Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Day In Town

Yesterday was day two of a mini-vacation afforded me by my younger brother's offer to look after my kids for the weekend. Keith had better watch it...I could get used to this.

I decided to step out of myself and do some things this weekend that under ordinary circumstances that I typically do not have a chance to do...such as hang out with three drunken women...(by the way Blondie...holding out for something much better, I passed on a chance for a foursome...not a mere threesome).

I spent yesterday in Boston and in doing so I decided to seek out new experiences and talk to as many people as possible (while avoiding the drunks). As I had a later than expected start I decided to forgo my original plan to go to the MFA and go right to the North End for lunch instead. But rather than go to just one place to dine I decided to treat the North End as my own private buffet.

Between cappuccino at Cafe Vittoria on Hanover Street, and lunch at Dolce Vita, I made my traditional pilgrimage to St. Leonards's. St. Leonards is the oldest Catholic church in America built by Italian immigrants. I went inside and spent time with God and my thoughts. I also sought out one of the Priests and asked him to hear my confession (no jokes about how this would take up the rest of the afternoon). I gave him a slip of paper with some names of people I asked him to pray for and why I wanted prayers said on their behalf...and headed out of the church before lightening struck. was time for lunch and Dolce Vita was calling to me.

My man Franco, whose son I helped with a mortgage years ago, set me up with a window table and a special meal of sauteed sardines in roast peppers. Still hungry for more, I strolled over to Haymarket looking for oysters. The Union Oyster House is located in all that remains of colonial Boston. Around the corner from the Green Dragon Tavern where the likes of Samuel Adams and Paul Revere planted the seeds for the American Revolution, the Union Oyster House enjoys its own venerable history. I sat at the same mahogany bar where Daniel Webster in the 1820s and 30s enjoyed platters of oysters and tumblers of brandy and water.

The day ended with another cappuccino and a cannoli at the Cafe Vittoria. This weekend was about getting a rest from parenting, getting recharged, and trying to get out of my own head for a while. I was successful on all three counts. Along the way, while outside of Old North Church I met a very nice couple from Indiana. The husband was a farmer and we had a lengthy discussion about mid western ethenol production and its impact on food prices. I made the acquaintance of two brothers from Japan where we had a discussion about baseball and fishing. I also reacquainted myself with Franco and with Rose Mariano, the nice lady who sits at the dest next to the oysterbar at the Union Oyster House. And then there was the lovely waitress at Cafe Vittoria who was kind enough to take my picture.

Vacations, even one as brief as the one I took this weekend, afforded me the opportunity to rest and recharge. There are times in life when we need to take a break from our lives to challenge ourselves to find different perspectives and maybe find new solutions to old problems.


  1. Oh Tom... sounds like you had a great time and isnt it nice to have some alone time?? Wish I could have joined you for all the amazing food though... but instead I was busy hosting a cook~IN for 14 people at my house because the weather SUCKED!! Oh... and I totally dont blame you for holding out on the 4some LOL