I love Boston—its history, architecture, people, and the Charles River. I've made it a tradition that I take a solo trip to Boston each fall, usually under the guise of a work trip, for a marketing conference.
This year was my second year staying in Beacon Hill. The area transcends time. It's both modern and historic—the quiet,cobble-stone streets give the sense that you're existing in some monumental period in history. Everything feels more important.
On my last visit, I discovered a beautiful cafe, Tatte Bakery and Cafe, and have made it a regular restaurant in my rotation.
There are places that evoke different versions of myself—who I become in specific locations dictates my relationship with the place. At Tatte, I become a sophisticated, intellectual. My time here is spent immersed in the news, watching the Boston locals make their way through their days. If you arrive before 8 am, you can enjoy the quiet before the space becomes full and buzzing with people starting their days. On weekends, small groups of people gather over Paella, frittatas, and avocado toast on the patio, tending to children and sharing the events of their weeks as the farmers market sets up next to them on Mt Vernon Street.
Another favorite past-time in Boston are long walks and runs along the Charles River. During my visit in September, it seemed like the whole city was out, enjoying the weather along the water. Docks filled with people relaxing, reading, and picnicking, rowers cutting through the water and sailboats seeking a gust of wind to take them toward the Boston Harbor.
I discovered a new cafe during this recent trip, called The Thinking Cup. As soon as I entered and spotted the ham and butter sandwiches, I was transported to Europe. The cafe is full of small tables, dark wood, and leather. I spent two hours here reading. I could have stayed the whole day, relishing the bustle of the cafe and taking in all of the people, intimately squished together eating and talking.
But, instead, I made my way to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, stopping on the way for a peek into the Boston Public Library, which has an incredibly beautiful reading room.
It happened to be Museum Day, an annual event that provides free access to museums around the country, so I got in free to the Museum of Fine Arts. The museum has a really incredible collection, but the piece that most struck me was Joseph Turner's, Slave Ship. I must have stood, staring at this painting for twenty minutes. It's a harrowing depiction of a true event during the days of the slave trade.
From the museum: "One of Turner’s most celebrated works, Slave Ship is a striking example of the artist’s fascination with violence, both human and elemental. The painting was based on a poem that described a slave ship caught in a typhoon, and on the true story of the slave ship Zong whose captain, in 1781, had thrown overboard sick and dying slaves so that he could collect insurance money available only for slaves “lost at sea.” Turner captures the horror of the event and terrifying grandeur of nature through hot, churning color and light that merge sea and sky."
If you can, I suggest visiting the Boston MFA to see this piece in person.
A new restaurant discovery was Spumino. This stylish and classic restaurant was the perfect restaurant experience. Seating is primarily set around countertops with backless stools, providing for encounters and conversations with fellow diners.
The restaurant is small and offers a close view and connection to the kitchen that's complemented by the excellent service. I enjoyed the best Bolognese I've ever had, in my life.
Lastly, I enjoyed the performing arts with a show, Dance Up by World Music/CRASHarts—a collection of performances by a variety of choreographers. My face hurt after the show from smiling so much. The dancing was amazing. One of my favorite pieces was a modern dance piece choreographed and performed by Doppelganger Dance Collective, a group run by Shura Baryshnikov, the daughter of Mikhail Baryshnikov. Another performance that has stuck with me was a goofy, Broadway/hip-hop-style piece by The Wonder Twins. Both of these pieces were full of incredible dance and the Wonder Twins are just plain fun.