Archive for the ‘boston’ category

I got to see two members of Pearl Jam perform!

March 28, 2011

Last night I attended the Tres Mts. concert at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston. The group is composed of Jeff Ament, the bassist for Pearl Jam; Doug Pinnick, the bass guitarist, songwriter, and co-lead vocalist for the hard rock/progressive metal band King’s X; and Richard Stuverud, a drummer who’s played for several bands in the Seattle area.

Mike McCready, the lead guitarist for Pearl Jam, joined the group for their tour. So I got to see him and Ament last night!

Gull, a one-man metal band, was the opening act. This strange dude sings, plays the guitar, and drums simultaneously. I shot this short video of him last night:

After a lengthy performance by Gull, Tres Mts. took the stage. According to Tres Mts.’s Facebook page, Ament first saw Pinnick perform in 1989. He asked him to open some shows for Pearl Jam, and they became friends.

Here’s a video I shot of Tres Mts. last night. First, you see Pinnick. Then, you get a glimpse of Ament playing the guitar. McCready is the red-shirted guitarist in the background.

Here’s another excerpt from Tres Mts.’s performance:

And another:

Here’s some guitar action:

And one more clip:

All in all it was a great show. It was a nice blend of slow and fast songs; I loved Pinnick’s voice, the wonderful guitar playing, and the band’s high level of energy.

Advertisements

I love Scranton, Pennsylvania and nearby Moosic

March 22, 2011

I’ve long loved the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Even before “The Office” began depicting the lives of office employees in the “Electric City,” I’ve acknowledged the city’s charms. Awnings, alleyways between streets for behind-the-house parking, and a valley location are just a few of Scranton’s lovely characteristics.

I got to know Scranton by occasionally visiting my friend Katie and her family there (check out Katie’s blog here). And I would often drive through Scranton to get to and from Loyola University Maryland (where I went for undergrad), and to visit friends living in Philadelphia, New York City, and Maryland.

When you’re headed southbound on Interstate-81, you go by some Scranton exits; soon after the exit for “Moosic.” I’ve never really been there (once I filled my car with gas just off the exit), but I adore the name. It’s basically a fun way to say “music.” I’ve sort of wondered what goes on in Moosic, and my question was partially answered on Sunday.

While I was at a rest stop off the New Jersey Turnpike (on the way back from Charleston, South Carolina), I noticed this lock in a bathroom stall.

If you look closely you’ll see that the lock was made by Comtec Industries in Moosic, Pennsylvania. A cursory search of the Internet indicates that the company is now owned by Scranton-based Scranton Products. I was unable to find out how many people work for Comtec Industries/Scranton Products in Moosic. Maybe many of these jobs have disappeared over the years.

Small-town bars

March 5, 2011


When I was living in a country town in upstate New York, there were many of those bars where everyone knows your name. You walk into the establishment, and nearly everyone looks straight up and says “Hey Christine!” (or whatever your name may be).

You walk around, saying “hi” to everyone; hoping you’ll avoid that one guy who gives you a hard time each time you come in (you know, he tries to hug you when you don’t want a hug or asks why you don’t want to go hunting with him). You buy a drink for an incredibly cheap price (or someone buys it for you), and then shoot the breeze with the regulars.

In my upstate New York town, there were a couple of these establishments I’d frequent more than others. I remember going to the first one; being marked by the frequency with which country music was played. Single men in their 40s and 50s would be listening to a sad country tune about an unrequited love while practically crying into their Bud or Michelob lights.

I made the mistake of playing a techno song on the jukebox one evening. “What the H#@& is this?!?!?” several Carhartt-clad men shouted in unison. I looked up, realizing the error of my ways. This was NOT the place to get my techno music fix. We let the song play, however, as several regulars lined up to play their next sappy country ballad.

One night at this bar I had some especially great conversations. I don’t remember what was said exactly, but I do remember one boat salesman saying he had to play me a couple of his favorite songs. This first one will always remind me of my time in this insular yet charmingly simple country town.

I remember that whenever the chorus played, this guy would close his eyes, groove his head to the beat, and belt out the words. He’d passionately utter:

I wake up and tear drops
They fall down like rain
I put on that old song we danced to and then
I head off to my job
Guess not much has changed

Punch the clock
Head for home
Check the phone, just in case
Go to bed
Dream of you
That’s what I’m doing these days

The other song was a little gentler/more meaningful in my opinion. I’m unable to post the YouTube video to this page, so I’ll just link to it. I remember thinking it was nice that this rustic outdoorsman enjoyed such a sweet song (it’s about a love between a father and son).

At the other bar, you’d run into all sort of important people in town: police officers, lawyers, town board members, etc. Initially they knew you (well me and some of my friends at least) as the journalists who interviewed them from time to time. But then, after seeing them there a few times, you were more like a friend. Eventually you barely talked about what you did for a career. Instead, you’d join them in cheering for the Green Bay Packers, playing some darts, or discussing the upcoming dairy parade.

Photo credit: www.flickr.com/photos/dougtone/3841713630

Spring has sprung

February 20, 2011

At least it was here on Thursday and Friday. I took advantage of the nice weather by walking around my neighborhood. Here’s some of what I saw:

Snow melting

Dirty snow

A bike path with no ice or slush

Crews working on this new residential building

High snowbanks

Clear sidewalks

The sun

Trash that had been hiding beneath snowbanks

During my outing, I had a delightful feta avocado salad at the Joshua Tree in Davis Square. In addition to marinated feta cheese and ripe avocado, it had toasted pistachios, mixed greens, white beans, and citrus vinaigrette.

And later in the day I got a surprise from my fiancee!

Tulips are my favorite flower.

This weekend I also picked up my engagement ring from Shreve, Crump & Low in the Back Bay.

They had resized my ring and made a new setting. Here it is now:


I’m a lucky girl

January 31, 2011

Most days I work from home, but once a week I go into the office. The office is in between Boston’s Downtown Crossing and South Station T-stops. As I was leaving work the other day, I realized how lucky I am to have such a nice walk to the T-stop. Here are a few of the sights I pass by:

New Year’s resolution #6 (or was it #7 or #10?): Join a French conversation group

January 28, 2011

A photo from my first time in France (on a beach in Nice in 2000)

Prior to moving to Boston two and a half years ago, I pretty much spoke French every week. Whether I was conversing with a French friend over the webcam, speaking French with some fellow francophiles where I was living, or thinking out loud in French, the French language was clearly an important part of my life.

Well, since I arrived here I’ve been really bad at keeping up with the language. I initially joined a French conversation Meetup group, but I wasn’t a fan of the setting. I found that Tommy Doyle’s Irish pub in Cambridge’s Harvard Square was too loud and crowded of a backdrop. So after two sessions I stopped attending the group. I began working as a reporter, and found my evenings taken up with public meetings and article assignments.

When I stopped working as a reporter, I thought I might be able to get involved with another conversation group. But I ended up taking on a part-time restaurant job and signing up for an evening class, eliminating my ability to attend the groups I knew of. Well, my schedule is now more normal, and I see there’s a group that meets one Sunday per month at 5 p.m., a good day and time for me.

The group gathers at The Asgard Irish pub in Cambridge’s Central Square. Because they meet during the day, I’m hoping the clientele isn’t too rowdy. I’m trying out the group this Sunday, so I’ll let you know how it goes. Wish me luck (I’ll surely need it with my out-of-practice French)!

A nice day in Boston

November 20, 2010

I just got a new camera so I thought I’d post some of its first pictures. Today I went to Beacon Hill to have breakfast at Cafe Vanille.

My boyfriend spotted the bakery’s croissants a few weeks ago and said they looked delicious. So he brought me along to try them. The cafe was so crowded we had to eat outside. I got a regular croissant and coffee and he got a chocolate croissant and iced latte:

Everything was amazing. The croissants were crispy on the outside and soft and moist on the inside. Usually I have to dunk my croissants in coffee for them to taste delicious but with these there was no need for that. When we were done we gave our crumbs to all the birds eying our breakfast. This is them having a feast:

Here are a few other pics I took today:

Boston Common park

George Washington statue

Galleria Florentia on Newbury Street putting up holiday lights

John Hancock Tower

Trinity Church

Outside The Shops at the Prudential Center

For lunch I ordered a McGreevy’s Cuban at McGreevy’s pub on Boylston Street. My roasted pork, ham, turkey, Swiss cheese, pickles, and chipotle mayonnaise were supposed to come in a baguette but they did not:

That was disappointing. When a girl wants a baguette she wants a baguette!