Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Staying Awake Forever in a Kingdom by the Sea

Today in quiet health news, iron supplements are found to be energizing for tired women with iron deficiencies, fruits and vegetables are found to be good for women experiencing hot flashes, and the salty ocean air — in England, at least — is found to be good in general, for everyone. Or it could be the views. Also, too many naps and you'll lose your mind, or so they say.

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"and the salty ocean air — in England, at least — is found to be good in general, for everyone."

...is this a Jane Austen novel?

raised amongst catalogs

@teenie Everybody, take the waters, right now!


@teenie Mr. Woodhouse would disagree.


@SarahP And whatsherface who jumped off the thing at Lyme. Although that could have just been being 16 or whatever age she was.


@PistolPackinMama Pfft, she totally got a husband out of it, and arguably built character.


@teenie - A little sea-bathing would set me up forever.


This is just...just great@n

maybe partying will help

One time when I was fourteen or so I tried to convince my mother that I should go to the beach instead of school since I wasn't feeling well, because salt air is good for you.

Didn't work.


Naps are not the problem! Problem sleeping is the problem (which dooms me just as much, but whatever).

Also, getting adequate iron is awesome.


::sigh:: This is making me regret not going to Maine this year even more. I miss you, salty ocean air.
Related: 'Pinners, where are cool places to go in Boston? Going to spend some time with a friend there in lieu of Maine. I'm definitely hitting the New England Aquarium, because I'm a sucker for wildlife.


@area@twitter Well, besides wildlife what do you like to do? I can give you awesome restaurant recs, museum options, the occasional weird thing...


@Kirs I love wildlife and natural history, in particular; I also love delicious food. :) I'm also hoping to spend a little time walking by the river, or through a natural-ish area. Would love to hear your thoughts.


@area@twitter The Arboretum! Mount Auburn Cemetery! And both of those locations (Jamaica Plain and Harvard area) put you very close to very good food. OH and also the Castle Island/Pleasure Bay area--you can swim, but you can also just enjoy the loveliness of it.



Some of this will depend on if you have access to a car:

1. Blue Hills Reservation- awesome hiking and views of the city just a short drive away. And there is a Mass Audubon reservation there with otters! (Also check out massaudubon.org in general- I'm a personal fan of Ipswich reservation and Drumlin Farm- you can rent canoes at Ipswich)

2. Skip the Museum of Science and hit up the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Although the MoS isn't bad, I find it to be filled with a gazillion children and it's irritating. HMNH is amazing, though.

3. Come visit my neighborhood and do the Sam Adams Brewery Tour

4. Cheap eats: Find Roxy's Grilled Cheese food truck somewhere in the city; Mei Sum in Chinatown for banh mi; Gourmet Dumpling House in Chinatown; if you find yourself in JP, then Cafe Beirut for amazing Lebanese (then go across the street for ice cream at JP Licks). (there are also a bunch of other good eating options in JP- Tres Gatos; Ten Tables; Vee Vee)

5. Other eats: Coppa in the South End; Teranga- a Senegalese joint also in the South End; Green Street in Central Square (amazing cocktails too); Taranta in the North End; Myers + Chang in the South End; Oleana in Inman Square.

6. Do the Boston Harbor Islands - take the shuttle boat and hit up a couple of them- pack a picnic lunch


@Kirs YES to the Harbor Islands! So awesome.


@area@twitter The Longfellow House (it's near Harvard and the Mt. Auburn Cemetery )-- there's an amazing tour to see the house (Washington had his headquarters there for a while, and later Longfellow lived and worked there), and a little garden. It's out of the hustle and bustle of Harvard Sq and has a beautiful view of the Charles. I second (third?) the Museum of Natural History @ Harvard (and the Peabody Museum, which I believe is attached). Lots of awesome taxidermied animals and other cool things.

Harpoon also has a great brewery tour-- then you can go to Flour, the most amazing bakery in the world (ok, Massachusetts). They have three locations in the Boston/Cambridge area. I second Green St for cocktails and Coppa for food (omg so good). Clover in Harvard and Inman Sq has cheap veggie food (and always a local beer on tap for cheap!). The Liberty Hotel (near the Charles in Boston) was a former prison and the atrium is amazing. You can eat or get drinks. They have a little exhibit about the history of the building too. Learning!

The JFK Library overlooks Castle Island and a couple of the Harbor Islands, and there's a nice area for picnicking and walking along the shore. It's in a more remote part of Boston, but it's quite beautiful.

Boston and Cambridge and pretty walkable and you can't go two feet without running into something historical. Hope you have a great trip!


@Kirs @SarahP @dormilona Ahh, all of these things sound delightful! I'm particularly loving the idea of the Harbor Islands. Going kayaking around the harbor! And then hitting the HMNH and eating delicious dumplings! And then walking through the arboretum and and going to the beach at Castle Island. JOY.


@area@twitter Can you really kayak around the Boston HArbor? It's pretty industrial with some very big boats in it. Might have to settle for the Charles. But the Harbor Islands are great if you take the ferry, especially as you get out past George Island to the other littler ones! Yay, Spectacle!


@area@twitter If you like seafood, you've got lots to choose from in Boston. Legal Sea Foods is generally pretty reliable. For that outdoor/seafood in the rough experience, the Barking Crab over on the canal is great, though it can be pretty crowded...sometimes with total yahoos.


@area@twitter Isn't Boston also on the ocean? Or am I crazy?


@Bittersweet I have to heartily disagree with Legal and Barking Crab. Legal pulls stunts like this: http://boston.grubstreet.com/2011/01/legal_sea_foods_blacklisted_di.html

And Barking Crab food is awful. And filled with juiceboxes and drunks.

Best seafood options, in my opinion: The Daily Catch; Neptune Oyster; Island Creek Oyster Bar. And a lot of the better restaurants in the city will have great fish/seafood options on their menus.


@dormilona I work right above Flour and it is amaaaaazing.


@Kirs Ooh wow, I didn't know that about Legal, yuck. And Barking Crab must've gotten even worse than when I frequented it, years ago. The Daily Catch is good. I used to go to Skipjack's in Back Bay for work lunches and dinners all the time - they have (had?) a nice menu too.

(This is what happens when you move to the 'burbs...)


@Megano! Boston is, of course, on the sea; it's not like the place I usually go to in Maine though, where the ocean is literally across the street, and it's wonderfully silent, and I can go to sleep listening to the wind in the birch trees. ::wistful sigh::
@all Thanks, keep 'em coming! I love seafood, especially oyster-related seafood. Om nom.


@area@twitter for seafood! B&G Oysters (I went eons ago so maybe it is less good than it seemed at the time)- in the South End (nearish Coppa and other good places if you want to bounce from place to place, trying bites along the way) and East Coast Grill in Inman Sq, Cambridge (I live in Inman, I <3 it soooo!) has really great fish and a cool Caribbean-inspired brunch on Sundays.


@area@twitter Day trip to gloucester!

RK Fire

@area@twitter: Apparently when I lived in Boston all I loved to do was to eat! This probably sounds really weird, but I love Felipe's Taqueria (Harvard Square) or Anna's Taqueria (Davis Square + other places). There's also Punjabi Dhaba in Inman Square, which I love because who doesn't love samosas on demand? Darwin's has delicious but pricey sandwiches. Also, in Somerville, there are Brazilian churrascarias which I wish I had partaken of while I lived there.. I figure a good one probably outshines Fogo de Chao the same way a good dim sum place outshines P.F. Chang.

sceps yarx

@area@twitter The Harvard Museum of Natural History was the coolest thing I've ever seen! Victorian glass flowers! Taxidermy! A whole room full of priceless gems and crystals! I would have spent a whole day in the crystals room alone.


I took iron pills for a while and I seem to recall feeling a lot more energetic! Than I ran out of pills, and simultaneously, the energy to go to my doctor OR go to the pharmacy to find out if I can get it refilled without a new prescription.

I ... should put that on my to do list.


This is relevant to my interests. Anyone know the risks of getting too much iron? I don't feel like more blood tests.

Snood Mood

@NeverOddOrEven Too much iron can block the absorption of other vitamins, and cause little sores on the inside of your mouth! It's no fun.

I really like the Floradix liquid kind (available at Whole Foods) because you can control the dosage easier.


@redheaded&crazie When I lost a lot of blood after surgery in January, my doctor said forget extra iron pills, just eat lots of steak and spinach. It was a much yummier way to build up my blood and energy levels.


@Bittersweet And for veggie people, cook things in cast iron pans, and have pumpkin seeds as snacks. I thought quinoa was pretty high too, but this chart seems to say the contrary.


@redheaded&crazie You can get iron at like GNC and other health food stores, it's usually behind the counter at places like Shoppers.


@all ~the more you know~

I eat a good amount of spinach! Steak, would be less easy for me to incorporate into my diet. I just can't picture myself eating all that much steak. I have a steak limit.


Me too. ALL OF IT.


@redheaded&crazie Also some people's bodies just don't absorb much iron from food. Not that they're not eating right, it's just a thing some bodies do. And/or some bodies can only absorb certain types of iron, and that type isn't as prevalent in food as others. Soooo I'm a big fan of my iron supplements. (But they are condoned by my doctor, so.)

fondue with cheddar

@redheaded&crazie I NEVER feel energetic no matter how much sleep I get, but every time I get bloodwork done my iron levels are fine. And my thyroid levels. WTF body?

miss buenos aires

@dale And I've heard that Vitamin C helps your body get more iron out of food, so throw some clementine segments into that spinach salad...


@redheaded&crazie Well, what about canned clams? Scroll down for the chart...


... according to which blackstrap molasses has more iron even than spinach. Mmmmm, blackstrap molasses milkshakes .....

sceps yarx

@NeverOddOrEven Funny, that's my limit,too. We should stay away from each other so we don't have to fight over all the steak.


that doctor in the nap study... making sure people get a regular 7 hours of sleep? But but but. Isn't 8 pretty normal too? if not more so? and not demented? Paranoia...


@harebell that article was both confusing and distressing! My boyfriend takes frequent short naps, and I tend to often sleep more than 8 hours in a night, are we both doomed to dementia? It seemed that they were only talking about these habits in the elderly. But the commenters there where pretty much writing the whole thing off as bad reporting so that's what I am going to do.


Speaking of vitamins, I was talking with my dad recently and he said he'd read something about how taking calcium supplements could actually cause osteoporosis and that I shouldn't be taking them? He sounds like news-program scaremongering ("what in your kitchen could be killing YOU???"), but now he's got me wondering.


@frigwiggin I read something about this, but I believe it was just in women over 40 or 50?


Add a beard to that guy in the Onion article pic and you're looking at me everyday around 2:00.

fondue with cheddar

@whizz_dumb But if I get 6 hours of sleep at work that only leaves 2 hours for The Hairpin!


This is a great time to recommend "Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science," by David H. Freeman, about how medical studies tend to be a bunch of crap. Take them all with a grain of sea salt, or something. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/8269/

Also, I'm stealing the awesome title of this article for my first collection of poems. Or a children's book.


and the salty ocean air — in England, at least

We don't have "ocean air" in England! England's coastlines are on the edge of the English Channel, the Irish Sea and the North Sea; the Atlantic is on the other side of Ireland to us. It's "sea air" all the way.

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