Thursday, December 17, 2009

Plane ride back

Every so often the perfect song plays itself at the right time. Just as the plane speeds up on the runway with its nose slightly tilted upwards, this song comes on Airtran's sirius radio. Its as if my heart was read like a book and re-written in song. The plane cuts in to the nightsky, leaving Boston and everything it represents below-- beautiful and glittering, traffic flickering on the roads like strings of Christmas lights. Me? I can't hold back the tears trying to hide them in the shadow my long hair. I'm so glad that the guy next to me is on his iTouch. I increase the volume on my headphones somehow thinking its sounds will drown my vulnerability. The blinking CITGO sign, color in a sea of yellow lights, starts another round of sobs. Such deep, sad loss.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Boston Revisited-part 2

I had a good day today as far as food foraging is concerned, but pretty bad on all other accounts. In all my youthful enthusiasm, I logged in about 14 hours of walking between yesterday and today but since I'm not as youthful anymore my thighs and ankles feel like they are tied down to gigantic spiked lead balls with iron chains. And while we're on the topic of age, today... finally today... I felt like my time has passed. You know what I mean? 3 years ago it would be rare to walk down the street and not see somebody I knew. Now I don't know anybody and everybody looks about as old as I was when I first started school here. Everyone I once knew have left. 7 years of my life, gone just like that! Poof!
Everything's such a blur, I still remember coming to Boston for the first time with my dad. There was the gut sinking anxiety of starting life in a new place, a new country. Learning to speak in a way so people would actually understand what I was saying, absorbing people's lives around me, their habits, trying to fit in. Tired of walking back and forth from one building to the other registering for classes, my father finally asked somebody how (trying to be one of them) we could use the train that seemed to be running right through the campus. One of the girls explained that for $1 (then) you could go anywhere in Boston by T (metro). The T seemed so intimidating, we held tightly on to the map she gave us with criss-crossing red, green, yellow and blue lines only parting with it when back in Maryland. Then as time flew on by I became one of them -- well versed with T and bus routes even where to stand at the stops to guarantee a seat, the best places to eat, the cool touristy places my family loved to see and the way to trail by the Charles river from Boston to the Cambridge side for a fantastic walk.

But now things seem a bit bizarre-- I know the roads- the major ones at least but have forgotten which buses stop where and even the buses seem a foreign concept-- so many pushy shove-y people! In fact, thats why I figured it was safer to walk even if it meant that I wouldnt get my moneys worth out of the newly institutionalized $20 Charlie pass.

Some places stay comfortingly the same but other favorites are sadly replaced. Just keeping up with school and work always kept me so busy that its surprising how many little details of stores/places that I still subconsciously remember. For example, the bagel place with the awful poppy-seed bagel-- still open, the middle-eastern place where the one-eyed owner flirted with me for an hour instead of making my shawarma-- closed, the place my roommate and I drowned heartaches over chocolate fudge sundaes-- open but with a name change, the bubble tea place which sold spicy popcorn chicken then (at $4.00) considered an expensive treat --open, the Turkish grocery store that sold sweets that I took back to my parents-- open... you get the picture, so many happy memories that in spite my stone feet I want to drag myself out to be surrounded by them. Oh the beauties of old age!

Here are some pictures I took around here today. Brioche at Tatte's for breakfast, a duck crepe at the Harvard St. creperie for lunch and the most amazing lobster ever at Brown Sugar-- which towards the end of my stay became my favorite campus Thai place after Dan's cafe closed. I was hoping to get some pictures of the cutest dog in the world but her owner was being a bit of a pain in the behind, so I couldn't. But theres still plenty to keep you happy.

No, I wasn't sharing with anyone that was all mine!

Mixed Nutbox to go from Tatte

Duck Crepe from Paris Creperie
Lobster in Red curry from Brown Sugar--yumm!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Boston Revisited- Finale

Eating alone is the curse of American society. Why cant we be more like the Europeans and go out every day for communal meals?? Being alone in Boston, I had to do just that and its plain sad. To add insult to injury I was practically sitting on the laps of two couldnt-be-more-than-21 year olds out on what seemed like a date. I had to sit through 20 long minutes of conversation that comprised of intellectually stimulating material such as "you think I'm stubborn", "no, but do you think I'm stubborn", "no, but you are...I cant find the word to describe you", "But do you have anything naughty in your room", "no, I cant my mother is always in my room", "oh but I'm sure you must have something in your room", "oh no, do *you* have something in your room". Finally, the guy tells the girl just as she begins to make her move that he is "sort of" seeing somebody in NY, so nothing could happen between them. OUCH! The poor girl attempted a recovery but mumbled something pitiful like, "oh no, I didnt, I mean, I dont know where I'll be next semester but [getting down to business] who is she?". Poor kid. The guy seemed as dumb as mud anyway, am sure she'll recover.

Anyways coming back to dinner, I ended up going to Finale for dinner and dessert. Dinner of pasta called something or the other with tomatoes and broccoli and a side of chicken was blah. But the molten chocolate cake with coffee gelato totally hit the spot. I recommend having dinner elsewhere but you have to come here for dessert.

Boston Revisited

Do you know what its like to go back to a place you havent been to in a while? To be a "guest" in a place that was once home for a very long time? You do? Well I didnt quite know what to expect.
There were butterflies in my tummy as I got off the plane. Which were quickly replaced by the excitement of getting on public transport again... something I havent done in almost 3 years. I'd picked a hotel that was close to where I went to school, the Brookline Marriott Courtyard. I must have lost my touch and got off the T one stop too early and had to drag my bag about 2 blocks. It was such a gorgeous winter day and the roads were still bare at 11am making the walk pleasantly brisk. I didnt think I'd remember anything but walking outside felt like being back home again, fast forwarding a wee bit of time. The hotel itself was great-- warm, cozy, inviting and they were kind enough to let me check in early.

After checking in, I took a looong walk on Beacon St and discovered that my favorite hole-in-the-wall bakery Savoy (which always ran out of its buttery delicious pastry well before noon) was replaced by a much more hip and organized place called Tatte's. But a cup of white chocolate and a nutbox-- a tart shell filled with nuts (in my case pecans) with just a drizzle of caramel more than made up for the loss of the old place. Still walking, I made my way to my art supply source in Boston, a store I finally realized to be called Blick (have always been hopeless with names). Still on a mission to get familiar I made my way to Harvard St. and had lunch (a spinach, pesto and tomato slice) at Upper Crust, one of the best pizza places in town. Next I walked on to Commonwealth Ave and made my way to BU's Registrar's office, the main reason for my visit. Once done there, I was too tired to walk back so actually had to ask the kid who worked there which bus I had to take. Sad, I know, once upon a time I knew bus routes and schedules by heart.

Now I'm back in the hotel enjoying free internet and left with the difficult decision of where to have dinner, I've already picked Finale for dessert :). Maybe I can even squeeze a stopover at Brookline Booksmith, the cutest, quaintest bookstore in Brookline. I'll take some pictures and put them up here so you can see [post updated and pictures shown below].