Boston diary

We had an open weekend, so we went down to Boston to be with family. My sister lives there. Dad and his wife were visiting from Florida. We buzzed down to do what we do in the city: walk our feet off, look at city things, and eat like there’s no tomorrow.

It was a fast-and-furious trip, bookended by work and camp on Friday and a concert on Sunday night. And somehow I managed a one-hour nap in the midst. How?

Some highlights of our 48 hours:

:: This gorgeous chicken dish that L made for our first evening together. You could do worse than soak a bowl of rice in the citrusy aromatic sauce from this dish.

:: Oh, and she also made this beautiful, wonderful, summerful roasted chickpea salad. Make it! You must make it!

:: We spent much of Saturday at the Museum of Fine Arts. I found a goat.

Goat

:: We saw a beautiful, undulating sculpture made entirely of styrofoam cups.

Styro

:: I got lost for a little while in endlessness.

On repeat

:: We said hello to old favorites, like Sargent’s “The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit” and “Mrs. Charles E. Inches.”

Mrs. Inch

:: I stood a long while in front of this face, and wondered at the strangeness that he was staring at me from all those years ago, and imagined what he would think of me watching him.

Gaze

:: We went back to L’s house and had a siesta. What started out as reading became a nap. Wonder of wonders!

:: Oh, and then a wonderful dinner at Journeyman. Nine delicate, flavorful, gorgeously presented tiny courses (plus a cheese course, of course) and a couple bonus ones here and there. People may scoff at this sort of eating as pretentious or elitist or even just silly, but there’s something very civil about sharing a slow meal made up of a multitude of flavors and textures, accompanied by a satisfying bottle of wine. There’s no rush. There’s lots of laughter, conversation, and amusement (what is that? how do you eat it?), and moments of surprise and even glee when you take a perfect mouthful. Let me just say, if you ever go there and they offer you a dish of Chicken of the Woods mushrooms, tiny roasted potatoes, and a sauce made of pureed buttered toast, ask for two servings.

Journeyman

:: As if we deserved more deliciousness, Sunday morning found us in Chinatown, at our favorite Dim Sum spot. Everything we had was delicious (particularly the steamed scallion dumplings and the red bean buns), but we waited the whole dang time for the sauteed Chinese broccoli cart to start circulating around the room. It never did. What gives? Chau Chow, you owe us broccoli.

Chau Chow City

:: Later that night, back in Vermont, we went to see Iris Dement sing in a small concert hall. It’s been many years since her heyday in the early 90s, but her unique high, quavery voice was as strong as ever. She sang us two new songs that she’d written set to poems by Anna Akhmatova.

:: Back home by 10 pm, tired, but filled to the brim with family, food, wine, art, music, and poetry. Thank you L, thank you Boston, thank you weekend!

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