Monday, June 2, 2014


Cafe Latte 

I have to confess something. I love coffee. I drink it all the time. I need it to start my day. That isn't what I'm confessing here but I am always drinking coffee especially in the morning because I am not nor have I ever been a morning person. I am no coffee connoisseur (nor do I speak french) but the only way I can fake it even a little is with that two cup jump start in the morning.  One right when I get up and one right when I get to work. Otherwise those cheerful morning pixies who apparently get ten hours of sleep and go to bed right after the 6 pm evening news and jump up at dawn with those little annoying  bluebirds on their shoulders while they whistle a happy tune probably by Taylor Swift or Celine Dion are getting murdered the hard, messy way...slowly.  Man I hate morning people!  They are so happy while I have that hung over, body aching, head in cotton feeling when I didn't even drink the night before.  I HATE those people. I HATE HATE HATE them.  What the heck are they so cheerful about? It's too early to be up. It's too early to be working and thinking and planning our day. GOD DAMN them all.

Find and Go get Coffee here!

So anyway, my admission or confession or whatever,  is that I am really uncomfortable in these coffee places. Dunkins I have down but recently I have determined that Dunkins is crap.  I learned this accidentally. A friend showed up with a drink from Boston Common Coffee and was really enjoying it. Every time he took a sip he made a little noise much like the noise I make when my wife is He gave a little moan of pleasure after every sip. I asked what the hell he was drinking and asked him to either let me have a sip or get the heck away from me. He, apparently was enjoying some kind of vanilla caramel latte iced thing with whipped cream on top. This was life changing for me. I loved it!  Soon after that I did a little recon & research and learned that there are all kinds of "fair trade" and "magical specialty" coffee beans and "pour over" and "scientific cool brewed" coffee ......things.


So like any typical working stiff with a caffeine jones I needed to experience these new and interesting drinks. The problem is that places like The Thinking Cup and Bourbon Coffee (what?) really intimidate me. You can not order a large regular in there. You need to know the lingo. You should learn what a Latte is. I actually thought it was pronounced "late" a while back.  "I'll get a Medium , I mean a Venti. Late. Ravioli. Cup. Coffee. ....aww forget it."

Scary but good

Virtually every single coffee place has at least one guy wearing a winter hat in the middle of summer. AND two women with nose rings and purple hair. It's an actual prerequisite to work there. I'm not sure what a hipster is but there's no doubt that if they work at all they work at coffee places and they lay in wait for people like me to walk in and not know our Cafe au Lait's from our Americano's. You have to know the lingo or everyone gets a , "You're a dumbass!" look on their face. I started out simple.  I got a small hot coffee. ok a tall. ok a short. Yes that is really friggin annoying when you can't say small. But the coffee itself is fabulous.  I was at the Thinking Cup which serves Stumptown Coffee. I had this before when visiting family in Portlandia and it is good stuff. I was going to bring a pound home but I would have had to sell my car to do it so I just get it at the Thinking Cup. Oh and make sure when you order it you then move down to the area where you pick it up. Otherwise you get the , "HEY dumbass move down there to pick up your short tall latte you bitch!" They say it much nicer but I know that's what they are thinking.

"No Man. We only have TALLS no SMALLS Dumbass!"

Downtown Crossing where I live and work has a ton of coffee places now. Forget Starbucks and Dunkins. Go to Caffe Nero, Boston Brewin, Boston Common, Thinking Cup and there's more if you head towards the business district. They all have coffee making people making your good quality coffee.  "NO we're Barista's!" No children, you are coffee making drink makers. Stop being pretentious and I will like you so much more.

New with lots of comfy couches

Also with lots of comfy couches and it's 50% more Hipster-ish

 Hipster. definition - someone trying way too desperately to be hip. Please everyone. Stop trying so hard!


Things I do not understand: ( fashionably speaking )

1. Nose, cheek, neck, eyebrow piercings. 

2. Tats that go above the neckline onto the face.

3. Winter hats in summer.

4. Facial hair, mutton chops and any steam-punk or 1800's look. What. The. F?

5. Purple, blue, pink or green hair.

6. Tights and no underwear.

7. Bikes as accessories. Why are you walking your bike?

8. Lizards, snakes, rats and Platypus as accessories.

9. Vests. I just don't get vests. sorry.

10. Guys with Rabbi beards. I really can't tell the difference any more between Hipsters, homeless people, Rabbi's or genuine hippies any more.

end tangent.

Orgasmisimo Grande

Now where was I. COFFEE. I love these quality coffee drinks. I love a Caramel latte with no whip cream and whole milk. I throw in a Sweet and Low then I moan all the way to the bottom of the cup. I always have appreciated quality in any form. Maybe it is worth overcoming my queasy intimidation of not knowing what's up in an uppity coffee shop.
 (Did I just say uppity?)

4 ft high filter pack

I make my own coffee at home first thing in the morning when I'm barely awake. My coffee never ever turns out like the coffee I buy in Downtown Boston. It's always a frustrating ordeal for me. I bought my coffee filters at Costco so there is a four foot high stack of coffee filters in my pantry. Peeling one coffee filter off the top of this pile is almost impossible. I lick my fingers and peel one off. I now have 7 in my hand I put six back and go to the coffee machine. I still have three in my hand somehow. I finally manage to get one filter off and put it in the Black and Decker coffee machine. The thing you put the filter into is plastic. If you don't put it in the machine the exact right way and you turn the machine on then coffee will brew all over the counter top. This happens to me quite frequently. I hate Black and Decker coffee machines but when I used to have a Mr. Coffee ,coffee machine I would fill up the carafe with water and try to pour the water into the machine the water would somehow always pour all over the counter top.

Curse you B&D

So I used a scoop to fill my filter with coffee. I am never sure how much to use so inevitably the coffee will be too watery or too strong. The way I combat this is to put tons of sugar and creamer into my coffee. I am apparently not a Barista.

I wish I had a million dollars. I would buy a fancy Italian coffee maker. It would be one of those huge metal works of art you see in the North End while eating Cannoli and sipping Cappucino's. I would hire a Barista to make me Latte's and Frappaccino's . (copyright Starbucks) every morning. That is my wish.

The Dream Machine

A short time later I was walking to Boston Brewin coffee on Bromfield Street for a caramel latte and was pondering my wish when I saw a homeless man sitting on the ground with a cardboard sign that said, "I am not lying! I need spare change to eat!" My first thought was, "Why would he want to eat spare change?" Then I wondered if his wish was just for some spare change. I felt guilty about wishing for a personal Barista so I changed my wish and wished he would get some spare change.  No one gave him any. Apparently wishing for money isn't the key here. As I continued on to the coffee place I was aware I had a pocket with lots of spare change in it. The irony of this did not escape me.

Boston Brewin

I asked for a large iced Caramel Latte with whole milk and two Sweet and Lows. I had already had a bucket full of sugar in my earlier coffee so I figured I'd cut back on the sugar this time. The coffee making person asked if I wanted some other better tasting coffee drink for a few cents more. I said sure. I never could have afforded it if I had given my change to the homeless guy. The irony of this didn't escape me this time either.

As I went on to work I pondered the irony of the morning and made a mental note to Google the word irony when I got home because I really wasn't too sure whether I was using that word correctly.

All of these thoughts went away and I started my day grateful for the cure to my caffeine addiction so close by in so many great places.

Aaaah. Coffee.

Thanks for the Venti Americano dude!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

People I Hate - pt. 1

I am a very opinionated person. No really, I am. I know it is hard to believe. The thing is, I pride myself in being easy to get along with. I. Am. Easy.  I really am and it amazes me how many other people really are not.  I am amazingly amazed how many people just do not have a clue how their behavior affects others.

We are living in a time where the ME generation is becoming the WHO CARES generation and yes there is a difference.  The Me Generation was being selfish in a way that gave them "self-fulfillment and self-realization.  That can be an enlightening and positive thing. The Who Cares gen.are merely selfish people doing whatever they want, to whomever they want. They are reality TV and obliviousness all rolled up in a nice neat package.

I am often out in the world and forced to deal with all types like these, so I have begun a list. I know every blog and online news source thinks every bit of info we read has to be in list form but this is different.

I know you aren't stupid. The Huffington Post thinks we are all handicapped idiots that can't digest anything unless it is in bite sized little elementary school portions or we will spot a butterfly flying by and lose interest . I don't believe that. This just happens to be a list I was making in my head . I could eliminate the numbers and put this whole entry in paragraph form like a real article but I really want to keep count of how many annoying types there are.

SO sorry. I know you aren't dumb. I think ultimately this will be a long list. This just part one So here we go:

1. The Facebook Poser - If you looked at this person's Facebook page you would think that they live the kind of dream life reserved for celebrities. They are at all the hottest parties. They have tons of gorgeous friends. They are always in a hot pose with a group, or in front of something cool, maybe throwing up some weird hand gesture or something. BUT the reality is when you are actually out with this person or see them out in real life, they are lame. Earth shatteringly lame. They don't socialize at all. They spend the entire night out looking for that FB shot. They jump into other cool people's pics. They hold up the one drink they bought all night and act like they've been partying for days (for the pic), They hug strangers (for the pic) The entire night out is to portray themselves as a FB celebrity but in reality they suck. They are boring and they probably should have stayed home.

Man I hate Phonies!

2. The 40+ Year Old Divorced Guy - I would love to bang out a few pics here to show this person in action.  Some of these guys are my friends. Of course that wouldn't go over too well because like most people on this list they too are in denial. BUT it really is pathetic to watch. These guys are single and having failed miserably at marriage are now also failing miserably at hooking up with women. The main point I would like to make here is one of science. Many years of research have determined that 20 - 25 year old girls, and I AM calling them girls, are not interested in men who are over 40 in a sexual way. Of course there are exceptions but in most cases they look at men of a certain age (45) as OLD. The fact is , we are old. We have road miles on us that are right there visually jumping out. No matter how nice your suit is, no matter how great you think your rap is, you really are playing above your pay grade. I watch these guys attempt to woo these babies by throwing cash around and by acting like they are powerful players in the business world or whatever. It may work for a while because everyone loves positive attention but ultimately guys, they like young men and you need to take another look at that WOMAN at the bar you are ignoring. That's where real success lies.

Come On! That's HOT!

3. The 20 Something Girl  - On the other side of that fence is the 20+ year old female. When I go out with my friends, being married especially, I have no real use for this type at all. Here's a message to the 20- 25 year olds out there. Read a book. Watch the news. Get a hobby. For God's sake, when did it become in style to be superficial and dumb. No I am not going to audition for you. I don't give a crap if you approve of what I do for a living. You aren't getting in my car so it doesn't matter what I drive. You look bored. Why don't you go home if you're bored. If you aren't bored why don't you go look in a mirror and practice a nice face instead of a bitch face. It will help you make friends. I have lived. I have been around. If we have a conversation it won't be about how your drink sucks and how drunk your friend is. Then you get to see MY bored face. Lastly, what is with this fake squeaky voice so many of you put on? It's like an updated Cyndi Lauper voice on Helium. Cut it out! You sound ridiculous!

Why does every sentence end in a question?

4. The Sports Man -  I like sports. I'm a huge Sox/Pats/Celts/B's fan. When they get into the championship which over the last ten years has been pretty frequently I am psyched. PS. Eat your heart out NY. I will happily go out to a sports bar to watch with friends. Here in Titletown it is an experience to be out with a crowd watching or going to a game. BUT there is always a guy who takes it just a little too far.

No I do not know what Middlebrooks ERA is and I can not remember what Big Papi did in that game against the Yankees back in 2009. I do not know every player on the Celtics and certainly do not care about what Red Auerbach had for breakfast the day he said goodbye to Larry Bird. Stats are boring. No one wants to hear them and literally no girl anywhere is impressed that you know what college every one of  the New England Patriots went to and while we are at it when you refer to the team as we and us it is kind of funny. I know you. You never played sports. You weren't ever on a team. When we play a pickup game of softball you never play. You eat wings and burgers and pizza. That's what you do. You are the eating guy. The Red Sox are the sports guys so it should be them not us.

I am NOT on the Pats

5. The I am SO Busy Person - Nearly every person I know has to work for a living. No one I know is independently wealthy. Everyone has bills to pay. So what do we do? We work. This person acts like they are the only ones who have a job. They never return a call. They always cancel the plans. When you finally get them on the phone it's always, "I am so SWAMPED!" "My life is SO hard!" "I am so STRESSED out!":
Hey. Cry me a friggin river pal. WE ALL WORK. I make time for my friends. It is part of being an adult. You want to have friendships you have to cultivate them. I work like an animal so when someone tells me they are too busy all the time it pisses me off. I have one friend who is divorced and does not have custody of his daughter so in effect he really doesn't have to deal with many of the things parents deal with but this guy has the weight of the world on his shoulders according to him. Somehow those of us with kids still manage to go to the sports games, school functions, make the dinner, work 50+ hours a week or more, live our own busy lives and still find the time to return calls, texts and emails. We show up when all the gang is in town and do not constantly have poor excuses why you can't budget your time and grow up.
You are SO much busier than me.

Do you know people like these? There are easily 100 more categories. Hopefully you aren't one of these people. A little introspection goes a long way. Most personality flaws come down to one thing. Selfishness.
Lord knows I am not perfect. However I try my best to not be selfish. You have to if you want to stay married and surrounded by people who have your back.

In today's entitled world I think it is so important to shine a light on people like these who just do not get it.

What do you think? Can you relate to any of this? Put your comments down below and the best  #6 will win season tickets to the 2014 Red Sox season.

(The above statement is not true. I will be lucky if I get my hands on bleacher seats and even then I am not giving any away. I am going to go myself.)

 (I know that is selfish. As I said above I am not perfect)

Be on the lookout for  People I Hate - Part 2

Thanks for stopping by,


Monday, March 17, 2014

The Ultimate Guide to the Largest Seafood Expo in North America!

Yes Please!

Some of my earliest memories are of my dad bringing home lobsters to eat and letting my brother and I play with them on the kitchen floor before putting them in the pot. We would name them and be very sad when dad took them away to cook. Of course my dad was a born and bred Bostonian which meant that he knew how to cook a lobster and how to make a kick ass lobster roll ,so the mourning period for our friends the lobsters would last right up until the first bite.

When you live in New England you really can't help but have an affinity for the ocean and everything edible that comes out of it. I am no different and with me it is even more so than most. I have been around the ocean in some way or another my whole life. I dive, so being underwater with the denizens of the deep is a special thing to me. Seeing these creatures in their natural habitat is something I think everyone should experience whether snorkeling or even just by spending a day at the Aquarium. 

The Seafood Expo North America comes to Boston once a year and is literally the largest trade event on the continent! Nearly 20,000 businesses in the seafood industry are all under one giant roof and the opportunities are endless to not only learn a little bit about where all the seafood comes from that we love to eat but also 
to EAT it. 

The fact is that 99% of the time when I sit down for dollar oysters at some local raw bar or I decide to shoot a dozen  Cherry Stones over at Row 34, I'm not thinking about where they came from. I'm a business man. I work for a living. I'm not a "Foodie" or a "Chowhound" (whatever that is) 

But what I have learned at this amazing event is that if our fish and shellfish are not sustainable then we can and will run out. The fish stocks have to be maintained throughout the world. Luckily this industry is doing a great deal to make sure we never run out. 

From Nat Geo:

Sustainable fishing guarantees there will be populations of ocean and freshwater wildlife for the future. Aquatic environments are home to countless species of fish and invertebrates, most of which are consumed as food. (Others are harvested for economic reasons, such as oysters that produce pearls used in jewelry.) Seafood is respected all over the world, in many diverse cultures, as an important source of protein and healthy fats. For thousands of years, people have fished to feed families and local communities. 

But the fact is that if you want to learn about things like sustainability, protecting our oceans and fisheries, seeing where the seafood comes from (all over the world) and see how it is brought out of the oceans to our plates then you HAVE to get yourself here next year. Me? I'm just a novice. I am a scuba diving, boat riding, swimming, water gun toting regular type guy and walking around aisle after aisle eating smoked salmon, crab cakes, shrimp, oysters, all manner of sushi and more is  why I come to the Seafood Expo.                                                                            

My own experience is somewhat unique at the Seafood Expo. I always go with a plan. You should be aware that people from all over the world are coming here to conduct business. Many people are restaurant and store owners looking to buy machinery and seafood for their businesses. However, many are also here to eat, sample and learn about the industry. I am here primarily to eat. (surprise!) I come to go to the food show next door for business.  With the price of a ticket you gain entry to the Seafood show as well which is awesome for me.

POINT - It is crowded. Give yourself time. There are all types of cultures here and all types of people are all there to sample the delicious seafood. There will be lines. There will be people who think they don't need to wait on lines. Be patient. There is enough for everyone. 
Giant Clams

 Here are 10 Tips on how to do
 the Seafood Expo North America:

1. Start all the way on the left side. Many people are going to the New England Food Show first then heading in to the Seafood Expo. Big mistake. Do you want to fill up on bread? You will be full way before you eat your first oyster.  But if you get there early and start as far away from the food show side as possible you will have a lot of food all to yourself. No lines.

2. Know what you like. I love sushi. I love Oysters. I love it all really but I know that if someone offers me a huge cup of faux crab salad I am not eating that. Your stomach has a finite amount of room in it. You will get full if you eat everything. There is simply too much to sample everything and it is definitely not all good stuff. 


3. Don't just run through stuffing your face. This is a huge opportunity to not only learn about where the fish come from but also to meet local purveyors. Sure there are people from Morocco and Korea mixed in with Chinese and Mexican fisheries and people from everywhere there is fish  but I find that the local guys have some great stories. They have some seriously fresh oysters, salmon and more. They are here in town or near by and can tell you where to eat their products locally.

Will show muscles for mussels.
4. I said don't run through stuffing your FACE! Did you see that ugly monster-like monkfish? Taste it! You never had eel before? It is so good! Try it! Things like wolf fish, whelks and seaweed salad aren't on every corner. Broaden your horizons! Try new things.

Wolf Fish
Do not fear the Monkfish!

5. There are also a lot of fried foods. There is fried calamari and I even had fried gator once here but go easy on the fried stuff. It will fill you up really fast and usually you won't really get to taste the fish. IMHO. 

6. Oysters. There are a lot of oysters here. They are all different. Taste them all. Duxbury and Wellfleet are different from PEI. Learn about them.  They all taste differently. They are good for you. If you are not from Boston, please take a moment and discover the cherry stone. (It's a clam)

Sammy the Salmon

7. Salmon. Big business is that fish. There are Chinook, Sockeye, Coho and more. There are farm raised and wild. They can be smoked a million different ways. I had a smoked maple candied salmon that was out of this world.  They are cooked a million different ways. You can learn recipes. You can learn why salmon should be on your menu at home and when you go out. Eat a lot of salmon here. Trust me.

8. Sushi and Sashimi. There are many Asian companies here at the Expo. Get in there and eat! They are not all created equal. Smell first. Watch out for things that are still frozen. I almost lost a tooth on a frozen shrimp. You can have a sushi extravaganza here at the Expo. Go for it! 

9. There are classes. The Master class series had Chef's teaching how to cook lobster dishes. Chef Dan Enos from Oceanaire did a class on salmon. Go hear a session. Watch the shucking competition. I actually had a brief lesson on shucking so I can do my own oysters.

Shell -less Lobster!

10. Spread the word. Do you know people in this industry? They should be here every year. Take pictures. Blog about it. Facebook the heck out of it. This Expo is a gem and sharing it with others is just as important as all the rest. Also it is three days so come at least twice. It is hard to do in all one day. Your stomach can only fit so much.I speak from experience. Oh and one more thing. The exhibitors are people too. Be gracious! They are feeding you after all. Please and thank you's go a long way and if something tastes great then let them know Compliments can lead to even more delicious seafood! 

Boston is one of the greatest cities in the world and luckily for you if you are going to the Expo at the Boston Convention and Exposition Center then you are centrally located to everything. You can walk, take a cab or the silver line to anywhere in Boston Proper. Right near by is Fort Point or as some call it, the Innovation District. This area is in mid-gentrification mode lucky for you. Here's a brief list of some of my favorites. It is where you can walk to if you are staying here for the Expo. 

Row 34 - They call themselves a workingman's oyster bar. Go for the seafood. Raw bar is outstanding. Beer menu is top notch and it is a short walk from the Convention Center.

Tavern Road -  I love this place. The DiBiccari brothers run this great place. Unique Inventive food menu AND bar menu. The bar actually rocks. Mixologists live here so drink. The food is also outstanding.

Trillium Brewery - Yes it is a brewery right near by but the beer is so good you have to go. You go into the small space and go left to the bar where they will let you sample whatever is currently being offered and they have a lot of different brews. I love the Pot and Kettle personally. It's a dark porter and it is really a craft beer. They sell by the bottle, 32 oz and gigantic Growler. You buy and leave to drink it elsewhere like your hotel room or home.   So good!

Going the other direction North towards the waterfront there is also a myriad of dining options. Here are a few I like.

Temezcal - Upscale Mexican

Jery Remy's - sports bar

Legal Seafoods and Legal Test Kitchen - seafood!

the No Name - on the fish pier - Old School seafood

Not a free sample!

There's actually about 20 more places within a few minutes walk of there but you can't go wrong with those and by all means Yelp the heck out of the area. Boston is FULL of great places to eat. A little research goes a long way.

Most Importantly:

Enjoy Boston, Have fun. Tell your friends and associates. See you next year!

Leave comments below.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

It's Passover! Let's Party at Boston's Iconic JEWISH Pubs!

PASSOVER is coming up and Boston is just as famous for it's Jewish Pubs as it is for places like the Black Rose or the Shaved Shillelagh. SO come along and take a tour and remember , A Manischewitz cocktail can knock you on your ass too!             


Shmukler's of Boston

Located in a refurbished Orange Line T car, Shmukler's is one of the most unique places to revel in overindulgence this side of the Charles River. Jason Shmukler founded this Jewish Speakeasy a short time ago and after realizing that Martini's would be a better money maker than Matzoh Brie he has revamped and revolutionized. Ask for a Sex on the Beach and you are given a choice. You can have a delightfully fresh squeezed orange, cranberries straight from a local bog, locally sourced microdistilled maple sap vodka, Creme de Cassis and hand cut ice cubes all in a crystal Waterford glass. OR for the regulars you can actually have sex with one of his daughters over on Revere Beach. Now that's hospitality! You can order the Harvey Wallbanger and get the same fresh squeezed OJ with vodka and Galliano or you can lean up against the wall and get ....well you get the idea. This exemplary establishment deserves your drinking dollars this next Passover for certain!
Shmukler's of Boston

Shmukler Sisters

Fercockt & Bull

This so called "dive bar" has been nestled away in the seaport district long before the developers and the gentrified discovered the area. It is a true waterfront bar best known for it's surly bartenders and amazing value. For just a few shekels you can get the Kreplach Special! They have their own take on the Chinese soup dumplings that are all the rage right now. They fill a Maztoh Ball with chicken soup and you get ten for five dollars and they are delicious! Once in a while Shmuley the chef will surprise you with a gizzard or a chicken head so be careful when you eat them. You have to eat them a certain way so you don't burn your mouth. How to play with your balls.

Shmuley the Chef

Mini B with L

Bagel with Long Island Iced Tea


Alter Cocker's Wacky Packy

Jews don't really know diddley about the speakeasy craze. During this time period in American history they were mostly just trying to get through Ellis Island without having their names changed from Lifshultz to Lipshitz. But one man was a visionary. While most Jews were settling in Brooklyn and Brookline Mr. Hyman Kunstler moved his family to Revere beach. Growing up in the Shtetls of Germany he had never even glimpsed a beach before. He set up his small package store right across from the ocean next to Stromboli's Ravioli's. It was a perfect set up and remains so to this day. The secret Speakeasy behind the Wacky Packy is the reason to go. It's sort of a  Fiddler on the Roof meets Tiki Bar place. The Manischewitz Mai Tai is off the HOOK good and the Hot Pastrami Luau Feast is one of the areas best values for any celebration. Check it out when in Reveeeeeah.

Manischewitz Mai Tai

The Kosher Poser Watering Hole Tap Room & Shul

Temple Beth Shalom is the last place you would expect a Pop Up lounge/chophouse but lo and behold there it is! Once a month and twice in April the archetypal synagogue transforms into one of the most chic and trendy places to see and be seen in the Boston area. It helps to get on the guest list but if your name doesn't end in a Stein, Witz or Berg you should probably make friends with someone whose name does. Every Microbrew and top shelf liquor company is represented and are all passing out samples. The food may be Kosher but trust me on this, they are doing things with chopped liver that have NEVER been done before. The celebrity chef list reads like a show line up from the food network. You won't run into Guy Fieri here folks but Ina Garten, Nigella Lawson, and Duff Goldman have recently made appearances. Even Bobby Flaystein is rumored to be coming this April to guest Chef. Hey Now!

Jewish American Princess Night
Not on guest list

Some Other Amazing Jewish Bars and Places Not to Miss

Shmendrick's Bagels and Beers

Bubeleh's Meshugena Drinkery

Horvitz Wine and Spritz

Faygela's (gay bar)

Weinstein's Stein's of Beer

Mispoche's Nosh n Get Sloshed

Bubbe's Doobies (new medical marijuna dispensary)

 So remember, St. Patty's is just the start of spring imbibing. Then we have Passover. Then  Easter, , May Day, Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, Armed Forces Day, Victoria Day (Canada but who cares) and then Memorial Day! Summer is almost here! We don't have to be sober EVER!

 Isn't Boston the greatest city on earth? You bet your gluteus maximus it is!

So don't be a klutz. Shlep your keister over to one of these great places and kibbitz the night away!

Mazel Tov!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

5 Things You Have to Do This Winter! (Boston Edition)

Happy New Year!

Hello everyone! It’s been a little while. I want to wish you all a happy, healthy, prosperous and sexually gratifying 2014. May everything you want be granted to you. May all your aches and pains go away. May whomever is annoying you and pissing you off fall down an elevator shaft or at the very least get some type of extremely  itchy fungal rash on themselves which will make them have to focus on that and not on annoying and pissing YOU off.

Right about now you should be pretty sick of the winter. The end of January usually brings about the worst case of the winter doldrums a person can possibly get. I call it the GTFAFMe’s. You never heard of that? It stands for the Get The F*** Away From Me’s.  It’s the point in a New England winter where you don’t even want to go outside any more. The thought of putting on five layers and shoveling snow gives you an instant headache. It’s cold, icy, wet, dirty and nothing is growing or blooming anywhere. It’s just desolation and death. Grim. Grey. Death.

BUT I have a solution for you. I can’t stand being inside for too long. If the weather keeps me from going out more than like one day in a row….I’m going to kill someone!
We are lucky here in the Boston area though because there are tons of things to do. Some of these you may know about and some you probably don’t. Some of these things you may not want to do but don’t jump to that conclusion so quickly. EVERY thing on this list is fun. Take it from me. (Mr. Fun) Add to this list at the bottom in the form of comments. I need stuff to do because at this point the GTFAFMe’s are pretty bad. So read. Enjoy. Then Contribute.

*One thing. Right click on links and open in another window. It's easier.
CoCo Key

1. Coco Key Water Park  - Located about twenty minutes north of Boston in Danvers is an indoor water park that most of you had no idea was there. If you knew it was there you had no idea that anyone over the age of 5 would love it here. WELL, you would. Here’s why:

  • Wet Rooster Bar. Yup they have a bar in there and food too.
  • Giant Water Slides. Big ones. You sit on a raft and shoot down in the dark.
  • Lazy River. There’s an indoor lazy river. Put your butt on a tube and relax.
  • Hot Tub. One of those indoor/outdoor hot tubs.
  • It’s in a Doubletree Hotel so you can stay overnight if you want to.

I wouldn’t call this a “Cheap” day out because it costs about $45 for a whole day pass but they have discounts for night only and deals all the time. Rates

Brooksby Farm

2. Brooksby Farm - While we are on the  North Shore there is a hidden gem you should be aware of. In the town of Peabody is a great little farm where many of you have gone to pick apples, eat cider donuts and pet the llama but did you know that they also have a great winter activity that I HIGHLY recommend?

It is cross country skiing and it’s a CHEAP way to get outside and have a great time. It is only $10 for the ski’s and if you have never done it before it is only $15 for a lesson and the ski package! You literally slide down their many trails into the woods where it’s really peaceful and beautiful.

I can’t tell you how important it is to get outside and enjoy the weather when there is snow on the ground. It’s peaceful and it’s calm and believe it or not there is still plenty of nature out there. If all you do in the snow is shovel it or slip on the ice then New England is probably not where you should be living. Cross Country skiing is easy and anyone can do it.

It is also about 15 miles north of Boston and afterwards you can grab a hot cider in their store or check out these places to eat two minutes away from there.

  • Mr. G’s Pizza - The best NY style pizza in my opinion anywhere .
  • Family Fare - It’s a diner! Breakfast all day and it’s GOOD!
  • Brodies Pub - Maybe you need a beer and some good food. This is a great local pub.

Downhill Skiing

3. Downhill Skiing

Skiing is also easy. If you have never gone downhill skiing you have to try it. You can learn in one afternoon but you have to take a lesson. I do not recommend trying to teach yourself. Within one hour of Downtown Boston there are a ton of options to learn how to ski . 

Keep in mind, all of these places are set up to teach beginners although if you are experienced there are great runs for you too. I’m going to list them and you can click on the links to get more information. There are ways to get deals. There are ways to save on ski rentals and there are ways to learn to ski much quicker. You can ask below or PM me and I will help you out. Keep in mind if you have never skied before you only need to know three things to get going. 

How to turn left, how to turn right and how to stop. It is EASY. You CAN do it.

Close places to learn:

Nashoba has a tubing park too if you don't feel like skiing! 

Also a little further away in New Hampshire is some great places to go. (1 ½ hours ) Places like Gunstock, Sunapee,Loon and the best deal I’ve seen is at Waterville Valley where every Tuesday you pay whatever the temperature is at dawn on Monday! I paid $10 dollars last time I went. Check here for Waterville Valley’s deals.

F1 Boston

4. F1 Boston Racing - Indoor Go Kart racing! This is not anything like the outdoor go kart track on Cape Cod you went to as a little kid. This is serious adult racing! Get a group together (you don’t have to. You can go by yourself) It’s a few minutes south off Rt. 93. 

These cars go something like 30+ MPH. They fly. When you get there you are told about the rules, you get a racing suit and helmet and are allowed to race the heck out of the cars. It is so much fun! There is also a bar/restaurant there for afterwards. The track is amazing. Keep in mind that there are guys watching you race so if you like to play smashemup derby or drive like a lunatic they will show you the door. Be cool and drive like a .....race car driver I guess. You will love it. Just GO!!!

Soldiers and Sailors Monument

5. Sledding on the Boston Common -

Everyone always talks about ice skating at the Frog Pond on the Common. It is always crowded and if you are like me (you hate ice skating) and would rather do something more fun and easier then sledding is for you.  

What is sledding really? You find something to lay down on , you find a hill and you slide down the hill on the thing you are laying down on. Most people don’t know there is a pretty good size hill right on the Common.

You can walk past the Frog Pond and go to the giant monument at the top of the hill. It’s called the Soldiers and Sailors Monument for you trivia buffs out there.  While you are at the statue walk a few dozen feet towards Charles Street and you will see the hill to sled on. The best time to go is when it’s all ice, when the snow has been packed down by kids already or when it’s just snowed but is warm enough to make a snowman. That way you can pack it down and make a good run. It may not look like Mt. Everest but you can fly all the way to Charles Street down that hill when conditions are right and if you have the right sled.

The right sled:  Just get over to Ocean State Job Lots on Route One in Saugus and get the plastic toboggan for a few bucks. They work great or Toy’s R Us also has them. The one I'm talking about is the cheap plastic kind that you can fit two people on or lay on your stomach. Fun Fun Fun. Then afterwards since you are in the center of Boston you might as well go have a few DRINKS: name a few Cappy approved bars. However you are literally surrounded by places to eat and drink and you are right next to my home away from home Downtown Crossing. Check out my comprehensive eating guide of DTX to see even more places to go.

Know How to Dress for Winter

Before I leave you until the next entry I feel , as an expert, I should give you a few pointers on how to dress for the New England winter.

Expert = Someone who works outside for 20 years in all weather including right now in winter and is almost never cold.

Once the temperature drops below 32 you need to layer up. This what I do. I am feeling good in this outfit to about 10 below Fahrenheit. If you need to know Celsius move to Europe. Someone there will assist you. You can adjust this outfit to what is comfortable for you.

Bottom layer - I have a Duofold Union Suit from LL Bean . It’s wool on the outside and fleece on the inside. I wear a t-shirt and underwear underneath it. A union suit is good if you don’t use the bathroom a lot. The trap door in the back is too small. Take it from me. Otherwise get a two piece but make sure it’s either wool or a lighter material like polyester. See here: LL Bean  
PS. As long as there is an Ebay you never have to pay full price for this stuff.

Wool socks - Get them cheap at Marshalls or TJ Maxx. NEVER wear two socks on one foot.
You can get chemical pack foot warmers at Ocean State or City Sports. They stick to the outside of your socks and last about 3 - 4 hours. If it’s below 20 degrees then get some. They are lifesavers.

Lined Jeans. - If I’m skiing I wear a waterproof ski suit but otherwise get some flannel lined jeans like these (click) they come in men's or women's style.

Over my Union suit I usually wear a sweatshirt with a fleece over it. A heavyweight fleece is the most important piece of clothing every New Englander must have. Lately the fad is to get a North Face Denali fleece like THIS   but since you aren’t a sheep know that you can get a good heavy fleece in any sporting goods store like Modell’s or again on Ebay for a LOT less than the status symbol North Face.

Gloves - Get a good pair of ski gloves with a glove liner inside. The good ones come with a little pocket to put a chemical pack in for the really cold days. They cost about 20 - 30 bucks and are a good investment.

Hat - ALWAYS wear a fleece or wool hat when you are outside all day in the winter. Heat really does escape from your head and you won’t believe how much warmer you are with a good winter hat on. Ear muffs alone won’t cut it.

AND if I were you I would get some good waterproof , insulated boots to wear or at least some Timberlands BUT never anything with a steel toe unless you like frostbite.

Layering is great because you can always take a few off if you're warm but you can't add them if you're freezing.

So there you have it. The winter is never easy when you feel like you are stuck inside with no options for fun. I hope I have shown you that fun is a twelve month a year activity. You should never feel stuck inside. If you are stuck inside then at least make it inside a bar or an indoor water park.

No More GTFAFMe’s! It’s amazing how they go away when you are enjoying yourself with good friends or making some new friends at one of the places above. REMEMBER to add your own ideas below. I see a million people are reading this but not commenting! So contribute please! See you soon out in the streets of Boston!

Love Ya,