Well, it’s finally time: after spending the last year living in Boston, I am saying goodbye to the North End, a charming neighborhood that will always have a place in my heart. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I love food just as much as I love to travel; the two really do go hand-in-hand, and one of my favorite pastimes whenever I visit somewhere new is to let my stomach do a lot of cultural reconnaissance.
The North End is in my unabashedly biased opinion the best place to eat Italian food outside of Italy itself. Combine that with a close proximity to the ocean, as well as a reasonable distance to top-quality produce suppliers such as Russo’s of Watertown, and it’s no wonder that restaurants such as Pomodoro, Mare, and Neptune Oyster are all within a few hundred feet of each other (or about the same length as the line for Mike’s Pastry Shop on a pleasant Saturday afternoon). So basically, I was living in Heaven–or Hell, if you happen to be on a low carb diet!
Obviously, there is more to living here than gorging on delicious Italian cuisine. The real natives, who have lived here their entire lives, are almost always warm and friendly. Like the setting of many a great movie, even the streets themselves provide character, between the inevitable potholes, random dead ends, twists, and tight alleyways. Even the many, many tourists who crowd the streets from March-December manage to coexist with the residents well enough, although perhaps they could make more of an effort to properly dispose of their trash.
It seems fitting that it’s raining outside; rain is both a cleansing agent of redemption and a quiet, melancholic reminder of the time that has passed. As my life diverges from Boston back to San Diego, the rain is the waymarker that beckons me forward into a new chapter at the same time that it gives me pause to remember the wonderful and beautiful memories I have made here in Boston. Ciao.
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