Name That Genre


Returning from vacation, I find myself grateful to live in Boston with its plethora of college and public radio stations.  From my experience listening to commercial radio stations here and abroad it would seem that with the exception of hip-hop and r&b, music of this decade is no longer played on the radio.  It’s a…

Beer Review: Guinness 250th Anniversary Stout


Beer: Guinness 250th Anniversary Stout Brewer:  Guinness & Co. Source:  Draught Rating: *** (7.3 of 10) Comments: This commemorative beer is available for a limited time.  Basically it is a carbonated version of the stout that made Dublin famous.  The pint I was served was rich & dark, but surprisingly not much head (the bartender…

Beer Review: Lindemans Framboise


Beer: Framboise Brewer: Brouwerij Lindemans Source:  750 ml bottle Rating: *** (7.9 of 10) Comments: When one reviews beers one is supposed to rate according to type, but this was my first lambic and it caught me completely off guard.  It looks like a raspberry fizz soda, smells like a raspberry fizz soda, and tastes…

Beer Review: Victory Lager


Beer: Victory Lager Brewer: Victory Brewing Company Source:  Draft Rating: * (5.6 of 10) Comments: This Philadelphia microbrew is a light golden beer with a thick head and light carbonation.  The aroma is kind of musty and the taste is kind of creamy and sweet with a lasting aftertaste.

Beer Review: Stoudt’s Scarlet Lady Ale


Beer:  Scarlet Lady Ale Brewer: Stoudt’s Brewing Company Source:  Draft Rating: ** (6.4 of 10) Comments: A very attractive copper colored ale with a thick head and a toffee aroma.  The taste is hoppy and mildly bitter.  After a few sips the head was gone and there was some light lacing on the glass.  A…

Photopost: Boston Nature Center


Did you know that Boston has a nature center?  I didn’t until I moved to Jamaica Plain and saw that  it was fairly close to our house as the crow flies.  Despite this knowledge it’s taken me a year and a half to finally make the 1.5-mile walk to Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center and…

Fenway Park


On Sunday I attended my second Mets game of the month, this time a road game here at home in Boston.  It feels a bit odd to don my blue & orange hat for a trip to Fenway since I will root for the Red Sox against any other opponent.  Yet I’ve done it many…

Photopost: Outer Banks


Saw a lot of critters and little bit of art on our recent travels to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Visit my web photo album for many, many more pictures from this trip (most of them of my son).

Book Review: Becoming Manny by Jean Rhodes and Shawn Boburg


When Manny Ramirez played in Boston, I enjoyed watching him play and always thought he got a raw deal from the Red Sox fans & media who accused him of being selfish, lazy, and disruptive (among other things I can’t print here).  I always got the sense that Manny was shy and just wanted to…

Book Review: Brideshead Revisited


The William & Mary Boston Alumni Chapter selected the Evelyn Waugh classic Brideshead Revisited (1945) for our May meeting. The novel is the reflections of Charles Ryder upon his relationship with the aristocratic Marchmain family after coming upon their crumbling homestead Brideshead while serving in the military in wartime England. In the first section Ryder…

Book Review: “Currency” by Neal Stephenson (Book 7 of the Baroque Cycle)


The seventh book of the Baroque Cycle and the the second part of the third volume The System of the World (2004) by Neal Stephenson is “Currency.”  Continuing where “Solomon’s Gold” left off, Daniel Waterhouse, Isaac Newton and other members of his philosophical club attempt to track down Jack Shaftoe for his counterfeiting crimes and…

Book Review: The Plot Against America


I’ve sworn off Philip Roth novels in the past but the premise of The Plot Against America (2004) intrigued me enough to check out the audiobook.  It’s a good thing too since I like this more than any other Roth book I’ve read.  (Previously: Portnoy’s Complaint, Goodbye Columbus, and American Pastoral). The premise of the…

Citi Field


My friend Mike and I have a tradition each year of visiting New York City to see a ballgame between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves.  Mike grew up in Alaska watching the Braves on TBS in the Dale Murphy era when the team was pitiful.  I of course spent my first 17…

Book Review: A Home on the Field by Paul Cuadros


A Home on the Field (2007) by Paul Cuadros is the story of rapid cultural changes in the small agricultural town of Siler City, NC.  Prompted by offers of work from chicken processing plants and construction firms, more and more Latin Immigrants are settling into this community with their children.  Cuadros, a journalist, went to…

Book Review: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell


Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2004) is Malcolm Gladwell‘s psychological and sociological investigation into the human ability to make quick decisions.  This power – which he calls thin-slicing – can be both advantageous and dangerous.  For good or for ill, Gladwell contends that we humans make snap judgments all the time and this…

Book Review: Brilliant Orange by David Winner


Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football (2001) is an historic and poetic investigation into the culture and sport of the Netherlands by English journalist David Winner.   At the heart of the book is the story of the Amsterdam club AFC Ajax which rose out of the Dutch version of 60’s counterculture with a…

Arnold Arboretum’s Lilac Sunday


I hesistate to put “Lilac Sunday” into the title of this post since I didn’t see any lilacs on my visit.  Susan, Peter & I took a lovely Mother’s Day walk on a sunny, blustery day and arrived at Arnold Arboretum fairly early in the morning.  This is a good time to get there on…

Wake Up The Earth


Some photos from today’s 31st annual Wake Up the Earth parade and festival, the annual celebration of…well, I don’t know what, but it’s very fun and very JP.  Spontaneous Celebrations is the organization behind the festival that dates back to the days of (successfully) opposing the construction of I-95 through Jamaica Plain and Roxbury. The…