Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Great Schlep

Crass and vulgar yes, but I love Sarah Silverman and I love the fact that she has made this video encouraging all of her Jewish friends to 'get on a plane' to visit their grandparents in Florida and tell them to vote for Obama.

8 Years later

This pretty much sums it up.
To quote President Clinton, "It's the economy stupid."

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Map Boston

Last week as we walked through Open Studios in Boston's South End and my partner was drawn to a vendor selling a day planner that doubled as a city guide. The spiral book which opens easily provides beautiful pictures of places through out Boston as well as recommendations for restaurants, bars, stores, etc... to check out and try.

The front of the planner includes key contacts and information ranging from cab companies to places open 24 hours if you need to dash to a pharmacy or simply need to find the closest place to feed your face at 4:00 in the morning. The back of the planner includes even more helpful information including neighborhood maps, subway and commuter rail maps. I really have enjoyed thumbing through the book and plan on checking out some of the places mantioned including Dave's Fresh Pasta in Somerville, Kingston Station in downtown, and Muqueca in Cambridge.

My hat is off to Morgan First the creator of Map Boston. The calendar makes for a great housewarming gift or present to someone who is new to the area. You can check out the website at www.mapboston.com and purchase the day planner online.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Medical Research Project

I spent 4 hours today at Mass General Hospital (MGH) going through a series of medical tests to formally enroll in a 16-week program that studies the risks of low testosterone levels in men. Millions of men in the U.S. and even more around the world suffer from low levels of testosterone which can lead to bone and muscle loss, changes in cholesterol levels, diabetes and many other health and psychological problems.

I indicated my interest to paricipate in a medical studies survey I received this past spring and over the summer MGH contacted me. After a phone screening and a quick visit to the hospital for some blood in August, they determined I was a great candidate so I decided to offer my body up for science.

While I never would have guessed that this would be my first major study, I made a resolution this past year to try and be a better person by giving more of myself. At the time I was thinking that this would manifest in volunteering for a local non-profit like my brother and several friends have done recently, but then this opportunity presented itself and it seemed like a good fit.

I am a healthy person (as far as I know - thank goodness). However, I'm quite sqeemish when it comes to medicine and I'm not likely to ever help discover a cure or treatment so by participating in studies like this I feel like I'm making my own unique contribution to medical science. For years I've been an organ donor, because I do hope that when my body ultimately fails me - it might still be of use to someone or science for study. The thought that by participating in this 16-week study might help lead to some scientific break-throughs that could help others is very appealing.

Believe me when I say that I hope I don't experience any side affects, but I figure that whatever the inconveniences, the side affects are only temporary. I wish more people would consider signing up for medical studies, because we all rely on research to identify new / better cures and treatments. Most studies - like the one I have volunteered to undertake really only have temporary side affects and do not compromise a person's health. Your time is what is required and a willingness to help others.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Every neighborhood in Boston has its own unique identity and despite years of significant redevelopment and gentrification, the South End remains home for many resident artists. I hope that the strong ties and history this neighborhood shares as a place that welcomes and encourages such creative self-expression is something that stays as long as I call this place home.

Throughout the year, the first Friday of every month, many artist studios and art galleries in the South End open their doors to the public. The event is aptly named, "First Fridays", and when the weather is agreeable the streets fill with people of all ages looking for an alternate way to spend a few hours on a Friday evening. However, twice a year, First Fridays are forsaken for a much larger art extravaganza called the SoWa Art Walk that runs all day Saturday and Sunday.

According to the SoWa Art Walk website the event this September will involve more than 300 artists. I always talk this event up to friends and encourage people from other neighborhoods to come and visit.

Fenway in flux

This morning The Boston Globe is reporting that Mayor Menino is backing a plan to create a new street that would run parallel to Yawkey Way in the Fenway and join both Boylston and Beacon Street to help spur further development. Over the past 5-10years, the Fenway neighborhood has seen unprecedented development. Initially starting in the old Sears building on Park Street and in Kenmore Square but more recently in the Fenway neighborhood where mixed use developments have replaced vacant or decrepit buildings.

New tenants to the neighbhorhood include coffee shops, furniture and clothing stores and if the mayor gets his way (which he usually does) then this new development will be anchored on the Beacon Street side by the $500 Million One Kenmore Project which when completed will cover part of the Mass Pike I-90 and be book-ended by two projects on Boylston; one as yet to be named and 1330 Boylston, which just opened this week and includes more than 200 residential units, retail space and is the new home for Fenway Community Health Center (the largest GLBT health facility in the US).

This is a beautiful downtown neighborhood sandwiched between some of the country's most respected hospitals and one of the city's most affluent sections - the BackBay. The area has one of the city's largest and most beautiful parks (the Fens), is home to Fenway Park and thousands of college students who attend universities both in and around the Fenway. The recent development has brought more life to the area, and I am excited to see how this latest project enhances the community.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Clinton / Palin

I love Tina Fey and Amy Poelher and they were spot on in their respective characters to introduce SNL this past Saturday night. I'm sorry I missed the show if it was half as funny as these two were to open the show.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Work, work, work

I know I've been slacking and not spending much time collecting or sharing my thoughts but that has been mostly due to an overly active social and work calendar that has left me with little down time to write. Lately I've been posting pictures that I have thought are funny, adding video clips and / or summarizing content that I have read in the news and on other blogs, which in my mind does not really count as a blog entry.

However, right now I'm pretty much absorbed with my work as I help my team prepare for a major event in late November and juggling a travel calendar that has me on the road more than I am accustomed. Last week I was in Dallas for training and early next week I will be in Chicago to talk about the progress of the November event I've been absorbed with lately. I was asked to go and talk to this group, because PwC wants more interaction between the industry marketing folk (like me) and the marketing professionals tied to geographies (precisely the people we have reached out to help us with our November event). It is a cool opportunity to share the work we have done to date and a neat chance for me because I get to be the messenger. My travelling will continue the following week (9/22) when I head to NYC for a few more days of training. Then hopefully, my travel will subside and I'll have more time to rant and rave about whatever is dominating my thoughts.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Did you know smiling can make you more attractive to others?

I stumbled across this picture from one of the handful of blogs I read regularly and thought I would swipe it.

The power of smiling as it was entitled on OMG made me realize beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

B-Side Lounge - Sold!

It has been years since I've walked through the doors of the B-side lounge, but it was a Cambridge bar with plenty of personality and a great place to hang out with a friends. I recently started reading a local blog called, drink boston which I first heard about on Boston.com.

According to Lauren Clark (a.k.a.drinkboston), this was a long time coming. Apparently the sale was made to a western-MA beer/bar proprietor by the name of Daniel Lanigan. Now that I live all the way over in the South End, I rarely go into Cambridge, but I wish the new bar (as yet to be named) best of luck. The B-side was a great place to grab a beer or two with friends, and I'm sure it will be missed.

Boston near tops in urban job growth

Boston.com is reporting that Boston was ranked 4th in urban job growth during the month of July. It was no surprise to read that education, health care, professional and business services, and tourism helped to create those job gains. The growth rate of just under 1% sounds pretty anemic to me but the article indicated that most urban areas actually reported a job loss so at least we bucked the downward trend.

For all sorts of depressing economic news, you can visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics and pretend like our government is that there really is no economic downturn and everything will be just fine if we all stay calm and do nothing.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Same Attacks 4 Years Later

Smearing a candidate's reputation is not done just by the Republican party, but to quote a song from Carly Simon, nobody does it better. The question of the day is, will the public go for it again? I think not.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Welcome Students!

Every city has its own traditions and Boston is no exception. Ranking right up there with the Red Sox home opener, Patriot's Day (a.k.a. Boston Marathon), and the Head of the Charles (which technically is more of a Cambridge thing) is September 1st - or more informally, college move-in day.

The universities that call this city home have shaped Boston's reputation and play a major part in forming this town's identity. With more than 1/4 of all apartment leases on a 9/1 calendar and literally tens of thousands of students returning to the city, moving cars, vans and trucks of all sizes and shapes double-park and make driving a living nightmare for an entire day. The upside to this temporary insanity is that Boston (which becomes a sleepy hamlet from early May through August) suddenly jolts back to life. No city (but especially one as tiny as Boston) can ignore the affect the thousands of students have. They revive the nightlife, crowd restaurants and fill the sidewalks of Back Bay, Beacon Hill, the Fenway and so many more neighborhoods throughout the city, Brookline, and Cambridge.