I think I found the triple decker house (#30?) I lived in for a year in the early 1980s in Somerville. Avon Street is only one block long but my memory is rusty. The street didn’t look much different than when I lived there. A mix of tarted up and faded houses.
Onto Harvard Square where we walked past Widener Library, where I used to do my freelance pieces, using a borrowed library card from a friend who was a real Harvard student. We stopped for coffee at the pristine Blue Bottle Cafe and a delicious tuna sandwich and flat bread at the very busy Tatte cafe/bakery.
Alex and Rose’s wedding was on the lovely landscaped grounds of the Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary near a swanky wooded residential area in Belmont. Old mansion, lovely patio and grounds. The weather held and the newlyweds are so happy and adorable. We piled into a bus with younger and older guests for an after party at lilypad, a small funky club in Cambridge’s Inman square. Great music by a DJ who was also a great dancer. I danced a little but was nervous about overdoing it with my still-recovering broken arm. Returned to the Homestead suites Hilton in Arlington around 1 am. Hotel was nice but a pricey $250 a night and hardly needed the living room with the fake fireplace (turned on with a light switch) that came with our bedroom. But it was convenient to the wedding and good to stay in the same place as other family members.
Now driving thru EZpass lane in New Hampshire on I-95. We had to pay $59 for the pass from dollar rental because the unavoidable toll roads in Boston no longer accept any other payment, if you don’t have an EZ pass you don’t pay and you get fined…
I returned to the terrific peruvian/Italian restaurant in Boston’s north end last night for a happy occasion- our nephew Alex’s rehearsal dinner, a day before his wedding. The food was delicious – most noteably melt in your mouth steak in Skewers (even the Nebraskans in attendance – Alex’s bride is from Lincoln –
were impressed) and a killer pisco sour ($16 splurge).
Our long wait to transfer planes in rainy Chicago was brightened by the nearness of our fav o’hare ding spot, torte, where we shared a spicy Cubano sandwich. I noticed one of the “local” food suppliers is kalona organic in Iowa. Also found an interesting looking vending machine option.
I really did try to pay for my T ride from Logan Airport to Beacon Hill but failed and was even admonished by a transit guy in the process. Outside Logan, I got on the Silver Line (which, oddly, is a bus not a subway) which was advertised as free. When I got off at South station to switch to the red line to Charles street I couldn’t find anywhere to pay. I even went through the exit, tied to figure out th self pay machine. When I explained to the transit guy what I was trying to do, he said “you shouldn’t have gone out. here just go back in” and he let me back through without laying.
“No wonder the T is losing money” at least two Bostonians exclaimed when I explained what happened. The same ging happened a day later when I unexpectedly found myself at the airport, needing to return to Back Bay where It had a great visit with my best friend from high school Polly and her husband Jamie.
I didn’t get time to explore the city (much of my time was spent at a work meeting in Worcester) but did get to Bar Lola for tapas (in back bay) and the great Paramount, a diner/ coffee shop(since 1937!) on Charles Steet. And I got to see Charles street, which always reminded me of London when I lived in Boston in the mid 1980s. Pulling my roller bag along the brick sidewalks, making a loud rumble, I felt like a young traveler again. Sort of.
Our last day on Cape Cod was unambiguously gorgeous weather wise and no sudden downpours while we were riding our bikes through the dunes on the bike trails. It felt suddenly like fall, with crisp air, sharp sunlight, yellow and red leaves. Lovely. We ate again at the Lobster Pot, this time on the top floor with a spectacular view of the harbor, the curving stretch of tan sandy beach,and brilliant blue water with boats bobbing in the waves. Couldn’t resist the fried clams, again, at the Pot, but also tried fish and chips (we have eaten a lot of cod this trip. When in Rome) and the clam chowder. the fast ferry back to Boston was much easier on the stomach and head, with a lot less chop, thank god. From the World Trade Center we resisted the temptation to take a water taxi to Logan($10 per person) and took the silver line, which is an above ground bus to Logan. We figured out the transit system too late. We thought we bought a charliecard but instead bought a charlieticket and paid 50 cents more ride. Better explanation needed for tourists! Having recently used public transportation in Chicago, London, Berlin, Krakow, Prague and Washington DC I can speak with some authority on this. Anyway, great trip.
I hear this can be a wild and crazy and gay party town but not on a Monday night in early October. It’s still gay, of course. but quiet, almost peaceful, and I love it here. We are staying at a pretty old guesthouse, the Fairbanks Inn, a sea captains house from 1776 with pretty old furnishings, wide wood planked creaky floors, old fireplaces in rooms, pretty floral,wallpaper. We rented excellent bikes at Provincetown Bikes and set off on a sunny but increasingly overcast day on the terrific Eight mile bike trail through the dunes by Herring Cove and Race Point beach, past tidal marshes with wheat colored grasses blowing in wind and strands of pine and beech trees. A really lovely trail. IpUmfortunately about midday through it started to drizel and then it poured. We cowered under a tree but it didn’t give us much shelter and we got completed soaked. Then just as suddenly the sky turned blue and clear so we walked on lovely quintessential cape cod racepoint beach to dry off a bit.
Lunch was a shared lobster roll and fried clams, both excellent, at the Lobster Pot, an institution here, with good reason, with an excellent Harbor view. We had cold Portuguese french toast at the portugeuse bakery, oddly the only thing I remember about my last visit here 30 some years ago and a lovely dinner tonight at the classy but warm Red Inn (clams, cod, lobster-shrimp-crab cakes, a surprisingly light delicious cheese cake.The center of town is pretty tricky tacky but we liked the east and west ends of commercial street, which are more residential.
Our fast ferry was very bumpy, as we flew over massive waves but we made it. We went on bay state cruises which left not from long wharf, as we thought, but the pier behind the World Trade Center in, yesterday again, the seaport area.
I was somewhat relieved to find out that the seaport area where we have spent much of this trip in Boston did not look familiar NOT because of my rusty memory of living here 30 years ago but because it didn’t exist…at least in its current highly developed form. It’s a nice addition to a city that already has a lot to offer. We went to a wedding at Sam’s at Louis and then then next day to brunch at Miel in the Intercontinental hotel (excellent smoked salmon, cream cheese and bagel) and the new Institute of contemporary art (where we saw an interesting show of the work of Amy Stillman, whom i had not heard of but liked) all in the seaport area. it was easy to get back to Back Bay taking the Silver Line, a strange bus that goes underground in a tunnel more suited to a subway train, to the red line.
Earlier on Saturday, we walked from our friends fantastic apartment on Beacon Street through Back Bay and over to equally lovely Beacon Hill where we had coffee and pastry at outdoor tables at Cafe Vanille, on Charles Street and later lunch of thin crust pizza at Fig, the Todd English restaurant. Also managed to remember Louisburg Square, one of the loveliest old squares in the city with streets with large round cobblestones, paving blocks and red brick sidewalks. (See photo) Reminds me of London. We had a good Persian meal at Lala Rokh in Beacon Hill to celebrate a friends birthday.
Our first day in Boston, we took the subway blue then green) to Copley square and then went in reverse to north station where we got the commuter train to our relatives house in Swampscott.
I’m on my way to Boston and – with hope – Provincetown this weekend so glad to see that the two Boston-Providence ferry services still appear to be running in early October. Not sure if I really need to book ahead – especially since we’re traveling somewhat off-season (to P-town on a Sunday in October.). Our best bet appears to be the Bay State Cruise Company because it has more ferries traveling at more times. (Departing Boston through Oct. 14 at 8:30 a.m., 1 p.m. (yes please!), and 5:30 p.m. and departing Provincetown at 10:30, 3 p.m. (yes please!) and 7:30 p.m.
At this time of the year through Oct. 14, the other service, Boston Harbor Cruises offers a ferry leaving Boston at 9 a.m. and a ferry leaving P-Town at 4 p.m.