Tag Archives: Boston

MBTA late night service

Late night serviceLate last year The MBTA announced they would resume late night service, running all subway trains and the 15 most popular bus routes until 3 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday as part of a one year test to see if there is sufficient demand.

Today the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority reported Gov. Patrick will make an announcement at 10 a.m. tomorrow about when the MBTA late-night service begins.

Boston’s next gay bar: The Cathedral Place

Fritz BostonRumor has it that today the owners of The Cathedral Place (a.k.a the “new Fritz”) will be getting keys to the The Red Fez in Boston’s South End at 1222 Washington Street.

Since the naming rights for Fritz reside with different owners, the new space cannot be called Fritz, but I was told most of the staff from that bar which we mustn’t mention will help open The Cathedral Place.  The 300-person capacity, 40 car parking lot, outdoor patio and entertainment license that all come with the space make 1222 Washington Street a very appealing location.  Should the stars align, one can (I’m crossing my fingers as I type this) expect a new gay bar to open deep in Boston’s South End.

Mayor Walsh says keep the bars open later

Boston MapHold the press. Did you see the article in the Boston Herald today? Of course you didn’t – which is why I’m here to point it out to you.  They are reporting that Mayor Marty Walsh, is advocating for a “late night task force” to help reshape the city’s nightlife — with a mandate to look at 3:30 a.m. closings.

The article mentions that the group will look to create a pilot program in the Seaport District to test extending the closing time of bars and restaurants, possibly easing into it by allowing establishments to serve alcohol until 2:30 a.m. but stay open until 3:30 a.m.  The staggered closings could help avoid the crush of people who file out into the streets at 2 a.m.  This comes just months after the MBTA announced they will launch a pilot extending weekend service back to 3 a.m.

It goes without saying that I’m in favor of this and hope it can also help struggling restaurants and bars who may now be able to collect more revenues by staying open longer.  Now if we can do something about those pesky liquor licenses I think we might actually be able to foster a nightlife that would allow more gay bars to open.

You can read the article here.

St. Patrick’s Day parade organizer cheered for banning “the gays”

Boston St. Patrick's Day ParadeDid you read the Boston Herald this morning? Most likely not, so you likely missed this gem from John “Wacko” Hurley.

Parade organizer John “Wacko” Hurley said…”there’s no way, shape or form that they’re (MassEquality) going to get back in…I went into a bar and got a beer today, and I got more cheers than I ever got in my life…” More here.

Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade turns a deaf ear to the LGBT community

gayFor the first time in Boston’s history, organizers of South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade said they wold invite the LGBT group, MassEquality, to walk in their parade.  The deal is being brokered by incoming Mayor Marty Walsh, but it includes an important caveat: MassEquality, cannot wear T-shirts or hold signs that include the word gay or refer to sexual orientation.  My reaction to the deal, “Are you kidding me? Is this 1994?

The time for keeping quiet has passed.

This would have been an interesting offer back in 1994 when then incoming Mayor Tom Menino was speaking as an advocate (for the first time) for the LGBT community, but the times have changed.  Parade organizers steadfast refusal and isolation of the LGBT community casts an ugly shadow on their event and this latest ‘offer’ does little to improve their image or that of their Irish heritage.

MassEquality issued their response shortly after the Boston Globe published the story, which you can read here, but I think is summed up in this quote from their response, “LGBT people should not have to silence who they are to celebrate other parts of their identities.

What do you think?

Boston Spirit Magazine LGBT networking night

Boston Spirit Magazine LGBT Networking NightBoston Spirit magazine will host their 7th annual LGBT Executive Networking Night on Thursday, April 17, 2014.  Over the years this event has grown so despite the fact that it is more than a month away, I would highly recommend registering before they fill to capacity and cannot accept anymore RSVPs.

The night of networking will take place at the Marriott Boston Copley Place Ballroom from 6-9:00 pm. This year’s keynote speaker is Sudbury, MA native and well respected, comedian Paula Poundstone.

LGBT Executive Networking Night
Marriott Boston Copley Place 
Thursday, April 17, 2014
$10 Admission Fee
Reserve Your Place Today Here

Housing in Boston

Boston housingReal estate agents, those selling homes and snobs will rejoice that Boston has the fifth highest median housing prices in the United States; behind San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and New York City.

At least that is what I learned last Wednesday when I was reading The Boston Globe.  Analysts with HSH.com apparently calculated how much buyers would need to earn to afford the principal and interest payment on a median-priced home in their market.   

Boston housing affordability

While I am happy that property in Boston is so valuable, providing more affordable housing is something I think is essential to this city.

What are your thoughts?

How to survive a Boston winter

Gardner Museum iiA couple years ago I wrote a series of posts called “How to survive a Boston winter”. I wanted to provide some guidance for those unfamiliar with New England winters.

Considering how brutal this winter has been, I thought I’d share one of the tips from that original series of posts.  Get yourself to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Head for the original building that was Mrs. Gardner’s home. The building was modeled after a Venetian palace and in the middle is a small garden. The site of grass and scents of flowers is a wonderful way to fool your senses into thinking it is spring time – at least for an hour or so until you head back outside.Gardner Museum iii

Government Center Garage Redevelopment

Boston Anyone who has spent any amount of time in Boston will be familiar with the Government Center parking garage shown above, but for those who have moved away or don’t come into Boston often you may not know that Boston-based developer HYM Investment Group LLC intends to raze major portions of the existing 11-story garage to clear the way for six new buildings – transforming the 4.8 acres in the heart of the city.

BostonThe project will radically transform the area, which the developer describes as “an underutilized 1960s-era parking structure” into a transit-oriented, mixed-use development with a new public plaza and pedestrian connector. The proposal includes 771 residential units, 204 new hotel rooms, 1.3 million square feet of office space, 82,500 square feet of retail space and 1,159 parking spaces.

Despite the fact that parking is always an issue and the development will significantly decrease the number of existing parking spaces, I think it is a great idea.  You can track the progress of this project on the BRA website here and you can read more about the development on the project’s website here.

Tom Menino

Boston PrideOne month from today Boston’s traditional (although no longer truly) Irish neighborhood, Southie, will host their annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Boston’s former mayor, Tom Menino, made news back in 1994 when he did the unthinkable in Irish-Boston and took the organizers of Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade to court for banning “The Gays”.  The parade that year was cancelled by the organizers rather than comply with the State’s highest court which ruled against them.  Later they were allowed to maintain their “no gays” ban thanks to the US Supreme Court but Menino never joined the parade in the 20 years he served this city as mayor to show his support for Boston’s LGBT community.

This gay voter has a long memory and I wanted to say thank you to Mr. Menino. I remember 1994. Will & Grace hadn’t even premiered yet (it started in 1998).  To put this in perspective, two years later in 1996 Bill Clinton would sell-out the LGBT community by signing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) into law.

 

Boston Restaurant Week gets a makeover

Restaurant Week BostonDeclining participation from both Boston restaurants and diners has forced the organizers of Boston Restaurant Week to do some soul searching to help breathe new life into the ailing biannual foodie event.

This year it has been rebranded as Dine Out Boston the new two week event that will run from March 16-21 and 23-28 is hoping to lure both restaurants and diners back with a tiered pricing structure that offers lunches for  $15/$20/$25 and dinners for  $28/$33/$38.

FYI – American Express will apparently offer a $5 credit on cardholder statements when they spend $21 or more on an enrolled American Express card at a participating restaurant, during Dine Out Boston. I couldn’t figure out how to enroll my card; neither Dine Out Boston nor American Express had any information.  If you figure it out, let me know.

Hotel Week Boston Feb 16-23

hotel week bostonElizabeth Stefan and Kim Greiner of Summer Street Communications have helped create Boston’s first Hotel Week Boston.  The program is designed to help travelers secure great deals at some of Boston’s best hotels from February 16 – 23, 2014.

Contemplating a staycation? Want to see what other perks and discounts are being offered at participating properties?  Check out the website, hotelweekboston.com.

More public art coming to Boston’s Greenway

Boston Greenway Public ArtJesse Brackenbury, the next leader of Boston’s Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, said last week that he wants to significantly increase the presence of public art and other new features in the downtown park network. My response, “Most excellent. Let’s do it.”

The quote and image atop this post is from the Rose Kennedy Greenway’s Public Art on the Greenway: A Five Year Strategy 2013-2017.   The Greenway’s vision for this work (according to their website) is to bring innovative and contemporary art to Boston through free, temporary exhibitions on the Greenway that engage people in meaningful experiences, interactions and dialogue with art and each other.  I won’t wax on about the potential here – I’ll keep my trap shut (for now). Want to learn more about this? Check out the Greenway’s Public Art Program web page, here.

Humorous map of Boston

Bostonclick on map to enlarge

For the record, Sergio and I must be a cliche.  We live in the part of Boston noted as: “The Gays, The Brunch and Darn Good Roast Chicken. Kudos to Gordon for getting the shout out about his chicken.

What part of the map is your favorite? I loved the shout outs to various chefs and restaurants.  If you like this or would like to see how URBANE maps your home city check out their page here.

Boston Wine Expo 2014

Boston Wine Expo 2014Mark your calendars and get your tickets (if you haven’t already) because the 23rd annual Boston Wine Expo returns next weekend (February 15-16).

Be sure to check out the cooking demonstrations and tastings from some of the city’s most well-known chefs. I’ll be at the event on Sunday, February 16th so say “hello” if you are there and see me.

You may purchase tickets to this year’s event here.