“Anybody want to give me money for no reason at all; I’ve ran out of excuses,” a Bostonian hobo laughed as Sayer and I walked past. I am a 21st century woman, so I never carry cash; but in that moment I wish I had so I could have justified asking to take a picture with him. This is the second chance I have had to take a picture with a creative homeless man and have failed. The first, had a sign that said “Need money for spaceship.” Besides, it’s not uncommon that I monetarily condone creativity. Alas….
Sayer and I visited Boston this past weekend to celebrate Independence Day, but mainly to visit our amazing friends, Jon and Alicia. Boston is a beautiful city, which gracefully preserves a historical presence while integrating a modern skyline. The contrast between centuries is done in a surprisingly aesthetic manor and it serves as a reminder that a great deal of history has happened on the streets of Boston. It’s not difficult to imagine what it must of been like in the colonial days. In fact, Samuel Adams is buried in Boston. You can drink Sam Adams with Sam Adams at the Bean Town Pub. Sadly, Sam Adams is just about the best beer Boston has to offer. It’s more of an over-priced cocktail city, if you can imagine.
The food in Boston is also quite overpriced. Being a big city, it’s hard to find those good ol’ mom-and-pop joints with gourmet dishes. It seems to be more about the experience of being in a big city. You’re paying to eat in prime real-estate. You’re not paying for the good food, necessarily. That said, you can never beat a good fancy restaurant with seafood. On Saturday night, we dined at The Daily Catch, located in the Seaport District. Eating delicious oysters right on the water had me feeling fancy! This Italian restaurant has a wonderful seafood selection, particularly shellfish; and great cocktails and wine to pair. As a nice bonus, there was a firework show over the harbor toward the end of our dinner.
As for lodging, Sayer and I stayed at the Nine Zero Hotel, a 4-star boutique hotel located in the heart of downtown Boston. Because this hotel isn’t a chain, it has a very comforting and homey appeal to it. The views are said to be great, but unfortunately, our room wasn’t so special–this was probably due to the fact that we paid with travel points. However, I have found that if you assert yourself at hotel front desks, you almost always get a nice room. Alas, Sayer checked into our room and he is a softie. It is what it is. On the bright side, the amenities of the hotel are great. There is a bar, business center, spa, and fitness center. The fitness center actually has hula hoops in it, which is unique. Additionally, each room is fully equipped with a yoga mat, bath robes, and a fridge stocked full of alcohol (beware as the alcohol is not free; nothing is free, in life). Speaking of alcohol, the hotel hosts a free wine tasting in the lobby every evening from 5 to 6PM. Did I mention the shower? The showers in the rooms are super nice! And the bedding is as expected for a luxury hotel. Overall, I would recommend the Nine and Zero Hotel.
One of Boston’s main attractions is Newberry Street. It wouldn’t be an America city without a special street or building dedicated to consumerism. Newberry (and it’s surrounding streets) has every store you can think of from fast fashion, to designer, to books, to technology, to food–this street has everything an American could ever need to fulfill their empty consumeristic voids. Newberry is the one thing I love and hate about Boston. It brings out the side of myself that I hate the most–that is the I-am-a-member-of-a-concumerist-society side. I am a victim of instant gratification. Aren’t we all? That said, if you like shopping, Newberry Street is the place to be. Below is a picture of me taking a picture of myself to ask my not-present boyfriend if I should buy these awesome jeans, that I did in fact buy. To be fair, I can never find jeans that fit right and I really needed a pair.
If you’re into less shallow forms of entertainment when you travel, there is plenty else to do in Boston. You can visit the many museums and art galleries. You can also get a good work out in at one of the local climbing gyms. Sayer and Jon paid a visit to Central Rock, a climbing gym in Watertown, just outside of Boston. This gym is unique in that the setters do not grade the boulders. Instead, they leave problems up for a length of time until the climbers collectively decide what the grade should be. If you’re not that adventurous, Boston is a great city to just walk around and explore the beautiful architecture. If you do go on a walk, I strongly recommend staying out to watch the sunset over the harbor. With flat geography, it’s truly beautiful.
On the Fourth of July, we spent time playing frisbee with Jon and Alicia’s new puppy Caleigh. A group of Italians, decked out in American flag gear, approached us to inquire where the party was. They flew all the way from Italy to celebrate Independence Day in Boston, the home of The Revolution and we had to disappoint them with the news that not much was happening until the evening. A parade happened at 9AM, when everyone–besides evangelicals–was hung over from the night before. The Italians were sad to hear that they had missed the parade and that other festivities did not start until the evening. The Boston Pops played a free concert alongside the Charles River, followed by a spectacular thirty-minute firework show at 10:30PM. The concert was packed! People came from all of the world to be apart of this American celebration. To avoid the crowd, we decided to watch from Jon and Alicia’s rooftop. I have to say, that is the best firework display I have ever seen.