Thank You Boston!

IMG_0839Today the family and I are leaving Boston after three days of enjoying this great city. I spoke at the ABA conference and we decided to turn the trip into a family vacation. We are going to go from here to Cape Cod to whale watch and enjoy the ocean. For me, the highlight was visiting the North End and Little Italy yesterday. We caught various marching bands and had some great food.

IMG_0838One of the marching bands was carrying the image of Mary through the streets as people pinned money to ribbons around the image. It was a classic moment that I was glad my children could witness it. As someone who was raised by my Italian side of the family (I am half Sicilian and half Irish), it was trip down memory lane as we followed the procession.

We eat at a wonderful little Italian restaurant and grabbed cannoli at Mike’s Pastry (the other popular spot is Modern Pastry for cannoli). They were awesome. We then went into a tiny neighborhood Italian bakery that smelled like by Grandma Josephine’s kitchen and bought some of the Italian cookies that I grew up with (from Pizzelles to Pignolata). It was wonderful!

We finished our stay with breakfast at Mike’s City Diner in South Boston, a local diner with incredible breakfasts in a quintessentially Southie atmosphere. Everyone one had different dishes and we were hooked at the first bite. I thought Madie’s pancakes with banana and blueberries were the best. I had hash and eggs which are a local favorite and worth trying. They could even do grits here in the Boston! (The same name as the pastry shop is a coincidence but you clearly cannot go wrong with a place named Mike around here).

By the way, you will sometimes read about people complaining that Bostonians can be a tad cold like the weather. However, we found very warm people. Our favorite was this morning when a guy heading to work stopped us when we were debating directions to Mike’s. His name was Arnie and he gave us directions then came running back and said that he was in need of a walk anyway and would walk us over. It was about ten blocks and took him in the opposite direction of his work. He told us all about the area, what to order at Mike’s and even some history. We loved him and he left a positive memory with my kids of Boston that will likely remain with them for life.

This is a great city and we had a ball. Thank you, Boston!

Now off to the Cape.

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12 thoughts on “Thank You Boston!”

  1. Frank, You can hear these conversations walking through the North End on a warm, summer evening.

  2. I am a native Bostonian now living in southern exile. I miss the North End feasts, the 4th of July on the Esplanade and the friendly single digit salutes offered by many motorists. No matter where you are in New England its always worth a 2:00am drive to Kelly’s Roast Beef on Revere beach. When I die, just dump my ashes in a Public Gardens flowerbed. I’ll make those damn tulips grow.

  3. You can walk the Freedom Trail and eat great food along the way. My brother was a chef @ Mama Maria’s in the north end. A small upscale restaurant that is a favorite of actors in town. My brother served many actors but the best by far was the late, great, Raul Julia. He loved the food. Raul grew up in a restaurant family in Puerto Rico. He came back to the kitchen and serenaded the crew. A real nice, down to earth man.

    Boston is not like NYC. Both my siblings live in the metro area. The ethnicity keeps it from being too snobby like Cambridge. The Cape was our family vacation for 2 weeks every August. If you order fried clams it should be whole belly clams. Otherwise you’re a loser!!

  4. Mike’s Pastry makes arguably the worst cannoli in the north end. The easiest way to identify a tourist is a Mike’s Pastry box. At least you’ve heard of Modern, though. Its clearly the superior Hanover street pastry shop. But still not the best in Boston.

  5. Sounds like a great family time for all! The discussion of Mike’s Diner made me hungry!!

  6. Mike’s is fantastic, I stop there everytime I’m in Boston (which isn’t often enough). I’m never able to escape the allure of Faneuil Hall for long, or Union Oyster House next door. Running gear is mandatory for me if I don’t want to leave Boston heavier than when I got there.

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