Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Empty Lot

All I wanted Saturday afternoon as I was heading out of town toward Boston was a pile of french fries and a hot dog. I'm not even kidding. What I got instead was a blueberry pancake (yummy), a bag of almonds (meh), a banana (okay), and a handful of popcorn (tragic and stale).

First of all, Friday night was a blast. Darien Brahms played a bunch of her old songs in her first set and then played her entire new CD Dogwood, as far as I could tell, during her second set. The night included great local musicians, including Sara Cox singing some backup vocals--listening to "So Low" live with Sara and Darien together is.... It's like looking up at two It's...I can't explain. It makes my teeth feel weak...what?

Even though this was a night of local music, one of the highlights of the night was Darien covering The Rolling Stone's "Bitch" with Nate Schrock from The Coming Grass on lead guitar and Chicky Stoltz of White Zin playing drums. I thought I was going to pee my pants. (If you're reading this on a mobile device, the links here are links that I've placed. It's safe to click them and some of them can be maybe a little fun.)

Needless to say, Saturday morning was calling for a hangover-curing eggamuffin from the OhNo Cafe. Never happened. Instead, after discovering I hadn't packed any clothes for my trip to Boston Saturday night, I found myself at Target where I bought something to wear, soup to nuts, top to bottom. It was there that I opted for the banana and almonds rather than that devilishly delicious dog and fries.

I know I should have wandered over to a small shop on the peninsula but I'm too fat for Bertini, too old for Club 21 (figures their website is a Facebook page), too broke for Black Parrot, have too much self esteem and not enough sanctimony for Mexicali Blues or Siempre Mas, not hip enough for Rogues Gallery, and surprisingly too young for Tavecchia, which used to be my go-to spot for "ironic" clothing. Now? I'm too old to pull off an ironic sweater set or flowery pantsuit and yet I am too young to wear their clothes. (Did anyone follow that?)

By the way, did you know there's an Urban Outfitters in town? How did they sneak that in? I've always marveled at the City of Portland's ability to keep chains out of the Old Port, Starbucks and Five Guys Burgers notwithstanding. Now that I think of it, there's a Life is Good shop there too. Maybe I need to revisit my notion that Portland keeps the big guys out.

you can bowl at this Flatbread
Last night I attended my sister's culinary school graduation dinner at Flatbread in Somerville--she was valedictorian and can make a crazy assortment of delicious foods now.  Yay!

We did have a discussion about whether or not I can consider Flatbread local. I don't consider Flatbread to be local, but I guess I can if I'm in Massachusetts since it launched in Amesbury. I'm just still pissed that they took over prime working waterfront property on Commercial Street in Portand and share a building with another non-local establishment, RiRa. (I'm a total hypocrite of course. I had my wedding rehearsal dinner at RiRa, but I did use The Regency as our main hotel, so...maybe it cancelled out? Yeah, I know. The same way a slow mile-long walk cancels out the four slices of pizza I had last night. Or the slice I had at Otto after midnight Friday night. Mm-hm.)

The conversation ended when a pizza covered in arugula landed in front of me. Local arugula. Back on track.

I woke up this morning slightly disoriented at a hotel over by Logan, remembered that I stayed with my brother who flew out this morning to go to Costa Rica, and hopped on 1A in search of local coffee. You ever looked for local anything on Route 1A, Route 16, or Route 1? Not gonna happen. So, I checked out the "AroundMe" app on my phone as I approached Peabody (my old stomping grounds) and drove along 114, past the Liberty Tree Mall, and through Danvers. My phone located two Starbucks, Treadwells Ice Cream, and a bunch of Dunkin' Donuts--which, I suppose, could be considered local since it was founded in Quincy.

The only local coffee place listed was "The Custom Cup Coffee," and I drove aimlessly back and forth around Danvers looking for it via GPS. (Note to Bill: Create an app that lists only local businesses.)

So today, I searched for this windmill of my mind, all the while tripping along memory lane (and mixing my metaphors), "Oh...there's the Portside Diner where I used to meet my friend Dora after school...Danversport Yacht Club where I had my prom....The Friendly's where I had my first now...a bank?"

I always knew I grew up near water but most of my early childhood boating was in Maine. I had no idea I lived on the coast in Massachusetts--even with Portside Diner, which is on River Street near Harbor Street and is spitting distance from a marina, and having my prom at a yacht club. What the hell else did I miss?
prom to the left

invisible marina to the right
At one point during this little adventure, I was driving along the section of Rte 128 where the girl who gave me my first tour of high school got into a terrible accident and died. I remember thinking she must have been a bad driver or didn't drive well if she flipped her car on 128. It was an unkind thought, lacking any empathy. I remember thinking what I saw in the world was the only way to see it. How I viewed the color green or what I considered to be a triangle was my one and only way to see those things. I actually thought each impression on my brain was unique. That's a bunch of bullsh*t, of course. If each of us were truly unique, pop psychology wouldn't exist and I wouldn't be forced to tell people I am an ENFP or a D in the DISC personality assessment--I've never had a DISC profile, so I have no idea what my letter is, actually. I chose "D" for "Devlin." I do know I'm an ENFP, according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and I have heard an ENFP can be difficult to work with. And, yes, there are certain people with whom I absolutely cannot work. But, those people tend to be assholes.

8 Maple Ave, my ass
Anyway, what I mean is, there's collective thinking--why do you think zombies are so popular right now?--and people tend to cluster together. Speaking of the collective, at what point will the collective decide Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" has played enough already? This cover is pretty cool/creepy though.

To get back to the Custom Cup Coffee, I followed my GPS all over Danvers and eventually ended up at an empty lot.

So, figuring I had done my due diligence, I went out in search of one of the dozens of Dunkin' Donuts in the area. At a stoplight in Danvers Square near Supreme Roast Beef--where I used to get a large beef with my boyfriend Jim and his friend Ed back in high school (wow that sounded naughty) even though I preferred Land N Sea--I looked to my right and saw... ta da... Custom Cup Coffee. Searching for local goods is a little like searching for those windmills, but I don't think I'm entirely crazy. The coffee wasn't great, but I did get to spend my morning on a neat little Quixotic quest reviving the ancient art of artisanal artistry.

Yeaaaaa....sorry. I just vomited in my mouth a little as I typed that.

there it is
it's not the OhNo but it'll do

1 comment:

  1. Nothing clever to add...just some random thoughts:

    Mary was valedictorian! Of COURSE she was! YAY!

    I am an an ENFP. I don't know what that means, except we all must have a lot of deep secrets in common.

    Thanks for the posts, I snort water out my nose sometimes while reading them :)