Temptation Tuesday

handsome hunk, shirtless guyPast Temptation Tuesday Posts

Shakespeare on the Common starts Wednesday

Commonwealth Shakespeare CompanyThe Commonwealth Shakespeare Company returns to the Boston Common for their 19th season, bringing free performances of William Shakespeare to the public.

This year the CSC presents Twelfth Night, one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays.  The play has a romantic bent and centers on twins, Viola and Sebastian, separated by a shipwreck.

Performance Schedule for 2014:  July 23 – August 10, 2014 by the Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common; Tuesday – Saturday at 8PM / Sunday at 7 PM with a matinee show at 3PM on Saturday July 26th.  Details here.

The Welcoming Committee:  TWC is encouraging the LGBT community to join them on Thursday, July 24th.  While the event is free, they are asking anyone planning to join and watch with them to RSVP here so they know how much space to save.

Realm health and fitness tips with Kyle

sleepIs a lack of sleep impacting your weight loss goals?

Two of the primary hormones that affect weight loss are Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone. These hormones are released in our deep levels of sleep that can only be reached with long period of sleep, and it is proven that people who lack sleep have much lower levels of these hormones.  Here are some tips on how to optimize your sleep.

- Sleep in pitch black, even a digital alarm clock light can interrupt sleep.

- Don’t eat too close to bedtime. The breakdown of food in our stomachs can be disruptive to sleep.

- Foam roll or stretch before bed. This will release oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin which will help you sleep better.

- Download a sleep monitoring mobile app too see how deeply you are sleeping.  These apps will show you when you are in REM sleep and your sleep activity for the whole night.

Kyle at Realm FitnessKyle is a nationally certified personal trainer, certified nutritionist, and lifestyle motivator out of Los Angeles, CA. He has been training for 5 years and has experience working with top-tier celebrity and executive clientele. When he’s not in the gym, Kyle is reading philosophy or writing poetry.


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

Monday blues

Monday bluesHave a good one.  Chin up – it will be Friday before you realize it.


Free Fun Fridays

Free Fun Friday

Source: Rose Lincoln /Harvard University Staff Photographer

Thanks to the Highland Street Foundation summer program, Free Fun Fridays,  seven different museums and cultural venues will be free and open to the public on Friday, July 25th. This program features a wide variety of free admissions this week including places like Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum and Battleship Cove.

All these venues are FREE this Friday, July 25

Thank you Highland Foundation for your continued, generous support of these institutions. I hope readers take advantage of these weekly treats and visit one or more of these venues this summer.

CDC studies health of gay, lesbian and bisexual population

US Census Says Same Sex Couples jumped 17% in MassachusettsAccording to a new federal health report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), less than 3% of the population identifies as gay, lesbian or bisexual. (No wonder it is so hard for a single gay guy to meet Mr. Right. Quit your complaining ladies.)

The report is the government’s first large-scale study on the gay, lesbian and bisexual population.  While significant disparities were identified between the gay and straight population with regards to specific health indicators, they determined there is no general correlation between overall health and sexual orientation.  You can read more about the study and the findings here.