Archive | November, 2012

MBTA Ticketing App

29 Nov

A popular program that allows some commuter rail customers to purchase and display tickets on their smartphones is being expanded to include commuter boats and rail lines south and west of Boston. This growing app will help many commuters. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority unveiled its “mTicketing” app two weeks ago on the four commuter rail lines north of Boston. The app allows customers to simply flash their smartphones to show conductors their tickets. The app is scheduled to make its debut Wednesday morning on commuter boats and all eight rail lines south and west of Boston. Also beginning Wednesday, customers can buy monthly passes for commuter rail at a $10 discount. To mark the expansion, senior MBTA staff and local elected officials are planning to take commuter boat service from Hingham to Boston Wednesday.

Mayor Menino Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes

27 Nov

After more than five weeks in a hospital, Mayor Thomas M. Menino has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a chronic disease that doctors detected after an unusual infection developed near his spine. Dr. Charles Morris made the diagnosis public Monday at a news conference as he announced that the mayor had been transferred from an acute-care facility to a rehabilitation hospital. Diabetes and the back infection add to the growing list of Menino’s ailments. Menino, 69, cut short a vacation in Italy and sought medical care for a cough and extreme fatigue. Mayor Menino has missed several events in the past few weeks due to this hospitalization.

Small Business Saturday

26 Nov

But shoppers in and around Boston are supporting small businesses today, spurred in part by Small Business Saturday, a promotion aimed at driving customer traffic to local brick-and-mortar shops between Black Friday and its cousin, Cyber Monday.

In Jamaica Plain, Kim Mitchell, owner of Boing! JP’s Toy Shop, said that last year, she did about three times more business on Small Business Saturday than on Black Friday. And this Black Friday was busier than last year’s, she said.

“This is a toy holiday,” she said. “I’ll probably sell two dollhouses from January to December, and then I’ll sell five in December because that’s when people are willing to spend more.”

She said the store faces stiff competition from larger retailers, who can buy high volumes of last year’s stock and sell it cheaply. Some toy manufacturers prefer to unload, say, 1,000 train sets at a time onto a large retailer, Mitchell said, rather than sell them by the dozen to small shops.

“I just can’t compete against that, even if I wanted to or tried,” she said. “The only place that I really worry about it is on the bigger-ticket items. … Where I try to make up the difference is in service, ease of shopping, and giving back to the community, like donating to schools.”

Adrienne Korman, a retired MetLife employee who lives in the neighborhood, said she came to the store to do some early Christmas shopping specifically because of the promotion.

“It’s important to support your local businesses and I try to do it as much as possible, though sometimes the bigger stores are cheaper,” Korman said.

American Express began supporting Small Business Saturday in 2010, and launching promotion to give cardholders $25 back when they spend that much at a qualifying store.

In the Porter Square section of Cambridge, Amy Barth, the manager of Susanna, a neighborhood women’s clothing store that has been in business for more than 30 years, said she noticed a slight uptick in customer traffic during the promotion last year.

“People get excited about it,” Barth said. “Twenty-five dollars of free money, why wouldn’t you use it?”


Read more here:

Thanksgiving Dining Options in Boston

20 Nov

Looking to get out of the kitchen this Thanksgiving? Let these Boston area restaurants do all the cooking while you kick back and relax. Whether it’s apple pancakes for brunch, traditional turkey for dinner, or pumpkin ice cream for dessert, these local chefs have your Turkey Day spread covered. Restaurants open on Thanksgiving in the area include:

The Beehive

BOKX 109 American Prime in Hotel Indigo

Sel de la Terre

Top of the Hub

Upstairs on the Square

Legal Harborside


Aura Restaurant

Boston Harbor Hotel

The Pantry Restaurant

Uno Chicago Grill

Legal Sea Foods


Be sure to call ahead for times and menu items. Happy Thanksgiving!

Faneuil Hall Lights Up the Largest Christmas Tree in New England

19 Nov

Last night marked the unofficial start of the holiday season here in Boston.  The 2012 Boston Christmas Tree Lighting in Faneuil Hall Marketplace took place on Saturday evening, and the young and old alike came out to enjoy this beautiful holiday tradition in one of Boston’s most historic areas. Along with the annual Faneuil Hall Christmas tree lighting, audiences were treated to the launch of Blink!, a stunning six-week, state-of-the-art, light and sound show set to music from the Holiday Pops. BostInno was on the scene in Faneuil Hall last night to capture photos of the Christmas tree lighting and the premiere of Blink!. 

Featuring 350,000 energy-efficient LED lights, Blink! will run 12 times a night through December 31st, beginning at 4:30 p.m. and ending at 10 p.m. each night to the tunes of the Holiday Pops. As Boston’s newest Christmas tradition, the show is set to run for the next five holiday seasons, through the year 2017.

Additionally, Faneuil Hall’s Christmas tree is the largest tree in New England, standing at 85-feet tall and adorned with LED lights that require 30 percent less electricity than last year’s Christmas tree. In fact, the entire six-week Blink! show uses the same amount of electricity as the average American household.

“The FHMA is confident that Blink! will transform this iconic property into a must-visit destination this holiday season,” said Carol Troxell, Faneuil Hall Merchants Association President, in a press release. “The support we have received from Boston Mayor, Thomas M. Menino, and partners such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra has been crucial to the success of this program. The merchants are optimistic about increased sales this holiday season as a result of Blink!”

Blink! is a collaboration between Mayor Thomas M. Menino, the Mayor’s Holiday Special, ArtsBoston and The Greater Boston Visitors and Convention Bureau.

See photos here:

The Boston Common Christmas Tree

16 Nov

It was a long ride, but Boston’s official Christmas tree arrived from Nova Scotia Friday ready to ring in the holiday season with plenty of time to spare.

The 45-foot white spruce rode into the city on the back of a flatbed truck and took a tour through downtown escorted by Boston Police before arriving at the gates of the Boston Common.

This is the 41st year the city has received a tree from Nova Scotia. The holiday tradition began as a way to thank Boston for the help it sent to Halifax, the province’s capital, after a munitions ship exploded in Halifax Harbor on December 6, 1917.

Boston had a train stocked with supplies and emergency personnel en route to the city within 24 hours.

This year’s tree was donated by Paul and Jan Hicks of Jordan Bay, Nova Scotia. Two smaller trees are also being donated to the Pine Street Inn and Rosie’s Place.

Once in the Common, the tree was greeted by and a students from Mather Elementary School in Dorchester who have become pen pals with children at St. Stephen’s School in Halifax.

The fourth graders shouted “Thank you Nova Scotia” in unison and waved miniature flags as the tree was driven onto the section of lawn near Tremont Street that would be its holiday home.

Santa Claus, too, came down to the Common a bit early to watch as workers removed branches and a crane hoisted the tree in the air before placing it in a tree stand buried in the ground.

With the towering tree in place, workers will begin decorating the seasonal centerpiece with 6,000 LED lights and string another 48,000 LED lights on 60 other trees throughout the Common.

Revelers, however, will have to wait until Thursday, November 29, to see the lights twinkle. That’s when the city will flip the switch to light the Common at an evening ceremony.

See photos at:

Sam Adams Tasting to Benefit Hurricane Sandy Victims

15 Nov

Special Boston Brewery Open House to Aid Superstorm Sandy Re...

Want to help out hurricane sandy victims? The proceeds from tonights event at the Sam Adams brewery will go to the victims from this storm. At Sam Adams, they believe that little things can make a difference in the taste of their beer. In the wake of superstorm Sandy, which has left so many in need of assistance, they know that little things can help make a difference to those in need.  On Thursday, November 15th, they are holding a special beer tasting with the proceeds from the event going to the American Red Cross to help those affected by the storm. Additionally, if you’d like to donate a blanket, a jacket, warm socks, or a sweatshirt – all donated items will be given to the Salvation Army for distribution to those in need.  These may seem like little things to many of us who were spared a direct hit, but the sum of many little things can help a lot of people.

For $25.00 tonight you can get:

  • Entrance to Boston Brewery after hours for this unique Open House to support relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy
  • 4 samples of our Award Winning Samuel Adams Beer which includes limited release, specialty styles
  • 1 Souvenir Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass
  • Light fare

For more information and tickets go to:

State Representative Carlo Basile holds annual East Boston Thanksgiving dinner for those in need

14 Nov

State Representative Carlo P. Basile says no one in Greater Boston has to go hungry this Thanksgiving, because he has opened up his annual free holiday dinner in East Boston to anyone who wants to attend.

“I don’t care where you come from,” Basile said by phone on Tuesday. “You come in that door, we’re feeding you.”

Basile said he was motivated to expand the invitation beyond just East Boston by the great need he saw.

Basile joked that he couldn’t remember whether this is the fifth or sixth feast he has hosted since he began shortly after his election to the State House in 2006. But over that time he has seen more and more people struggling financially who could not afford a holiday meal, he said.

“I definitely say there’s a greater need. I have folks that I’ll be bringing food to that are too embarrassed to come down,” he said. “It’s more now than ever.”

Volunteers will deliver meals to many who are unable or unwilling to come to the dinner at the Sacred Heart Parish in East Boston, and Basile will supply frozen turkeys to about 30 families who want to cook a dinner at home. Basile’s whole family gets involved, he said, from his two young sons to his mother, who stores the frozen turkeys and helps distribute them.

The dinner draws many volunteers from the community who spend their holiday serving others, and it has financial support from local donors and the Massachusetts Port Authority.

Those who come for the meal, Basile said, represent a broad cross-section of the diverse East Boston neighborhood and include both longtime residents and more recent immigrants.

Basile said one of his goals in hosting the dinner is to give people a way to share the holiday with others.

“For me it’s important that we get to feed everybody, and I like to sit down with them … so they don’t eat alone,” he said. “We do what we can to make it as normal as possible for these folks.”

Basile said hosting the annual event has given him a greater sense of how many in the community are struggling and suffering. At last year’s dinner, Basile said, he spoke with a young woman who had been forced out of her home by an abusive husband, along with the couple’s children.

“Us lucky ones go on with everyday life and don’t really know what’s going on out there,” he said.

Doors will open at 10:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving, Nov. 22, at the Sacred Heart Church, 303 Paris St. in East Boston. Dinner will be served from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Transportation to the church and meal delivery are available by calling Celeste Myers at 617-913-3332 or Nancy Loconte at 617-438-5539.

Pie in the Sky: 2012 Free Pie Day

13 Nov

Tuesday, November 13th, is officially ‘Pie Day’ in Boston and Cambridge in support of Community Servings’ Pie in the Sky Thanksgiving bake sale which funds home delivered meals for the critically ill. To celebrate, Pie in the Sky will be hopping around Boston and Cambridge handing out free pie and coffee, hosting some pie-tastic events and spreading the word about Pie in the Sky! Here are the ‘Pie Day’ happenings: Pie Day at Dewey Square from 8am to 9:40am, Pie Day at the Prudential Center – at the food court from 11am-2pm, Pie Day at Kendall Square from 4:30pm to 6:30pm, and last but not least Central square near us from 4:30-6:30pm! Join Cambridge Mayor Henrietta Davis for a free slice of pie and delicious cup of hot apple cider. Also, “Spot the Pie Slice” with Zipcar will be going on from 3pm – 5pm where the Zipcar Street Team will hold a ‘Spot The Pie Slice’ contest. Track the pie slice, which will be jetting around the city in a Zipcar Mini Cooper Convertible. Tweet and Facebook about Pie in the Sky (using #pieinthesky) and we’ll deliver a free pie to your office! Hope you get a free slice of pie on this rainy day!

Veterans Day

12 Nov

ImageVeterans Day is an official United States holiday honoring armed service veterans. It is a federal holiday that is observed on November 11th. It coincides with other holidays such as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the end of World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, with the German signing of the Armistice.)

Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving.

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. In proclaiming the holiday, he said

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”