Boston By Foot Tour of the Month: Longwood/Cottage Farm


About twenty hardy souls braved the rain and stickiness to visit two neighborhoods in Brookline on the Boston By Foot September Tour of the Month of Longwood & Cottage Farm.  These neighborhoods feel like a remote English village although one is never more than two blocks away from Beacon Street and it’s trolley line.  The…

Shea Stadium: A Personal History


Beloved Mets mascot Mr. Met signs autographs during a 1997 game at Shea Stadium. Yesterday, the Mets lost to the Marlins and brought an end to their 2008 season as well as the William A. Shea Municipal Stadium.  The Mets will begin the 2009 season in a retro-ballpark modeled on Ebbets Field, but Shea Stadium…

Massachusetts & Me: A Decade Together


On this date in 1998, I pulled my rental van into Somerville and became a resident of Massachusetts.  Ten years later I’m still here, now in Boston, having now lead nearly a third of my life in this Commonwealth. Here were some of my hopes and goals when I made the move: Escaping the heat…

Book Review: Maps by Nuruddin Farah


Book Review: Maps (1986) by Nuruddin Farah represents Somalia for Around the World for a Good Book. The novel tells the story of Askar a boy whose father dies in the war before he was born and whose mother dies shortly after his birth.  He’s rescued and raised by an Ethiopian outsider Misra.  Much of…

Economics


It’s amazing what a major fiscal crisis can do to you.  I’ve basically have no interest in economics.  In fact I even managed to weasel myself out of the required economics course in High School by taking a special course in Japanese taught by a college professor (that worked out well as I know something…

Random Jots & Musings


For Sept. 23: I saw a woman in Harvard Square wearing a McCain/Palin t-shirt.  I immediately assumed she was wearing it ironically, but after a few moments it occurred to me that she may be for real. There was a massive line at Boloco.  Later I learned it was free burrito day.  What does it…

Food Meme


Here’s a food meme with a list of foods that apparently every omnivore should try at least once, via the Desert Librarian.  I’m a vegetarian (that is don’t eat anything from the animal kingdom but do eat animal products like milk, eggs, honey & cheese….mmmm, cheese), but I haven’t always been so I can check…

If the Mets Were the Yankees


All eyes in the baseball world this week turn to Flushing, NY where the New York Mets play their final seven games at Shea Stadium.  The historic ballpark has been New York’s home for baseball memories since it opened in 1883 as home of the New York Giants.  Originally named the Polo Grounds, the old…

Beer Review: Harpoon Octoberfest


No offense to Sam Adams, but Harpoon is my favorite Boston brewery.  Here’s a German-style Marzen for the Fall. Beer: Harpoon Octoberfest Brewer: Harpoon Brewery Source: Draft Rating: *** (7.4 of 10) Comments: This seasonal beer captures the feeling of autumn, crisp with the smell of burning leaves, and beautiful foliage all around.  Indeed, the…

Avast, me hearties…


It be International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Before ye proceed further, click ye this link to continue readin’. More ways for ye landlubbers to cel’brate this great day: Pirate cartoons (with chickens) Read about women pirates Pirate riddles Watch Pirates battle with Star-travelers Talk Like a Boston Pirate Pirate Week at Geek Dad And,…

Book Review: How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein


How the States Got Their Shapes (2008) by Mark Stein is exactly what the title says it is: a state-by-state description of how the borders of the fifty states were laid out (even Hawaii, which is more complicated than it looks).  Some general observations show how the US government tried to create all states of…

Three Years


Today marks three years since the last time I played kickball.  Funny thing that.  I played kickball fairly frequently in the days leading up to Sept. 17th, 2005, and enjoyed playing on that date as well (although my team had our butts kicked big time).  I even received a kickball as a gift.  One would…

Constitution Day


Commemorate September 17, 1787 – the day when 39 delegates signed the US Consitution – by learning more about the United States’ system of government: National Archives (read the Constitution online) Bill of Rights Institute Constitution Center Lehman Library Library of Congress Millard’ Fillmore’s Bathtub (from last year but has great links) The Nation If…

Book Review: Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky


Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations (2008) by Clay Shirky is yet another book about the effect of social networking on the internet.  And a pretty good one at that, kind of like Groundswell without the business management emphasis.  Shirky’s main point is not so much that new technologies are changing the…

War of the Worlds video


Catching up on a request from a friend to share a promo video for the 70th anniversary of the War of the Worlds broadcast which will be held at the David Sarnoff Library in Princeton, NJ. This video is worth watching simply for the kickass theramin theme music.  Sure the visuals are dull, but the…

Book Review: The Driftless Area by Tom Drury


September’s pick for the William & Mary Book of the Month Club is The Driftless Area (2006) by Tom Drury.  It’s a thin novel with awfully large type that should really be considered a novella at best.  The content isn’t so hot neither.  It’s a rather dull, dreary book which lacks internal logic and features…

Book Review: Terra Incognita: Travels In Antarctica


Representing Cold for the Book-a-month Challenge is Sara Wheeler’s Terra Incognita: Travels In Antarctica (1996). Just for kicks I’m going to make it the Around the World for a Good Book selection for Antarctica as well.  As the subtitle states, this is a travel book to the forbidding, ownerless continent at the southernmost part of…

Boston By Foot Tour of the Month: Ashmont Hill


I pretty much summed up this tour of Ashmont Hill in my previous post, but now I’ve added my photo album of pictures from the tour.  I had the captions vetted by one of the guides, so they should be historically illuminating as well as pleasant to look at. Check it out, now!!! What I…

Ashmont-Mattapan High Speed Trolley Line


I arrived early for a tour in Ashmont and with nothing better to do, I got my geek on and rode the Mattapan-Ashmont High Speed Trolley Line. I’ve lived in Boston for nearly ten years and have wanted to ride this special trolley line for almost as long.  Granted, the previous time I tried the…