Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day in Boston

Dave was at an internal medicine conference in sunny San Diego over the weekend, and Chen was visiting medical schools, so Sisi and I decided to get together for a day in Boston. I am happy to say that, as I needed to do city driving, I did not kill anyone, and it only knocked a few years off my life from the stress. Boston drivers really are terrifying.

Since I am generally antisocial, and the idea of going to bars for fun makes me break out in hives, we decided to get dinner and watch a movie at her apartment. Sisi has been living in Boston for two years now and knows lots of really good, really cheap places to eat, which is perfect for someone who works 18 hours a week (ie me).

We ordered dinner from Genki Ya - one of the highest rated restaurants on Yelp! in her part of Boston. It is usually really busy and if you want to eat there you'll have to wait in line, but if you order take out you get your food immediately, and it is a lot cheaper. You get an automatic discount for ordering online, in addition to being able to order from the lunch menu all day. We each got the 3 roll lunch special, which includes a salad and a large bowl of miso soup, all for about $12.50. I got the spicy salmon roll (that and spicy tuna are staples for me, though at this place I felt that Sisi's spicy tuna was the better choice), a tempura mushroom roll (new for me, and very good) and a honey roll. I got the latter because it was an entirely new concept to me, and I like trying new things. Rather than including any honey, it consisted of avocado, sweet potato and banana. It was as close to a desert roll as sushi gets, and it was awesome.

While we had been waiting for our order, we went to the Brookline Booksmith, which is about 3 blocks down the street. The entire basement of this bookstore is all used, and I was delighted to find a copy of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere for $4. It is rare to find his work in used bookstores, because no one ever really wants to get rid of them. I am slowly building my collection.

After dinner we found a place to park my car overnight. This is extremely difficult to do, as most street parking is reserved for residents only. The hotel parking lot I had used in the past is now reserved for hotel guests only, so I ended up parking in a gas station. The proprietor allows parking for $15 per night, and only during hours when the station is closed. The "ticket" I was given to put on my dash was really just a piece of receipt paper with an unreadable word on it. Definitely the most ghetto parking experience of my life. It was actually difficult to park, I was laughing so hard.

We went back out after that and got Pinkberry, because that is one of my favorite things in the whole world and if I am even in the general vicinity of one, I must go. Pinkberry is my crack, people. We also spent about an hour and a half in a Newbury Comics, and I am proud (you have no idea how much willpower it took) to say I didn't buy anything. I had allotted myself $60 for the trip, not including gas, and I wanted to have enough left for food the next day. I did see a million things I wanted though: cheap DVDs, a cool wallet (I desperately need a new one, if anyone is looking for a birthday present idea :D ) and an eraser shaped like a SEAL! So cute. For real though, that wallet is a must. I've had my awesomely weird plastic one for almost four years now, and it is really starting to show its age. Rebound Designs is one of the coolest online shops I've ever seen - she makes purses and wallets from old book covers. I'd kill for a Stardust or Princess Bride wallet. Anyway.

When Sisi and I finally got back to her apartment, we used some weird Chinese facial masks she had, because this was supposed to be a girl's night, damn it! She had a bunch of different kinds - I went with the odd smelling moister renewal, and she tried the eye-puffiness reduction one. We just ended up looking like Jason Voorhees and Robin. Not the greatest look ever.

While we moisturized, we watched the fun but utterly illogical The Next Three Days. I love Russell Crowe, and it was really cool seeing him in a movie where he isn't a total badass - he is just a regular guy trying to break his wife out of a maximum security prison. Entertaining, sure, but if you are looking for a movie about what it is really like to escape from prison, watch Papillon. It has Steve McQueen in it and it's a true story. What other reasons do you need?

We got up really early so I could move my car before the gas station opened (hahaha!) and we went to Chinatown for lunch. I, naturally, wanted dim sum, so we went to Hei La Moon. It is a fairly traditional dim sum restaurant - huge room (I think there are two floors, actually), lots of Chinese people giving me, the only white person, funny looks, and women with carts. Solid food for a reasonable price.

That's about it for that weekend. Easter weekend we will be in NYC to see Lady freaking Gaga (!!!!!) so I will have more non-Maine food to talk about then.

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