I’ve been following Anna (@anja_mari) on Instagram for years. The self-descibed “Polish transplant in Boston” is a true representation of the modern mama- smart, funny, incredibly witty and real; her perspective on the day to day of raising two boys and a cat will have you smiling ear to ear. Having recently moved to Boston from Chicago, Anna shares a wonderful insight into this New England City.
LIVES | South Side Boston, Massachusetts
WORKS | At home for now, in 2017 going back to B2B marketing specialist role.
TRIBE | James (aka Cass) – decade-old husband, Simon (aka Bubs) – first born, 4 years crazy, Leo (aka Nubs) – second born, 1 year old mellow, Zuma (aka The Pusssss) – 6 meownths fuzzy
ROOTS | Born and raised in Warsaw, Poland. My whole family still lives there. I met my husband in collage back in 2002, but permanently moved to the states in 2006. We lived in Chicago for over 9 years, I call it my second city, because it is the second city that I had to abandon. (Chicago is also traditionally called the Second City – which roots back to its competition with NYC over the Colombian Exhibition in 1920s)
COFFEE OR TEA | Coffee all the way in the USA, tea all day every day in Poland.
Boston’s best cafe must be the tiny Flour Bakery, at the corner of Washington and Rutland streets, in the South End (one of my favorite neighborhoods in Boston). It is the home of the ah-maaazin chocolate macaroon, but also serves pies, cakes, tarts and sticky buns for those in favor of a bit more carb with the sugar. All this aside the dark, rich, traditionally brewed coffee.
FAMILY DINNER | I don’t remember the last time we went to a restaurant with a white table cloth, nor the time we were served by a waiter wearing a bow tie… but two very small and very loud kids just don’t create an appropriate environment for this to happen. So we always go with something casual, where food is served on a plastic basket and I pick it up from the bar myself, it just sounds so much more..doable. Luckily, the entire New England is covered with joints just like that, and they all serve… SEAFOOD!!!! and that seafood is to die for. You name it, oysters, jumbo shrimp cocktails, clam chowder, lobster bisque, in fact… lobster anything! Anyone who visits us here, has to try a lobster roll, like they cannot leave if they don’t. We found many good places but Neptune Oyster is one of the top top spots and it is located in the cutest area in the North End. In season, the lines are ridiculous, just ridiculous, but everyone will admit it is worth the wait and… Zagat rated doesn’t help the lines either.
DATE NIGHT | When we go out is to get to know the city better, often times we just end up walking around the neighborhoods, South End and North End are so charming. You can spend hours walking down the cutest little streets, filled with shops and galleries and bakeries, cafes and cute restaurants.
Recently, we went on a date up into the clouds, I mean it is no NYC empire state of mind nor Chicago Hancock 95th nor skydeck, but Boston offers its own altitude experience. The prudential Plaza has an observatory and a pretty fancy restaurant lunge, where you can sip a glass of chardonnay and admire the views. this city is not immense like NYC nor Chicago, but has so much charm and beauty, so the views from above can surely take a breath away.
GIRLS NIGHT OUT | So many places to go and so little time away for this mama, is basically a code for I don’t go out much these days, but my dream girls nite would probably we at Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar. I have heard the best reviews about the place, especially after $9-all-you-can eat unlimited taco nights. The decor is a bit burlesque, a bit saucy and fabulous so I am sure it would house a girls night well to my liking.
RETAIL THERAPY | Back Bay baby! First stop, Newberry Street for window shopping, drooling over window displays…. Dior, Channel, Gucci, Prada, Burberry all live here like one amazing happy family.
For a bit more affordable shopping, Boylston street is right near by. Zara, All Saints, Mango, Cos and all the good crowd like Urban Outfitters, H&M are here too.
WORK OUT | Boston is a fit town, two hands down, or up, for increased workout intensity. Of course, “Boston strong” is the new reason why people here just keep on running… One of the most spectacular places to go for a run is Charles River Esplanade, Boston boast oceanfront shoreline. It is like a beautiful oasis in the middle of a concrete jungle, consists of miles of grassy greenery, park benches and lovely pathways along the Charles river.
When the city is not running, I am pretty sure it does yoga, because yoga studios are pretty much at ever corner. I am attending one right in our little neighborhood, there is lots of private yoga and pilates studios around, with a very homey, comfortable feel, which I prefer to the massive, brightly lit workout chains and gyms.
PLAY DATES | We are lucky to say that Boston is a pretty kid-friendly city, with lots of parks and free events for the whole family. We already have a few staples that we like to do:
Picnic and roaming free in the Boston Commons, like a mini central park, filled with benches, greenery and little ponds where you can feed the ducks.
Watching seals in the New England Aquarium, although the tickets inside are pricey, the large tank outside allows for a short, close to nature adventure, if one is on the budget, or knows paying 30 dollars if one has to leave mid-way with a toddler before a melt-down, just doesn’t add up. Walking down the pier next to the building is also a fun little activity that everyone will enjoy.
Boston Public Library, it is quiet yes, but has a huge kids section and free bathrooms, also the building is amazing, Harry Potter feels all around, or Batman Gotham City feels, you choose.
MUST-DOS | Definitely the Food Hall in the Quincy Market, it is a must must must, there is literally every single food type you can name, think of or even make up. I am sure even the pickiest eater will find something to eat here. Literally, the entire building is filled with food vendors, like a food festival or a food truck symposium on steroids, it is crowded, loud and sometimes there is no room to sit down and consume your food, but it is so worth it. In the summer when the crowds are the most obscene, you can carry your food outside and eat surrounded by the historical marketplace with stores and benches around.
When we moved to Massachusetts everyone was telling us the Freedom trial, but since we moved in the middle of winter, we didn’t want to do it, because it is at least half-a-day walking trip. But if you want to discover the true spirit of this city, it is a must. I mean you will walk through the places and hear the stories where lines like “the British are coming” or “no taxation without representation” came about, and so did the first, original tea party… Massachusetts is proud to call itself the birthplace of democracy, and the true spirit of america… though Illinois claimed the second cause it was the birth place of Lincoln, but I digress. Freedom trail is a must and not just for the history geeks, in the summer it is the best kind of walk to wear out your toddler as an added bonus, naps happen just like that afterwards.