The Sol Compass

by Caitlin Hummer


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My Seaport

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Welcome back everyone!  Today I’m kicking off the first official segment of my My Boston series by sharing some of my favorite Seaport and Fort Point haunts.  My goal with these neighborhood guides is to facilitate any travels you may have in Boston.  Want to go to the ICA?  Now you’ll know where to grab dim sum after.  Interested in checking out Harpoon Brewery?  I can suggest the perfect place to walk off those IPAs.  The best part about this new neighborhood is its newness.  Everything is just being built and new places are still opening, so I always find something new here.

Where To Stay.

The Envoy Hotel.  There are plenty of options in the Seaport District (such as the aptly named Seaport Hotel), but my only recommendation is Marriott’s Autograph Collection.  It’s bold and yet easy going.  Rooted in the sea yet lifted up by urban development.  Outlook Kitchen and Bar provides modern food in a fun atmosphere with a world class waitstaff, and Lookout Rooftop Bar has some of the best views of the city.  Staying in the winter doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your view, though, as Lookout just recently put in these awesome igloos to keep you toasty and warm as you sip on your cocktails and admire the views.

Things To Do.

Craft beer fans rejoice as the Seaport was pretty much made for you.  Since Sam Adams was kicked out of the craft beer category, Harpoon has taken over as the biggest craft brewery in New England.  The Boston outpost (there’s also one in Vermont) is located right on the water at the far end of the Seaport.  They’re best known locally for their big outdoor festivals for Oktoberfest, Saint Patrick’s Day, and Harpoonfest.  If you aren’t traveling around those times, you can settle for an impressive brewery tour or drafts and pretzels in their big German-style beer hall and take in some impressive views.


Trillium is Harpoon’s cooler younger sibling in the Seaport.  Named #3 on the World’s Top 100 Breweries, this family owned brewery is increasingly harder to find in your local packie these days, which means it is definitely worth a stop at their Fort Point Retail Shop.

If art OR architecture is your jam, you can’t miss the Institute of Contemporary Art.  It’s arguably more famous for its sharp glass theater that hangs over the harbor than its art, but we love going for First Fridays, 21+ themed parties that happen on the First Friday of the month (don’t forget to purchase tickets ahead of time!).


Harborwalk travels along the length of the Boston Harbor, passing by many of the big attractions.  You can hop on and off the walk as you please and stop in some of the main attractions in the Seaport, including the ICA and Boston Children’s Museum.

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If you are a fan of comedy, you should definitely check out Laugh Boston, the comedy club at the Westin.  Music fans should check out Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, an outdoor amphitheater on the water.

Places To Eat.

There is no shortage of places to eat in the Seaport.  There’s even two outposts of Legal Sea Food for crying out loud (Legal Harborside and Legal Test Kitchen).  The flagship location is by far my favorite if you’re looking for a chain, but the LTK is a great option if you’re a fan of the brand looking to expand your options.  I have three celiac family members and my mom doesn’t eat seafood while my dad exclusively eats seafood, but we can all eat pleasantly (dare I say enjoyably) at Legal, so it is definitely worth noting if you have a family with a wide variety of dietary restrictions!  The flagship location has outdoor seating and a killer rooftop bar.

Flour, a local chain with a few locations throughout the city, Flour is best known for their fresh pastries and delicious sandwiches.  They also have a good amount of gluten free options!

Blue Dragon.  Ming Tsai, of Blue Ginger fame, recently opened this Asian gastropub on A Street.  It’s much more affordable than its sister restaurant, and great for snacks or Dim Sum.  The only problem is their weekend hours are frustrating at best, so make sure to check their hours before you head over!

Row 34.  More than just a raw bar (although the raw menu certainly doesn’t disappoint), Row 34 expands into burgers, pancakes, and more in this always bustling location.  The interior is charming, and the patio is well shaded during the hot summer months.  As you can see from the pictures below, I thoroughly enjoy the mini lobster tacos.

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Committee.  Possibly my number one choice for dining in the Seaport, Committee has a trendy and global vibe to their Mediterranean Meze serving hotspot.  It’s nearly always busy by 5:30 when the bustling young professionals have broken free of the air-conditioned cubicles, and B and I absolutely love it here.  The meze style menu allows us to share many small plates, and thus get to experience more of the delicious flavors.  If you are looking for a hotspot vibe, stay inside and hover around the bar (assuming you can get close enough to it).  If you’re looking for a quieter more conversational atmosphere, take it out to the patio!

For healthy chains in the Seaport, you have byChloe and sweetgreen, for anyone seeking comfort food there is also a Shake Shack and a Ben & Jerry’s.  Pictured below is byChloe!

I hope this helps on your Seaport adventures!  Let me know what your favorite stops are in the comments below!

xo, C
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Boston Summer Bucket List

 

After seeing two of my favorite bloggers (Grace and Kendall) write activity based posts, I felt inspired to write my own!  Today I’m going to be sharing my five bucket list items to check off in Boston this summer!  Whether you’re a Boston native or are considering a trip this summer, check out this list to see if any of them spark your interest!

 

  1. Boston Harbor Islands.  I went to the Harbor Islands a few years ago, but I am dying to go back (and go to more of them!) especially now that Barbara Lynch has taken over the concessions!
  2. Sunset Sail around Boston Harbor.  After seeing the Tall Ships at Sail Boston this week, B and I decided we absolutely have to take a sail around the harbor with my best friend and her boyfriend.  Due to work schedules and busy summer weekends, we will end up taking a sunset sail, but they offer daytime and even Sunday Brunch sails as well!  We have already started the planning process for this one and are so excited about it!
  3. Visit Fenway Park.  This one is cheating a little bit since I’ve already gone to Fenway twice this season, but I will gladly go again anytime someone asks me.  Fenway is one of those quintessential Boston experiences that everyone I know loves.  Whether you go for Mookie Betts, the wave, or just the Fenway Franks; Fenway has something for everyone!
  4. Catch an outdoor movie.  There are screenings all summer long at the Lawn On D, Hatch Shell, Boston Harbor Hotel, and more!  There’s a full list of outdoor movie screenings here.
  5. Visit a rooftop pool.  The Colonnade and Revere hotels both have rooftop pools, which I have promised to go to for the last four summers and failed each time.  Hopefully this is the summer I finally visit one of Boston’s rooftop pools!

What are your favorite activities to do in Boston for the summer?  Is there anything special on your bucket list this year?  Sound off in the comments!

Have a great weekend!

xo, C


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My Boston

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my relationship with Boston.  I can say with a great deal of certainty that the Boston I know is not the Boston that tourists may find in the average guidebook.

Newbury Street, Boston Common, Prudential Center… These are all places that people recognize, and maybe even identify, as Boston.  They are indisputably amazing parts of what makes this city unique.  I was brought up with a parent (hi Dad!) who traveled frequently and was absolutely set on finding his spots in different cities.  Anywhere from New York City, where my parents met 30 years ago, to small towns in Switzerland, he can give a rundown of his favorite spots.  Seeing this adventure he was constantly on, falling in love with food and culture alike, I subsequently set out to on my own adventure.  This search led me outside of past the top ten attractions, into hole-in-the-wall jazz clubs, new restaurant openings, and neighborhoods not on the Freedom Trail that have equally amazing things to offer.

My parents may have met in New York City 30 years ago, but I was born and bred in Boston.  This has led to some comical differences between generations, but I think everyone born in Massachusetts can relate when I say “As first thanks… Boston for raising me.”  I am and always will be proud to be from this free and fiercely independent birthplace of America.  Boston has always been a revolutionary town steeped in deep history that is impossible to escape, and I find the soul of the city echoing through my actions every day.

Today I want to kick off a fun new series with you, sharing My Boston and how I learned to fall in love with different neighborhoods in my city.

As I try out new places, experience new things, and buy from new retailers; I will be sharing my experiences with you in a “By Neighborhood” post series.

Kicking off this series I’m sharing 5 Things I Love About Boston.

  • It is incredibly healthy.  I love seeing bikers, runners, and even the occasional roller blader getting their exercise in on the esplanade every morning, and I love the accessibility I have to fresh and healthy food here.  Plus, being around such healthy humans makes me a lot less likely to fall off the wagon ;).
  • It’s America’s Walking City.  It’s pretty remarkable that I can walk from my favorite restaurant in Southie to my favorite cannoli in the North End in 45 minutes.  This makes Boston an excellent travel destination because you don’t need to worry about a rental car.
  • Spring, summer, and fall are absolutely radiant.  (Sorry, I cannot say the same about Boston winters).
  • History is inescapable.  The Old City Hall and State House are tucked in between skyscrapers; and Revolutionary heroes Paul Revere and Samuel Adams are buried right downtown on the city’s built in map-The Freedom Trail.
  • Variety.  You can watch the world class Boston Pops one night and then head to Fenway to catch a Sox game the next.  Boston is full of unexpected things and unless you want to party until 4am… I promise we can find something for you here.

Thank you all for following along on my adventure of falling in love with my own city.  I can’t wait to share all the things I love about it with you.

xo, C

Get a kick start on planning your trip on MassVacation.com!

 


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White and Blue

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Friday night I’m going on a little cruise around the Boston Harbor with some friends to watch the sunset and fireworks to kick off the Fourth weekend and plan on wearing this blue and white ensemble (#spoilers).  Harbor cruises are one of my favorite summertime activities in Boston!  I love wearing red, white, and blue together; but I wanted to put together something sophisticated that would work for the adults-only boat and also if we went out afterward.  I knew I wanted to wear pants and flats so I didn’t have any wardrobe malfunctions thanks to wind or waves, so I chose to go with my white skinnys to make more of a holiday statement than classic blue jeans.  I had been eyeing these navy flats from J.Crew factory for a couple months and just finally bought them during a sale, so I’ve been itching to wear them out as much as possible!

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Outfit Details – Top: Lucky Brand | Jeans: LOFT | Flats: J.Crew Factory | Purse: Vera Bradley | Necklace: The Paper Store (old, similar here) | Watch: Fossil | Bracelets: Alex and Ani

Thanks for reading!
xo, C


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MFA

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As I mentioned on Instagram earlier this week, the Museum of Fine Arts is my absolute favorite museum in Boston.  As a self-taught artist with a penchant for American Art, the MFA is naturally one of my favorite attractions in the city.  Housed inside a gorgeous Neoclassical building is one of the largest and most comprehensive art collections in the Americas.  The exterior (where I took my outfit photos) is majestic and stately; like a castle dropped in the middle of Huntington Avenue.  Their sprawling Art of the Americas wing is absolutely transcendent, and features everything from the gorgeous portraits of John Singer Sargent to the New England landscapes of Fitz Henry Lane and Thomas Sully’s Passage of the Delaware (you really cannot escape Colonial History in this city, no matter how hard you may try).  The Contemporary Art Collection is another can’t miss, showcasing neon lights, Andy Warhol, and modernist sculpture alike.  By far my favorite room in the MFA is the Impressionism and Post-Impressionism Gallery.  Impressionism is one of my personal favorite art movements and the MFA has a spectacular collection of some of my favorite artists (Van Gogh, Degas), and one of the largest collections of Monet outside of France, which is pretty rad, especially for a Monet aficionado like myself (isn’t everyone a Monet aficionado at heart?).  With such an enormous and extensive collection of art that transcends time and geography, I’m constantly finding paintings I had never seen before and falling in love with recent acquisitions.  This time I happened to see Expulsion from the Garden of Eden for the first time ever and it totally took my breath away.  I stood in front of it in awe for a good five minutes before I could even begin to go further in depth into its beauty (and then later went back for another look after we had already left the wing… Sorry, Mac).

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“I am not what I am”

The MFA also has a constant rotation of fun, relevant, and important Exhibitions come through.  Two of my past favorites were Hippie Chic and Hollywood Glamour– both fashion exhibits that showed fashion of a particular era as a crucial element of art.  Naturally, I was in heaven at both of them.  Until August 9th, the museum is home to an extensive collection of works by Hokusai, the internationally renowned Japanese artist.  Almost everyone will recognize Under the Wave off Kanagawa, his most famous piece.  I was so excited to view his extensive works that spread over his lengthy career, and the exhibit most certainly did not disappoint.

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“Doesn’t that ceiling ever just make you want to cry?”

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“I don’t think she knows how to knock”IMG_7774 IMG_7802

The other girl in the pictures is my sister/best friend Michaela, frequently referred to as ‘Mac’.  We do pretty much everything together (within reason, as she actually lives on the North Shore), including museum trips.  Sisters make for perfect traveling companions, as you’ll always have someone who is down to talk pretentiously about paintings and then turn around and take artsy instagrams on the staircase.  It’s also pretty sweet to have someone snap a candid of you across the room or not judge you when you want to go back to your hotel and change outfits in the middle of the day.  She’s also my number one photographer and a pretty great person in general, so since she’s such a major part of my life she’ll probably make quite a few appearances around here in the future!

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I shared this skirt a couple months ago in this post, and it quickly became one of my favorites.  I love the shape, detail, color, and versatility of it.  It can easily be taken from day to night, or from work to weekend.  I also love how a change in top can totally change the vibe of the outfit.  I would also like to take this opportunity to apologize for the fact that this bucket bag is in approximately 75% of my outfits.  It’s just so great that I use it all the time.  I love that its so on trend, but the nude color goes with almost every outfit.  It’s a great every day bag- I throw all of my stuff in without it bulging at all or losing its shape with use!

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Outfit Details – Skirt: LOFT (sold out, similar herehere and here) | Top: Express | Necklace: Banana Republic (old, similar here) | Gladiator Sandals: Nordstrom | Bracelet: Banana Republic | Ring: Charming Charlie | Earrings: kate spade new york | Watch: Fossil | Bucket Bag: Urban Outfitters 

Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend!
xo, C


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Head of the Charles Regatta

This past weekend was the 50th Head Of The Charles Regatta and in true New England fashion, the other Bostonians and myself gathered on the banks of the Charles for two days of racing and other cherised collegiate traditions.  Some of my favorite merchandisers included Naked juice, Brooks Brothers, and an intriguing Boston 2024 booth campaigning for their summer olympics bid! Of course, nothing compares to the Harvard campus in autumn, and the foliage was the perfect backdrop for such an esteemed event.

Here are a few pictures taken with my iPhone 6, I am beyond obsessed with the 8-megapixel camera and the quality pictures it produces!

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xo, Caitlin