I decided to spend Saturday walking brownstone-laden streets from Tremont to Washington. I did only a bit of research before setting off about the communities that fluidly dominated the area and sadly couldn’t stay permanently. There is unhidden gentrification in the area with quaint brunch spots on every corner and boutique shops populating the streets, yet the raw beauty of the arts centers and creative minds still consistently stole my breath away. As one searching for a space to call home after graduation, the only thing keeping me from insisting on planting my roots on their cobblestone was the price range.
From its street corners to the plentiful art galleries, the South End seemed to be as posh as it was thoughtful. I was glad to see that the culture I’d heard about had transformed itself in the galleries I visited and the people I met.
In any case, if you decide to venture onto Columbus St. for your own adventure, here are a few spots that touched my heart while roaming Boston’s South End…
My dearest friend and I stumbled on this cafe and restaurant on Shawmut St. for brunch. We were initially disappointed that they needed reservations, but they still accommodated us after only a 15-minute wait on Sunday (pretty much unheard of in my experience). After a stroll around the block, we were seated for a really delicious meal. The food was wonderful, the staff was so sweet, the wait was inconsequential, and I tasted the best Eggs Benedict I’ve had in years (I’ve had a lot), and their home fries were even better!
I’d say rule one of a heart-warming exploration is to have a partner and crime. Whether it’s a journal, your camera, or a lovely friend to take in the moment with you, it’s more fun.
Sasha (above), spent the morning helping me walk the path around Tremont St. as we passed wreath laden townhouses. We were surrounded by shops with different foods, coffees, and lucky for me, plants! The tiny brown box she held was full of the succulents I collected from Niche. Urban Garden Supply. I spent at least 20 minutes fawning over tiny plants, colorful cacti, and glass terrariums. I couldn’t help but give a few photosynthesizing friends a new home. While it was a bit pricey (not unreasonable), it’s a plant lover’s paradise. I’ll have to head back to their shop ASAP in my quest to make my apartment a greenery.
The end of our walk around the neighborhood was saved for art. We happened across the Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts on Tremont Street. Inside, we saw thought-provoking pieces from local artists. I loved all of the work, but my favorite was Something Could Happen at Any Moment by Damien Hoar de Galvan (above right)! It was incredible that we could find these creative collections placed in an open gallery for free viewing. While it isn’t a huge space, I highly recommend anyone curious to stop by, you could stay for 5 minutes, five hours, five days and not have enough.
We finally went to the SoWa Vintage market on Harrison Ave. It was groovy to go back in time and take in the postcards, jewelry, maps, instruments, and clothes of the past generations. After playing a bit of imaginary dress-up (and meeting an adorable puppy sniffing a previously-loved guitar) we headed back to the side of the John Hancock tower we know and love.
The day inspired me to use the New Year’s excuse of a fresh start to step outside my bubble every now and again. Sometimes we all need to get away. Take the hand of a loved one and embark on an adventure. You may not realize, but it could be exactly what we need.