Friday, June 17, 2011

Seafood Feast at Neptune Oyster

I didn't participate in this month's Petite Fashion Challenge # 8 "Spinning the Favorite," but please visit Gracie's post to see her entry as well as 24 other ladies' outfits!

Last Sunday, my blog friend Ping came to town and we spent a lovely afternoon roaming the city, shopping on Newbury St, drinking, and eating ourselves silly. We started off at Legal Seafood (local chain - don't love it, but it was close by) for Ping's first oyster experience. "Should I chew?" she asked, as she accidentally gulped it down whole. Next, we moseyed over to the North End to put our name down at Neptune Oyster. With 3 $$$, 750 reviews, and almost 5 stars on Yelp, this place is famous for it's seafood and long waits (which can get up to 3+ hours for dinner). Our wait was under 1 hr, abd we killed time by reading magazines in CVS.

Appetizer: Hamachi Crudo
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Entree #1: North End Cioppino (giant prawns, salmon, shellfish, and saffron rice in a spicy broth)
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Entree #2: Neptune Oyster's famous Hot Maine Lobster Roll
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All in all the food was delicious. A must-try for true seafood lovers visiting Boston. There were so many huge chunks of buttery lobster in the roll, we could barely finish just the filling. For those who've never come to New England, chowing down lobster rolls are quite the popular pastime here : ) I even tried my hand at homemade ones last year with grocery store lobsters - not the same.

 All Speedy'd out at Copley Square - more pics in Ping's post
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In my last post, I inadvertently stirred up a bit of "West vs East coast" chatter. I've always wanted to move to sunny Southern CA where Nick is from, and used to not care for Boston (we both moved here for college). Over the past few years, though, I've come to develop a deep appreciation for the history of the city, the convenience of a completely walk-able city (I loathe driving!), beautiful Autumns filled with apple cider and cider donuts, and of course, the amazing fresh lobster, clam chowder, and oysters. Oh, and the simple joy of eating a piping-hot bowl of pho or shabu shabu when it's 2 degrees out. One thing I definitely will not miss, however, is wearing four layers in June.

Readers - I know many of you are from the West coast, and maybe a sprinkling from the Northeast? Please share some of the things you love about where you live! And fellow Bostonians - what are some of your favorite things about this city?

55 comments:

  1. They look delicious! Damn, 3 hours queue,people do that?

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  2. I am always ready for food porn, and this entry did not disappoint... only down side beincg, I'm allergic to shrimp/lobsters so it's like drooling over the forbidden fruit.

    Really loving that picture of the Cioppino.

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  3. The food looks so good! Beautiful photos. :)
    The Pacific Northwest is super dog friendly, and I love it! People take their dogs with them to Home Depot and the bank! They even have dog treats for them. :)

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  4. What about the midwest?! People always forget the middle part of the nation. Though living in a small town means driving 20 min to get to the city to have some fun, it's a very nice place to raise families! (sorry if I sound like a pestering Asian mother! lol)

    Oh and I just had Cioppini, but with pasta noodles! SOOOO GOOOD!!! My new death row meal, ribs will have to be second in my heart for now. lol

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  5. OMG! When I went to Boston last year, we loved it so much we ate there TWICE! In a four day trip, that's kind of crazy, right? (It's also another big reason why I want to go back so badly) ;)

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  6. There's more variety in our outfits when 89 degrees today and degrees tomorrow. And I love jackets! (Plus snow and spooning when it's cold out :)

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  7. honestly... used to love Frog Pond during the winter season. Been so long, haven't ice-skate since senior year in high school. I love how H&M have a big selection and I can always find something, especially the one in downtown! Compare to other states... oh yeah, chinatown... lots of memories. and the fresh seafoods! ahh, love it. I want some lobster rolls now. damn...

    this is bad but the food cart... the Italian sausage one >.< I love how I can walk around downtown without worrying someone is going to snatch my bag.... even though it probably happened before but I feel safer at the "home-state"

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  8. omg my bf is drooling over the pictures lol! the food was so amazing! did you show this to nick? i'm sure he's super jealous. muhahaha!

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  9. wow I LOVE seafood! I MUST visit Boston one day :D!! Thanks for sharing! xx

    http://sipping-green-tea.blogspot.com

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  10. Neptune Oyster is delicious! They have a great hot lobster roll. My other new fave spot is Island Creek Oyster Bar which has an oyster slider on the menu that I dream about!

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  11. OC girls represent! LOL. I've lived in the Orange County region all my life.

    We do have leaves that turn. It takes not having a dry year, for one, so the leaves didn't go straight to brown, and cool evenings. This past winter it was nice to see color on the trees again after a couple dry years. If you want trees in SoCal, definitely go to Orange County - we're not nearly as urban as LA or downtown San Diego. I'm from a little town called Yorba Linda, and living in Anaheim a couple miles from Disneyland now. Right now the Jacaranda trees are in bloom everywhere and the blue/purple flowers are so pretty.

    Like I mentioned before, out of 47 states I've been to, CA is home. I get bored too easily for small or remote towns and it's awesome to drive to the mountains, beach, desert, or L.A. in under 2 hours. And it's so easy to get fresh local produce...farmers' markets are everywhere. As a US history buff, I did enjoy visiting Boston, though, but that was many years ago.

    The one drawback for you is that you don't like to drive. L.A. is working on their public transportation, but you need to be pretty local to all you need to do if you're going to be without a car - at least for my comfort. I've gone up to L.A. from the OC by bus a couple times, and I got stranded overnight in Union Station once because the LA connection I needed showed up late and made me miss the last bus home. Though I got to see the show "Monk" film in Union Station that night and had walked past another closed street for filming, so it's never dull, lol. It's a lot easier to commute from the Valley than the OC for LA...they've done more for it because more people need it.

    Oh! And I don't go, but there are sushi spots all over the place. Food is good on the West Coast, too...whatever variety you can think of, we have it, due to all the mix of cultures.

    The biggest drawback to CA is the price. Wasn't a big deal in the '80s, but once we got into the 2000s - ouch.

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  12. The food looks so good! Love what you're both wearing :)

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  13. As a fellow Bostonian I can relate to the love and appreciation of the history of the area! I was a history major in college, so I love to geek out on all the history and art this city has. I definitely go back and forth between loving and hating it here, but lately, its more love. I love the Charles River Bike Path, the Minuteman Trail, how active folks are, how each neighborhood is so unique and special, and how much pride Bostonians have.

    Le sigh.

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  14. That seafood looks amazing! I would love to try that restaurant if I am ever in Boston!

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  15. When I'm out shopping in Cambridge or Boston (I live in Inman Square) I always feel like I'm going to run into you somewhere. No, we don't know each other, I just read your blog to salivate over the way you manage to put together an outfit beautifully. You always look so lovely and I appreciate all the petite tips!

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  16. I'm from Minneapolis/St. Paul - so definitely don't forget the Midwest. Plus the Twin Cities' great boutiques were just featured in this month's Lucky magazine ... it really is a great city of culture, shops and lakes. It just stinks during the winter!

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  17. I've been to Boston once (with parents when I was like 10, to tour colleges. *rolls eyes at Asian parents*) so that doesn't really count. So to date, the best oysters I've had were from New Orleans. Yum. Unfortunately NO is a wee bit too far, but Boston is doable, so hopefully I'll get to try out Neptune sometime :)

    East Coast ftw! I'm biased though because I've lived in the DC metro area pretty much my whole life. I think it's great that you appreciate where you live and do stop to smell the flowers, so to speak. I really need to do that more instead of focusing on the practical, ie: stable jobs and hating the cost of living. Ok I sound really bitter, but DC is not all that bad. There is a great sense of history and charm the closer you are to the city. Plus the Obamas have made it cool :)

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  18. You should come visit Philadelphia! It's only 6 hours from Boston, has tons of history, but is warmer :)

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  19. I have ALWAYS wanted to go to New England mainly for clam chowder and seafood, and architect of course. I wish I went when my gal pal pursued her MBA in MA.

    I do not live in either coast but I love where I am. The weather can be crazy hot in the summer but I love the diversity of this city in terms of people, food, shopping, cost of living, culture and everything. Even though we have hurricane threats here, I don't plan on leaving.

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  20. My two fave Fashionable Asian bloggers :P you gals look so fab, so jealous of all the yummy food ya'll consumed!! I've never been to Boston before but one of my friends moved there recently so I figure one of these days I'll take the cheap Chinatown bus up there!

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  21. You ladies are so beautiful!!! Ok that last lobster dish with the fries?!? YUM! I'm so sad, I don't eat as much seafood as I would like to b/c my husband hates seafood :( s0...if I ever do get to visit you one day, please tkae me there and I'm leaving him at home :P

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  22. I'm partial to the SF Bay Area. I"m in love with the city of SF. Its also walk-able. There are many residents without a car but they have them to travel outside the city. The diversity, the sloping landscape, and the skyline are incredible. There's cold weather and there's warm weather. And the food is fabulous no matter which cuisine you choose.
    P

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  23. Are you planning to move Jean? =) We welcome you to the west coast!

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  24. I moved to Boston for college as well. I love shopping on Newbury St. (although yesterday was not good at all. It was really hot and I came home with nothing! arg), going out for shabu with my friends, running along the Charles River, and the bars around Fenway. I like bar hopping. It was crazy on the final game when Bruins won though. It is also nice to walk around the Boston Common when the weather is nice or go skating at the Frog Pond when it is freezing. I really like Boston but I don't appreciate the weather here at all!

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  25. Jean- this is off topic but do you have a Theory blazer style you purchase most often? The blazers you wear all look great and I'm hoping to pick one up at their outlet.

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  26. Jean, lately you've been adding the "Click to Read More..." button on your posts. I don't know how other readers feel that this, but I prefer the old layout where the entire post is displayed. What does every one else think?

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  27. I've always been an East Coast girl (Philly, NJ, and now, FL) but my bf moved to SF a couple years back.

    Through many visits, I've concluded that the weather in SF is impeccable. A 50-70 degree range for most of the year makes it ideal. Snow is just a day trip away in Tahoe.

    The people in SF are young, chill, progressive, fashionable (9 to 5 chic, Stylepint, and Atlantic Pacific are constant inspirations). I can't wait to move to SF when I graduate.

    jenny
    http://goldnturquoise.blogspot.com/

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  28. Four layers?! I thought it was supposed to be hot in Boston! We're going there next month and I had expected for it to be sweltering hot, and was planning accordingly. Now I'll have to change my packing strategy! :(

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  29. Ah! Neptune Oyster bar was one of my FAVORITE seafood places when I lived in Boston. I would always go at 3 or 4oclock when there was no one there. their lobster rolls are my fave, along with the kyoto (dont remember the real name, it sounds japanese) oysters. so jealous!!! :))))

    Jess
    www.youtube.com/jessicalee422
    bubblesandbeauty.blogspot.com

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  30. I'm a born and raised Bostonian, stayed for undergrad too, but I'm interested in going to the west coast, at least to visit. My favorite aspects of Boston are the public transportation (most of the times anyways), the walkability, the food, and the weather. The weather can be crazy here but we get to experience it all.
    @ kimmie the weather has been yo-yoing these last few weeks. Plan for layers and hot weather. Last week we almost hit 100 degrees mid week and then during the weekend my trench coat had to come back out because it was cold and drizzly.

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  31. That food looks SO DELICIOUS. Lobster is too expensive here to make into rolls, so I can only stare and weep ;_;. It's like $10 just for a tail piece!

    I'm representing the South here! Houston ("H-town"), TX specifically. I'm amused whenever Northerners complain about being hot. The winters here are the equivalent of Northern summers if that gives any idea how hot it gets. I've read that there's been a terrible heat wave hitting the North though, and without A/C, I don't know how people are surviving. I'm glad your area seems fine.

    I like how lots of people are friendly here and living expenses are much cheaper than most other urban areas. We definitely need better public transportation and...H&M!! I have no idea why it's taking so long for H&M to come to Texas. The first one just opened in Dallas several months ago.

    I've been to Boston once and I LOVED it. The pier area is gorgeous. I had fantastic clam chowder from a sourdough bread bowl. I think the bread was better when I had it in SF but the soup was better in Boston.

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  32. Jean, if you love seafood,pho,walkable city then san francisco is definitely the city for you!! its such a beautiful city. i used to live there but now i live in LA and i hate it here! you have to drive to get everywhere. but in sf everyone is just so kind its like a huge melting pot!

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  33. I live in San Antonio, and the only good thing about this city is the cheap living. I bought an 1100 sq foot house (small for Texas) a couple years ago, and my mortgage is about $500/month! I've gotten so used to prices like this, that it's hard to leave.

    My boyfriend and I plan to move to a city like Boston (or exactly Boston) in a couple years. I LOVE your city! My sister used to live there, and my visits would always make me realize how distinctly boring San Antonio is. Austin is cool, though, and it's nearby.

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  34. I lived in San Francisco for a short period of time then moved to Ohio. When I first moved to Ohio, I was bored out of my mind. This city has nothing to do except shopping. I've lived here for almost 15 years and I get used to it. It's a great place to raise a family. The cost of living isn't expensive at all. However, I really miss all the good Asian food in Cali. If I have a chance to move, It think I’d move to Seattle. I don’t know why, I just love that city so much. Looks like you and Ping had a blast!

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  35. I live in San Francisco and a lot of the above comments are true. Great food, fashion, art scene, very walkable. There are tons of outdoors-y activities in and all around the city, which I love. The cuisine choices are many and all amazing. The bad part is... the cost of living and traffic. Also, if you live IN the city (vs. out in a suburb) ... the weather tends to be cold and foggy a lot, blegh. That's the main reason I miss the east coast!

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  36. OMFG! The good looks so GOOD! Fashion is on point too!

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  37. I too love New England seafood. I love going out to RI to the little fishing towns and eating lobster that was caught that morning....yum! I grew up outside NYC and now reside in Philadelphia for law school. Philly has some redeeming factors but I am itching to go to NYC (and my boyfriend of 3 years happens to live there too).

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  38. My best friend goes to college in Boston and I flew over from DC to visit her in March. Boston is only second in my heart to DC; she told me I'd love it but she had no idea how much. The atmosphere is just incredible; you're quite lucky to live there.

    DC is the best though. Call me antisocial but I love the cool, distant, and busy vibe the city has.

    P.S - your outfit here - super chic!

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  39. Eeeeek, I missed the "Ping visit"? *crying face* I wish I was in town last Sunday so I could join you two. (secret whisper - I would've even come with a matching speedy 25. wink, wink. ;)). You and Ping both look sooooo lovely in the picture. I'll get over to her blog after this and check out more pictures. I have never been to Neptune, now I really have to try it.
    As for east/west debate, I love both. I think I still prefer CA. I lived there for 8 years and lived here for 8 years as well. First two years after I moved over here, I didn't even unpack a lot of my boxes. I couldn't stand the weather and the drivers here. People in general are very snobbish and not nice. But after 2 years, I somehow learned to appreciate it. :) Just like you. But it took me a long time to get used to Boston. I hope you and Nick decide to stay here for a little while. :)

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  40. I live an hour away from Boston, but still don't get to visit it that often. Really miss it! :(

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  41. May I ask where your flats are from?

    L.H.

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  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  43. I'm originally from SF, but moved to Boston for undergrad.

    I must say I left my heart in SF/California. The diversity (yes, Boston is diverse, but it's a different kind of diverse compared to SF I would say), the plethora of food (esp. Asian food is so amazing in CA), and definitely the weather! Ok, so it's foggy a lot of the times..but at least there is no snow...and it doesnt get too hot.

    I was so excited for snow when I initially moved to the east coast, but it quickly grew old. The fresh seafood is a great perk, and how the city is arranged is very historical and one of a kind.

    As you can see, for me, I still prefer the West Coast!...living in NY for the summer though, and other than the heat, I'm really loving it. So I think the individual city itself matters as well.

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  44. I'm a San Diego girl, born and raised, but now living in the Bay Area (husband's job). Although I can find something unique and likable about every place I've visited, California is and always will be home. I much prefer southern California to northern. They're really different. This So cal girl loves warm beaches and awesome Mexican food. Beaches are freezing up in the Bay Area and the Mexican food not to my liking, but the Chinese food is great.

    I really miss San Diego beaches. I lived so close to the beach (Torrey Pines and Del Mar). You could always find me taking walks there after work. Nothing like feeling the warmth of the sun, the sound of the ocean, and a gorgeous sunset to ease away the stresses of the day . (sigh)

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  45. Thank you everyone for sharing about the places you're from. I loved reading through these! It seems like the bay area is a popular pick.


    @Gracie Oh no! How unfortunate...Nick's good friend lives here and is also allergic to shellfish. I'm allergic to Mangoes but they're so delicious, I sneak a few bites in : (

    @DSK Steph The Pacific Northwest (or Seattle specifically) sounds awesome! I just read it was one of the top-ten places to live in the US (along with Boston, hehe).

    @Anonymous I do agree the mid-US is a wonderful place to raise a family. Though I did spend some time living in the "mid" area (Ohio) and we had to drive about an hour every weekend through cornfields to the nearest Asian grocery store. And Cioppino (as well as Paella) are amongst my favorite dishes! So good.

    @Petite-ish Lol, spooning! Spooning in cozy blankets makes me late for work on cold winter mornings.

    @xoladiihoneyxoI didn't know you lived here! I've never skated at the Frog Pond but love watching the ppl on there on my way back from Chinatown. And oh...the sausage carts in DTC! They smell great but I always thoguht they were sketchy lol! They now have halal and chicken and rice kebab carts there now too, copying NYC. I wonder if they're any good.

    @Ping Yes, very jealous!

    @Lissy I'll have to give them a shot! I've heard mixed reviews of that place (and are they affiliated with Eastern Standard)? I will have to look out for the oyster sliders : )

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  46. @Carla Krae I often go between SD and LA visiting family and friends...haven't stopped by the OC yet! You are selling it very well though : ) I will say that no matter how much LA's public transit system improves, I probably won't be riding it (willingly). I had to take a bus and subway recently with my grandparents, late at night, and also was at Union Station going to SD, and let's just say I still have nightmares! The cost of living at the places I've been seems comparable to the city of Boston, except for tax - crazy there.

    @Ashley Thanks for sharing some things to do that I was not aware of! Never heard of the Charles River BIke Path or the Minuteman trail, but I do love kayaking down the Charles River on a nice day. They've cleaned up that river quite a bit over the past few years.

    @Amelia Why thank you! And if we do run into each other, please be sure to say hello! I get a few messages from readers saying we've crossed paths but they did not say hello : /

    @Shelly I have a friend who spent the past year there. He loved all the activities (a lot of outdoor things to do, he said) but said the winters were unbearable! I can't imagine...I thought Boston was bad, but the temperatures he showed me were quite scary.

    @Cee DC is so active! And please do come visit soon : ) Vicky and I will greet you.

    @Jen That's actually the first place in the US I've ever lived, and my parents are there now. It does have a ton of history!

    @FashionableAsians Definitely visit! But wait...Chinatown bus from NY? I will have to say most NYC friends who visit are disappointed because Boston has much less to do and much less "good eats" than NYC!

    @Elaine A (TOBeautyReviews) Lol! He hates all of it? Even fish or just shellfish? No worries, Vicky and I will take care of you here.

    @Anonymous I'm definitely interested in going back to explore SF. I worked for a summer in a suburb outside of the city and only went twice! I just remember it was very chilly though for June and July!

    @Wendy No plans yet, Wendy ; ) What part of CA do you live in?

    @Sophie Newbury St & Shabu! Some of my favorite things : ) What's your favorite shabu place? I'm always looking for new ones to try. And yes, the fickle weather is not appreciated...cold and windy one day, sweltering hot and humid the next.

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  47. @Vanessa Hi Vanessa, my favorite style is "Gratian" but I think it's discontinued. The Gabe is their most popular style, which I know several petites also like, but it's slightly long on me. Have fun at the outlet! Don't forget to stop by the info center and present a student ID or AAA card for the coupon booklet. The Theory coupon is not very good at all, though, but if you're spending over $300 I think you get 10% off.

    @Autumn Dream Hi there, I've been using that to keep my homepage less cluttered so readers can click in to read longer posts only if they're interested in the topic. Also, I've been using larger photos and they have made the load time on the home page so slow! Thanks for being patient with this extra "step." If it's a short post I'll try to avoid it.

    @gold N turquoise I did notice how many of the bloggers I follow are bay area girls! Must be such a chic city. I love the adjectives you chose.

    @kimmie Haha, kimmie, please check weather.com before you visit. It was brisk and rainy one day last weekend and I had to layer up, but yesterday it was 85 degrees. Enjoy your visit!

    @jjlee0422 I never know the difference (or remember) between the oyster types! Enjoy your time back home in NY : )

    @Anonymous I really have to agree that the public transit here is pretty good. Yes, the T can be very slow and sometimes the green line is unbearable, but I've taken public transit in NYC, LA, and SF and had poor experiences at each of those places! My bf was literally assaulted on the NYC subway his first day visiting. I've always felt safe on the Boston public transit lines.

    @Cat in Calico One of my good friends here moved to Houston last year! She misses H&M and shabu shabu : ) And yes I can't even fathom how hot it is there, when we're still dealing with snow here. According to Jen of frmheadtotoe, Joe's American grill has a banging bread bowl with clam chowder...but it just doesn't seem right to eat it in a sit down restaurant. I love my seafood outdoors either by the pier or the shore.

    @Anonymous and @Taj More SF advocates : ) Ping (who was visiting from SF) keeps on telling me how amazing the food is there! I agree though, the few times I visited it was very cold (for the summer).

    @Erica Your mortgage sounds amazing! Rent is definitely a downside here. For the price of my parents lovely suburban home, I can barely get a 1 bedroom condo here. Not ideal for raising a family with kids and dogs. I hope you two enjoy your time and savings there, and eventually find a place to settle down at that you both love : )

    @PetiteLittleGirl I admire that you went from SF to Ohio! My biggest qualm while living there was definitely the food. It's quiet there and very suburban/rural, but I can deal with that if I get some Asian food. Unfortunately that pretty much just did not exist.

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  48. @1MadScientist I haven't really visited RI yet! Will have to this summer. NYC is the ultimate city for things to do and eat. I can't wait to go back as well.

    @nomoneylotsofstyle Lol, there's nothing antisocial about that! Do you follow Cee @ To Brighten my Day? Fellow DC girl who is very stylish.

    @Vicky Aw Vicky, next time for sure! You know, the east coast does have that "cold" snobbish vibe. We joke that one should not smile at strangers here at the risk of being though of as weird. Too bad because the places in the South that I've been to are so friendly. Everyone smiles and says hello!

    @Anonymous Hi L.H. - they are Miss Trish of Capri from Target!

    @celena / cc / chan Snow is not exciting! The first snowfall of the year is the most beautiful, and it quickly goes downwill from there with the salt and dirtiness and the tall piles along the road. I love visiting NYC - so much to do - but not sure if I could live there!

    @Andrea SD beaches are so nice and accessible year-round! I think the latter part is most amazing to me, versus waiting here for June/July and only being able to go until September. I love that there are dog beaches in SD as well. Ping who visited me is from SF but also lived in SD - she echos your sentiments about the mexican food up north and says it doesn't compare to southern CA's!

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  49. The food looks fantastic. I loved Neptune Oyster when I visited Boston.

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  50. Wow, thanks for responding to all of us! A warm (literally) welcome to your friend who moved in! She must think our weather is insane--we had a really rainy year last year and now we're going through one of the worst droughts we've ever had here. The only shabu shabu place I know of is very close to the Dun Huang Supermarket in Chinatown along Bellaire, but I have no idea how good it is. H&M has been teasing us with commercials that randomly pop up on TV from time to time, but still no confirmed dates for a store here. H&M must think we're all cowgirls that have no taste in fashion =(.

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  51. Go Boston Bruins!!!! Haha (I'm from Vancouver, where your home team won the Stanley Cup ;)

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  52. Best thing about living in SoCal - the weather! Second best is the laid back lifestyle, which suits me well. I was always stressed out living in Chicago, even if I had no reason to be!

    Also I love when I see my some of favorite bloggers meeting up together in one picture! :)

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  53. Jean-sorry it took me so long to respond, I had trouble figuring out how to post again. Just wanted to thank you for the outlet tips.

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  54. oh legal seafoods... I had it 3 times within in one weekend when I was in cambridge about a month ago >___<

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  55. I'm going to Boston for my boyfriend's birthday and I have my fingers crossed he doesn't want to go somewhere other than Neptune Oyster. I went to your blog to look for recs and those photos are killing me. My stomach will never be appeased until it gets some of that heaven.

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