Is It Spring Yet?

I’ve lived through 42 winters and I’m none too happy about it. I guess most people are none too happy about winter, unless they love to ski, snowboard, sled, or make snowpeople.

As I prepare for a Thanksgiving/National Day of Mourning with a high of 22 degrees, I’m all too happy to remember a trip to a beach I had never been to before: Singing Beach.

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A couple of friends and I took the train north of Boston to Manchester-by-the-Sea in August. The weather was great, which meant a crowded beach. But we found a nice spot and spent a few lovely hours there. There is a cute ice cream shop on the walk between the train station and the beach, and I got one of my favorites, peppermint stick.

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I’m also all too happy to recall a fall trip to Lost Pond Sanctuary. Guess what, my boyfriend and I got lost trying to find it. Well, we found the sanctuary but we didn’t find the pond.

We rambled alongside a road that led to some municipal plant, crossed the road, and followed a path that eventually led us to a map of the sanctuary. We couldn’t figure out the map so we gave up. Maybe we’ll try again someday.

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Democracy Brewing

A brewpub opened near my office over the summer. Fittingly, Democracy Brewing opened on July 4. A friend and I checked it out a few weeks after it opened. The beer and the food were good. Not amazing level but solid level.

I was so busy enjoying the beer that I forgot to take a photo before drinking it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The space is cozy and hip and the prices are reasonable. What a score for downtown Boston. And even better, it’s a worker-owned company. Worth a visit, Bostonians!

City Winery

A new music venue has been open for almost a year, so my friend and I checked it out recently. City Winery is a national chain so I was expecting it to be kind of “meh.” But I liked the vibe there. The place has a large bar and restaurant area outside of the music venue, which is a small-ish low-lit room filled mainly with long tables with chairs.

My friend and I sat in the back because the seats were cheaper, but we enjoyed the experience more because we were sitting at a two-person hightop and had a nice view of the stage (where the blue light is in the photo).

 

 

 

 

 

 

We saw Brazilian musician Seu Jorge. He arrived on my radar when I saw Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. He performed Bowie songs in Portuguese in the film.

He has an amazing deep voice and seems like a charmer. He invited his daughter on stage to perform a Nina Simone song, which was a crowd pleaser.

We ordered special wine (which was made from grapes from the Finger Lakes, near my hometown), so that was fun, and we both enjoyed our meals.

Next time I might splurge on seats closer to the stage, because since we were in the back, we kept being blinded by people taking photos and videos with their smartphones every few minutes. Grr.

 

Culinary Adventures in Cambridge and Newton

I tried two new-to-me restaurants in one day recently. Some friends and I met for brunch at Cafe Luna. I had never heard of it, and after eating there, I was shocked that I had never heard of it. Not only was the food delicious, but the waitstaff were so friendly that we felt like we were on vacation in another city!

I had Nutella and banana French toast. I need to eat French toast occasionally; it’s a need and it is real.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boyfriend and I ate dinner that evening at Brewers Coalition. The ambiance was nice, like an upscale townie bar. We ordered beer flights, because we love to try new beers. I had a pasta and vegetables dish, which was very good (except they could have skipped the black beans, in my opinion).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That day proved a good reminder to explore restaurants outside of your own neighborhood.

For Tea Lovers Only

A Japanese teahouse opened up in my neighborhood recently. I saw nitro green tea on the menu (a la nitro coffee) and thought that would be interesting to try for the birthday list.

Well, they were out of the nitro green tea the day that I went. I had been eyeing the pastries as I waited in line to order, so when denied the green tea, I said, “I’ll have a houjicha cookie then. What exactly is that?”

The cashier said it was a cookie made with tea leaves. “OK, sure,” I said. Since I love tea, how bad could it be?

Happy to report that it wasn’t bad. I would even order it again. But this is definitely a cookie for people who like tea. It’s basically like eating tea leaves but in a soft and slightly sweet form.

I also had an iced oolong tea, which was very good. I’ll keep trying for the nitro green tea and will also be trying a sweet bun that is in the shape of a turtle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My birthday is a couple of days away and I’m a little more than halfway through the birthday list. I gave myself an extension until the end of the summer to finish the list this year, since I’ve been busy trying to keep my shit together after my father died suddenly in December. Almost six months later, I’m feeling like one loses the ability to entirely keep one’s shit together after a parent dies. Maybe I’ll feel differently in another six months…

 

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40 things to do on the birthday list!

BirthdayJune 1st, 2015

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