You never know truly what you have until it’s gone, right? The countdown to our overseas move is now only days away, so I find myself soaking up every detail in my hometown. Although I’ve done brief stints in places like Western New York and Spain, I always return to Boston. There’s a few years in London looming ahead of me now that will be a whole new adventure, but I’m pretty positive we’ll be back someday to put roots down on the East Coast, if not right in Boston’s backyard.
All of its Boozy Glory
I might have a few old standbys that I always love to revisit, but really, the bar crawl in Boston is an art form. I started my legal drinking oddities near kitschy pubs in Faneuil Hall, cautiously moving over to Fenway for more clubs and live music. I had a snooty phase only frequenting places down the new and improves Seaport or over at the Liberty Hotel, but now my wallet scream for something in the middle a little more. There’s something I love about all of Boston’s neighborhoods and their watering holes, from the espresso martinis in the North End to the pints at The Burren in Somerville.
Alright, Somerville isn’t really Boston proper, but that’s also a beautiful part of this place. We just lump all neighborhoods and surrounding cities into one big glorious superpower of pride, horrible fashion and camaraderie.
Love That Dirty Water
Rumor has it though, Boston’s water is not dirty anymore. In fact, down in Southie, Castle Island has been named not only one of the best beaches in the state, but also one of the cleanest urban shores in the country.
It beat out Waikiki Beach and South Beach, Miami. For real.
I haven’t really ever gone for a swim because it’s often freezing, and the stigma has prevented me from taking a dip, but I will wade in the calm waters all the time. I love the laid back crowds and undeveloped beaches along Southie that are unlike any other. There’s a calm to the sandy shoreline that I hope lingers long after I’m gone, so someone doesn’t but up some horrible resort or tiki bar, ruining the ruggedness.
Besides the beach, the true dirty dirty is the Charles River, but even that rumor is old news. I don’t venture often beyond Park Street, but I love those views on the red line as you pull into Charles MGH then walk over to the esplanade. It reminds me of high school days spent lounging at free, albeit not that great, concerts in the summertime. If you can believe it though, I’ve never once taken one of those Duck Tours that use old WWII amphibious vehicles to dive straight into the river. Maybe if new British friends come over to visit I’ll give that a go.
Obviously, the classics
Recently a friend and her 8-month-old came to town and we made a beeline for the aquarium. I could stand in front of the massive round tank for hours watching the turtles and giant fish swim round and round. I also have fond memories of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. While the MFA is impressive, this small museum is something very special. I must have been 15 or 16 when I first went, fascinated that I could flip through sketches by Matisse and John Singer Sargent. When I was older the cocktail parties in the interior garden courtyard were some of the most aesthetically pleasing events I’ve been to in the city.
Luckily I have great resources to help me reminisce and plan my trips home. For one, I love Best Boston – everything’s laid out simply and the neighborhood maps are super handy for wandering. When I’m 3,200 hundred miles away I’ll probably peruse the photos and read the posts to get horribly nostalgic and a bit sad. The good thing is we live in the world that allows connectivity through the web, quick flights and plenty of Skype sessions.
There’s now ten days left until out departure to London. I’ll be filling it with hours by the harbor, fruity drinks, lounging in the Greenway, walking to Dewey Square and maybe even a hot dog down at Sully’s on Castle Island. It’ll be a fond farewell.