The North End: Salem Street Sweets
The North End of Boston is home to some of the best Italian restaurants that you'll find anywhere.
Walking around the streets makes you feel like you're on a mini-Italian vacation. Much cheaper and quicker than the real thing. Although, I do hope to experience the real thing one of these days.
Salem Street and Hanover Street are two of the main streets in the North End. Find your way to one of them, then just wander around. You won't be disappointed.
One side note, you're really better off walking. The streets are very narrow and it's virtually impossible to find a parking space. If you do find a space, it's probably Resident Parking only. If you park in one and you're not a North End resident, you may get ticketed and/or towed. Back to my walk...
I couldn't help but notice this pink shop as I walked down the street. How could I resist taking a picture?
The plan was not to go in though. I was working on a photography assignment in the area. So after I finished taking my pictures, the plan was to find a cafe, sit down with a coffee and maybe a cannoli, then catch up on my Yoga Journal for a little bit. I really didn't have time, so that didn't end up happening.
As I was walking, I passed a shop called Shake The Tree. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of the store, but it was so cute, I had to go in.
The first thing that I noticed was that they carry one of my favorite perfume brands, elizabethW, which I've mentioned before. It's hard to find unless you buy it online.
I mentioned that to Miriam, the very friendly owner, and then we talked for a bit. Turns out she used to be a practicing attorney too. She mentioned that they have once a month free cocktail parties and she has served cupcakes from Lulu's Sweet Shoppe. I told her that I noticed the shop while walking. She recommended that I go get some cupcakes and tell them that she sent me. So I did!
But I walked around her shop for a bit. She has so much cute stuff! If you're looking for gifts or a treat for yourself, Shake The Tree is a great place to go. They have stationery, clothes, jewelry, bags, and stuff for the home. Just a really cool shop.
Lulu's has a large cupcake selection, which I wish I could link to, but their website is rather sparse at the moment.
I bought a carrot cupcake, gingerbread cupcake, tiramisu cupcake, and a s'more cupcake! Perfection! I even got a free taste of biscotti while I was there. Such a friendly group of people working there.
One of the best things about the North End, I can't convey in a blog post. The smell is hypnotic. I went into Polcari's and bought some Italian spices. The smell made me weak at the knees. All I wanted to do was lay down, close my eyes and just inhale. That's how I felt at Lulu's too.
I've been told that my sense of smell is off the charts. Maybe that's why I like food so much. I always follow my nose!
*Updated 2/5/2011* Here's a link to a new article about the crowding and congestion in the North End and possible plans to make some changes. See headline and summary below.
"Something new on the menu: Some in the North End want to make Hanover Street one way and give it a bit of Newbury Street panache. But others fear losing the bustle that makes this savory place."
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