Peaceful Things to Do in Boston
The past month has been unusual for me. I typically try to post about 2 to 3 times a week, but it becomes evident that the more you travel, the harder it is to crank out quality blog content. But, if you’ve been to my site over the last couple of weeks, then you’ve heard some crickets. Apologies for those loud crickets, I’ve taken a tiny little hiatus.
After spending 2 weeks traveling around Norway, I found myself in Houston, Texas for about a week attending a stressful family matter that was anything but a joyous occasion. And when I found myself back in Boston two weeks ago, I felt utterly deflated and simply unable to focus on much at all, yet I had a million and one things to do still.
But feeling deflated physically and emotionally, combined with the pressure to go-go-go and do-do-do as much as I possibly can left me feeling zapped. I also had three classes starting and getting back into the swing of things felt like complete and utter inertia hit me like a ton of bricks. It seems everything over the past year decided to catch up to me all at once. The most I cared to do at times over the last week was eat chocolates and read books on my Kindle.
Our integration back home has been super great in many respects but quite stressful in others too. Since leaving for Norway, there have been at least two active shootings “on or near” my husband’s campus at MIT. And today, I was waiting to cross the street near my home, trying to enjoy a beautiful day, when I hear two cars engaged in a bout of road rage. The man then aggressively stops his car right across the intersection from where I was about to cross, forcing the woman behind him to stop as well. He gets out of the car in a rage and runs towards her screaming profanities. I retreated like hell assuming gunfire would erupt any minute, but thankfully it did not.
After living in a society so peaceful and crime free in Japan (yes, that’s very hard to imagine!) integrating back here has been pretty frustrating at times. Why is it so hard for people to just be nice to each other? Sometimes this question drives me crazy.
Anyway, I found myself in need of a boost in positive vibrations, so I’ve decided to actively look for some of the most peaceful positive places to hang out around Boston. Places that radiate good energy! Places that also kinda remind me of living in Japan….Whenever I was feeling zapped in Yokohama, I always wandered around Chinatown and paid a visit to my favorite peaceful Buddhist temples to recharge, followed by a chai tea from across the street at a favorite cafe. But I’m still searching for some places like there here in Boston, but here are a few of my favorite peaceful things to do in Boston as of yet:
1. North End Yoga
One way I’ve decided to introduce more peace into my lifestyle is by picking up yoga again. I enrolled in my first yoga class in over 4 years at a studio called North End Yoga. It’s a gorgeous studio located in Boston’s North End, and I mean it’s absolutely gorgeous. The instructors are seriously amazing too.
Before moving to Japan, I avidly did hot power yoga about 3 to 4 times a week when living in San Diego so I got pretty darn good and flexible. Well, I showed up for my first class and felt like a 90 year old woman, creaking through the entire workout. I couldn’t even bend down and touch my toes! I couldn’t even hold a downward dog position, yikes! I’m very active, but I clearly haven’t kept up my flexibility over the last four years. I was shocked to find how much my flexibility deteriorated.
But, on the positive, after just a week and a half of regular classes, I’ve regained most of my flexibility and strength again. And it’s no longer difficult to hold a downward facing dog, thank God. So just in case you think you’ll never be flexible or agile enough for yoga, trust me, the first class is the worst but it’s amazing to see your body improve by leaps and bounds every new class.
2. Whole Foods at South End
Whole Foods owns Boston, but this location is the crown jewel. It’s the only place in Boston where I can find a parking spot without trouble! The store is gorgeous and the juicery is the best. You can’t help but feel better vibes here.
3. The Harvard Coop Bookstore
I recently discovered this bookstore and wow, it’s awesome. For the avid reader and intellectual, this place is an instant heaven. You’ll find tons of the latest books of all genres, with personal recommendations from the staff and even a coffee shop. It’s definitely one of my favorite new places in Boston to chill out and recharge.
4. Life Alive Cafe
Life Alive is a vegan cafe in Cambridge and it’s by far our favorite place to eat in Boston. The selection of smoothies, fresh juices and dishes always leave me feeling really really good, even after battling the traffic getting there. The Green Goddess bowl is my favorite.
5. MFA & The Japanese Garden
The Museum of Fine Arts is one of Boston’s most beautiful places and it also has a Japanese Garden that’s truly reminiscent of the ones you find in Tokyo and Kyoto. It’s small, but nevertheless, a peaceful space well composed with zen-like precision. It offers a true counterbalance to much of the chaotic energy around Boston.