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Country Goes to City

Sunday, March 25, 2007

I am amazed at the things you can eat in Boston. I don't realize how limited my choices are in Marietta until I come to a place like this. Started the day with an almond croissant from Au Bon Pain, an indulgence from my youth. They had a little computer in the restaurant that told you the "nutrition information" (I use that term advisedly with almond croissants) contained in your breakfast choice. 500 calories, 150 grams of fat, and 50 carbs. Yoww! Now, why would they be telling you that? And the dopey thing is: I never eat stuff like that, and I was hungry again--ravenous--by 10:30 AM, when at home I can gulp down a protein shake at 8 AM and be good until 1:30.
While Kris and I were walking, we happened upon Formaggio, a cheese shop I remembered well from college days. It's like a glimpse of old Europe. I have to suppress a huge sigh of nostalgia and longing when I walk into any of these shops. Not that I'd trade skunk tracks in the snow for them, you know, but still...I was ravenous, and it was Sample Day. Oh, I hope they don't notice that I took two little knife fulls of this Stilton and this runny ol' Brie and this divinely goaty whatever-it-is...I could have happily devoured each wheel. Can you tell I'm stuck in a hotel room at 10:16 pm with nothing to eat? Hotel hungry is a different kind of hungry. It's got a special desperation to it. I mean, I could open the little personal snack bar and raid the Godiva chocolates, but the frugal Midwesterner in me just ... can't...do....it....resolve....weakening....why do they do that?
On to more healthful choices. Backing away from the cheese bar, I forged on to Brattle Street's lovely flower shop. Ohhh. A tonic for the winter-weary soul. Bunches of calla lilies


and roses

and orchids and just everything and all smelling of heaven, except for these kind of silly gerberas all lined up like soldiers in their box.As much as I loved the flowers, I loved the message/memo board at Brattle St. Florist even more. There were notes here so old that the writing had faded clean off of them and they were as crispy as potato chips. I bet some of those notes persisted from when I was buying freesias here as a 20-year-old. Love it, love it, love it. Disorder, messiness---this is how you know there are humans running this place.

Just a few yards further up Brattle was a shoe store that had my two brands: Keen and Picolino. Picolinos are made in Spain and happen to be the most beautiful and highly coveted shoes in my world. Little matter that I have seven pairs: there were variations here I had never seen. Go-oo-leee. Buy one, get the second pair half off. Theme for this post: Backing away from temptation. I didn't get any shoes, and I am...not...going..to...raid...the...Godivas........either. Isn't there a Dairy Queen around here somewhere? Should I go out on the streets of Boston alone at night looking for soft serve ice cream? Call room service and have them send up a sundae? Perish the thought. Finally I dig in my backpack until I find a crummy South Beach Diet 100 Calorie Snack Bar left over from our trip to Guatemala. It's squashed, and about as appetizing as a piece of styrofoam dipped in Hershey syrup (you know when they call it Chocolate Delight that it's anything BUT), but it does the trick. Gahh. I am such a loser. In my next life I will order room service, raid the snack bar, eat almond croissants every morning, and be buried in a piano case, clutching a fistful of cut orchids and wearing the prettiest of my 100 pairs of Picolinos.

3 comments:

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I love this post! I live just over an hour away from Boston and I always feel like the country mouse visiting the big city when we go :) Temptation at every corner setting off a fierce internal battle between Yankee frugality and sensory overload. Mike's Pastries is where I give in. A box of florentines and a cup of strong coffee while double parked in front of the bench full of old Italian gentlemen does it for me.

this sounds like a wonderful vacation, but NOT buying those shoes is a crime!They are the top of comfort and style at the same time, which doesn't happen often:)

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