Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Boston Neighborhoods: Davis Square

Hello friends! Here is one more post about Boston Neighborhoods. Davis Square, is actually  a Somerville neighborhood, not a Boston neighborhood, but it's such a nice place, I just couldn't leave it out of this little guide.

Hello all! My name is Erika, and I'm an Etsy shop owner living in Somerville, MA. I'm so excited to be writing about my town for Anathalia - it's my secret goal to convince everyone I know and love to move here because it's such a fantastic place to be!

I first began hopping the red line out to Porter and Davis back in 2006, when I moved to Boston for college. I was visiting friends at Tufts multiple times a week, and very quickly fell in love with its small town charm and artsy vibe. In 2010 I finally made the switch and moved in myself, and I've been here ever since! It was the first place away from my parents home in CT where I felt like I could grow roots, and I think most of my neighbors feel the same way. It's such a quirky little hub of creativity; home to the HONK! Festival, countless art studios like Artisan's AsylumVernon Street Studios, and Behind the Mask, and hey! it's the birthplace of Marshmallow Fluff!

what to see
A great place to start in Somerville is Davis Square, as it's shaped like a wheel hub and works wonderfully as a central spot to begin your exploring. From there, it's an easy bus ride (or nice long summer stroll) to Union Square, Teele Square, and Ball Square - each with its own excellent shops, restaurants, and cafes.

Back in Davis, there's my favorite movie theater of all time, the Somerville Theater. They're celebrating their 100th anniversary this year and showing a huge array of classic films all spring and summer! Besides the gorgeous Art Deco interiors, incredibly reasonable ticket prices, and delicious ice cream, they also serve alcohol! Honestly, what more could you ask for? Perhaps a gallery of terrible art?

Just below the Somerville theater is the Museum of Bad Art, a little known gem that showcases some of the worst 70s kitsch, art school rejects, and truly magnificent catastrophes to hit canvas. Around the corner is the Bikeway Community Garden, which is gorgeous in the spring and summer but has the added bonus of being flanked by very cool metal sculptures and found object art. It marks a junction spot on the Somerville Community Path, a favorite place for biking, jogging, and dog-walking.

where to eat
Somerville has a HUGE array of excellent restaurants and cafes - it's hard to know where to begin! Just looking in Davis Square is a bit overwhelming - for the meat-lovers, Redbones is definitely my favorite BBQ (also my dad's favorite place to stop when he visits!).

Diesel is probably one of my favorite coffee shops of all time, and I love the shelf of board games they have in the back for everyone to use.

Saloon is a relative newcomer to Somerville, but it instantly won the place of 'best bar' in my heart, with its gorgeous dark wood and brick interior, incredibly knowledgeable and friendly staff, and AMAZING drinks.

There is an epic battle of the breakfasts in Somerville, with everyplace vying for the coveted title of 'best breakfast'. And the competition is stiff! You can find a great Sunday brunch all over, but my personal favorite is the upbeat, affordable, delicious experience of Soundbites in Ball Square. If you try on a late Sunday morning and hit a line, don't be discouraged - it moves quickly! The make-your-own coffee bar is my favorite, with all sorts of flavors and syrups and add-ons.

where to shop
Somerville has excellent resources for small businesses, and does a number of fun events to keep shoppers thinking local. There's the Local is for Lovers markets, the Davis Square Midnight Madness, and the Davis Flea (where I often set up shop!). [edit: Davis Flea is now Somerville Flea]

For year-round goodies, I always stop in Magpie to see what new home decor treats my neighborhood artisans and craftspeople have made.

Then I tend to bounce across the street to Comicazi for my comic book fix. If it's time for a new outfit, I now almost exclusively shop at Buffalo Exchange (for me, buying used as often as I can is really important and tons of fun!) Speaking of which, when I'm looking for some new books, I can always find something perfect at The Book Shop for about half (or less!) of what I'd pay for a new book.

There are thrift shops, furniture stores, butchers and bakers and Kickass cupcake makers. Honestly, after having lived here for almost four years, I'm still constantly surprised by the fun and exciting places I keep stumbling upon.

I'd love to hear a shout-out for your favorite spot in Somerville!

Thank you so much, Erika! I can't wait to explore Davis Square a little more this Summer!

For addresses and working hours, click on the names of restaurants and shops and check back soon for more insider's tips of Boston neighborhoods!

all images by Erika Hapke

1 comment:

  1. Davis Sq is the best! And I love all the attention that Union Square is getting these days!