As I mentioned, last week was spring break for students. Roxanne used her time to write about how she likes to spend her Sundays when not on vacation. She also suggested that I explain why we refer to the campus as being in Medford/Somerville. This old map shows why. The dotted line is the Medford/Somerville boundary. The highlighted portion is Fletcher field, and the F represents Fletcher (though not to scale). So you can spend happy hours walking on and off Fletcher field, crossing town lines as you do so. (Medford. Somerville. Medford. Somerville.) But back to Roxanne. Here’s her prescription for a perfect spring Sunday:
As I write this blog post, I am pretending the winter is over. The snow melting in the driveway co-exists with buds on trees, and the part of me that was looking forward to experiencing four distinct seasons upon her arrival in the Northeast is ready for the next season to arrive. I have cherished the long, slow, beautiful Boston fall and the accompanying foliage, the many snowflakes of winter and the legendary Fletcher Ski Trip and snowball fight they inspired, and I am now ready for the river to thaw. In the spirit of sharing what I am looking forward to in the Fletcher neighborhood, here is a glimpse into what would constitute my perfect spring Sunday in Medford/Somerville.
First, a sacred ritual of the weekend: brunch. Better yet, an affordable, graduate-student-friendly brunch. Sound Bites and its stuffed French toast are favorites, as are their bottomless coffee and the Syrian managers with whom I reminisce about our time in Aleppo, particularly at a time when Aleppo is the site of much heartbreak. Renee’s Café, open from Wednesday to Sunday, is another favorite local business, whose menu is colorfully handwritten onto a chalkboard and whose staff members fill a weekend with smiles. And if you are in a rush and must skip sit-down breakfast, you have to stop by Magnificent Muffin, where the line snakes out the door for the yummiest muffins and iced coffee in the neighborhood. Now, allow me to cheat for a minute and veer away from my weekend plan, and say that if this were the middle of the week, you would not be able to skip Masala. On weekdays, their $8 all-you-can-eat Indian buffet, with free servings of garlic naan, is a culinary highlight and the warmth of the Masala employees is equally memorable.
Back to the vision of a sunny spring weekend, though….The kayak that is defrosting on the balcony wishes to go for a float down Mystic River, around the corner, perhaps all the way to Mystic Lake. And if we are in more of a biking mood, the Minuteman Bikeway is — you guessed it — around the corner as well. Middlesex Fells Reservation is a terrific place to hike, and the watertower at the top offers beautiful views of downtown Boston.
Speaking of downtown Boston…on the first Friday of the month, a number of Boston museums — including the Museum of Fine Arts and the Institute of Contemporary Art on the waterfront — offer a “Night at the Museum,” with DJs, wine, and an opportunity to wander through the galleries with a different ambiance. Museum admission is free with a Tufts ID — and while you are exploring, do not miss the courtyard of the beautiful Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
At this point, you have likely run out of weekend time, and that is before I have had the chance to share a few other Boston favorites: bookstores, cafés, experiences around my former neighborhood of Harvard Square, and all the talks, panels, and events happening at the many universities around town. Stay tuned for more tours of the area, and hopefully, for some images of spring to complement the photographs of Fletcher seasons.