Tuesday, May 31, 2011

In Your Own Backyard...

Memorial Day weekend...the start of barbeques, beach, and backyard fun.  I spent my weekend doing my last round of planting before the summer begins.  My wonderful husband is building me three raised beds so I can expand my vegetable garden and keep critters like "Fred" out.  Remember Fred?  My pet groundhog?  I compared him to a piece of furniture in an earlier post. http://thefocusondesign.blogspot.com/2010/07/color-series-this-is-fred.html
Well, Fred is back in all his glory, but this time, he won't be eating my lettuce!

 Speaking of your own backyard...last week we had some friends come in from California.  They wanted to take the "Anthony Bourdain Tour of Boston". (No Reservations TV show on the Travel Channel).  Basically, we were eating our way through Boston with some sightseeing in between!

Our friends had already been to Boston so they didn't want to see the usual tourist-y sights.  Hmm...this was going to take a bit of thought.   But they wanted good food, so the North End of Boston was our first stop.  We bypassed the old North Church - been there, done that - and found the Union Oyster House, America's oldest working restaurant established in 1826.  It was too early to eat, so we kept walking and came upon the New England Holocaust Memorial www.nehm.org, 6 glass towers dedicated to the memory of those lost to the horror of the Holicaust.  The peaceful park-like setting is in sharp contrast to the actual events that took place. The memorial is fairly new and something I hadn't seen before.

The New England Holocaust Memorial
Our walking tour continued to the Faneuil Hall-Quincy Market area.  You just never know what you are going to see!  And we don't ask "why", because this is Boston!

Love the hat!

Amen to that, Dee Dee!!
Not even going to ask!

Where else but in Boston!

As I said, this was an eating tour of Boston, so enough with the sights!  Show me the food!!  Back to the heart of the North End and a delicious lunch at La Famiglia on Salem Street.

Day Two and our friends wanted to go to Quincy.  Not sure what there is to do in Quincy, but that's what Google is for!  And also the Visitor's Center.

There was a tour of the church where President John Adams and President John Quincy Adams are buried.  There was also a two hour tour of the president's homes.  Now these are tours that I would have loved to see, but no takers today.  Maybe the 47 degree temperature and the drizzly grey day had something to do with this, so we opted instead for a walk through an old cemetary where relatives of our historic figures are buried.  http://www.interment.net/data/us/ma/norfolk/hancock/index.htm

Hancock Cemetery, Quincy MA
Quincy, MA

Quincy Center is quite charming! A little reminiscent of a European city.

One other site in Quincy that hits close to home is the USS Salem Cruiser Ship.  My father served on this ship during the Korean War and our family has been to see it several times.  Since my parents were with us, and we were in Quincy, the next stop was obvious! 

USS Salem

The ship is now a museum, but unfortunately wasn't open the day we went.  For more info, you can go to http://www.uss-salem.org/museum/visitor_information.htm

Time to head back to Boston for more eats!  Anthony Bourdain had recommended a little hole in the wall eatery that was famous for its lobster rolls.  Seafood is not my thing, but our California friends were not to be deterred!  Next stop - The Belle Isle Restaurant in East Boston.  http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60745-d524782-Reviews-Belle_Isle-Boston_Massachusetts.html  When we pulled up, we weren't even sure it was open - not just closed - abandoned!  It didn't look appetizing, but what the hell!  Inside was a tiny take-out restaurant with 8 stools lined up to a counter.  As I said, seafood is not my thing, but french fries...now you're talking!  Lunch was ordered, stools were fought for, and everyone enjoyed!  Anthony Bourdain knows what he's talking about!

Even though I had been to some of these places before, there was still plenty I had not seen.  Leave it to a couple from California to entertain me in my own state!  For those of you who are always complaining that "there's nothing to do" - get out of your own backyard and see what's happening in your neighborhood!

"Boston's freeway system is insane. It was clearly designed by a person who had spent his childhood crashing toy trains."  Bill Bryson

1 comment:

  1. Rosanne... what a blast to check out some of Boston road's less traveled & places less visited! Leave it to inspiration from Anthony Bourdain to lead the way... he is a pro at finding the fab, out-of-the-way, & generally somewhat 'suspect' eating spots! I had the pleasure to see him in March at Boston's Symphony Hall with his buddy, chef Eric Ripert when they presented their opposing approaches to food & restaurants in "Good vs. Evil"... no surprise who the Evil was! Since then, Dave & I treated ourselves to dinner at Eric's restaurant "Le Bernardin" in New York City for our anniversary. Love both those guys! By the way... the quote about Boston's freeway (all roads really) system... is so true... hilarious!


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