Today, I went on a much-talked-about-but-never-executed run. I woke up to perfectly blue skies and no plans…so if there was ever a better time to go on a solo run, that was it. The goal was to hit Memorial Drive for a view of the Boston skyline my Uber driver told me about once when I told him I thought Storrow Drive “was the coolest view of Boston at night.” (He scoffed.)
The funny thing is (and friends tell me this all the time): I am the planner in the group. I like having a list of activities and exploring for each day. Nothing makes me more unsettled than waking up on a beautiful day and having my boyfriend tell me he wants to “sit inside and watch Game of Thrones" all day. For the Fourth of July holiday weekend, I tried my hand at being whimsical. Usually when I visit New York City, I have a list of restaurants I want to go to or things to check out. This time around, I made no plans other than a visit to the Whitney Museum. Most of time, I was sitting around my sister’s apartment or the park reading a captivating book I had just bought. It was the most relaxed I’d ever been after a visit to NYC, which normally leaves me exhausted. Ironically, it’s when I don’t make plans that I end up discovering the most: my sister’s favorite places in the city (including my new favorite wings place), “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” inscribed on the Longfellow Bridge, the fact that Memorial Drive did in fact have a pedestrian trail, and Charles River sailing lessons I can’t wait to try.
I should preface this post by saying that I am not a runner. The idea of jogging has somehow always bored me and left me breathless at the same time, and in retrospect I attribute this to a terrible habit of resorting to the treadmill at the gym. When I signed up to do the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge 5K a couple months ago, I figured it would be a great motivator for getting outside and running in order to train (yes, I’d need to train for a 5K). Unfortunately, work and procrastination got in the way and last Tuesday, I dragged my feet to the starting line at Boston Common so reluctantly you’d think I was getting my wisdom teeth out again. I had gotten about 1.5 hours of sleep the night before (thanks but no thanks to this road trip) and worked all day. I was so tired by 5 pm that I didn’t even have energy to eat before this race (not a good idea, by the way). Nonetheless, I ended up running about 2.5 miles and walked one. Considering all of the factors surrounding my physical and mental state that day, I’d say my time (42 min and then some) was a pretty decent one for my first 5K, and the experience with all my friends and co-workers have made me into a outdoor runner of sorts.
Have you ever done something you’ve never done, only to be turned into a convert?
In Boston’s arguably most charming neighborhood of Brookline, the favorite past time of the residents (or maybe just my handful of friends there) is brunch. Zaftig’s is a big name in that area (and perennial favorite), but after one too many matzo balls, I decided to branch out and met up with friends at The Regal Beagle for brunch…and proceeded to revisit the Beagle the following week with a certain man friend, thereby converting him into a Beagle Brunch person as well. As I’m sitting here writing this post, all I can think about is the pumpkin pancakes and stuffed berries and cream French toast croissant (a mouthful, literally…I know). And if the fact that the restaurant was a full house exactly eight minutes after opening on a Sunday isn’t enough to convince you, the menu definitely will.
What to get here: I’m always a fan of the eggs Benedict (they can make the eggs anyway you like), but keep your eyes out for the weekly special. More often than not, they have been the source of major food envy/satisfaction depending the position I happen to be in.
What to drink: A classic cup of java, but their mimosas sound delicious.
What are some of your favorite brunch spots in Boston?
It had been a while since I was in Boston, and I had forgotten what a beautiful city it is. You could put it in a snow globe. It is a beautiful, compact, and, of course, watery city.
I like the manageability of Boston: its size. I thought of an expression I heard about Florence, years ago. The expression is an Italian one: ‘within the hand of man.’ Florence is a city within the hand of man — walkable and all that — and so is Boston. I don’t mean to call it dinky. It’s just — manageable, a city on a human scale.
--Jay Nordlinger, “Boston Souvenirs”
Head of the Charles Regatta 2013 | Boston, MA
My hometown of Shrewsbury has seen its fair share of regatta races, being bordered on the west side by the infamous Lake Quinsigamond. A few of my friends from high school had been on the crew team, and while they spent the bulk of their time on Lake Quinsig, the most anticipated race of the year would be the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston. This year, I made plans to go watch a portion of the HOCR, which took place this past Saturday and Sunday, with a friend. Neither of us have been before, despite having lived in the Boston area most of our lives and both having gone to schools in the city.
The HOCR races could not occur at a more opportune time. Fall foliage is so commonplace here so I often take it for granted, but it really is among the crown jewels of Massachusetts. When combined with crisp weather not yet ready for winter cold, the last bit of beautiful leaves still clinging onto branches, all the autumn-flavored snacks and drinks, the smooth but powerful synchronized skating of boats along the river, and the deep history of such events, it makes up the ultimate tourist ad campaign. It’s an absolute New England wonderland.
Have you been to/were you at the Head of the Charles Regatta?
Bartender:If we get married, I'd definitely let you keep your last name because I think it's awesome.
19th Amendment #19thFlashFashion Launch Party
Above: 19th Amendment founder/CEO Amanda Curtis standing with her models at the flash fashion show in Faneuil Hall.
I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the launch party and debut fashion shows for 19th Amendment on Saturday night at the Liberty Hotel in Boston with Christina. 19th Amendment, founded by the ever-sweet Amanda Curtis, is a virtual portfolio-meets-boutique for emerging fashion designers. The #19thFlashFashion shows on Saturday showcased the work of some of these designers, including those of Amanda Curtis herself. I love the concept of shedding light on little-known designers with great talent, and especially the fact most of the designers are based in the Boston area. The rise of fashion start-ups originating here in Beantown, among stalwarts such as Rue La La, is something to be proud of, and I’m so happy to have been a part of 19th Amendment’s beginnings. I’m very excited to see how 19th Amendment progresses from its major buzz over the weekend.
Below: The beautiful setting for the last fashion show at The Liberty Hotel. The models rode the escalator and walked all around the levels of the lobby.
Below: With Amanda and Christina (right) after the show.
Recently, a friend of mine who works at Bain Capital in the John Hancock Tower downtown invited me to lunch at his company’s private cafeteria. I completely underestimated 1. the quality of the “gourmet lunch” he promised and 2. the breathtaking 41st floor view from the reception area. “Breathtaking” as in I choked and almost choked up. “Underestimated” as in it was the only thing I noticed when I stepped off the elevator. Not the sleek marble, the minimalist decor, and not the expensive works of art. Non. Just the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the beautiful, beautiful city of Boston.
Spotted these vintage gems via my alma mater's Facebook feed, and two immediate thoughts ensued: 1) Can I purchase these?, and 2) Where have my undergraduate years gone??
Burns Library. Now there’s one place I should have made better use of during my time at Boston College.
Photos courtesy of Burns Library Flickr page:
"These tourism brochures and maps are a small part of the Brehaut Bostoniana collection at the John J. Burns Library, Boston College. Ellerton J. Brehaut (1897-1985) was an avid collector, specializing in Boston history. He was a member of Boston’s Chamber of Commerce beginning in 1919. Upon his retirement in 1959 he donated to the Danvers, Massachusetts public library an extensive collection of books and other material on Salem witchcraft. In 1965 he donated to both Boston College and Salem State College his Bostoniana collection, consisting of over 1500 books, periodicals and manuscripts relating to Boston history."
Boston is small enough to feel really comfortable, but it’s full of neighborhoods to explore. Like a pop-up book, Boston is wonder contained.
--Jana Eleanor, Thought Catalog: “How to Have A Great Boston Summer”
“Perhaps the strangest thing about all this was how little I cared about who was responsible for the attack. I’m sure I will. I’m sure one day, when I learn who did this, I’ll lose sleep, and feel rage, real rage, and want to see them (or him, or her) killed. I’ll want blood. I’m no better than anyone else.
But yesterday, watching the events unfold, watching the looped video of the initial blast, watching that runner, the one who went down when the blast hit, watching his legs crumple, one and then the other, as he goes down, watching all that, I found myself not caring at all who did this. And it wasn’t some zen state that made me like this, not some Gandhi-like understanding of the nature of man, not some peaceful trance where I knew this person or people would get their karmic comeuppance if I just believed in the balance of the universe. There was none of that shit.
It’s almost like I didn’t want to give them the satisfaction. It was some strange unearthing of that asshole Bostonian in me–Nah, pal, you fucking prick, I’m not even going to give you your 15 minutes. I don’t even care what your stupid cause is, or what you believe. You killed a child of Boston. An eight year old. You hurt a lot more. Innocents. Someone will take care of you, and you will pay for this. But right now, I don’t care who you are.
What I chose to care about was this: the people who ran to help. The ones who rushed area hospitals and tried to donate blood. The journalists who refused to speculate and calmly delivered what they knew, what had been verified. The EMTs and Boston PD who rushed into the carnage.
Those are the names I want to know. Those are the pictures I want to see looped over and over again on cable TV. The people who were good.”
—Nathan Savin Scott, for Thought Catalog
finish the to-do list
My only New Year’s Resolution is short and sweet: to actually finish a to-do list. My winter break this academic year is truncated because of the earlier-than-usual spring semester start date. And to start the new year off fresh from new experiences (and some old traditions!), here’s what I have planned:
- Get hair trimmed.
- Finish Anna Karenina, the book.
- Give Worcester a chance on its nightlife.
- Visit the Aquarium (A Dairly Candy PSA: a BC ID gets you two free tickets per semester at Robsham theater box office!)
- Organize a “Shrews Crew” reunion at Max Brenner
- Watch Les Miserables.
- Try a new restaurant. My eye is set on Za, an allegedly “scrumptious” pizza recommendation by a friend
CMQ & I were on Newbury last night for Aesop's Boston boutique launch party. So incredibly refreshing to see a boutique pared down from unnecessary flourishes to a clean simplicity: minimalist decor, sleek glass, New England white oak walls and shelving, subtle wasps of the exotic herbs and flowers drifting in the air. My skin felt cleaner just standing in the boutique.
Aesop's new boutique on Bleecker Street, photographed by Into the Gloss. The Boston boutique opening party is in less than a week, and having never experienced the label before, I’m pretty stoked for it.
Spent an embarrassing amount of time studying this poster on the wall of my friend’s apartment the other day. I’m a sucker for maps (the world is on my closet door back home), and despite how long I’ve lived in this city, it never gets old. Even living in Boston this summer brought out new parts of the city I never really explored. I’m more excited than ever to be staying in this city post-graduation.
Also, I looked up the poster for New York City…somewhat not as structurally appealing. Make of it what you will.