ladies who l u n c h

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On Saturday M gave me my first taste of Olga’s Cup and Saucer.  I was blown away by the extensive menu and peaceful garden outside, but a warm May morning and a secret spot by the river beckoned (as they do).  So we ordered brown bag breakfasts and went dockside.  Of course this meant returning to experience the outdoor dining area as soon as possible was nonnegotiable…

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It was quite serendipitous, then, when Duck & Bunny‘s Monday hours (or rather, lack thereof) called for a quick change of location for the tea/bridal party duty date my mother and I had planned.  We scooted from Fox Point to Point Street in search of fresh salads and a quiet patio.  From one bunny to another!

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I’m happy to report that our food completely lived up to the expectations set by my wandering eyes a few days prior (I had the teriyaki salmon salad, my mom had the chicken caesar), and the sun drenched patio was every bit as serene as I had hoped it would be.  With vibrant basil and scallion plants thriving from banks all around us, I had to keep reminding myself we were still in downtown Providence.

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Bravo, Olga.  I raise my English breakfast-filled cup (+ saucer) to you.

books and brunch in boston

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I have bruises on my body, but spring in my soul, following this warm weekend up north with my favorite human.  M and I brunched and browsed all over Boston, and the sun stayed with us far longer than we’d even hoped.  From Brighton to Brookline to Chinatown, Beacon Hill, Cambridge and back again, we made our way through boro(ugh)s and backstreets until our tired, unscented brains* could explore no more.  We visited some of our very favorites, including Tatte and The Middle Gray, where I scribbled this little ditty into my journal, which I’m going to call Ode to An Arepa…

black and white

and grey all over

where beginning 

meets end and

trains transcend

tea-stained flowers

bloom and bend

sriracha-soaked arepas

poison sinuses

our bodies defend

fight the careful blend

my dearest friend

you challenge my senses

so I guess the contents

in your favorite hot sauce trend.

 

*Have you ever googled “What does a human brain smell like?”  Not recommended.

sweet november

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November might just be my favorite month of the year.  Sandwiched between the sadness of summer’s end and the craze of December’s bustle, November invites a welcome change of pace and a conscious appreciation of earth’s seasonal rhythm.  Bulky sweaters are out yet coats and gloves remain unrequired, hokey Halloween has passed but pumpkins (and the plethora of baked goods they inspire) are still considered seasonally acceptable, and the pages of my calendar are buzzing with the sweet approach of the real holiday season.  What I’m referring to, of course, is the last Thursday of the month.  Thanksgiving.  Those who know me well know that I find Thanksgiving paramount to all other holidays- in my eyes no other celebratory event compares.  And it’s only 10 days away.  But who’s counting, right?

After the opening of Up Close On Hope, M and I had the most peaceful of Sundays, complete with noodles at DENDEN, a visit to the Providence Athenaeum (my first), and a stroll around the RISD Museum to finish the final few rooms we’d missed on our first go round.  We discussed the difference between Udon and Buckwheat, delighted in the heady drunk of a slow walk down Benefit Street, and let our eyes fall wide over the ancient artwork wrapping the walls of PVD’s most prestigious gallery.  We whispered with friends, surrounded by books, quintessential colonial New England architecture, and even a little FBP press.  I dove into George Sand’s Intimate Journal and fell in love with one too many passages.  Later we mused on the intention of baroque artists, the devastating failure of a blurry squirrel mirror and the absurd nonchalance with which we were able to experience all of these wonderments.  Providence, you are so good.

Yes, I admit to loving Thanksgiving for its emphasis on family, food, and stretchy pants.  But my penchant for a holiday based on giving thanks is rooted in just that: a heightened awareness of everything for which to be grateful in my life.  I am so very thankful for the resilience of the magical city of lights in the wake of such tragedy, the physical and mental health of the people I love, and the culture-drenched city I come home to each night.  At the conclusion of every weekend in November, I like to take inventory of the smaller things in life which garner my gratitude.  Right now, those things include fuzzy turtlenecks, shared cinnamon buns, and curry-peppered popcorn pushed promptly passed my lips by the very best hands.

get lost

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I’ve grown to love my remarkably terrible sense of direction.

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It leads me off the beaten path, through the scenic route and onto adventures I wouldn’t have otherwise found.  This extended summer has provided ample time for such misguided endeavors, whether that means sipping iced tea to the sounds of the Grey Album

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Or driving an hour sans copilot in pursuit of a solo beach trip, only to realize I’ve forgotten my wallet in Providence and will have no way to pay for parking.  Luckily for me, a small portion of Westport, MA agrees that our beaches should be free for all to enjoy, and my absentmindedness led to the discovery of this little slice of nirvana- free of charge:

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To those of you possessing the inner compass that will forever allude me, I suggest you “pull a Keeks” (as my friends so lovingly refer to it).  Get lost.  Forget the map, miss the exit, take the wrong turn.  Follow the road until you hit water, flowers, lights, buildings, trees, the edge…

Leave no breadcrumbs, no stone unturned.  You may just find something worth finding.

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PS- for more on loving your flaws, check out my guest post over at onballence.

Vous voir bientôt, Providence!

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Today is the day!  In just a few short hours, I will be boarding a plane to New York, then from there it’s off to little old Paris!  I can’t wait for this adventure to finally begin.  Check back for updates on what I’m seeing, smelling, eating, drinking, buying, and exploring!  Au revoir for now!

(image via my instagram, @keeksevans, follow for parisian pictures!)