I Feel Like Blogging

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 photo 4 (2)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. photo 2 (3)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 phphoto 3 (3)one 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!

 

 

Current Cravings

Here’s a little taste of what I’ve been loading up on lately…in moderation, of course…

OystersOYSTAHS! Much to my delight, this month has been all about oysters. From Legal on The Mystic, to B&G Oysters in Boston’s South End, all the way to Welfleet Oysterfest, I’ve been slurpin’ up salty bivalves just about every weekend with new friends and old. Raw oysters, fried oysters, free oysters and Sam Adams Oyster Stout – yes, oyster beer. As a girl who used to lick the sea-salt from her hot pink “tubey-tube” (a long, long time ago), my salt-tooth couldn’t be more satisfied this month.

Honey Bee Tea from my friends at DAVIDsTEA: the most caffeinated blend they’ve got on all 4 shelves lined wall-to-wall with colorful canisters of oolong, roobios, white, black, green, pu’erh, herbal and mate, this blend gives me the energy I need to keep buzzing like a bee. Between booking face-painters for Trick-or-Treat at The Street, and planning private styling events with bloggers and Red Sox wives, I’m loving every second of every day with that iconic teal cup in hand.

CrepesCrepes: Who doesn’t love crepes? Crepes in Boston with your best friend from Philly who you haven’t seen in months? Even better. No explanation necessary here. I live less than a mile from The Paris Creperie, a tiny eatery that whips up nothing but sweet and savory crepes morning, noon and night. It’s as simple as that.

Dip Day. Yes, it was just as awesome as it sounds. On Thursday afternoon before the Patriots played the Jets, WS Development celebrated the big game in the best way possible; with buffalo chicken dip, taco dip, artichoke dip, pizza dip, bean dip,  guacamole, more buffalo chicken dip and more guacamole. For dessert? Pumpkin spice dip, Nutella dip, Greek yogurt and fresh berries dip…you get the idea. Crock pots and endless trays of dip lined an entire wall of break room tables, each accompanied by a recipe card and a bag or two of Tostito’s. “Lunch” lasted 2 hours that day and there was very little talk about Football. As my dad would say, it was a pretty good day at “the rock pile”.

Mom’s Granola: I’m pretGranolaty good with words, but I don’t know if  there are any words suitable for accurately describing this stuff. There’s a jar of it my cabinet, a container in my desk and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was currently a bag of it (ok, maybe 2) in my purse. Whether sprinkled on my breakfast or adding crunch to my desert, I can’t get enough.


What’s on the menu for next month? Thanksgiving sandwiches, a taste of Philly (read: Wawa and Cheesesteaks), hopefully a trip to Grillo’s Pickles in Cambridge, red cups at Starbucks (ok, maybe I’m pushing it…), a new layout, blogger brainstorms, more posts, and more experiments in the kitchen.

PS Notice anything different? Endless thanks & love to Erin DuPont of Rose Door Designs for my very own, very beautiful, customized image! More creative changes to come…