FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Below are some of the common questions we expect you may have about the conference. If you can't find what you are looking for, check the "CONTACT" page for the right person to answer your question.

THE HOTEL

TRANSPORTATION

FOOD & RESTAURANTS

BOSTON

THE CONFERENCE

THE HOTEL

Q.  I want to come to Boston before the conference or stay after the conference. Will the Boston Park Plaza Hotel give me the same low room rate for any such extensions?
  A.  The special rate covered arrivals as early as July 29, 2013, and departures as late as August 14, 2013. However, our room block filled up several times, and rooms at the special rate are no longer available on all the dates. The best approach would be to call the hotel to inquire.

Q.  Is the conference hotel accessible to persons with disabilities?
  A.  The meeting rooms at the hotel are fully accessible, and the hotel has 46 total ADA Guest Rooms. Please note the request on your reservation.

Q.  Can you help me find a roommate at the conference hotel?
  A.  If you are looking for a roommate, be sure to answer "Yes" for that option in the registration form. You will be notified of other people who are looking for roommates. It will be up to the individuals involved to make arrangements to share a room.

Q.  Do the hotel rooms have refrigerators?
  A.  The hotel has refrigerators that can be placed in the rooms. They can be requested when you make your reservation or at check-in and are given out on a first come, first served basis. The cost is $25 for the duration of your stay.

Q.  I will arrive on Friday, August 2, and I observe Shabbat. What arrangements does the hotel have for Shabbat?
  A.  The hotel will be able to make special arrangements (details will be posted at a later time). Some synagogues in the Greater Boston area have offered home hospitality over shabbat (before or after the Conference). Please write to shabbat@iajgs2013.org for more information.

Q.  What's the best way to book a reservation?
  A.  Click the "HOTEL & TRAVEL" tab above to find information about making hotel reservations online or by phone.

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TRANSPORTATION

Q.  How can I get to the Boston Park Plaza hotel from Logan airport?
  A. 

There are several possibilities.

Shuttle Bus

The Park Plaza hotel itself does not have shuttle service to and from the airport. However, you can take the Go Boston Shuttle, which normally costs $17 per person one way. They have set up a 10% discount for conference attendees who make reservations using a special Web portal (click on the "Go Boston Shuttle" item under the "HOTEL & TRAVEL" tab) or click here. Go Boston Shuttle operates 24/7 with reservations.

Taxi

Another possibility is to take a taxi from one of the airport cab stands. With tip it will cost about $27 and take about 15 minutes.

Public Transportation

The trip can also be made using Boston's public transportation system, the MBTA, at a cost of just $2.50.

  • Take one of the free Massport blue-and-white airport shuttle buses shown in the photo below from the lower (arrival) level of your airport terminal. Be sure to take the shuttle that goes to the MBTA Blue Line. The buses run about every 10-15 minutes.

    Airport Shuttle Sign Airport Shuttle Bus

  • You will now be at the "Airport" MBTA station. There are personnel at the station who can help you purchase the "Charlie Card" ticket from one of the machines (shown at the right of the first photo below). The station has escalators and elevators. For more information about the station, see here. Take an inbound train to the "Government Center" station (four stops).

    Airport Station Airport Inbound

  • At "Government Center", take the escalator up one level (they are putting in elevators) to switch to the Green Line. Take any Green Line train (B, C, D, or  E) westbound (toward "Park Street") and get off at "Arlington" station (the third stop). The Arlington station is an accessible station, with an elevator. For more information about the station, see here.

    Escalator Bottom Escalator Top Green Line Westbound

  • Go up to the street level and walk one short block south on Arlington street (the direction of the one-way traffic away from the park). The hotel will be opposite you on the left corner.

Q.  I am driving from out of state and would like to know about some options to park my car for the week, either at the hotel, near the hotel, or at some other convenient location.
  A. 

There is no special "conference rate" for parking at the hotel.

One option is to use the hotel valet parking, which for overnight parking usually costs $46 (but is sometimes offered at a special rate when reserving a room). Parking is not included in the hotel room rate.

Another option is one of the nearby self parking garages. Self parking for 24 hours is available for a fee of $31 at the Motor Mart Garage, across the street from the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. Rates for other time periods and other information can be found at the garage's website.

Self parking for 24 hours is also available at the nearby Boston Common Garage for a fee of $28. Rates for other time periods and other information can be found here.

Another option is using one of the parking lots near Logan airport, which cost around $15 per day. They will shuttle you at no cost to the airport, from which you can take public transportation (the MBTA) to the hotel (see here for directions from the airport). You can find information about these parking lots by searching for "Logan Airport Parking" on the Internet.

Q.  I live near Boston and plan to drive to the conference each day. What are my best options for driving?
  A. 

It is suggested that—for convenience, to avoid traffic, and to save money—you should drive to the nearest MBTA parking lot, leave your car for the day, and take the MBTA to the hotel. The MBTA has 103 parking locations in the greater Boston area with a parking rate range of $4-7 per day. More information about which stops have parking can be found here. If you want to drive all the way to the hotel, see the answer to the previous question.

Q.  What about coming to Boston by bus?
  A. 

Buses arrive at South Station, which is also the terminus for trains coming from the south. It is too far from the hotel to walk.

One can take public transportation as follows (see the map below). Take the Red Line to the Park Street Station (direction Alewife, two stops). Switch there to any of the outbound Green Line trains and get off at the Arlington Street Station (two stops). Walk one block to the hotel as described already in the FAQ directions for getting to the hotel from the airport.

Alternatively, you can take a taxi to the hotel.

Route from bus station

Q.  What about coming to Boston by train?
  A. 

One can come to Boston by Amtrak. South Station (too far from the hotel to walk) is the terminus for trains coming from the south. Directions for taking public transportation are the same as for the previous question about coming by bus.

One can also get off the train one stop earlier at the Back Bay Station (Placemark A on the map below), which is closer to the hotel. A cab ride would be quick and relatively inexpensive. If your luggage has good rollers and you are energetic, you could even walk using the route shown on the map (0.5 miles). Placemark B indicates the back entrance to the hotel lobby.

Route from Back Bay train station

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FOOD & RESTAURANTS

Q.  Will the food at the Conference be kosher?
  A. 

All food served as part of the Conference will be kosher. This includes the Breakfasts with Experts, SIG Luncheons, the reception Sunday evening, and the Banquet. There will also be a lunch kiosk with kosher food. (Note: payments at the kiosk must be made in cash.) You can see the menu here.

The Boston Park Plaza has its own kosher kitchen, which is under the supervision of Rabbi Nochum Cywiak of the Orthodox Rabbinical Council of Greater Boston. The food will be prepared by the same chefs, so the quality will be identical to the hotel's non-kosher food. The additional cost of the kosher food has been entirely covered by generous donations.

Q.  I keep kosher. Will I be able to find a kosher restaurant in Boston?
  A. 

The following is the kosher restaurant closest to the Park Plaza Hotel, about a 3/4 mile walk:

The Milk Street Cafe
50 Milk Street
Boston, MA 02109
617-542-3663

The restaurant is open from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday through Thursday and until some time in the afternoon on Fridays.

Click here to see a list of kosher restaurants in metropolitan Boston.

We have also posted information about kosher caterers on the page about religious services.

Q.  Is there a restaurant near the Park Plaza Hotel where I can get a simple breakfast (e.g., juice, bagel, and coffee) for a reasonable price?
  A.  Yes there are places nearby to have a simple breakfast, including a kiosk in the hotel lobby and an Au Bon Pain nearby. The Conference Hospitality Desk will be able to provide you with more information about other options.

Q.  What about a quick and convenient lunch?
  A.  There will be kosher kiosks near the Hospitality Desk on the Mezzanine level of the conference that will be serving moderately priced sandwiches and salads every day. You can see the menu here.

Q.  Where can I find a list of restaurants within easy walking distance of the Park Plaza?
  A.  The Conference Hospitality Desk or the hotel concierge desk will be able to provide you with a list of restaurants and locations.

Q.  Are any grocery stores located near the hotel?
  A.  The Conference Hospitality Desk or the hotel concierge desk will be able to provide you with a list of nearby grocery stores and locations.

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BOSTON

Q.  What is the weather like in Boston during August?
  A.  It is likely to be hot, but in general you probably will be quite comfortable since everything here is air conditioned! The August average high temperature is 81° F—with an occasional day in the nineties—and the average low is 66° F.

Q.  How far is the National Archives from the conference hotel?
  A. 

The National Archives is about 10 miles from the Park Plaza Hotel in a suburb of Boston accessible by public transportation or by taxi.

The National Archives at Boston
380 Trapelo Road
Waltham, MA 02452
781-663-0144

Q.  How far is the Massachusetts Archives from the conference hotel?
  A. 

The Massachusetts Archives is about five miles from the Park Plaza Hotel:

Massachusetts Archives
220 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125
617-727-2816

Q.  How do I find Jewish resources in Boston?
  A.  Click here to see a list of Jewish resources in metropolitan Boston. The site includes kosher restaurants, kosher markets, Jewish books and gifts, synagogues, chavurot, radio stations, health services, organizations, etc.

Q.  What's the most convenient way to get around in Boston?
  A. 

The MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) subway system is the best way to get around Boston. To find MBTA transportation to where you want to go, click here and in "Rider Tools/Trip Planner", enter your start location and your destination address.

Boston is also a great city for walking! Many of the attractions are located near the Park Plaza Hotel. The concierge desk at the hotel offers assistance for travel to specific locations in the city. For general information, be sure to consult the Boston map and MBTA map in your registration package.

Q.  Can I use the MBTA to get to the National Archives in Waltham?
  A.  While it is possible (see the directions near the bottom of their home page), it is not quick and easy. It would be better to team up with some other researchers and take a taxi from the hotel.

Q.  Where can I find information about sightseeing around Boston?
  A.  If you click here it will take you to the sightseeing section of our website where you will find a wealth of information about sightseeing in Boston.

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THE CONFERENCE

Q.  Will the conference be ADA compliant?
  A.  Yes everything associated with attending the conference is ADA compliant, including 46 ADA guest rooms in the Park Plaza Hotel. Please request any special needs on your room reservation.

Q.  Will people who do not attend the conference be able to purchase the conference syllabus or Family Finder?
  A.  No. Only those who are registered for the conference may purchase these items.

Q.  Will conference sessions be recorded?
  A.  Conference sessions will be audio recorded professionally if the speaker has given permission to do so. Memory sticks with recordings will be available for purchase during and after the conference. Video recordings of some sessions will also be made. The company doing this is Conference Resource LLC. For information and to order, go to audio.iajgs2013.org.

Q.  Will I be able to buy genealogy reference books or software at the conference?
  A.  There will be an Exhibitor Hall with vendor booths where genealogy products will be for sale.

Q.  Will computers be available for use by conference participants?
  A.  Hotel guests have complimentary access to computers and a printer in the hotel's Business Center just off the lobby.

Q.  Will there be Wi-Fi access in the conference area?
  A.  We plan to have shared-access Wi-Fi in the entire conference area. Those who booked hotel rooms in the conference block will also get free Wi-Fi access in their rooms. Finally, the hotel always provides free Wi-Fi access in the lobby area.

 

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