Saturday, October 27, 2012

Boston Public Garden: Autumn Delights

The Boston Public Garden was created in 1837, adjacent to the much older Boston Commons. It was thought garish at the time, for its brightly colored flowers, but in modern times it certainly garners the lion share of visitors. And although I do love to sneak out for a walk in the Garden when it is piled with snow and icicles, by far my favorite time to see it is Fall. Today, realizing that the predicted "Frankenstorm" that is supposed to hit Boston on Monday will no doubt decimate the last of the leaves, I went for a proper wander. And I wasn't disappointed.



And a hop away from the Garden is the neighborhood of Beacon Hill, possibly one of the most photogenic, oldest, and richest neighborhoods in Boston. Brass street lamps, brightly painted doors, and old brick facades are to be found here, especially on the famous Chestnut street, where people vie in spring to take the iconic photos of flowering trees and old houses. But fall is not bad either, and I happily wandered about.


And I know what you're going to ask next. Bakery Babe, where should I eat in Beacon Hill? My favorite is still Cafe Vanille, a choice that invite anyone to argue with. It is one of the best french-style bakeries in Boston.

So do take a fall ramble, if you have the chance, and stop at Vanille for a slice of chocolate orange gateau. It's deluxe!

Cafe Vanille:
Boston Public Garden:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mt. Auburn Cemetery: Best Walk in Boston

Spoiler Alert: there are no baked goods in this post. But I can't help myself! If you're in Boston during fall and wondering how to spend an afternoon, Mt. Auburn is one of the prettiest and peaceful places to take a walk.

Basically, this is a cemetery that is also a walking park. Founded in 1831 by a Horticultural society, there is no part of Mt. Auburn that isn't packed with beautiful, old trees. In the autumn? Forget about it! There's not nice place to oggle fall leaves, trust me.
And don't be creeped out by the idea of walking through a graveyard. These are beautiful stones from long ago, when people wrote very sentimental things for their loved ones. It is more like a walk through history than creepy.
The only drawback for a bakery babe? You cannot, repeat, CANNOT take a picnic. And there is no cafe at hand to sit and eat goodies whilst gazing out at the park. However, about 5 minutes down Mt. Auburn St. by car or bus you will find Darwin's, one of my favorite sandwich and goody shops. My favorite afternoon involves a walk at Mt. Auburn and then ordering the Mt. Auburn sandwich at Darwin's, followed up by one of their cupcakes.
Curious? Check out the park's website:

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Put on your pink tutu and boogie, Boston!

The Honk! parade sounds like it should be a disaster. Troops of brass bands wandering around Davis Square, honking and squaling with their tubas and trumpets. Not really the kind of thing I'd normally leave the apartment and seek out. But last year I was lucky enough to stumble on the parade by accident, and I was hooked. This event is the ultimate revenge of the band geeks. Bands of musicians get duded up in their best alterna band tutus, buzzy bee tights, rabbit suits...anything goes.

In fact, I knew the Honkers! were in town on Saturday when a man walked by me wearing nothing but black tights with lemonade-yellow underwear on over his tights, clutching his trombone. These peeps didn't come here to march in rank n' file, they came to boogie. Seriously, boogie. Honk, toot, drum like maniacs, and parade like the freak circus just rolled into town. Pictures don't really do it justice to decribe the chaotic cacaphony of twenty brass bands rolling through the square, complete with unicyclists, dancing girls on stilts, and some really cute home-grown kids in Halloween costumes too.

It's so casual that it's less a parade and more of a huge block party. The key difference is that under all those wigs and false eyelashes are some really fine musicians. I mean dang good ones. You will find yourself jumping, wriggling, shaking your booty, and cheering for these marvelous revelling band geeks. They really are special, and I highly recommend that you come check out the Honk! parade the next time they roll through town. Given that it's on the same weekend as Octoberfest, you're not likely to lack for food or frosty beverages to consume whilst the fun goes down.