Oof it’s been a WHILE! I moved to Boston, started journalism school, and I have two jobs, so I’ve been Very Busy. Things are generally great here so far- I really miss my friends and my family, but I’ve been very much in touch with everyone and I’m happy to see so many people I love flourishing in their new lives.
Leaving Montreal was painful. It was my home, and where I spent six excellent years with The Montreal Friends™. I can’t really sum up those years in a reasonable number of words, so I won’t try, but did I cry seven distinct times on the train from Montreal to Toronto? I DON’T KNOW, MAYBE. The bro sitting next to me had no idea what to do with the absolute mess sitting next to him for six hours, but whatever, we all made it to our destinations in relative comfort.
I spent three great weeks in Toronto in August, hanging out with my family and seeing friends I hadn’t had the chance to see in months or years. The visit’s pinnacle was the surprise bar mitzvah party that we threw for Aidan, where 50 of the Mexican-Jewish family friends gathered to dance and gorge ourselves on foods like my Ma’s tamal casserole, pastel azteca, salpicón de res, and about 5 more dinner dishes, some seven desserts, and sangria. It was truly joyous and a the best way to spend the last weekend before moving to Boston.
Boston! That’s where I live now. USA, gross, I know, don’t get me started. BUT, after being in Boston for just over two months, I’m feeling really good about this new city. I’ve been eating very well. I hear Spanish everywhere, much more so than in Canada. People are very friendly (counter to the reputation that this city has for gruffness) and the city is bustling but not too big.
I’m living with Aaron and our friend Maddie in a nice little apartment in an ancient building in Allston. The place has its quirks- like how every 7 minutes or so, we hear the grinding screech of the B line train hurtling by, and how we don’t have much control over the radiators so our apartment is so hot that I wake up as a human raisin every morning- but the apartment is starting to feel like a home.
Getting settled in Boston has, unsurprisingly, involved a lot of food. Here are the highlights, so far:
A chile relleno at Beantown Taqueria with my Ma and Aidan, within an hour of landing in Boston.
Marshmallow Fluff. I’ve always loved this borderline-disgustingly-sweet marshmallow goop, but I learned that it’s actually from Boston (Somerville, specifically), so I’ve been eating a lot of it and I have no regrets.
Cheese pizza from Charlie’s Pizzeria (you wouldn’t expect much of this place, but even the crappy pizza in the city is delicious).
Fried pickles and an amazing blood orange Gose beer from J.M. Curley’s right next to Emerson with a bunch of classmates.
The absolutely PACKED Italian sub from Monica’s in the North End with Aaron and Jules.
Half and half iced tea & lemonade at the waterfront park close to North End.
Fenway Franks during a Red Sox vs Blue Jays beisbol game.
Texas chili (all cubed steak, no ground meat, no beans, super spicy!!!) at Lone Star, plus a shot of tequila with a shot of sangrita, the spicy-salty-sweet chaser made of tomato juice, orange juice, lime, chilies, and salt.
Brie, pita chips, and a cookie and iced coffee from Flour with Maddie in a South End dog park.
One Million Cheesestrings (they are sold individually EVERYWHERE here and I get them all the time).
A beef empanada and a huge Peruvian mixed seafood ceviche at Machu Picchu in Somerville.
Pizza and barbecued steak tips with hot & sweet peppers at Santarpio’s in East Boston, a magical 100+-year-old institution.
A crazy meal at Hojoko in Fenway, which included wasabi roulette sushi (Aaron lost/won?), deep-fried calf brain, noodle and sashimi bowls, and truffle chicken skewers- and a Communal Giant Drink that had crazy straws and plastic alligators in it.
TRADER JOE’S. I know every Canadian in the US loses their mind over Trader Joe’s when they move here but it’s for good reason. The cheese and butter are like half the price of anywhere in Canada. The prepared and frozen foods are outstanding and the snacks are a gamechanger. I grocery shop here every week and it’s so cheap AND they have really great samples.
More cheese pizza from Harry O’s in South End, as a mid-afternoon snack that’d tide over a group of 15 of us while we got all set up to have a barbecue. Several dogs were running around us and it was delightful.
Sushi at Genki Ya downtown with Aaron and Dora, and on another occasion, from U Sushi, delivered to our house on a particularly lazy Sunday to go with Stranger Things 2.
An amazing Italian sandwich, espresso, and chocolate chip cookie at Cafe Rustica in Somerville with Aaron, Sam, and Sean plus WONDERFUL MVP out-of-town visitors Carla, Mario, Grace, Louis, and Zal who came for a weekend. Cafe Rustica reminds me of Euro Deli (RIP) and I think it’s my favourite restaurant in Boston.
Hey, that was fun. I’m gonna try to write more on here in the coming weeks. I recently went to Philly to see Grace and Zoë, and to Rome for Aaron’s cousin’s wedding, and as you might guess, I didn’t stop eating on either of those vacations, so I’ve got lots to share.