cool corners and travelling pants

After several days of rain (again) Neal and I were itchin' to get outside yesterday to enjoy the sun while it lasted. After a walk through PJP park, we headed to Coolidge Corner in Brookline, a delightful little neighborhood in one of Boston's most coveted suburbs. Brookline's way more expensive than Dorchester and in addition to the no overnight parking rule, it's on a branch of the green subway line. Three things that made it very unlikely we'd live there, although it was high on my most desirable list of neighborhoods to scope out when we came to Boston looking for apartments around this time last year. Eventually, I'd like to be able to prioritize the ability to walk to restaurants, shops, movie theaters, etc., but at the time, space and general affordability outweighed everything else. And to be honest, I've always had a hard time justifying the amount of rent it seems to take to live in neighborhoods like Coolidge Corner, and there were plenty in the S.F. Bay Area. Where we lived in Oakland's Lake Merritt neighborhood, Adams Point, to be more specific, was pretty close to perfect in my mind, although at the time it still seemed to occasionally pale in comparison to the various dining, shopping, and entertainment options of nearby Rockridge and Elmwood neighborhoods, for example. So I think, on the one hand, the grass is always greener, and I'm just not sure I'd ever be able to pay the average $1500 per month it seems to take right now to live near this particular trendy neighborhood. Neal and I had a, um, colorful conversation about this on the way home. I'm just not totally convinced.

Don't get me wrong, it's a great little neighborhood. We saw "Brick" - finally - at the Coolidge Corner Theater, a nicely renovated Art Deco theater (another reason I couldn't help but think of my old stomping ground...and the Parkway, Grand Lake, and Paramount Theaters, to name a few of Oakland's treasures). Of course, since we waited so long to see "Brick," we missed out on the 600-seater main theater, moving upstairs instead to the much smaller "video screening room." The seats were comfy, though.

After the movie, Neal and I enjoyed a slice each at Upper Crust Pizza, which was pretty decent. I tried their daily slice (artichoke hearts and portabella mushrooms) on wheat crust, which was better than average as far as wheat alternatives go. Their motto is something terribly original like "not your average pizza." No, really, not like all the other pizza chains that claim they're not your average pizza place. Citysearch's editorial profile describes their offerings as "artsy." Ew. Artsy pizza? See, this is exactly the kind of thing that - I don't know why exactly - gives me the creeps. Why can't a neighborhood just do it's thang and make a decent pizza, show good movies in a nice theater, and serve decent coffee without getting all predictably smug about it? I realize it's Citysearch writing that, not the pizza place, but still...

The neighborhood is also home to a Trader Joe's and Peet's, my favorite grocery store and coffee shop, respectively, so we picked up a couple of basics and a good dose of caffeine before heading home. Peet's makes the best latte, hands down.

In other news, I recently added another title to my summer film festival. On my good friend Mer's recommendation, Neal and I watched "Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants." It's a total chick flick and quite possibly the poster child for my summer film festival. Actually, if I'm being honest with myself, "Crossroads" is the poster child for this little project of mine, and yes, I've seen it. I was an admitted fan of Britney's (you know you were too) pre K-Fed and four in four and bare feet, of course. At least I can still watch the music videos before she crossed over to the dark side...

Anyway, "Crossroads" was super lame-o, but if you think about it, it's the perfect movie for this scholarly project - girl/young woman in transition (the lyrics to the theme song say it all, really, "not a girl, not yet a woman"), goes on a road trip with other girls/young women in transition..."Travelling Pants" was kinda like that, times four, and way better. Although the DVD's special features did little to add to the experience. There was a bit about the film's director, talking about how "disarming" the story was, the story being so much more than just about pants and the audience who, presumabley, would go to the movie just, I don't know, expecting a story about pants. How disappointing for all those folks expecting a good old-fashioned story about pants, you know?

1 comment:

Brian said...

I won't weigh in on the debate about whether it's better to pay a premium for living closer to the action, but I've been on both sides of the issue. For me, there are too many factors involved for it to ever be a simple choice one way or the other. But I also tend to overthink these things.