Finally, ALA got it right when they picked Boston for this year’s Midwinter! It’s a small, historic, beautiful, livable city with easy access to amenities, hotels, and sites. Locationally, it couldn’t have been more optimal.
All those folks who bitch about the cold? Deal with it. We get to go to New Orleans and Chicago in the summer, and it’s hot as Hades in both those places, so we can deal with some temperatures in the teens and twenties, and a few snowshowers.
Besides the conference-ing, which was good, I enjoyed the other things I did while there.
Friday night I had drinks with my LSU Ex-Pats at 33 Restaurant and Lounge, followed by dinner and more drinks at Solas, an Irish pub-type place. 33 was great, and Solas gets points for flexibility (if not for quality – who can screw up fish and chips? Harrumph!)
Saturday afternoon I found a very sweet yarn store on Newbury called, appropriately enough, Newbury Yarns. The owner of the store was a very nice woman. The selection of yarns was gorgeous, but it was challenging to actually find a yarn, or to find alternate colors of a particular yarn. See, the bins of yarn were arranged by color, as in “in this bin are all the purple yarns and in that one are all the teal yarns.” There was very little separation by fiber content or weight, which I found difficult to deal with. At any rate, I found a skein of the (sadly discontinued) Mission Falls 1824 cotton in a colorway that I like. It was a little more expensive than what I’ve found around Philly, but not bad. I spent a few hours in there just knitting and chatting with people, and judging from the locals I saw coming in, it seems like this high-end store caters to newer knitters who have lots of money. (Granted, I was only there on one day and didn’t get a totally representative sample of who shops there all the time, but… lots of garter stitch scarf women buying $30/skein yarns!) All that being said, the owner was delightful and was wowed by the Klaralund that I’m making in the reds. I showed her the pattern in their copy of Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton’s book, and probably sold the owner on making one for the store and one for her daughter. Easy! People like this sweater, and it was great fun to talk it up. Later, I met a friend-of-a-friend in there, and we exchanged contact information. I’ll be in touch with her, as she’s was cool.
That night, Beth and I wandered up and down Newbury looking for a dinner spot. We ended up at Kashmir, a stellar Indian restaurant. Yum yum yum. Beth looks great, and it was so good to catch up in person. She found this very cute purse for me in Buenos Aries when she was in Argentina last year, and got me SOCK YARN! I can’t wait to give that a go. 😛
Sunday was meeting-meeting-meeting-meeting day. For lunch, a group of us found a nice brunch place. The butternut squash/apple soup was excellent. Mmmmm… Dinner that night found many of the same group, plus about 17 more, at Cafe Jaffa, a Middle Eastern place near the convention center. Their baba ganoush was to die for. I drool thinking about it now.
All in all, I had a good conference. Now it’s time to figure out what all I agreed to do while I was there. Off to dig through those files….