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Friday, June 5, 2015

Allston Farewell

Jen’s got  a new gig—YEA her! It’s down here on the South Shore versus the Brighton section of Boston. 90 minute commutes EACH WAY weren’t uncommon in her, now past, place of employ. That’s three hours wasted in traffic nearly every day. At best, the drive would be an hour, for a grand total of two lost hours per work day. She could’ve gotten there via public transportation (spending those hours reading or sketching instead of piloting her car through the sea of slow moving steel leviathans) BUT that would’ve involved taking two different buses and two different trains each way. Yeah, that was a non-starter.

Here’s the thing—on the days that I’d have an appointment with Janice, Jen and I would meet for  post work/post shrinkage drinkies, dinner and dishing. While waiting for Jen, I’d take a long walk, do a bit of shopping, people watch in a coffee shop and just generally hang. This part of town was my home for close to 20 years. Though I was happy as Hell when we decamped to Cambridge, there was SO much to love about the Allston/Brighton/Brookline area.
Kupel’s Bakery—makers of the best damn bagels on the planet and *mmmmmmmmmmm* hamantaschen!
Golden Temple—Amazing, fresh, no MSG, no trans fats Chinese food AND the best damn limoncello martini on the planet.
Zaftig’s Delicatessen
Grasshopper—the vegan Chinese/Vietnamese that we all went to recently.
YoMa—the Burmese joint that I’m in mad love with.
There’s FoMu for ice cream.
Deep Ellum with their amazingly creative barkeeps.
Matt Murphy’s with its cozy atmosphere and perfect for nearly every mood menu.
O’Leary’s, a very friendly, no frills, warm and comfy Irish joint.
The Regal Beagle—a great place to discover cocktails never imagined.

I'm sure I'm forgetting someplace.

THE best bookstore in the Boston area is the independently owned Brookline Booksmith in Coolidge Corner. There’s the awesome Coolidge Corner Movie Theater—though I've not been there since the old hearing took the last train for the coast. No closed captioning there don’cha know. My fav head shop and hippy/groovy clothing emporium, Buried Treasures is in Allston.

It feels as though yesterday was my last time in the neighborhood. Certainly I can go back BUT, with Jen no longer working there and Janice on, possibly permanent, hiatus, it was my last casual-ish occasion in the area. Now, if I’ve a yen for Burmese chow or a Moscow Mule or want to browse Paperback Booksmith’s Used Book Cellar OR need more incense, I gotta make a special trip, brave the always wretched traffic on 93 North AND find parking.


Yes, yes I can find what I need in Central and Harvard Squares (just one bus and one train ride away AND the parking’s generally less onerous if I go crazy and drive) BUT it’s not Allston/Brighton—the very first neighborhood I lived in when I moved to Boston after college and carnival.

Yesterday felt like goodbye.
Allston street art

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