Reflecting back on a good weekend
1. Who took the popsicles home from the campsite?
2. How is my upper back the only sunburned part of my body?
3. Can it be summer forever?
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A Beer Drinking, Vegan Eating, Coffee Fanatic’s Guide to Boston and Cambridge, MA
Earlier this week I went on a quick trip to Boston to celebrate my birthday and surprise my mother for her birthday. The trip also fulfilled my May adventure needs (my new year’s resolution is to go on an out-of-state trip every month). Can’t beat multitasking!
My routine when traveling and not knowing what to do when I arrive: use yelp and foursquare to find the best coffee shops, craft beer drinking holes, and vegan food restaurants. Then map the options out and see where the greatest concentration is. More often than not, this approach puts me in a cool neighborhood with great cultural and shopping options for non-food/drink times.
Coffee, Food, Drinks
Pavement (1096 Boylston St). Order the vegan tequila sunrise breakfast sandwich on an everything bagel. Wash it down with a mug of Aeropress coffee - they serve Counter Culture beans. There are a few locations around Boston.
Thinking Cup (85 Newbury St). Another local multi-location option. Looking for Stumptown beans on the East Coast? This is a must visit. Try the cold brew coffee if it’s a warm day. Eat a tofu bahn mi sandwich without aioli sauce; be prepared for its spiciness by having a shot of soy milk at the ready.
Crema Cafe (27 Brattle Street). People watch in Harvard Square while sipping a soy cappuccino. I didn’t eat here but there are clearly labeled vegan options.
jm Curley (21 Temple Place). Laugh at the code of conduct sign while enjoying a cocktail or local beer. There won’t be much for you to eat here if you’re vegan.
Harpoon Brewery (306 Northern Ave). Get on the SL2 bus and it will drop you off in front of the brewery gates. If you’re looking to do a tour, plan to arrive way ahead of time. I encountered fully booked tour slots and didn’t have the will to sit around drinking beer for four hours on a nice day. If you’re turned away from the tour, settle on a tasting flight. I went with the UFO series.
Bukowski Tavern (50 Dalton Steet). This is a cash only, “dive bar” of sorts, with an excellent rotating craft beer list and the ability to order small sizes of any beer. Sit at the bar and admire the Mug Club glasses overhead while you contemplate how much beer you’d have to drink to gain admittance. Hungry late at night? This is the place to go for cheap and good eats.
Veggie Planet (47 Palmer Street). Cambridge is blessed with lots of vegan friendly restaurants. This is a sister restaurant to Veggie Galaxy and is closer to Harvard Square. If you’re craving pizza or live music, stop here.
Veggie Galaxy (450 Massachusetts Avenue). Not all vegans are healthy and I am case-in-point. One of my favorite dishes involves double fried tofu! Even if you’re more of a kale juice for breakfast kind of person, you’ll like Galaxy for its cool vibe and extensive menu. I tried the seitan cutlet special and wiped my plate clean.
Trident Booksellers & Cafe (338 Newbury Street). I liked the magazine selection here. The vegan burger, not so much. Sweet potato fries always get a restaurant brownie points, though. Next time I’ll have to try the tofu scramble for breakfast.
Ibex (303 Newbury Street). If natural fabrics and domestic production are your things, consider stopping at this athletically-oriented apparel store. You will find Raleigh Denim and Ibex’s own brand of wool garments - the majority of which are made in America - available for sale.
Warby Parker (83 Newbury St). You’ve seen the ads and heard the hype. Check out this showroom to try on specs until you get sick of your own reflection.
Steven Alan (172 Newbury Street). While this is a NYC based company, more and more outposts are opening up around the country. This one on Newbury street has a small collection of both house brand and guest designers. Women have the majority of floor space here but the back room has a sufficient menswear collection too.
Cotélac (168 Newbury Street). I’d never heard of this label and I was pleasantly surprised by the collection. This store is all womenswear and sparsely decorated. The blouses and dresses done up in charming French prints and Mediterranean colors provide plenty of nice things to look at.
The Tannery (39 Brattle Street). Skip past the shoes in the front of the store. The clothing racks will keep you busy in the dressing room as you try on everything from Helmut Lang to Arc’Teryx. I found the “concept” aspect of the store and the service lacking but you can’t win ‘em all.
Black Ink (5 Brattle Street). Searching for a gift? Look no further than this imaginative store. It’s well merchandised and perfect for non-touristy souvenirs or hostess gifts.
Sault NE (577 Tremont Street). I actually visited this shop the last time I went to Boston. The focus is on menswear and artisan products so of course I fell in love.
Widener Library (Harvard Yard). To gain access, make friends with someone that has a Harvard ID. Be sure to check out the ceiling of the main reading room.
Boston Harbor. Take a stroll along the Harborwalk. Consider stopping at the Aquarium if you have time.
Boston Common. Picnic, go on a swan boat ride, or take a leisurely stroll in the park before heading down Newbury Street.
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