This past weekend, I spent some time in Boston, Massachusetts. It was my first trip to New England. The main reason for visiting Boston was to see Daughter, one of my favorite bands, play a show at the Somerville Theatre. My friend Riki also went up to Boston for the show and we stayed with her childhood best friend Lydia. On top of that, my friend Genna drove down from Dover, New Hampshire for the show so we all got to hang out. It was a lovely trip filled with friendship, music, and amazing food.
I got in around 5:00 PM on Thursday and met Lydia and Riki at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). Backpack and duffle bag in hand, I successfully navigated my way from the airport to Seaport, an area in Boston where the ICA is located. The ICA has free admission Thursday nights from 5:00 to 11:00 PM (in case you find yourself in Boston). Lydia and Riki brought some curry and we had a quick snack before entering the exhibition area. While the ICA is quite small, they had a few interesting pieces on display.
After the ICA, we went to what is called the Harvard Journal Club. I'm not sure if it's officially associated with Harvard in any way, or if it's just a group of individuals who are excited about learning. Either way, it was an interesting evening. The presenter is a PHD student researching Madagascar, malaria, and mosquitoes.
The next morning, we slept in before heading to a late brunch in Lower Allston (also referred to as 'LA'). Lydia's housemate Derek and Bollo, Lydia's stuffed gorilla, joined us. After brunch, Derek and Bollo went back to the apartment while Riki, Lydia, and I walked the streets of LA in pursuit of thrift stores and even more delicious food. For lunch, we went to a hot pot place and ate all of the vegetables, noodles, and broth. We went back to Lydia's place in order for Genna to meet us before the Daughter concert. We all hung out for a bit before Genna, Riki, and I headed to Somerville for the show.
The opening act, Wilsen, was so good. A few of the band mates were sick so the lead singer performed a solo set. Daughter was just...amazing. I admit that I got a little emotional during a few of their songs. The venue itself was also great. It seated around 900 people so the show still felt intimate. Being 15 feet away from Elena Tonra fulfilled some dream of mine.
After the show, we met Lydia at a place called Back Bar where we ordered Miyazaki themed drinks and ate veggie dogs. I was so tired at that point it was a struggle to make it home without falling asleep on the bus. Everyone else stayed up to play guitar and sing songs while I passed out on the couch.
The next morning, we grabbed doughnuts before sending Riki off to the airport. Lydia and I headed to Jamaica Plain (JP) to meet her friends and Genna for brunch. Lydia and I got there early so we walked around JP for a bit. Brunch was great and meeting two of Lydia's childhood best friends was even greater. After brunch, Genna drove Lydia and I to Cambridge to meet up with a couple of other friends. We said farewell to Genna, who went off to spend some time with her family before heading back to Dover. Eleanor, who I met at Journal Club, drove us to Concord where we attended a maple sugaring event at a place called Gaining Ground, a non-profit farm located on the same property as Henry David Thoreau's childhood home. After taste testing fresh syrup and eating maple sugar cotton candy, we drove around Walden Pond before heading back to Boston.
The next day, my last full day in the city, Lydia and I wandered around downtown. Well, it was intentional wandering. We walked part of the Freedom Trail. It was neat being able to see Boston Common, new and old town hall (which is sadly now the site of a steakhouse) , all the churches, Faneuil Hall, and Paul Revere's house. We ended our trail tour in the North End. I had my first cannoli from Mike's - it was a tasty pistachio dipped one.
After our day of playing tourists, we went to a fundraising event called Cambridge SOUP - something Lydia's friend organized. Folks donate $10 and get to enjoy dinner before listening to a handful of pitches from community members. Each pitch is a community oriented project for Cambridge. After all of the pitches are heard, attendees get to vote and the money raised goes to fund that project. Such a neat concept.
After SOUP, we went to a group potluck - another one of Lydia's weekly gatherings.
The next morning I enjoyed an entertaining Uber ride to the airport before heading back to Charleston.
New England is pretty cool y'all.