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A Weekend in Boston

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Just when I was about to hit "Publish" last week a "Warning" sign popped up and claimed that the our blog had been LOCKED by blogger spam-blog prevention robots and that until it was verified that this was an actual blog, we cannot publish anything. I was flabbergasted! What IS this?? Blogger really needs to rethink this strategy of theirs. I hope this is only a one time thing. We were beginning to worry that our blog will NEVER be verified. Thank god it has! FINALLY. But yes, in case you were wondering, that is why we haven't been posting for the last week.

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Deciding to take advantage of my excess mileages, status as a part-time senior (read: minimal school work) and free housing before my friends graduate in May, I went off to visit Boston this weekend since I've never been and it is definitely on my list of places to go.
My first stop (since I was living there) was Tufts. I absolutely love the collegiate feeling of the campus. Everyone had so much school spirit! The Tufts mascot, Jumbo (left) was everywhere. Now I'm really sad my school does not have a mascot.... Another point of interest is the painted canon (right), sorry I forgot to take a larger picture of it. It is tradition for Tuft students to paint this canon and then stay overnight to guard it while it dries. From this close up picture of many many layers of dripping paint, you can see how many Tufts student has carried on this tradition. One suspects what the original size of the canon might have been. When we went that morning, the paint was still wet.
The next stop for us on the T was Harvard Square. I'm afraid I didn't know the Harvard campus very well and got tired once we reached the quad with the library/cathedral and took a picture with John Harvard. And no, I did not touch his feet... it is rumored that it has been peed on many times. Later on I found out that I missed paying tribute to the first computer ever made and some other Harvard sights as well, but oh well maybe next time. I did walk around the area though, and it was very quaint and cute.
Then we hit Quincy Market (left), which for those who don't know is a big long food hall (like those in a mall) in a pretty, classical looking building. The area around it was also very interesting. Cobbled stone and lined with restaurants, I imagine it would be really cute on a nice day. There was also a restaurant named after "Cheers" (the TV show from many years ago that Fraser was in) there complete with a gift shop. But I hear the original one, named the Bull and Finch, is actually near Boston Commons.
Then we walked over to the North End, which I guess is their waterfront (think The Rocks & Darling Harbor in Sydney and Fisherman's Wharf in San Fran). Compared to the bustling waterfronts of Sydney and San Fran though, this one was a bit quieter (prob because it was a gloomy rainy day). But it was lined with adorable lamp posts and gorgeous townhouses and the effect was just wonderful. Its so nice to walk along.
Near that area, is Little Italy, which has a lots of delicious Italian restaurants on a series cute little streets. After dinner, we stopped by Mike's Pastry and tried their canoli's. It was really good. And the place was bustling with people. My friend claims that she thinks that the canoli's taste even better than some of the ones she's tried in Rome!
The next day, we hit the downtown area. We went to Boston Commons, the MA State House (left) and then strolled along the elegant streets of Beacon Hill (right: the prime real estates of Boston).
We passed by the park (left: sorry I forgot the name) and onto Newbury street (of course) and stopped by for lunch in one of those cute little cafe's there (right). I'm SO glad that Saturday morning was such a nice, sunny day.
After lunch, we went to do our touristy thing at Copley Square, taking pictures of the Boston Public Library (left) and the Trinity Church (right).
I especially LOVED the Boston Public Library. It was surprisingly gorgeous, with a lovely peaceful courtyard (left), an beautiful mural stairway (right) and a room that had a huge dome ceiling, rows and rows of tables with little green lights on them and lots and lots of people studying there (again, I didn't catch the name). But once you walk in, you are instantly accosted by a sense of awe, as if you've entered a sacred study sanctuary. It was so sacred that we didn't dare make a peep or a camera click before we hastily left, in fear that we'd disturb any of those intently studying there. I've never professed to love a library, but I love this one. It actually makes me want to study!
One of the most interesting shops I visited in Boston was Johnny Cupcakes on Newbury Street (*gasp* not fashion related!). Upon seeing Johnny Cupcakes, I insisted we go in, because as most of you know, I LOVE dessert. But once we entered, I immediately looked for the cupcakes.... and saw none. Instead there were only t shirts being sold in baking trays and freezers.. where the cakes were supposed to be! Then we caught "story" of the store, which began with, "I started this as a joke." We had a good laugh.

Another shop of interest was Black Ink (right) at Harvard. It sold a variety of very cool gadgets, games, kitchenware and gimmicks. I especially want the cute plates and the baking recipe box filled with Betty Crocker recipes! It is an awesome place to get people fun and interesting gifts.
50% of the reason why I wanted to come to Boston was because I wanted to try the desserts at Finale. Everyone I know whose been to Boston has come back and told me that I'd LOVE Finale. And so, on a rainy night, we went to the Finale at Cambridge. And I DO love it. The upscale decor and the gorgeous looking desserts got me instantly hooked. I wanted a cupcake, a cheesecake, a boston cream, a chocolate cake... I wanted everything. In the end, my friends shared a Fantasia (right)...
and I settled on a creme brulee (left) and a molten chocolate cake (right). Yes, I got both. And yes, I finished both too. Our server was very impressed. They're both the "signature" dish there and really, you can't take either home, what else can I do? After trying both, I must say, the chocolate molten cake was only so-so, but the creme brulee was absolutely DELICIOUS. Completely divine. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I also took home a cheesecake, a tiramisu and a Boston cream. The Boston cream was ok. But the cheesecake and the tiramisu was quite good. Not too sweet, with a rich milky flavor.

Over all I really loved Boston. It was just so quaint and collegiate- something I do not feel in my own college. And I'm already missing the creme brulee!!!!!!!

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