Birds of a Feather

The List (MA Edition) January 10, 2012

Filed under: Beantown — kcfeather @ 6:22 pm

The new year = new resolutions, yada yada yada. Like everyone, we have some very unoriginal new year’s resolutions (eat healthy, get in better shape, read more, keep the house cleaner, and so on). Very unoriginal.

But, we also have another set of resolutions – sort of like this one from a few years ago. This time around, it’s because we’re (likely) leaving MA (exact destination TBD, but C is hard at work figuring this out…) I am trying to make this ambitious yet do-able. We’ll see!


Around Boston
Take a Duck Tour or a boat tour of the Charles River (6/15)

We took a “sunset cruise” with the Charles Riverboat Company.  The Charles becomes a pretty significant natural landmark if you live in Cambridge/Boston, and so it was fun to go up and down the river on the water (rather than by car along either Memorial or Storrow).

Go to a hockey game (Harvard, or the Bruins) 1/28

So fun! With some friends from our CG, we watched the Crimson (Harvard) take down Brown 3-1.  There were no huge brawls, but there was definitely a lot of checking and slamming each other against the walls.  A fun surprise was that we were in the very front row – so got a close up view of all the action.

Dine at Oleana, the classier older sister of our neighborhood favorite, Sofra (2/28)

Had a lovely dinner here with friends to celebrate the end of the job market (for them…not for us quite yet).  Great small plates (“mezze”) and large, tasty entrees.  Their “Sultan’s Delight” and moussaka were especially scrumptious. And, we’ll get to try them again, since we have a gift card for here.  I sort of want to eat at the bar next time around (although C is less of a fan of eating at the bar than I am).

Attend morning prayers at Harvard Memorial Church (5/4)

C did this (somewhat on accident) to get out of a rainstorm earlier in the term; I of course waited until the very last day of morning prayers for the entire academic year.  They were lead by a seminarian at the Div. School, and it was a lovely way to start the day.  Fifteen minutes from start to end, we read a Psalm responsively, listened to the choir sing, and heard a short scripture reading and then a very short reflection about the passage.  Wish I had been there more often!

See the cheese cave at Formmagio Kitchen (perhaps by signing up for one of their classes) (3/18)

We did sign up for a class, and we did get to see the cheese cave!  What fun!  More here.

– Visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum (5/6) and MFA (6/6) (both recently opened – or re-opened – new wings)

We meant to go to church this Sunday, but because of street closures due to the Walk for Hunger, we were already 45 minutes late when we turned onto the street that the church is on – only to face another closed road, in between us and our church.  So we gave up, and on the way home decided to stop by the ISG.  It was beautiful, and made us wish we were ultra-wealthy!  What a grand courtyard.

– Bike the Minuteman Trail

– Buy a chicken from Mayflower Poultry Butcher Shop (motto: “Live Poultry Fresh Killed”)

Jazz Brunch at TW Food  (1/15)

Brunch at our favorite local restaurant didn’t disappoint – we really enjoyed the bakery plate as well as the foie gras omelet and the shrimp and grits.  I’m guessing we may return for another brunch before all is said and done. We were definitely glad we went on the early side – but were also glad that the band started up before we left.

Go to the Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy Library (4/1)

We headed over here after church on a Sunday morning (early afternoon, by the time we got there).  The Mapparium is basically a large inverted globe that has a walkway through the center.  Built in the 1930s, it’s now a little outdated, but was still a pretty neat thing to check out (and we even learned about countries that don’t exist any longer, such as Tannu Tuva, in southern Siberia, just north of Mongolia).  Standing on the inside of a globe, you get a much better sense of where things are etc. Asia is huge! Europe is very far north!  You sadly only get about 15 minutes in the mapparium for the $6 price of admission,but it was still a fun little adventure.

– Explore Boston restaurants (a sort of general catch-all for some eating that we’d like to do)

Not crossing this one off, but will list new places as we try them.  1/13 – Figs (a Todd English pizza place in Charlestown. Still searching for the perfect pizza west of Marin); 2/12 – El Pelon (we’ve generally been disappointed with Mexican options in Beantown, but this place was pretty tasty. We really liked the El Guapo burrito with carne asada, black beans, crema, and plantains); 2/17 – Strip-T’s (yes, this sounds like a seedy establishment, but it is actually a hidden gem. From what we can tell, for a long time it was just a neighborhood steak and sandwich place, but the owner’s son just took over – he had previously been at Momofuku in NYC – and so we thought we’d give it a try.  Great value, hole-in-the-wall ambience, and really fantastic food); 3/12 – Tory Row (not exactly eating, but on an unseasonably warm evening, we stopped here for after work drinks.  The location is a lot of fun – especially on a warm day, they pull the front windows open and the restaurant opens onto Harvard Square);

– Cheer for the Sox at Fenway

Lobsta Sandwiches at Alive and Kicking (5/26)

Had a fun lunch here with some CG friends.  A&K is BYOB, so we brought some prosecco – which was perfect on a very warm Saturday afternoon.  Afterwards, walked over to Tosci’s for some ice cream.

– Head up to the North Shore and take a short hike at Halibut Point

Micro-sundaes at Tosanini’s 4/19

Mmm-mmm good…stopped by for a micro-sundae (K) and a micro-scoop (C) after a burger at CoM

Run along the Charles on Memorial Drive when it’s closed on a Sunday (5/20)

In honor of the beautiful weekend weather (temperatures near 80), we took a break from our first day of packing boxes and went for a run around the Charles.   Starting at HBS, we ran along the South side of the river to the River Street bridge, crossed there and ran back along Memorial (closed for the day so full of runners, walkers, bikers, etc.) to the bridge at Gerry’s Landing (Eliot), where we crossed back and ran back to Western Ave. along Storrow.  Almost exactly a 5K.

“Grab” a burger at Craigie on Main 4/19

We realized at 9 pm that we needed to figure out what to eat for dinner, and since CoM was between us and home, we decided to swing by for a burger (and also some very tasty pasta with spring vegetables).  So we really did get to “grab” a burger – I suppose we were able to slip in w/o reservations since it was not the weekend, and we were eating on the late side

Farther afield
Visit the Emily Dickinson House (and explore Western Mass) (5/27)

We really enjoyed this daytrip to Amherst/Central Mass on Memorial Day Sunday. Due to some poor planning, we missed the actual house tour, but had fun walking across the grounds, and really enjoyed an art installation that was there for the Spring.

– Take a trip up to Acadia National Park in Maine

At least one more visit to New York City (this time seeing a show) (2/2 – 2/5)

See the trip report for more details, but check and check.  We had a fantastic time daydreaming about living in the Big Apple, even though we have no expectation of ending up there.

Go shopping at Wegman’s grocery store (in Northborough) (3/10)

After a day-long prayer retreat in Northborough (which was wonderful), we stopped by Wegman’s, since we were already out there (it’s about an hour west of Cambridge).  I had heard lots about this amazing grocery store, and it was certainly better than nearly any option we have in Cambridge…but that’s not saying much.  It’s very comparable to some of the nicer Safeways in California, with a little touch of Trader Joe’s thrown in for good measure.  All in all, a fun stop, but probably not worth the trip if you’re not already near a Wegman’s.

Some dreamy weekend excursions (locations TBD)

Not sure if it counts as dreamy, since the temperature was below 10 degrees, but I tagged along with Clayton for an impromptu overnight in New Haven (1/15-16). Really enjoyed the Yale University Art Gallery.

Other get-aways in Winter/Spring 2012: New York City, California, Houston, Dallas (C), Seattle (K)…and many trips to Phila.  Again, not exactly dreamy, but we had lots of fun at each destination.


Google Translate is Great! January 5, 2012

Filed under: The everyday — kcfeather @ 9:01 pm

Email conversation, earlier today:

Subject: Bonjour

K to C:

On pense à vous aujourd’hui, mon amour. Vous voyez, je peux apprendre le français si je dois!

C to K:

Google translate?


K to C:

of course not! How could you think such a thing?

K to C:

I mean: Bien sûr que non! Comment pouvez-vous penser une telle chose?

C to K: