Virgo 19° (September 11)


Last evening the party at Baie was really fun though not as well attended as I’d hoped it would be. But never mind. As Chef Raina said the vibe was amazing and it was. The room was filled with really loving folk and everybody got along. And that too me was wonderful. It was a long walk back to the hotel and something about the concrete on our feet left us feeling sor this morning. I gave out a bunch of passes which is probably right. We have a precious few sponsors in town this year and we might as well get some extra audience. I know I’m challenged because this year features six to eight artists who noone here has ever or barely heard of; only one is returning from last year; and one is something of an icon. I imagine it will be a squeaker making ends meet.

 Now that festival is upon us I am really pleased that we won’t be staying in a hotel. It is an unncessary expense in the end and simply not worth the ease. Besides, I will get strung out this week as it is, so any extra grounded will thus be appreciated. We have some friends coming to Boston and they were interested in knowing what to do and see while there so I thought I’d draft a little bit of suggested itinerary for them.

I don’t know if you know where you’re staying yet but our Boston home away from home is the Eliot Hotel which is in Boston (not Cambridge) but it is situated at the corner of Massachusetts and Commonwealth avenues. The hotel is all suites but the sitting room has a fold out; or you can probably get adjacent suites/rooms. Anyway, if you do decide to contact them ask for the manager Lisa and feel free to mention my name William Leone, 617-267-1607. It’s very private and old-world and there is a restaurant called Uni downstairs which is “reassuringly expensive” sushi and Asian “street food.” This is the Back Bay Boston area and you are a block away from the top of Newbury Street, which is very shoppy. You can walk down it or down Commonwealth Avenue to the Public Garden which is very beautiful but small by London standards for a park. There are more ritzy shops on the parallel bit of Newbury near the Garden. You might enjoy the Taj too which is right on the Garden on Arlington Street (the side streets from Garden to “Mass Ave” run alphabetically…Berekely, Clarendon, Dartmouth, Exeter, Fairfield, Gloucester and Hereford). If you want to stay in Cambridge you might check out the Charles Hotel in Harvard square. Mass Ave runs from the Eliot, across the Charles River, to Cambridge and the MIT Campus then continues on through Central Square to Harvard Square.

Other areas to walk around in Boston are: down again, perhaps along Marlborough Street (also parallel to Commonwealth Ave) diagonally through the Boston Garden over the Charles Street and up and around Beacon Hill. Another area to go would be a short walk south from Back Bay over to the South End where there are good restaurants like B&G Oyster, a decent tapaps called Barcelona, Coppa (Italian small plates) and Myers + Chang, a less expensive more fun and funkier (than Uni) and very delicious modern Chinese; it’s one of our favorites—here, when you book, you would say visiting friends of Stella Starsky; and shops and cafés like the Buttery—crossing Columbus and Tremont over to Washington Streets—stroll through Union Park which is a lovely street. You might also like the Seaport area around the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art) which is very cool museum. Ming Tsai has a restaurant in this area called Blue Dragon which is fun and pubby; and Mario Batali’s Babbo is nearby too. On the museum front we really recommend the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum which is truly special and the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) of course. These are in the Fenway area (Fenway Stadium where Red Sox play) which is along Huntington Avenue, again very central, in another direction from The Eliot. Raul the main doorman will always get your a car—the Harvard Club is right next door and cars are usually lurking.

Now as you’ll be at Harvard, Brandeis and Tufts you will likely be stationed in Cambridge if not staying there. It can be fun to walk around Harvard Square although it is quite commercial now. Still one restuarant you MUST go to is called Alden & Harlow which is only open for dinner. Here too you might say Stella Starsky recommended.You will have to book a table and you will want to request a table at the far end of the large, main room, passed the kitchen, which is open. They have a famous burger that sells out early in the evening soif you go early you can even tell waiter on sitting down you want to make sure you get one. Just a short stroll along Brattle STreet from there is the beautiful Loeb Theater and the American Repertory Theater and if you’ve a mind for theater that can be fun. Actually if you want to see anything there let me know—directors Diane Paulus and Diane Borger were among your invited guests to opening of Cursed Child and if they have house seats I know they’d be happy to offer them to you. The Black Clown is currently playing. (I present a series at their second stage, on Arrow Street called Oberon which also has great stuff there….unfortunatlely you will have missed the show I have on there October 11). Alden & Harlow has a fishy sister restaurant right near Oberon called Waypoint.

You might like the Freedom Trail though we’ve never done it. We suggest avoiding the North End even if people insist you have to go there. It isn’t what it used to be and the Italian restuarants are mainly tourists traps.

To view the original Sabian Symbol themed 2015 Blague corresponding to this day: Flashback! The degree of the Sabian Symbol may be higher than the one listed here  as the symbols cluminate in the next degree. There are 360  degrees spread over 365 days.

 Typos happen—I don’t have time or an intern to edit.*
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