By Christine Kelly, Staff Writer
Two years ago, I moved from a suburb in San Francisco to a dorm in Boston. Since then, the plans I’ve made as a 17-year-old have changed and I’ll be graduating (and leaving Boston) a year earlier. It’s now my third and last year here, and I’ve realized that my experiences have rarely diverged from BU’s mile-long campus.
Fearing that it may be years until I come back to Boston, I decided to challenge myself and complete SAO’s official BUcket List. This semester, I plan to knock out as many items on this list as I can do (legally), weather permitting. I also plan to add a few of the things from my personal list and from the Unofficial Guide’s “82 Things to Do Before You Graduate: The Boston Edition.”
#1: Visit SoWa Market
This past weekend I went to the South End to finally experience SoWa Sundays. I’d heard about SoWa from many people but never got myself out there.
So, I set my alarm for 10 a.m. on Sunday and took the Green Line down to Boylston. I got lost on my walk over, but thankfully I managed to follow a crowd of young families and hipsters and eventually found my way to the arts market tents.
SoWa is comprised of multiple markets: arts and handmade goods, the vintage market, the farmer’s market and the food truck court. They’re all located a block away from each other on Harrison Ave between East Berkeley St. and Waltham St.
The arts market is full of makers and crafters. Whether it’s a booth selling wall art or another person selling jewelry, each item seemed to have a story. As a Film/TV student, it’s refreshing to see storytelling through a different medium.
I really admire these artists because of their passion to share their craft with others. If you ever find yourself perusing the arts market, ask the vendors questions about the items they sell and you won’t regret it. For example, there was a man who sold wooden puzzle boxes in the shape of different animals and novelties. He told me he cuts, sands, paints and finishes each box by hand — an incredible feat, considering there had to be at least 100 different boxes on his table.
I also walked over to the vintage market, a hipster paradise that’s open year-round. Seriously, it felt like someone merged a thrift shop with a time machine. I found an old sundial pocket watch that’s now sitting on my desk. Even better, I found a woman with the most extensive old camera collection I’ve ever seen.
The glimmer of the lenses caught my eye and I immediately found myself in front of a bookshelf full of cameras. I almost cried at its beauty. I started collecting these old cameras purely for the thrill of camera hunting. Needless to say, I spent a shiny penny on two old film cameras without hesitation.
The serendipity of that moment came with a sudden reconnection with an old friend. I heard my name and suddenly saw a friend from home who had, unknowingly to me, transferred to Northeastern. She said she wasn’t surprised to find me there because it’s totally “my scene.”
Seeing her for the first time after two years just reminded me how small the world can be. Who would’ve thought the next time I’d see her would be 3,000 miles away from home? And even though we’re no longer seniors in high school, some things never change, like our connection as friends or my obsession with vintage items.
SoWa is one of those gems of the South End of Boston that everyone always talks about but not everyone gets to see. It’s a family-friendly environment that fits people of all interests. But try to experience the full area before it starts to close on Oct. 26 because Boston gets real cold, real fast.