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.