Boston on Foot
“Is it me or does it seem that there are a lot of assholes in Boston?” This thought crossed my mind as we sat inside a little Italian restaurant called Coppa. My friend, Shannon, and I had arrived in Boston via New York City on the very cheap and convenient Bolt Bus. We met up with our CouchSurfing host and immediately went in search of food. I never generalize about any city and it’s inhabitants and the only excuse I could give for my crotchetiness was lack of food.
Of course, all of my assumptions melted away once a drink and a few appetizers were ordered. Small plates were what we were after and after a metro ride and twenty minute walk, we found Coppa Enoteca. Fresh burrata cheese with olive oil, dried olives, and sea salt to start. Silky meatballs topped with marinara sauce and thin glassine like slivers of lardo stole the show for me. After many other little delights we left satisfied and ready for some caffeine to lift us out of the food coma that was coming on. So, on we walked.
Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but to me the concept of vacation (I don’t like to use that term) or traveling is a most unique one. You go somewhere that is new and totally different from what you’re used to. One may even be pushed outside of their comfort zone and when you tag on language barriers it can feel like you’ve been reduced to a helpless childlike state. However, It’s all of these things that make traveling exciting. I’ve never felt more happier or alive than when I’ve been on a plane, walking through unfamiliar streets, or engaging in conversation with people I may never see again. The best bit is the walking part. Walking is one of the best ways to take in a place. You can’t zip by most things like if you were on a tour. All you need is a map and you’re golden.
After another ten minute stroll we found a cute corner cafe. The South End neighborhood of Boston is very trendy and is a vision in red brick cobbled streets as well as buildings with wrought iron accents. The locals consist of young professionals and young mothers in yoga pants pushing strollers. Oh and there are dogs… lots of dogs, very well groomed dogs I might add. It was nice to sit at a table with a cafe au lait and a little cupcake and just talk, people watch, and take everything in.
Originally there was no game plan for this trip. There was no set itinerary or list of museums and historical sites to visit. It’s not that I wasn’t interested in it because I love anything involving history and I love art too. In fact we did go to one museum, but in general we had an idea of places we might want to visit and restaurants we might want to dine at. From there we went with the flow. The flow was at a leisurely pace. The flow allowed us to stop whenever we felt like it or take us anywhere at a whim. From hanging at Harvard Yard on the green watching the Ivy League students move out to roaming Little Italy in the North End, taking much needed coffee and bakery brakes or stopping for some Tiramisu gelato.
At the end of the day we would catch the metro back to the Allston, a cool little neighborhood full of college students and ethnic restaurants, and have long engrossing conversations with our lovely hosts before going to bed. Topics included, marriage, crappy reality TV, religion, feminism, and our philosophies on life in general. I love having deep and intellectual conversations especially with those who are open minded. It’s like a past time I rarely get to indulge in and not a bad way to end a night especially when there are good vibes all around.