Just a quick note to bring those interested up to date on our whereabouts. Chris and I arrived here early yesterdayÂ morning to visit our terrific friends Graham & Rainey. So far we've done a load of wandering about and eating good food, which is precisely how one should spend a long weekend away, don't you think? We went straight from the airport yesterday morning to a fantastic breakfast at Centre Street Cafe in Jamaica Plain (JP to the locals, doncha know). Great stuff -- Chris and I split a cuban egg scramble with black beans, corn, plantains and salsa; Graham and Rainey split a sage strata and cornmeal waffles weighed down with gigantic strawberries and whipped cream. Plus mugs of much-needed hot coffee.
Next, we came to G & R's house in Roslindale, followed by a quick jaunt on foot around the nabe. After a brief rest period, we headed to Cambridge and Harvard Square where I dipped into a yarn shop and emerged four skeins of alpaca richer. (There are some crazy purple and green socks or gloves in my future, but I haven't decided which.) After wandering into a few shoe stores and other little shops, we headed to Cafe Algiers, where we met up with my friend Maureen and her boyfriend Tom.
I hadn't seen Maureen in a decade. In fact, we'd only met once in person before, having conducted the vast majority of our friendship as modern age pen pals, via chat rooms, IMs and long, laborious emails over the years. Needless to say, that was such a treat. I'll write more about the restaurant, Z, that Maureen and Tom are opening in New Hampshire once I have a little more time.
On the way back home, Graham gave us an in-depth tour of WBUR, the NPR station where he produces On Point and Rainey and I played in the studio and pretended to have our own talk show. Rest assured we're in no danger of being picked up nationally. Or locally. Or even by our husbands.
We ended the evening with a really terrific dinner at a quaint and cosy neighborhood bistro called Sophia's. It's rare to find an intimate dining space that's warm, friendly and hits the right note with everyone's meal. Lovely stuff. By the time dinner ended, we were all pretty zonked. Chris and I had gotten up at 3:45 in order to catch our early morning flight out of Detroit, so we were all in bed by 11 and slept late this morning.
The weather's been pretty rainy and chilly since we arrived, which is far better than the freezing rain that has plagued some areas. Unfortunately, it's prevented us from walking around as much as we'd probably like. We've been treated to a great car tour of a lot of the neighborhoods, augmented by Rainey, your dream tour guide of a history-rich city like Boston.
Today we got a late start and grabbed a quick lunch at a taqueria called Boca Grande on our way to Newton. When I was 8, my family moved from Glasgow to Newton, right next to Boston College, where we lived for about a year and a half. We found my street and the house we lived in, which looks pretty much the same as it always did. It was so strange standing outside it, in the rain, remembering so many things just looking at it.
I was thrown because I remembered that we lived almost directly across the road from a fire station, which I couldn't see. Upon closer examination, I discovered that it has been renovated and turned into a private home, the repurposed engine doorways now hidden from plain sight by dense, tall trees in the front yard. If it weren't for the cupola on top, I'm not sure I would have realized it was the same building. Must be sensational inside, although the news might sadden my little brother who, as a 3-year-old, loved nothing more than going across the street and being fussed over by the firemen who let him gaze at their great shiny red trucks.
After that, we drove down Commonwealth Avenue gawking out the car window at the stunning homes that line the street. (It should be noted that at almost the exact same moment we spied a giant white poodle pooping in the grassy median and a hare krishna in a toga getting into a Mercedes.) We parked and wandered a bit around the fancy shops, stopping in at Lush to visit all the bath and face products I can't use anymore. And we spent a few minutes inside the main branch of the Boston Public Library, which is a thing of true beauty, with gorgeous architectural detail and beautiful murals throughout.
Next stop, Beacon Hill. A quick drive by John Kerry's street and then we lucked into a parking space and hit a small cafe for hot drinks to warm us up. Then we drove around some more, seeing some of South Boston, before heading for dinner at the Barking Crab, where we met up with Rainey's cousin Reese, his lovely wife Jennifer and G & R's friend Kurt. I'll put up pictures of the giant bowl of crabs the table devoured one of these days.
Now I'm cuddled up in bed, underneath a comforter, the chill of the day finally working its way out of our bones. We've a lazy morning tomorrow before heading in to meet Rainey at work at The Boston Historical Society and another day of mozying about. Sleep now!