What can I tell you about Boston?

I grew up outside the city. I went to graduate school there. I’ve spent countless hours wandering the known streets like Newbury, Mass Ave, Boyleston, Huntington. I’ve spent more time than I care to admit at New England Conservatory, despite never having been an official student. North End, Southie, Back Bay, Chinatown, Cambridge. You name it, I’ve been there.

And STILL I got lost. Blame the buses as I’d always taken the subway.


But at least I got to sit in TeaLuxe in Harvard Square on a rainy Wednesday and enjoy some organic tea while musing over my recent spree at Origins.

Thursday, I left the city with the sister and headed to Salem. We went to the Witch museum.

We saw a statue dedicated to Samantha from Bewitched.

We took advantage of the Psychic Fair and had psychic readings. The psychic told me I needed to write. In fact she said “Go home right now and start writing.” Talk about pressure.

We had sandwiches at Coven.

While there are many great things about French food, there are many things I missed about American cuisine and the artisanal sandwich was high on the list. You just can’t find creative sandwiches in France and as soon as I saw Coven listed as one of the best places in Salem, MA, we had to go.

Though the name “Coven” might make you think about witches and cauldrons and pentacles or pentagrams, the restaurant/café is more of a kitsch-niche than anything else. It was filled with old games – such as battleship –

This was an epic battle to the death. I won, but only by the skin of my teeth.

And showed movies like Labrynth on flat screen TVs. David Bowie in tights is always a fascinating watch when you’re eating a sandwich called “Fraggle Rock.”

All the sandwiches had names that took me back.

But they were fabulous. The sister and I shared as sisters do.

The sandwiches were excellent. Incredibly filling, on crunchy, chewie baguettes. The fraggle rock – the chicken salad one was a bit on the mayonaise-y side, but not enough to make me complain. The valley girl sandwich (with the sweet potato) was a wonderful change. The cheddar a surprising compliment to the cumin dressing. With high tables, low couches the casual atmosphere of Coven suits any mood.

We also split a cookie dough brownie, but I was less impressed, though their pastries are supposed to be famous. I found it rather tasteless and too rich at the same time. As if it was composed of a lot of unflavored sugar. Their sandwiches are definitely a better find. And the coffee was good too.

Salem, despite being marketed to the witch-obsessed is also a quaint town. Pretty and quiet and fun to poke in all the shops and with fairly friendly people. It’s also home to the Peabody-Essex museum where the sister’s friend works but we did not go.

You can also attend the local school of witchcraft and wizardry. If I didn’t already have three degrees and three wonderful student loans to pay, I’d be there.

Strangely, today as I was typing this entry, I received some possible good news about a short story submitted months ago and I completely forgot about. That psychic might have been onto something.

Coming soon: Mexican, family dinners, ice cream joints and more.

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