I wish I could say I was sitting in some local coffee shop, in Cambridge or on Newbury Street, typing feverishly on my MacBook at a small wooden table for two with mismatched chairs, exposed brick on the wall, a single yellow flower in a vase in front of me, surrounded by poets, writers, readers, thinkers and bloggers sprinkled from table to table. Inside is calm. Espresso machine hissing quietly, keyboards clicking, forks and knives slicing gently into pastries and croissants. I’d be wrapped in a cozy sweater and without a doubt a thick scarf hugging my neck in two bulky layers. Tall riding boots uncomfortably zipped up my calves, Bon Iver in my ears, sipping a latte and enjoying a pale purple macaron. That’s how I imagine all bloggers blog.
But instead, I’m sitting in my living room surrounded by ugly browns and the tan-est of tans, wearing slippers, leggings and an over-sized sweatshirt, sipping on Sam Adams Octoberfest and tearing up uncontrollably every other minute while catching up on Parenthood. True to my imagination, I am, in fact, wearing a bulky scarf, wrapped twice around my neck. The lighting is dim, the windows drafty, and the only bit of ambiance to be found here are four mismatched candles burning unevenly to their end. Despite this less-than-trendy setting, I feel like blogging, so that’s what I’ll do…
Jump ahead 6 days. It’s Thursday afternoon. I’m all set up on a quiet patio on Newbury Street, beautiful latte to my right, Mac Book straight ahead, 1989 in my ears (yes, that was hard to admit), phone tucked away in my bag. It’s chilly, but I’m happy as can be, wrapped up in a cozy sweater, with a scarf hugging my neck in two thick layers, riding boots zipped up my calves and I feel like blogging, so that’s what I’ll do.
Sound familiar? Let me explain. When I started writing this story, it was a Friday evening, and my thoughts were pleasantly interrupted by dinner with my roomie; Mai Tai’s and lo mein to celebrate the weekend. Since then, there’s been a lot to write home about, but not so much time to do so. Trick-or-Treat at The Street went off without a single hitch (if you don’t count the fire alarm at Shake Shack smack dab in the middle of Josh and The Jamtones). It was beautiful and fun and exhausting and rewarding and in a lot of ways, it was mine; my baby (although I can’t discredit all who helped make it happen, because it certainly wasn’t all me). But watching it come to life? Incredible. I’ve planned parties and trips to Freddy Hill Farm, organized pledge class dinners and Big/Little reveals, and from all of those events, I’ve developed a love for coordination and organization, timely deadlines, RSVPs and overwhelming event schedules. A love for the feeling you get when you’re not sure if you’ll have enough time to hang all of these signs before 1:00 and a love for the feeling of tingling toes after sacrificing comfort for cute shoes, as you run around an enormous shopping center all afternoon hoping everyone you pass thinks you’ve got it all together. It was a long month, and a long day, but a successful event, without doubt.
And to celebrate? Take a guess. The most fulfilling dinner at Barcelona Wine Bar in Washington Square complete with chilled Sangria, outdoor heat lamps, Mom, Dad, and Pete. I’ve aways been very wary of tapas, especially after a long day with no time for lunch. I’m the kind of person who, when hungry, and I mean really hungry, seeks large plates and lots of carbs; think: heaping piles of pasta, cheeseburgers, and Chipotle. So while I’ve been wanting to try Barcelona for a while now, I wasn’t sure it would do the trick tonight. I was wrong. We started with 3 meats and 2 cheese spreads. Next up, in 3 different waves, chorizo and sweet figs, summer salad with butternut squash, eggplant caponata, mussels, meatballs, halibut cheek, pork belly and braised short rib. Although, small portions, I was stuffed to the point of painful discomfort but satisfied taste-buds, all the way back to Cambridge.
Since then, I’ve been busy searching for a perfect pair of booties, purchasing more Cozy Scarves from The Gap, attending (and loving) my first spin class, lifting weights at Body Pump and tackling my long-time goal of becoming a yogi (classic-22 year old goal, am I right?). No time for blogging. Until today, Thursday, 6 whole days after this post began.
So here I am, after a morning spent traipsing around the hauntingly empty streets of Boylston, Park and Newbury, snapping pictures of beautiful buildings where inside, people sit at desks making phone calls or typing emails; tasks I too, should be completing today. Instead, I’m wandering around The Boston Public Library, window shopping on Newbury Street, and quickly devouring the “world’s best sandwich” at Sam Lagrassa’s during Pete’s lunch break (a very, VERY good pastrami sandwich and the 1st turkey-stuffing-cranberry sauce combo of the season – we went half-sies). I’ve lugged my MacBook from Brookline to Hynes Convention Center to Park Street and back down Newbury to end up where I had planned to be all along; The Thinking Cup, for a quiet afternoon of blogging and latte sipping.
There are quite a few coffee shops jotted down on my never-ending list of places to visit and eateries to try in Boston; a list that’s been growing since July, and one that I’m just now finding some time to dive into. With my new-found love of (and dependence on) coffee and plans to take Once Upon a Plate to the next blogging-level, it’s only right that I track down these quite spots in Central Square, South End, or Back Bay, test out their version of “Boston’s Best Coffee” and find some time to write on Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings and surprise Thursdays off from work, like today. Each cup of coffee will be followed by a story, each story will be accompanied by a cup of coffee.
On my list:
- Flour Bakery in Central Square
- Tatte Bakery on Beacon Street
- Cafe Vanille in Beacon Hill
- Maproom Cafe in Boston’s Public Library
- Rifrullo Cafe in Brookline
The list goes on and on and it’s growing with each new issue of Boston Magazine and each new post from @BostonFoodies on Instagram. Know a quiet place perfect for sipping, thinking and typing? Let me know in the comments below!