Earlier this winter iconic retailer, Louis Boston, closed their doors on Newbury Street. With many retailers hurting this is not news except that Louis Boston was closing shop on Newbury Street to expand into a new neighborhood that is still being developed call Fort Point Channel. Additionally, Louis Boston does not occupy just any building - they occupy the crown jewel of Newbury Street (Boston's version of Fifth Avenue or Rodeo Drive for those not familiar).
Speculation abounds in articles written by The Boston Globe wondering aloud what fashion house or department store may decide to take over the space. I've included a photograph taken by The Boston Globe to show you the contrast from the home on Newbury Street to the new home of Louis Boston.
On Thursday, April 29th I will be flying to Paris. The weather forecast at this point looks to be disapointing with temperatures in the low 60s and rain. I hoped to spend the days walking and visiting the public gardens but if the weather does not cooperate I'll head in doors to see some of the magnificent museums. Regardless of the weather, I plan to eat plenty of these:
Wine, cheese and conversation will also be enjoyed. I am hopeful that I'll be able to connect on Friday night with a houseguest who spent this past Christmas with Sergio and me. I've yet to make reservations for any of the nights we are in Paris.
If you have a restaurant, cafe, bar or club to recommend, send me your comments or e-mail me; as always it is greatly appreciated.
Today is the 2010 Boston Beer & Bacon Festival. The celebration is going on right now at the historic Power Station across the street from my home. The charity event, which will raise money for several neighborhood non-profits combines bacon themed dishes from area restaurants with local beers from New England's best breweries. I can hear the music from the bands playing as I type this entry and if the food is as good as the music - I'm sure it was worth the price of entry. I snapped a few photos of people lining up earlier today, which you can check out below.
Just a few blocks away on Tremont Street there is a similar event called Slowfest happening at the BCA. Slowfest is a two day festival celebrating session beers from over 30 breweries and food samplings from local New England producers. Sound similar? I think so too, but I suppose you could always check out the Beer& Bacon Festival today then work your way over to Slowfest tomorrow since it is a two day event. However, I believe both events have actually sold out. If you've attended either program or know someone who has - let me know what you thought of the event.
The city of Boston conjures different images for everyone, but eventually education and more specifically colleges and universities come to mind. I have no idea, but I would guess there is not another city with as many institutions of higher education. Even someone like me who has lived in or near Boston for most of my life can not keep track of all the schools that call Boston home.
Last week I was sipping drinks with friends at Rocca when I was chatted up by two guys sitting next to me (make that yet another example of myth busting Boston's cold reputation). As it turns out these friendly guys work at The Boston Conservatory. Now I'm familiar with several of Boston's higher education institutions that are dedicated to The Arts, but this was one I was not.
Both guys rolled their eyes when I admitted this and suggested I check out the school's website which I did today. The school is located in the Fenway and has all sorts of interesting programs the public (THAT's YOU) can attend at little or no cost. Ever the one to identify Free Stuff to do in town, I thought I'd give The Boston Conservatory a huge shout out. You can check out their event calendar here.
I turn 40 in a matter of days, but I think I might be in better shape now than I was when I first entered my 30s. I started working out with my trainer, Stu, in February 2009 and this week I just re-signed for another 24 1-hour sessions. To paraphrase Brokeback Mountain, "I just can't quit Stu." Ha... I doubt he would appreciate the reference but that isn't quite what I meant by it either. I've noticed that without the commitment of meeting him twice a week I rarely get to the gym and even on those rare weeks that I do go the work outs are never as intense.
Tonight we started with core exercises to help me work off my mid-section (what I would give to drop one more waist size). We then moved to Chest & Tricep followed by Back & Bicep exercises. The entire routine flowed so easily - not the actual lifting mind you - just the progression of work outs. When I'm on my own this is never the case and this is why I think Stu is worth every penny.
Today's work out was particularly gratifying because without realizing it I set some personal records with weights which if left on my own - I would have never tried. Using the cable machine, I was able to curl 150lbs and earlier in the routine while working my chest I was able to lift two 75lb dumbells for presses. I have a feeling I'm going to be quite sore tomorrow. Perhaps not as sore as all the Boston marathon runners, but sore all the same. If you're working out or struggling to work out - shoot me an e-mail or drop a comment. I do get inspiration from others and like to know I'm not the only one obsessing about this.
Did you watch Glee? Do you know what the acronym WWMD stands for? I do, now that I've seen this week's show. I'm embarassed by how much I enjoy watching this show and this week really put me over the edge with an entire episode dedicated to Madonna songs.
It is tough to pick my favorite scene from this week's show, but I think it would probably be when Kurt speaks to Sue Sylvester in her office w/ Mercedes after Mr. Schuester schooled Sue about her Florence Henderson-like hair cut in the hallway.
"Mercedes is black and I'm gay. We make culture."
Favorite Madonna song from tonight's show... well that's just too hard to pick, but hearing "Gambler" over the intercom was certainly the biggest surprise. I love that song and never hear it. The song I most would have liked to have heard.... "Get into the Groove".
Imagine my surprise when I was thumbing through the May 2010 issue of Out Magazine and on page 36 I see my neighborhood, SoWa featured. The title, "When in...SoWa: The new gay Boston thrives just south of the south end". The brief article makes reference to the "red brick warehouses", lofts and apartments that have transformed the derelict district into a hip home.
Harrison Ave and Washington Street are referenced as are some of the restaurants in the n'hood, Stella, Rocca and Gaslight. Thanks to Raphael Kadushin and the editors at Out Magazine for the welcome surprise. I have to agree with them that this is the place to be.
I spent much of Friday adding content to Wikipedia from a handful of recent studies my firm had published. I'd never done this before - usually I'm the one looking something up on Wiki. After a slow start trying to figure out how to accurately cite studies and make all the links work, it flowed pretty quickly. All told I was able to help increase content in an area of study in medicine / healthcare that is quite hot but had suprisingly little published. (Here's a hint about the subject.)
The mar/comm geek in me really thought the entire exercise was pretty cool. It's another great way to build credibility, distribute findings from our reports and leverage new forms of media that were not previously available when I started my career in marketing. It makes me wonder why I don't see more of our competitors doing this?
Wikipedia on Wikipedia
Wikipedia ( /ˌwɪkɪˈpiːdi.ə/ or /ˌwɪkiˈpiːdi.ə/ WIK-i-PEE-dee-ə) is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its name is a portmanteau from wiki (a technology for creating collaborative websites, from the Hawaiian word wiki, meaning "quick") and encyclopedia (from ancient Greek meaning "the circle of arts and sciences").
Sadly, Boston is rainy and cold this weekend. The lousy weather is really a bummer because thousands of are descending upon Boston this weekend to either participate in the Boston Marathon (which is this Monday) or to cheer on the runners. Boston is a beautiful city to get out and enjoy in good weather - there is really only one hill in downtown (Beacon Hill) and the city is exceptionally pedestrian friendly, but none of that will be appreciated this year because of the cold temps and precipitation.
In lieu of seeing the streets of BackBay chalk full of pedestrians mingling with runners for Monday's marathon, people will now be cramped in doors. I would like to wish Paul, Joe, Josh and of course Matty much luck on Monday. I'll be watching the start of the marathon and the Red Sox game at a local pub (yet to be determined) before I work my way down to the Mass / Comm Ave intersection to cheer on all the runners.
About the Boston Marathon (courtesy of Wikipedia):
The Boston Marathon is an annual marathon hosted by the U.S. city of Boston, Massachusetts, on Patriots' Day, the third Monday of April. Begun in 1897 and inspired by the success of the first modern-day marathon competition in the 1896 Summer Olympics, the Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. It is one of five World Marathon Majors.
Friday, April 16th is The National Day of Silence. The purpose of this day is to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment, and I have decided to participate in my own way.
I will not post on my blog, answer personal e-mails or log on to twitter. I understand that many people might not understand the point of this day. However, to those who would read my blog and feel that way all I can say is that I identify with this issue on a very personal level. And if this is how this movement wants to draw attention to the problem then I want to show my support. If you are a blogger and would like to do the same follow the links in this entry to find out how you can show your support.
Every city has their traditions and one of Boston's is the Swan Boats which grace the Public Garden starting each spring. According to the Boston Globe article, the tradition was started by Robert Paget in 1877 and has been run by his family ever since. Romantics will be happy to read that it was a love story which sparked the idea behind the swans. Apparently Mr. Paget was fond of "Lohengrin," an opera in which a knight crosses a river in a boat drawn by a swan to protect his love. I can recall being taken on these boats when I was a small child, and I will probably do the same with my nephews and nieces...like I said, its a tradition.
The photo is from Bill Greene of The Boston Globe. You can see all his pictures and read more about the Swan Boats by linking here.
Awhile ago I wrote an entry, Contemplating Switching Teams. At the time, I was terribly frustrated with my 6+ year old PC, that moves at the speed of molasses on a hot summer day in Boston. The allure of Apple and the feeling that "all my friends were doing it" made me seriously consider switching things up and purchasing a MacBook Pro. Ultimately, I decided that despite the appeal and the excellent designs, I would stick with a PC. I love Apple's marketing and think that Steve Jobs is a genius, but I can buy two of my Dell laptops for the price of one MacBook Pro - maybe that was what ultimately sealed the deal.
So for now, I'll be operating firmly within the world of the PC.
Two weeks from tomorrow (Thursday) I leave for Paris. This will be my first visit to France in more than six years, and I'm really looking forward to spending a few days relaxing, site seeing and of course eating. Sergio purchased our tickets as a surprise gift so we could celebrate my 40th birthday in Paris. Unlike my previous visit when I stayed in Le Marais, I'll be staying at the posh, Hotel Prince De Galles, which is in the ever so chic 8th district (arrondissement). I'm really looking forward to our stay at the Prince De Galles Hotel and will comment on the property on my profile on TripAdvisor as well as on my blog so check back for my photos and critique - esp. if you plan on visiting Paris in the near future.
I know that many people have a perception of the French as a rude and arrogant group, and I'm certain that there are many who probably live up to the stereotype, but I've yet to meet one. On my trip to Paris in 2003, I found nearly everyone helpful and quite patient as I stuttered through my French. Despite the contradiction between the reputation and my personal experiences interacting with the French, I still find this video of Catherine Tate hilarious.
I'm back from my weekend in New Orleans and I had a great time celebrating my friend's birthday. Most of the gang remain in the Big Easy, but I made my escape back to Boston on Sunday. I love visiting New Orleans and look forward to my next trip. I've pulled together some photos of the weekend excursion - I wish I had a better eye and a more steady hand, but these will have to do. Happy birthday Jeff - I hope you had a great time - thanks for all the fun.
All my love and thanks to the rest of the gang as well... Colleen, Zach, Frances and Kenny.
Spring sprang in Boston the end of March, but today it feels as if summer might not be far off. I hope readers from the Boston area are able to break away to enjoy the day.
Its now a few hours later (4:30) and when I saw that the mercury had jumped another 4 degrees I felt compelled to modify my post from lunch time to show just how beautiful today is in Boston. I am never unhappy to see 90 and sunny in the forecast - never.
On Friday six guys are converging on a house we've rented in the French Quarter to celebrate a 40th birthday. I think it sounds like great fun and I am trying to get extra sleep so I'll be able to keep up.
Fortunately the forecast for New Orleans looks like it will be beautiful. Since we will be descending from places like Boston, NYC and SF we should feel comfortable with these temperatures, although I wouldn't mind seeing mid 70s and low 80s. I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed. I'm not sure where we are planning the big birthday dinner on Saturday night, but I'm not concerned in a city like New Orleans where excellent dining can be found on nearly every corner. I do plan on swinging by the Michalopoulos Gallery. For years George Michalopoulos had a gallery on Newbury Street and when I first lived in Boston in the BackBay, I had a beautiful print that I loved. I have no idea what to expect this weekend but I'm staying focused and counting down the hours 'til I board my Friday morning Jet Blue flight.
A report compiled by Microsoft in late 2009 reports that 79% of hiring managers and job recruiters surveyed in the US reviewed online information about job applicants last year and a large majority said that what they find online impacts their hiring considerations. 70% of hiring managers in the study indicated that they had rejected candidates based on what they had found. To this I say, "Oy-vey". You can download and read through the nearly 90 slide global study from Microsoft by linking here.
Lately a few bloggers I've been reading have been trashing Boston as an unfriendly place with guys who are beyond unapproachable. While I understand that my hometown is not likely to win a congeniality award and many guys in this town could use a serious attitude adjustment, I also know a lot of really great people who are quick to smile and easy to talk to. So last week I conducted an unscientific social experiment by heading into Club Cafe on a Thursday night (all by myself). Club Cafe has a reputation for being one of Boston's most popular gay bars and also one of its most reviled. There are actually movies (All the rage) and videos on YouTube that make jokes about how unfriendly Club Cafe can be (Fresh Fruit - Ptown). Walking into the bar last Thursday I could actually hear the opening lyrics of "Ptown" in particular playing through my head "Boys in this town will tear your self-esteem down in Beantown..."
Having my blackberry as a distraction and tweeting about my experiences helped me feel like I'd have a bit of a security blanket so I would not be staring into space like a crazy person if there was nobody to say "hello" to when I walked in the front door. However, my trepidation proved unfounded because my experience was not what I read or hear people bemoan. There were definitely the guys who had no time or interest in talking to me, but by and large I found most everyone more friendly than I would have suspected. If I smiled, people (mostly) smiled back and even a few guys started to chat me up a bit which I took as a compliment and proof that this reputation while rooted in reality might well also be a bit blown out of proportion. I will also admit that it probably helped that the weather was beautiful that day so nearly everyone was in a cheery mood. I'm not sure there would have been as many smiles if we'd just received a foot of snow or if it was freezing cold, but I plan to do my own version of myth busting by trying this out at another venue or two and see where it gets me.
And lest those nay-sayers suggest I already knew people - through the entire night I only saw one person who I knew by name. However, by the end of the night I'd met and had nice conversations with 2 really nice guys; separately. Okay... if you've read everything I wrote you are welcome to share your thoughts and tell me I'm crazy, wrong or deluded, but I'm just sharing what one night in Boston was like for me going out without any friends by my side and without knowing anyone at the bar.
Lately life has been all work and no play, but this weekend with a good friend's 40th birthday celebration planned for both Friday and Saturday and family time logged for an Easter brunch, I knew that I was not going to be thinking much of work.
I ended up going to Club Cafe both Friday and Saturday night with my friend P.G. Friday was sort of a prelude for the next night when we had plans for dinner at Sophia's Grotto in Roslindale before heading into Boston for a full night of cocktaling. Although I have no regrets about the back-to-back evenings out, my body ached on Sunday morning as I drove up to my parent's place in NH.
Somehow I rallied and caught my second wind. As I was driving back to Boston with little brother and girlfriend asleep in the back seat of the car I even entertained thoughts of possibly heading to the gym or flipping open the laptop to get some work done. However T.P.'s innocent suggestion that we enjoy the remaining sun and warmth was all I needed to ditch said plans and opt to find space on a patio on Tremont Street. One drink turned into another and an hour+ later we decided to order dinner rather than call it an evening.
While we were sipping our beverages, I noticed a young guy making eye contact with me. Keeping true to my 2010 New Years resolutionto continueto smile at strangers and say "hello", we started to strike up a conversation. Within minutes, this young, handsome guy says to me, "Are you BosGuy?" Turns out Matty reads my blog. Who knew I had such a handsome readership? I know family and a few friends read my ramblings, and I correspond with a couple of bloggers regularly, but meeting Matty has inspired me to up my game and try to give my blog more attention.
Thanks Matty for saying hello and best of luck to you on Patriot's Day when you run your first marathon. You made my day.