28. Boston, Massachusetts

As I mentioned a few posts back, Boston is my old stomping grounds–and that often means I don’t get to do everything I want to do when I go up there for a weekend. This time, as part of a work trip, I had even less time than that, but I put a weekday afternoon to good use.

I started in Beacon Hill, which, in my opinion, is unequivocally the prettiest part of the city with its iconic cobblestone and red brick.

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From there, I proceeded along Charles Street toward downtown, stopping first at Beacon Hill Chocolates. I would love this place even if it wasn’t a chocolate shop, but the fact that it is puts the icing on the cake. My mom and I still have vintage boxes we got here my senior year of college, and we’ve used the images to make birthday cards and valentines over the years.

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My walk took me past a number of other shops worth nothing, many of which I wandered into. It was my first time (or first in my memory) visiting the Beacon Hill outpost of Black Ink, a quirky and random store I used to visit all the time in Harvard Square. And I absolutely loved the aesthetic at Good, a cute little boutique also on Charles Street.

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Speaking of aesthetics, my best find was Follain, a emporium for all-natural soaps and makeup. I’m not even that into natural soaps, and God knows I don’t wear any makeup, but I absolutely wanted to move into this place. It’s just so beautiful. And after lamenting that I couldn’t bring anything back to DC, the staff told me they had just opened a location in Union Market, minutes from where I live. So now I can visit whenever I want, and don’t think I haven’t.

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At the end of Charles Street, I hit Boston Public Garden, where I hung out for awhile on a park bench.

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From there, it was on to Newbury Street, the city’s best area for shopping. But first, I stopped in Copley Square, an area we used to study in art history classes thanks to its juxtaposition of architectural styles. Lining the square on one side is the Boston Public Library, which is free to enter and architecturally impressive in its own right.

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At that point, my phone (and thus camera) were dead, so I entered the first coffee shop I saw to charge up. I didn’t expect to find fig, fennel and almond dark chocolate as well as cayenne ginger ale (!!), but I did, so I stayed awhile. Way to go, Pavement Coffeehouse.

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Once people who have normal work schedules had finished their days, I met up with friends for dinner at Pastoral, which at the time served something called garlic knots that were pretty seriously good.

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And then it was time to taxi to the airport. The clouds gave me a nice sunset sendoff, though.

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