Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Not Stranded

Sean and I went to Turkey for two weeks. It was awesome and I'll try to work up some blog posts with pics in the next week. We were supposed to fly back Sunday. With the whole hurricane thing, we tried twice to change our flight but no one would let us change unless our flight got canceled. When the flight was finally canceled, we spent 3 hours trying to call the airline -- never reaching a human being -- before deciding to go to the airport. There, it only took 15 minutes to rebook us on a different airline for Monday, although it was a 1 hour train ride to the airport. Unbelievable that in this day and age, going physically to the airport is still the most effective thing to do.

I have a whole bit to write about the actual trip back, but I'll save all but the punchline for another post: we made it back but our luggage did not.


Monday, August 08, 2011

New Apartment

No pictures yet of our new place in Cambridge, but here I am, blogging from my very own balcony, and it is glorious. More than twice the space of the old place and with lots of cool features for cheaper rent. Also, since the move means that I can't take the train to work anymore, we finally bought a car, ending my 5 years of carless-ness.

Anyway, I used to tell everyone, 'hey, you should come visit me in Boston!' but then I would feel terribly disingenuous. I do want all of you guys to come visit me, but there wasn't really room in our old place for guests. And hotel rooms in Boston are outrageously expensive. So I kind of felt like I was telling people that 'hey, why don't you spend $250/night to come see me.' Which seems pretty jerk-y. But, in the new place, there's room for you, your spouse, and maybe even your progeny! So everyone should come visit. Well, maybe not right now, since we're going on vacation this weekend (new travel photos to blog!) and we haven't bought anything for guests to sleep on yet. But soon!


Monday, August 01, 2011

South End, Boston

After two years, we're moving out of the South End of Boston. We're not going far, just across the river to Cambridge. Even though the South End is expensive and gentrified, full of restaurants equal parts nice and douche-y, it's still a pretty and fun place. Also, it is super conveniently located (south of the river, Back Bay, downtown), and even though Boston is one of the few places in the US with a useful subway system, I hardly took the T and just walked everywhere.

Neighborhood things I'll miss:

SoWa market: A farmers' / food truck / arts & crafts / vintage & antiques market, Sundays in the summer, only a couple blocks from our apartment. We'd get kringle from the Danish Pastry Shop, salted caramel chocolate cupcakes from the Cupcakory, the best iced coffee from the actual bricks & mortar cafe on the site, fresh veggies, decorations for our apartment, and good baby shower presents. And, we'd wander around and point out all the really adorable dogs people have (a lot!).

Don Ricardo's Restaurant: Amid all the fancy-pants restaurants, this is a real neighborhood place. It's Peruvian (plus Brazillan and South American). Everything comes with this burning hot salsa that's so good that you want more even though you're in pain. Other notable items: empanadas (specifically the spinach and cheese ones which sound like they'll taste like Hot Pockets but are actually really great), paella that comes with a lobster tail & claw (for less than $20), and, the dish I couldn't stop ordering, whole fried pampano fish with plantains, salad, and a whole other plate with rice and beans ($15).

J.J. Foley's Cafe: An Irish bar and restaurant, this was our neighborhood bar. We went at least once a week. And the food is significantly better than average bar food.

The dog park: In a neighborhood with a lot of young people with money to burn, we saw a ton of adorable puppies all the time. Even better, the dog park is just one block from our old apartment.

Things I'll have to come back for:

Toro: I wrote about Toro the first time I visited. In short: it's fantastic. Prices have risen significantly, so it's not the steal it used to be. Now it costs about what you'd expect it would and more than you'd want to pay everyday, but it's still great.

Aquitaine: Sean wouldn't let us go to Aquitaine; he was sure it was 100% douche-y. But his parents came for a visit and I argued that we could live with douche-y on someone else's dime. There's no question that it's an expensive place, but it was excellent in every aspect. The interior and ambiance was classic and classy, not douche-y. The service was possibly the best service in a restaurant ever. And the food. The food. (It's French, by the way.) Everything was at minimum 'really good': the arctic char entree and the bread pudding were incredibly and unbelievable good, respectively.