Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Snapshots & Tourist Activity

As I mentioned in the pancake post (I'm still salivating over these), my mom was here to visit last weekend. It was a short trip for her - just Thursday night to Saturday night - but we managed to pack a lot of stuff in. I've lived in Boston for over eight and a half years and there are still a lot of things I've never done. I've never eaten a whole lobster (Really? I have to dismantle the whole thing just to eat it?), I've never been on a boat of any kind (Not in life. Just here.), and I've never been to The Cape (I know. I KNOW!). While I didn't accomplish any of those things last weekend, I did go to two places I had never been before and I'm pretty happy about that!

Clockwise from top left - The view from a chef's table at Sel de la Terre; Apple, bacon, and onion pizza from Otto; Tropical fishies; Penguins
On Thursday night we had dinner at a chef's table at Sel de la Terre. When I was there for Kristen's Stella & Dot party I noticed the chef's tables and knew my mom would love them. She works in the restaurant industry and tries to get as close to the kitchen as possible just to check things out in every restaurant we go to, so why not get her a table right next to it? It was a really fun experience the rosemary pommes frites may be the best fries I've ever had.

We had lunch the next afternoon at Otto Pizza right in my neighborhood. Brookliners - if you have not gone to Otto yet, run don't walk! Their pizza is amazing. I mean, there are apples, bacon, and onions on this slice. NOM.

After pizza we were off to our first tourist destination - The New England Aquarium! I had always wanted to visit the aquarium, but had never gotten a chance to. If you've been in the Park Street T station this summer, then I'm sure you've noticed the ads for NEAQ with the adorable and funny sea lions on them. This is fantastic advertising from NEAQ because the photos of these cute little slippery guys sent my desire to go there over the edge! I loved the penguins and beautiful tropical fish too. I ran far, FAR away from the anaconda. Even typing that makes me feel uncomfortable. I will never be friends with a snake.

Clockwise top left - The very cool aquarium building; A new seal friend; The Zakim Bridge at dusk; The best gnocchi EVER
We had tickets to an event at The Garden that evening so we had dinner at Strega in the North End. This was my first time at the North End location, having been to the waterfront locale before. The gnocchi simply prepared with tomato sauce, cheese, and basil is the best gnocchi I've ever had. I think I could eat it every day and be happy. Some day I'll branch out and try something else at Strega, but for now it's going to be all gnocchi all the time.

Clockwise top left - MJ on the big screen; My yummy pancakes again; Artwork by Os Gemeos; The gorgeous ICA building
The reason for Mom's visit was because Boston just happened to be a stop on Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour. She loves Cirque (I had never been before) and we both love Michael Jackson's music so this was a must-see. It was just a bizarre and cool as I thought it would be. The show was a combination of acrobatics, dancing, music, and weird stuff (Bubbles the chimp, anyone?) and I think that's exactly how a Cirque show should be!

After brunch on Saturday morning we headed out to the Institute of Contemporary Art. This was my first time visiting the new ICA even though it's been in this location for a few years now. Remember when it used to be on Boylston in the old fire station? Well, this is a much improved version. The building is a work of art in itself and has a gorgeous view of the harbor.

One of the main attractions at the ICA this summer is an exhibit by Os Gemeos, which means The Gemini in Portuguese. The artwork is created by identical twins and being both a twin and a Gemini, this made me quite happy. All of their artwork is mixed media and it's all very colorful. In conjunction with the exhibit, Os Gemeos are painting murals all over the city and I definitely want to see some in person.

Clockwise top left - An Os Gemeos installation that I get yelled at for playing; Neon and neutral; A nice view; Reclaimed charred pieces from an arson that were suspended from the ceiling
A bit of advice - even though when one sees a piano one's first instinct is to play it, do not do this in an art gallery. I thought the above installation with said piano was a free for all situation, but not so much. I played it and quickly got reprimanded by an ICA employee. Oops!

Clockwise top left - a Josiah McElheny chandelier; The greatest tourist attraction in Boston, Quincy Market; Cookies & Cream!
Mom and I were in need of some ice cream after our afternoon of cultural activity. Like all people who don't live here, she loves Quincy Market. I'm pretty sure most people who live in Boston proper or the close surrounding areas can do with NEVER going there. At least not in the summer. It's a sea of tourists and children and just really not for me! But being there for about an hour wasn't so bad. The cookies & cream ice cream didn't hurt either.

I'm really happy to have done some new things in my own city! I'm going to try to work on the others. But maybe not the lobster. Unless someone wants to take it apart for me! 

Do you do touristy things in your own city or stay far, far away?

1 comment:

  1. I'm so with you on whole lobsters. Why on earth would I go through the hassle of breaking it open when I can just order a delicious lobster roll somewhere?

    Your pics have reminded me that I wanted to make it to the aquarium at some point this summer and I still haven't gone. wah!