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Browsing Around Boston November 13-14, 2020

Browsing Around Boston November 13-14, 2020

The last time I went to Boston was in my teens. During my junior and senior years in high school, I was selected to join a team to participate in the annual Education for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship (EPIIC) simulation at Tufts University in Massachusetts. The details around this are pretty hazy, but I remembered the two topics we covered. After some creative digging online, I found the EPIIC program archives: Oil & Water Crisis and The Politics of Fear.

Each year EPIIC assigned our school to represent an entity concerning the main topic and we produced a massive research paper to conclude the program. I believe our team was the World Bank with The Oil and Water Crisis and the Philippines in the Politics of Fear.

This was my first experience with international affairs and I loved it! I ask myself today why I didn’t pursue global politics sooner, but here I am, almost twenty years later, getting back in touch with the things I care about the most. I firmly believe it’s never too late to pursue a dream or start something new. One of the most important things you can do right now is to listen to your calling and find your purpose in life. The sooner you can do this, the better, but it takes time.

This trip to Boston was different. I joined my partner on a quick work trip and while he tended to business, I aimlessly browsed the Boston and Cambridge streets. No itinerary, no focus, just like good ol’ pre-internet exploring days. There were a few nostalgic places I remember visiting, like Cheers, but everything else was new to me. My partner went to college in Boston, so it was fun trying to piece together our fuzzy memories while making new ones.

Below are some things I’d like you to know but most are just random cell phone captures from my exploration. Many places were still closed from the pandemic, but I enjoyed wandering just wandering the streets seeking creativity. Everyday city life is one of my main sources of inspiration. I hope you enjoy!

If you have any Boston memories, suggestions for my next trip or you were part of the EPIIC program as well and can help me jog my memory, please drop a comment below or send a message! I would love to hear from you. Hope you enjoy!


First Stop, Harvard.

The subway reminded me of NYC, but the brakes had an excruciatingly painful screeching noise in some areas. I loved the gloomy views along the river on the Red Line and for a brief moment, I felt like I was back in Europe.

ballerina sculpture
Resurgence sculpture by David Kasman outside the José Mateo Ballet Theater.

I wasn’t looking at my map so I didn’t know where the Harvard campus started or ended but I stumbled into this beautiful ballerina figure outside what appeared to be a church. As a former dancer and lifelong artist, the sculpture instantly spoke to my spirit. She appeared so grand, graceful and strong. After taking a closer look, I learned the statue was in honor of Cuban-born choreographer José Mateo for his civic contribution of using the power of dance to create a more equitable world, and this was not a church, but the José Mateo Ballet Theatre.

I wandered into a part of the Harvard campus but was already too cold to continue exploring. I was there just long enough to enjoy some spooky scary movie vibes and decided I’d have to come back another time to explore more. To be honest, I wasn’t entirely interested as I felt that I should have been. Do you think Harvard is overrated? Or should I have stayed to really dig deeper into the campus history?

Beautiful shape, color and textures on this entrance to Sever Hall.
Picture of tree in Harvard courtyard
If it wasn't cold and rainy, I bet someone would be laying in this tree.

I didn’t stay to explore the Harvard campus too long. It was cold and rainy so I dodged into the Harvard Bookstore to see if a new title jumped out to me. After a few rounds of browsing the shelves, I finally warmed up and decided between two books. I purchased A Human Algorithm: How Artificial Intelligence Is Redefining Who We Are* but added Out of Our Minds: What We Think and How We Came to Think It* to my reading wishlist. Now onto my next mission, finding a cafe with indoor seating.

Me, drying off, socially distanced and patiently awaiting my coffee.

Luckily, I found Bluestone Lane a few blocks away from the bookstore. Socially-distanced indoor seating was open and they provided contactless ordering from the table. I was so grateful to have a warm place to drink coffee and dive into my new book.

Flat White
Flat white with almond milk, please.
Admiring this gorgeous lofted space.
A Human Algorithm
Excellent book to help understand artificial intelligence and things we should consider for our future.

The first few pages of A Human Algorithm: How Artificial Intelligence Is Redefining Who We Are* already had me sold. Artificial intelligence is already part of our everyday lives but not many of us realize it or understand it. I think it’s crucial for citizens to be informed and better understand the technology of today and the future.

International human rights attorney and author Flynn Coleman wrote this guidebook to reimagine life in the era of intelligent technology so we can conscientiously move into a new frontier of our own design. I plan on writing a separate post reviewing this book once I’m finished, but don’t wait, I suggest grabbing your copy today*.

Warmed up and fully caffeinated, I was on my way to meet my partner back at the hotel but got distracted by the river. If you know me, you know how much I love water so it was a given I received the “I’m here, where are you call” in the middle of my photoshoot. Luckily I was only across the street!

Me posing in front of foggy river holding rainbow polka dot umbrella
Singing in the rain...

I Only Went To Boston For The Lobstah.

Dinner on the water at The Boston Sail Loft came with floor-to-ceiling windows and a good time. The beer was cold, food was great, staff was nice but the plexiglass social distancing dividers did not drown out the commotion from the girl’s night reunion behind us. I definitely wasn’t mad at them, but their very funny, quite loud convo was entertaining. We couldn’t help but laugh between bites. There was simply no way to not eavesdrop unless we had earplugs, and we didn’t.

Lobster roll dinner with fries and beer
Cup of overflowing clam chowder and a cold beer

Day Two: Exploring With My Boo.

My partner had the day off so we decided to set off and explore the city. Again, no agenda in mind, just walking around to enjoy wherever the wind blew us. Thankfully it was a beautiful day. It started off slightly cold and grey, but eventually turned into bright blue skies.

Me and the boo

We stumbled into Norman Bleventhal Park and did not know there was a 1,400-car garage below it. What an incredible way to use 1.7 acres in the middle of the city!

Norman Leventhal Park
Norman Leventhal Park, which has a parking garage underneath!
Boston Harbor Gazebo
Pretty gazebo at Boston Harbor Hotel

O Say Can You See…

Yes, I could see… The biggest flag I have ever seen in my LIFE! Wow, she was a beauty. Standing beneath it and watching it flow gently was mesmirizing.

After filming the below video, I heard some shouting across the river. I looked over to see a big splash. The yellow boat seen in the video is actually a full-scale replica 18th-century sailing vessel that houses the Boston Tea Party Museum and they were reenacting the Boston Tea Party with visitors. The white wigs and tights suddenly made sense.

Boston Waterboat Marina
Picture of floating pyramid sculpture in river
Floating Pyramid by Don Eyles on the Fort Point Channel
Me and Boo

Feel Good Contribution That Tastes Good Too.

Before leaving, we found The Well Coffee House, a really cool non-profit organization staffed by volunteers that donates proceeds to a local charity selected each month. Not only is its mission amazing, but the coffee and pastries were pretty tasty as well. The pumpkin macaroon was right on point! If you’re ever in the Boston area, be sure to visit one of their two locations.

sign on cafe wall showing non profit donation of the month
For November The Well Coffee House is donating proceeds to lovin' spoonfuls a food rescue.
image of coffee and bakery items
This pumpkin macaroon was magical.
me standing next to old fire box

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