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!

All By Myself: The Rebellion of Being Alone

“Do you want to go with me?” you ask nervously. It could be anywhere: the Dining Hall (DH), the Prudential Center (The Pru), even the bathroom.

“No, it’s okay. Have fun though.”

This is the worst case scenario. Now you’re left to make a choice: stay home and leave those you invited wondering why you didn’t go either, or go alone.

I’ve been faced with this dilemma multiple times. Not only do I have social anxiety, but being at college was the first time I’ve ever lived alone, so it’s often hard to get the courage to go places by myself. I’ve frequently asked friends if they want to accompany me just about anywhere just so I don’t have to face it alone. I’ve opted for Cup of Noodles as an alternative for facing DH dinner time by myself and I’ve cancelled plans entirely because everyone bailed.

This year I decided that had to change. I’m nineteen-years-old and I’m not always going to have friends and family to hold my hand. I’m going to have to go to interviews by myself, grocery shop, and (gasp) even make my own doctors’ appointments.

The DH was my first step. If you can brave the DH alone you can brave just about anywhere. I started out slow. I now make pretty frequent trips there for lunch, mainly because I live in Paramount. I find I waste too much time walking back and forth between classes to the icy wasteland that is the fourth residence hall. I started out sitting in the small hidden booths in the corner of the DH, my head buried in a book to mask my shame. But then I realized there wasn’t anything to be ashamed of and decided it was okay to sit where I wanted. After all, at breakfast and lunch time most people are there alone with their headphones in anyways, and at dinner everyone is too wrapped up in their own worlds to even care that you’re spending a meal by yourself.

Being alone in my campus bubble was one thing, but a new crisis arose when I had to venture to the Pru by myself and no one was around to go with me. I almost considered not going at all, but the quest for a new planner was too important to put off because of my impending fear of running errands alone.

As always, it’s never as bad as you build it up to be in your head. No one laughed at me for being alone, nothing awful happened and I got to Barnes and Noble and back with the prophesied planner in tow.

The most notable, perhaps, was when I had to get a drug test for my new job. I had only been on campus for a day after move-in and I was already forced to venture off campus over by Northeastern so I could get this done. There was no way out of this one, so thus began my adventure of taking the horrid green line all the way to the land of actual colleges who offer science majors and math courses. Going anywhere unfamiliar is nerve-wracking but going alone is probably twice as bad. It’s situations like these that boost my confidence. If answering the phone without panicking makes me feel like an adult, then going on an excursion outside of the Emerson bubble with no one to accompany me is my form of leveling up in the adult world.

I, of course, make light of this subject because it’s my own experience, but I’m sure there are plenty of people who have had similar experiences. It’s the reason why my friends have a group chat almost solely for the purpose of figuring out who’s eating meals when and why girls tend to go to bathrooms in packs. We feel safer in numbers and there’s nothing wrong with that.

However, that’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with going places alone. In fact, I’d actually recommend trying it sometime. There’s something peaceful and empowering about not having to wait for friends to get things done, and sometimes it’s nice to have a day to clear your head and do what you want to do.

Everyone is a rebel in their own way. Some people buy mustard yellow scarves, others don’t wear bras, and some go places alone. I’ve never really considered myself a rebel, at least not in the media’s tattooed, leather-jacket clad sense, however, this is my way to rebel and for me I consider it a pretty successful rebellion indeed.