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A Thank You To The Patriots

16 Apr

If you’ve held a conversation with me for more than 43 seconds it’s likely you’ve heard me talk about how much I love the city of Boston.

Sox Games

Sox Games

Singing Sweet Caroline at Sox games

Singing Sweet Caroline at Sox games

Pats Games

Pats Games

Celtics Games

Celtics Games

Ducklings

Ducklings

4th of July

4th of July

4th of July with Neil Diamond

4th of July with Neil Diamond

FALL!

FALL!

I could go on forever… feel free catch up on some of my previous posts that are dedicated to my city:

Visito[u]r Guide: Boston, MA

Burb Dwellers vs. City Slickers – My soap box about people thinking Boston is a rude city

Top Ten Moments in the History of (my Experience with) Boston Sports! (aka the time I Arsenio Hall’d Ray Allen)

The Month That Was – aka the best month of my LIIIIIIFE

Definitely can’t forget about the available bachelors!! (LOVE YOU WOLFIE!) An Opportunity to Date Boston’s Most Eligible Bachelor

And even finding a portrait of grace via the MBTA… Grace: As Learned from the Boston Metro

I’m telling you… I love this city.office view

Patriots Day is tied for first on my Favorite Day in Boston List… St. Paddy’s Day, 4th of July are tough to pass up (honorable mention to Opening Day at Fenway and the Santa Speedo Run).  Who would have thought, right??  Patriots Day???

Last Patriots Day I somehow managed to guilt three of my friends into leaving my apartment at 4:45a to watch the Battle of Lexington and Concord reenactment on the Lexington Green… WHERE THE ACTUAL BATTLE TOOK PLACE!!!

They love me, I swear...

They love me, I swear…

The Battle of Lexington and Concord was one of the first battles fought of the Revolutionary War and the Patriots were the guys that fought it.  Who were the Patriots?  Nobodys.  Just a few rough and tough guys that believed in their cause, that believed in freedom, that did not back down and that stood their ground for something that was right.

Anyone that has sat with me at a sporting event has seen me get teary eyed when the National Anthem is sung (because it happens EVERY TIME), and anyone that has watched 4th of July fireworks with me has witnessed the same teary eyed Sarah… America, the freedoms we have, and the people that defend our freedoms get me emotional.  Sue me.

The battle reenactment on Patriots Day was no exception.  I got a liiiiiiiiiittle emotional and have been intending to write this post ever since.

I was standing at the edge of the Lexington Green at 5:00a waiting for the reenactment.  I was trying to contain my excitement as I stood amidst the 200 year old houses surrounding the green that were there when the battle took place and it could just not be done.

AMERICA!!!

AMERICA!!!

Silence came over the crowd as we heard the British Troops marching through Lexington.  Men wearing scrappy colonial clothes started running out of houses armed with one shot rifles and stood in the middle of the green…. And we were standing right there watching!  The British soldiers marched perfectly in sync to the drummer’s beat and approached the green in their perfectly matched, prestine uniforms.  Our ‘troops’ gathered themselves together in the middle of the green, forming a single line the length of the green to express to the British soldiers that they were not welcome… this was going to be AMERICA.

As the British soldiers approached the scraggly Patriot soldiers some of the Patriots fled… after all, death was imminent.  The British soldiers were now just a few yards away and the remaining men stood their ground, trembling in fear.  Rather than shooting the ten or so Patriots blocking their path, the Bristh leader called his troops to stopped marching, stopping within five feet of the faces of the Patriots.  The leader of the British troops yelled at the Patriots to move.  The Patriots stood their ground.

The British soldier yelled two then three more times.  More men fled from the danger of the line into the surrounding woods.  No one knows who fired the first shot, but it appeared to come from one of the houses and thus the battle began, killing most of the Patriots.  The British soldiers continued marching and would later make it to the North Bridge in Concord where “the shot heard ‘round the world” was fired.

There were so many thoughts going through my head at this reenactment that brought me to tears… as I saw the Patriots standing in the line, trembling as the uniformed British soldiers approached, I thought of my friends and [some former] loved ones that are currently serving our country.  I thought of my father and grandfather who served as Marines.  I prayed a prayer of gratitude for the people that have believed so much in freedom that they have fought to protect it.  It led me to ask myself… what do I believe in so much that I would stand in the face of the enemy and be willing to sacrifice my life for? 

As a Christian, the obvious answer should be Christ.  Which led me to ask… am I really willing to sacrifice my life for Christ?  Would I die, or even face danger for that matter, for the cause of Christ?  Ok forget death and danger… would I even be willing to give up my earthly pleasures for the sake of Christ, because often times I don’t.  Do I truly understand the statement I so frequently hear, “Christ died for me?”  Wow. Christ died for me.  These soldiers died for me.  These soldiers died for the cause of freedom, so that we could speak and worship and play and educate and live in a world that is free.  Christ is the true source of freedom and the true source of peace and He endured the wrath of God and died to give it to us.  Saying ‘I was moved’ is quite the understatement… I was completely awestruck.

Yesterday I brought myself back to that moment when I was standing on the Lexington Green and I attempted to sort through my thoughts after the explosions.  I could do nothing but sit at my desk with my head in my hands and cry.  The Boston Marathon has, for the past four years, been my little glimpse of heaven (as I have so proudly expressed) and was shattered by Evil.  By hatred.  By selfishness.  I was brutally reminded that we live in the world and that Satan’s presence exists.  I had to stomach people around me saying things like “the media is making a bigger deal of this than it really is… just two people died.”  Just.  I’m beginning to hate that word.  Say that to the mother of the eight year old boy.  Say that to his second grade classmates and explain to them why there is an empty desk in their classroom.  Say that to the families impacted by the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut… after all, it was “just” one classroom.  Ugh.  I wanted to vomit.

The only thing we can do is remember the pain of this sorrow and move forward.  How do we move forward?  In my attempt to stand for what is right, I have to express that we move forward when we pursue Christ.  We pursue and fight for what is right.  We love those that don’t love us back.  We reset our hearts and minds to the things not of this world, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.  We set our hearts on things above and eagerly await His kingdom come.  We open our eyes and accept that God is a God that loves us and by knowing His love we will better learn to love each other and by loving each other, we change the world.  We have faith that the darkness has been overcome.

To the people in my favorite city and the place my heart calls home – I love you and pray blessings and peace in this time of sorrow.  Let us be reminded of the love that has been shown to us by our Creator and let us spread His love to the people of this world.

Love that dirty water...

Love that dirty water…

Love that dirty water...

Boston you’re my home

The Month That Was

30 Apr

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this about my blog, but my posts are generally one-off goofy Sarah stories rather than a detailed diary of my day-to-day life… this is for two reasons:  1. I like to keep my personal life well… personal.  2.  I don’t want to turn in to one of those bloggers that details what I had for breakfast because let’s be real… you don’t need to know that I eat cold Dominos pizza for breakfast at least once a week.  What?  You’re not supposed to do that after college?

That said, the month of April 2012 (hereon referred to as ‘The Month That Was’) has been incredible and I woud like to detail it for you…  consider this me getting personal.  I promise I won’t do this often.

To kick off the greatness, Brittany introduced me to this gem at YouTube night.  I’m still laughing.  Thanks Brittany!!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcuI6K9daIw

I spent a weekend in Shirley, MA with UltiMegan.  Got the tour of Circle B Barns.  Rode Horses.  Drove a semi truck.  Went jeeping.  Shot guns.  Hung out with Megan’s awesome family.  Had a bonfire.  Flagged down a train to pick me up and take me back to Boston.  I love Shirley, MA.

Had an excellent brunch on Easter Sunday hosted by the one and only Paul-Mark-Tim trio.  Great food and even better company (if that’s possible with how incredible that ham was!!! And the homemade mac and cheese.  MMMMMM.  still thinking about it)

I received an email telling me I got Opening Day tickets to Fenway for the 100th anniversay!!!!!!! I hope this isn’t sacriligeous, but I prayed for tickets and the Lord heard my prayer.  I’m not joking – how else do I explain tickets?!  It was SO MUCH FUN!!!!

  

I saw this photo while reading the news on my morning commute.  It made me laugh.  Aloud.

I got to check Speed Dating off my bucket-list.

Went to a play at the Middle East – I didn’t know they had plays there! It was a ton of fun.

Was introduced to Caine’s Arcade – if this doesn’t touch your heart… it’s likely you don’t have one.  http://vimeo.com/40000072

Window washing day at the office!!! I wrote my favorite washers a note that said “Looking good guys – thanks for cleaning our windows!!”  They didn’t see it.. instead, they just stared at me wondering why I was taking their picture (for the 329403242nd time in the past two years…) but seriously.  HOW COOL IS THAT

Mitch hosted one of his first BBQs of the season.  If you haven’t been to a Mitch BBQ, add it to your ladel list… and if Mitch + BBQ didn’t convince you… check out this picture and try telling me you don’t want to go!

When I ate breakfast at one of my favorite diners near my apartment, my favorite waitress FINALLY recognized me.  I’ve only gone there just about every weekend for almost two years now.  It was a great day.

I read/journaled on my favorite spot on the Esplanade.  I watched a crew team load up, row out, come back and go home.  Something about that just makes my heart smile.

Had a picnic on the waterfront int the Nort End.  The idea was to play bocce ball and picnic, but alas… we did not have bocce balls.  We ended up finding a spot in view of Bunker Hill, the Zakim Bridge and the USS Constitution AT GOLDEN TIME.  It was a completely perfect evening.  I love Boston.

Megan and I laid in bed one night watching Grey’s on my laptop.  It felt like college.  I love us.

I got a late night text on Patriots Day Eve to go to the Sox game ON Patriots Day.  Some people really know the way to this girl’s heart 🙂   I took my twin with me… we seriously have so much fun that I bet we’re illegal in at least 86 countries. 

You know you’ve found a friend for life when she will post this picture of you on Facebook and you’re not even mad:

My iPhone finally stopped autocorrecting “baller” to “ballet”  — you have no idea how long I have been waiting for this moment.

Took a 4:45a adventure to Battle of Lexington and Concord reenactment on the Lexington Green (where it actually took place).  IT WAS AWESOME!!!

We found this kid at the reenactment.  He is the background on my phone.  Because I love him.

I was introduced to a new (awesome) breakfast spotin the North End – the pancakes are HUUUUUGE!

MARATHON MONDAY – Patriots Day in Boston is truly the greatest thing on this planet.  (Mind you this was the same day as the Sox game…  the marathon goes right next to the stadium so when we walked out we were already part of the crowd!)

I got a $100 giftcard from one of my partners at work and I’m treating myself to these new running shoes (they make me smile and dance):

I get to play volleyball every Wednesday with my BSSC team – I love volleyball.  I love my team… even when Jose is grouchy 😉 (Jose, do you read this??)

Flowers are EVERYWHERE!  YAY SPRING!

Dodgeball.  When was the last time you played??? I definitely need more of it in my life.

Bustins Island adventure – I am forever changed.

Another random morning commute article that made me laugh… I was thinking Mr. Rogers meets Ron Burgundy meets Robin Scherbatsky: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/26/fashion/pat-kiernan-of-ny1-sets-his-sights-on-live-with-kelly.html?_r=1

Took an extended weekend vacay in Chicago with SAM AND JAKE!   If you don’t know Sam and Jake, the three of us have been best friends since 8th grade and they’re the greatest guys ever.  We watched blues bands. Saw the Family Matters house.  Locked Jake Jake locked himself in his own bathroom overnight.  Best weekend ever.  Here’s a little photo diary of us from 2004 – present.  Pretty cute, right?!? 

              

So I’ve got to ask… DOES LIFE GET BETTER?!?!?!  April 2012 is going down in history as ‘The Month That Was’ – a special thanks to everyone that made it possible 🙂

I Found Love on Bustins Island – The Adventures of Sarah & Vinny

23 Apr

I got an invite (read: I convinced UltiMegan and her friends to let me tag along) for a weekend in Bustins Island, Maine.   In true Sarah-form I heard ‘island’ and came totally prepared: a couple of swimsuits, a couple of tank tops, a pair of shorts, flipflops, and a t-shirt or two.  I’m an idiot… although an island, an island off the coast of Maine is not warm in April.  Lesson learned.  (A special thanks to Megan, James, Byler, and James’ grandmother’s closet for outfitting me appropriately for the weekend).

After a pit stop at Bob’s Clam Hut, we made it to Freeport around 10p and loaded up the good ol’ Buttbreaker with our gear… well… their gear, my swimsuits.  We ventured into the icy waters of the Atlantic, battled the waves through the screaming eel infested waters and made it to the island guided by the light of the stars.  It was better than a dream.  I love Maine.

Bustins Island is three miles off the coast and has one little gravel ‘road’ that loops around the island.  I use the term ‘road’ loosely because there are rarely any motorized vehicles there; in fact, if there were more than one it’d likely cause a huge traffic jam.  There were 11 people on the island that weekend, and we were eight of them… if that gives you any idea how remote this is. The island has about a hundred houses on it, most of which are over a hundred years old.  There is a GINORMOUS rope swing, a post office, a troll bridge, a haunted house, a house built on rocks, houses with outhouses, lots of lobster traps, and a Bustin Jieber cemetery.  Traipsing through the island has made me want to become a professional explorer. 

I’ll upload a picture gallery later so you can look at how cool the island is, because I’m going to devote the rest of this post to Vinny.

By law, any weekend getaway in Maine must involve a lobster dinner.  Saturday evening we went to the market and got eight LIVE lobsters.  Once we got back on the boat with them, I of course had to peek in the bag and pick out my favorite.  You know how they say you find love when you’re not looking for it?  Well I found love this weekend.  I wasn’t looking for it.

Meet Vinny.  If you can’t tell by our faces, it was love at first sight.

I took him back to the house and we hung out on the porch for a bit.  He loved the blue chairs! 

    

We worked on a crossword puzzle together

He introduced me to his friends – they were HILARIOUS

Had a couple beers (don’t worry I checked his ID and this was totally legal)

         

As all best friends are required to do in this era, we took a ton goofy pictures together

    

 I gave him a ride in the wheelbarrel cart!  

He had such a blast he wanted to give ME a ride in the cart too!

I taught him how to ride a bike

                   

Great job, Vinny!

We drove the boat

Hung out in nature

But alas, the inevitable:  time to boil the seawater/seaweed mix for cooking.  I knew this was going to be real tough on me, but Vinny being so noble and sacrificial started the propane tank so I didn’t have to.

He said he needed some alone time.  I found him sitting silently, staring into the ocean.

I got a little emotional so I grabbed him for one last romantic view of sunset… the sunset of our love.

Here is our final goodbye – he was so brave.

R.I.P. Vinny – Your love and sacrifice will be remembered forever.

On a few unrelated notes – I have no idea why I’m not invited on weekend getaways more often.  I have no idea why I’m single.  Maine lobsters are the best lobsters.  James is an amazing cook and an excellent host.  Bustins Island is AWESOME.  Life is gooooooooooooood.

Burb Dwellers vs. City Slickers

16 Feb

A few weeks ago I received the greatest compliment of my life.  I was wearing a LBD (‘little black dress’ for those of you that don’t do Cosmo-speak) and a girl said “You are so tiny – are you wearing Spanx?”  I will never forget those words.  I have held on to them and repeat them to myself daily.  Was I in fact wearing Spanx??  Irrelevant.  Should I do the college girl thing and write those words on my mirror next to my favorite Bible scriptures?  Considered it (and no… I’m 25).

Men: my apologies for making you endure the above paragraph.  Moving on.

I received a compliment this week that might top the Spanx one (if you can believe it) …  I was going on one of my rants and when I finally stopped to take a breath; I sat in silence for two seconds (embarrassed) and prepped myself to hear the… “so anyways…” response that is typically received after my rants.  I was completely and utterly shocked as my friend ended the 2.3 seconds of silence and said: “Will you please blog about this?” WAHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! So if you’re sick of me blogging, my apologies but this one is not my fault 🙂

As for my rant….

Let it be known that I know better than to compare Boston and NYC, but something they have in common is that they both get a bad rap for people being rude.  This absolutely drives me nuts.  People in these cities are incredibly nice, genuine people… so where does this bad rap come from?  I’ll tell you… it comes from the ‘Burb Dwellers’ (BD) that visit our cities for a day or two, get yelled at a couple of times by the ‘City Slickers’ (CS) and then go back and tell their family and friends how rude the people are.  People that live here are not rude… we’re only rude to tourists that invade takeover come into our city with no consideration of us and I would even go so far as to suggest that people from The Burbs are in fact much more rude than people in our cities.  Walk with me.

For those of you in The Burbs, or even other cities for that matter: what do you do when the car ahead of you is driving 10 mph under the speed limit?  You get frustrated and you go around them, right?  Perhaps you speed past and perhaps you look at the driver to make sure they know they’re being an idiot…. oh good gracious, they’re texting.  And eating.  And buttoning their shirt.  And changing the radio station.  And leaning over to get something out of their purse…. “what a moron!!” you say as you drive by.  CS’s generally walk everywhere and are not driving cars with windows that shield others from the comment(s) they say as they pass.  So if a BD is doing something that’s disrupting the flow of traffic on the city sidewalks it’s likely that they’re going to hear about it.

Which leads me to: What causes the CS to be rude to a BD?  I’d say the answer lies in defining ‘rude’

We’ll start with the pace of the city is inherently faster.   Think about it – when there are more people in a smaller space, things are expected to move a little quicker to maintain an agreeable pace.  To my BD friends – remember of the episode of Seinfeld with the Soup Nazi?  If someone didn’t know what they want to order, he would yell “NO SOUP FOR YOU! NEXT!”  Rude, right?  But then think about having to stand in line for 45 minutes of your lunch hour to order soup.  Believe it or not, small talk in this situation is down right rude and if you’re going to stand there twirling your hair, smiling, asking everyone about their day and expect the whole world to be thankful that you graced them with your presence… then NO SOUP FOR YOU! NEXT!  The “Soup Nazi” (or CS, if you will) is not intending to be rude; he is extending a courtesy to everyone that is having to share the same time/space. 

Space.  For the CS who spends all their time in the city, you’ll notice that they value their personal space a lot because they rarely get it.  Let’s be real – there are a number of other ways I would rather spend my evening commute than being crammed in a subway car with my face smashed in the armpit of a half clothed member of Hare Krishna.  Since a CS is faced (or in my case… armpit in the faced) with people constantly infringing on their physical personal space, a CS places an even higher value on their implied personal space. 

Implied personal space.  To my BDs out there: I am referring to eye contact and small talk.  A CS will likely avoid eye contact with others because either a) that eye was just jammed in an armpit or b) it’s their way of coping with not having physical space.  This does not make a CS rude.  If a CS were to engage with every person they encountered in a day, well… it’s just too much!  The attempted friendliness from a BD infringes on the physical space that the CS never gets AND the implied personal space the CS desires.  Rude in this case is denying the CS both of those things.  There is a social awareness that needs to be understood before attempting to overthrow the accepted rules of personal space.

Social awareness.  The thing that tends to get to me the most and happens to also be a great example of the overarching difference between a CS and a BD is escalators… proper form: stand on the right, walk on the left.  The CS is aware of other peoples’ existence and will likely abide by escalator etiquitte.  The BD on the other hand lives in their own world where everything revolves around them and 9 times out of 10 will either stand on the left and/or try and walk on the right.  The CS in me has had to hold my tongue on escalators in shopping malls and airports when being submerged into BD territory – their turf… not mine.

Turf.  If you’re stepping onto someone else’s turf, your rules don’t apply… *eye roll* tourists.  I remember when I first moved here I stepped on a subway car immediately as the doors open.  A man walking off the subway (rather loudly and in my general direction) said, “YOU HAVE TO LET PEOPLE OFF BEFORE YOU GO GETTIN ON!  WHO YOU THINK YOU ARE?”  He was absolutely right, and ya know what…??  I have yet to make that mistake again because it’s a courtesy CS’s extend to each other to maintain the movement of the city.

So that’s my rant.  I’ve love that I’ve become part of this culture.  I love genuine and very intentional conversations.  I love understanding the rules of the city so that I can lovingly break them and develop relationships with people I don’t know or may never see again.  I hope that if I ever become a BD, that I will maintain my CS awareness by being conscience and aware of the people around me.  And more than anything I look forward to the day that I am taller than 5’5″ (aka… general armpit height) and don’t have to spend my commute under the arm of every person that forgets to wear deoderant.

::End Rant::

Visito[u]r Guide: Boston, MA

6 Feb

Yesterday while I was entertaining Bostonians with my killer dance moves on Storrow Drive I had that feeling of nostalgia remembering how much I love this city. 

Rewind.  

I was taking a walk along the Esplanade and as I was crossing Storrow Drive on the footbridge, I realized how weeeeeird it feels to be standing directly over a car that is going 50+ mph.  I’ve probably walked on these footbridges at least 23043259 times in the three and a half years that I’ve lived here and somehow it had never occurred to me that this is AWESOME.  I got excited.  So then I started walking in slow motion…  then backwards… then forward… added a moonwalk and realized that people driving under the bridge were smile-pointing at me.  Lord knows I should not be encouraged….because the next thing you know I’m dancing.  Obnoxiously.  My moves were obviously killer because everyone driving under me was laughing/smiling/honking/pointing/thumbs-upping/waving/dancing… etc.  That means they love me, right??  This went on for about twenty minutes until I realized that 1. it was freezing  2. my friend was waiting for me to actually cross the bridge (ie: not dance) 3. I had been spilling my $14 peppermint hot chocolate from Starbucks all over myself and most importantly #4. I’m not half as hilarious as I think I am.  I LOVE YOU BOSTON!

That said – this really is an amazing city.  Last year I (very literally) spent 27 hours creating a PowerPoint for The Mullet Reunion Weekend (three of my best girl friends’/college housemates’ annual get-together) of things we could do while they were here; this PowerPoint has now become a template for all my visitors, and I’ve even had friends here use it for their visitors! (I need to start charging for that thing)  So here’s some free advice for things to do in Boston if you’re visiting, or live here and are bored with your life, or are trying to stalk me (please don’t stalk me).

  • The Obvious “Must Sees” and historic sites – most of which can be seen on the Freedom Trail
  • Favorite walks around the city
    • Esplanade (noun: ess-pluh-nod) – paved walking/running/biking/rollerblading path along the Charles River.  Quite possibly my number one favorite thing about this city.  Stop on the Mass Ave bridge for a great view of the Boston skyline
    • Comm Ave Mall – gorgeous in all seasons.  Dec –Feb they light ALL the trees with white lights and it’s soooo beautiful.  In the spring there are these huge crazy awesome pink  Magnolia trees, and fall – well it’s Boston, everything is gorgeous in the fall… and the brownstones along the way are ridiculously beautiful too
    • Jamaica Pond/Riverway – good if you feel the need to get out of the city without driving; a little gem I found not too far from my apt
    • Fens – used to take Dude here all the time after work; gorgeous in the fall and a little bit of a shorter walk.  Another gem that not a lot of people take advantage of!  ::Disclaimer:: DO NOT GO HERE AT NIGHT.
    • Public Garden/Boston Common – DOI!  Great for people watching too.
    • Forest Hills Cemetery – it IS in fact a cemetery and I generally would not go to a cemetery, but this place is BEAAAAUTIFUL!  Again, great if you feel like getting out of the city but don’t want to drive.
    • Arboretum – HUGE area with tons of walking trails.  Generally pretty packed with people/strollers, but really pretty.  Also provides a great view of the Boston skyline if you go to the end of the park and go up the ginormous hill.
    • Blue Hills Reservation – great walking trails, especially gorgeous in the fall.  I once got lost for 3 hours in there because we were pretending the leaves that were falling were bombs so we tried to run after them and catch them before they hit the ground in order to save the world.  DUH.  All fun and games until we realized we were off the trails and had no idea where we were… whoops.
    • Amory Park – small local park, so I guess not really a “walk” BUT! you can catch little league games here and play with cute cute cute puppies.
    • Memorial Drive shuts down on Sundays making for a great walk on the other side of the river, near Harvard.  Don’t recommend rollerblading there… FYI.
  • Coffee Shops
  • Breakfast Spots
    • Zaftigs – Jewish style deli.  Great food.  HUGE portions.
    • Busy Bee – comical service.  Cheap and divey – don’t go expecting to linger and drink your coffee, you will be kicked out.  Lots of charm and the best TRUE diner I’ve found here
    • Friendly Toast – Great food.  HUGE portions.
    • Paramount –Great omelettes
    • Mckay’s – Irish place with a huge/cheap breakfast sandwich and homefries.  Most of the wait staff are Irish which makes everything more fun AND it’s across the street from John Quincy Adams’ birthplace…. pretty awesome if you ask me.  I lived around the corner from this place when I first moved to the city and they saw A LOT of me.
    • Martin’s Coffee Shop – great little diner close to my apartment.
    • Stuart Street Grill – across from my office.  They have great breakfast sandwiches that are made to order and super cheapt; this place is a hidden gem for the local workers
    • Make sure and checkout Phantom Gourmet for good food – breakfast, lunch, dessert, dinner… ANYTHING!  They’re great and I love their “hidden gems”
  • Burrito Spots – the California in me had to include this as its own sub point.  I even ranked them for you:
    • #1 – El Pelon – My roommate introduced me to the super burrito.  Try it immediately
    • #2 – Villa Mexico (aka Grandys gas station) – Although in a gas station, this place is MOOOONEY and the woman (owner?) calls you ‘my friend’ making standing in a gas station convenience store totally worth it.  AAHHH that’s her on the front page of the website!! So cute.
    • #3 – Viva Burrito – great if you’re heading to The Garden for a Celtics/Bruins game; quality meets quantity at an extremely reasonable price.  Plenty of seating too.
    • #4 – Backbay Station burrito cart – don’t let the cart food fool you, SO GOOD and Mario and Luigi work there.  Stop by sometime… you’ll see what I mean.
    • #5 – Boloco – I love this place and eat here a ton, but I ranked it fifth because it’s more of a wrap place than an actual burrito place.  That said, their Summer burrito with white chicken is totes delish and I have yet to get anything else on the menu.
    • #6 – Boca Grande (tied for 6th) – decent burritos, but not my fave… pretty much Anna’s
    • #6 – Anna’s Taqueria (tied for 6th) – decent burritos but extremely overrated but they’re all over the city so good to get your fix in if you’re in a bind
    • #8 – Burritos Express – not that great, but had to be included in my ‘best of’ list because if you get the special they pay you $0.15 to take a can of soda… meaning the burrito special (soda included) is cheaper than a lone burrito… something tells me this place won’t be around long
  • Favorite Bars/Pubs/Drinks
    • Cornwalls – my old homebar where everybody knows your name… literally.  It’s a family run pub and if you go one time they’ll at the very least remember your drink order – the Cheers vibe is definitely what keeps you going back.  Or maybe it’s the local brews on tap.  Or the board games.  Or the bartenders.  Or the Cali Burger (my favorite burger in the city).  We may never know, but I’ll continue to go back until I find out!
    • Coolidge Corner Clubhouse – slowly becoming my new home bar; lots of beer on tap and locals only/minimal college students.
    • Post390 – my favorite cucumber cocktail in the city
    • Eastern Standard – love ALL their cocktails
  • Live Bar Music
    • Wally’s (jazz) – went for the first time this weekend and loved the hole-in-the-wall, low-key, exposed brick, underground vibe
    • Beehive – food here is a little over priced, but pretty decent… music is allllllways good
    • All Asia – the dive bar of all dive bars…  they have pretty decent local musicians and there’s never aaaaanyone there; support your local music!  Also important to note – this is where I first became friends with The Compass Rose; love you guys!
    • Courtside Karaoke – “music” might be pushing it, and it’s a horrible dive in east Cambridge (read: unsafe) and they have a claw machine with porn instead of stuffed animals… but both times I’ve been I’ve had the best time ever.  To quote Brittany: “It’s like I have my own personal Aretha Franklin”
    • O’Learys – tiny tiny bar with older guys that just like to jam.  More of a weeknight-need-to-get-out-of-the-apt-but-don’t-feel-like-dressing-up spot.  Not worth going if you have to travel more than 15 minutes to get there.
    • Green Briar – a little out there, but a good scene balance of going out but staying low-key.  Not worth the drive, but if you’re nearby you should stop in… definitely a good time.
  • Favorite Dance Spots
    • Bell in Hand – yeah, yeah… I know it’s ridiculous, but I have yet to have a bad time here.
    • Clery’s – good if you’re not feeling the Faneuil scene but still wanting (needing) to dance
    • An Tua Nua – horrible place where your feet stick to the floor and at least half of the people there used a fake id to get in, but for some reason my friends go here a lot and it’s aaaaaaalways a good time.. no joke!
    • Wednesday nights at MIT – Swing dancing!  I’m a horrible dancer and I only went one time but had a blaaaaaast!!  Everyone there is so good and willing to teach you awesome moves and twirl you around as much as your little heart desires.
  • Churches
    • Park Street Church – my home Church and an awesome place for people in their 20’s looking for community.  Highly educated pastors that aren’t afraid to tackle tough issues and guide you through the issues using scripture.
    • Reunion Church – awesome community and an incredible pastor with really inspiring sermons
    • Hope Fellowship – haven’t made it out there for a service, but I know a lot of really awesome people that go there, so I can only imagine it’s great
    • Unite Boston – great way to get plugged in to the Christian community in Boston and see events going on at aaaalllll the churches
  • Sports Leagues
    • Social Boston Sports – great/afforadable way to play the sports you love with people you’ve never met.  Super social and good competition without going over the top.
    • Boston Ski and Sports Club – pricey and pretty hardcore; I’m about to start playing in their volleyball league because me and my vball friends (that I met at SBS) have outgrown the SBS league and won the championship at least twice… haha… hopefully we survive in this league!!!
    • Monday nights there’s a good crew that gets together and plays ultimate.  Sadly I haven’t played in over a year, but still sending my love!  They used to play at the Hatch Shell and now are in Cambridge at MIT, but maybe will move back to the Hatch Shell once it starts staying light out past 5pm

So there you have it!  Some of my favorite spots around the city and things to do.  If you live here, or have ever visited… please feel free to add your favorites too.  This place is incredible.

Sincerely,

Sarah “I’m quitting my day job to write travel guides” Iverson

P.s. The pictures below are mostly from my phone… you should probably come visit and take better pictures for me 🙂