In a week from today, I'll be sitting at my new desk at my new job in a new city.
But more on that later... Today, I would like to reminisce about my current city.
I discovered Boston in phases. It seems like with each new time period in my life, I became intimate with a particular neighborhood. In 8th grade, my two best guy friends and I (L and C)would run around the Boston Common before meandering up to L's house on Beacon Hill (this was before the age when you realized how much money certain friends' parents had. His house, to this day, may be the residence I'm most jealous of-- it's stunning). We used to hang out in Copley Place at that movie theatre (remember that!?) and that Chili's (EW). I still remember where all the pay phones are located in that part of the mall from when I'd have to call my parents to check in. We also used to frequent that Finagle-a-bagel at Park Street; I remember how I was jealous of L's order, and to this day copy it (secret ingredient: honey mustard).
For awhile, the only two T stops I knew were Copley and Park Street-- but I felt so cool knowing them. Not so cool? My first trip taking the commuter rail, and accidentally getting on the Acela at Back Bay. When the conductor came around to collect tickets, I innocently handed over my pink paper ticket. Her response? "Do you think you could get all of THIS (gestures to the rest of the train) for $3????" Needless to say, I was grateful the next stop was Route 128 (my stop anyway!). Though I was scarred for awhile from train traveling.
Soon I broke away from the Copley and Park Street scene, and took over Newbury Street. I've always had a soft spot for Newbury Street-- not because of the shopping so much, but because of the general vibe. The beautiful buildings, the European-style restaurants with their patios, the eclectic scene (Berklee hipsters on one end, Ladies Who Lunch on the other, meeting delightfully in the middle around Exeter). In high school, we frequented such fancy spots as Fire + Ice on Boylston (kudos to their marketing team for making everyone under the age of 18 think that place is the best thing since sliced bread...).
I remember when I got a waitressing job on Newbury Street in college, I felt so cool and so accomplished in life-- I was WORKING on Newbury Street! I felt so fantastically hip (sadly, as any waitress knows, that glam factor ends the first day you're sweeping garbage off the kitchen floor at 2 a.m. and your feet hurt so badly you can barely walk).
After college (the Newbury Street period) I moved to Davis Square-- and fell in love with Somerville. It was the first place I felt like an adult-- and I loved that. I loved Davis's quaint, 1950s feel (so neighborhoody), but yet its simultaneous progressiveness. I loved the video store (seriously, nicest employees of all time), the Starbucks (sacrilege, but I'll admit it-- I love that location), Blue Shirt Cafe, and the jazz brunch at Johnny D's.
I was introduced to my next love, the South End, through my job at a certain magazine in Boston... I instantly was smitten. I loved it because I knew NOTHING about it. There were no memories attached; it was a brand new start for someone feeling a little bit restless in a city that seemed stale. Mostly I loved the culinary scene there (and still do). Each restaurant I tried I liked better than the one before it. Dollar PBRs and Kobe beef sliders at Toro, romantic dinners at Gaslight, cocktails with the gals at Tremont 647, brunch at Masa-- I couldn't get enough, and I still hope to move back and live there some day.
My last love affair with Boston happened in the North End-- a place I used to roll my eyes at because of its tourist-trap restaurants. But as soon as I became a resident-- nay, even when I was apartment shopping with Realtor Ron-- it became my safe haven, my sanctuary. I loved walking down Salem Street every morning, with the wafting smells of the fresh bread (and yet the trash from the night before). I loved the man on my block who stood on his stoop, with his front door propped open, every day when I came home from work (no matter what time I came home) and glared at me-- from his baby blue terrycloth bathrobe, a cigarette dangling from his mouth. I loved grumbling at the tourists, I loved having a roof deck with the most kick-ass view of the city, and I loved that you could walk to the waterfront in like 2 minutes. I loved how on my birthday I walked into Bova's at 3 in the morning-- after a sob-fest outside, eyes puffy from crying, red-faced (a hard time in DG's life)-- and the staff had me close my eyes, only to open them to them singing me happy birthday with a candle in a piece of cake. And of course I love Love LOVE the waiter at North Street Grille- I will miss him most. Him and his water-hating ways.
Tomorrow-- I'll share what I'm doing and where I'm going. Thanks for reading.