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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Favourite Stops & Eats in New England • We Weblog The World

Not solely have I spent a big period of time in New England however I lived within the Boston space for over a decade. Throughout that chapter of my life, We Weblog the World didn’t exist nor was I writing about journey. That mentioned, my reminiscences are recent and vivid, from enjoyable cultural and social occasions to getting misplaced in nature.

We headed again East this summer time and had been in a position to return to my favourite haunts. How a lot have they modified? Honestly, I used to be shocked at how little had modified. Let’s begin with Boston itself. Certain, there’s much less building (and disruption) than after I lived there; nevertheless, different street work continues. We arrived late at evening, so leaping on Storrow Drive to go out to an AirBNB in Waltham was pretty stress-free (and fast) however returning to Logan was a little bit of a problem as a result of present work on the Sumner Tunnel. My staple route alongside the Charles River was a well-recognized one, a lot in order that I used to be on auto-pilot for many of the journey.

Southern NH close to Hampton

Fairly frankly, writing this text, after little or no journey throughout the quieter years of Covid, feels extra “international” than visiting my outdated stomping grounds, which embody Newton, Watertown, Cambridge, Somerville, Jamaica Plain, Walden Pond, Rockport, Gloucester, and Cape Cod (not essentially in that order).

Oh yeah, and let’s not overlook Belmont the place I lived for a stint . . . an extended one. That drive-by was a bit emotional as reminiscence after reminiscence got here pouring via, together with the time my ex and I watched the squirrels from our bed room window working alongside the fence and strategized how we might deter them from mucking about in our tomato vegetation. The barbecues, yard e-book group gatherings, cooking up a storm in our loud apricot ginger kitchen, and shoveling the driveway each winter. The brand new homeowners (renters?) planted a vegetable backyard within the entrance and amidst squash, lettuce and peppers, a couple of tall and sprightly sunflowers greeted me from the sidewalk.

There was no time to go to Nantucket this time round;  nevertheless, examine our journey 8 years in the past and make sure you see the breathtaking summer time sunflowers we encountered throughout a motorbike journey. Should you do head to Nantucket or Martha’s Winery, a couple of gems price exploring in Cape Cod in your means embody Chatham, Truro and Wellfleet.

The Chatham Lighthouse in August on my earlier journey

We returned to Gloucester’s Rocky Neck and went down reminiscence lane (see our journey a few years in the past which we took in by bike). Actually, if you happen to examine the images, you’ll see loads of similarities: the quirkiness of the outlets, the inventive flare of the artists’ exterior studio facades, the colourful flowers in entrance of the stained-colored buildings and galleries. The weathered look from chipped paint on entrance homes, bikes, boats and cafe doorways. It was a lot quieter than I remembered.

Sailor Stan’s appears as if it hasn’t been alive in years.

Madfish Wharf Artist Studios & Galleries

It’s not all work as you possibly can see by the stained glass and pottery inside this artwork gallery bar combo.

The Salted Cod Arthouse is famend and locals will ship you there if you happen to speak to them lengthy sufficient.

The primary addition to our expertise this yr was a melancholy story shared by artisan Stephen Laptierre, whose work took over the biggest gallery area within the Artwork Colony. Artisans are really the breath of Rocky Neck. There’s a historical past right here and locals are rightfully happy with that historical past, one which has drawn artists and musicians alike to arrange foot on her soil for years.

This was taken in Stephen Lapierre’s studio in August 2023

Artists have had a tough time sustaining their studios with prices hovering and fewer vacationers coming via. Little question, a part of it may be attributed to the Covid years which affected so many store homeowners, eating places and cafes. That mentioned, it appeared like the difficulty went a lot deeper as we listened to Stephen’s insights. He lives in his studio, so the hire for his gallery is mixed together with his price to dwell—it’s the exact same area he lays his head to relaxation each evening. Beneath, Anthony appears on as he shares story after story, together with the meanings behind every of the work. What a riveting journey and but I sensed a deep unhappiness, as if we had been on the point of an finish to a very particular period.

His studio was definitely eclectic and work lined each single wall, from ceiling to flooring on all sides, together with the hallway main out to an exterior picket stairway that took you all the way down to the principle road. Off to the left was a sink, range and tea kettle and there was a sofa someplace within the midst of all of it if I recall. And a desk.

It’s not all artwork in Rocky Neck however the galleries are what most draw individuals to go to. There’s additionally the uncooked and genuine ambiance of crusing life throughout you, dock after dock, boat after boat . . . This distinctive treasure is located on a rocky peninsula tucked away inside Gloucester’s working harbor.


Rocky Neck isn’t all there may be to Gloucester. There are a number of quaint neighborhoods together with a couple of buying areas which I like to walk. Who doesn’t love cafes, vintage shops and quaint boutiques in New England? Should you don’t, then I’d argue you won’t gel with New England. In any case, it’s the connection to all issues historic (at the very least by American requirements) that convey individuals to the Northeast. Since Anthony and I grew up within the area, it was like going dwelling: the dwelling we grew up realizing via its distinctive smells, tastes and sights.

Teddy Bear Picnic anybody?


A stone’s throw from Gloucester lies Rockport, and it tends to be custom to go to each time I’m within the space. Possibly the draw is Rockport’s acquainted toffee and ice cream outlets, or the pewter retailer I do know so effectively. Or maybe its the numerous enjoyable instances I’ve had alongside its pedestrian walkway and the handfuls of lobsters I’ve eaten there, inside and out. One of the notorious picturesque views in New England could be present in Rockport though some Maine natives would possibly argue with me on that one.

As many instances as I’ve been to Rockport, I had by no means set foot within the church on the left alongside Broadway. I by no means had a motive to; nevertheless, this time we ventured into St. Mary’s Episcopal Church out of curiosity. I had forgotten how a lot I like outdated church buildings and cathedrals; it’s one of many issues that make meandering via outdated European cities so fascinating. They inform a narrative: a area or metropolis’s tradition. Its historical past. Perception methods are baked into their partitions and stained glass home windows. They continue to be alive via the power they emit as you look on.

Included within the stained-glass home windows at St. Mary’s is a communion roll initially supposed for a aspect chapel, which presents a collage of Yeshua’s (Jesus’) parables. A sanctuary candle continually burns and there’s an altar designed to be the aumbry the place the Blessed Sacrament is reserved.

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Rockport, MA.

There are fairly a couple of artwork galleries to soak up, notably Don Gorvett, Jeffrey Marshall, North Shore Arts Affiliation, Marilyn Swift, Cripple Cove Studios, Michalak High quality Artwork, Stefan Mierz High quality Artwork Studio, Ruth Mordecai, and Judythe Evans Meagher amongst quite a few others.

Rockport most likely isn’t the most effective place to get lobster within the space, largely as a result of it’s dearer than heading a little bit additional north alongside Route 1. There are many locations to get seafood, both sitting down or grabbing a cuppa New England creamy chowder to go. On the very finish of Bearskin Neck (#68 to be exact), you’ll discover My Place by the Sea and it didn’t appear like it modified in any respect because the final time we had a romantic meal on their deck roughly eight years in the past. We had been planning to repeat the expertise nevertheless it was closed, so we headed to Fleur Delicacies Harborside on the wharf as an alternative. The ambiance was pretty; nevertheless, the meals was solely good, not nice and the service was bit disappointing. 

Clams in a broth with garlic and lemon

Basil, tomatoes and burrata

One other favourite spot is Floating Lotus. In years gone previous, we used to attend their sound baths on the highest flooring. Homeowners are husband and spouse crew Justin and Karin, who do an awesome job at curating distinctive objects. Principally from Asia, these honest commerce objects vary from jewellery and tapestries, to singing bowls, garments and statues. On this go to, Anthony walked out with an exquisite labradorite ring we had been each instantly drawn to. They maintain sound experiences of their Bearskin Neck location and bigger spiritually-minded occasions at their Gloucester location alongside Principal Road.

Credit score: Floating Lotus


Roughly eight years in the past, we spent a few month touring numerous elements of New England, most of it spent in Massachusetts. Make sure you see our write-up on Salem the place we landed accidentally. We had been shocked by how a lot enjoyable we had there. Should you love historical past, are dazzled by spirituality or the occult, the American dwelling of witches will make sure you whet your urge for food. Sadly, we weren’t in a position to meet up with Lori Bruno, seemingly essentially the most famend witch in Salem if not the nation.

She touts herself as a Hereditary Excessive Priestess and Elder of the Sicilian Strega line of the Craft of the Smart, founder and Head Mom of Our Lord and Girl of the Trinacrian Rose Church. We had been in a position to catch her by cellphone and her voice introduced us again to yesteryear and the visions we had of our time along with her in her mystical store Magika on Federal Road. With a connection to Egypt as effectively, she is a descendant of Gohar–al–Siculi, a Basic within the Fataniid Empire, who in A.D. 969 was despatched by the caliph of Baghdad to beat Egypt. In line with her, this he did after which went on to discovered Cairo. Beneath is a shot taken with Lori in her retailer.

We spent a number of days in Salem on our final go to, so took in a number of the witch excursions (by day and evening), segway-ed our means via city, walked the cemeteries by evening, ate fabulous meals (yum – Finz Seafood & Grill) and skilled a couple of accommodations. We additionally managed to get out on a ship, a schooner and extra. The climate didn’t cooperate this time round as we had been greeted by torrential rainfall upon arrival. The sustaining drizzly skies drove us into the huge block lengthy Witch Metropolis Consignment Store accidentally. If you’re working for canopy, any open retailer will do. Situated on Essex Road, it was simply mystical and mesmerizing sufficient to maintain us busy for a couple of hours whereas ready for the rain to subside. We left with two packing containers of goodies, all of which we shipped dwelling. If that is your “factor,” you may additionally need to observe different outlets price visiting, akin to Hex Previous World Witchery, The Cauldron Black Enchanted Store and the HausWitch House & Therapeutic.


A stroll via Boston’s historic district and Quincy Market was a good way to spend our remaining afternoon on this outdated American metropolis. In any case, Anthony had by no means been to this a part of town and I used to be curious to see how issues had modified. And naturally I ached to purchase one thing of their notorious meals corridor. On the best way, we took a leisurely stroll alongside the waterfront, taking within the websites and wonder.

A panoramic view of the harbor and waterfront space in historic Boston.

We frolicked right here till the solar started to set.

Heading towards Quincy Market alongside the water. The sunshine is totally gorgeous at nightfall.

Boston Waterfront at Nightfall in August

Beneath, a little bit meandering via Quincy Market Meals Corridor.

Okay, so I acquired carried away by the dessert coloration.

Then we headed to the North Finish for dinner and low, beginning at Naples-influenced Ristorante Saraceno, excellent for Anthony’s heritage and desire for southern Italian dishes. It’s a staple — not the most effective Italian meals on this planet, nevertheless it’s GOOD and the ambiance is epic.

Beneath, Dinner at Saraceno in Boston’s North Finish

A basic should order in any Italian restaurant in my humble opinion…

Beneath, a few the mains . . .

Dinner at Saraceno in Boston’s North Finish

Then there’s Francesca’s alongside the identical major drag and solely a stone’s throw from Seraceno.

Though locals might argue that there are different cafes that trump the cappuccino at Caffe Vittoria, it stays one in all my favourite spots, largely due to the reminiscences of my youth. All these late nights ingesting espresso after lengthy work nights. And to prime it off, little or no has modified in regards to the place. In different phrases, it’s as I remembered. The ambiance. The tables, chairs, espresso, desserts, lighting — all of it.

Typically, you’ve simply acquired to indulge your internal baby and relive the tastes, smells and experiences of yesteryear simply because. Fortunately our mates indulged us each step of the best way.

Cappuccino at Caffe Vittoria


Though I wrote earlier that so many issues felt related strolling on outdated roads, stopping in outlets of outdated and re-visiting favourite eating places and cafes, it wasn’t the identical, largely as a result of I’m not the identical. That mentioned, it introduced me nice pleasure to drink and dine once more in a few of my outdated neighborhoods. Somerville’s Dali continues to be alive and kicking. A Spanish Tapas Bar simply outdoors Cambridge’s border, it was the proper spot to collect twenty or so outdated mates from my time dwelling within the space.

Whereas the tapas are nonetheless heavenly, it’s the ambiance that brings me again repeatedly. They nonetheless ship on that distinctive old-world expertise fifteen years later.

Shrimp and Garlic Tapas at Dali in Somerville

Simply have a look at the ceiling….

Marvel on the magic of the Tiles. The Lights. The Bar. The Ceiling. The Partitions. The Colours. Now you need to go to, don’t you?

New Hampshire’s Coast

When you cross over into New Hampshire, there’s lots to see inland, which embody nice hikes and weekend getaways, however we simply love the coast. This previous journey solely allowed for southern New Hampshire adventures because of time constraints; nevertheless, we used to drive up Route 1 typically from Boston, exploring the small cities alongside the coast and we did the identical for a lot of Maine as effectively.

In and round Hampton NH

Like Maine, there are many lobster shacks, however the trendier city of Portsmouth not solely presents fashionable culinary spots to dine however has nice structure. Additional south simply over the Massachusetts border is Newburyport the place I spent quite a lot of time in my thirties. On this journey, we stayed with mates in Hampton and went out to dinner nightly, visiting their favourite eateries—what a deal with. Scroll beneath for a couple of of these memorable experiences.

Throughout the day, we walked up and down the seashores, gathering seaweed, rocks and shells for my numerous artwork tasks like I at all times do after I journey. You’ll be able to dine in or buy clams, oysters, lobster, crab and different seafood to prepare dinner at dwelling.

Kittery Maine

There’s not a lot to this artsy little city simply over the Maine border, however we went major to drink and eat. And have a look at artwork after all. It’s a stunning stroll down the principle drag and there are some great walks and hikes close by.  

Taking a stroll via Kittery Maine in August

Consuming & Eating

In order for you a extra informal expertise merely to get your “lobster repair” in southern NH, a couple of choices embody Brown’s Lobster Pound (we had one picnic desk type earlier than heading out of city) and Markey’s Lobster Pool, each in Seabrook, Al’s Seafood in North Hampton, Smitty’s State Pier Lobster Pound in Hampton, Ray’s Seafood in Rye and Lobster Boat Restaurant in Litchfield, the latter of which is a recognized spot for old-school seafood and pasta.

Above and beneath, in and round Hampton NH

Beneath, my lobster order earlier than and after.

Whereas I needed to succumb to 2 roadside lobster meals, we additionally needed to strive a couple of elegant and tasteful eating spots and our native foodie mates Gail and Steve had been the proper hosts.

First, we ventured to Black Trumpet in Portsmouth which presents a seasonal, eclectic menu with gluten free, vegetarian, vegan and nut free choices besides. They provide a superb Cheese and Charcuterie Plate or you possibly can go for their Shrimp Ceviche Tostada with Cucumber-Nasturtium Pico to kick off your meal. Anthony and I needed to strive the Tea-Smoked Duck Breast with Beet-Noodle Seaweed Salad and Black Garlic Nigella Emulsion. Merely put, it was to die for.

Above and beneath: Black Trumpet in Portsmouth NH

Principal course choices embody a Brandade Crusted Halibut with Succotash, Swiss Chard, Marinated Tomatoes and Zucchini Sauce, a Soy-Brined Iberico Pork Loin with Buckwheat Noodles, Bok Choy, Umeboshi Plum Puree and Tempura Scallions and a Pan-Fried Zucchini Feta Cake with Mushrooms, Native Greens, Beet Yogurt and Orange Blossom Honey. (Notice the Asian affect)

Desserts had been equally divine, with Chocolate and Cherry Clafoutis and Spiced Mascarpone and Cherry Syrup, and White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Shaved Enna Chocolate and Nilla Water Crumbs all on the menu. And the way about this one? Sweetheart Beet and Plum Swiss Roll with Mascarpone Buttercream and Maple Creme Anglaise? Are you able to say Heavenly thrice after a couple of cocktails and any of those delicious sweets?

For cocktails, a should go to is the ever so distinctive bar in Kittery Maine referred to as The Wallingford Dram.

The Wallingford Dram in Kittery Maine

Let’s simply say that each one of their cocktails had us at good day. Uncommon mixes embody the next (they had been too wonderful to not publish intimately):

  • A Fist within the Mouth of Time: Bourbon, Smoke, Fernet, Espresso Brandy, Bitters, Lavender
  • We Are Nonetheless Us: Buttered Hay Washed Brandy, Black Pepper, Cumin and Orange Curacao with Egg White and Lemon
  • Victims of Late Success: Bourbon, Aperol, Mango, Pine, Preserved Lemon, Coco Blast, Nogori Sake (sure, actually), Seltzer and Mint
  • Jupiter Jazz: Jalapeno-infused Mezcal, Amaro Montenegro, Passionfruit, Lemon, Orgeat, Szechuan Peppercorns
  • By Witchcraft: Cranberry Infused Gin, Dry Curacao, Lime, Cassia, Creme De Violette (excellent for the area)
  • Tankgirl: Tequila, Aperol, Cherry Heering, Lemon, Orgeat, Pineapple and African Birdseye Chili
  • Excessive Priestess: Raspberry-Hisbiscus Gin, Blackberry, Lime, Dry Curacao, Chocolate Bitters and Egg White (gotta love the title)
  • Dame Shrub: Gin, Rosemary Pear Shrub, Lemon, Ginger, Principal Hemlock, Seltzer
  • A Secret Backyard Highball: Earl Gray Tea Vodka, Home Bitter Lemon Soda
  • Boat Cowboy: Tequila, Boubon, Allspice Dram, Pineapple Gomme, Birds Eye Chilli and Bitters
  • Northsea Lineman: Rye with Islay Scotch, Maraschino, Pune e Mes, Bitters and Salt
  • Leatherman: Bourbon, Carpano Antica, Lapsang Souchong Liqueur and Bitters (Anthony had two – hey, we weren’t driving)
  • One thing for Timmy: Olive Oil Washed Bourbon, Inexperienced Chartreuse and Bitters
  • Eddy and the Bridge: Strawberries, Peychaud’s Bitters, Pineapple Gomme, Tequila, Guajilo Pepper, Lemon, Seltzer and Thai Basil

Cocktails at The Wallingford Dram in Kittery Maine

Wow proper? I might go on however you get the concept. Extremely inventive, numerous and weird. We might have sat there all evening.

Additionally in Kittery Maine is Anneke Jans, which can be an uncommon discover for the realm. Begin your evening with cocktails at The Walllingford Dram after which stroll over to Anneke Jans for dinner. They provide European-influenced American dinners, small plates and drinks in a snazzy, cosmopolitan setting.

We began off with Oysters and Mussels as a result of how might you not in the event that they’re on the menu? The chef prepares their Maine mussels with bacon, onions, white wine, cream, and Nice Hill blue cheese. Yum, proper?

Different delicious bites at this magical spot embody Lobster Salad with Inexperienced Corn Relish and Avocado Mousse, Grilled Scallops with Succatosh, Candy Corn Soubise, Citrus and Leeks, their Scottish Salmon with Mango Quinoa Salad, Shiitake Mushrooms, Bok Choy and Miso Ginger Glaze, and Steak Frites with Romesco.

Make sure you take a look at two latest articles on simply meals within the space: High Boston Foodie Picks by Class and Delicious Northeast Restaurant Information.

Mass Pike to Upstate New York (Facet Journey) 

I name this part a aspect journey because the Adirondacks usually are not technically thought-about New England, though the small cities in upstate New York are similar to many of the cities I’ve visited in Maine (particularly Maine), NH and Vermont with solely minor nuances. We grew up within the Adirondacks so there are many articles to learn and photos to soak up. I needed to level to 5 Highlights to this explicit journey.

1. Exploring the Nice Sacandaga Lake by Boat

Hire a ship and get out on the Sacandaga Lake on the base of the Adirondack Mountains. There are eating places the place you possibly can dock and have lunch on a beautiful sunny afternoon (solely works from June till August)

2. Artwork Trails in August  

Every summer time, Fulton County has a weekend Artwork Stroll and we lucked out this yr as we had been on the town for it. All through Mayfield, Gloversville, Northville, Edinburg, Wells and Broadalbin, you possibly can go to artists’ galleries, a few of that are of their properties.

Our favourite artist picks this yr embody Alexandra Higgins whose medium is essentially oil and acrylics on canvas and sculptor, Robyn Isabella whose medium is essentially working with copper and mosaic tiles (she technically wasn’t on this yr’s Artwork Stroll however she’s my sister, so she will get a name out since her work is amaaaazing), Panorama oil painter Marion Kratky and Michele Johnsen, who makes a speciality of Driftwood Artwork.

Crosses by Robyn Valentine (above and beneath)

Beneath is Mosaic Artwork by Robyn Valentine.

Galleries ranged from garages, properties, and barns to co-ops, conventional workplace buildings and past.

Alex Higgins, Robyn Valentine, Renee Blodgett in Alex’s artwork gallery

Above and beneath, Alex Higgins Artwork

Alex Higgins Artwork Gallery

Above and beneath, Michele Johnsen’s Artwork Gallery (driftwood, hanging artsy mirrors and extra)

For extra info, take a look at the Sacandaga Valley Arts Community and the SVAN Arts Middle – they’re svanarts on Fb and based mostly in Northville NY.  Beneath are a couple of pictures I took alongside the street close to Gloversville New York.

3. Lenox Massachusetts is a enjoyable place to discover if you happen to’re heading to upstate New York. Make sure you cease by the normal and ever-so historic Crimson Lion Inn. Sit on the porch, order some biscuits, a cheese plate and a large pot of tea. We browsed a number of the cute outlets alongside the principle drag of Lenox for an hour or so earlier than grabbing some drinks and assembly an outdated pal.

Buying in Lenox Massachusetts in August.

Beneath, simply outdoors The Crimson Lion Inn in Lenox.

Exterior The Crimson Lion Inn in Lenox, Mass. with an outdated pal.

4. Coxsackie New York. There’s not a lot right here, however a pleasant lunch spot is Yanni’s Restaurant alongside the river the place I managed to meet up with an outdated highschool pal and his spouse.

At Yanni’s Restaurant on the River in Coxsackie New York.

5. Vintage-ing

We solely visited a handful of vintage outlets in Northville and Gloversville this yr. On our means again to Boston, we spent extra time than we anticipated in a Ballston Spa Vintage Emporium. A couple of hours truly. Sure, actually. The place is fabulous and if you happen to love conventional (outdated) authentic work, they’ve a ton of choices adorning practically each wall. We left with some artwork, a big picket horse head and a ceramic bowl I couldn’t go away behind. For sure, touring dwelling was a little bit of a problem however we made it with out one factor breaking. Thank God for bubble wrap.

A lot extra could be mentioned about our journey again East. Eating places and cafes had been neglected, particulars missed, nature walks and riveting conversations omitted. Extra photos had been taken. Extra bread was damaged. Extra reminiscences had been made. For me anyway, America’s Nice Northeast is at all times well worth the journey. Thanks for the sweetness of all of it.

Renee Blodgett


Renee Blodgett is the founding father of We Weblog the World. The location combines the magic of a web-based tradition and journey journal with a world weblog community and has contributors from each continent on this planet. Having lived in 10 nations and explored practically 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural range.

She can be the CEO and founding father of Magic Sauce Media, a brand new media providers consultancy centered on viral advertising, social media, branding, occasions and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped firms from 12 nations get traction out there. Recognized for her world and natural method to product and company launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an energetic consumer of social media, she helps purchasers navigate digital waters from world wide. Renee has been running a blog for over 16 years and recurrently writes on her private weblog Down the Avenue, Huffington Put up, BlogHer, We Weblog the World and different websites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Journal and is listed as a brand new media influencer and recreation changer on numerous websites and books on the brand new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed because the sixth most influential lady in social media by Forbes Journal on a High 20 Checklist.

Her ardour for artwork, storytelling and images led to the launch of Magic Sauce Pictures, which is a visible extension of her writing, the results of which has led to producing six picture books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee can be the co-founder of Touring Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to different nations to share and study from friends, governments, companies, and most of the people with the intention to educate, share, consider, and promote revolutionary applied sciences.

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