Boston By Foot Tour of the Month – Preserving Boston’s History


Today I took Boston By Foot’s August Tour of the Month focusing on the Historic Preservation movement entitled Preserving Boston’s History.  The tour featured many familiar Boston landmarks and the guide informed us how historic preservationists saved many of them from the dustheap. I’ve put a gallery of photos from the tour on my website….

Photopost: Drumlin Farm


When I was a kid I liked to visit farm museums where I could see all sorts of farm animals and a different way of life from my suburban upbringing.  I’ve written about a couple of these magical places before – The Stamford Museum and Nature Center and Old MacDonald’s Farm.  As an adult I’ve…

Beer Review: Staropramen Lager


Beer: Staropramen Lager Brewer: Pivovar Staropramen Pražské Pivovary Source: Draft Rating: ** (6.5 of 10) Comments: I’m going to say something about this beer that sounds like an insult but it’s not:  it’s like water.  Travel writer Rick Steves says that when you visit Prague the waiter will put a beer on your table upon…

Beer Review: Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA


Beer: Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA Brewer: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Source: Draft Rating: ** (6.6 of 10) Comments: I’m not an IPA fan because this style of beer is typically very hoppy and thus very bitter.  60 Minute IPA is no exception to the rule but it is better than most IPA’s due to…

Beer Review: Buzzards Bay Black Lager


Beer: Buzzards Bay Black Lager Brewer: Buzzards Bay Brewing Source: 12 oz Bottle Rating: *** (7.1 of 10) Comments: This dark beer looks like a stout but as the name should imply it doesn’t taste like one.  The aroma and flavor is malty and smoky with some hints of chocolate.  There’s also a nice tingle…

100 Favorite Albums of All-Time (30-21)


Previously: 100 Favorite Albums of All-Time 100-91. 100 Favorite Albums of All-Time 90-81. 100 Favorite Albums of All-Time 80-71. 100 Favorite Albums of All-Time 70-61. 100 Favorite Albums of All-Time 60-51. 100 Favorite Albums of All-Time 50-41. 100 Favorite Albums of All-Time 40-31. 30. Mermaid Avenue by Billy Bragg & Wilco (1998) An English singer/songwriter/radical…

Book Review: Free Lunch by David Cay Johnston


Author: David Cay Johnston Title: Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (And Stick You with the Bill) Publication Info: Penguin Audio (2007), Edition: Abridged, Audio CD ISBN:  0143142968 Summary/Review: I listened to this audiobook that details the cushy relationship between corporations and politicians that has allowed the rich to become…

Book Review: Central Park in the Dark by Marie Winn


Author: Marie Winn Title: Central Park in the Dark Publication Info: New York : Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2008. ISBN: 9780374120115  Summary/Review: This series of essays follows Winn and her cohorts over a decade spent observing the wildlife of an urban place, New York City’s Central Park.  Winn tells of encounters with red-tailed hawks, grackles,…

Book Review: A People’s History of American Empire by Howard Zinn


Author: Howard Zinn, Paul Buhle, & Mike Konopacki Title: A People’s History of American Empire Publication Info: ISBN: 0805077790 Summary/Review: When I was a kid I inherited my uncle’s Mad magazine collection which had some comic books mixed in including a three-part series about the Civil War.  This was a hagiographic history where all the…

100 Favorite Albums of All-Time (40-31)


Previously: 100 Favorite Albums of All-Time 100-91. 100 Favorite Albums of All-Time 90-81. 100 Favorite Albums of All-Time 80-71. 100 Favorite Albums of All-Time 70-61. 100 Favorite Albums of All-Time 60-51. 100 Favorite Albums of All-Time 50-41. 40. Rubber Soul by The Beatles (1966) Picking Beatles’ albums for this list is challenging.  How do I…

Book Review: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry


Author: Rohinton Mistry Title: A Fine Balance Publication Info: Books on Tape, Inc. (2001) ISBN: 0736684425 Summary/Review: This novel – epic in length – tells the story of four people in Mumbai, India who come together during The Emergency of the mid-1970’s.  They are: Dina Dalal – a young widow who takes up clothing manufacture…

Book Review: Aya by Marguerite Abouet and Clement Oubrerie


Around The World For a Good Book selection for: Côte d’Ivoire Author: Marguerite Abouet and Clement Oubrerie Title: Aya Publication Info: Drawn and Quarterly (2007)https://othemts.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php ISBN: 1894937902 Summary/Review: This beautifully illustrated graphic novel is set in Yop City, a working class neighborhood in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire in the 1970’s when the nation was prosperous and…

Book Review: Faith and Fear in Flushing by Greg Prince


Author: Greg Prince Title: Faith and Fear in Flushing Publication Info: Skyhorse Publishing (2009) ISBN: 1602396817 Summary/Review: Greg Prince, one of the co-authors of the Mets blog Faith and Fear in Flushing – the most intelligent and literate Mets blog there is – writes about his 40 years as the guy everyone knows as the…

Book Review: 722 Miles by Clifton Hood


Author: Clifton Hood Title: 722 Miles: The Building of the Subways and How They Transformed New York Publication Info: Simon & Schuster (1993) ISBN: 067167756X Summary/Review: 772 Miles is a thorough overview of New York City’s subway system from the opening of the Interborough Rapid Transit system in 1904, the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation in 1923,…

Book Review: Early Bird by Rodney Rothman


Author: Rodney Rothman Title: Early Bird Publication Info: Simon & Schuster (2005) ISBN: 0743242173 Summary/Review: This book starts off with a 28 year old Rothman losing his job as a television comedy writer and deciding to “retire early” to a senior community in Florida.  The premise reads like the plot of a dumb sitcom and…

Book Review: American Nerd by Benjamin Nugent


Author: Benjamin Nugent Title: American Nerd: The Story of My People Publication Info: Scribner (2008) ISBN:  0743288017 Summary/Review: The author sets out to write about the history, sociology, anthropology and psychology of the nerd confessing that he is taking “a serious approach to a subject usually treated lightly, which is a nerdy thing to do,”…

Futures at Fenway


Today I attended the Futures at Fenway baseball double header featuring two minor league games in a major league ballpark.  This is an annual event begun in 2006 which allows minor league players a taste of playing in historic Fenway as well as allowing ordinary fans – especially those with children – to see a…

Beer Review: Otter Creek Copper Ale


Beer: Copper Ale Brewer: Otter Creek Brewing Source: On-tap Rating: *** (7.1 of 10) Comments: Appropriately copper-colored, cloudy and bubbly this is an attractive beer.  The taste is lovely – earthy with malty caramel and a nice bitter hop finish.  A good well-balanced and drinkable beer.

Beer Review: Otter Creek Stovepipe Porter


Beer: Stovepipe Porter Brewer: Otter Creek Brewing Source:  Draft Rating: *** (7.8 of 10) Comments: This is a deep dark stout with a creamy foam head.  It carries a smokey aroma and flavor that sets it apart and one that I really like.  This is a robust and well-balanced beer.

Beer Review: Drifter Pale Ale


Beer: Drifter Pale Ale Brewer: Widmer Brothers Brewing Company Source:  Draft Rating: * (5.3 of 10) Comments: This a cloudy amber beer with a whiff of hops and citrus.  The flavor is bitter – a bit more bitter than I like – and that kind of overwhelms everything else.  It’s a decent beer I suppose,…