Coolidge Corner

When I moved to Boston this year it was a big jump due to the fact that it’s my first time living in the city. I had visited Boston hundreds of times before, as I’m from a suburban town in Northern Massachusetts, and I generally knew my way around all the big areas: North End, Financial District, Beacon Hill and Back Bay, Fenway. I even knew my way around Allston a little bit as my sister and brother-in-law lived there when they were fresh out of college and working in the city. But I ended up living in a completely different area- one I’ve fallen quite in love with. That area is Coolidge Corner.

Yes, Coolidge Corner is technically in Brookline and not Boston, and yes Brookline likes to remind everyone that it is a separate town (a town that for some absurd reason banned leaf blowers, I might add). But it’s as close to Boston as Allston and Brighton are, and its efforts to differentiate itself are basically minute. Coolidge Corner is a sort of hub for North Brookline, which abuts Commonwealth Ave along the green line. My apartment is a ten minute walk from the heart of Coolidge Corner and some of my favorite weekend study breaks have been spent in and around the area. I’ve found that it’s got a half-city, half-suburban feel. Everything I need is within a ten-minute walk and the variety of stores is endless; those are a few of the hallmarks of city-living for me. But when the neighborhood turkey squad roosts on my porch (yes, turkeys!) and the tree lined streets are ripe with foliage I feel home in suburbia, if just for a moment.

Coolidge Corner has it all. It’s steeped in tradition- on your way to the center you can walk past the street (and, further down said street, the house) where John F. Kennedy was born. As you continue down Harvard you pass local hardware stores, kosher bakeries, Thai restaurants, independent clothing stores, and the famed Coolidge Corner Theatre. There are family owned bakeries that have been there for 50 years, making it feel like a small town, and there are classic city staples like Anna’s Taqueria and Wings Over Brookline. I haven’t had the chance to explore all of it yet, but I’m certain I will, as I intend on living in the same area next year. I’m no Coolidge Corner expert yet, but a few of my favorites this year are pretty clear:

1) Zaftig’s Deli

This Coolidge Corner staple is the best kosher deli outside of NYC. It has all of the comfort foods you need for cold fall evenings: homemade mac & cheese, soup, and not to mention all-day breakfast. It also has a warm rustic atmosphere that makes you feel at home. I love the warm roast beef sandwiches, the pancakes are so big and fluffy they’ll feed you for three days, and my dad consistently asks to go to Zaftig’s when he visits just so he can get another monte cristo sandwich.

 

2)Pizzeria Dante

At home there’s a hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant that makes thin-crust pizza, the best chicken fingers, and to-die-for chicken parmesan. Amici’s, meet your twin: Pizzeria Dante. Pizzeria Dante makes the same type of food: classic Italian staples with large portions and reasonable prices. And, they have a fantastic window-bar that sits in front of floor-to-ceiling glass which can be pulled up like a garage door in the warm weather! When I need quick food that is still filling and delicious, Pizzeria Dante is my go-to.

 

3) J.P. Licks

Okay, I’ll admit I’m an ice-cream snob. Growing up, my best friend’s family owned the local homemade ice cream stand in town, and my sister worked there through high school. I’ve been spoiled with great (and, mostly free) ice cream. J.P Lick’s is a little pricey (even by standards of having to pay for that local ice cream) but it’s worth it if you want good creamy ice cream. Their mint chocolate brownie sundae was beyond delicious. They offer great hot chocolate too, and a lot of mouth-watering pastries I’ve yet to try out. They also have a cool atmosphere (pun intended) that was playing some great 2000s pop-punk last weekend when I went to study. J.P. Licks has is now my go-to over the always crowded Starbucks.

There’s a lot I have yet to explore, and the top of my list includes Boston Dry Goods, seeing a film at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, and shopping at some of the cute boutique clothing stores. I think that I’ll take a few days after finals to do just that- explore my new neighborhood- before heading home to the one I know and love.

[That is, if I survive 1L finals. (Just Kidding. Kind of.)]

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