Christmas has, unfortunately, come and passed. As promised, though I still have some places which I visited around Christmas to write about. Within the few days before and after Christmas, I made it to New York and Boston, and while I’ve been to both during the holidays before, they always have some great new things to offer.
New York- I spent a couple of days before Christmas in the city but also got into Queens for the first time. I didn’t go without trying Via Trenta and the New York City Bagel and Coffee House, both in Astoria. Via Trenta was a great Italian restaurant, and the bagel shop has a dessert-gone-breakfast Nutella and Bananas bagel which was perfect after going for a run (their bagels also come in mini sizes which are plenty).
There were a lot of great things in Manhattan too. Union Square Park had a good Christmas market, which was perfect for last minute shopping (sorry for all the New York maple syrup, everyone). We had lunch at Chop’t where you can customize your own salad, and also stopped by Magnolia Bakery later in the day–it was crowded but the cupcakes were worth it. If you go, make sure to try the banana pudding, too!
Finally, though it’s touristy and crowded, a trip to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree seems necessary if you’re going to be in New York at Christmas (if you’re there and are interested, you can also go to the Top of the Rock for some great views of the city). There’s a Shake Shack not too far from the tree, and their burgers and shakes are great, but be prepared for a wait and pushy people vying for tables.
Boston- I went into Boston with some high school friends a few days after Christmas, and it was still decorated for Christmas to enjoy those last days before the return to reality. While we were there, we went to the original Newbury Comics on Newbury Street. I was excited to finally get to the flagship store after having visited so many other locations, but it wasn’t that special inside, and their location next to Quincy Market is a lot bigger and has more in stock.
We also stopped by the Faneuil Hall area which was decorated for the holidays (and had a better Newbury Comics) before heading into the North End. Before this trip I’d only ever been to Mike’s Pastry, but we went to Modern Pastry, and it was a good surprise. You can customize your own cannoli, and they’re not massive and overwhelming like those from Mike’s. The wait is still long, though, but worth it.
As an aside, I went to the Bruins vs. Predators game the other night. Even though it was snowing and the roads were bad, TD Garden was still great and filled with fans (and the Bruins won in overtime).