The first two weeks in Brookline, Massachusetts

Hi all! First of all, I must apologize for launching this post slightly later than usual. At first, I thought that my new life in Brookline would be pretty calm, but as ever with me, not the case! And I have had (and will have this week) a rough week for my PhD because of multiple deadlines. As I am in the Productivity month, I must stick with my plans no matter what so, this post is here even though I thought about skipping it!

I kept it a secret under wraps for a long time, but I would come back to the Boston area to do the last nine months of my PhD at a division of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School. Since this new appoint is in Brookline, instead of Cambridge (the city where both MIT and Harvard University are located), I knew beforehand I would have to move there. It’s always handy to live within walking distance from your workplace, especially in Boston that is notorious for snowstorms and commute delays when the weather is bad 🙂 Actually, my first day of registrations was quite snowy!

I arrived in Boston again on March 30th and I had four houses lined up to see in Brookline, all within 20 minutes walking distance from my new office. And a quite funny thing happened when I saw one the houses. I ended up not keeping that house, but the landlady gave me some cards for a yoga studio with this newcomer promotion where you pay $30 for 30 unlimited days of yoga classes. Well, I was looking for a way to return to physical activity after I was sick with mononucleosis for one month. And yoga seemed a good idea! As a serendipity of the destiny, I found out my landlady actually goes to that studio too and we even went to a class together already 🙂 And off I went to splurge on some items for my new life as a girl who brings her yoga mat to the studio and tries out all these different classes. This is something I always thought to be very modern and American, so this is a nice transition to my goal of living more like a local and less like an expat.

So, preparing for yoga and for biking more often. Packed shopping spree :p

I promise I’ve been to yoga regularly! Today I’m going there to relax from crazy life. Now done with the workout part, what about the food in this neighborhood? I’ve been trying to eat out less regularly since hey, last year with all the traveling and eating out I’m not exactly rich. But I’ve grown super curious about the culture in this neighborhood. It seems it’s a traditionally Jewish neighborhood, with simple bagel stores, a Kosher butcherie, delis with traditional potato pancakes and pastries called knishes, and shops selling books in Hebrew for kids! A lot of things were closed in the first week of April due to Passover. Passover is a Jewish Holiday that last for one week. This holiday marks the liberation of the Israelites, lead by Moses, out of slavery in Egypt. Foodwise, this holiday consists in fasting on several things, but mostly on leavened foods made of cereals such as wheat and rye. Some people do not eat grains like beans as well.

I couldn’t wait for Passover to be over to be able to try Kuppel’s Bakery, a bagel store claiming to make the best bagels in Massachusetts. I don’t know if they are the best, but they are pretty good and fresh indeed!

While Kuppels was closed, I couldn’t resist going to Union Square Donuts, also located in Harvard Street. This is a controversial opinion, but to me their donuts are the best in the Boston area and maybe the whole USA so far. If you ever come to Boston and feel like venturing more into Brookline, go there. While I already knew other amazing donut flavors, I will post a picture of the “Brookline Donut”, the Challah French Toast donut. Challah is also a Jewish type of bread, made with egg. For the Portuguese reading this, it might look like a regueifa presentation wise. I won’t say the Challah French Toast donut is my favorite (Hazelnut or Blackberry Basil Lime win this!), but it’s worth a try to immerse more into the culture of the neighborhood.

I tried other places but pictures are not pretty enough to post. Or I was without battery or even more busy talking to people because that’s what life is about. But I just have four words for you that might come into another post: Frozen Nutella Hot Chocolate. Wow! I bought one for me at Paris Creperie right after I volunteered for the Cambridge Science Carnival as a reward for pushing myself to go after impostor syndrome kicked in (find the Instagram post here). It’s also in Harvard Street, so you know now you have plenty of options to satisfy your sweeth tooth and not only 😉

I won’t talk much about my office and workplace but I like it! It’s a much different atmosphere from what I had at MIT, way calmer, but great to focus. And I am also blessed by my friends and my house who welcomed me pretty well into this new neighborhood! I hope to have many more pictures to show of Brookline soon now that the weather might improve. Because for those who were aware of the Boston Marathon yesterday, you know how terrible weather that was. For those who didn’t, just let the picture speak. Indeed these people are Boston Strong! And I couldn’t pass the opportunity to cheer a bit on them, after all I live so close to Beacon St, where the runners would pass. I got that drive to run again just from watching these brave people. But that will come in time!

boston marathon 2018

Hope you liked this shorter post! I’d love to hear your comments and happy to answer more questions about the life here. In the meantime, to keep up to date, follow my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more content 😉

Cátia

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