There is always something special when you wake early on a sunny, yet chilly New England morning and head out for a double espresso and a hot bagel ‘n cheese sandwich, from the corner shop named Thistle and Shamrock.
As soon as you step out on the sidewalk, the cold air hits you like a thin sheet of ice… the sunlight is askew on the old brick walls… and the sidewalk is strewn with those leftover leaves that the street cleaners haven’t picked up yet.
These are remnants of a beautiful New England summer; we had a spectacular summer followed by a vivid and colorful fall. Bright reds, pinks, greens and yellows merged together like a colorful circus canopy.
After a beautiful summer, there are remnants; streets to clean up and bags full of leaves ready to compost. It’s that after-party feeling – dishes that linger in the sink – or that wine stained glass that needs hand washing. Memories of laughter, joy, companionship and that hint of complete contentment – even if it’s just for a few minutes.
We are on the cusp of finishing our 3 year “expatriate” life in Boston; one of my dreams of living in a big city, with continuous motion, a blue, blue city with art, culture, color, spontaneity, and the intellectual stimulation like no other, with a beautiful harbor front, amazing food, theatre, museums, and layers of history, every where you look.
Always dreamt of living in a city like this!
Also wanted to live in a renovated “loft” with a balcony, and walkability to a dozen crafty restaurants, surrounded by stores with curious, “un-retaily” things! Cambridge has given us all that and a bit more! We lived in this beautiful two-story renovated Hathaway Bakery Factory, with exposed architecture, high ceilings, a lovely balcony overlooking the commuter rail line; there was a constant reminder of a city, with the quiet of a sleepy neighborhood.
Access the to the T, getting to Harvard Square in 7 minutes on Bus 77 for a lovely brunch at Tatte’s, or a quick 4 stop-hop to Park station for a walk in dreamy Boston Commons, Steps of Beacon Hill, or the Trident Bookstore on Newbury Street. A drive around the Emerald Necklace, for a cocktail at crafty Jamaica Plain, followed by a visit to the Bonsai Garden at the Arnold Arboretum.
These 3 years have truly been a dream “expat life”. The relationships and conversations we had with people from all over the world, or from neighboring Natick or, Sandwich on the Cape , have all been fulfilling and entertaining. We have learned to say “Chowdah” or “Burgah” – learned to pronounce Wooster (Worcester) and Quinsey (Quincy). We have Watched the Patriots win again, and again; and also saw the Red Sox clench their ninth World Series Title.
Explored the Cape, spent some time in Ogunquit, ventured out to Newport and spent a lovely weekend in Providence. There’s just no end to the things you can do from Boston. A three hour train-ride takes you to the Big Apple.
As we plan our gradual exit over the next 6 months, and travel home to the eternal sunshine of Florida, we take back wonderful memories and friendships we will cherish for life. Most people get to visit a city like Boston a few times; we had the gratification of living here, with all of its magnificence for 3 awesome years.
We have taken in parts of Boston inside us. We have always known that this was meant to be a short stint. But somehow, the memories we have created in Boston, are things we will talk about, over and over.
It’s like that wonderful Summer and Fall we just experienced; with a few remnants of leaves around us. Memories of laughter, joy, companionship and that hint of complete contentment – even if it’s just for a few days!