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International woman of mystery

Last Saturday night I attended my party and I think I can speak for others in saying it was a smashing success.  I had rounded up some close friends for a little gathering entitled ‘All about me’.  The reason for the event was that I will be taking one foot out of Boston starting early November.  I’ve been living and working here for 11 years and now I’m making a slow & easy transition out.  I’ll be taking said foot and putting it back into Canada, where I am from.

Now, before I go further into the details of my partay, I’d like to give a bit of a framework, as well as to explain why I see fit to include it here, in my Travel Photo Blog.

After graduating from university in Canada, I moved to Boston, a city that both my father and uncle had studied in years ago but where I didn’t know a soul.  Thanks to a social invite by a Sicilian friend of mine, I went to a European Club pub tour one Thursday night and, having had a surprisingly great time, found myself repeatedly going week after week, month after month.  It was a great way to meet people and my circle of friends and acquaintances grew exponentially.  To this day, most of my friends, the ones I’ve gravitated towards, are also foreigners.  Frankly, I think it’s interesting that it’s mainly the European Club that kept me, a Canadian in the USA – second only to a career I grew to like more and more.

Most of my friends here are scientists.  There’s a good chance of that happening when you live in a city like Boston – where there’s a high intellectual capital and two of the leading scientific schools in the world.  Their work is humbling:  cancer research, neuroscience, drug development, etc.  With PhDs abounding, where once I used to be so impressed, now they’re getting to be almost commonplace.  It’s been thrilling for me to be a part of their world, even if only by indirect association.  And although it seems so foreign to mine – architecture – a thread that I see linking our fields is creativity for there’s a large measure of it in Art/Architecture and Science.  I also like scoping out the visiting medical professionals gathering in Boston for frequent conventions.  When they aren’t ‘convening’, they troll the downtown, toting their labeled canvas totes and registration badges.  This summer it was the Thoracic Surgeons who did their thing and at present it’s the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases that’s hosting what I imagine to be a rousing ‘Liver Meeting’.  But of course, it’s not just the scientists that impress me.  I love being surrounded by people that have come from or traveled to places that inspire, intelligent people, cultured people, and people that challenge me, that bring me another point of view.

After digressing so boldly, let’s parlay back to the Big Night, shall we?  The friends I invited are from:  Spain, Australia, Armenia, England, Sweden, Russia, and Poland, with a few American friends sprinkled in.  Unfortunately my Ethiopian, Italian, Brazilian, Indian and Turkish representatives couldn’t make it.  For this last Boston gathering ‘en masse’ for the foreseeable future, I had preferred a location more special than a restaurant or bar.  What I had in mind was Casa Bobonis.  Let me explain:  a friend adining roomnd fellow architect/co-worker is also a talented chef who recently started this business, in which he hosts parties at his lovely home, as a complement to the professional catering that he and his wife do.  The way I pitched it to my other friends was “I aptly called this gathering ‘All about me’ but, in truth, the party is all about YOU, my dear friends.  I want you to have a really good time and I think this will be super cool and unique.”  And that’s what this event promised to be:  a celebration of friends in a lively setting, relishing a gastronomic fusion of Latin American flavours – the result of life and travel experiences.

This is how the evening played out:  upon arriving, we were greeted by a porch decorated with Hallowe’en props.  The home’s sense of space and decoration is like a clipping from a modern interior design magazine. Once you get past the ‘bouche bée‘ sensation, which frankly never left me all evening long, place settingswe were served with tantalizing appetizers.  Little by little, everyone made their appearance, and at around 21h30 we were warmly herded into the living room which had been transformed into an intimate setting of candles, white chairs and tables with small flowers and slate centerpieces.  The menu was customized to take into account my invited guests’ food allergies and, what was no doubt more of a challenge, the list of my food dislikes, which, as my friends know, is not short.  Accompanied by sangria all night long, ‘Stephanie’s Tapas Night’ menu consisted of 5 courses – so brace yourselves:  1) Pumpkin soup with Colombian cheese fritter; 2) Patatas Bravas and Aioli Potatoes; 3) Garlic chicken, Garlic mushrooms and Garlic shrimp (this ’round’ was my fave); 4) Puertorrican pot roast with yucca gnocchi on a sage brown butter sauce; and for dessert, 5) Warm coconut custard with a guava puff pastry.  The latter was ever-so-delicately decorated with my initial ‘S’ in chocolate powder – a lovely touch.  I hope for your sake, dear Reader, that you are not reading this on an empty stomach because I’d surely be chomping at the bit at this point.peepsajillo

pot roast

work surface

Did I forget to mention that the hosts’ 2.5 week-old baby boy made his début at my party?  Their latest creation was propped up on the kitchen counter, amidst the hustle and bustle of activity – he looked good enough to eat.  It was a great night except for the fact that, like most of Boston, the females outnumbered the males somewhat.  Certainly, I had hoped for a matchmaking opportunity for my friends because I like to bring people together.  Unfortunately, as I had to point out to them in advance, “some of you know each other already so if you didn’t ‘like’ each other before, chances are you won’t feel any different meeting them once more but again, people, focus – let’s try to remember that the party is about ‘me.'”:)


tio pepe

crema de coco

puff pastries