Monday, January 31, 2011

Learning to speak "Boston"

People not born in or near Boston often get confused by a native's accent and expressions or as I like to refer to it the "Boston SLANGuage".

If you're not from the area you may even struggle to say this expression correctly. Don't be shy, its impossible to over-emphasize the second syllable of "Pissa". Incidentally, it is also correct to write this as "Pissah" in my book.

If you hear someone say "Wicked Pissa" what they are saying is something is really awesome. For example, watching the Celtics make the Lakers cry uncle in Sunday afternoon's game this past week was a wicked pissa.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hey Boston, how do you get rid of all that snow?

Is it just me or doesn't this seem like it should not be legal? With more than 60" of snowfall in Boston so far this winter, trying to clear space in the city is not easy. However, this contraption which rapidly melts snow in this parking lot quickly drains through the city sewers and into Boston harbor. Is that really legal?

Watch my quick video and let me know what you think.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Restaurant Review: Scampo

Scampo is in the very cool Liberty Hotel in Beacon Hill. It is also one of Lydia Shire's signature restaurants. It is one of those places that I always enjoy when I go because its surroundings are so beautiful, the service is consistently excellent and the food is as delicious as it is memorable. This is not a restaurant to visit if you are on a budget. Dinner for two (appetizers, main dishes and a shared dessert - not including drinks or tip) will cost ~$100.00. However, the menu is fantastic (maybe one of the best in the city). Service was flawless from start to finish. Our waiter provided excellent suggestions and went out of his way to make our evening special. My partner finished his meal a good 5 minutes earlier but his plate was not cleared until I finished; making me feel unrushed and allowing me to savor every bite.

My dinner consisted of a few glasses of wine, sharing two starters and a delicious main. We started with "Patrick's naan w/ proscuitto" and the vine ripe heirloom tomotoes, basil and fresh mozzarella salad. My main dish was large and flavorful. I ordered one of the special meals that evening; slow cooked pork in a wine reduction sauce, accompanied by marinated cherries, vegetables and risotto.

Want a special night out? Put Scampo on your list - its one of Boston's best.

Starter: Patrick's naan w/ proscuitto $18
Starter: Mozzarella salad $14
Main: Pork special $39
Scampo is located in the Liberty Hotel Boston, MA 617-536-2100
Reservations strongly recommended
Scampo on Urbanspoon

Friday fitness update

I started the week working out like a gay single 20-something, hitting the gym consecutive days; Saturday, Sunday and Monday, but a bit of travel ended my streak, and I've not returned to the gym since coming home from NYC.

Saturday – January 22nd Still sore from my work out on Friday I went to the gym groaning, but it was time well spent - my trainer, Stu, focused on shoulders, triceps with a bit of abdominal work at my request.

Sunday – January 23rd I went to the gym for a run - after two days in a row of lifting weights I needed a break, and I was pleasantly surprised to have another fairly easy run. I had not run since last Sunday, but I beat my previous time by 90-seconds, running 3.5 miles in 0:32:06 averaging 6.6mph

Monday – January 24th Stu had me focus on arms. I don’t think I’d ever done an entire work out on arms. Despite it killing, I’d like to do this again. It worked out perfectly since we met during my lunch hour and the gym was empty. Nobody could see me struggling mightily to curl the tiny weights.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

David Kato - GLBT activist murdered

I have been critical of social policy issues pertaining to GLBT rights in the U.S., but I am well aware that I am damn lucky to live in the industrialized world. The rights of all minorities (GLBT included) are non-existent in most developing nations.

One such situation is the ongoing human rights violations in Uganda. Most Americans probably could not identify Uganda on a map - let alone be bothered by what is happening there. However, news that David Kato was murdered made me take pause. Unlike other African activists like Steven Biko and Nelson Mandela, movies and accolades are not likely to follow this man, but out of respect to Mr. Kato and to remind anyone who bothers to read this blog how brave he truly was, I wanted to write a brief post.

David Kato, was a leading advocate for GLBT rights from Uganda where being gay is tantamount to a death sentence. Think I'm exaggerating? The Ugandan Parliament is currently considering a bill to execute anyone who is gay. Can you imagine what it must be like for a scared, gay adolescent (let alone adult) living in such a society? Being an outspoken advocate for human rights / GLBT rights in such a hostile environment is a bravery I can respect but could never hope to replicate.According to the NYT, on Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Kato was beaten to death with a hammer. Val Kalende, the chairwoman of one of Uganda’s gay rights groups said, “David’s death is a result of the hatred planted in Uganda by U.S. evangelicals in 2009. The Ugandan government and the so-called U.S. evangelicals must take responsibility for David’s blood.”

It was sad to read this report in the NYT today, and it was shameful to read the reference to U.S. evangelicals (not evangelicals - but those from my home country) as guilty by association in Ms. Kalende's opinion.

Monday, January 24, 2011


No posting til the end of the week. Work is sending me to New York City for a couple of days. However, I'll be tweeting as I go so follow me on the twitter-sphere,

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tennis players who get my attention

Since I received so many emails about my recent Australian Open post, I figured I'd indulge myself (and hopefully anyone else who stops by) with some photos of some of the world's best tennis players. No disrespect intended for those I did not include. My list is actually a lot longer than this, but one has to draw the line somewhere.
World's No. 1 Tennis Player, Rafael Nadal (ESP)

No. 8 highest ranked American, Andy Roddick (USA)

No. 9 Fernando Verdasco (ESP)

No. 28 Juan Monaco (ARG)

No. 150 Robby Ginepri (USA)

As you can see you need not be a sports enthusiast to enjoy the game of tennis.

Bill Gates discusses energy innovation

I know this is not my typical post, but I greatly admire Bill Gates and his wife for their dedication and championing of causes to help make the world a better place.

The video is a bit long, but fascinating. Gates talks about his concern for global warming and its impact on the world (esp the poorest). What I found most interesting starts at the 8 minute mark where he identifies types of energy where he thinks innovation might take place to achieve significant carbon reduction, despite existing challenges.
Bill Gates on energy: Innovating to zero! | Video on

Friday, January 21, 2011

Australian Open 2011

While my entire family is obsessing over football, I've been watching the Australian Open. The Aussie Open is a grand slam event in Tennis (sort of like play offs). I'm probably the only person I know who ranks tennis as my favorite sport. I love everything about the game. I'll submit Fernando Verdasco as exhibit "A" to make my point. The fact that he's joined by scores of others playing in one of the most beautiful cities in the world (that would be Melbourne, Australia) is a bonus.

Housemartins: music for a Friday afternoon

Since the 80s seem to be hip again, I figured I'd share what I'm listening to today. This song is off the CD by the same name, Housemartins The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death. If you're not familiar with this 80s UK band, check out the video below (sorry its so grainy). I think of the Housemartins as a happier and more pop-styled version of the Smiths.

Friday fitness update

This week I fared much better than in previous weeks, although I did not get in as much running as I hoped.

Sunday – January 16th I went to the gym for what turned out to be my one and only run of the week. I’m glad I went, because I enjoyed it from start to finish (well as much as one can enjoy running). I ran 3.5 miles in 0:33:35 averaging 6.3 MPH – an athlete this does not make me, but it gets me closer to my long term goal to run 4.5 – 5.0 miles in 40-45 minutes. It also reverses what had been a disappointing trend with recent runs.Wednesday - January 19th & Friday - January 21st I worked out with my trainer, Stu. Wednesday was all about the chest with the last third of the work out focusing on my triceps. Stu had me start with bench presses on the incline, flat and decline benches. The work out progressed from there and on Friday when I went to see him for my second work out of the week, I was still a bit tender (sadly I still did not have a chest that resembles this guy), but progress is being made. On Friday it was the opposite routine focusing on back and biceps. It was another strong work out and my hands / arms are shaking with fatigue as I type this. We'll see how sore I am tomorrow when I try doing the push ups in this photo - I hope I don't fall on my face.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Guy candy

Boston is about to get slammed with another snow storm, but that's not even the worst part, the extended forecast shows it will remain in single digits thru much of next week. For those who don't know Farenheit, trust me when I say that's FREEZING even by Boston standards.

To stop scowling I've posted this picture. I think its safe to say I'm suffering from GetMeTheHellOutOfHereSyndrome.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Learning to speak "Boston"

People not born in or near Boston often get confused by a native's accent and expressions or as I like to refer to it the "Boston SLANGuage".

For those not from the area, you may think that this t-shirt above means running very fast. That would be understandable, but incorrect. It is actually referring to Red Sox outfielder, Jacoby Ellsbury.

Jacoby Ellsbury

BosGuy review of Union on facebook

Earlier this week I was pleasantly surprised to hear from Jeff Gates (part owner of the restaurant group which owns Union). He thanked me for my review of Union and indicated he'd be sharing my feedback with his staff.

Today I found out that my review was posted on the Union facebook page.

My restaurant reviews are also appearing in the news tab of the "Your Town" section of I suppose I'm just bragging here, but I have to admit I get a kick out of seeing this picked up.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sen. Lieberman announces retirement

In recent years, there have been few US Senators who have disappointed me more than Sen. Lieberman so his announcement not seek re-election in 2012 should make me happy, right? Its not quite that easy...

My feelings towards Lieberman are a bit more complicated. You see, my frustration with Joe stems from my belief that ideologically, the two of us agree on a significant majority of issues. For example, his leadership and championing of DADT was crucial to its passage (for the record, its that kind of leadership I feel is lacking in my US Senator, Scott Brown). On the other hand, Lieberman's steadfast support of John McCain even as he chose Sarah "I'm not a whack job" Palin still makes me froth at the mouth. There are other differences as well, but there is no point in creating a list of grievances from past votes. I suppose I should be pleased that who ever replaces him will most likely have a (D) next to their name since CT - much like the rest of the Northeast continues to isolate itself as it continues to elect mostly progressive delegations despite the rest of the the US trend to elect more conservative candidates.

So its with mixed emotion that I say goodbye to this conservative Democrat who has served in the US Senate since 1989. What are your thoughts about Lieberman's announcement today?

Since I'm on a political bent - I'd also like to acknowledge the passing of a pretty amazing man - R. Sargent Shriver (husband to Eunice Kennedy Shriver). Among his many contributions was the Peace Corps which he founded and managing President Johnson's "War on Poverty".

Can you think of a more admireable legacy than the values and achievements the Peace Corps or committing yourself to trying to erase poverty in the US? If we had more men like Shriver in this world can you imagine what a wonderful place this would be?

Unfamiliar with this amazing man? Read up about R. Sargent Shriver

Monday, January 17, 2011

Celtics game tonight

Today, I was given tickets to the Celtics game against Orlando, so I guess working on MLK day wasn't such a bummer. I'm bringing along little brother to help cheer him up after watching the Patriots choke.

I'll be tweeting from the game. Feel free to follow me at

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Restaurant Review: Union Bar and Grille

Union Bar and Grille (a.k.a. Union) is part of the Aquitaine Group, a local restaurant group that also owns and operates, Gaslight, Metropolis Cafe and three establishments that take the name of the management group. Previous restaurant reviews have focused on dinner, but an excellent (and affordable) alternative is brunch and Union does this better than most. On Saturday (from 10am - 3pm) and Sunday (from 10am - 11am) they offer a special that includes coffee cake, an entree from a select menu as well as coffee and juice for $9.95. You can check out the early riser menu here. I love the sytlish decor of this restaurant. The photo of the dining room is from Union's website - for more images, check out their website here. Both the bar and the booths in the dining room are very comfortable and make it difficult to leave (esp. on cold winter days). Another plus with Union is their consistently excellent service.

The brunch menu includes traditional items such as eggs benedict, french toast and a variety of omelets as well as sandwiches with their deliciously crispy fries. Below I've snapped a few photos from our brunch.
Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Huevos Rancheros
If credit card bills from Christmas are now coming due and you need an affordable option to treat yourself - check out Union's brunch. The food, service and atmosphere won't disappoint and is one of the best deals in Boston.

Union Bar and Grille is located at 1357 Washington Street Boston, MA (617) 423 0555
Reservations (even for brunch) strongly recommended.
Union Bar and Grille on Urbanspoon

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Off to Puerto Rico (again)

I recently booked another trip to Puerto Rico so I can escape the winter cold. I leave in about 4 weeks and will spend 5 nights back at La Concha in mid-February. I had intended to book a trip to a new destination to see more of the Caribbean but Puerto Rico was easily the most affordable non-stop airfare from Boston.

I would not have anticipated that I would make a second visit to Puerto Rico so soon after my previous trip, but I'm getting excited now that it is just weeks away. Because I've been to this property a few times already, I feel like I know the area fairly well. If past visits are any indication of what to expect on this trip, the weather should be beautiful (hope I haven't jinxed myself by saying that) and I will spend my days poolside or on the beach, my afternoons (hopefully squeezing in a run), my evenings eating, and my nights sipping cocktails outside by the beach. I've included some additional photographs I found online of where I'll be staying to help sustain me until I board my flight and head back down to Puerto Rico.

Friday, January 14, 2011 #fail

All I have to say to Research In Motion (RIM) the designers and manufacturers of the BlackBerry is "Are you kidding me?" I first became aware of this funny but unacceptable guffaw when a friend forward me the article, RIM looks to attract new talent with ‘’

Initially, I thought this was a joke but several articles online are making me believe this was an actual site until recently. If that is the case, I can only assume the decision by RIM to launch must have come from a disgruntled employee, leaving to take a job with Apple for their iPhone division.

How could a firm make themselves into such a joke? One would expect this to be a story in The Onion. Are you familiar with this story? Is this a ruse or for real?

Friday fitness update

I'm starting to sound like a broken record after last week's entry where I commented on how tough its been to get into the swing of things post-holiday, but there was no helping it this week.

Work had me so busy I actually had to cancel a gym session with my trainer, but it could not be avoided so there was no gym on Wednesday. Between the snowstorm and work I managed to only get to the gym twice, but realistically only one of those visits was a viable work out. My abbreviated run on Sunday was depressing to be perfectly blunt. My running mojo from a couple of weeks ago has apparently run off without me. Since there's not much to say about my run, I'll focus on today's work out with Stu at the gym. I had a good 1 hour session - we focused on shoulders and triceps. Because I worked out during lunch, we had our pick of the gym and there was no waiting nor modifying the work out to compensate for the post-holiday gym crowd. There were no new milestones nor was it a killer work out that will leave me achey tomorrow, but it was a solid session that definitely challenged me and was much needed after a week not getting to the gym.

Kylie Minogue Boston show on sale today

Kylie Minogue tickets went on sale this morning for her Boston show on Friday, April 29th. Needless to say, since my friend Andy purchased tickets I haven't been able to get her out of my head. Its fair to say I'm spinning around.

Okay, I'll stop with the play on words with Kylie lyrics. I'm no longer in high school. This should be a blast, she's playing at the Agganis Arena at Boston University. If you like Kylie (and let's be frank - who doesn't?) check and see if tickets remain.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snowy Streets of Boston's South End

The Buttery (Union & Shawmut)
Union Park & Shawmut Street
Waltham Street (facing east)
Waltham Street (facing west)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow My God! (SMG!)

Boston is in the midst of its largest snow storm of the season, but I'm quite comfy in my 4th floor apartment looking out at the blizzard (pronounced here as blizzaahhd). In my previous post, I was a victim of a random act of kindness I alluded to some good fortune. Yesterday, we were offered a spot in a parking garage for our car; thus avoiding the need to dig out our car from the storm. Looking outside - I can't tell you how happy I am knowing the silver bullet (my nickname for our 2001 Golf) is safey tucked away in our building's parking garage.

I started taking pictures at 9:00am of Harrison Avenue (near Gaslight Brasserie) and will continue to add to this post through the day. I live in a downtown neighborhood which is normally quite busy with pedestrians and traffic, but not today. A snow emergency was in effect as of 9:00pm Tuesday to ensure the streets would be clear for the snow plows. School was cancelled and most employers asked employees to work from home to avoid any potential accidents.

Harrison Avenue @ 9:00am
Harrison Avenue @ 12:00pm
Harrison Avenue @ 4:00pm