I had never been to Boston.
That truth seemed absurd to me seeing as how I'm from outside of Baltimore. Boston isn't that far away. Plenty of Red Sox fans have crashed Camden Yards for the span of a single baseball game, so why hadn't I made it up there before?
Finally, after all of these years, I planned a trip up to Boston to visit my brother's lovely girlfriend, Lili, before she graduates from BU Medical School and moves back to LA.
I took a BUNCH of photographs of Boston, so I'm breaking this trip into a 2 parter.
Essentially, we ate and walked our way through the city.
Naturally, I ate pizza (not pictured, sorry- I dropped the ball of that one) and a cannoli. Boston has incredible Italian food.
We also ate Thai food and Venezuelan food. I was already a fan of Thai food, but eating at Orinoco was a first for me; I'd never had Venezuelan cuisine before. The verdict is: delicious. Seriously great cheese. Orinoco imports their cheese from Venezuela because you can't get it here. I will be dreaming about that cheese.
As an added benefit, Orinoco has a bit of the secret "locals only" look to it, which I love.
The entire city is made of brick.
Really and truly, I have never seen so much brick in a single space. The buildings are made of brick, some sidewalks are made of brick, and even a few streets are completely brick.
It's very pretty and quintessentially New England.
Lili lives in the South End, but we walked both the South End and the (more famous) North End.
The North End is the Historic side of Boston and the home to Little Italy.
According to my source (Lili), the South End used to be the rough, low-rent side of town, but in recent years it has really improved. The South End also happens to be home to the Boston Medical Center, hence why Lili lives there. As an interesting factoid, also courtesy of Lili, Boston has 70 hospitals/health centers within its limits.
In case you don't understand, that's a crap ton.
And Boston also has an incredible amount of colleges and universities.
BU, BC, Northeastern, Tufts, and Harvard to name a few. And to think, we Trojans (USC) and our rival Bruins (UCLA) like to think that LA isn't big enough for the two of us.
I got to attend BU's celebratory gala for the Class of 2014 as Lili's guest. It was a rather fancy affair complete with multi-course table service, open bar and even a silly photo booth, all held at the Taj Hotel. It was a celebration for the Medical School's class of 2014, but it was also a part of their alumni weekend, complete with a few alumnus awards and speeches.
It turned out to be a lot of fun.
As events with open bars and excellent food often are.
*I was being sincere when I referred to the photo booth as "silly." They provided props.*
That would be me in the fuzzy pink zebra santa hat.