The Long Way Home

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There’s a lot to be said about the positive effects of sunshine and blue sky and a little extra time for yourself.

Maybe I owe some credit to my dad, for always taking The Long Way Home. From Christmas dinners, soccer games, family vacations, and ice creams at Tulmeadow Farm, chances are, if there’s an alternate route, winding through narrow back-roads, my dad’s talking it. A habit I’ve always disliked and will probably always groan about.

But I think there might be something I’ve been missing, because today I took The Long Way Home and it was exactly what I needed.

On June 30th, I hopped off the T at 7:50AM with 50 minutes to spare before Social Media Day (yes, that’s a real, official holiday!) celebrations began in Fort Point. Note to self: it takes 40 minutes to get from Brookline to South Station, not 90, as I had prepared for. I purchased my iced americano from two guys with a pint-sized coffee counter attached to a bicycle; The Coffee Trike, if you will (I’m more in love after visiting this site). One was British, looking dapper in gingham and the other, I’m assuming from the faded Bruins hat and thick accent, was straight from The Hub (is that what the locals are calling it?).

We chatted about the weather and I tried to act cool (read as: tried and failed to discretely take photos without looking like a dork), as if this whole coffee-from-a-bicycle thing was just another mundane part of my daily routine. Nothing special at all.

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To my dismay, Dewy Square Park was occupied by lawn mowers & maintenance crews, bright red Adirondack chairs stacked tall along it’s perimeters, Shinique Smith mural, a not-so-subtle backdrop, dark and dull in the shadows of the morning sun. So instead I wandered around (in my famous Loft pants), weaving through hoards of empty handed, suit-and-tie-wearing men and women clad in pencil skirts and athletic sneakers, draped in tote bags stuffed with gym clothes and comfortable shoes, coffee cup and cell phone squeezed together in the same hand; the uniform of a workin’ woman (…expect for me. you will never see in sneaks and a skirt, ever).

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I finished my coffee, snapped a few snaps, ran into my brother (empty handed, no tote bags, comfortable work shoes; the very different uniform of a workin’ man), and headed towards Melcher Street, whistling along to new tunes from Broken Into Better Shape (Specifically, Small World) streaming through my headphones.

I arrived in the basement of 51 Melcher Street at General Assembly (click the link!), greeted by a familiar face at the check-in desk, who now knows that “Lagasse” is spelled with an “a” and not an “e” because I’m a GA regular. A long line of social media enthusiasts, much like myself, crowded the doorway to classroom 3, everyone waiting for their turn to ogle and select a prize from the assortment of Union Square Donuts (ok, if you don’t click this one you’re crazy) that sat waiting for us. Included in the mouth-watering mix: sea salted bourbon caramel, maple bacon and malted milk chocolate. Webster hasn’t come up with the right words to describe these donuts just yet, so you’ll have to taste for yourself.

For the next 90 minutes I sat in a room filled with My People. People whose minds think in 140 characters or less, whose eyes see the world in a frame that is 110×110 pixels large, whose thumbs are always scrolling, actively not aimlessly, always listening with their fingers, creating and expressing, always connecting and engaging with a pretty large world on a pretty small screen.

[insert a few more lines about my infatuation towards all things social.]

[blah, blah, blah, we all get it, I like Instagram a lot and Twitter’s ok, too]

peopel

I took The Long Way Home because well, I needed it. So this is where I leave you. With a confident declaration of the death of my Writers Block, a very big thank you for sticking with me as I sulked it out for a few posts and a collection of lovely photos from a picture perfect day in Beantown (which does NOT have quite the same ring to it as “The City of Brotherly Love”…but I guess I can work with it).

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A big shout out to my dad on this one. I think I get it now.

…Or maybe you really do take The Long Way Home just to bug me.

(I’m 99% sure my dad doesn’t know that OUaP exists. Oh well.)

Untitled Post, Pt. 2

ICYMI: I’ve been in a funk. One not even a life changing brunch pizza (+brand new creative friends!) or a 50% off everything sale at LOFT can cure (I know what you’re thinking, I probably should see a doctor). I miss my mom (is that still ok?). I miss my little peanuts in PA and their big comfy couch that was often my off-campus oasis. I miss class rooms and quiet hallways and loud, long lunch tables. I miss being told what to read and what to write and when to write it, which I know, probably sounds pretty strange. There’s something I’ve always kinda liked about deadlines and schedules and assignments and creative writing prompts. I love creative writing prompts.

I miss school and a lot of the things that come with it (note: not everything that comes with it). This whole post-grad thing is cool, but is it everything we all thought it would be? Everything we dreamed it would be? Everything we so confidently insisted we were ready for? Maybe it is all of these things for you. Most of the time, it is for me as well, but sometimes I feel like my time on Hawk Hill wasn’t up when I left. Like I wasn’t ready to re-root, wasn’t done eating Hawk Wraps and helping the basketball team use the printer. I left a few things unfinished, like my Manayunk Bucket List and a fight with some friends, the cause of which, I’m still unsure of. What I’m realizing is that there’s this awkward middle-ground between collegiate life and whatever you want to call the point in time at which your real life begins to fall into place; the “real world”, if you will, that no one ever talks about. The way we talk about life in your early 20’s is you’re either in college or you’re not, but it’s really not that simple and I think we need to be more honest about that.

Anyway, I digress…

Long story short, this is my pledge to get back on track. To write more, read more, connect more, learn more, do more, be more.  To start using my MacBook for much more than mindless Netflix Marathons and Facebook scrolling. Because once upon a time, it lived in a bag attached to my shoulder and it traveled from the classroom to the basketball court, to weight rooms and dining halls and everywhere in between. It kept me organized and introduced me to new info, new worlds and new interests. Now it collects dust at the foot of my bed. So I think this might be the cure to my not-so-sunny disposition.

July Goals that might actually be the cure to this creative funk:

  • Unsubscribe from the countless spam emails I receive daily and never, EVER read
  • Read more blogs
  • Watch, read and follow more news
  • Run on Wednesday mornings, practice yoga Wednesday evenings
  • Leave work at work when I leave work
  • Write more. With a pen and paper and online
  • Eat more (healthy things)
  • Write more about those eats

let’s see if this works.

(ps look left for previously mentioned life-changing brunch pizza) –>

A Look Inside: Sunbird Kitchen

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…because it’s a rainy day on Cape Cod and I’m reliving my days as an unemployed, part-time (wannabe?) local, waiting for the clouds to move over and the sun to shine, typing and sipping and munching and thinking at a high top counter by the window inside the newest addition to my rotation of go-to seaside restaurants (joining a VERY select few), Sunbird Kitchen.

From roadside food truck to quaint and cozy eatery complete with wifi, an abundance of succulents, a couch (with a guest book, no less), old books, hand drawn menu boards, cold brew coffee and the most delicious Porchetta Sandwhich I have EVER tasted (ok, so it might be the only one I’ve eve tasted but that doesn’t change anything), this place is the perfect spot for my Work-From-Home Friday’s and Monday’s summertime office…the search is finally over.

(Just Kidding that’s not actually a thing but can you imagine….???)

So turn up the reggae and take a peek. You’ll have to make your way to Orleans this summer to see what I mean about that sandwich…and the coffee and those cookies and that spring salad and…

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Untitled Post

Writers block continues mostly due to feelings of “who cares?” and as of late, finding time to curate a ‘list of links that I love’ to share with all of you on Fridays has been difficult. I’m spending a lot of my time @shopthestreet these days, which is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it’s a job and much of the time it doesn’t feel like work and a curse because it’s a job and much of the time  I’d much rather be on the beach. BUT that’s life and life includes weekends and weekends include blogging on the beach so don’t get it twisted, I am one happy girl. 

I’ve had a lot of thoughts pop into my head over the last few weeks. Thoughts that I thought about turning into a post but ultimately thought “who cares?” or they were pretty plain and simple and therefore wouldn’t make much of a post. But I’ve compiled them all into a list on my phone, so for the sake of clearing some space in my phone and my head and adding some content to this endangered species (OUAP), I give you, a compilation of random thoughts and a few links that I love for your weekend reading pleasure.

I’ll start with the heavy stuff…

  1. It’s been one year since I entered the world of adulthood and so far here’s the best part: I can’t remember the last time I used the phrase, “I’m so mad” or “I’m so pissed at…” or “I hate…” (except for when the last bite of any meal sucks, I really hate that). In general I’m a happier, healthier, better version of myself and that really rocks. There’s definitely times of loneliness, missing my friends in Philly and NJ, all of whom are chasing their dreams, trying to figure out life after grad, just like me. I miss living within one block from everyone I know and I miss that feeling of comfort and familiarity while walking to class or grabbing a coffee, always feeling like you belong, never doubting that this, in my case Hawk Hill, is where you’re supposed to be. There are a lot of people I’d like to say sorry to, because college can make you an idiot sometimes and a lot of people I’d like to say thank you to because college can be hard sometimes and fun most of the times and without those people, that wouldn’t be the case. So adulthood has been good after just one quick year. The world feels so much bigger now but isn’t that an awesome thing? Four years ago I sat in Fenway Park and thought to myself, “I gotta live in Boston someday”. Today, I live three stops from Kenmore Square, I go on runs and end them with a lap behind the Green Monster, I sip coffee and stroll down Yawkey Way on Saturday mornings  like it ain’t no thing. I remind myself that this life has always been my dream, and while I’m making huge strides, I’m not finished chasing it. 
  2. Related: as it turns out, even in the world of so called “adulthood” people still act like children and for some strange reason lending a helping hand, say by washing one dish you didn’t use or taking the trash out when it’s full even though you did it 5 days ago, seems to be like pulling teeth, at least in my experience. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we were all programmed to be nice and thoughtful and understanding and curteous and helpful and respectful and nice (used twice for emphasis) no matter what? I’m not saying I’m perfect, but let’s all try a little harder, shall we?
  3. Life was better when cheesesteaks were abundant.
  4. Life is better now that cheesesteaks are not so abundant. 
  5. I recently purchased a S’well Bottle and let me tell you, the thing is magic. It keeps water cold for 24 hours (even after sitting in my beach bag all day) and hot for 12, while helping to protect the environment, our beloved oceans and giving back to the community. Plus, it’s hand painted and the prettiest hue of purple I ever did see so really, it was a no brainier purchase. Not a sponsored post, but you should probably buy one. (Available @shopthestreet).
  6. Related: these pants are on sale at Gap at they’re amazing. The perfect (and more flattering) alternative to leggings in the summer, even for us shorties. I call them my Saturday-Morning-Coffee-at-Sam’s Pants. 
  7. This morning I woke up in Eastham at 4:30AM, looked out my window with wide eyes and felt giddy with excitement at the first sight of daylight. I feel like that every single time I wake up on Schoolhouse Road and that’s no exaggeration. In that state of sleepy joy, I thought to myself “How lucky am I to know a place that makes me feel this happy at 4:30AM?”.
  8. If you’re between the ages of 20-30, give this TedTalk a listen. Sorry everyone else, skip this bullet. (I’m only kidding, you’ll like it too)
  9. Somewhat related: meeting people is hard and dating is just weird. I think  these are things you probably already know, but I think about them a lot so I’ll just reiterate here for emphasis. 
  10. And last but not least, it’s nearly 2PM, which is iced coffee time, and I’m sitting here by the bay wondering if that whole Dunkin Donuts delivery thing has been rolled out on Cape Cod yet…

That’s all I got for you today. I promise I’ll be back soon with real worlds to share and things you might actually care about. Maybe my next post will actually have something to do with food and/or eating it. Who knows. 

Thanks for checking in! 

A Serious Case of Writers Block

HEY YA’LL! How ya’ been!?

It’s been a while since I last sat down with my ancient MacBook (year 2010, 10lbs heavier than the MacBook Air and currently showing a time of 8:01PM, when it’s actually 7:46PM) and let my fingers do their thing. I’ve been experiencing some major writers block, not wanting to write about anything, not even lists with links I love.

I haven’t wanted to write about the sunshine or the warm air, or the tulip beds that have replaced sky high snow piles that I truly never thought would shrink. I never wrote about #AnniesDayOff; my trip to Southie, during which I did nothing but walk around and window shop, wearing boyfriend jeans and debuting my pineapple tote for the very first time. I had a lovely, lonesome lunch at a new wine and cheese bar, Formage, enjoying and sandwich and soda pop by the window, but I didn’t want to write about it. I stumbled into Neatly Nestled, Pretty Reckless and Ku De Ta, browsing handmade gifts, sniffing lilac and verbena candles and perusing trays of trendy jewelry, racking my brain for any excuse to buy a little something for me or for a friend. I never wrote about mint juleps or mother’s day mimosas, never typed a word about my exploration of Jamaica Plain, where I tracked down City Feed and as a result, found the perfect place for Sunday bagels and an iced coffee (because a home isn’t home until you’ve found your spot for good coffee and a good bagel). I didn’t write about the Boston Marathon, mainly because it might very well be impossible to put into the words the feelings I felt while meandering Boylston St. on the morning of April 20th. I didn’t write about the crowds of onlookers or the pack of runners or the positive vibes that filled the air, despite rain clouds, sporadic downpours and chilly temps.

I didn’t want to write about my recent discovery of avocado toast with an egg on top (embarrassed by how long it took me to figure this one out) or about the Boston Bloggers “Meet Up” that I attended, during which time I spent a lot of money drinking a lot of drinks with salt on the rim watching enviously as these photo-booth pros posed in perfectly chaotic arrangements all night long; silly and sophisticated at the same damn time in classic #BosBloggers fashion.

I was invited to and delighted to attend the Red Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the new PAUL in Downtown Crossing, wearing my (now famous) LOFT “party pants” (only I call them that, but I mean…see for yourself) and rubbing elbows with some pretty fancy folks from France. But how would you know? I never wrote about it. I devoured too many chocolate croissants and tasted each and every colorful macron, snapping photos of everything else; cream cheese and lox, fresh tomato, mozzarella and basil, something delicious made with portobella mushroom, something even better made with ricotta and espresso…I could go on and on, but I don’t want to write about it.

As noted above, I become famous on loft.com, paid a visit to the original site of the Woodstock Music and Art Festival of 1969, spent 3 glorious days on the beach with mom, won $15 betting on a horse race (ok, ok, so maybe it was a fight not a horse race but what kinda blogger bets on a fight?!), bought a REALLY adorable coffee mug with yellow stripes and bikes at Brookline’s local book store, watched 400 episodes of Mad Man (give or take), got a sunburn, signed a lease on an apartment and ate lots of ice cream in sugar cones with rainbow sprinkles (and summer has only just begun).

…but I didn’t want to write about any of it, because I’m struggling through a serious case of writers block, and I’m hoping this might help.