Category Archives: Boston

#IceBucketChallenge in Copley Square

Boston.com IceBucketChallenge, ALSEarlier today Sergio joined about 50 others for an impromptu #IceBucketChallenge on the lawn in Copley Square.

Want to learn more about this social media campaign that has gone viral or if you would like to make a donation visit www.alsa.org.

#IceBucketChallenge on Copley Square Lawn at 1PM

IceBucketChallenge Julian EdelmanPerhaps you’ve seen a number of your friends in the Boston area pouring buckets of freezing ice water on their heads to help raise awareness and money for ALS.

Boston.com has arranged to host a large #IceBucketChallenge for all who want to participate today at 1PM on the Copley Square lawn. Here’s what you need to know.

Where: Copley Square lawn
When: Thursday, Aug. 7, 1 p.m.

Help spread the word. More details here.

Boston is ranked one of America’s most walkable cities

3 gay days in BostonSmart Growth America has issued their annual report that analyzes how walkable the country’s top 30 metropolitan areas.  Boston (again) ranked in the top five – ranking 3rd – joining:  Washington, D.C., New York City, Boston, San Francisco and Chicago. You can read more about this on Smart Growth America’s website.

Last fall Curbed Boston shared a heat map showing how walkable different neighborhoods in Boston are. North End, Chinatown and Bay Village earned a walk score of 98; the South End received an impressive score of 95.  Check out your neighborhood’s walkscore here.

I’ve been lucky enough to be able to either take public transportation or walk to work since 1999.  My neighborhood also makes it very easy to get around without needing a car which is great.

BosGuy + Not Needing a Car = Happy

Coffee culture: Coffee-as-a-pursuit (CAAP)

Michael C.You need to turn coffee drinking as a means to an end into the end itself, says culture and lifestyle contributor, Michael C.

IT WILL BE INTERESTING to see exactly what goes into the Tremont Street space formerly known as Francesca’s. I initially heard through the grapevine that Peet’s Coffee had secured the space, although apparently that’s now up in the air. But regardless of who moves in or when, if it’s a coffee shop I do hope they are wise enough to create something that takes into account the neighborhood’s love of coffee as a pastime. Because, you see, coffee is for South Enders and Euro-trash alike, not merely a beverage but a pursuit – indeed, an institution in and of itself. Right?!

When traveling abroad, my single favorite activity is sitting at a café (preferably independently owned and out-of-doors), espresso with lemon twist in front of me, engaged in some serious people watching. That’s right – not shopping, not clubbing, not sightseeing, but coffee! Most museums have fantastic in-house cafés anyway so it’s often a no-brainer win-win for me. As a born and raised European who has made this beloved land his home, this is where I feel that US society’s reverence towards the institutional identity of coffee-as-a-pursuit (CAAP) leaves a lot to be desired. Ask any person who crosses your path what comes to mind when they hear coffee and chances are they will tell you it’s a wake-up beverage in a paper cup, lid, cardboard sleeve and all, consumed on the run, on the move, on the way somewhere. Why, oh why can’t people see that coffee is that somewhere?

It’s a state of body and mind – a most civilized pursuit. It is something that should be enjoyed in sacred silence at dawn, with the life-and-arts newspaper section in the afternoon, over convivial conversation any time of the day and in countless other settings, never in a rush but as the ultimate activity. I recently ran into an old French friend on Shawmut Avenue and when asked what she was up to, this stunning Capucine look-alike replied with a smile “I’m going for coffee – join me?”. “Capucine” obviously gets it!

Based on my criteria, which I assume are clear by now, here is a list of M’s favorite coffee temples in Boston – and yes, M cares about the quality of the coffee. See you there!

South End Buttery – No introduction necessary. Everyone who’s alive in the South End knows the incomparable charm of this beloved neighborhood corner hangout.

Wholy Grain, Shawmut Avenue – no porcelain cup and saucer option due to legit space constraints, but the whole operation is so simpatico it’s impossible no to like – the small, independent neighborhood coffee shop is what we’re missing in this city.

SIP Café, Post Office Square – one of Boston’s independently owned coffee treasures and one of the closest CAAP establishments in Boston. Huge fan here!

L.A. Burdick, Back Bay – strictly speaking, a hot chocolate place but the coffee is good too – insanely bridge-and-tunnel-packed on weekends but very atmospheric on weekdays.

JaHo, South End – small, independent, bookish – good for coffee, sweets and work.

Flour, Clarendon Street – Ms. Chang’s Back Bay outpost proves that she, too, gets it.

Starbucks, South End – yes, it a mega-corporation, but surely one to emulate – beside offering good coffee in porcelain and (perpetually occupied) seating, this company’s respect for ethical business practices and equal rights is truly something to feel good about supporting.

Michael C About the author:  A former banker, Michael C offsets the sobriety of his professional life with his passion for design, music, the arts and anything beautiful.

© Michael Constantinides 2014 – all rights reserved

National Sand Sculpting Festival Revere Beach this weekend

Sand Castle Revere BeachThis weekend more than 350,000 people are expected to come down to Revere Beach to see the National Sand Sculpting Festival that will take place Friday thru Sunday 10:00 am – 10:00 pm.

A few years ago Sergio and I went down to check it out and I have to admit the sculptures were really impressive. More information about this free event can be found here.

UberBOAT was uber popular

UberBOAT! Boston by Boston Harbor CruisesEarlier this summer Uber briefly test-marketed a water taxi service in partnership with BHC and according to their blog post on Tuesday, the program was a success. In the image below (I swiped it from Uber’s blog), arrows point to UberBOAT district destinations. The thicker the arrow, the more trips took place.

UberBoat_map-04-300x294

Uber’s blog shares a number of findings from this test run but the stat that impressed me was they say demand was about 7x greater than supply and remained consistent through out the trial period.  Based on that stat, it would seem to me that there is a good possibility this service could return on a more permanent basis. You can read more about the trial run here in Boston in Uber’s blog post, here.

Riding the Green Line

I wish I was on this Green Line train when this a cappella group decided to harmonize and sing.