • The attendees party will be held on Saturday, at the MIT Museum. See events for more.

Essentials

Harvard Square has a number of shops with essentials like soap, towels, etc. There is a 24 hour drug store called CVS which is in the Square. The Harvard Coop will also contains dorm supplies.

Things to see and do near Harvard Square

Harvard, founded in 1636, attracts many visitors from around the world. Harvard's Fogg Museum has an ongoing display on the use of technology to explore Renaissance art. For more information about Harvard, or to embark on a student-led tour (Monday through Saturday), go to the Harvard Square Holyoke Center, 1350 Massachusetts Avenue. Pamphlets for self-guided tours are also available there, as are campus maps.

Brattle Street, known as "Tory Row" during the American Revolution because of the many Loyalists with mansions there, is the site of Longfellow House, with guided tours run by the National Park Service.

Harvard Square also has several movie theaters. Loew's Harvard Square on Church Street shows current releases; the Brattle specializes in independent, foreign, and art films (and has great popcorn); and the Harvard Film Archive shows a variety of films.

Things to see and do elsewhere in Cambridge

See the Field Trips page for many more things to do in Boston & Cambridge.

  • MIT
  • The MIT Museum
  • Harvard museums (art, natural history, glass flowers)
  • Movies at the Kendall Theater
  • The Cambridgeside Galleria

Things to see and do in the greater Boston area

Greater Boston encompasses many significant locations in the United States history and culture and the cradle of high-tech revolution. Boston is a waterfront City that combines historic charm and modern day excitement in one vibrant package.

Boston shopping districts include Charles Street in Beacon Hill, Copley Place, Newbury Street in Back Bay, Quincy Market, and Shops at the Prudential.

Among some historical attractions in every corner are the Boston Common and Public Garden, Boston Public Library, Bunker Hill Monument, Faneuil Hall, Harvard University in Cambridge, North End, Old North Church, Old State House, Paul Revere House and the USS Constitution.

The Best of Boston includes the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum, JFK Library and Museum, Museum of Science, the MIT Museum, Colonial Theater, Wang Center for the Performing Arts and the Spirit of Boston.

Weather

The National Weather Service of the United States provides excellent information about weather. The Cambridge page could be quite useful.

Because the weather in New England seems to be so unusual this summer, it's difficult to predict what it might do in July and August just yet. Some Augusts are very hot with temperatures ranging in the 90s F (30s C?) and humidity between 60% and 90%. Some are not so bad.

Public Transit and Parking

See main article Getting to and around Cambridge.

Public transit is $1.25 for subways and $0.90 for busses. Busses require exact change, but will take dollar bills. Subways use tokens but are in the middle of a transition to a stored value card system. Stored value cards for both the busses and the subways are available at the MIT/Kendall red line station, but not the Harvard station, which only accepts tokens. The Harvard venues are located near Harvard station. The MIT venues are located near the MIT/Kendall station. Trains run until about 12:30 in the morning.

Driving is not really advised because parking is tricky, but if you must ...

Most of the parking near Harvard and Kendall Squares are metered and/or residential permit spaces. Meters are usually in effect during business hours. In some areas, that's 8 am to 6 pm; in others, that's 8 am to 8 pm. Make sure you read the signs and the fine print on the meters. Some metered spaces become residential permit spaces after business hours. Bring quarters. (There are many local banks in the area that will happily sell you a roll of quarters ($10).) Many meters will only take quarters. The amounts vary. In some places, 4 quarters will pay for an hour; in others, two quarters will pay for an hour. Meters are free on Sundays.

Parking is available in public garages near the buildings on both MIT and Harvard campuses. It costs around $12/day.

--- NO LONGER AVAILABLE: There is some limited parking available in one of the Harvard lots at a rate of $9 per day. E-mail Erica George <egeorge @ cyber.law.harvard.edu> with a contact number and she'll call you about arranging a permit. You will need to have a credit card handy for her to call you to bill the permit to, and will need to be able to give her your car's plate number and state. ---

About twenty spaces on Kirkland Street near campus do not require a permit. These spaces are usually taken during the day, but may be empty at night. Move your car there when you can. They're a 5-15 minute walk from the Law School depending on your pace.

Cambridge has a rule about not leaving your car in the same metered spot for longer than 2 consecutive hours. Moving it up or back a few spaces will work. If your car is in a rare non-permit-restricted and non-metered space, you should still move it every 24 hours to be on the safe side.

Many free spaces are available a 15-30 minute walk away in Somerville near the border with Cambridge along Scott and Park Streets. That intersection is northeast of Harvard Law School. About ten line Scott Street near the America Academy of Arts and Sciences. Watch out: one side of the street requires a permit. The other does not. That part of Scott Street is one way going toward Beacon Street. The arrows on the map indicate the direction of traffic.

More parking is available along Park Street. Beacon Street allows parking for non-permit holders for two hours. Overnight parking, however, may be possible along portions of that street. Just pay attention to street cleaning signs because street cleaning happens at night along Beacon Street.

Somerville requires vehicle owners to move their cars at least every 48 hours. Not doing so will result in a parking ticket.

Pay attention to the street cleaning and other parking signs. Generally, areas will be marked with various signs explaining most of the parking regulations. Street cleaning is often, but not always, from 8 am until 12 or 2 pm.

Cambridge is tough. The police and meter enforcers like to tow cars. Towing costs about $95 plus the charge of the ticket.

Somerville usually just tickets, but will tow if a car is violating a street sweeping regulation.

As with many areas, parking on the street is generally safe. Please don't leave valuables in your vehicle, especially in plain sight. Car break-ins are frequent. Fancy radios are a hot item to steal.

Also, it is possible to park in many garages of the MBTA, the local public transit company. During the day, some people prefer to park at Alewife near the intersection of Route 2 and Route 16 for $5 per day and ride the subway four stops to Harvard Square.

Food

Basic campus meals are available at Harkess Commons near the dorms on weekdays only, 7:30 am til 4:00 pm.

Many restaurants are available in Harvard and Kendall Squares, and at several restaurants along Massachusetts Ave. near the law school. At MIT, food is also available from the student center, at La Verde's and the Coffeehouse. At Harvard, weekday morning breakfast food is available until 10:30 am from the Harkness Commons, adjacent to Pound Hall, although it is occupied during lunch hours by another group.

Local Wikimaniacs have prepared an extensive price, locale, and ethnicity categorized list of local (and less so) food and drink.

Shops

Need a grocery store? Forget your power adapter? Want to mail a postcard to your Wikipedia friend who decided not to come so you can tease her about how much fun Wikimania is in person (and, oh, how handsome sj really is in person!)? Try the list of shops.