We have Norway maples around our house that provide wonderful shade in the summer, and hours of leaf raking in the fall. Bagging leaves was, therefore, high on the agenda for the weekend, along with cheering on Kayla’s soccer team during the final game of the season, and doling out candy to trick-or-treaters for Halloween.
But between those activities, we still managed to squeeze in a few unplanned extras. On Saturday, Paul and I decided to check out a new restaurant in Davis Square on our way to the movies. We had barely walked through the door when we saw friends of ours. Once we sat down, we spied one of this year’s MacArthur grant winners, whom we recognize because he works with our former next-door-neighbor. On our way out, we passed Tufts president Larry Bacow. Later, as we left the movie, we bumped into friends near the theater and, having walked them to their car, waved to yet another friend as she drove by during our trek home.
These are the days when, contrary to Somerville’s municipal status, it feels like a small town — the kind of place where you run into people you know wherever you go. I like that! But it’s also great to take advantage of all that Boston, our larger city neighbor, has to offer.
So off we went on Sunday. Hopped on the T and soon arrived in Chinatown for dim sum. When we walked out of the restaurant, I had a hankering for a cannoli. (Doesn’t everyone follow-up dim sum with Italian pastries?) A quick walk down the Greenway and we were in the North End, Boston’s traditional Italian neighborhood. Warmed ourselves with coffees and yummy cannoli at a busy but mellow spot.
Back on the T in time for Paul to carve a pumpkin before the youngest trick-or-treaters started ringing the bell. And we could hardly have forgotten about Halloween, as we passed witches, zombies, skeletons, one large elf, and a wookie on a Segway, as we meandered through this area where — depending on how you crunch the numbers — as many as 20 percent of residents are students.
All in all, a perfect small-town big-city fall weekend.