It’s been awhile, folks.
Between moving to Boston, starting a new career field, getting married, and struggling with an adverse case of reverse culture shock, writing has taken a back seat to something akin to life. And in such new job, I spend the majority of my work day—sincerely 99% of it—staring at a computer, dreaming up other peoples’ awesome travel plans. So computer screens. I can’t even after 5:30 p.m.
But I am here in Boston. A new home established and slowly feeling like a local. When a tourist stops you and asks for directions (and you know the answer), you’ve won this newbie battle. And with the new territory comes new exploration. I’ve had countless Bostonian adventures as of yet and a thousand Boston ideas and have failed to share any of them. Until now.
Boston is historic, yes. It’s intoxicating in its literal sense. But there’s a lot past the Freedom Trail and the duck boats and Mike’s Pastry Shop, even if they are all wonderful Boston ideas in their own regard. But you know me… I’d rather share the unconventional. So here’s 7 unconventional Boston ideas for a romp or stumble around my new casa.
Treat yourself to a gin and tonic flight.
Forget beer flights. Or cider flights. Up the ante and go for a boozier option. Short Path distillery out in Everett—only a 15-minute T ride from Haymarket station—is a little gem in the midst of urban development (casino forthcoming). Though their creative cocktails are awesome in themselves, I vouch for the gin and tonic flight which samples their four seasonally-named gins. My jam is the winter gin. Maybe because it’s currently winter. Or just maybe because rosemary. I mean to go back for one of their free tours and to take advantage of their sweet outdoor patio that seems promising when the weather is not death. Anyway, if you feel like dragging out your drunken stupor after Short Pathing it, beeline for little Bone Up Brewing and/or growing Night Shift Brewing, both right around the corner from Short Path.
Or just make your own boozy concoction.
It’s no secret that Boston likes its alcohol. So much so that happy hours are illegal and to drink requires a small sacrifice… unless you opt for homegrown choices like Downeast Cider. Maybe it’s better to simply brew your own beer. With some help. Hopsters in Newton and Seaport allows you to handcraft your own beer from start to finish in a 2-hour class. Everything is customized, from the amount of hops to your own signature label. It comes at a cost ($180-230) but this can be divided by a group up to four people. Plus, you end up with about 7.5 gallons of beer, collected only a few weeks later after your mad brewing session.
Test drive a Tesla.
Maybe cars are your thing. Maybe they’re not. But the future is a coming and Tesla seems to be at the forefront of it with all their high tech swag. So why not either steer your own $150,000 car or ride in the back seat of one as your driver turns on “ludicrous” speed. For free. What first started as a birthday surprise for my partner, became quite the memorable and terrifyingly awesome experience to be had in downtown Boston. The drive led us onto the highway, into supersonic mode, all the while as a Tesla employee educated us on this amazing piece of machinery. I tuned out after a while—not being the driver, that is—and reveled in the sensation of being a car owner.
Go for afternoon tea at the iconic Boston Library.
I am a girly sucker for afternoon teas—a British tradition which involves petite sandwiches, cakes, scones, and pot of tea. Why, you ask? Because it’s your chance to sort of pig out on a variety of otherwise unhealthy treats that are now okay to pig out on because they are miniature sized. And there’s the setting. Nothing screams sophistication then when you’re surrounded by women with a lot of disposable free time. And income… (in their case). In the search for the perfect afternoon tea in Boston, I couldn’t help but hone it on the one offered at the Boston Library. While the room itself doesn’t lend to the outstanding architecture found within the library, the ambiance and window view of the courtyard are sufficient. And they do themes. The Japanese in me falls prey to all themes in life.
Climb into the abandoned bear pens at the old Franklin Zoo.
I like abandoned shit. And back here in the U.S., it’s harder to find relics to explore without the risk of being actually arrested. The bear pens in the somewhat shady remains of the Franklin Zoo are an exception. You may recognize them from a scene in “Mystic River,” in which a dead body was found. In real life, there’s no dead bodies but definitely the spirit of ghosts’ pasts. Bears’ past perhaps. This old part of the Franklin Zoo used to draw in millions but was left abandoned by the 1950s. You can still see carvings of bears above the pens after you step through the dodgy bars. Among my Boston ideas, this one comes with the most caveats. Tread carefully and go with other people as the park as a bad reputation.
Go vintage shopping at Bobby From Boston.
Every weekend, gems can be found at the SoWa Vintage Market in Boston’s South End. It’s located within a cluster of shops—some vintage, some not. The Vintage Market itself is pretty cool (old world globe, anyone?) but I was in the area for Bobby From Boston. Opened in 1995 by the now deceased Bobby Garnett, the store is a treasure trove of awesome. It’s organized, incredibly trendy, and reasonably priced. I picked up a vintage hat case from the 1950s and somewhat clumsily have turned it into a side table ala Pinterest. Clothes will soon be had but all in due time.
Dirty Water Dough Company
Everyone knows Regina Pizzeria is always on the list of Boston ideas. It’s really damn good. It can also mean a long wait in line. If I’m closer to Back Bay, I prefer Dirty Water Dough Company and their epic slices of obesity. I love grabbing a slice of BBQ chicken and sitting in their picture window space to stare out on the shoppers of Newbury Street. They do do delivery but you have to be in their range… thus, us in the sad North End are out of luck. And will have to stick with Regina’s on those late lonely nights when you’re shoeless and therefore can’t go inside.
With regards to this blog, I think it’s a change is afoot. A shedding of sort. Stay tuned.