Category Archives: boston celebrities

And it opened up my eyes

I was in my room the other night re-arranging my match collection when I heard something really beautiful: a woman was walking down my street, possibly drunk and loudly singing “The Sign.” It was an amazing experience. Like “Truly, Madly, Deeply” and Robyn’s “Show Me Love,” “The Sign”  is a song that deserves our attention and adoration, and should be played loudly at 7am on a Friday morning while one rubs ice cubes on one’s eyelids and fake contemplates ironing their shirt. (I am also excited to announce my new blog feature, of which this is the first installment: throw-back song Fridays, or just, really amazing song Fridays!)

Like most people born in the mid-1980s, Ace of Base changed my life for the better. And I must give a shout-out to my stepmother, who took me to the Dartmouth Mall in fourth grade and in the same glorious afternoon bought me both a pair of suede navy blue Puma’s at Foot Locker and the Ace of Base CD from Strawberries Music. (Did we also go to the food court for Taco Bell? That might have been too much joy.) I can’t recall what I had for lunch on Wednesday, but I so remember walking on that dirty mall floor, staring at my new kicks as I clutched my plastic-wrapped CD and thought, “So this is what it means to be cool—Pumas and an Ace of Base CD. Life, I’ve made it!”

Of course, it’s all been downhill since that moment, but the beautiful spirit of youtube never fails to amaze me:

A few thoughts after viewing:

1. How does this video only have 67,000 views? I am ashamed of our country.

2. When are extra-large pleather vests going to come back in style for women?

3. So much making out in the 90s! I am sheepish!

4. (Wait, these lyrics are actually really deep….)

omg what should the song be next Friday…? TRL me!
I’m praying for Tommy Gisele!!!

xo

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The waitress at Red Bones was a vegetarian…?

Awhile back now, my friend Leandra came to visit me from NYC. Leandra and I lived in the same apartment senior year of college. Most of my memories of that time in our lives are traumatic: they involve staring into the empty bottoms of jumbo-sized bag of Stacey’s Pita Chips, watching instructional dance videos to Soulja Boy as thesis’ sit neglected on our desks, and asking Lee for her soothsaying advice whenever I received a text message at two in the morning that said something really hard to decipher, like, “u awake.”

But what does it mean, Lee? Does the absence of a question mark in this text mean that he wants to take me out to a romantic dinner tomorrow night and ask me about the meaning of human existence?

I don’t know, Care…maybe, but, uh, did you eat all the hummus again? I really need some hummus….

So yes, I was very excited about her trip. It’s always fun to be around a friend who you can sit next to in silence while eating Fruity Pebbles and feel perfectly happy. Also, Leandra is a pretty major foodie (foodie; what a stupid word) and lover of treats—she works at Serious Eats (major cool food website) and writes a blog about, you guessed it, FOOD—so I knew the trip was going to be wonderful in general, because it gave me a great excuse to get off my ‘arse and explore the city a bit. And like a ten-year-old saving up for her second Puppy Surprise (yeah, I still played with Barbies until I was a junior in high school), I had a stash of cash hidden beneath a pile of old tank-tops in my bureau, just to make sure I could fully enjoy our weekend together when she came. Did somebody say egg benedicts and manicures!! I say no to nothing!!

We had a ball. It was like the First Wives Club movie all weekend long, when they’re all wearing white power suits and dancing on the tops of chairs. Leandra wrote all about it on her blog here. (Take a loook.) We began our trip by hitting up Beacon Hill for breakfast and manicures on Saturday (I enjoy me some Town Nails in the basement off of Charles Street: minus points for all their US Weekly’s being five years old; bonus point for the manicures being faaaaabulous), followed by lunch and treats in the North End, followed by my inaugural trip to Red Bones in Somerville (my boyfriend’s version of DisneyLand), followed by another inaugural trip, this time to Flour, in the South End. (So many inaugurations in one weekend! I even wore this hat the entire time!) And because I had spent all week mentally preparing for the trip, I was able to put down food with Leandra like we did in our glory days of college, when every trip we took to the dining hall turned into a competitive eating contest. (“Well, I mean, do you want to go home and eat Doritos or are you going to get fro-yo?” “Fro-yo, duh, and I’m going to mix Cap’ N’ Crunch, granola and hot fudge in it.” “Well, I’m going to do the same, and then I’m going to eat a Belgian waffle.” “Fine.” “Fine.”) So yeah, it was amazing. But due to the situation at Monica’s and Modern Pastry pre-Red Bones, I couldn’t muster up the courage to order ribs by myself, and Lee and I had to split a plate of pulled-pork together. But it was some pretty good pulled-pork. (According to my boyfriend, eating anything besides a small breakfast at least eight hours before entering Red Bones is a “rookie mistake,” and we had sort of blown it. And, yes, he really talks like that. During the Final Four, I think I heard him say “punch their ticket to the big dance” about twelve times in one night.) But it’s fine. I’m clearly just going to have to go back.

Which brings me to Flour. The only thing I knew about the place was from my life-changing experience with Ms. Chang’s home-made oreos, but I knew Leandra couldn’t leave Boston without trying one. And I was confident the rest of Flour’s food would live up to the hype. And it did. The three of us got there around eleven a.m. on Sunday. The place was way too crowded, but I suppose that’s part of the Flour experience, and the extra time in line gave us plenty of minutes to oogle at cinnamon buns and over-order. Here are some photos I took at the shop below. They capture the deliciousness of the donuts and OREO COOOOOKIES; Leandra’s infectious energy and beauty (in her blog post, she conveniently left out the fact that the men at Monica’s started hitting on her the moment we entered the sub shop on Saturday. I go in that place all the time and attempt lame banter about the Bruins as I purchase goat cheese, and am routinely shot down with awkward silences and “take your sub and get outta here” looks. But they took one glance at Lee’s sexy Italian style, heard that throaty Long Island voice, and she was already getting the credit card look-over, followed by “So, uh, where you from Leandra?” and “Come back in and visit us soon, Leandra.” I was like, ‘Come back and visit us soon, Leandra‘? I always visit you guys! It’s over!) Anyhow, I digress. Here are the photos, and, also, my boyfriend’s dimple. (Thankfully, he still likes me, even if Leandra and I made it over to Ernesto’s a measly two hours after our Flour trip…)

Do yourself a favor and try really hard to eat one of these oreos before the day ends.

Next stop: making Leandra come back so we can try Toscanini’s ice cream. I’ve never had it before….

xo

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Gisele in Beacon Hill!

Okay, not really. But this girl totally looks like a supermodel to me…

xoxo

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Books, Boston, and Learning Stuff I Should Already Know.

In my post the other day about Optimist Freak’s birthday, I wrote about my love of the Brookline Booksmith, that shining wonder of good book smell, creaky wooden floors, over-priced greeting cards, and “Tim recommends!” signs. (Tim works at the Booksmith, and he writes in green marker and recommends Ann Beattie’s “The New Yorker Stories.” I like Tim.) Still, the Booksmith is a very dangerous place for me. All bookstores are, but the smaller ones, like BB—with its’ giant clearance tables filled with journals and do-dad cross-word puzzles and faux-vintage copies of “Lord of the Flies”—are just the absolute worst. One second I’m wandering aimlessly down the street pretending to be both Florence from Florence and the Machine and Blake Lively (during a pillowfight; they’re best friends, natch), and the next minute I’m standing amid a bunch of paper, convincing myself that a giant book on the history of Beat poetry is a must-have for $10.99  (I am very edgy), and why would someone in their right mind ever pass up a biography of Sojourner Truth for $7.00, and seriously, a collection of  the best “New Yorker” Cat cartoons from the 1980s for only twelve bucks?!? Thirty dollars later, I’m like, “Oh shit, MORE CLUTTER. Plus, actually I hate cats….” But it’s a high, you know? Libraries are great, and all, but you can’t get high there. Also, there’s nothing smug about them. Returnable books with shiny wrappers on them just do not look as good leaning against your bedroom wall.

But anyhoo, I got a book at the Booksmith that day I’m really glad I dropped the six bucks for, and I think you should read it, hence the reason for this post. It’s called “How Lincoln Learned To Read: Twelve Great Americans And The Educations That Made Them”, and among other things, it’s reminding me of how bad-ass Boston is. I’m only through the first two “Great Americans” in the essay collection (Ben as in Franklin, and Nabby as in Abigail Smith, aka Adams), and already I feel I’ve learned so much about the events that have shaped this city, and our country, and all in places that I walk through every day! It’s very cool. (And yes, I have forgotten everything I ever learned in high school/college, so if you’re not one of those people, screw you.) The author of the book, Daniel Wolff, is a historian who is actually entertaining, and the way he forces you to think about these beloved historical figures as curious, up-to-no-good children—instead of such pre-formed, untouchable, adults—is really awesome. (Also, being normal is clearly over-rated.)

And it’s all got me thinking about something I’ve wanted to write about for a while: I need Boston-based book advice! Now that I live here, I feel sort of sheepish walking around and not knowing more about the statues and signs I see, especially when I know I really should, since, uh…I JUST SHOULD. For instance, I took this photo today without really thinking much about it, other than the fact that in the moment it caught my eye, and then I’m reading the plaque, and I’m, like, what do I really know (besides some vague b.s.) about the history of Irish immigrants in Boston? I mean, once I wrote a paper in sixth grade about the potato famine, and I was really into JFK as a ten-year-old, but that’s not really going to cut it…

So once I get through my current read, I would love some suggestions, in anything ranging from non-fiction to historical fiction, from colonial Boston, to books about local sports; I’m sure there is plenty of good N.E. stuff out there. I don’t tend to get a lot of responses on my blog, so I’m hoping for some good comments and feed-back! (Quick disclaimer: I’m all about Plimouth Plantation, but I could not get through Nathanial Philbrick’s “Mayflower,” so, hopefully nothing that dense? (Was that book dense? No? Just me?) Also, I’ve heard that Anthony Luke’s “Common Ground” is a great read, so if anyone has any thoughts on that one, let me know.

Oh my gawd kid, a interwebs book club about Bahstan! Fack!

(Wait, but, really…)

xo

PS: The artist Robert Shure did the sculptures for the memorial. They are beautiful.

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Me Love the Movies

Nothing makes me quite as happy as walking through the park on a freezing winter night, knowing that I will soon be inside the warm and magical world of AMC Loews Boston Common, spending all my pocket money (eh…) on popcorn and a blue slushie. Truly, this image warms my heart.

The AMC Loews Boston Common Cinema holds many memories for me: it’s where my boyfriend and I had one of our first dates. (Well, it was more like a “hang-out”, let’s be honest. Also, we saw Revolutionary Road that day, probably the worst movie in the history of mankind you could possibly EVER see on a first date. People of the opposite sex—or really anyone who is romantically interested in any sex or human being or the idea of love and happiness—should never see that movie together.) And this theatre is where I ran into David Spade when he was in town shooting Grown-Ups awhile back, and when I say I “ran into” him, I literally turned the corner with my popcorn on my into The Hangover, and bumped into David Spade. He was chilling in his leather coat and talking to the six-foot tall blonde supermodel lookin’ lady at his side, and all I could squeak out into his face was a whisper of, “Oh my god…it’s David Spade.” Sadly, that was the only thing I could think to say. He was like, “Yeah…it is,” (big smirk) and kept walking.

But really, who cares about David. This giant movie food display is my favorite part about this theatre, and it never laughs in my face or hangs out with supermodels!  Instead, it makes me feel like a tiny cool ant who goes to the movies all the time, and it reminds me of one of my favorite movies ever: Honey, I Shrunk The Kids.

Giant popcorn=sigh….

(And if it’s true that these displays are all over Loews country-wide, I don’t wanna hear it—this is a special movie theatre god-dammit!)

Oh, and True Grit was awesome, right? King’s Speech Schmings Smeech.

Hope everyone is staying warm.

xo

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She’s from Cambridge!!!!

Doesn’t Mindy look so beautiful? (This is at the S.A.G. awards. Her glow is clearly from all those time she waited on the platform at Harvard and stared down the oncoming trains, wondering, “Ashmont?” or “Braintree?”)

So, yeah, Mindy grew up in Cambridge. Went to BB&N. Then to Dartmouth. Apparently this is all old news:

Whatever, I’m still excited. SUPER-EXCITED. Guys, we’re all practically BFF with Mindy!!! Yay for Tuesday!

xo

Claire

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