Meet Our Newest Contributor, Louise Johnson!
We are thrilled to welcome Louise Johnson to The Boston Day Book team. Louise recently relocated to Cambridge to pursue her master’s degree in journalism at Harvard. We fell in love with her blog and dreamy photography. As a semi-newcomer to Boston, Louise is going to share her adventures with making friends in Blind Girl Dates in addition to sharing other city experiences. Welcome, Louise!
To introduce Louise to The Boston Day Book community, we opted to have a little informal interview. Enjoy!
Hi Louise! Where are you from originally and how did you end up in Boston?
I’m originally from Toronto, Canada (technically, a suburban bubble called Oakville on Lake Ontario), but I’ve lived somewhat of a nomadic existence for the past several years. I lived in Geneva, Switzerland and New York City with my previous job at Elizabeth Arden. Almost a year ago, I moved to Boston to pursue my master’s degree at Harvard University. Currently residing in cute Cambridge, I’ve had the best time exploring every nook and cranny of this city! Boston is the bees knees (in my humble opinion).
We love your blog! So inspiring. How did you start? Your photos are so beautiful, too! Have you always been interested in photography?
That is so sweet, thank you! I first started blogging back in 2008 as a way to keep in touch with family and friends while documenting my escapades in new cities. In the different corners of the earth I found myself occupying, I was always struggling to figure everything out as I went. Time is fleeting, so I love that I can look back at this digital diary of my life and instantly recollect all of the crazy memories!
I recently started my new website as I thought it was time for a more modern, updated space in the blogosphere to call my own. I think everyone should have a fun little creative outlet. I hear it’s good for the soul! :) I see this virtual nook as a way to house all of the things that I love: writing, photography, music, film, adventuring, travel tips, etc. It’s nice to have a keepsake of it all in this cosmic void (also known as the world wide web).
I’ve always loved capturing moments in words, and I see photography (as well as film) as an extension of that narrative. Traveling has especially inspired my photography and expanded my perspective on how I see the world. Humans are such fascinating creatures to document; my sisters and friends especially make for magical muses. I am by no means a professional but I’ve always been a very curious sort of person, and being behind the lens allows for another expression of my story-telling. Sometimes my eye sees things that words alone can’t fully articulate.
In a few words, can you please tell us your favorite:
Restaurant: Hmm..this is hard, so many good spots come to mind! If I had to choose, probably Beauty & Essex in New York…you enter through a pawn shop and it opens up into this trendy, two-story restaurant (so sneaky!) They also serve free champagne in the women’s bathroom, I mean come on!
Cafe: The Thinking Cup (on Newbury Street). They brew my favorite Portland import, Stumptown Coffee, and have multiple gourmet grilled cheese options (mmm)!
Dessert: A cannoli or slice of boston cream pie from Mike’s Pastry (a landmark Boston bakery).
Place to walk and enjoy a beautiful day: Walking along Lake Geneva with the mountains, swans and Jet D’Eau will forever be ingrained in my mind – but lately I love strolling through Boston Public Gardens (willow trees are my fav) and Beacon Hill to Acorn Street with a cup of coffee and some good company.
Local shop: Follow The Honey, the cute bee-centric shop in Harvard Square. Their global mission is to tell the narrative of our collective humanity through bees and the life-affirming nectar that is honey! (How sweet is that?)
12 free hours in Boston! What do you do? Where do you go?
Tour Harvard Yard in quaint Cambridge (keep an eye out for Widener Library and the John Harvard Statue), grab a Maple Latte at Crema Café on your way to watch the rowboats, kayaks and stand-up-paddle boarders on the Charles River. (If you’re speedy, I’d tell you to cross the bridge to see the Harvard Business School campus and Harvard Stadium that was modeled after the Roman Amphitheater)!
Hop on the T and take the Red Line to Park Street. From there wander around the beautiful Boston Common and Public Garden. In winter, take a spin on the Frog Pond skating rink. In the summer, take a relaxing ride on one of the vintage swan boats around the pond.
Outside of Boston Common you will find the famous Cheers Pub, which inspired the TV series. Stay for a beer or meander over to the cobblestoned streets of Beacon Hill. Keep your eyes peeled for Acorn Street (said to be “the most photographed street in North America”…it’s more like a small alley-way but regardless, it’s adorable)!
Nearby is also one of my favorite hidden gems, the outdoor Brattle Book Shop (est. 1825). It’s a literary feast!
Stroll down Newbury Street for some window shopping and re-fuel at The Thinking Cup. Then head over one block to the Boston Public Library on Boylston. With its twin lion statues, floor-to-ceiling marble, outdoor courtyard and painted masterpieces, the library is a work of art in itself!
If you still have energy left, try to take in a game (and a hot dog) at the historic Fenway Park.
For dinner head to The Gallows (trendy ambiance; they have a giant ouija board on the back wall and a great cocktail list) or Neptune Oyster for some of the best seafood you’ll ever have (go early, it’s small and fills up quickly! Fun fact: scenes from “The Town” with Ben Affleck and Blake Lively were filmed here).
You love to travel. Do you have any favorite travel memories you’d like to share? Where to next?
I have wanderlust just thinking about traveling! One of my most memorable trips was to the northern tip of Finland, in a remote place called Ivalo; part of the Arctic Circle. We stayed in a glass igloo (and a log cabin for a few nights) that allows you to see the Northern Lights and the most insane stars in the world. There were only a few hours of sunlight but the sunsets made the entire sky look like it was on fire. We were in the middle of the Lapland forest with wild reindeer roaming around us. On a husky safari trek, our sled decided to go rogue into the white abyss of the Arctic, but luckily the Finnish guides caught up to us after a few miles.
Hot air ballooning at sunrise in Cappadocia, Turkey is also high up on my memorable travel-capades!
In the next couple months I’ll be exploring the mountain ranges of Western Canada, my parents cottage in Norway Bay, Quebec and a hipster-slash-hiking trip to Portland, Oregon. On my future dream adventure list? Patagonia, Tokyo (plus, the Wisteria Tunnel in Kitakyushu, Japan), Sea of Stars on Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives, Antelope Canyon in Arizona, and a dude ranch in Montana!