These haunting sculptures have intrigued me for years. They stand in the front yard of a grand house on Brattle St. in Cambridge as if waiting for the bus. I’ve always thought the homeowners had a generous spirit to share the artwork with everyone by placing the work where they did.
A cluster of figures waits for the bus, but this woman always seems so lonely. Today though, it looked like she was enjoying the sun on her face, which is really the best part of waiting for the bus.
Attention vegetarians (um, do I have any vegetarian readers?). The experimental Clover food truck that wheeled into Cambridge a few months back is worth checking out. Why? Because I said so, and I’m a carnivore. Parked behind the Kendall Square T station in a row of other food trucks that do surprisingly decent food, the truck turns out the $5 chickpea fritters, soy BLTs, BBQ seitan (the protein that just got the first contestant kicked off the new Top Chef because of the way she prepared it), salads, and even brunch. The star though, is the rosemary fries ($3). Yum. The friendly Clover folks also offer up some interesting drinks—peach aqua fresca and mixed citrus lemonade recently. Grassy spots and benches abound, so grab a friend or a book and camp out for lunch for as long as you can stretch it. Is three hours unreasonable?
The former Crate & Barrel space on Brattle St. in Cambridge, a building heralded for its design, is now home to a temporary exhibit celebrating Marimekko, a Finnish design company that I always thought was a Japanese designer. The window display, a splash and a half of color, caught my eye because it looks an awful lot like my closet: a row of vintage-y dresses in bright floral patterns, their poppy petals and bold swirls wooing passersby. The cheery designs are most appreciated on umbrellas. Pinks and oranges: how can you go wrong?
This weekend, I hung out with John Malkovich as we both did errands around Cambridge. Of course, by “hung out” I mean I stood near him uttering not a word for fear of him fixing me with the Malkovich stare that can penetrate your soul. I love the guy, but I don’t know that my soul could handle such scrutiny. His voice is so unmistakable that I didn’t need to turn around to know it was him. A quick glance out of curiosity, however, revealed that he was wearing a sweatshirt, jeans and sneakers and chatting with his teenage son like any dad out on a weekend day, which I suppose he is.
This would have been a much more interesting story had I talked to him, but I just couldn’t bring myself to say anything because 1) the guy should have some privacy in his own neighborhood (in fact, every single person pretended not to notice him; and 2) I didn’t want to be a typical obsequious fan, squeaking: Oh, my God, I love your movies! Or You’re such a good psychopath! Plus, I had just seen Burn After Reading in which he plays a quick-to-anger guy who’s not afraid to wield an ax in his bathrobe.
I indulged in amazing food this weekend, which is not much of an indulgence, I suppose, since I do it regularly, but still. First was a stop at Sofra, a Cambridge neighborhood bakery and cafe that opened a month ago and already has a line almost creeping out the door. Unable to decide which dessert to try, I ordered a cookie lunch: one chocolate sandwich cookie with milk jam (called “maureos”), a decadent chocolate chip cookie, and an earthquake cookie, so-named in my mind anyway, because the chocolate is powerful and there’s a little dust-up of powdered sugar every time you take a bite. (Note: the sandwich cookie is not pictured because well, I have no will power. But you can see them here because Flickr photogs get the job done.)
Cookies from Sofra
For lunch, I stopped by another Cambridge favorite: Formaggio Kitchen. The guys at Formaggio have this dangerous habit of holding an outdoor barbecue on Saturdays that tempts neighbors from blocks away with the aroma. Pulled pork that’s been marinating for hours can be had on Iggy’s square rolls, along with meaty ribs, pulled lamb, hot dogs, chicken and a special that called to me, even after I had already bought a half rack of ribs: a grilled lamejune with a paste of herbs, a little pork and a sprinkling of manouri cheese. Oh, God.
A pork-filled lamejune with melty manouri cheese and ribs
On a stroll through my neighborhood recently, I stopped before a vacant storefront, drooling like it was a window display featuring Manolo Blahniks half off (sorry, cheap Sex and the City reference). The art deco building, straight out of the 50s, was most recently a liquor store. Today though, a sign in the window with a cool font (always a good omen), announced that a bakery and café called Sofra would be opening this summer. With Starbucks’ scant tables packed at all hours and Panera the go-to place if you want to camp out for four hour stretches, I was unnaturally excited that the hood was getting a new café.
A little online research turned up the fact that it’s a Middle Eastern bakery coming to town right around the corner from my house. I turn up every day hoping to thank the owner for picking this spot, but only contractors mill around inside transforming a dusty interior to what I hope will be a trendy but hidden spot. It’s like they’re opening a place just for me to satiate my sugar and lounging desires. Until, that is, everyone else discovers it, and then every Sunday there’s a line out the door for lamejuns. Great, now I’m preemptively annoyed.
**Update** Sofra opened today (8/19) and already there were people milling about outside this morning. It’s kind of killing me that I’m at work while there are earthquake cookies to be devoured and palace bread with rose and pistachio waiting to be sampled. The menu sounds lovely and aromatic and the descriptions reminiscent of an Anthropologie catalog. I’m only sorry it’s too close to my house to resist. But then, why resist?