About Me

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Hello! Welcome to my online travel-food-life journal/virtual scrapbook. I am a poet, playwright, journalist, editor and basic jack-of-all-trades writer. I was born in El Salvador and raised in Minnesota. I have just returned home from a year and a half in South Africa.

19 March 2013

Boston 1: MFA, Fenway, Walk & Chinatown

So, a couple of weeks ago Aaron and I went to one of my favorite cities ever, ever, ever: Boston!

I went to Harvard as an undergrad -- which I don't think I've ever talked about on this blog.  It always seemed an odd thing to mention amidst bread recipes and lion sightings.  I have lots to say about going to Harvard, but I think I'll just save that for another post.  Sufficed to say for now that it was -- and still is -- a complex experience.  But whatever my Harvard life was like, I always adored Boston.  I loved it from the time my sister (who lived in New York City) took me to visit colleges there the summer between junior and senior year.  In fact, I loved it so much that I only applied to schools in Boston!  Crazy, now that I think of it.  

And what drew me as a 16-year-old still draws me hhhmmmmlalala years later: being able to walk and walk and walk and always see something interesting; great public transportation; the huge range of cuisines; the mix of high-brow and down-home cultures; and more than anything, the history that you can see, feel and touch all around you.

The first few days I was attending the AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) annual conference.  It's essentially the biggest writer's conference in the country, and I was there to perform/present at one of the panels on behalf of The Loft.  I don't have any pics of the conference itself cuz I'm a loser, but it was a fantastic conference -- got to meet amazing writers, get some very sound, practical advice and was left open-mouthed by some of the poets who performed.

Aaron then joined me and we had a jam-packed 4 days of enjoying the city.  It was really special to me to be able to share Boston with him -- it is the place where I began to grow into the woman I was to become and I wanted to take him to all my favorite spots, my favorite restaurants and -- oh hell -- I guess revisit my misbegotten youth.

First up was the Museum of Fine Arts:


Much like the Harvard experience, I could say a great deal about my conflicted feelings about museums.  Of course they serve a hugely important role in preservation and education, but the politics of repatriating (or not) national treasures, etc. always bugs me.  Still, it is a stellar collection, brilliantly curated that spans from modern weavings to Mayan masterpieces to Monets and so much more.  If you have only 2 days in Boston, take one whole day just for the museum, it's that stellar.





Amid all the treasures like the Olmec mask above and the rows of Velazquez paintings and such, I found what I think was the most hilarious thing I have ever seen in a museum:




YES!  A good museum trip is never complete without copulating rats, I say.

Then, a beer break:


Those are blueberries in my beer! (That's the awesome Bunker Hill Bluebeery Ale at the Boston Beer Works.)

And post-beer, what are you gonna do?  Go to Fenway Park of course!



Aaron is a huge baseball fan, so he had a blast standing on top of the "Green Monster."


And there's me reliving my journalism days in the press box:


Then we took a really long walk through the heart of the city:


This is what I love about Boston; look at that gorgeous old architecture right smack dab between glass and steel.  No other American city does it better.



We were exhausted -- and famished -- by the time we hit Chinatown:


We ended up eating at Hei La Moon, which a friend from college who still lives in Boston recommended.  It is Hong Kong food at its best!


We staggered home to the studio we rented to get some sleep, rest our weary feet and get ready for even more intense walking the next day ...

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