Monday, June 21, 2010

Longest Days of Summer

I thrive on sun. I need it for survival. Now that I live in the upper part of our hemisphere and working an inside job I find myself craving the shiny orb. So that means weekends I am out all day. (Much to the horror of my dermatologist.)

My day started off greeting the sun by sunbathing at 6am in the park across the street. Its a good time to sunbathe in Boston since you'll draw less gawkers. In Miami you still would get harassed by the boys who stayed up all night at the clubs partying and then wanted to see the sunrise.

A long bike ride with a stop over for a tasting at Marshall's Fenway Farmstand.

My day ended at the Jamaica Pond watching the sunset. Not as dramatic as Santa Monica, but still nice.

Sunday there was another festival right across the street in the Southwest Corridor. The Green Roots Festival drew a fun bunch of hippies and bikers for a ride to benefit Bikes Not Bombs, based right here in Jamaica Plain. They even had a great little race for the tykes (and adults who thought they could fit on a tricycle.

Afterwards I headed over to the first free outdoor swing dance in Copley Square. They'll be happening every Sunday from 1-4pm this summer. I wished they had started before it got so damn HOT, but it was still a blast. Next time I wear as little as possible and bring a towel to wipe the sweat off. This was probably a better workout then the gym.

My bike home from the dance was slow and arduous. But I'm glad I made it. We ended the sunny weekend with a heavy thunderstorm and a summer bbq. Drinking watermelon beer and munching on potato salad and grilled tuna I wondered how much better the summer could get. What's your perfect summer weekend?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Boston Beer Wek

Quick on the heels of American Craft Beer Week came Boston Beer Week - a celebration of beers inside the 495 beltway (and a few others too). Events were not quite free, but still fun and a good excuse to go out drinking.

First up was the Kinsale for Allagash for a 'meet the brewer' event. Funny, we couldn't find the
brewer. But we did have a delicious bottle of Victor Ale for less money than its being sold at the liquor store.

Tuesday we attempted a beer bike tour. I convinced Chris and Colleen to bike to work, which is an extraordinary feat in itself. At 6 we biked over to Atwood's Tavern, a classy neighborhood spot. We downed some Smutty Nose and flattered their brewers. We then crossed back over the river to the Otherside Cafe to meet the Troeg's brewers. We did a ten beer sampler and had some of the best beer we'd ever had, and we've had a lot! By then we were pretty silly tipsy and saddled ourselves up to the brewer's table to have a full pint of their Sunshine Pils and talk shop with the guys. The bike ride home was slow and careful.

Wednesday I managed to get into the Sam Adams open house for free beer paired with molasses cookies. By Thursday I wondered if we could keep going . . . and we did.

Free beer at Champions Bar. Champions, located in the Marriott has got to be the worst touristy,
loud bar. Too bad. But this is where the beer was. Another 'meet the brewers' event, this time it
was the Harpoon guys. Strangely enough it was three of us and two random old dudes that showed. More beer for us! It was basically just pitcher after pitcher of free beer. I felt like telling other folks at the bar there was a table with free beer over there, but there was no one that looked worth hanging out with. We capped the night off with fondue and the house beer of Brasserie Jo, summery Hopla.

By the weekend we were shot. I spent Friday through Sunday catching up. But oh, what a lovely week.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Aquitante Group

My latest love? The Aquitane restaurant group. I've particularly been in love with Gaslight since they donated to a silent auction I was running, but considered myself too poor to actually eat a meal there. Enter in Yelp. Gaslight was opening their patio and asked Yelp to hold a kick-off party. I got in and so Gaslight and I were finally introduced. It started off with very little food, but a very generous open bar, a great little jazz quintet and beautiful weather. After a few drinks our stomach began growling for food and we decided our feet didn't want to go anywhere, so we got ourselves a table and had one of the best meals I've ever had in Boston.

Then the parents came and I got to try Metropolis' $30 three-course menu. (Wine included!)

So that's it, I don't think I need to search anymore the perfect restaurants on this side of the river. And really, they aren't as pricey as I thought. Try the $30 three-course, have your dining partner get an entree and then just split the appetizer, dessert and wine. There, that's nearing affordable. And while they advertise this special as being 5:30-6:30 in all their restaurants I got it a 8pm on a Saturday.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Locals v Tourists

The locals vs tourists distinction has been in the zeitgeist a lot as Summer vacations ramp up. Last week the Improv Everywhere gang got featured for drawing lanes on the sidewalk to keep tourists and New Yorkers separate. Here's a map showing where locals and tourists take pictures in Boston. Nice to see our lovely Jamaica Pond featured in blue.