Memorial Day Weekend in Boston

I went up to Boston for Memorial Day weekend to hang out with some friends during a much needed break. I thought I’d share some of the highlights of my trip here:

Tu Y Yo is a Mexican restaurant that veers away from the usual Tex-Mex fare, but it’s absolutely delicious. I went with two friends, and between us we got the Indio Vestido (cheese-stuffed cactus paddles), the Chile Relleno En Nogada (beef stuffed poblano pepper with a sweet creamy sauce), and the Mole Colorado Tiaxcalteca (chicken in a chocolate mole). Everyone loved what they ordered, and the waiter was very friendly.

Minted Mushy Peas – Peas have never been my favorite vegetable, but the minted mushy peas from The Haven in Jamaica Plain might have changed my mind. I didn’t think a vegetable could ever taste this good.

The SOWA Open Market is a weekly market (on Sundays) spread out over about 3 blocks in the South End, and there’s probably something for everyone here: lots of crafts, food trucks, and artisanal foodstuffs, plus many of the local brick-and-mortar stores and galleries are open.

One of those brick-and-mortar stores is Grey’s Fabric. They carry a lot of patterns from indy designers and a small but nice selection of fabrics and notions, and they offer classes. It was particularly nice to see samples of some of the patterns in real life, especially the ones I’ve been seeing on sewing blogs.

Trip Notes: The Greater Boston Area

I went up to Boston this past weekend to visit two of my closest friends (and, coincidentally, ex-roommates from different times) who now live there. One has lived in that area for about 15 years, while the other is a relatively recent transplant. It was a fairly short trip, but here’s a summary of where I went and what I did, starting with the food.

Sugar and Spice is a Thai restaurant in Porter Square that is delicious and fairly inexpensive. I’ve been there before and am a fan of their Country Style Pad Thai, which is spicier than the usual kind. My friends and I haven’t yet found anything on their menu that isn’t good. And that includes the bubble tea.

Lê’s is a Vietnamese restaurant in Harvard Square. I highly recommend both the food and and the bubble tea.

Cardullo’s is a specialty foods store in Harvard Square.

The Arnold Arboretum is located in Jamaica Plain at the Forest Hills end of the orange line. The Arboretum isn’t particularly large, especially when compared to Longwood Gardens, which is near Philly and which I prefer. However, because it’s part of Harvard, the Arnold Arboretum has free admission.

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has long been one of my favorite museums. I went there often during college (especially because MIT students got free admission.) They have since remodeled and greatly expended their collection. Admission is expensive, but it does include a second visit within 14 days—important given how much there is to see there. If you can afford it, I strongly recommend going. The Samurai exhibit they have now is great.

I overheard a lot of French on this trip (as opposed to previous trips, during which I seemed to keep running into German tourists). I didn’t eavesdrop on them too much, but it was interesting to hear the variety of French. I heard plenty of European French, but also a surprisingly large amount of West African French as well. To be honest, the whole city felt more diverse than I remember it being.

Random Plans for the Future

I am already thinking about next year’s garden.

Actually, I’m already thinking about all sorts of plans for the future (aside from the rewriting I need to do for the book and the ton of reading I have to do in the next two weeks). But the other big thing has to do with biking.

Honestly, I suck at biking. I am simple horrible. I suppose I could cut myself some slack since I only learned how to ride a bike two years ago,* but I try not to do that. Plus, I know there’s a lot of room for improvement. My ultimate goal is to be able to do some biking around Europe.

Now, I don’t mean all of Europe or hard-core touring that requires carrying everything around. And I definitely don’t mean hills or large distances or hills or rough terrain or… did I mention I don’t like hills? Just some nice easy rides that would let me see a bit of countryside around a small area. Of course, that requires that I be able to:

  • Cycle at least 25 miles in a day (maybe up to 35—eek!)
  • Deal with minor repairs (e.g. fixing flats)
  • Possibly find someone to do this with me

This sounds kind of crazy, actually. I am, of course, reserving the right to change my mind. I know it will take me at least a few years to work up to it. But I’m posting this here, out in public, to encourage myself to do it.

As far as next year’s garden, I think I’d like to add some blueberry plants, some hanging strawberries, and a cucumber plant.

* I had a bike with training wheels as a kid, but never managed to get the hang of it after the training wheels came off. Two years ago, I decided that I was going to learn how to ride a bike.