A comment I hear all too often is, “I’m sick of Waltham.” I just don’t think Waltham receives the credit it deserves, especially since there are unusually good restaurants here. For example, have you tried the lemongrass lamb chops at Ponzu, large and lavish dinner entrées at Biagio or a “fajita burrito” from Paisano? If you’re not so into “finer” dining, what about the handmade calzones from Prospect delivered straight to your dorm, Baan Thai’s melt-in-your mouth pineapple fried rice, a brisket sandwich from Bison County or a humongous steak sub from Carl’s? What about if you’re a breakfast lover? Oh wait, there’s Joseph Two’s, In a Pickle and Wilson’s Diner (even though that’s technically in Bentley territory). Okay, if you’re truly bored with all of those options, maybe it’s time to venture out. No, I’m not going to suggest you go into Boston; that seems so clichéd these days. Brookline and Somerville are two of my favorite Boston metro escapes. There’s great food and fabulous culture in both locations.
Coolidge Corner is a wonderful neighborhood of Brookline and seems like a home-away-from home for Brandeis students due to its large Jewish population. There are many Judaica stores and Kosher restaurants. The atmosphere is filled with ethnic cuisine from Israeli to Italian. There are also a number of coffee shops, ice cream parlors and frozen yogurt joints. There’s also the Coolidge Corner Theater, which shows new and old films. Moreover, I’ve noticed quite a number of beauty salons and beauty supply stores in this area that look promising.
Davis Square is an intersection of Somerville and offers plenty to do and see, especially if you have friends at Tufts. Whether you’re in the mood for crepes, burgers or specialty sandwiches, you can find an abundance of culinary delights here. As the weather gets warmer, I especially like the patch of green right behind the T stop. You’ll find people playing Frisbee with their dogs, practicing Tai Chi and even lacrosse. The Somerville Theater is similar to Coolidge’s in that it shows current and older/indie films; it also houses a branch of the Museum of Bad Art in its basement. There are also a couple thrift stores to check out while you’re in the area.
Look, you can complain all you want about Waltham, or you can go entertain yourself in the surrounding area. Perhaps after the upcoming break, you’ll come back with a newfound appreciation for all that Waltham has to offer. Whatever you decide, Waltham and the Boston metro area are filled with awesome things to do and discover—e.g. the Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival going on this week!