Sunday, February 22, 2009

Best Places for Being Bougie in Boston

I filled this weekend with good wine, modern art and lots of cheese.  I kicked off my bougie weekend with a wine tasting in the South End.  The Wine Emporium had a bubbly wine rep and a good deal on 3 bottles.  (Good thing too because we finished them all the next night.)

Saturday I shared my new favorite nook of  Boston with Chris and Colleen--Roslindale Village.  We started at the Boston Cheese Cellar, a food store you actually want to be smelly.  Chris gravitated to the stinky, strong British cheeses.  Colleen tested all the French selections.  I nabbed some more Spanish cheese to go with my membrillo and some holy swiss.  

Next stop was Fornax Bread Company for fresh bread then Tony's Italian Market for buffalo mozzerella, gnocchi and prosciutto.  Last, we swung by the Roslindale Fish Market, which was stocked with giant slabs of fish, gallon jugs of olives and curious cans of greek specialties.  I picked up some stuffed grape leaves and Socrates soap.  

We then proceeded to cook and eat for several hours.  Cheese plates, gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce, squash tortelli with sage.  And 7 bottles of wine.  (To be fair, there were 8 of us.)

Sunday more cheese with breakfast then off to the Institute of Contemporary Art for Shepard Fairey's first museum exhibition.  The museum is a gorgeous one, a glass, boxy structure that juts out over the Boston harbor.  The exhibit was a raw, beautiful and thought-provoking one.  After seeing so much of Fairey's work - clean-lined posters, stenciled graffitti in NYC and Andre stickers on phone poles - it was great to see the layered, textured and larger than life art in frames and good lighting.  The rest of the museum was quality, though small.  

I'm wrapping up my weekend finally fininshing up D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love.  

Tomorrow I think I might have to eat burger king, watch a reality show and drink a bud just to balance this all out.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Diving into JP

I finally end up moving to a sweet apartment in Jamaica Plain and then I leave to travel more. Then the cold weather got a grip on me, giving me bronchitis and strep throat. Okay, maybe those were more my doing than the weather. Finally the past 2 weekends I had a lull in my busy schedule and recovery to finally take advantage of my new neighborhood.

At first I resisted the mass exodus of nonprofit workers from Cambridge to JP. I like cities, I like culture and JP seemed more of a place to settle down with a family. You can see how skewed my sense of what is 'suburban' by the fact that I judge seeing 10 trees and 1 baby stroller as being suburban. At face value Cambridge seems way hipper. Filled with glasses-wearing intellectuals, stores like Urban Outfitters and bars like the Cantab, you'd just assume this is where cool people like.

Au contraire, however! JP is as hip as it gets. Perhaps it was the down-to-earth nature of the residents that fooled me. I wasn't used to niceties after NYC, LA and Miami after all.

Around since 1630, JP is filled with lots of
old buildings, local business, and plenty of colonial-cozy bars. It's got a sizable gay population and artists. Though I've heard it called up and coming, it's still pretty cheap and the orange line is quick.

I've spent my last few weekends reveling in what, up until now, I resented--snow.

My neighborhood is equipped with a free skating rink. For $2 skate rentals you can whirl around on the ice and watch a crazy skate show from the local urban youth. (Who knew they like skating?) I joined the community pool, a mere $25 annual membership and loved the warm water after spending the morning biking around in the cold.

Last weekend's topper, though, was the Franklin Park Snow Festival. We seemed to be the oldest non-parents around as we watched about a hundred kids barrel down a hill on toboggans. We contributed a pretty scary-looking snowman to the snow crowd and warmed ourselves inside on free hot chocolate.

I'm excited to see what else JP's got to throw down before I start traveling again.