Sumaira Flower

Sumaira Flower

March 23, 2014

WARD 8, North End

Lately, I've found myself in a state of reacquainting - with old movies, skinny jeans, and of course people. Last week, I had the pleasure of reacquainting myself with a childhood friend whom I have not seen in 13 some odd years. He happened to be visiting Boston and wanted to catch up, so I suggested we meet up at Ward 8 in the North End. Since it's opened its doors (not to mention, very heavy doors) in late 2013, Ward 8 has become the most talked about hot spot in the area. 

I absolutely love the atmosphere - very intimate and cozy. The brick interiors and camel colored furniture ooze a very loft-y feeling. I love the set up with the bar right smack in the middle. No one is secluded in the restaurant which makes it a great "mingling" place if ya know what I mean ;)

The food is delicious. I admit that I indulged in an amazing cheeseburger with truffle fries and a few glasses of Pinot - YUM! I probably should have tried the Ward 8 drink but I wasn't feeling very adventurous. Perhaps next time!

The service was awesome. Every employee's excitement for the restaurant's success radiated through their individual excellent customer service. A very nice group of people working here. PS I LOVE the flannel shirts as the uniform - it's a great look!

Overall, Ward 8 gets a thumbs up from me. With a fabulous name, optimal location, great hospitality, and of course, delicious menu, this restaurant has all the perfect ingredients for success in the city. Hope everyone is enjoying Sunday FunDay! Ciao ;)

PS - Recipe for the Ward 8 beverage - SALUT!

March 16, 2014

On an aside: My 1st Tinder Experience...

I finally joined Tinder a few months ago. I won't lie, I have thoroughly enjoyed swiping left, right and seeing who's out there. Most of the messages I've received have been nothing short of lewd. Therefore, when someone messages you something somewhat genuine on Tinder, there is a sigh of relief. Pathetic, I know but this is the world we live in now. 

I started chatting with someone on Tinder. He messaged me first and didn't make suggestive remarks. We also had mutual friends which gave me solace. When he asked to meet, I said to myself, "oh what the heck - why not!". For obvious reasons, I will not reveal his name however let's just refer to him as Juan Pablo (since he seemed just as douche-y as the most recent Bachelor)

Juan Pablo and I made plans to meet at a coffee shop this afternoon. The first encounter can be awkward but I was relieved he looked the same as in his photos. As we waited in line to order coffee, he asked me a question to which I promptly answered which was then followed by silence for about 10 seconds...

STRIKE 1: Juan Pablo asked me to repeat myself because he was still engaged in the conversation he had just had at brunch and basically tuned me out.  Okay then.

We sat down and started chatting. One of the first things that we, excuse me, HE talked about was his romantic history. Juan Pablo continuously talked about his ex-girlfriends. I'm no dating expert but isn't there some kind of cardinal rule in place where you don't talk about exes on the 1st date? I'm okay with a mention here and there but not as much as he did. That would be STRIKE 2. 

It was a rather boring conversation. I asked most of the questions. Juan Pablo judged me for being a shopaholic. He said he couldn't get that out of his mind and that shopping actually doesn't provide happiness. Um, yes it does. He equated shopping to a quick fix from drugs after which he asked me if I did drugs, in particular MDMA - I don't even know what that is. 

Juan Pablo came off completely spoiled. I kid you not, at one point he said, "the wealth, the life, the loves, everything I have, I didn't earn or don't know if I deserve. It just came to me." STRIKE 3. I cringed in embarrassment for him. 

A half an hour into our "date", Juan Pablo decided he was over it and said he was going to take off in 10 minutes to avoid wasting either of our time. Fine, I respect it and to be honest, he relieved me. However, he ruined it for himself when his follow up comment was, "hey, at least you got a free coffee!" Oh thanks - how gracious of you. STRIKE 4 - and that's not even allowed!

Toward the end of the coffee outing which didn't last more than 45 minutes, Juan Pablo told me he doesn't even know why he's dating since he is still completely hung up on his ex-girlfriend. On his way out, he hugged me and said "Sorry, I wasn't a better 1st Tinder date experience." Ya, me too. 

Take away points:
I am not mad at Juan Pablo nor am I bitter about how badly our date went. In fact, I feel bad because he's clearly still hurting and pining for his ex. Anyone who has been through a break up knows that that pain is indescribable and overpowering. 

I don't expect to find love after every date and I don't expect everyone to fall in love with me. I also realize I've been looking for love in the wrong place. However, I am genuinely worried for the females of my generation living in cosmopolitan areas. Especially in a transient city like Boston, there is a never ending supply of beautiful, young, intelligent women which lead men to never want exclusivity with someone. On top of that, you have apps like Tinder which somehow gave men the leeway to approach you like a hooker. Attraction has become a very fickle concept because the next girl is just a swipe away. Maybe I need to move to Kansas... Ciao! 

March 02, 2014

On an aside: Oscars - The Good, Bad, Over & Underrated

Let's be real, in addition to the awards and yada yada, most of us look forward to the Oscars primarily for the fashion. 

Overall, the looks were rather drab this year. Not too impressed, somewhat disappointed, just meh. 


Kate Hudson wows in icy Versace gown with bejeweled cape (left)  
Camila Alves oozes freshness in blush pink structured gown (center)
Sandra Bullock looks ethereal in dark blue Alexander McQueen  number (right)

The BAD:

Anne Hathaway looks like a disco ball in tacky, black Gucci dress (left) She also looks like she could be in a George Michael music video.
Cate Blanchett, who always gets it right, gets it totally wrong in this Armani Prive gown that totally washes her out (center)
Kerry Washington looking rather sloppy in Jason Wu gown that resembles like an un-ironed bed sheet (right) Take a cue from Olivia Wilde.


Charlize Theron was an almost 10 but something about the straps on this black Dior dress was odd... (left)
Lupita Nyong'o's pale blue Prada dress is BREATHTAKING but a plunging neckline on a flat-chested, muscular woman makes her look somewhat masculine (center) PS. Is it just me or does she look like she got open heart surgery?
Jennifer Lawrence's red hot Dior frock doesn't seem to do much for her amazing body (right) 


Porta De Rossi looks nothing less than chic in Naeem Khan (left)
A very pregnant Olivia Wilde looks simple yet so elegant in  Valentino (center)
Kristin Cavallari, also pregnant, rocks this beautiful, simple Alexander McQueen gown (right)

Taberna De Haro, Brookline

For the past 4 years, I have been working down the street from Taberna De Haro and only 2 weeks ago did I dine there for the first time.

Taberna De Haro is an intimate tapas restaurant on Beacon Street in Brookline. It is a Brookline classic.

Saying that TDH's decor is absolutely magnificent is not doing it justice. The restaurant is full of charm with its quirky details and artwork. The dimmed lights and crimson walls offer an uber romantic ambiance.

The food at TDH is mouthwatering. You will want to order everything on their menu. A personal suggestion is the paella with squid ink. Sounds crazy and looks even crazier (it's black!) but it is really delicious!

The service is wonderful. The staff is really knowledgeable on the extensive menu as well as their encyclopedia of wine. 

My only qualm is the lack of Spanish music. If it was on, I couldn't hear it. But that's just me nitpicking.

If you love tapas, Taberna De Haro
is the place to go ... especially if you need a suggestion for a date! I will definitely be coming back here whether alone or on a date. The 4 year wait was totally worth it!

Theme Song: Notas by Gotan Project

Carrie Nation, Beacon Hill

Last weekend, my girlfriends and I went to this somewhat new joint, Carrie Nation in the hub of Beacon Hill.

Carrie Nation is supposed to be a cocktail lounge with a "speakeasy" sort of theme. What Carrie Nation actually is is a confused, HOT MESS!

Let's start with the vast space - it's huge! Perhaps it was because of the hour that I arrived, but I felt the space was so poorly utilized. The entire front seating area where I imagine dinner usually happens was empty. Everyone was mostly congregating at the bar or on line to play pool... 

The bar was the most frustrating bar I have ever been to in my life. It took literally 30 minutes to get a drink. (Please staff more than 2 bartenders on a Saturday night!) And this line I just spoke of... seems kind of silly to have to wait on line for some billiard. 

In terms of the crowd, just a little too "bro-ey" for me if ya know what I mean. So many pretentious 20-something-year-olds stuck in their fraternity modes. Not to mention, the guy to girl ratio was completely disproportionate. 

Anyway, I wasn't a fan. I think there was great intention but poor execution. What a beautiful venue but crappy crowd. YIKES! If I were in charge of marketing this place, I would align it with the likes of Sonsie or Towne. It has so much potential but feels like Beacon Hill Pub. Oh well.