Thought I’d get in a visit with ES before I potentially move to SF. Beside, it’s been more than a year, and I like to go at least once a year.
I arrived early evening, just in time for dinner at one my favorite Boston restaurants, Elephant Walk (the website is sort of awful btw). The restaurant is much more chi-chi than I remember, at least in an old-fashioned, New England blueblood kind of way. Or maybe in a French way. But the food was less expensive than memory serves.
We got our favorite appetizer, nataing, to start, and then I got the Amok Royal, which is, according to the menu, “a spicy, custard-like preparation of fresh crab, bay scallops, grouper and shrimp with coconut milk and complex Khmer seasonings, steamed in a banana leaf cup and garnished with cilantro and red bell pepper.” I thought it was going to be more like a stew so when the very custard-like concoction arrived, I was surprised. But it was really tasty.
We both stupidly forgot our cameras, and so couldn’t take pics of the beautiful, and delicious, food.
Afterwards we walked around Boston University, my grad school alma mater. I barely recognized anything, except where I actually had classes. I know the campus has changed a lot but we walked to areas I swear I had never been before.
We got back to ES’s place semi-early, around 10, and then just chilled for the night. Half of the fun of visiting ES is all the chatting and catching up, and lying around making comments about stupid TV.
Saturday was absolutely beautiful: sunny, dry, and cool. I was up fairly early, around 8:30, and had a leisurely morning with coffee, toast, and my computer. (I’ve been visiting ES for so long I always have no problem making myself at home, though I’m not sure how her roommates feel about that!) It took us a while to get out of the house, between gabbing and whatnot, but we finally made it around 2.
We took the subway to the Boston Harbor area, and started our journey by snagging some lobster and crab rolls along the way:
We were supposed to take a boat out to one of the harbor islands, but every single one was sold out. I guess everyone had the same idea on that unbelievably perfect summer day.
So instead we just enjoyed the weather and tooled around the area, spotting among other things, a parade of segues:
A lovely ocean view:
And pretty flowers:
Next we headed out to the North End, where there was a street festival for one of the innumerable Catholic saints:
And of course there were games, where you could a variety of animal-shaped items, such as rubber duckies:
And where you could nosh on a delicious cannoli:
I got one with chocolate chips. Yum!
Then we wandered over to where some old guys out of The Sopranos were playing bacci ball. There was one guy who played with a cigar hanging from the corner of his mouth while another had a thinning jet black pompadour you know he’s had since about 1955.
I wasn’t close enough to get any good shots of the players. Just this spectator:
His whole outfit screams, “I’M ITALIAN AND I’M FROM BOSTON!”
We were supposed to go see this show at 7, but it was such a gorgeous day, neither of us wanted to go underground on the subway and then sit in a theater for two hours. So we just walked around some more, venturing first into Haymarket at closing. Not a good idea! Not only were all the vendors taking down their stands and equipment, people were rifling through all the thrown-out/discounted vegetables and fruit, all at a madcap pace. It was crazy. I kept feeling like I was going to get whacked in the head by some metal pole or knocked over by an Indian or Chinese grandma lunging for a free tomato. Then when I stepped in something cold and mushy, I decided it was over and hightailed it out of there, waiting for ES on the other side.
For dinner we ate at Lucca. The food was delish. We shared the Carpaccio di Manzo, which I didn’t realize till afterwards was raw meat. Still, it was really good. I got the Pappardelle alla Bolognese and ES got the Orecchiette al Formaggio, which was like gourmet mac and cheese with sausage. Both our dishes were yummy but I think I liked ES’s better.
Again, no pictures. Our waiter was very snooty and we felt intimidated, dolts we are. He was way younger than we were too! Douche.
After dinner we walked around some more. We came upon this fountain sculpture, or whatever you want to call it. Kind of like the fountains at Bellagio in miniature. People kept running through it, trying to beat the water spouts but getting soaked all the same.
We did not attempt a run.
Another leisurely morning, followed by a quick visit at the Sowa Open Market in the South End, which was perfect because it’s right near South Station. There’s a fun indoor antiques market, where you can buy everything from a suit of armor:
To a Muhammad Ali figurine:
To this crab plate:
I did not buy the crab plate, but found some cool jewelry. Since there was TONS of stuff, I narrowed down my choices down by focusing on stuff in cases, assuming that quality was a little better. I got an art deco style necklace and bracelet for $34. Originally there were $40 together but I bargained the lady down a little.
That was it! You couldn’t have asked for better weather or a better hostess (thanks ES!).
Next up, San Francisco!
See all my Boston pics.