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"I'm livin' in America. And in America you're on your own."

Killing Them Softly - Trailer(Youtube) - is based on a 1978 novel by George V. Higgins (Boston's Balzac), set in Boston. The movie was filmed in New Orleans and set in 2008. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 2, 2012 - 17 comments

Boston's Cocoanut Grove Fire

70 years ago today, 492 people perished in a fire at Boston's popular Cocoanut Grove nightclub. The Cocoanut Grove Coalition offers documents, images, videos, and artifacts of the fire and its aftermath. This fascinating 1995 WGBH clip interviews a variety of survivors, offering a window on the era as well as the fire. Other documents of note: The Boston Library's Flickr photo set and the Library's recently released witness statements and final report. Also noteworthy: Buck Jones and the Cocoanut Grove controversy. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 28, 2012 - 25 comments

The New Recreation Frontier?

Lets Swim To Work! "Centuries of boat traffic, heavy industry, sewage runoff and toxic dumping have ingrained in us the idea that urban waterways are not places for people. Even as cities have rushed to the water’s edge over the past couple of decades, building elaborate waterfront parks and esplanades, few have taken the next logical step: encouraging residents to dive in." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 23, 2012 - 42 comments

I'm not dead yet!

In the wake of the venerable Boston Phoenix changing to a glossy magazine format and rebranding itself as simply The Phoenix (as well as the ongoing turmoil at the Village Voice), Salon's Will Doig writes the obituary for the age of the alt-weeklies. The Phoenix responds.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Oct 7, 2012 - 32 comments

"Pluck Be A Lady": 15 Boston female chefs

The Improper Bostonian: "In a town rightfully famous for its trailblazing female chefs, where Julia Child helped introduce American families to fresh vegetables and unprocessed foods, and Lydia Shire fine-tuned the buttery possibilities of French cooking, women have hardly disappeared from the dining scene. They can be found in other kitchens. But where and why are subject to debate, depending on whom you ask."
posted by hypotheticole on Jul 25, 2012 - 20 comments

Here Chicky, Chicky, Chicky ...

"According to a photo published to the 'Wipe Out Homophobia" Facebook group, Chick-Fil-A has announced a voluntary recall of Jim Henson's Creature Shop Puppet Kids Meal toys, and is blaming it on safety issues. There's no information on when the notice was allegedly put up, but the 'recall' is backdated to one day before the Jim Henson Company cut ties with Chick-Fil-A for its donations to anti-gay groups."* All this comes on the heels of Chick-Fil-A's COO, Dan Cathy, owning up to the company's contributions to anti-gay causes in a recent interview: "Well, guilty as charged." [more inside]
posted by ericb on Jul 24, 2012 - 274 comments

Shit Boston Cops Say

Shit Boston Cops Say: "For at least six years, the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association (BPPA) has published a boldly bigoted official union newsletter, the Pax Centurion. Full of screeds against minorities, women, progressives, gays, Muslims, and even crime victims, its pages have long drawn ire from activists and union members alike. Last week, though, the mostly obscure paper finally broke into the spotlight: Mayor Tom Menino called the Pax 'garbage,' Boston Police Superintendent Ed Davis condemned the rag on Twitter, and several big-brand advertisers yanked their sponsorships." [more inside]
posted by ericb on Jul 6, 2012 - 69 comments

The Audition

The Boston Symphony Orchestra is one of the handful of orchestras for which musicians the world over will drop everything to scramble for a job, and the audition ranks among the world’s toughest job interviews. Mike Tetreault has spent an entire year preparing obsessively for this moment. He's put in 20-hour workdays, practiced endlessly and shut down his personal  life. Now the percussionist has 10 minutes to impress a selection committee and stand out among a lineup of other world-class musicians. A single mistake and it's over.  A flawless performance and he could join one of the world's most renowned and financially well-endowed orchestras at a salary of more than $100,000 a year. The Audition. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 5, 2012 - 90 comments

See something, send something

The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority has released MBTA See Say [iTunes link], a free iPhone/Android app that allows riders to "send the MBTA Transit Police pictures, text messages, and locations of unattended packages or suspicious activity" [link to MBTA apps page]. The camera's flash is disabled when a photograph is taken within the app. According to ELERTS, who built the app for the MBTA, "the opportunity to crowdsource information from riders who witness suspicious or criminal activities has not been realized by transit systems." The MBTA, which is the fifth largest transit system in the United States, is the first system to adopt this technology.
posted by catlet on Jun 19, 2012 - 62 comments

Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat.

The Difference Between Boston's Big 3 And Miami's Big 3 (SLYT).
posted by ericb on Jun 9, 2012 - 45 comments

I never warm up, 'cause I never cool down

The Boston Pops brass section reveals their warm-up techniques.
posted by swift on May 25, 2012 - 16 comments

First they came for WBCN and I said nothing...

WFNX is D-E-D, dead. The last remaining Boston indie major market radio station, WFNX, has been sold to Clear Channel Communications. 17 full- and part-time staffers, including almost all the current radio personalities, have been laid off. The station will continue to operate for a few months with a skeleton crew until the FCC approval and changeover. [more inside]
posted by clone boulevard on May 19, 2012 - 72 comments

City on a Marsh

Many visitors to Boston assume that the Back Bay neighborhood is one of the city's oldest. It's actually one of the newest, reclaimed from Charles River marshland at the end of the 19th Century. Before the completion of this project, Beacon Street to Brookline was the top of a tidal dam. Today's Boston Proper is actually mostly fill: in 1630, Boston was 783 acres of land. By 1901, it was 1,904 acres. Filling in Back Bay was an enormous project, but some valuable lessons were learned decades earlier while filling in the South End.
posted by Mayor Curley on May 15, 2012 - 43 comments

Day of the Locust

A grasshopper weathervane has sat atop Boston's Faneuil Hall since 1742. The grasshopper through its glass doorknob eyes (scroll down), witnessed the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party and the siege of Boston. On January 4th, 1974, the grasshopper was stolen but returned and repaired.
posted by Mayor Curley on May 14, 2012 - 42 comments

When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

He considered himself an artist, but his work, while popular and incendiary, showed little talent or originality. Later in life he took up working with precious metals, and that would be the craft he’s remembered for, but earlier in his career he printed his own engravings, or his version of the work of others. Earlier this year at Brown University’s John Hay Library, something very rare was discovered. One of Paul Revere’s prints depicting the Baptism of Christ was found tucked in an old textbook. While not a particularly valuable work or great art, this rare print does tell us a bit about the man as an artist, and about his faith. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on May 7, 2012 - 6 comments

"Fenway is the essence of baseball"

Fenway Park, in Boston, is a lyric little bandbox of a ballpark. Everything is painted green and seems in curiously sharp focus, like the inside of an old-fashioned peeping-type Easter egg. It was built in 1912 and rebuilt in 1934, and offers, as do most Boston artifacts, a compromise between Man's Euclidean determinations and Nature's beguiling irregularities. So wrote John Updike in his moving tribute to Red Sox legend Ted Williams -- an appropriately pedigreed account for this oldest and most fabled of ballfields that saw its first major league game played one century ago today. As a team in flux hopes to recapture the magic with an old-school face-off against the New York Highlanders Yankees, it's hard to imagine the soul of the Sox faced the specter of demolition not too long ago. Now legally preserved, in a sport crowded with corporate-branded superdome behemoths, Fenway abides, bursting with history, idiosyncrasy, record crowds, and occasional song. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Apr 20, 2012 - 48 comments

Some Like It Punk

Punk Rock Fashion Show at the popular Spit nightclub. Boston, 1982. PLYT; mildly NSFW due to subliminal nipple
posted by pxe2000 on Jan 15, 2012 - 28 comments

Boston Tea Party

238 years ago this evening… in response to the Townshend Act, and the East India Company… a few colonists had a Tea (link) Party (link).
posted by jabo on Dec 16, 2011 - 50 comments

"Perfect Storm" Lobster Tags found 20 years later

Perfect Storm lobster tags wash up 3000 miles and 20 years later. Here's the US version of the story. Ocean currents hero Curt Ebbesmeyer (previously), "studier of flotsam," believes the tags were likely stuck in mud, then meandered around the Atlantic until arriving last year in Waterville, County Kerry, Ireland. There is a monument to the lives of fisherman lost in Gloucester and includes over 10,000 names dating back to 1716, including those from the Andrea Gail.
posted by eggman on Dec 2, 2011 - 31 comments

An MBTA Business Day

What does a day's worth of activity look like for Boston's transportation system? Via bostonography, which has been featured previously.
posted by Eideteker on Nov 8, 2011 - 26 comments

Real Housewives of South Boston

The Real Housewives of South Boston (NSF... well, anybody, really.)
posted by backseatpilot on Oct 18, 2011 - 56 comments

Inside The Collapse

The Boston Globe's Bob Hohler gets to the bottom of the Red Sox's epic collapse: Inside are tales of alienated potential MVP candidates, pitchers playing video games and eating take out chicken and biscuits instead of being in the dugout, and older players chasing statistical glory.
posted by reenum on Oct 12, 2011 - 61 comments

Wake Me Up When September Ends

After beating the Texas Rangers on Sept. 3, the Boston Red Sox were 84-54. Although half a game behind the Yankees in the American League East, the Red Sox had a nine-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays for the wild card and roughly a 99.6 percent chance of making the playoffs. Fast forward one excruciating month to a dead heat with Tampa coming into tonight's bitter imbroglio. Boston struggles ahead of laughingstock Baltimore by a single run until a rain delay clears the field, leaving them in the surreal position of rooting for the hated Yankees playing down in Florida. They can only watch from the sidelines as the rival Rays, tied with Boston in the pennant race but down 7-0 against New York, roar back to life with six runs in the eighth inning and a tie run on the final pitch at the bottom of the ninth. And then, after blowing two different strikes that would have salvaged the game, Boston loses to Baltimore, completing what is arguably the worst late-breaking collapse in the history of major league baseball.
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 28, 2011 - 196 comments

It's like KittenWar for urban spaces

Which place looks safer? Which place looks more unique? Which place looks more upper-class? MIT is crowdsourcing a "perception network" to analyze people's subconscious judgments about urban spaces. Preliminary results for Boston, New York City, Vienna, Salzburg, and Linz (Austria). [more inside]
posted by desjardins on Sep 28, 2011 - 45 comments

Tom Scholz

Donald Thomas "Tom" Scholz (born 10 March 1947) is an American rock musician, songwriter, guitarist, pianist, inventor, and mechanical engineer, best known as the founder of the hard rock band Boston. He is also the inventor of the Rockman guitar amplifier. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Sep 15, 2011 - 59 comments

The Mushroom Man of Boston, MA

Ben Maleson, a second-generation mycoforager, plays the trumpet mushroom.
posted by overeducated_alligator on Aug 18, 2011 - 15 comments

James "Whitey" Bulger found.

James "Whitey" Bulger has been arrested in California. [more inside]
posted by rmd1023 on Jun 23, 2011 - 93 comments

My name is Johnny Canuck

"A short film chronicling the legendary Johnny Canuck, his years of triumph and turmoil, and how they mirror the history of the Vancouver Canucks franchise and their Stanley Cup run in 2010-2011." [SLYT] [more inside]
posted by Felicity Rilke on Jun 9, 2011 - 28 comments

The Boston Globe's Newspaper Row storefront

Long before the Web, The Boston Globe had a “homepage” of sorts – its old storefront downtown. Taking advantage of its location in a heavily trafficked block of Newspaper Row, the young daily brought the news to Bostonians in a whole new way: handwritten signs.
posted by Trurl on May 24, 2011 - 8 comments

“Cambridge is a city, not a highway!”

There is an inspiring mural on the back of the Micro Center building in Cambridge, MA. It commemorates the freeway revolt against the proposed I-695 Inner Belt. There are usually cars parked in front of it, but some have managed to get good photos.
posted by smammy on May 23, 2011 - 51 comments

Cartography Geeks

Bostonography is the study of Greater Boston, Massachusetts through maps and graphics. This site is run by a pair of cartography geeks; Andy Woodruff of Axis Maps, and Tim Wallace. [more inside]
posted by netbros on May 1, 2011 - 19 comments

we can't be happy underground

Something wonderful is happening.
gaiman/palm/folds/kulash/awesome-music-filter
posted by es_de_bah on Apr 22, 2011 - 50 comments

Boston Marathon qualifying and registration are revised

The Boston Marathon has made it harder to qualify, by lowering times by 5:00 minutes across the board, and also by eliminating the 59 second grace period. [more inside]
posted by I am the Walrus on Feb 18, 2011 - 40 comments

Snowdecahedron

Snowdecahedron. When life hands you a blizzard, make a Platonic solid. "Temporary public art" from Dan Sternof Beyer.
posted by escabeche on Feb 3, 2011 - 58 comments

Boston Big Picture 2010 in Photos

The Big Picture: 2010 in Photos (part 2, part 3). just in case you missed it
posted by allkindsoftime on Dec 29, 2010 - 16 comments

RIP Billy Ruane

Billy Ruane was a fixture in the whirl/world of Cambridge and Boston music in the early eighties. Billy Ruane lived widely and wildly in the Cambridge/Boston from the 1980's till now. Most who encountered him came away with stories to tell. Interesting ones. Music was his absolute passion. He had more records than anyone. One Christmas he proudly declared that he had bought the same Slim Whitman Anthology for everyone on his list. (My roommate was sitting beside him on the train from NY to Boston and so captive to such information.)
posted by emhutchinson on Oct 27, 2010 - 10 comments

Smartest Cities?

The Daily Beast attempts to identify America's Smartest Cities. Rather more seriously, Nature ponders the Best Cities for Science worldwide, as part of its special on Science and the City. (The podcast segment on cities is a nice overview.)
posted by philipy on Oct 25, 2010 - 33 comments

For font nerds AND map nerds.

Typographic Maps. "These unique maps accurately depict the streets and highways, parks, neighborhoods, coastlines, and physical features of the city using nothing but type."
posted by jacquilynne on Oct 14, 2010 - 32 comments

The Best of Bill Brett

The Best of Bill Brett's Wedding Photos. Known as Boston's Photographer, Bill Brett shares some of his favorite wedding photos from the years. Including a civil war wedding, a romantic kiss, Old Ironsides, a street sweeper, the Oscar Meyer Wienermoble, and a third grade class.
posted by zizzle on Oct 5, 2010 - 20 comments

Don't forget to follow your dreams, unless your dreams are stupid

"Good news -- this is the point in the graduation speech where I tell you a personal anecdote about perseverance and then quote a song." Lexington High School in suburban Boston is the alma mater of comic theorist Scott McCloud, evironmentalist Bill McKibben, a winner of Survivor, an SNL cast member, thinky writer Melanie Thernstrom, and MetaFilter favorite Amanda Palmer. But when it was time to choose a commencement speaker they wisely went with Eugene Mirman, LHS class of 1992. (SLLOLYT) (Eugene Mirman battles the pink robots, previously on MetaFilter.)
posted by escabeche on Aug 29, 2010 - 24 comments

Someone forgot to tell 'em the Cold War ended....

The US Department of Justice has announced arrests in four states of ten alleged members of a “deep-cover” Russian spy ring whose ultimate goal was apparently to infiltrate U.S. policy-making circles. So much for burger diplomacy? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 28, 2010 - 70 comments

Art of the Japanese Postcard

View examples of the Art of the Japanese Postcard (1, 2, 3) or browse the Leonard A. Lauder collection of them at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts website.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 7, 2010 - 3 comments

just trying to get the word out to as many as possible

Boston water emergency: millions affected by break in aqueduct and ordered to boil water before drinking.
posted by cubby on May 1, 2010 - 111 comments

"White people didn't shoot me. Three white people shot me."

At age 15, Darryl Williams was felled by a sniper's bullet-- on a football field in Charlestown, MA, where he was huddled with teammates on the visiting Jamaica Plain High School Football team. It was 1979, 5 years after the Boston busing crisis. [more inside]
posted by availablelight on Apr 5, 2010 - 65 comments

Gone, baby, gone

Twenty years ago tonight, thieves posing as Boston police talked their way into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and left with thirteen works of art now valued at half a billion dollars, including a Vermeer and three Rembrandts. Neither those responsible for history's greatest art theft, nor the missing works of art, have ever been located. (Previously, including a comment from a MeFite who had been working security at the musuem, but not that night.)
posted by Horace Rumpole on Mar 17, 2010 - 73 comments

That concrete slab-sided monstrosity may someday be called a masterpiece

In praise of ugly buildings. [more inside]
posted by Afroblanco on Feb 25, 2010 - 191 comments

ACCORDION SOLO!

Be forewarned, the sound quality isn't the best. But for a dose of pure surreality strong enough to turn your socks into melted Dada timepieces, try mixing "Weird Al" Yankovic on accordion with the Presidents of the United States, performing a (non-parody) cover of Boston's "More Than a Feeling" (SLYT). (via Dave Dederer's Reddit interview)
posted by WCityMike on Oct 22, 2009 - 29 comments

There Goes Swifty

Massachusetts witnesses the end of Greyhound Racing. Today is the last day of Greyhound racing at The Revere, Massachusetts Wonderland Greyhound track. After a 2008 referendum vote put on the ballot by Grey2K and others the 74 year tradition of Greyhound racing at the former Victorian era Wonderland amusment park will end with a slate of 12 races tonight. Some say this is a great day to be at the dogs, some say this is a great day for the dogs. Still others say that the majority of dogs will be moved to other states and lose out on the hoped for opportunity to be adopted. In the end hundreds will lose their jobs in a state with 9.7% unemployment. The fate of the dogs is uncertain, and Boston's famed Revere Beach loses its final attraction.
posted by Gungho on Sep 18, 2009 - 94 comments

bookless library

"When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books," said James Tracy, headmaster of Cushing and chief promoter of the bookless campus. Instead of a library, the academy is spending nearly $500,000 to create a learning center. Where the reference desk was, they are building a $50,000 coffee shop that will include a $12,000 cappuccino machine.
posted by tamarack on Sep 4, 2009 - 129 comments

A Geek Itinerary

Technology innovation will be a large part of late 20th century American history. Now the gearheads can explore the roots of all that geekdom. The Geek's Guide to Seattle is a virtual tour of some of the region’s most interesting and notable technology locations. A Geek's Tour of Silicon Valley hits hotspots there. Don't forget The Tech Museum and the Computer History Museum. Back east, there's Research Triangle Park (pdf) in North Carolina, and The Computing Revolution at the Museum of Science in Boston.
posted by netbros on Aug 28, 2009 - 8 comments

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