Before I moved to Boston I had never eaten in a restaurant alone, nor had I ever sat in a theatre alone and watched a movie. There was always this slightly unidentifiable aversion to the idea of doing either of those activities alone. One could, perhaps, go to a museum alone or sit in a cafe and read on one’s own. But to eat dinner in a restaurant or sit in a darkened theatre? These are the province of date night. The tables around one will undoubtedly be filled with couples teetering on the edge of their burgeoning romance! How awkward, how pathetic, how almost rude it would be to sit solitary at a table for two and slice into a steak.
And yet, I knew almost no one when I moved to Boston. I was single and just starting grad school and although I made friends quickly I was still rather unattached in a new city. So I went and saw Blue Jasmine on my own and was utterly entranced by the freedom of liking something that much and having that experience all to myself. Since then I have been to the ballet alone, arrived at parties alone, eaten in many restaurants alone, and seen countless movies all by my not-so-lonesome. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing these things with loved ones. But there is something quietly lovely about doing them alone. So this weekend, I did it again.
I wandered down to Newbury Street and shopped, happy to be the customer instead of the salesgirl for the day. I wanted to buy far more than I could afford, as per usual. But what I really wanted was a very excellent burger. Yelp was unhelpful and Newbury Street simply could not afford me (or the other way around). So I headed back towards home to try a place I have been meaning to eat at for the last two years.The Abbey, in Washington Square, is a great spot. It is warm and inviting with that whole lots of exposed brick, dark wood, candlelit tables and the like vibe. The bartenders have various UK accents and black and white photos of the Abbey Theatre, in Dublin, decorate the walls. The menu looks and is delicious and they serve up a very decent burger, fries, and Guinness. I sat and ate mouthfuls of burger, dragged my fries through mayonnaise, dipped bread in their harissa hummus, and read my wonderful wonderful book and I thought- how in the world could anyone find this pathetic? This was solitary joy. A chat with the Irish bartender about the upcoming Rugby World Cup finals was the perfect cap to the meal. I will certainly be back this coming Saturday to watch the match there because The Abbey is delightfully and simply moreish. I recommend it heartily.
Happy Monday everyone. Enjoy the beautiful fall day 🙂