Jack and I have been spending weekends in Boston for the last few weeks. We rented a condo on Beacon Hill for a month, near where we used to live. We rented the same condo last fall and had a terrific time. Because we're self-employed, we can't just go away for a month. But we did manage to spend nine days there, plus those long weekends. It's more comfortable and cheaper than a hotel. This will be our last weekend there for this trip.
We miss New England so much, but my three nieces and their families live much closer to Philadelphia than to Boston. If I were wealthy, I'd have houses / condos in both locations, but I'm not. So, this will have to do for now (but I still play the lottery and hope!).
It's nice to have a home away from home. Eating out is expensive and because I'm a vegetarian all the time and a vegan 99% of the time, it's sometimes hard for me to find good, satisfying food in restaurants. My husband doesn't eat much flesh, but even he won't eat in restaurants that serve foie gras (diseased duck or goose liver produced by torturing birds), which, sadly, seems to show up on too many menus in Boston and Philadelphia. So, in the condo, we can cook what we like to eat.
We get to see friends we haven't seen for months or years, we walk or take the T (the subway) all over the city, we visit the magnificent Museum of Fine Arts, the Harvard museums, the Gardner Museum, and we enjoy the sea air. We love almost everything about Boston.
There are two wonderful used book stores near the condo. Commonwealth Books has two stores within blocks of each other. I bought an Angela Thirkell book (County Chronicle), four Mary Stewart paperbacks (that look like they've never been read) for a dollar each, and a handful of Phoebe Atwood Taylor's Asey Mayo mysteries in those atmospheric newish paperback editions. I won't mention the other well-known used book store where I bought many, many interesting and fine books back in the 1980's because it's not what it used to be. What a disappointment. But I did buy two books there: a Trollope Society guide to Trollope and a nice little 1901 travel book about Hampshire, England, with intact pull-out maps. I love these old travel books.
There's a wonderful pen store in Boston, Bromfield Pen Shop, also close to the condo we rented. I love fountain pens, ink, notebooks, etc. Jack bought me a black Waterman pen there for Mother's Day and two bottles of Noodler's ink: Walnut and Navajo Turquoise. They have such beautiful colors and lovely bottle labels. I need a different pen for each gorgeous color! My journal is starting to look like a rainbow!
I'll post more photos of our trip to Boston last fall, but I think this is enough for now. Excuse me, but I must go read!