A month ago it was spring and now it’s summer and, yes, I am feeling just as fickle as the seasons do. Every day is an up or a down and I’ve learned to take it in stride. This has been a month of understanding change, redefining myself [read: no longer an English major but instead a gal with an English degree], and living both with and without purpose. See, I’m still in Boston figuring it out and studying but at the same time I feel like I’ve been a permanent resident of the town known as “Limbo” or “In-Between Land” or… you get what I mean. May’s been about escaping that as best I can. And it’s been the month of music! Concerts, festival, singing in the shower. Do it for the alliteration.
The Buttery, South End
First things first, I made a new Boston Bucket List! Who knows if I’ll be staying here or leaving next year (but really, if you have any idea as to what I should do, share your thoughts with me ASAP)? It’s organized primarily by food: brunch, general meals, bars, and then the occasional recreational activity. South End Buttery was first on my list for Boston brunches and so I went on Mother’s Day to celebrate my mom without my mom being here (I’m sorry Mom) but with my friend Lola. Listen, kids, it’s a weird thing but you get used to it when you’re long distance with everyone you know. The place itself was small and cute, tucked into a corner of the South End, but the portions were huge and well worth it. Even for a rainy day walk, I would say it was worth getting outside and being slightly drenched for these huevos rancheros. And you know how I can get with the rain, thinking it’s only an indoors-kinda day. Get outside people!
Starbucks, Harvard Square
I know what you’re all thinking. “Wasn’t this supposed to be unique recommendations or little places I never would’ve found on my own? So she’s telling us to go to Starbucks?!” Yes, yes I am. This month has been about the new cold brew with coconut milk for me, as I am now nonfunctional without it on a daily basis. But, on a happy study stumble in Harvard Square, I realized that the upstairs has special reserve coffees and full barista service. Yes, I repeat, reserve coffees. Secrets of Starbucks past. The cream of the crop.
Laura Marling, Paradise Rock Club
Finally! A new concert venue! Paradise Rock Club was pretty much a mix of the House of Blues and Brighton Music Hall with a great location, right next to the Boston University classic T’s Pub. This means it was a local, small to medium size venue with a balcony up top and excellent acoustics. I love nothing more than a nice local concert. Franzi and I got a few drinks at T’s (I’d recommend the Sam Adams Summer Ale because it’s summer!) and still weren’t prepared for Laura Marling’s beautiful show [read: she was a goddess and we are mere mortals]. Featuring two incredible backup singers, a few solo songs, and excellent acoustics, Laura Marling (one of my mains since high school, which means I was completely panicking all night) was an absolute gem on a Tuesday night. I’ve also started loving her new sound on this album Semper Femina and it makes me feel like we’re old friends now that I get to reference her in terms of different albums, both old and new.
BPDA Planning Meeting, Roxbury
All of you are residents of your own little towns or big cities. And, as a result, you should be involved in the happenings of planning those spaces and making your voices heard. This semester, a team of students on campus worked to pass anti-gentrification reform measures at our very urban, very central university. We’re located at the intersection of four very unique neighborhoods and, as residents, it’s our responsibility to be involved in them as well. Right now, the city of Boston is hosting quite a few planning meetings for Boston planning and I recommend that everyone find their way to these types of spaces to tell the city government what they’d like to see in their own neighborhood. And check out Reclaim Roxbury to learn more about it!
Tres Gatos, Jamaica Plain
Tapas for brunch? So incredibly worth a trip past the back of Mission Hill into Jamaica Plain, down the street from a Fomu no less, to share some tapas at Tres Gatos. The place was wildly hip, with a record player and vinyls for sale, so I felt pretty aspirational that morning trying to be hip too. Chickpea fritters, sweet potato pancakes, avocado toast (now, don’t go calling us all basic, it came with date jam and that is artisanal), deviled eggs, and asparagus rounded out a great start to the day. My recommendation is that you go with a group that’ll make you try a bit of everything and stick true to the sharing game. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself munching on one small dish at a time and barely realizing how wonderful it is to share. This information brought to you by one of Mister Rogers’ Neighbors.
Appleton Cafe, Back Bay
In a very predictable studying frenzy, Sharon and I tried to find a new Memorial Day study spot and stumbled upon Appleton Cafe, located right by Back Bay Station. Food at all times of day, great (not too strong) coffee, and outlets! No wifi, though, that I could find. Only a little sad. But, for the most part, I enjoyed my croissant paired with an iced coconut coffee and Logical Reasoning problems. It softened the blow, so to speak.
I did it, y’all. I made it over to a music festival. Every year, I watch as the headliners are announced for every single lineup of the year and I wait to see if any of my friends are attending until I realize no one’s interested and I can’t go, yet again. This time, though, I did have Vishal to go with (apparently he thrives at festivals) and I finally made it out to Boston Calling, our premier music festival. My own personal lineup included Oh, Wonder, The XX, Mumford & Sons, Majid Jordan, and Danny Brown… highs and lows all throughout. My valley was definitely the fact that people go to music festivals to recall how well they can remember the lyrics of songs played and scream them out in proof. My peak was that Mumford & Sons closed on “Dust Bowl Dance,” a song that is insanely badass and pairs well with burning flamed programmed to engulf the back of the stage. The day was exhilarating and exhausting at the same time, for a mid-size venue concertgoer like myself, but definitely an experience.