Columnists, Columns, Opinion

Wake Me Up Boston: An ode to Pavement

When I think of attending college in Boston, my mind goes to a string of individual moments, many of which have defined me along this journey. Attending school in a bustling city while trying to navigate adulthood has its ups and downs. I still feel like a child at heart, experimenting with her independence.

It’s all too easy to get lost in the glitz and glam of city life, consumed with the wide expanse of opportunities this hub of the universe has to offer. I often find myself wandering through its streets, waiting for that wake-up call, aimlessly searching for my purpose in this new place and hoping an answer will come to me.

Coming from a small town in Connecticut, before college, my days were familiar, predictable and safe. While home always has a special place in my heart, anyone who knows me can attest that I was ready to venture onto something new and something bigger. Boston has broken the bubble in which I was so carefully nourished, and I could not feel more exposed. But in spite of this city’s unfamiliarity and novelty, I still love it.

Obviously, Boston University has played a huge role in my exposure to Boston. Commonwealth Avenue has become my home — my safe haven from the rest of the city. The monotonous rumble of the T, the soft hum of cars slowing down at the red lights and the hurried shuffle of students crossing intersections has become my bedtime lullaby.

But along this stretch lies Pavement Coffeehouse, a place where I not only feel the most comfortable, but also the most alive. Pavement is a coffeehouse that has embodied countless memories of mine, witnessing me at my worst and my best, and serving as a physical documentation of my rollercoaster experience at BU and in Boston.

A proud coffee addict, I am not ashamed to admit I get a high from café-hopping. Ironically, that’s not to say that the coffee at Pavement is what gets me going, as one may (reasonably) assume. Rather, there is something about its environment that ignites my mind, while still encapsulating me in its warm embrace. I never feel more awake and inspired when I’m there. I can’t really explain why, but as I sit at my favorite corner table along the back wall, a wave of calmness falls over me and I feel I can tackle the world.

Pavement has seen the budding of my friendships and countless amounts of laughter ever since my first week of college. It has seen the completion of lengthy school projects and essays, endless phone calls with my mom and meetings that have introduced me to new things and ideas. It has also seen my times of sadness and feelings of defeat, as Pavement is where I go when I desperately need some clarity and hope to get me back on track.

Sitting behind my laptop with a cappuccino and croissant, I organize my thoughts and prepare myself for what is ahead. The vastness of BU somehow condenses itself in Pavement’s environment. I find that as exciting as city life is, I can’t help but crave a smaller haven where I can regain my balance and take a step back, and I’m constantly on the lookout for new hideouts like this.

So far, coffee shops have proven to be a pretty close bet.

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