Last weekend, I headed to Boston to visit some of my nearest and dearest friends who recently moved there from across the pond (the Southern half of the pond to be specific). I haven’t been to Boston since high school, and I couldn’t remember too much about it. Also, to be honest, the under-21 experience in a city is always pretty different from when you’re an adult (am I an adult?!) …maybe we’ll just say post-21 experience).
My friends now live in trendy Back Bay, just South of Newbury Street, known for its amazing shopping. Newbury Street is kind of like a chill, casual Fifth Avenue if that makes any sense. Actually, I got the vibe that all of Boston is like a chill New York. It’s much smaller in terms of population, but it’s got everything you might look for–great shopping, pro sports, a beautiful river, and loads of great restaurants and bars. Plus, the T is an adorable, miniature version of the subway — now I know that’s hard to picture.
We arrived in Boston on Friday evening and were immediately whisked out to a great little restaurant called Gaslight in South End (a neighboring neighborhood to Back Bay, if you will). This place reminded me so much of New York City’s Pastis in the Meatpacking district, but the food was cheaper (slightly) and the vibe was more casual (I was in leggings, and no one scoffed — at least not to my face).
If you go, you must have the Blanc en Blanc champagne — at $7.00 a glass, it is the best cheap champagne I’ve ever consumed (and let’s just say I’ve tried my fair share of cheapies).
The next day we headed to the Red Sox game at Fenway Park. I’m no fan of baseball – like actually it took me until the 4th inning to realize who the Red Sox were playing – but Fenway is an awesome experience. We stayed for the entire game, chatted, ate lemonade frozen popsicle things, and learned just a little about baseball.
Later, our hosts spoiled us with a home cooked meal, which was much appreciated after a long afternoon in the sun (I know, life’s tough). Afterwards, we headed towards the river, to a trendy little bar called Drink. There was unfortunately a bit of a hold up to actually getting into the bar that I could not justify as anything more than an unnecessary power-trip from our exceptionally coiffed “bouncer.” However, once inside, I did appreciate the uncrowded atmosphere.
The best thing about Drink is that they don’t have a menu. What you’re meant to do when you order is tell the waiter how you’re feeling (or if you’re me, a long list of every cocktail ingredient that you hate….”Hi, I’m feeling picky?”). I ended up with a delightfully spicy ginger cocktail (orrr 3…). Despite the overzealous bouncer-man, it’s a good stop if you’re in Boston.
Our last day in Boston was spent meandering down Newbury Street through Boston Common and spending the afternoon in Cambridge. The Thinking Cup, our breakfast stop on Newbury Street, had delicious breakfast burritos, grilled cheese sandwiches, and Stumptown Coffee.
While smaller than Central Park, Boston Common has a pretty similar clientele, with bizarre street actors, tourists, and picnickers making up the majority of it. It’s right in the heart of Boston, but as it goes in most areas of the city, it’s still laid-back and relatively quiet.
I was sad as I headed back towards the Big Apple, not only because it was great to see my host and hostess after much too long apart, but also because Boston was such an unexpected break from the big city. Boston is a city but without all the most hectic parts of city life, which as a New Yorker in training, I very much appreciated.
After this past weekend’s trip, I plan on making the journey back to Boston much more often, even if, from what I understand at least, nobody calls it Beantown anymore….