Monday, April 19, 2010

Breakfast at Newbury

It’s March. The sun is shining after a dreary winter and Newbury Street in Boston is busy. The streets are crowded and everyone is running around in short sleeves like it’s the summer time. As I step off the T at Hynes Convention Center, I can’t help but find myself a little bit excited to see what new spring styles have hit the stores. At the same time, I’m nervous because I know my college-student heart might break when I fall in love with things that are way over my budget. But, I don’t let this stop me as I head over to the Urban Outfitters store at the Mass Ave end of the street. I always like to start down at that end because I know the closer I get towards the Common, the higher the prices become.

Walking into Urban Outfitters, I see beautiful prints, trendy college students, and cute spring dresses. While browsing, I’m reminded of why I love this street so much. Not only is the shopping great, but there are people to watch and beautiful buildings to see.  While wandering down the street, I see rich old ladies with their little white dogs, Berklee students wandering with their guitars, and young girls in their oversized sunglasses: I’m in heaven. The people watching is fantastic.

This end of Newbury Street is not only fun due to the variety of stores like 344, LF, and American Apparel, but it’s also diverse. For instance, as I am observing all the fancy boutiques, I am taken to a confusing world. It is a place where the sidewalk is shaking. All I can hear is a techno beat coming from a set of outdoor speakers and I realize I’m outside a tanning salon. It seems out of place and obnoxious and yet the glowing neon sign and the orange girls exiting are fascinating. So I head over to grab an ice cream at the always delicious Emack & Bolio's (just across the street) and sit on the bench while I watch and listen to the horrible songs harass innocent pedestrians.

Just when I think my afternoon couldn’t get better, I remember the cute dress at Lit I’ve had my eye on and the promise of the glamour that is to come. Just as I'm getting closer to the eighty dollar cotton dress I’ve been stalking, I am reminded of the multitude of things there are to do if I didn’t want to go shopping. I could go eat at one of the great restaurants, get my nails done, get a new hairstyle, or visit an art gallery.

These all seem amusing but I am on a mission. When I arrive, I’m once again heart broken as I see that my little blue dress is still eighty dollars. Okay, I admit it, I’m upset but something about the fabulous window displays and the gorgeous old street keep me walking. As stores like Valentino, Versace, and Chanel come in to view my heart skips a beat. I know that I can’t have them but I want them just the same. I do remember that the street is home to a Gap, American Eagle, and even a Victoria's Secret, all of which can be found in most malls, but for some reason it’s just not quite as fun as browsing somewhere that is ridiculously over-priced.

Something about this street is different than a regular shopping mall. For it is here on Newbury Street that you can be in your twenties and still play make-believe. Except instead of playing house, you can play rich as you walk down the same street as some of the wealthiest people in the world. You can even find people willing to spend thousands of dollars on something like a jacket. For just a moment you can feel like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s as she stares in the big glass window and share her longing for that beautiful diamond ring.

From couture to tanning, paintings to pedicures, you can find it all on Newbury Street. And if you don’t feel like pretending to be a princess, you can grab some lunch with friends or check out some of the cute new styles at more reasonably priced stores like H&M. For a diverse experience in the heart of Boston, check out Newbury Street because there’s no place in town quite like it.

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