Coming home is always a bittersweet feeling for me. Everything is always as the Vietnamese and Thai locals would say, same same- but different.
Today I am thankful for my feet. The two companions that I wouldn’t be here, there or anywhere without. They have marched me around the globe, and all the way back to this spot. The spot underneath a single willow tree, overlooking the duck pond in the Public Gardens. The Gardens is a sanctuary for people from all walks of life to decompress after a long day, a business meeting, or simply after a stressful encounter with the MBTA.
My feet walked right back to my old spot. There’s a worn out patch of earth where grass used to grow. As much as I would like to believe that the spot is permanently marked after the extent of my stay 3 years ago, but I know that many people share the comfort of that spot and I’m so grateful that others can experience that willow’s company.
I used to come here when I had free time from the craziness of work and school. I would sit here with my iPod and listen to a playlist that mostly consisted of The Tallest Man on Earth and The Dodos. Boston was my home for almost 2 years, and I will always find it incredibly charming. I am inspired to expand myself with every step through the campus of MIT. I grow a desire to learn about the world around me as I wander through the cobblestone streets of the North End. I find myself wanting to be a part of something larger as I spend that hour commute on the T with strangers all heading towards different destinations. After every visit, I leave with determination to be the worlds next best Mathematician, classical piano player or a potter worthy of having my own exhibit in the MFA.
Boston has something for everyone and it is definitely not a city to be rushed through, If you want history, well obviously you came to the right place because this is a city built on the fabric of what created the United States. The history is everywhere, from Harvard University dating back to 1636, the Old North Church- famous for Paul Revere’s “Midnight ride” to the Boston Harbor, where an entire shipment of tea was thrown overboard which escalated into the American Revolution. Salem is only a short drive north, If you’re feeling spooky, thats the place for you. Salem is home of the infamous Witch Trials that happened in the late 1600’s so there is an endless amount of haunted tours, museums and famous landmarks for you to see. Obviously, this is a hit during October but it’s also beautiful year round. The roads are lined with old colonial homes, you can spend hours just gawking at them.
Salem is also home to the Peabody-Essex Museum, which happened to be doing an exhibit on old Sci-Fi and Horror movies. They had everything from the actual costumes worn by Bela Lugosi in the pre-code horror movie “Black Cat,” to original movie poster of my favorite childhood movie, Godzilla Vs. Mothra.
Part 2: Long Island
It’s been lovely catching up with you. No matter where I end up, I will always be a Long Islander at heart. I am part of the Billy Joel-loving, wine drinking population that will “Tawk ya eayeahs owff” about the perfection of the Long Island Bagel, 7/11 coffee and of course, the dreadful autumn march of the Pumpkin Pickers on the east end.
Long Island is where I spent 18 years of my life, and it’s one of my favorite places to visit. Mostly for the beaches, and my love for collecting sea glass. Long Island is not just “Part of NYC” or an extension of the Hamptons. Long Island has a beautiful farm community and a wonderfully delicious Wine Country. I’m a North Shore local so I’ll always have a spot in my heart for the rocky shoreline of the Long Island Sound.
Driving around town has been bringing me back to foreign mind sets and multiple memories that I haven’t thought about for years. I remember being a kid riding in the back of a pick-up down towards the beach. You know how everyone has a place that is indescribably perfect? Roanoke might be that place only because I’ve spent my entire life growing up on that beach. I have spent hours, if not years collecting beach glass on that shoreline. Living near the beach has always been something I’ve kept close to my soul because growing up on Long Island meant never living more that 20 minutes from a beach trip.
After 5 years of searching for beach glass around the globe, this will always be my favorite spot.