#AnniesBigMove

HEY GUYS!

I know it’s been a while. My posts have been few and far between this summer and not because of the infamous Writers Block of Spring 2015 (Can we even call it Spring? Was it not mostly Winter? From January to May? Just Winter. *chills*). I haven’t been around ’cause I’ve been so damn BUSY! To quote Gary Malin via Instagram:

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Busy packing up my weekender tote, busy waiting for my personal chauffeur (Pete) to transfer me from Point A to Point B (Brookline to Eastham), busy soaking up rays, styling photos for Chatham Thread Works, busy chasing sunsets and slurping oysters and making a mess of my mom’s little beach house. I’ve been busy riding with dad, treasure hunting with babies, showering al fresco, busy ‘gramming my favorite salty seasides, crashing waves, and what’s #onmyplate. As if all of these tasks weren’t stressful enough, to top it all off they’re telling me I gotta go to work, too!? Where I spend ample amounts of time outdoors, among sunflowers and Pinkberry and Splendid and a shop that sells nothing but Cupcakes???

Cripes. It’s been TOUGH being this busy!

All jokes aside, it’s been one hell of a summer. One hell of a well-deserved, highly-anticipated, gone-in-the-blink-of-an-eye, New England summer. I know I was a little apprehensive about this newfangled idea of my most favorite season (i.e Corporate Summer), but let me tell you, it’s not so bad at all, especially when Mother Nature is on your side (why is no one talking about the record breaking number of sunny days we’ve had this year, Boston!?).

But this post was not intended to be a babble about summertime (as most of my posts tend to be). It began with the selfish intention of a desperate plea for your prayers and well wishes, for today is September 1st, known to many in the Boston area as Move-in Day, or Allston Christmas, if you will. A notorious day in Boston history (which was apparently once a blast), second only to December 16, 1773 (don’t quote me on that), during which, in 2015, 63% of all leases in Boston begin or end, 2,088 moving truck parking permits are issued, 38,232 students take up residency in off-campus housing and between 400-500 pizzas are ordered and consumed (you can quote The Globe on all of that).

It will be madness, mayhem and pure chaos.

…and I’ll be live ‘gramming the whole thing! Follow along using #AnniesBigMove!

Just kidding, Pete! Please don’t change your mind. See you tonight!

I have no idea what I’m getting myself into but I do know that that Ikea bed frame with the drawers underneath, that I just HAD to have, was hands down the worst purchasing decision I have ever made (and that’s saying something). I also know that in the same way that I’m lucky to have a summertime bungalow to escape to each weekend, I’m equally as lucky to have a moving crew*, willing to help me out (at least this year, anyway).

So please think of me tomorrow, when you step outside into those predicted 90 degree temps or while walking up one flight of stairs empty handed. Think of me and my 500lb bed frame, 8 J.McLaughlin tote bags stuffed with scarves, sweaters and sneakers, impossible-to-maneuver 6-drawer bureau and 10 W.B Mason boxes, fighting for a parking space, hustling up side-street hills, climbing 4 flights of stairs, weaving through narrow doorways and the entire population of Brighton. Think of me and the rest of Boston and say a little prayer for us all, cause we’re gonna need it.

To my fellow Move-in Day Warriors, good luck and good vibes.

*It’s not too late to join the team! Annie’s Moving Crew is accepting applications all week long! I pay in oysters, BBQ and beer. Please apply via comments below.

P.S as of noon today, I’m officially a Brighton Newbie! Know any good spots? Coffee? Pizza? Margs? Let’s chat!

Dad’s Summer Adventure

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For those who don’t know my dad, that’s a real shame. For those of you who do, you probably know that he’s notorious for a few things, like wearing jeans when he wants to get comfy, never paying a single ATM fee and always carrying a napkin in his pocket. He was named Paperboy of The Year in 1971 at the ripe age of 12 and he was one of Twitter’s earliest adapters, snagging the username @coolj59 while the rest of world continued to navigate the then mysterious, Facebook (“you guys heard about this Twitter thing yet?” he said. “It’s gonna be huge”, he said). His likes and interests are simple; french fries, college football, everything bagels, reading the newspaper, road-trips and bike rides and he’s the one that you can thank for the creation of this blog; it was his motto that started it all, “gotta eat!”.

My dad recently celebrated a birthday; Double-Nickles Plus a Penny. To celebrate, he woke up on July 27th and rode 56 miles on his bike, up and down the Cape Cod coast while the rest of us waited patiently for his return, working up a sweat of our own, sitting under the hot sun and fueling up with coffee and blueberry muffins; a very different kind of morning routine.

For those unfamiliar, The Lagasse Crew is not a particularly active bunch. Aside from the occasional walk around the block, run around the track or surf session in the waves, there’s not a whole lot of exercise-induced sweating that goes on at the beach house. This of course, is true for everyone except dad, so when the Birthday Boy suggested we throw all 5 bikes in the back of the truck, drive to Provincetown and cruise the Province Lands Bike Trail on two wheels for the afternoon, we weren’t quick to jump in the saddle.

This was, in a way, a rival of the infamous, “Dads Summer Adventure”, a trip we used to take each summer to places like Ausable Chasm (“Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks!”), to Cooperstown, NY to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame and to the Ben & Jerry’s Factory in VT. We were always advised to pack a bag, (“never know where we might end up!” he’d say) and most times reluctant to get out of bed an go. Mom would pack the snacks, my brothers and I would squish into the back seat of the car, and dad would do what he loves most, drive. Sometimes we got to pick the destination (Beauty and The Beast on Broadway in NYC for me) and sometimes we drove all the way there only to turn right around without getting out of the car due to bad behavior (sorry, Pete). Luckily, this year’s adventure went entirely according to plan.

A few rare things happened on that day. For starters, all five of us were together; mom, dad, both brothers and me. Laughing 5 times as hard, smiling 5 times as big, zipping up and down the hills of Provincetown to the end of Cape Cod, the place my brothers and I grew up, where my mom always says we never fought, never argued, always got a long. I don’t think dad could have asked for a better present (which is good cause he didn’t get much; a man of very little ‘wants’).

Second rare occurrence; we all got a little work out in! So if you ever find yourself between the elbow and forearm of Cape Cod on a not-so-great Beach Day and are looking for some classic family fun, lace up your sneaks (and throw on your khaki shorts, as my dad would do), and go for a ride! Here’s a few scenes from the journey: group shotbike trailccnsopen road  bikesrocksbikeselfieclawthumbs upoysters Lots of selfies, lots of laughs, a few too many hills for my liking and post-ride oysters (because…gotta eat!), all to celebrate one very awesome dad, who’s often reminding me, “It’s about the journey, not the destination.” (Original quote by @CoolJ59).

Happy Birthday, Daddy-O!

(more than) 5 (long overdue) Things

White and blue blooms, patriotic cupcakes, fried fish, bike rides, beach days, clam chowder, lots of foccacia, Wellfleet oysters, sunshine, sandy feet, outdoor showers, roadtrips, ice cream cones and everything in between…can only mean one thing: summer is HERE.

So without thinking too much about the harsh reality of never again having 3 months free to do whatever I want with (a time during which my only reoccurring meeting took place at 3PM, Subject: Daily Iced Coffee Pick-up, Location: Hole-In-One Donut, Attendees: 2), I’m enjoying what I can of these sweet summertime months every Saturday and Sunday with the occasional #AnniesDayOff sprinkled in here and there.

So far, it’s working out pretty well. Here are some of my favorite things:

1. Solo-Vacation Bliss: spent a rare, long weekend in Eastham in early June, completely solo and here’s how I felt about:

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It was a good time filled with lots of to-go orders, 1 free ice cream cone (a pitty-freebie, I’m sure) and very few Cape crowds. Warm days, cool nights, the new season of OITNB…what more could a girl need.

2. Fried Food Feast: because this is a “food blog”, after all…

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…and summertime lunch with Dad (usually earned and enjoyed after a paddle on the Cove) is high up there on my list of favorite things (as is this new lower-Cape joint, The Knack).

3. Handmade Hamsa: met some awesome people, made some new friends, jazzed up my wrist-wear collection, all with a lil’ help from Prim + Propah. Follow the link for more of where these gems came from, plus an adorable, blonde-haired toddlah.

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4. New Spot: there’s a new juice bar (Pure.) in town (Brookline, MA) and it’s a wonderful place to beet (get it?) the heat.

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5. Cold Bevs, Cool Nights: When I’m not drinking iced coffee at my desk, I’m probably drinking iced margaritas (ok or just chilled wine) on the porch, waiting for the outdoor shower to become available and for mom to finish shucking the oysters; a skill she is mastering quickly and with full family support. Here’s a scene #FromWhereISit:

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6. Sam’s Deli: The Best Sandwich You Will Ever Eat.

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A “Chad’s Idea on foccacia bread with avocado” (aka an Annie’s Idea ’cause it’s on the menu with whole wheat bread and no avo) via Sam’s Deli in Eastham, MA. If you ever find yourself in my neck of the woods…the Nauset Light, Basil Rathbone and Turkey Club are also worth the carbs your while.

7. Mom’s Garden: The Prettiest Blooms You Will Ever See.

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Ever-changing hydrangeas from mom’s garden, popping up a new hue of blue after each wicked winter (also pictured, one of many places to sit, found at the Transfer Station, aka town dump, and put to good use).

Hoping the sunshine’s been as good to you as it has been to me. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed for more sunny weekends and extra gloomy weekdays (sorry, mom).

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) –>