Thursday, May 26, 2011

Jamaica Plain: Leila

When I was a tiny bean all I wanted was long hair like a princess.

Oh and to be a bride. Let's clarify that I didn't want to get married. I just wanted to wear a poofy white dress and have people look at me.

Anywho, I had hair that was curly and tangley and all in all, a pain for my poor Momsies. When she would brush my hair, I would cry and scream, "YOU ARE HURTING ME ON PURPOSE." So she cut it all off. I remember when I got the above haircut, I told my mom I was never going to school again. But she bought me a pink sparkly headband and, of course, all was forgiven, and off I went to school. But I never forgot the long hair I so wanted.

So, when I got into college, I grew it out.

But let's be honest. My long hair was as much of as hassle for me as it was for my poor Momsies. 

Enter this woman.

Doesn't she look like a moviestar? Cause she kind of is.

She turned this


into this

God she is brilliant.

On the day I got my hair cut, I went around the salon yelling, "I AM THE MOST ATTRACTIVE PERSON IN THE WORLD." Everyone seemed entertained. Which is probably because it was just so true.

Leila is not only the best, most talented hair stylist in the world, but she is quite possibly the coolest person ever too. She is super smart and beautiful and fun. She loves her family A LOT, and she loves Glee. She even owns Glee Karaoke and sometimes, when I am getting my haircuts we watch Glee videos. She also loves Adele. Duh. Cause Adele is also awesome.

One time, when I was going through a rough patch, I pretty much cried the entirety of my hair appointment, and Leila was SUPER AWESOME about it. Duh. Cause she is awesome.

Lelila cuts hair at Station 8 salon, which is about a 10 minute walk from my house. And then after I get my haircut I always go to brunch at Centre Street Cafe and my favorite guy gives me a hug and then it is the best day ever. 

Would these days be so great if my hair stylist were not so talented? Would these days be so great if my hair stylist didn't style hair at a salon in Jamaica Plain?

Well. I just don't know.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jamaica Plain: Jamaica Pond

Jamaica Pond is about 2 blocks from my house. It is 1.6 miles around. It has a gazebo and a little tiny boathouse. And in the middle of the pond is a tiny tangle of land and trees where geese hang out when families aren't feeding them bread, or they aren't chasing me down the sidewalk. The geese. Not the families. 

Just last week, while talking with Besties, a goose started chasing me. I, of course, screamed and ran, not thinking about the fact that I am twice the height and about 10 times the weight of that beaked creature, not thinking about the fact that geese have flat teeth so the worst that goose could've done would be to pinch me. But I might be allergic to goose bites. I don't know cause I've never been bitten.

If you walk around Jamaica Pond on a sunny day, you see a dog about every 5 seconds. And all the owners are friendly and talkative so you can pet lots of dogs and talk with lots of nice people. When I was training for a 5K, I realized the pond is almost EXACTLY 5 kilometers if you go around twice. I did that once. I think it was the one time I really hated that fucking pond.

I remember going running the day after easter when the pond had flooded and covered the sidewalks and trees that lined the water. 

One winter, Amy, Jan and I went sledding on a hill by the pond. One person would sled, another person would take pictures, and the third would wait at the bottom of the hill to jump onto the person sledding if it looked like they were going to sled into the frozen water.

Amy almost sledded into the pond but I SAVED HER!

Also that afternoon, we saw the most beautiful sunset EVER.

Then there is the Lantern Fesitval. You can buy a lantern making kit at City Feed for a couple weeks before the fesitval, but you can also buy one pre-made once you get to the pond. The lanterns are made of recycled 2 liter soda bottles and tissue paper (in true JP style).

Once you light your lantern you take a walk around the pond, so when you look across the water, you see all these little lights. It's like there are stars across the pond. Little, moving stars. MAGIC.

Jan, Sara and I all went one year.

I ate a delicious empananda and Sara and I shared a homemake apple cider.

Then we went to Same Old Place and got pizza and beer.

Just last week, Jan and I rode our bikes around the pond. When I move to Belmont I will be close(ish) to Fresh Pond. But does Fresh Pond have a lantern festival? Is Fresh Pond within walking distance of the ORIGINAL J.P.Licks? IS FRESH POND IN JP? I didn't think so.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Jamaica Plain: City Feed

When I first moved to JP I thought it was called "City Feed and Seed." I thought that was such a funny name cause it sounded like a farm store. To be honest "City Feed and Supply" sounds equally cattle-y, but I liked the name a little bit more when it involved seeds.

City Feed has delicious sandwiches and miraculously overpriced groceries. But the draw of City Feed is the two block proximity to my house and the cast of hipsters who work there. Elizabeth and I recently distinguised between "hipsters" and "douchesters." A hipster is a clean hippy. They are usually pretty crunchy. They buy their clothes at thrift stores and compost their food scraps. "Douchesters" buy their clothes at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters. They are pretentious and snobby about their wolf sweaters and obscure bands that no one has ever heard of because they aren't any good. 

Lucky for all of us, the former works at City Feed. Everyone there is so friendly and lovely. They also have the most delicious coffee called "Mind, Body and Soul." Isn't that a nice name? The BEST THING about the coffee though is the cream. I use half and half at home because I just can't bring myself to purchase a quart of anything with the word "heavy" in the name, but the label on the cannister at City Feed just says, "Cream," so I can delude myself it is not as heavy. OH GOD IT IS DELCIOUS. And they have honey water. You heard me: HONEY. WATER. You can sweeten your coffee with honey freaking water. Also you can get a bagel with Tofu cream cheese which is the BALLS. Also, they sell Iggy's bagels which are the most delicious bagels ever. They also have lots of fancy cheeses AND a resident cheese expert. One of the guys behind the counter once told Penny and I how to bake cheese into a pie crust. It wasn't hard, but still he shared that. 

I bought the most beautiful mug at City Feed.

I also bought the most beautiful T-shirt at City Feed.

This morning, while walking down Seaverns Ave (which is how I walk to the T when I stop at City Feed in the morning) I thought, "how lovely the world is."

One time on Seaverns Ave I heard this strange beautiful sound in the morning stillness which turned out to be a flag rubbing against itself. It was like a nylon whisper. It was so magical. Walking down the street, drinking my coffee with cream and honey water in my reusable mug, with a bagel with tofu cream cheese in my bag, alive and in the world...

It seems when listed a lot of the things I love about JP are food related, but to be honest I love it for that moment. For morning stillness and nylon whispers and hipsters (not douchesters) and real cream.

I was at the JP J.P. Licks once and noticed that at the Coolidge Corner J.P. Licks they had more choices for Non-Fat Frozen Yogurts, and at the JP J.P. Licks they had more real ice cream flavors. This makes sense to me. Cause people who live in JP appreciate deliciousness. Cause JP is delicious. 

And, yes, I'm crying about it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Jamaica Plain: The Culinary Edition

In one week I will moving away from my beloved Jamaica Plain. Today was actually my last Monday commuting via the Orange and Red Lines. Let's be honest. This is one thing I will not miss. I am SO SICK of riding the Orange Line. There was a shady ass dude on it last night: he kept crossing and uncrossing his legs, moving his bag on and off his lap, zipping and unzipping it, culminating in a strange process of consuming 3 tablespoons of cough syrup. But this is neither here nor there.

You all know I love Jamaica Plain more than any place in all the world. And so, to mark my departure from a neighborhood so close to my heart, I am going to highlight the different things I love in JP this week.
The Purple Cactus

 Ah, the Purple Cactus. My go-to dinner when I don't want to cook (which is a lot). I go in there so frequently that the gentleman who works the register at night can read my moods. "You are yawning tonight. Did you fall asleep on the bus again?" Sometimes he would predict my order. The Purple Cactus is the place I go where everyone knows my name. It is my Cheers. When I first moved to JP, only lesbians worked at the Purple Cactus. Penny and I called the burritos "Gayrittos." You can imagine that this made me feel even more at home. Sadly it is now run solely by heterosexual men. And though I should probably be occupying the space of heterosexual men more frequently than I do, I prefer my burritos like I prefer my sweatpants: given to me by lesbians.


 I would eat Indian Food everyday of my life, for every meal. I want to marry an Indian man so he can cook me Indian food, and his mother can teach me how to cook my own Indian food for when my husband goes out of town. I want to eat mint chutney on everything. I want veggie pakora as the appetizer to every meal. Including breakfast. I want to eat veggie pakora with mint chutney before I eat my peanut butter toast.

Centre Street Cafe

I love brunch. It is hands down the meal of all meals. First of all, it is implied that you eat it after sleeping in as you don't eat brunch until around 11am. Perfect. Centre Street has amazing brunch. Local ingredients, fast, cheap. Their pancakes and waffles are freaking AMAZING, and they make killer black beans. I love their coffee and how they have soy milk sitting out so you don't have to ask for it. I love that the place is tiny and that you have to wait outside to get seated. But to be honest  the best part of Centre Street is my favorite guy.

My favorite guy does not know my name, but he always gives me a hug while I am waiting in line to get seated. My favorite guy once talked to my girlfriends and me for about 15 minutes about how hard it is to explain to girls when you want to be just friends. My favorite guy once forgot Jan's cheese grits, so he gave her the grits for free and then gave her a back massage. My favorite guy once asked me how my pancake was, and when I told him it was delicious, he brought me another one. Just because. My favorite guy always wears a Neil Diamond T-shirt, a backwards hat and carries a Shakira barbie doll in his back pocket. I once saw my favorite guy in City Feed, and it was like seeing a celebrity. It was last summer. He was buying charcoal. I sure will miss my favorite guy. I wonder if he will remember me when I come back to JP for brunch. I hope so. I like hugs. And I'm hoping someday he'll forget something I order so I can get a back rub.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Woody's Grill and Tap

So, I moved to Boston in 2004 to attend the Boston Conservatory (of Ass). No lie, I hate that fucking place. But it was worth it to give them slightly less than a billion dollars in order to meet some of my favorite and specialist people in all the world.

My Soul Twin

My Biscuit

My Jan

Well, tonight the four of us are meeting at our old grad school stomping ground, Woody's Grill and Tap.

Woody's was the first place I ever drank green beer. It was in the alley of Woody's where I first smoked some "funny stuff" (as Dee would say). It was walking home from Woody's where I first realized that when I drink too much I fall over. Oh the memories.

Drunk Memory 1:

 So we had to be in choir in grad school, and because I was KIND OF a diva (can you imagine it? Me self-centered and dramatic?) I kind of hated it. So the night of one of our concerts I got all dolled up and met some friends for pre-concert drinks (4 drinks to be specific). When I stopped by my house to pick up my music, I thought, "I'm not wearing enough teal eye shadow." So I put on more. This was the result.


Drunk Memory 2:

My first year at Tanglewood my dear friend Gretchen was a piano teacher at BUTI. One night, we walked from her house to a local bar, got plastered and then walked back. On our way back we laid on a stranger's lawn because the stars were just so beautiful and quoted the e.e. cummings poem "i carry your heart" ("this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart"). Then we went back to her house, and I fell asleep in her bed. I had a dream that I was in a very ornate bathroom in a Chinese garden. The bathroom was painted red, and there were ferns everywhere. I REALLY had to pee, but I just couldn't. When I finally did, I woke up and realized I was peeing myself. In my friends bed. Great. Luckily, I didn't pee very much. It only got on me, not on her bed. Is this too much information? Probably.

There is no picture to accompany this story. You're welcome.

Drunk Memory 3:

When we would get drunk, my friend Joel would always try to make out with me because it made me so amazingly uncomfortable. He would also speak to me in Italian. If I was as smart then as I am now, I would've just called his bluff and made out with him, but alas. Live and learn.

To bring it full circle, grad school was not any less fun because I can't remember half of it. And though I don't drink hardly at all anymore, I am glad I got to get drunk and stupid while I could. I am also glad that, bearing in mind all the ridiculously stupid things I did while drunk, Soul Twin, Biscuit and My Jan are still my friends.

Holla, bitches!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hot Pink Tights

Well, hello. 

It's been a while. And whose fault is that? I could blame this man for actually having me do work during the day.

But mostly it was this that was occupying most of my time.

And a lot of this...

BUT! I am back. And I love MORE. THINGS. THAN. EVER.

So, it's fall again. We bypassed most of spring and all of summer and it's fall. Lucky for me that according to the retail calendar is actually summer, so lots of glorious fall apparel is on sale. Hence my 5 DOLLAR PAIR OF PINK TIGHTS.

This picture does not exaggerate. That is how pink my tights are. They are so beautiful that I wish I were more flexible so I could lick my own legs. That sounds strange, but I don't care. If there were a candy as delicious as the color of these freaking tights I would eat it every day of my life. I am pretty sure that this pink is the color of my soul. I am pretty sure that anyone who sees me wearing these pink tights today will have their lives changed by their glory. 

There is only one problem with these tights.
There are two things I really hate in the world.

1. Spanx. 

I would rather be lumpy than have to wear those fucking things. Every time I wear them I take them off in 30 minutes. Because who wants their insides squashed by super tight elastic? NO ONE. Bring on the cellulite. Bring on the back fat. A misogynistic jerkwad invented Spanx and I refuse to ever give that jerkwad a penny of my money ever again.

2. Control Top pantyhose. 

They're like Spanx with feets. Somebody kill me. And yes, my hot pink tights have control top. Which annoys me. But I stretched them out this morning before putting them on and am hoping if I wear them long enough they will cease to control my top. MY TOP WANTS TO BE FREE.

As a side note, today I drank two large cups of coffee. My hands and eyeballs are shaking.

The. End.