Friday, June 28, 2013

lazy days.

The weather isn't looking too promising this weekend in Boston, but as eager as I am to explore, I'd also love to just sleep in, eat breakfast in bed, and read all afternoon (I'm currently on a Ron Rash kick). This chilly, foggy weather just brings out the lazy in me.

If things clear up, we'll probably check out the SoWa Market, find a dog park for Muni, drive up to Rockport, and do some al fresco dining in Cambridge. If not, you'll know where to find me.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

when the lights go down in the city...

I've only been working from home a week, but I've already learned that I get a little stir-crazy after too many hours in the house — especially when it's in the 90s and we don't have air conditioning. When I wrap up my work, the last thing I want to do is sit on my couch and watch TV. Luckily we have a lot of exploring to do. 

Tuesday night we spontaneously headed into the heart of the city as the sun was setting. We ate tapas and split a pitcher of sangria, then went to the bar at the top of the Prudential building, pretending to buy drinks while we stole a peek at the view. 

And then two giant rats ran across my feet on posh Newbury Street. Rats or no rats, I love a city at night, don't you?

Friday, June 21, 2013

summer to-do list.

Newport, Rhode Island, 2007.

Making a to-do list is probably a very un-summery thing to do, but I like to have goals, no matter what time of year it is. Here are some things I've got on my list for the next few months. What about you?
  •  Go to a Red Sox game.
  • Take the train to Cape Cod and bike all over the place.
  • Find some good Mexican food in Boston (does it exist?).
  • Spend the Fourth eating clam chowder, drinking cider, and walking along the cliffs of Newport.
  • Familiarize myself with the T — and ride it solo.
  • Get published in a handful of Boston publications. 
  • Expand Copy Cat Editorial Services.
  • Set up the guest room and entertain lots of visitors.
  • Learn to use the grill like a pro.
  • Take advantage of the city's summer concerts (many of which are free).

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

helloooo boston.

Mothers will probably want to slap me for saying this, but I think moving is a little bit like childbirth. It really, really sucks, but once you get to where you're going, you forget about all of the packing and cleaning and driving, and you're just happy with your new baby ... er ... city.

We ended up renting a place that we hadn't even seen in person, so it was a bit of a surprise when we arrived. The previous tenants hadn't cleaned, a lot of lightbulbs were out, it smelled weird, and I kind of hated it. But we moved in our bed and a few boxes and turned in for the night. The next day, we did some cleaning and unpacking, and things started looking a lot better.

It's an old three-story house with a lot of character. One of my favorite things about it is that we have an "office floor," which is perfect since Todd and I are both working from home now. I've already set up my space and I love it.

The neighborhood was also a nice surprise. We had no idea what it would be like, but we're just a couple of blocks from a little village with restaurants, shops, and bakeries. Also, turns out it's a very Italian neighborhood. There are Italian flags painted on the streets, an authentic Italian bakery, and even the fire hydrants are red, green, and white. Apparently the locals even have their own little dialect. I can't wait to hear it.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

moving day(s).

Yesterday, I left Charleston in my rearview mirror. As I was driving away, I tried to remind myself of the enormity of the moment, but really, I think there's just too much to process right now. I waved goodbye to my house, my neighborhood, and then the entire state of South Carolina as I made my way up the road.

Yesterday was North Carolina and Virginia, two familiar states that never seem to end. Today starts with the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and continues through Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and finally Massachusetts. I just can't wait to wake up in my new house. Maybe it'll all seem real then.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Things are a bit crazy around here right now, but Mr. Unicorn reminds me of what's important.

P.S. Can you tell I'm still hopped up on painkillers?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Visitor's Guide to Charleston.

In my six years of living in Charleston, one of my favorite things to do was share the city with visitors. It was part of my job as an editor at the local paper, and it's also something I loved doing when friends came to town. So as my parting gift, I wanted to leave behind a little guide to the city, from someone who's truly loved living here. Though I'm moving on to new adventures, Charleston will always be one of my favorite places.


zero george.

You can save money by staying off the peninsula, but if you want the true Charleston experience, spring for a hotel downtown. If money isn't an issue, try Zero George, the Restoration on King, or Charleston Place. On a budget? Check out the NotSo Hostel in Cannonborough/Elliotborough, one of the city's coolest up-and-coming districts.


the ordinary.

Let's not fool ourselves: You came to Charleston to eat. And you could eat all day every day and still not run out of options. There are high-end restaurants with celebuchefs where you can spend your paycheck on a memorable meal, and then there are the old-school meat-and-threes where you can get a hearty supper for around $5. 

Some of the more affordable options include the Rarebit (diner-style food and Moscow Mules in a Mad Men setting), Five Loaves Cafe (get the tomato tarragon soup with crab), Butcher and Bee (open for lunch and late-night), Martha Lou's (fried chicken!), and the Marina Variety Store, a truly authentic little dive right on the water. For seafood, head off the peninsula to Shem Creek or Bowen's Island, both located on the picturesque tidal marshes.

I really encourage people to budget for at least one big night out at a high-end restaurant. Husk, FIG, Macintosh, and the Ordinary (get the oyster sliders) are some of the most buzzed-about restaurants in town, and you won't be disappointed at any of them. Hank's is great for seafood, Charleston Grill for a side of jazz with your food, and Rue de Jean for French food and French 75s on the patio.

If you've got a sweet tooth, some of my favorite places are Sugar for cupcakes, WildFlour for sticky buns (but only on Sundays!), and Paolo's for gelato. Plus the coconut cake at Peninsula Grill is worth a trip in itself.


gin joint.

Drinking is almost as important as eating in Charleston — it's all part of the experience. As a cocktail lover, some of my favorite places to indulge in fancy cocktails are the Gin Joint, the Cocktail Club, and Belmont. Fish, Social, and Two Boroughs Larder have great happy hour specials, and Closed for Business has a massive beer selection — you can even order your beer in a huge boot-shaped glass. If you like wine, go to Bin 152 and split a bottle and a cheese plate with a friend while you people-watch.

When you need a caffeine fix, Kudu is a coffeeshop with a lovely courtyard (especially when they have a bluegrass band playing), Brown's Court has cute porches and amazing cookies, and City Lights is a great alternative to Starbucks in the heart of the tourist district near the Market. Black Tap Coffee is another gorgeous coffeeshop — we hear their mint julep coffee is addictive.


king street.

Charleston is a supremely walkable city, and when people ask me what to do while they're in town, my answer is simple: Walk. Find a free parking spot down on the Battery and just lose yourself in the quiet streets South of Broad, gawking at the historic houses and gardens. Walk the length of King Street for all kinds of shops and restaurants, and stop by City Market if you're feeling touristy.

Keep your eye on the calendar — if you're in town the first Friday of the month, chances are the galleries will be open late with free wine and cheese for the Art Walk. If it's the second Sunday of the month, King Street will be closed to cars so shoppers can frolic in the street. The farmers market is in Marion Square every Saturday from April through December, and there are always plenty of festivals and events going on nearly every weekend, so pick up the City Paper for info.

When you're done with downtown (which could take a day if you hurried), venture out a bit to places like Magnolia Cemetery, the plantations (Middleton Place is my favorite), and, of course, the beach. A morning by the water on Sullivan's Island followed by a burger and icy cider on the porch at Poe's Tavern is pretty much the recipe for a perfect summer day.

Monday, June 10, 2013

my marie claire moment.

I blogged earlier this year about a photo shoot I randomly did with Marie Claire, and they finally put the end result online. I'm not in love with the photo (did they tint my eyebrows red?) or my heavily doctored quote (where's the journalistic integrity, MC?), but still, it's pretty fun to have my face in a national magazine. Check out the full feature here!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Happy National Doughnut Day!

Did you know that today is National Doughnut Day? That means if you're craving something holey, you can probably get one for free somewhere. One of my favorite magazines, Saveur, had a great feature on doughnuts back in March covering everything from their history to recipes. My all-time favorite doughnut is Krispy Kreme's simple glazed, hot and ready, and I'll miss it dearly when we move up north. Sorry, Boston people — I know you love your Dunkin', but there's just really no comparison.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

ikea stockholm collection.

Todd and I have been trying to move away from super cheap, poor-quality furniture in our home — but we still love us some Ikea. Yes, you can find plenty of particleboard stuff there that won't last a year, but they have some really beautiful, well-made pieces as well. Have you seen their new Stockholm collection? It's lovely.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

training day.

Don't you wish America had more trains? One of my favorite things about Europe is that you can hop on a train and sit back and enjoy the scenery as you speed across the country. As a car-hater, that option is particularly attractive to me. They just opened a train line between downtown Boston and Cape Cod, and I can't wait to take the trip.