Tuesday, July 30, 2013

hiya, hyannis: cape cod weekend

despite living in the northeast for 25+ of my 27 years and in new england for 15+ years, i'd only been to cape cod ONCE before this past weekend. for summer vacations, my family was all about maine and canada; i've been to ogunquit and kennebunkport and ottawa more times than i can remember because my dad always hated the cape traffic. i always thought he was exaggerating.

that is, until it took us 3 hours on friday night to get from my friend's house in andover, massachusetts, to hyannis, massachusetts: a trip that should normally take about 1.5 hours. woof. thank god that the three of us kept each other entertained by talking about TMZ headlines and friends and all that fun stuff that ladies talk about.

but anyways! we had a lovely time once we actually arrived. the weather on saturday was absolutely picture-perfect. we got up early and enjoyed some breakfast at the b&b we were staying at, before walking down to the beach and spending a few hours just sittin' and rotatin'. the afternoon was spent eating lunch and shopping on hyannis' vibrant main street, and taking a little trip down to check out the kennedy compound. we had a pre-dinner drink (vodka/lemonade/iced tea/fresh mint for me) on the patio at a cute place that looked out at the harbor, and grabbed tapas at embargo on main street. we finished the evening with a beer at yet another patio, just watching the bachelorette parties go by. a great little weekend trip, for sure. picture time!


and again

and again

adorable & delicious gelato place, run by a husband & wife.  i got nutella & sea-salted caramel!

he was a QT

kennedy compound

house love
honorary kennedys
more house love 

waterfront drinks

we got the comfy couches!


tapas! pulled pork tacos...

& lobster/chorizo-stuffed quahog!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

around town: artbeat somerville & outside the box festival

i'm relishing the chance to actually spend a weekend around here, since i was back in NH last weekend, going to cape cod next weekend, and then back to NH the weekend after that. where is this summer going, guys?! i don't like this one bit.

anyways, i've been trying to jam-pack all of the boston goodness into one weekend that i can. currently coming to you live from peet's coffee in lexington centre (yeah, that lexington, where the revolutionary war started?). it's a beautiful little town with lots of shopping, dining, people that probably eat organic, people that ride bikes, and ADORABLE DOGS. it's pretty sleepy for a twenty-something, however, so i feel like living 3 miles away in arlington is like the best of both worlds. 

so, yeah, lexington. i'm going to walk around later and maybe hit on a historical reenactor and who knows what else. but let's talk about saturday!

i'd made plans to meet a friend for lunch at dave's fresh pasta in davis square somerville, but didn't realize that the place had like, 2 seats, so we moseyed over to orleans just down the street. it was decent, but they were only serving brunch, and you know when you just REALLY want a sandwich? that's where i was at. but french toast always has the power to transcend my food mood, so it was fine.

we decided to go to the vintage store buffalo exchange afterwards, not realizing that some random festival was happening. but it was kind of cool! there were people dancing to gangnam style, a parade with tuba players and people on stilts, and other such whimsy. i realized shortly after that this was "artbeat," an annual festival in somerville. here's a few random pictures from that:

weird hippie tent

does anyone know if this cow has always been here? 'cause i've never noticed it.

AND THEN. i had some time to kill before the concert on boston common, so i decided to stroll in the 95-degree heat from park street station to the prudential center. i'm walking down boylston, minding my own beeswax, when i see like a hundred 13 year-old girls standing in front of the mandarin oriental hotel. "who are you waiting for?" i inquire. "BIEBER!!!" about 3 of them scream at me. i waited around for a bit in case sir biebs dangled a baby out of his suite window or something, but no such luck.

bitches waiting for bieber
maybe his tour bus? maybe not? the world may never know. or care.

on a serious note, it was incredibly moving to see that life is back to normal after the bombings, but that the memory is still fresh and thoughts and prayers still abound:

okay, so finally onto the good stuff. what i'd been waiting all day for. one of the highlights of my '90s-loving life. a FREE concert with buffalo tom and the lemonheads (oh, and the mighty mighty bosstones too, but...not a huge fan and didn't stay for them, sorry not sorry). this was all part of this awesome, free, weeklong music & arts festival called "outside the box". just walking around the common, i pretty much cried tears of joy because i'm so happy to be back. you'll have to drag me kicking and screaming away to get me to leave again, man. yeah, the winters are miserable, but when it's good -- like yesterday -- it's just so. friggin'. good.

buffalo tom was awesome! they played "soda jerk" and i danced, and then evan dando (lead singer of the lemonheads) came out and sang with them. somewhere, angela chase was smiling.

then the lemonheads played. can we talk about how evan dando is still totally dreamy at 40-whatever he is? and still totally on drugs, probably? and wearing long-sleeved shirts when it's almost 100 degrees out?

if i could put emojis in blog posts, the heart-eyes one would go here.

the radio station chick literally introduced them as "the ever-still-hot evan dando and the lemonheads." ouch! 

all in all, an EXCELLENT day. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

sincerely yours: the breakfast club effect

I pop in the scratched DVD, curl into the sunken corner of my couch, and press “play.” Shoveling Lucky Charms into my mouth, I savor the tinted, marshmallowy milk as I prepare to indulge in John Hughes’ sweet ‘80s masterpiece, The Breakfast Club, for the umpteenth time. I was 13 years old when I discovered the film, which was recorded off of HBO, sandwiched in between episodes of Cagney & Lacey on a homemade VHS tape, and stowed away in a forgotten drawer in my parents’ living room. On the surface, I was immediately drawn to John Bender’s mysterious persona and gratuitous f-bombs, Claire Standish’s dated-but-fabulous wardrobe, and Brian Johnson’s lovable, naive nerdiness. My barely teenage existence, filled with gel pen-laden notes, close reads of Seventeen magazine and visits to the orthodontist, paled in comparison to their seemingly sexy school days. With that first glimpse of what high school could be like, I became obsessed with all things brat pack, from the subtle nuances in each scene to the background songs that were almost as important as the one-liners. When Napster took hold, I agonized for hours, trying to find the song that plays on Carl the janitor’s radio when he strolls in to impart some wisdom on the kiddos (it’s “Waiting” by Elizabeth Daily). 

Despite spending countless hours in the fictional halls of Shermer High School, Shermer Illinois, 60062, this time was different. When I wasn’t mouthing “Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?” and “I’ve seen her dehydrate, sir. It’s pretty gross.” along with the script, my mind wandered. I began to consider the brains, athletes, basket cases, princesses, and criminals that had weaved in and out of my own life. True, I’d never set foot in detention or even made so much as a visit to the principal’s office during high school. Yet, there are always those people—those groups of people—that you’d never find yourself drawn to in so-called “real life,” but that you somehow become intensely intertwined with through a twist of fate, a certain set of circumstances that can never be replicated. Friendships that are built completely around an immediate, shared experience: the sense that you’re all in this together, whether “this” is a crappy part-time job, a stalled subway ride, or hours of rehearsal for a recital. 

Just like that, these strangers turn into temporary soulmates. You’ll create your own inside jokes about the time that one of you stashed drugs in your underwear in the nick of time.  You’ll shimmy and swivel to pop songs and claim them as your own. You’ll trust them with those buried parts of yourself that you swore you’d never let anyone see, like how you failed shop class last semester or how you can apply lipstick flawlessly without using your hands. You’ll discover that you have far more in common than you ever thought possible with the person that you initially sneered and scoffed at. You’ll come to have an intimate familiarity with each and every one of these people for just one moment in time; a snapshot that partially but perfectly captures all of your lives. Your very own March 24, 1984.

One would imagine that such defining experiences are bound to inspire bonds that promise to endure for weeks, months, or years after you’ve signed and sealed your letter to the principal and returned to your respective lives. And sometimes, just sometimes, they do. The dismal truth for me, at least, is that I can probably count the number of times I’ve spoken to most of these individuals since our finite time together on one hand. Even when we run into each other on a Sunday afternoon at Target months later, or manage to make lunch plans, the connection crumbles without the context. That realization still doesn’t stop me from crossing my fingers behind my back every time. Hope creeps in, and gives me those anxious butterflies. This is it, I think. That time when I finally prove history wrong and carry these friendships over the threshold and beyond the stuffy confines of the school library. 

So this one goes out to my very own breakfast club. To the other writers on my high school newspaper staff with whom I agonized over layouts and fought halfheartedly for free speech. To the ladies on my high school dance team, too. We teased truck drivers with cheeky signs en route to competitions, shared the blissful, greasy satisfaction of post-performance cheeseburgers in a decrepit Boston neighborhood, and exchanged high-fives after our devastating performance of “Thriller”—complete with zombie make-up and ripped fishnets—at the spirit week pep rally. To the five corporate interns that I worked with during college on an abysmal, ongoing PowerPoint project. We religiously completed the USA Today crossword, came up with stupid nicknames for the real nine-to-fivers, and giggled at the Sextrology books in Barnes and Noble during our two-hour lunches, occasionally detouring to Hooters for wings when the male majority ruled. 

To the waitstaff at that faux Irish pub in Boston, my compatriots during the summer of 2007. Over slow Wednesday dinner shifts and loud, trivia-filled evenings, we discussed everything from failed romances to red velvet cake, abused our employee discount in pursuit of mozzarella sticks, and even spent a sleepy Sunday brunch trying to score Tegan and Sara tickets. To those two girls that my friend and I shared Nickelodeon nostalgia and trashy celebrity gossip magazines with in a Burger King booth at a Connecticut rest stop, after our faulty MegaBus was forced to make a pit-stop on the way home from a music festival. To those 19 instant friends with whom I sipped Sangria, cringed through a bullfight, and danced ‘til dawn in a dimly-lit Florence nightclub on a two-week tour of Europe. Slow change may have pulled us apart, but I still have one lingering question. 

As you walk on by, will you call my name?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

five things i love right now: home decor edition

sorrrrrrrrry guys, i've been MIA again. i was pretty nonchalant about moving, but as it turns out, i guess it's kind of a big deal.

i still have no cable or internet (this is why i'm writing from the starbucks in my new neighborhood) due to the "historic charm" and terrible wires in my apartment, but that shall all be resolved by next week!

in the meantime, i've been keeping my media-dependent self busy by going out to dinner with friends, exploring my 'hood, and going to see chuck klosterman (well, a signing for his new book, tomorrow). oh, and decorating my apartment. it's not quite all together yet, but here are a few of my favorite items so far.

1. this blue cynthia rowley chair

2. this badass bird lamp

3. this antique kitchen table & chairs

4. this folk art painting of quincy market

5. a charcoal couch (not this one, but it looks similar)