Monday, March 30, 2009

How do you heal a broken heart?

Once upon a time there was someone I knew who had a heart twice as large as most. This person saw the world and the people in his world as full of possibilities. Around this time in his life he met an intriguing partner who challenged and complimented him in ways that emboldened him and made his heart race faster than he ever dreamt possible.

However, over time he found that his heart was not compatible with his partner’s and because a heart needs love to give love their incompatibility caused both their hearts to shrink and finally harden. So sadly, when the “once upon a time” did not end in “happily ever after”, it became more than his heart could manage and it broke into many, many pieces. And what was once a world filled with possibilities became a world filled with impossibilities.

Over time, this heart has healed itself as hearts have been known to do. However, it is not that young heart that once raced freely. This heart is still on the mend and beats with a more fragile pulse; fearful of trusting itself and others. The world has changed yet again from one of impossibilities to one that is now filled with probabilities. His heart now protectively rations both his ability to give and receive love, baricading itself behind make believe walls that become very real and difficult to scale.

Fortunately a broken heart can heal and in time love again, but to do this a heart also has to be open to love when it shows itself. A heart needs to see the world in terms of possibilities not shades of probabilities. Only time will tell if this heart I am writing about will learn to trust itself and be willing to share itself without reservation. The ball is in his court now… let’s see what happens in the next chapter of this fairy tale. I'm doubling down on "happily ever after".

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Red Sox silk-screened prints

Somerville artist, Chris Speakman, is hosting an exhibition of silk-screened baseball imagery from April 4 - May 24, 2009 at 8 Union Park Street. An artist reception is scheduled for Friday, April 10, 2009 from 6pm - 8pm. For more information about the reception, link here.

I'm not familiar with Chris, and I have to admit that silk-screening is not my favorite medium. However, his images are engaging and it seems appropriate, considering the home opener for the Red Sox 2009 season is a little more than a week away. If you would like to see more of his work link here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Juror #30

I spent most of today known as "Juror 30" while I served my civic duty as a potential juror at the Suffolk Superior Courthouse - otherwise known as the John Adams Courthouse. The 19th century neoclassical building is hidden from Cambridge Street, which is a shame because it is so beautiful. If memory serves me correct, I believe this was the building that was also featured at the start of David Kelley's show, Ally McBeal.

My thanks to hutch1317 and Panoramio for posting this picture

Flashback Friday: Boston’s Combat Zone

Although change can sometimes be difficult to accept, I think that everyone would agree that the changes now apparent on Washington Street, just south of Downtown Crossing are for the better. In 1985, if you told me the Ritz Carlton would open a high rise luxury condominium and hotel in Boston’s Combat Zone, I would have found that hard to believe.

Gone are the ugly, cement street lights, and the seedy peep show houses like Boston Bunnies and the Pilgrim movie house. Now this corner hosts a very busy Dunkin Donuts, the Boston Registry of Motor Vehicles and a high rise apartment building. Hopefully more change will come a few blocks north in Downtown Crossing where the Filene’s building once stood but now is a construction site that remains devoid of activity.

Thanks to Boston Real Estate Broker for posting these photos.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Renewing the War on Cancer

Senators Ted Kennedy (MA) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX) have jointly penned an op-ed piece that is in today's Boston Globe, entitled, Renewing the War on Cancer. In the op-ed they point out that this horrible disease does not "discriminate between men and women, wealthy or poor, the elderly or young." Moreover although they point out that more than 1.4 million Americans were diagnosed last year with a form of cancer -the numbers are even more staggering if you think about this globally.

I was so moved by the editorial, I copied the entire letter. This is running in newspapers and blogs around the country today, and I would urge you to read it and contact your representatives in Washington D.C. to let them know you too would like to see the United States renew the war on cancer. We absolutely must identify better treatments and to fund for more and better clinical research, screening and education.

This is everyone's war, because the odds are that if you do not contract cancer someone you love will and the work we do today can lay a foundation that can lead to better survival rates for all of us tomorrow.

Renewing the War on Cancer
By Edward M. Kennedy and Kay Bailey Hutchison

Cancer is a relentless disease. It doesn’t discriminate between men and women, wealthy or poor, the elderly or the young. In 2008, over 1.4 million Americans were diagnosed with some form of the disease. If it wasn’t you, it may have been a spouse or sibling, a parent or a child, a friend or a coworker. We, too, have known the challenges of cancer diagnoses for ourselves or our family members or friends. And while there are many stories of survival, this disease still takes far too many lives. More than half a million Americans lost their battle with cancer last year.

Since the War on Cancer was declared in 1971, we have amassed a wealth of knowledge about the disease. Advances in basic and clinical research have improved treatments significantly. Some of the most important progress has been made in prevention and early detection, particularly screening, including mammography and colonoscopy. Behavior modifications, such as smoking cessation, better eating habits, regular exercise, and sunscreen have been found to prevent many cancers. Continued focus must be placed on prevention, which will always be the best cure.

Though heightened awareness and prevention should be emphasized, alone they don’t translate into adequate progress for those with cancer. Since 1971, the cancer mortality rate has decreased by only 6 percent. In the same period, by contrast, mortality rates have dramatically declined for heart disease (by 56 percent) and stroke (by 66 percent). Today, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, exceeded only by heart disease. If the current trend continues, the National Cancer Institute predicts that one in every two men and one in every three women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes, and that cancer will become the leading killer of Americans.

The solution isn’t easy, but there are steps we should take now if we hope to see the diagnosis rate decline substantially and the survival rate increase. To do so, we must identify and remove the numerous barriers that obstruct our progress in cancer research and treatment.

First, it is essential that cancer be diagnosed at an initial, curable stage. One of the most promising breakthroughs is the monitoring of biomarkers, which leave evidence within the body that alerts clinicians to hidden activity indicating that cancer may be developing. Identification of such biomarkers can lead to the earliest possible detection of cancer in patients.

Second, even if we significantly improve early detection, lack of health insurance and other impediments to care will preclude many Americans from undergoing routine screening. With early screening, the disease may be detected at a treatable stage and dramatically increase the rate of survival. Greater outreach is clearly needed to make screening more available to all, and especially to underserved populations.

Third, we must adopt a more coordinated approach to cancer research. Establishing an interconnected network of biorepositories with broadly accessible sources of tissue collection and storage will enable investigators to share information and samples much more effectively. Integrated research will help accelerate the progress of lifesaving research. The search for cures should also be a cooperative goal. The current culture of isolated career research must yield to more cooperative arrangements to expedite breakthroughs. Our national policy should encourage all stakeholders in the War on Cancer to become allies and work in concert toward cures.

Fourth, as our nation’s best and brightest researchers seek new ways to eradicate cancer, we must improve treatment for those who have it today. Raising awareness of clinical trials would result in more patients and their doctors knowing what promising trials are available. Doing so will expand treatment options for patients, and enable researchers to develop better methods for prevention, diagnosis, and therapy. Today, less than five percent of the 10 million adults with cancer in the United States participate in clinical trials. Disincentives by the health insurance market, preventing patients from enrolling in clinical trials, must be eliminated.

Finally, as our knowledge of cancer advances and patients live longer, we need a process that will improve patient survivorship through comprehensive care planning services. There is great value in equipping patients with a treatment plan and summary of their care when they first enter remission, in order to achieve continuity of therapy and preventing costly, duplicative, or unnecessary services.

We have introduced bipartisan legislation to bring about these necessary changes, and we hope to see the bill enacted in the coming weeks and months. These policy initiatives cannot be fully implemented without broad support and sufficient resources, and we are committed to leading this effort to completion.

It’s time to reinvigorate the War on Cancer, and more effective coordination of policy and science is indispensable for rapid progress.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Showtune Tuesday @ dbar

Every Tuesday is showtune Tuesday at dbar in Dorchester and everytime I go I have so much fun. Last night was no exception as I found myself eating dinner and watching clips from musicals ranging from Mary Poppins and The Lion King, to Rent and The Color Purple.

I rarely rally to go out on a Tuesday night, but yesterday was a special day as a good friend (who happens to bar tend at dbar) was celebrating his birthday. So in a nod to both dbar which salutes musicals and my friend - I'm including this little ditty from one of my favorite musicals of all time, Hedwig and the angry inch. I absolutely love it when the dancing wig appears around the 4 minute mark... Perhaps you'll find yourself singing along too.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hitting the gym

Last week I completed the final personal trainer session that Sergio gave me as a gift. The six sessions with Stu have really paid dividends, but not without having some seriously aching muscles in the process.

Although I've never been a gym rat, through out my 20s and 30s I made an effort to go to the gym to run or to try the occasional abs class. However, I was never that disciplined and after a couple of weeks of faithfully going, visits would inevitably drop off. Additionally, my work outs were rarely as intense as the sessions with my personal trainer. So when I finished my final session on Monday, I did not even think twice about signing up for a 10-pack.

My goal is to get 2 workouts with Stu and to get myself to the gym for 2 cardio work outs each week (we'll see). I've only been working out with Stu since mid-February, but I've noticed a change for the better and I'll continue to use that as my primary source of motivation. To the casual observer, nothing is apparent but my clothes certainly fit better and with Stu's help I've become stronger. The weights are getting heavier and the reps are getting more intense. After a typical work out I'm completely exhausted and sure to be quite achey for the next couple of days, but I feel like I've spent my time wisely.

Using a trainer at the BSC is not cheap... which is a shame because the cost is certainly a barrier for many people but for me it is worth the sacrifice. I'm going to use half of my tax return to pay for these next 10 sessions which should take me through the next 1-2 months. I'll evaluate where I am at that point, but I doubt I'll suddenly have the discipline to go to the gym on my own so I may be into this for the duration. We will see.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Mas Que Nada

The clip below is courtesy of YouTube and includes one of my all-time favorite Brasilian songs, "Mas Que Nada". The Black Eyed Peas remade the Sergio Mendes song a few years ago and gave it new life.

If you've never heard the song or this particular version check it out. I prefer to imagine that I'm on the beach in Ipanema while listening to the samba beat play out but it sounds good no matter where you happen to be.

Flashback Friday: SNL's Sully & Denise "Ball Game"

I loved the Jimmy Fallon and Rachel Dratch characters, Sully and Denise. Do you remember these obnoxious Boston youths? This particular skit also includes Bernie Mac as a Fenway beer vendor. My apologies in advance about the commercial NBC makes you watch first. Enjoy the clip.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Follow BosGuy on Twitter

You may have noticed that recently I set up a Twitter account. Some of my recent Twitter entries (tweets) can be found in the right margin of my blog.

If you would like to follow me on Twitter, please go to the link below and click "follow."

US votes to decriminalize homosexuality

Yesterday President Obama's administration formally endorsed a UN statement calling for the worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality, reversing a measure that former President George W. Bush had refused to sign. You can read the full article here.

As I've pointed out from time to time on my blog, there are many reasons I vote for a party vs. the individual. Paramount in that decision is the fact that while there may be many moderates in the Republican Party who have no problem with the fact that I'm a homosexual - they have no power or voice in a party that is in the arms of the Christian Far Right so why would I willingly allow a single seat to that party even if I like the individual candidate? I'm not here to change a political party - I expect to feel that I have a seat at the table of a political party. This latest reversal of the Bush administration is one more tangible and distasteful reminder that for a gay man - there is only one political party - so much for having choices.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sweet.. now I just need some sun

Shakespeare on the Commons this summer

Yesterday, The Boston Globe featured an article about Steve Maler, the founding artistic director for the Commonwealth Shakespeare Co., which has provided free Shakespeare plays on the Boston Common since 1996. In light of last season's controversy with The Citi Performing Arts Center cutting ties to the company and current economic woes, it would not be surprising to expect this article to have a sad ending. However, the article is about how Steve and his company are persevering.

Maler's newly independent nonprofit company will present 16 performances of "The Comedy of Errors" July 31 to Aug. 16 at the Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Commons. He is focussing on conducting auditions and raising the $350,00 needed to stage such an elaborate production. In the article, Maler indicates that to date, the company has raised about half that amount.

So mark a date in your calendar between July 31 - August 16 and if you are unfamiliar with the The Comedy of Errors go to your library and take it out to read up on this comedy.

If you would like to make a donation to the Commonwealth Shakespeare Co, link here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Boston tops in nation in ties to Ireland

For those who live in Boston the fact that more people here have ties to Ireland than any other city in the country will hardly be a surprise.

The Boston Business Journal is reporting that according to the US Census Bureau, 19% of the Boston population consider themselves to be of Irish descent. Only eight other metros are at least 10% Irish. Notice a trend with the population in the northeast?

The top 5 metro areas include:
1. Boston, 18.87%
2. Albany, 15.92%
3. Philadelphia, 14.60%
4. Providence, 12.23%
5. Bridgeport-Stamford, 11.69%

You can see the full list by visiting the Boston Business Journal website or by linking here.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Here is an Irish Proverb to share on St. Patrick's Day.

"Wherever you go and whatever you do, May the luck of the Irish be there with you."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Stephi's on Tremont - a welcome addition

In the summer of 2008, I wrote in my blog that the worst kept secret in the neighborhood was that Stephanie's would be opening a second location called Stephi's on Tremont in the space formerly occupied by The Garden of Eden.

The 60+ seat restaurant opened earlier this month and is a welcome addition to the South End. The menu is very similar but not an exact replica of Stephanie's on Newbury, the bar is spacious with two televisions and the seating is comfortable. Stephi's website is Unfortunately, the website does not have its menu online and refers you to it's sister restaurant website, but I'm sure that will be updated.

It is hard to imagine the space as it existed at The Garden of Eden before it closed in May 2008, because the entire space has been redesigned - allowing for more seating (and more comfortable seating). I expect this new restaurant to be quite popular - especially when the warmer weather arrives and you can dine al fresco.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Flashback Friday: Morphine

When I moved back to Boston in 1997 I was so glad to be back, because I could follow all the great local bands the city offered. One of the bands who always had my attention, and I enjoyed seeing was Morphine. The band split after one of the two founders (Mark Sandman) suddenly died of a heart attack on stage; I believe in Italy if memory serves me correct. I've never heard another band quite like Morphine. The clip below is from one of their more commercially successful songs, "Early to Bed".

If you like what you hear - check them out on YouTube where many more videos of the band performing exist.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Recently I set up a Twitter Account where friends can track my 'tweets'. My profile address is, Feel free to connect and follow me if you too are on Twitter or shoot me an e-mail and let me know you have an account.

For those unfamiliar with Twitter, wikipedia describes it as a micro-blogging / social networking service that enables its users to send and read other users' updates, tweets, which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length. I have to admit that I've found it a fun novelty and since setting up an account, I've added a handful of other profiles to follow.

Considering Twitter's growing popularity I suppose it was only a matter of time before people started to poke fun at the site. My brother who also happens to be on Twitter at, forward me Cursebird, which tracks the amount of swears and other vulgarities on Twitter at any given moment and rates your site based on the level of profanity you use.

Perhaps my mother and family will be proud to note that according to Cursebird, I swear like a 'mute'. It never dawned on me to shout profanities mostly because I use Twitter as an online log of where I am and what I'm doing. However, now I'm intrigued so perhaps in the future I'll have to throw out a few colorful four letter word expressions.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ellsbury photographs on

Everyone's favorite Navajo has a bunch of photos on I snagged the following photograph which was originally taken when he was profiled in Men's Vogue. If you would like to scroll through all the pictures on, link here.

Should print versions of dailies get non-profit status?

Yesterday, 24/ made some serious news when they published an article outlining the woes of the print industry. According to the article, "the newspaper industry has entered a new period of decline." Citing recent declared bankruptcies from newspapers and closings (or imminent closings) of papers, it makes me wonder if print versions of city dailies should be afforded the tax exempt status of a non-profit.

The article goes on to list the ten major daily papers most likely to fold or stop their print operations. Papers were chosen based on the financial strength of their parent companies, the amount of direct competition that they face in their markets, and industry information on how much money they are losing.

Among those in the dubious top 10 list include The Boston Globe at #5. Read below to see the complete list of newspapers expected to fold or shutter their print operations in the next 18 months. You can read the article in its entirety by linking here.

1. The Philadelphia Daily News
2. The Minneapolis Star Tribune
3. The Miami Herald
4. The Detroit News
5. The Boston Globe
6. The San Francisco Chronicle
7. The Chicago Sun Times
8. NY Daily News
9. The Fort Worth Star Telegram
10. The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Monday, March 9, 2009

Meghan McCain Disses Ann Coulter on the Daily Beast

Meghan McCain made news today on The Daily Beast, when she said of Ann Coulter that she appeals "to the most extreme members of the Republican Party..." and is "less and less relevant to the party". As a lifelong Democrat, I'm more accustomed to watching acrimony and public bickering in my party. One thing I've often envied about Republicans is how lockstep they can be - so candid speech like this leaves me a bit speechless.

Meghan McCain goes on to say," I have been a Republican for less than a year. Still, even after losing the election, I find myself more drawn to GOP ideals and wanting to fight for the party’s resurgence. And if figureheads like Ann Coulter are turning me off, then they are definitely turning off other members of my generation as well."

To that bit I say, "AMEN". I would love to see a more open Republican Party that is willing to engage in thoughtful discourse. It is refreshing (and a bit surprising) to read Meaghan's public criticisms of Ann Coulter who has been the unofficial pin-up girl and mastubatory fantasy of every far right conservative from Dick Cheyney and Donald Rumsfeld to the current 'leader' of the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh.
Something came to an end this weekend, and although it was clearly the right thing to do - it could not have been easy for either party involved.

I have a great deal of respect for both individuals, and I hope that those affected can take something positive from this experience.

Taste of the South End - March 10th

The Taste of the South End will take place this Tuesday, March 10th at the Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) on Tremont Street in the South End. The program includes 40+ restaurants as well as 4-5 wine and beer distributors.

Each year The AIDS Action Committee of MA tweaks this event to make it both more entertaining as well as delicious and when you think about all the incredible restaurants in the neighborhood that participate there really is something for everyone.

You can purchase tickets to the event by visiting the AIDS Action Committee website or by linking here.

I hope to see you there.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Flashback Friday: Next Stop Wonderland

Did you ever see Next Stop Wonderland? Long before there were tax breaks bringing Hollywood to Boston to shoot, local director Brad Anderson, filmed this romantic comedy that asked the question, "Do you believe in fate?" I saw this movie at the Kendall Movie House in 1998 and met Brad who did a Q&A after the film concluded.

As you could have guessed from the title of the movie - much of this was filmed along the Blue Line, but there is plenty of Boston to see in the movie. The clip below shows, Erin Castleton - played by Hope Davis, in her apartment in Union Park in the South End recovering from just being dumped by her loser of an x-boyfriend, when her meddling mother calls to let her know that she placed a personal ad in the Boston Herald. Clearly this is a flashback to a time before, eHarmony, etc... I don't even think that people place personal ads in the paper anymore.

In addition to being a wonderful cult film that shows much of Boston, the movie has a beautiful soundtrack that is Bosa Nova inspired. I have the soundtrack and still play it frequently some ten years later.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Beauty is only skin deep...

...or so the saying goes. However, both Tom and Gisele are so smashingly good looking they could make Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie look almost homely by comparison.

Boston's latest "IT" couple have recently been spotted in Boston, NY, and Pacific Palisades. The Boston Globe has a bunch of recent photographs of the newlyweds and in a desperate attempt to add eye-candy to my blog, I've included this photo - a personal favorite of the couple all glammed up at a red carpet event in NY at the MOMA. If you would like to peruse the 50+ photos on - link here.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Downtown Crossing

Today's Boston Globe has a front page article entitled, Would car traffic bring back crowds? The continued decline in shoppers and increasing number of shuttered store fronts in the Downtown Crossing neighborhood would seem to make one think that bringing cars back might be able to help save the area, but I don't know if that is really the case. However, kudos to The Boston Globe for raising the question and encouraging dialog because Downtown Crossing has so much unrealized potential that would benefit the city if it could just find its groove.

Ever since the Ritz Carlton moved into the neighborhood just a few blocks south of Downtown Crossing there has been an expectation for the neighborhood to change. That change is coming slowly and can be seen in an increasing number of residential developments that encircle Downtown Crossing, but the area has struggled in part because of a number of factors that have nothing to do with the lack of access to automobiles. More over, according to a 2006 study cited in the article, there are more than 230,000 people walking through Downtown Crossing every day. Adding cars to the mix would add unnecessary congestion, but more importantly - that type of foot traffic would be the envy of any mall so there must be contributing factors that have nothing to do with the lack of access to cars. Identifying those issues are important if the neighborhood is going to enjoy a renaissance.

Although I'm no city planner, I have lived in town for 10+ years and have been visiting Downtown Crossing since I was in high school. I would suggest there are three significant issues that need to be resolved if the Downtown Crossing is going to bring back crowds.

First, big box retailers have been declining and merging to survive for the past two decades. Additionally, the advent of online shopping accelerated the decline of these types of retailers and Downtown Crossing has been affected by this. Case in point, Macy's purchase of Filene's.

Second, there still are not enough residents or visitors staying in Downtown Crossing. Without enough hotel rooms and full-time residents the neighborhood becomes dark and deserted after business hours. Everyone in Boston knows that a neighborhood's vitality is tied to its residents. To briefly touch upon my first concern regarding the loss of large retailers - with more residents in the area there would be a great opportunity for a large grocery store. Such a retailer would benefit new residents and succeed in ways that another traditional department store probably could not.

Third, and finally, I believe the biggest problem facing Downtown Crossing is the economy. Retailers are in for an abysmal 2009 by nearly everyone's estimation and there is no guarantee that 2010 will be any better. Combined with a tight credit market - new building and construction plans (even for projects underway) may not have the opportunity to succeed.

Hopefully the concerns can be addressed, and pedestrians can still enjoy visiting Downtown Crossing unencumbered by aggressive drivers fed-up with navigating the narrow streets and tens of thousands of pedestrians blocking traffic. As a fellow Bostonian - I too want to see this neighborhood return to its former glory and become a destination rather than desolation.

Morning at the MFA

This morning I woke up to see snow falling (again). Rather than dwell on the fact that spring was still weeks if not months away, I went to the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) to spend a few hours. It has been about a year since my last visit to the MFA and a couple of years since I went to look at the museum's permanent exhibit. One change I noticed right away is the addition of a small gallery named after Herb Ritts which is dedicated to the art of photography.

The museum is still under construction, but there is plenty to see. However, you don't have to take my word for it, take a listen to what host, Tom Lowe, has to say (and see) in this 2+ minute video.