Birds of a Feather

What We Miss About Boston June 30, 2013

Filed under: Beantown — kcfeather @ 7:21 pm

A year ago today we pulled away from the lovely triple-decker we lived in on Chilton Street, and made the “long” (barely 6 hour) drive down to our new home.  Well, to our temporary new home…we had to spend two weeks in temporary housing (with only a very weak AC window unit) before we could move in to our row home (by Philadelphia standards, a single-family home) in Center City.

In honor of our year here, today we’re doing the same thing we did our first full day as residents of PA: going to the movies! (Last year, Moonrise Kingdom. This year, The Bling Ring).

We love it here, but there are of course things we miss about Cambridge.  Prompted by my friend K’s list of things she misses about her former home, I thought I’d share a few of ours:

* The Bakeries
This one definitely tops out the list (next to our Bostonian friends). We were surrounded by great bakeries, and while we did take advantage of that fact (and often), we didn’t realize what a rarity it was.
Hi-Rise was just around the corner, and had great breads and pastries. We were particularly fond of their brioche and brown bread, and their Cheddar Snails and Vanilla Loaf were our Sunday morning standbys.  Oh. And their Apricot Preserves.
Sofra was just a little farther afield but still close by, and perhaps the place I miss the most – although more for their breakfasts than for their baked goods.  A Middle-Eastern bakery, Sofra’s flavors were particularly unique – and spectacularly tasty. I will always have a special place in my heart for their Turkish Breakfast, and C has made many frustrated attempts to find (or make) a Shakshuka that rivals the one at Sofra.
Flour Bakery (one of the locations, at least) was not too far from my office at MIT.  They had terrific sandwiches, croissants, and cakes. When we were traveling for the weekend, I would often pick up dinner at Flour before meeting C at the airport, and we certainly felt like royalty eating their sandwiches and cakes on the airplane while everyone else at Pringles.

* Fresh Pond
We are by no means deprived of running trails by the water in Philadelphia (and oh so thankful for that fact), but Fresh Pond and the trail around it will always hold a special place in our heart. I also love that they call “lakes” “ponds” up there.

* The HBS Gym
Thanks to C’s employer, we had inexpensive access to a really great gym.  There were always plenty of machines (treadmills, etc.), lots of high-quality group exercise classes, free towel service, and locker rooms that didn’t smell!  In fact, no part of the gym smelled, which is quite a feat. We both miss our tradition of meeting there after work several times a week before heading home.

* Parking
There were days in Cambridge that we couldn’t park DIRECTLY. IN. FRONT. OF. OUR. HOUSE. and we had to park a few houses away, on the same block.  Those days were not even that common. We thought that was annoying at the time, but really we had nothing to complain about.  Without a doubt parking is the toughest thing about living in Center City, and we now reminisce about the parking situation on Chilton Street.

* The People Our Friends
This one perhaps belongs at the top of the list, but I thought I would finish strong. We don’t miss the strangers in Boston that much, but we did make lots of wonderful friends that we think of regularly (a few of whom we’ve had a chance to see down here in Philly).  The Community Group from our church that we were a part of was a special place to grow friendships and step back together from the busyness that is life in Boston. We also dearly miss our colleagues, many of whom became good friends.


A Tent for the Sun June 28, 2013

Filed under: Family,The everyday,Travel Reports — kcfeather @ 12:32 pm

Ok, now we’re really back, and ready to stay put for awhile.

We both had a lot of fun in DC (including a crazy spicy tasty Thai dinner at Little Serow, a day trip out to Mount Vernon, some Dark & Stormys, and lots of good family time – mostly over food and drink). And while C had to take the Amtrak back home on Sunday, I headed south with my parents to continue the fun in the Outer Banks. A goodly portion (although only 18 of us, so by no means everyone) of my dad’s family spent the week – or half the week in my case – at a “little” house on the ocean in Buxton, NC. We enjoyed lots of time on the beach and in the ocean, but also found time for exploring the OBX by foot and by car, reading on the porch and in the hot tub, board game playing, cooking, eating, and (of course) lots of talking.

My drive home was L.O.N.G. (8 hours) – but the time went quickly as I passed through gorgeous scenery (including the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, which I was halfway across when my beloved Camry hit 150K miles) and guzzled unsweet tea.

Outer Banks Sunrise (Buxton, NC)

It rises at one end of the heavens… (Sunrise: Buxton, NC)

Our first morning on the Outer Banks, my uncle read Psalm 19 for the group. It was a fitting way to begin a week surrounded by so much natural beauty:

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.

7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.

10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Verses 4 -6 have remained at the front of my mind throughout the week – perhaps because of the stunning (willing-to-get-out-of-bed-at-5:45-AM-to-see-it) sunrise and the equally jaw-dropping (had-to-pull-off-the-road-because-I-kept-trying-to-see-it-while-driving) sunset I saw while down in NC – not to mention the fact that I loved the chance to soak up the sun while laying on the beach each morning and afternoon. It’s of course a little easier to remember that nothing is deprived of the sun’s warmth in June than it is in December, but I do love this image of God’s provision for us, and the reminder that nothing is out of His reach, that His glory is always present and visible no matter where you find yourself in this world.

Outer Banks Sunset (Nags Head, NC)

…and makes its circuit to the other (Sunset: Nags Head, NC)

Hope you get to enjoy some sunshine this weekend!


We’re back (sort of) June 21, 2013

Filed under: The everyday,Travel Reports — kcfeather @ 4:50 pm

We’ve been on the road for most of the last month, between a trip down to Texas to see C’s family, and then a TWO WEEK trip to France and Italy. Both trips were lovely, though there is something to be said for sleeping in one’s own bed. And now (in just a few minutes) we’re off again – to DC for the weekend, and then I’ll continue south to the Outer Banks to spend a few days with family (C will head back up here to, well, work). Hopefully life will return to normal after that (no other travel on the calendar), and I can return to blogging a bit more regularly.

For now, however, this photo from Manarola on the Ligurian Coast of Italy, will have to do. We were waiting for the ferry on a rather rainy (but still beautiful) day.

kandc CT

Update: Until I get around to posting some pictures from our travels, you can check out our Instagram account to get a little sneak peek.