Favorite Stops & Eats in New England • We Blog The World

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

We headed again East this summer season and had been capable of return to my favourite haunts. How a lot have they modified? Truthfully, I used to be stunned at how little had modified. Let’s begin with Boston itself. Sure, there’s much less development (and disruption) than after I lived there; nonetheless, different highway work continues. We arrived late at night time, 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-known one, a lot in order that I used to be on auto-pilot for a lot of the journey.

Southern NH close to Hampton

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text, after little or no journey in the course of the quieter years of Covid, feels extra “foreign” than visiting my outdated stomping grounds, which embrace Newton, Watertown, Cambridge, Somerville, Jamaica Plain, Walden Pond, Rockport, Gloucester, and Cape Cod (not essentially in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

Oh yeah, and let’s not neglect 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 by, together with the time my ex and I watched the squirrels from our bed room window operating 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 new house owners (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;  nonetheless, examine our journey 8 years in the past and be sure you see the breathtaking summer season sunflowers we encountered throughout a motorbike trip. If you do head to Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard, a couple of gems price exploring in Cape Cod in your method embrace 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). Honestly, for those who examine the photographs, you’ll see loads of similarities: the quirkiness of the outlets, the artistic 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 for those who speak to them lengthy sufficient.

The important addition to our expertise this yr was a melancholy story shared by artisan Stephen Laptierre, whose work took over the biggest gallery house within the Art Colony. Artisans are actually 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 by. No doubt, a part of it may be attributed to the Covid years which affected so many store house owners, eating places and cafes. That mentioned, it gave the impression of the problem 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 reside—it’s the exact same house he lays his head to relaxation each night time. Below, Anthony appears on as he shares story after story, together with the meanings behind every of the work. What a riveting trip and but I sensed a deep disappointment, as if we had been on the point of an finish to a really particular period.

His studio was actually eclectic and work lined each single wall, from ceiling to ground on all sides, together with the hallway main out to an exterior wood stairway that took you right down to the principle avenue. 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 folks 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.

Gloucester

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? If you don’t, then I’d argue you won’t gel with New England. After all, it’s the connection to all issues historic (not less than by American requirements) that carry folks to the Northeast. Since Anthony and I grew up within the area, it was like going dwelling: the dwelling we grew up realizing by its distinctive smells, tastes and sights.

Teddy Bear Picnic anybody?

Rockport

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

As many occasions 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; nonetheless, 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 by outdated European cities so fascinating. They inform a narrative: a area or metropolis’s tradition. Its historical past. Belief programs are baked into their partitions and stained glass home windows. They stay alive by the vitality 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 continuously 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 Association, Marilyn Swift, Cripple Cove Studios, Michalak Fine Art, Stefan Mierz Fine Art 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 slightly additional north alongside Route 1. There are loads of locations to get seafood, both sitting down or grabbing a cuppa New England creamy chowder to go. At 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 for the reason that 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 Cuisine Harborside on the wharf as an alternative. The ambiance was beautiful; nonetheless, 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

Another favourite spot is Floating Lotus. In years gone previous, we used to attend their sound baths on the highest ground. Owners are husband and spouse crew Justin and Karin, who do a fantastic job at curating distinctive objects. Mostly from Asia, these truthful commerce objects vary from jewellery and tapestries, to singing bowls, garments and statues. On this go to, Anthony walked out with a phenomenal 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 Main Street.

Credit: Floating Lotus

Salem

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

She touts herself as a Hereditary High Priestess and Elder of the Sicilian Strega line of the Craft of the Wise, founder and Head Mother of Our Lord and Lady of the Trinacrian Rose Church. We had been capable of catch her by telephone and her voice introduced us again to yesteryear and the visions we had of our time together with her in her mystical store Magika on Federal Street. With a connection to Egypt as nicely, she is a descendant of Gohar–al–Siculi, a General within the Fataniid Empire, who in A.D. 969 was despatched by the caliph of Baghdad to beat Egypt. According to her, this he did after which went on to discovered Cairo. Below 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 among the witch excursions (by day and night time), segway-ed our method by city, walked the cemeteries by night time, 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 large block lengthy Witch City Consignment Shop by chance. When you’re operating for canopy, any open retailer will do. Located on Essex Street, 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 bins of goodies, all of which we shipped dwelling. If that is your “thing,” you may additionally need to notice different outlets price visiting, reminiscent of Hex Old World Witchery, The Cauldron Black Enchanted Shop and the HausWitch Home & Healing.

Boston

A stroll by Boston’s historic district and Quincy Market was an effective way to spend our last afternoon on this outdated American metropolis. After all, Anthony had by no means been to this a part of the town and I used to be curious to see how issues had modified. And after all I ached to purchase one thing of their notorious meals corridor. On the way in which, 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 mild is completely beautiful at nightfall.

Boston Waterfront at Dusk in August

Below, slightly meandering by Quincy Market Food Hall.

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

Then we headed to the North End for dinner and low, beginning at Naples-influenced Ristorante Saraceno, good 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.

Below, Dinner at Saraceno in Boston’s North End

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

Below, a few the mains . . .

Dinner at Saraceno in Boston’s North End

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

Although 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 recollections of my youth. All these late nights consuming espresso after lengthy work nights. And to prime it off, little or no has modified concerning the place. In different phrases, it’s as I remembered. The ambiance. The tables, chairs, espresso, desserts, lighting — all of it.

Sometimes, you’ve simply bought to indulge your inside little one and relive the tastes, smells and experiences of yesteryear simply because. Thankfully our pals indulged us each step of the way in which.

Cappuccino at Caffe Vittoria

Somerville

Although 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 remains to be alive and kicking. A Spanish Tapas Bar simply exterior Cambridge’s border, it was the proper spot to collect twenty or so outdated pals from my time residing within the space.

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

Shrimp and Garlic Tapas at Dali in Somerville

Just have a look at the ceiling….

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

New Hampshire’s Coast

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

In and round Hampton NH

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

During the day, we walked up and down the seashores, gathering seaweed, rocks and shells for my numerous artwork tasks like I all the time do after I journey. You can 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 main 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 by Kittery Maine in August

Drinking & Dining

If you desire a extra informal expertise merely to get your “lobster fix” in southern NH, a couple of choices embrace Brown’s Lobster Pound (we had one picnic desk model 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 identified spot for old-school seafood and pasta.

Above and under, in and round Hampton NH

Below, my lobster order earlier than and after.

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

First, we ventured to Black Trumpet in Portsmouth which affords a seasonal, eclectic menu with gluten free, vegetarian, vegan and nut free choices in addition. They supply 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. Simply put, it was to die for.

Above and under: Black Trumpet in Portsmouth NH

Main course choices embrace 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, Local Greens, Beet Yogurt and Orange Blossom Honey. (Note 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 how about this one? Sweetheart Beet and Plum Swiss Roll with Mascarpone Buttercream and Maple Creme Anglaise? Can you 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 known as The Wallingford Dram.

The Wallingford Dram in Kittery Maine

Let’s simply say that each one of their cocktails had us at howdy. Unusual mixes embrace the next (they had been too superb to not put up intimately):

  • A Fist within the Mouth of Time: Bourbon, Smoke, Fernet, Coffee Brandy, Bitters, Lavender
  • We Are Still 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 (good for the area)
  • Tankgirl: Tequila, Aperol, Cherry Heering, Lemon, Orgeat, Pineapple and African Birdseye Chili
  • High 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, Main Hemlock, Seltzer
  • A Secret Garden Highball: Earl Grey Tea Vodka, House 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)
  • Something for Timmy: Olive Oil Washed Bourbon, Green 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. Highly artistic, numerous and strange. We might have sat there all night time.

Also in Kittery Maine is Anneke Jans, which can be an uncommon discover for the realm. Start your night time with cocktails at The Walllingford Dram after which stroll over to Anneke Jans for dinner. They supply 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 Great Hill blue cheese. Yum, proper?

Other delicious bites at this magical spot embrace Lobster Salad with Green Corn Relish and Avocado Mousse, Grilled Scallops with Succatosh, Sweet 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.

Be certain to take a look at two latest articles on simply meals within the space: Top Boston Foodie Picks by Category and Scrumptious Northeast Restaurant Guide.

Mass Pike to Upstate New York (Side Trip) 

I name this part a aspect journey for the reason that Adirondacks should not technically thought of New England, though the small cities in upstate New York are similar to a lot 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 wished to level to 5 Highlights to this specific journey.

1. Exploring the Great Sacandaga Lake by Boat

Rent 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 stunning sunny afternoon (solely works from June till August)

2. Art Trails in August  

Each summer season, Fulton County has a weekend Art Walk and we lucked out this yr as we had been on the town for it. Throughout Mayfield, Gloversville, Northville, Edinburg, Wells and Broadalbin, you possibly can go to artists’ galleries, a few of that are of their houses.

Our favourite artist picks this yr embrace 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 Art Walk however she’s my sister, so she will get a name out since her work is amaaaazing), Landscape oil painter Marion Kratky and Michele Johnsen, who focuses on Driftwood Art.

Crosses by Robyn Valentine (above and under)

Below is Mosaic Art by Robyn Valentine.

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

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

Above and under, Alex Higgins Art

Alex Higgins Art Gallery

Above and under, Michele Johnsen’s Art Gallery (driftwood, hanging artsy mirrors and extra)

For extra data, try the Sacandaga Valley Arts Network and the SVAN Arts Center – they’re svanarts on Facebook and primarily based in Northville NY.  Below are a couple of pictures I took alongside the highway close to Gloversville New York.

3. Lenox Massachusetts is a enjoyable place to discover for those who’re heading to upstate New York. Be certain to cease by the standard and ever-so historic Red Lion Inn. Sit on the porch, order some biscuits, a cheese plate and an enormous pot of tea. We browsed among the cute outlets alongside the principle drag of Lenox for an hour or so earlier than grabbing some drinks and assembly an outdated pal.

Shopping in Lenox Massachusetts in August.

Below, simply exterior The Red Lion Inn in Lenox.

Outside The Red 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. Antique-ing

We solely visited a handful of vintage outlets in Northville and Gloversville this yr. On our method again to Boston, we spent extra time than we anticipated in a Ballston Spa Antique Emporium. A couple of hours really. Yes, actually. The place is fabulous and for those who love conventional (outdated) unique work, they’ve a ton of choices adorning almost each wall. We left with some artwork, a big wood horse head and a ceramic bowl I couldn’t depart behind. Needless to say, touring dwelling was a little bit of a problem however we made it with out one factor breaking. Thank God for bubble wrap.

So far more will be mentioned about our journey again East. Restaurants and cafes had been ignored, particulars missed, nature walks and riveting conversations omitted. More photos had been taken. More bread was damaged. More recollections had been made. For me anyway, America’s Great Northeast is all the time definitely worth the journey. Thanks for the sweetness of all of it.

Renee Blodgett

Founder

Renee Blodgett is the founding father of We Blog the World. The web site combines the magic of an internet 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 almost 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 companies consultancy targeted on viral advertising and marketing, social media, branding, occasions and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped corporations from 12 nations get traction out there. Known for her world and natural method to product and company launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an energetic person of social media, she helps shoppers navigate digital waters from around the globe. Renee has been running a blog for over 16 years and recurrently writes on her private weblog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and different websites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine 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 girl in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her ardour for artwork, storytelling and pictures led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, 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 Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to different nations to share and study from friends, governments, firms, and most of the people so as to educate, share, consider, and promote revolutionary applied sciences.

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