Beer Review: Shabadoo Black & Tan


Beer: Shabadoo Black & Tan Brewer: Berkshire Brewing Company Source: Draft Rating: *** (7.5 of 10) Comments: A mix of Hoosac Tunnel Amber Ale and Drayman’s Porter, this “black & tan” is chestnut-brown, cloudy, and has a minimal head.  The smell is kind of roasted molasses and the taste is sweet, brown sugar with hints of burnt…

JP A to Z: S is for Spontaneous Celebrations #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


S is for Spontaneous Celebrations On an otherwise quiet back street near Stony Brook station stands this festive building.  It was built in the 1870s as the clubhouse for the Boylston Schul-Verein, one of the many ethnic social clubs common in Jamaica Plain in the 19th century.  Today it is home to Spontaneous Celebrations, a contemporary…

Beer Review: Long Trail Unearthed Stout


Beer:  Unearthed Stout Brewer: Long Trail Brewing Co. Source: Draft Rating: **** (8.5  of 10) Comments: Wow!  This is a terrific stout.  The beer is chocolate-brown with a buff head.  There are also notes of chocolate in the aroma.  No pun intended, but the taste is earthy and rich with a sweet aftertaste.  Lovely lacing on…

Patriots Day Weekend 2016


Patriots Day is my absolute favorite holiday and it’s too bad it’s not celebrated nationwide.  On Sunday we went to Fenway Park for the first time this season. Since Kay is now 4 we got a package for the whole family. She was excited and cheered a lot holding a banner from the Kid Nation…

Book Review: Listen, Liberal by Thomas Frank


Author: Thomas Frank Title: Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? Publication Info: Metropolitan Books (2016) Previously Read By Same Author:  What’s the Matter With Kansas and Pity the Billionaire Summary/Review: I received a free advanced reading copy of this book through the Library Thing Early Reviewers program. Thomas Frank asks…

Movie Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)


Title: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Release Date: 2008 Director:  Dave Filoni Summary/Review: Feeling all Star Wars-ish lately, I decided to watch this animated movie set in between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.  Obi Wan and Anakin are leading clone armies into battle against the separatists and have to negotiate a treaty…

JP A to Z: Q is for (Latin) Quarter #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


Q is for (Latin) Quarter I’m definitely cheating a bit to get a Q in here.  After all, I could have posted Latin Quarter for L instead of a couple of poets.  And I could’ve posted the poets for P instead of Francis Parkman.  And I could’ve posted Francis Parkman for F instead of the…

Book Review: The Oregon Trail by Francis Parkman


Author: Francis Parkman Title: The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie and Rocky-Mountain Life Narrator: Robert Morris Publication Info: Blackstone Audio, Inc. (2012, originally published in 1849) Summary/Review: This narrative describes 23-year-old Parkman’s travels west in  with fellow Boston Brahmin Quincy Adams Shaw.  Together they travel with settlers adventurers through the future states of of Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado,…

JP A to Z: P is for Parkman #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


P is for Parkman If you visit Jamaica Plain, you’ll run into the name “Parkman” in various places. It’s the name of a playground: It’s inscribed on a school building, now home to the BTU K-8 School: It’s the name of a road running past Jamaica Pond: And if you brave the ridiculously high-speed traffic…

Book Review: Star Wars: Before the Awakening by Greg Rucka


Author: Greg Rucka Title:Star Wars: Before the Awakening Publication Info:  Los Angeles : Disney Lucasfilm Press, 2015. Summary/Review: A companion piece to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, this book contains three short stories about the protagonists of that film immediately before the events of the film.  Finn, then known as FN-2187, goes through rigorous training…

Book Review: The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin


Author: Doris Kearns Goodwin Title: The Bully Pulpit Narrator: Edward Hermann Publication Info: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books, 2014 Previously Read by the Same Author:  Team of Rivals and Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir Summary/Review: This book is a dual biography of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.  The two men are opposites in many ways.  Roosevelt…

JP A to Z: O is for Orange Line #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


O is for Orange Line The Orange Line is the life line for Jamaica Plain, allowing JP residents a direct rapid transit commute to Downtown Boston and connections to other communities beyond.  The Orange Line in Jamaica Plain was originally the Elevated over Washington Street (more on that in a future JP A to Z…

Book Review: Walk the Blue Fields: Stories by Claire Keegan


Author: Claire Keegan Title:Walk the Blue Fields: Stories Publication Info: Grove Press, Black Cat (2008) Summary/Review: This is a collection of stories set in Ireland.  They are contemporary tales but set in rural settings so there are lots of traditional gender roles, repressed emotions, and outcomes that are rather depressing.  Fortunately, there is some humor in…

Book Review: Attack of the Cheetah by Jane B. Mason


Author: Jane B. Mason Title: Attack of the Cheetah Publication Info: Mankato, Minn. : Stone Arch Books, 2010. Summary/Review: This Wonder Woman story for kids is about cheetahs.  And a villain named the Cheetah.  And a zoo with cheetahs who are kidnapped by Cheetah and replaced with Cheetah’s cheetahs.  What a cheetah, er cheater!  I think…

JP A to Z: N is for Nobel Peace Prize #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


N is for Nobel Peace Prize Jamaica Plain is home to a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, although you have to know where to look for any evidence of the fact.  Emily Greene Balch (1867-1961) taught economics at Wellesley College for many years but when she became an outspoken opponent of the United States involvement in…

Blogging A to Z Challenge Favorites (so far…) #AtoZChallenge


So we are halfway through the Blogging A to Z Challenge.  I’ve been trying hard to read, like, and comment on other people’s A to Z posts, but as there are 1758 of you out there, I’m just scratching the surface. I decided that I would highlight some of my favorite A to Z projects…

JP A to Z: M is for Monument #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


M is for Monument At an island at the fork of two of Jamaica Plain’s “main streets” – Centre and South – stands a prominent landmark, the Soldier’s Monument, known to many as just The Monument.  Dedicated in 1871, the Monument is a memorial to the 23 men of West Roxbury (as Jamaica Plain was…