Archive for July, 2004

Congrats Eck!

Big congratulations to Dennis Eckersley on being inducted in to the Baseball Hall of Fame today!

Free Tricks?

Prostitutes Join Police Converging on DNC Boston

Practitioners of the world’s oldest profession are seeking reinforcements to help service some of the 35,000 visitors — plus untold numbers of police reinforcements — expected in the coming week when Democrats name Sen. John Kerry (news – web sites) their presidential candidate.

Someone should be photoblogging just this part of the convention scene :)
But, my real question. Since the delegates are getting things like vouchers for cheap cab fare to the airport, do they also get vouchers for reduced priced or free tricks?

Summer Nights, City Lights

Boston Cares is throwing their annual Festive Soirée & Auction Benefit in a few weeks. I went last year and had a swell time. Oddly, the bidding on lunch with Menino didn’t go for us much as the Sox tickets. Details:

Thursday, August 19, 2004 • 6:00 pm–9:30 pm
Boston Marriott Long Wharf Hotel
featuring The Willie Sordillo Quartet
Complimentary hors d’oeuvres, soft drinks, and cash bar
$40 before July 15 •$45 in advance • $55 at the door
Silent Auction bidding begins at 6:o0 pm with winning bids announced at 8:45 pm
Live Auction begins at 7:30 pm
For more information or to order tickets, visit
or call 617-392-8420

Free Pops and James Taylor concert

A free concert has been planned for next week as a thanks for the DNC. Sweet Baby James, anyone?

DC is live

Damn. Sean already stole my Bad Brains reference. Anyway the DC site is now live, stop by and show some PMA.

This land is their land

News on this parody which has been making the rounds. Surely you’ve all seen it, if not, check it out.


It’s no secret that drivers in Boston and Mass in general suck. Some drivers are exceptionally bad, to the point of being dangerous, some drivers are great, but I would suggest they are an exception.
And I think I’ve worked out why …
The test here sucks.
I’m from the UK, and passed my driving test there around 7 years ago, and have been driving since then. I did around a year of learning and lessons, then a written test which was challenging, and the 30 minute road test where every aspect of your driving was watched … how often you checked your mirrors, how aware you were of things around you … that kind of thing.
I arrived in Boston a year ago, and finally got around to converting to a Mass license, for which I had to go through the test as if I was a new driver.
I did no preperation, no research, no books or guides, just let my 6 years in the UK and one year here teach me.
The 20 minute written test was finished in under 5 minutes. I got a couple wrong, but they were mostly local law questions I hadn’t come across.
Yesterday I did the practical portion of the test, and I admit, I was a little nervous …
We drove around the block. A left turn, three right turns (one with a STOP sign), and a left turn back into the car park. The policeman doing it chatted about the war and how crap he thought Bush was for the whole 5 or 6 minutes we were out.
I just figured that because he knew I could drive already, he was giving me an easy ride … but I’ve been told since that this wasn’t the case, and that really is how the majority of tests here are …
So, Boston drivers suck because the state test suck :) Thats my theory, and I’m sticking to it :)

Thirsty Thursday

A little early, I know, but I will be away from computers much of the day tomorrow.
So, if you are looking for something to do after a long day at work when you would have rather been outside enjoying the sun, head over to the Bell in Hand on Thursday night. Central Basement, who used to be the Thursday night house band, returns to Thursday night at the Bell for the first time in over a year. Music starts around 10, goes until close. Always a good time, some come have some fun.

Southie memories

Susan Orleans has an article on changes in South Boston in this week’s New Yorker. As usual, she captures the place with exquisite detail. I know Southie well, having spent a lot of time in and around the Old Colony development as a kid. And yet, her observations brought out things I’d forgotten. Something as simple as Southie’s profusion of nicknames becomes emblematic.

Everyone was on a nickname basis; nicknames being a Southie tradition, an inside joke that distinguishes someone who was raised in the Town from someone who just stumbled in the other day. A few years ago, Wallace compiled a list of several hundred local nicknames for a huge neighborhood celebration, the 2000 Great Southie Reunion: Wing Nut Coyne, Mousey Feeney, Pinhead Richardson, Squarehead Lydon, Beefy Boyle, Porky Welch.

It reminded me of a guy my mom knew: Lefty. They called him Lefty because he only had a right arm, the left having been congenitally malformed.
I’ve had a love-hate relationship with Southie my whole life. I’ve often felt envious of my cousins who grew up in the row houses of Fifth and Sixth Street. They had a sense of belonging, shared commitment to place, and a safety net. Quincy was bland by comparison.
But, then I remember the projects — a minor ring of hell — dirty, cramped, full of addiction, racist ignorance, and pathetic hopelessness. Almost all of my cousins who stayed there into their teen years wrestled with coke or heroin. Several spent time in jail. A couple attempted suicide — one successfully four years ago.
On balance, I think the opening up this neighborhood to more diversity, both economic and cultural, is improving life in South Boston. Incidents like the recent murder of Bang Mai remind us of how much more progress needs to be made.

Youth Guide to the Convention

subtitled “What to do in Boston if You’re Under 35”
Democratic GAIN: Youth 2004 Kickin’ Ass: 101 Ways, 101 Days To Victory
DemocracyFest (Held in Great Barrington – aka, the other side of the state)
The Jumpoff: Special guests include President Bill Clinton, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chairman Terry McAuliffe, Rev. Al Sharpton, Biz Markie, Jon Stewart, Natalie Portman, Jerry Springer, Free from BET’s 106 and Park, and MANY MORE! (Held at Avalon – which they define as the hottest nightclub in Boston)
Building the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy – Getting Connected and Getting Involved! (sweet!)
Building the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy – A Networking Reception Among Leaders of Infrastructure-Oriented Youth Initiatives (even better – conspiracy building with cocktails!)

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