a christmas story

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This morning I parked my car at a metered spot in Brookline and hoofed it half a mile to one of the most beautiful bakeries, Tatte.  Brownstones lined my right and a woman in blue passed by on my left.  As she did I made eye contact, smiled, and chirped my usual “Hello!”.  To my delighted surprise, her equally spirited return greeting came almost instantly- if only you knew how many people look away when I acknowledge them.  Her quick but genuine response tickled, and I walked the rest of the way feeling a tad bit lighter.

Fast forward through some pastry perusing, tea sipping and note scribbling a la Tatte, when the women next to me start “discreetly” side-eyeing my notebook, a page of which I’ve now begun staining with the dregs of my English Breakfast leaves.  I realize the rather strong likelihood that my strange activity is offending their tame Wednesday brunch chatter and check my phone.  An hour has passed!  And I only paid for 48 minutes of parking!  I cause a bit of a ruckus in gathering my things (why must I bring crafts everywhere I go?), clearing my teacup and busting out the door.  There’s still a good 10 minute walk between myself and my inevitable parking ticket, so I pick up my pace from rush to trot towards the Brownstones.

From several gallops away, like the frame-by-frame delivery of a sad comic strip, I see the ticket print out (chchchchhchh), detach from its maker (zzzzip), and smack down onto my windshield.  I’m there just in time for my ticketer to turn around and watch my shoulders shlump dramatically downward.  Between panting breaths from frowning lips I sigh out, “This is me”, placing a defeated, consoling hand on my poor car, whose already been through enough this week.  The meter guard interrupts her own automatic apology to surprise me again, saying, “You know what?  If I hadn’t seen you earlier, and we hadn’t said hello to each other, I would never do this.”  She slips the ticket away, crumples it into her pocket, and before walking away, smiles once more and says, “Merry Christmas.”

Thank you, kind stranger who made my morning feel special when it could have been frustrating.  Never have I so directly felt the power of a friendly greeting.  If that’s not Christmas spirit personified, I don’t know what is.

 

pvd tea tours

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Maybe you’ve noticed, or maybe you’ve been  busy like me, but it’s been a bit quiet over here on the blog.  Summer is in full swing and this year that has meant attempting to stay in shape (I do strange things at the gym), many hours of studying (and morbid conversations with whoever will listen, thanks PHL 303: Philosophy of Death and Dying) and a surprisingly adventurous social life (there have been several more bridges in the recent past).

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In an attempt to elevate my experience in the drafting of my the final philosophy paper (when the subject is death, you’ll do just about anything to keep from plunging into darkness), I’ve been indulging in a bit of a self-guided coffee shop tour of Providence.  Everywhere I go, I order a large green tea and camp out for several hours, typing away and people watching as I write.  Sidetone: I’m surprised the folks over at The Shop haven’t at least asked me to do some dishes or something, I’ve taken up such a residency as of late…

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I’ve lived in this city for four years, and am embarrassed to admit I am only now realizing just how diverse its many neighborhoods are.  From the politically-driven collegiates of Thayer Street, to the aesthetically-gifted hipsters of Fox Point, the people of Providence do not take their coffee- or the ambiance in which it is to be consumed- lightly.

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And fortunately for loitering artist/student types like myself who wish to do homework (and procrastinate said homework with needlepointing projects) somewhere “out in the world”, the range from spicy, electric Westminster to feminine-French Washington makes for a rather exciting list of potential post-ups. Off to explore a bit more, but for now I’ll leave you with this image of the macarons I devoured at Ellie’s Bakery yesterday afternoon, which were just as delicious as they were pretty.

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Lemon Lavender, Strawberry Rhubarb, and Lime Coconut.  Oh, and a large green tea of course.

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Just a few quick Instagram shots from the weekend trip to the Big Apple…yummy salads, bread, and caffeine at Le Pain Quotiedien; a night out with some great friends both old and new; & some gorgeous architecture and a glimpse of the springy blooming white trees that lined many of the streets.  In my opinion, spring is hands down theeee most beautiful time to visit New York City.

xo