June 10th, 2004

Fishy Circumstances

Clothing

As many of you know, Gypsy Moon is my favorite clothing store. Coming to Boston every year or two has not only been good for visiting friends, but good for my wardrobe as well. These days, Gypsy Moon primarily does wholesale, selling its Gadja design label to a number of stores scattered across the US and Canada. They might be sold in an Australian outlet sometime soon as well. The main store is now open by appointment only - and even that will be moving by summer's end, probably to central Lexington.

So of course I went to their main store as long as I was in town. It's been over two years since I've had a chance to buy clothing there. I like their clothing so much since not only is it all made out of material which feels wonderful, it's all machine washable, and with a good sense of flow. If I'd made an appointment, however, I wouldn't have had to come back two hours later. Then again, I might not have found the lovely purple skirt and golden brown culottes that I bought down the street at Looks (which also stocks a few Gadja design pieces). Apparently there aren't any bookstores near Porter Square. I asked.

I spent an hour or so trying on clothing at Gypsy Moon, chatting with the salewoman (who remembered me!) and swirling skirts around. Their retailable selection is much more slender than it used to be, but that's because they're not doing retail much anymore. The decisions were still difficult. In the end, I bought a lovely coordinating top and skirt in deep purple with eye-catching mossy-bright green velvet around the wrists and ankles, in addition to a "Farfalla" silk chiffon underskirt and a silk suede shirt which matchs the skirt I already have. I never need to go clothing shopping ever again - or at least until next year - or something like that.

Afterwards, I spent a lovely evening catching up with Tamara. We had a great deal of catching up to do since we're both lousy at staying in email contact, so we mostly only catch up whenever I'm in Boston. She expressed interest in visiting me in Toronto too - in part because she's never met C. and in part because the idea of good food tourism appealed to her. We ate dinner at the Union Oyster House and then caught up on book recommendations and discussions over at the nearby Borders. She didn't like Lyra either. The evening ended all too soon for us, but just in time for me to race out of the subway station and on to the waiting-and-about-to-leave only-runs-every-45-minutes bus and make it back to my hosts' place promptly enough for a good conversation.

It was a very good day.
Fishy Circumstances

Union Oyster House

Location: Faneuil Hall, Boston, MA.

The Union Oyster House claims to be the oldest restaurant operating in continuing service in the U.S. double0hilly recommended it, so when Tamara wondered where I would like to have dinner, that's what I proposed. She'd never been and was interested in trying it too so, with the security of a reservation on our side, we went.

Upstairs, there is a dark wooden room, with an exposed timber ceiling, narrow booths, yellow lighting, and a great deal of character. Service was very friendly, and accurate, but seemed a little disorganized at times. The food was all quite good - quality New England comfort food, even if in one case, I didn't order it in its most obvious shape. The bread was particularly good, the slight sweetness to the corn bread and crunchy warm rolls. They even had a tasty brand of root beer, which made me happy.

I started with a cup of the clam chowder ("a Boston classic") which was just what a chowder should be. Warm, tasty, full of clam and potato lumps - it wasn't overwhelmingly amazing, but then it's not one of those dishes which ought to be, any more than should peanut butter and jelly, or macaroni and cheese. It was tasty and just the right amount.

The first few bites of the Lobster Ravioli were amazing. The white wine, lobster, and cream sauce went together beautifully. The ravioli themselves were good, but not as good as the sauce. In retrospect, however, I should know that I prefer nibbly dinners. A main portion-sized dish of the ravioli were too much, not for my appetite so much as my attention span. I should have stopped while I was still interested, although the sauce remained delicious to the very last. It would have been a better dinner if I'd had a small portion of the ravioli and then a salad, but, as they say, hindsight is...

After a bit of digesting, we ordered dessert. Mmm. Indian Pudding with a dollop of ice cream was again a form of high-quality comfort food. It was like a liquid version of gently gingery gingerbread. Tamara ordered their gingerbread itself, which reciprocated the flavor relationship with the pudding.

All in all, it was a fine meal, but next time, I will order salad. Given how competent and comfortable the rest of their food is, I'm sure they make a very good salad indeed.