Eating Well in Bos…I mean, Newton Centre

Eating well in Boston has proven quite difficult (hence the disappearing act of this blog). For starters, I should say I’m not actually IN Boston, more like outside of Boston, but not even in one of Boston’s quaint neighborhoods like Brookline or Cambridge or Somerville, way outside in a little suburban town called Newton. Newton Center (where my apartment is) is home to a handful of local shops and restaurants, glamorous fashion boutiques, a very convenient T stop with it’s very own diner, one Starbucks, across from one Dunkin’, one very bad Mexican restaurant, one very good Thai restaurant, a few banks, a lot of hair and nail salons and tons of people running, there are always people running. There’s a small park filled with pretty flowers and birds that whistle while I read and just beyond the traffic lights and impossible-to-navigate 5.5-way intersection in the center of town there are beautiful houses that remind me of my other home, my original home, in Simsbury, CT. Houses with big porches and gardens filled with the brightest greens, yellows and pinks, and lawns made of grass that never seems to grow yet never seems to be mowed, either.

My apartment is…a first apartment. It has 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1 kitchen and 1 living room with a very comfortable sofa, but no television. There is no kitchen table and the living room has 1 desk with no accompanying chair. Windows are scarce everywhere except for my bedroom, which is lined wall-to-wall with 7 large windows. On Mondays and Tuesdays between 1 and 2:30AM, some kind of large, ridiculously loud truck comes around to empty a dumpster or tow a car from the public lot or collect quarters and dimes from the parking meters, always waking me up with a jolt. The kitchen is currently occupied by fruit flies and there’s a stench from who knows where that seems to linger in everything that comes out of the kitchen, from the salads I make for lunch to the quinoa creations I attempt to make for dinner.

This is where the eating well, or lack there of, comes into play. When I first arrived in Newton, I was very excited about sharing 1 refrigerator with 2 girls rather than 4 and I was even more excited about having a grocery store (Wegman’s nonetheless), within .5 miles from my workplace and home. I had big plans to buy fresh fruits and vegetables every other week, never letting them go bad. I would keep them on shelves or in the fridge, never worrying who might eat them or how I would use them before it was too late. But then the bugs came, and the smell quickly followed and the beauty and excitement of my very first apartment started to wear off. My bananas were enjoyed by flies and my avocados just didn’t quite ripen the way I wanted them to. In an attempt to save much of the sweet, sweet paychecks I’ve begun to receive (as well as an attempt to shed some of those college lbs brought on by Margarita Monday, late night cheesesteaks and well, everything else…) I’ve been trying to avoid eating out. But for the last few weeks that I’m here in Newton, I think I’m giving that up.

Eating out however, can be tricky when you have few friends to accompany you and no kitchen table to bring your food home to. So for now, from Monday to Thursday, before I jet set to Eastham for the weekends, I’ll dine in the park, or at the bar, or on the big red sofa in my TV-less living room. Maybe my roommates will join me, maybe my brother will offer to pay. However it happens, for the remainder of the month I’ll be eating well in sort-of Boston.

Disclaimer: it hasn’t all been bad. Since arriving here, I’ve devoured mini lobster rolls and salmon skewers overlooking Boston’s Back Bay during Boston Magazine’s Best of Boston Party, I’ve had authentic burritos with my brother and have shared hummus platters with new friends, Ahi Tuna salads from Del Frisco’s Grille and incredible pizza at Otto in Brookline with my dad. Of course there’s J.P Licks, and Pinkberry and Treat Cupcake Bar, and a Dunkin’ Donuts on every block…so really, no complaining to be had here.