My Boston Favorites

I always talk about Boston – I literally never shut up about it.

My soul is full of pride to know that I grew up in this incredible city. And after watching the Marathon from the finish line this weekend, my heart has just burst from happiness, love, and pride. Although it is normal to love the place you grew up, I know that my love and pride surpasses that normal capacity.

And as I am turning 2o this summer, I have put together a list of my all-time favorites within the city of Boston. For the most part, I am a HUGE foodie which is the reason why a lot of my favorites are restaurants. Along with food, I love shopping and large hang-out places which makes my list a combination of hidden places and well-known parts of the city. The way I went about making my list is by creating a quirky, lil’ map through Google to actually pinpoint the places I am talking about AND to make it easier for you all to figure out where they all are if you decide to try them out for yourselves!

 

To go through this map properly, I color-coded all of the places! And to do it in an extremely organized fashion, I will go through each place by the order of colors in the rainbow.

#1. YELLOW – Bova’s Bakery

I have always been a sucker for a good cookie. I grew up with one of the strongest sweet-tooth within my family aside from my dad. Although I have never visited Bova’s until I got to Emerson, I absolutely fell in love with the bakery. The best part about Bova’s is that it is open 24 hours and is family-owned which makes customers feel especially welcomed. My favorite thing from Bova’s would be their chocolate chip cannoli’s. That piece of deliciousness makes me melt and cry every single time!

#2. BROWN – Faneuil Hall Meeting House

It’s a huge tradition at my high school to hold graduation at the Faneuil Hall Meeting House. From the moment I was fourteen years old, some of the most important moments of my teenage life have happened in that historic place. And one of my favorites has to be graduating – I remember walking down the aisle, crossing the stage, and dancing down the stairs with my diploma in hand. Plus, it is a gorgeous location with the painted ceiling, the huge chandelier, and the stage. The meeting house almost represents a second home to me and I love it!

#3. ORANGE – Eataly

Located in the Prudential mall, Eataly is an Italian dining and shopping emporium. Eataly has everything under the sun: pasta, meat, snacks, fruit, cheese, desserts, restaurants, pizza, seafood, literally EVERYTHING. My obsession with Eataly holds no bounds – I love olive oil, I love pasta, I love cheese, I love fruit, I love gelato, I love bread, and I can get the best of ALL of my worlds in that one special Italian marketplace. I wholeheartedly believe that Eataly is an unique dining and shopping opportunity for anyone who wants to try and learn more about Italian cuisine. My favorite thing to get is a Chicken Panini, a.k.a their Rotisserie Chicken sandwich, which is smothered with olive oil in a beautiful piece of bread.

#4. PINK – MUJI

I am obsessed with stationery: pens, notebooks, folders, highlighters, binders, notecards, sticky notes, planners. After learning that MUJI was opening a store in Boston, I almost lost my cool. I remember going there with my sister in NYC and absolutely falling in love with their merchandise. Aside from stationery, they also have simple living essentials ranging from luggage to skincare to furniture. I really love their stationery products and they are incredible! I am never disappointed whenever I go to MUJI.

#5. MAGENTA – Children’s Wharf 

I spent a lot of time at the Children’s Museum when I was younger. And to this day, my favorite part of the museum is definitely the wharf park. I remember spending long summer days running around the boardwalk, begging my mom for ice cream from the Hood booth, and looking over the water at the seagulls. Much like the past, I still feel like a kid whenever I visit the museum and the boardwalk – the feeling will never escape me. If you have the chance to visit the museum and the wharf, I wholeheartedly recommend it! And now, they have 21+ Friday nights!

#6. BLUE – Charles River

Although the Charles is a bit disgusting, I still love it. When you live in a city, you will take a body of water and embrace it. For me, I grew up with the constant sight of the Charles. Whenever my family came into the city, we would drive down Storrow Drive and I would look out the window to see the glistening water of the river. I just think it makes Boston complete – without the Charles, I feel like we would be less of a city or that there would be something missing. Plus, the river runs throughout the state even in the parts of the city I live in!

#7. DARK GREEN – Oakleaf Cakes Bake Shop

For me, this bake shop is a hidden gem. They are located near Mass. Ave and they have an incredible orange juice. Although most of their merchandise is dedicated to their baking and cakes, there is something so special about this bake shop. I think it has to do with the fact that they put so much love and passion into everything they make and sell!

I hope that you found these places interesting! I love everything having to do with the city of Boston and can only imagine what this list will be a couple of years from now!

A Newbie’s Guide to Subletting

For those of us who come from anywhere outside of New England, you understand the added stress of figuring out where the hell were going to go during the four month break we call summer. Do we go home and sit around with our high school friends, work at our old jobs and get antsy as we mark the days on the calendar till we can come back to school? Or, do we stay in Boston work our jobs here, take summer classes or try to even get an internship?

For those of you who prefer to stay in Boston there comes the added stress (and fun) of looking for a place to stay. Some may be lucky enough to have a friend’s guest room they could crash in over the summer. But if you are like me and don’t have that luck, you are forced to sublet. For those who don’t know what a sublet is, it is basically taking over the leaser’s rent for the months you need to stay in it. The time and price depends on what you coordinate with the owner.

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Commuting From Home

After going through a life-long search to find the perfect house for my family, I knew that there was no way in hell I would be able to live in apartment that I could pay for myself until I was a functioning adult. Most of this sentiment comes in part by the reality of getting zero assistance from my parents to pay for an apartment and the other fees that come with this responsibility. And since the cheapest apartment I have ever come across that is close by to campus costs $900 a month, I have decided to live at home for my junior year of college. I know, I know, I think I might have lost my mind but at the same time, I have no problem being a scammer.

For the most part, I am a home-body. I like the comfort of having a home or at least little pieces of comfort that remind me of home. And I have made myself quite the home here at Emerson but I am looking forward to having real food, free laundry, and a couch that I can lay on without disrupting someone else’s personal space. If it was up to me, I would gladly live on campus next year but that’s not possible as the junior lottery is a fake scam in itself and there’s not enough space for everyone.

What I noticed the most about making the decision to live at home is that I get a plethora of reactions from those I mention it to or those who ask about my living situation for next year. Overall, people tend to respect my decision but I have gotten a lot of confused facial expressions, some form of amusement, and a lot of questions. And for the purpose of this post, I have decided to share these quirky questions and give you my equally quirky but honest answers.

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Inside Emerson’s New Dorm Building

This past year, there’s been plenty of talk about the construction happening on Emerson’s Boylston Street campus. From the building of a new dining hall to Little Building being closed for renovations starting this May, to a new dorm building with its entrance in the Boylston Place alleyway—change is definitely coming to Emerson. But, how much do Emerson’s students actually know about these construction projects? Particularly, how much do students know about this new dorm building? Many students will call 2 Boylston Place their home come next semester, and yet they might not know much about what the Boylston Place dorm will really be like.

As a student who is now a junior, even I’m a bit confused about just what is happening with this new dorm building, regardless if I might not have the opportunity to live there. Still, I’ve been watching this construction happen since I started at Emerson. The sounds of drilling and workers shouting over the noise of their equipment have become all too familiar to my peers and me.

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The Bus Mishap that Shaped a Friendship

It was the start of Spring Break. In Boston, the sun had finally begun to shine warming the air to a beautiful fifty-five degrees. The city was flocking with families taking their kids into the Common to play, friends grabbing coffee and basking in the sun, and runners freed from treadmills going up and down the Esplanade.

Federica, my soon to become best friend, and I were all packed for our trip to New York, ready to visit what we both considered our future home. We’d both traveled before, but this was our first real girls trip, no supervision.

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Elizabeth Warren is the Politician We Need

Permanent Massachusetts resident or not, it’s likely that you know Elizabeth Warren’s name by now. She’s currently the senior US senator from Massachusetts and is a very prominent figure in the Democratic Party. There’s even talk that she might put in a bid for the presidency in 2020. And for many Emerson students who lean to the political left, the possibility of Elizabeth Warren becoming president in four years is the hope they need right now.

Having grown up in Massachusetts, I have watched Warren rise from a Senate hopeful to a leading voice among the country’s Democrats. Though I might be biased given my political party of choice (hint: I love the color blue), Warren’s journey has undoubtedly been an incredible one. I’m glad to have witnessed it firsthand as a Massachusetts resident.

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Ambience

Places tend to have a certain something to them. A sound that triggers our memory back to where we once were, a smell, a feeling, a particular visual even. In 30 seconds, I tried to capture these senses. Somerville, the Boston Tattoo Company, and a T-stop, were encapsulated within these short videos to create a place from inside your laptop screen.

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Great Running Routes in Boston

Running. It is something we are all familiar with, whether we were track stars in our high school days or the slowest kid on the playground, we all have an opinion on it. Personally, I love it. It pushes me to be my best self and I find my mind at its calmest when I’m on a run. For those of you on the same page or for those of who want to just try it here are some running routes near campus for you to try out!

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Women’s March: An Exploration of Expression in Times of Distress

by Hayley Broderick and Amelia Wright

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(left to right, top to bottom: Boston, MA; Boston, MA; Washington, D.C.; Washington D.C.)

After weeks of cloudy dismal skies, the sun finally shone through over the Boston Common. Pink hats covered the area in roaring support of women’s rights. After a hugely successful march in protest of the presidential election just months before, it seemed almost unreal that this march could be bigger than the one previous. Nearly 175,000 people congregated for this monumental event.

-Hayley

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In Defense of Young Love

As I packed up my boxes to leave my dorm room for the summer, I felt all the usual end of the year nostalgia. Saying “goodbye” to the friends I’d begun to call family was certainly not easy. But, I also could not help but feel a wave of excitement rush over me. Of course I was happy at the prospect of no more school work or final projects to stress over, but more so I was happy at the idea that for the first time in over nine months I was going to be able to wake up each morning next to the boy I loved. This meant no more FaceTimes with roommates intruding, no more crying simply because he was so far away and no more late night fights about how much we missed each other. Finally, we would be able to return to our in person relationship, and I could not be more thrilled.

This year marked my three year anniversary with my boyfriend, John, as well as the beginning of both our first years of college. We’ve been together ever since sophomore year of high school when our chemistry as lab partners was undeniable. We held hands across the lunch table for weeks before even exchanging phone numbers. We officially became boyfriend/girlfriend after a friend asked if we were “a thing” and both of us just looked at each other and smiled. “I guess so,” was the final decision. Thus, began three years of seeing each other everyday nonstop and falling more and more silly in love. We even spent a summer living together.

However, in the fall of 2015, our college plans separated us by over three hundred miles. John attended a university in New Jersey while I chose a school in Boston. Despite the distance, we knew that we were going to continue on and make our relationship work. Though he now plans to transfer closer in the fall, we always knew that we wanted to stay together no matter what time apart or distance we may have to endure. Many people, especially “adults”, have told us to simply give up, claiming that breaking up would just be easier. Since we are young, they believe our relationship is not something worth fighting for. I have heard one too many lectures on “all the fish in the sea” to ever consider using the hackneyed phrase again. John’s own mother has infamously said that she thinks “high school relationships should stay in high school.” But, for us, from the beginning, breaking up was never an option or even a conversation.

Now, I am not going to pretend that long distance is an easy feat. There were times when the mere fact that we were physically so far apart led to fighting and mental distance. Both of us were having new experiences and changing so much in such a short period of time that we of course had to wonder if we were growing in opposite directions. Still, our relationship stood strong as we texted and FaceTimed and made room for each other even in our ever-evolving new worlds. And, guess what? It worked. Now that we are finally on the other side, I am so happy to be reunited with him.

Though we may be “high school sweethearts,” I would venture to say we’ve been through a lot together already, and our relationship is just as valid as any other despite our ages. We’ve been with each other through some of the most pivotal and life changing moments. We’ve made so many memories together and encouraged each other as we’ve grown. I feel so lucky to have had him by my side these past three years. From holding me up at my grandfather’s funeral to holding my hair back when I’m sick, John has been there for it all. There have been so many tissues and sleepless nights both good and bad. He truly knows me better than anyone else in many ways simply because he’s been there for so much.

Sadly, it is still so often assumed that our relationship’s long standing will only eventually end in tragic heartbreak and the idea that we have wasted these years together. Many family and friends wonder if we’re planning too far ahead, especially as John transfers to a school that while academically more rigorous than his current institution also happens to be geographically closer to me. They think we are too young to allow our lives to intertwine quite so deeply and to decide upon such a definite future. Although I can try and understand this concern, I am dead set on the fact that they are unbelievably wrong.

This is mainly because John is not simply my boyfriend but my best friend. He is the first person I want to go to with my problems and the first person I want to share good news with. No matter what we are doing we always manage to have fun together, we can laugh together for hours over silly things. He is the person I want by my side on my every adventure. Our favorite thing to do; get in the car and just drive. Already, we have seen so many places together from the coastline of Maine to small art museums across the North East. We have admired the Brooklyn Bridge at night and the beaches of Newport at sunrise. Our mission to see all fifty states together began the first time we took a train into Philadelphia. I can not wait to see even more and learn even more. I am so excited to continue exploring the world with him.

But, I also have made a point not to sacrifice other friendships and relationships in my life for him. I have always been a big proponent of the fact that while having a boyfriend who is your best friend is nice it is important not to make him my entire world. It is important to us both that we both have friendships and interests outside of our relationship. Thus, we share our interests, challenge each other, and celebrate the times that we can have adventures hand in hand.

Despite the fact that I am young, I am quite certain that I could never see my current relationship as anything but a benefit in my life. Even if circumstances abound and for whatever reason we go in separate directions, I can not imagine seeing our time spent together as a regret. In addition each choice that we make is ours to choose, and at the moment we are certainly quite happy with my choices. So, let us be happy. We are constantly making new memories and having new experiences because we are young, and at least at the moment we want to experience it all together. It is certainly not easy to be young and in love but, it is definitely worth it.