Photos by Lisa Richov
North End Exposure
Start in the North End at Artú, above, the trattoria and Italian takeout storefront located off bustling Hanover Street. Pick up a Favorito—prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, basil, and tomato loaded onto scali bread—and a handful of napkins for the extra-generous drizzle of olive oil. Take a right on Garden Court, then a left down Richmond until it dead-ends at Christopher Columbus Park, below. Just 50 feet separates you from your picnic spot. Once past the children’s playground, take a hard left, and proceed six steps to the first bench, between two stone pillars. Or escape the summer heat in the vine-covered tunnel and check out the unchecked beauty.
Artú, 6 Prince St., Boston, 617-742-4336, artuboston.com.
Start at the Siena Farms stand at the Copley Square farmers’ market, above, where you can cherry-pick an assortment of blueberries and raspberries (through mid-July) or peaches and nectarines (late summer) and a boule of Fiore di Nonno’s string cheese. A stop-off at the Breadsong Bakery stand and you’re on your way. Head west across the street, and climb eight steps to the Boston Public Library, below. Take a right at the information desk, and tread 50 paces to the courtyard doorway. For maximum ambiance, hold out for the ninth table down. Lined up with the statue, it offers central vision and just enough table space for your fresh-culled bounty and tome of choice.
Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., Boston, 617-536-5400, bpl.org.
Pork Panini by the Pond
Start near Hyde Square in Jamaica Plain, where El Oriental de Cuba, top, makes stellar Cuban sandwiches. Grab a mango shake and a couple of spicy stuffed meat patties, then walk one block up to Perkins Street, take a left, and trek six blocks to Jamaica Pond, below. Don’t let your nose dissuade you; the smell of fresh doggie dissipates halfway down the 19 steps to water level. Your destination lies directly on the other side of the pond, so circle around and plop yourself down on the grass so that you’re aligned with your starting point. Pick up fishing tips from waterside anglers and savor the tree-strewn shade.
El Oriental de Cuba, 416 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-6464.
Chicken Plate for the Soul
Start on River Street at Coast Café, left, four blocks north of Memorial Drive, wearing your loosest outfit. Order a fried chicken plate with gravy-laden mashed potatoes. Walk a quarter-mile south to Riverside Press Park, right, follow the winding path around the playground, and park yourself on the fifth step, which offers views of kite-flying kiddies and adequate distance from the exhausting parade of joggers, the killjoy of soul-food solace.
Coast Café, 233 River St., Cambridge, 617-354-7644, coastsoulcafe.com.