Archive | July, 2011

Lions and Tigers and Monkeys in Boston!

26 Jul

This is my favorite picture I took while at the zoo!

Everywhere I go, I try to go to the zoo.  For reference, the best zoo I have been to was in Dublin, closely followed by Cleveland and then Atlanta. The worst zoo is by far Washington, DC. Just so you know, because you had to have been wondering.

I am not even joking when I say the following: one of the first things I did when I decided to go to school in Boston was to look up where the closest zoo was. Lo and behold, it was in Boston! Who freakin’ knew?!

Franklin Park Zoo is, surprise surprise, in Franklin Park. I say that Franklin Park is in Dorchester, but honestly I don’t know. It is on the border of Dorchester, Roxbury and JP. So you choose. (Just so you have all the information, Franklin Park Zoo is part of Zoo New England, which also includes Stone Zoo in Stoneham. Creative names, huh?).

Freshman year, my best friend and I took and day and decided to go on an adventure to the zoo. It took absolutely forever to get there! We were not prepared. But it was worth it. It was raining lightly so we had the zoo almost to ourselves. We could stare at the tigers (including a white tiger!) and lions however long we wanted. It is understandably smaller than many zoos, but that is also the great thing. You don’t feel rushed to get through everything and you feel fine staring at the monkeys for half an hour.

How to get to Franklin Park Zoo: Drive. No, you can get there using public transportation. We took the Red Line to Andrew and then took the 16 bus to the zoo (we couldn’t find the 16 bus going back so we took a random bus to Ruggles). That was long
but we discovered the South Bay Center (which has a Target and Stop and Shop!). You can also take the Orange line to Forest Hills and take the 16 bus. Or take the Orange Line to Ruggles, then take the number 22, 28, 29, 44 or 45. All work.

General admission is $16 for adults, but all rates can be found on their website.

Oh, and take a ton of pictures!


The Small Things in Life Are Usually the Best

20 Jul

I have already written some blog entries related to this. But, honestly, I don’t care. To me it is important. And the last week has been incredibly busy and stressful. But I wanted to post something because I am amazing. And of course dedicated to all (read: two) of my readers. Okay, and because I am currently applying for jobs and I want potential employers to see that I am consistent. So sue me.

I am currently in Connecticut and have been for some time. I live in suburban CT. One of the great things about my city is the diversity in it. There are housing projects and gorgeous mansions. There are many main streets and there are numerous farms.  We have a Walmart and a ridiculous number of grocery stores (and pizza places), yet mom-and-pop shops are on every corner. I love it here, I really do.

But perhaps my favorite part of living in Connecticut is watching and enjoying the little things. Chipmunks run through my backyard on a daily basis. My parents have a couple birdfeeders where dozens of types of birds come to feast. Squirrels enjoy the food just as much as the birds. There are a few nests in the gutter of our garage, as well as in one of the bird houses.

And I have to say, there is nothing more entertaining, heartwarming even, than watching the wildlife live their lives and enjoy the little things, such as the stale bread my dad put out.

So, you live in Boston. So what? Go to the Public Garden and the Boston Common and sit at the base of a tree (in the shade. It is freakin’ hot.). Just look around and watch the birds and the squirrels. If you are lucky, you will also see a (most likely Asian) tourist chasing the squirrels trying to get a picture.

Don’t want to go to that touristy of a spot? Pick a park. Wildlife will be there.  Go onto Google Maps, put in your address and pick a big green area and go there. It’ll be fun. And relaxing.

A Cappella Extravaganza: The Dear Abbeys, NOTA, Ball in the House

13 Jul

Boston University has a great performing arts community. The a cappella community is even better.  I became a fan of The Dear Abbeys from the beginning. They are, according to themselves (and most of BU), BU’s premier all-male a cappella group. They are amazing; there is no way around it. They are energetic, funny, fabulous singers and, perhaps most importantly, humble (at least when it comes to the big picture). They repeatedly sell out every show they put on and leave every audience in awe.

Well, they are having a couple summer concerts. One is July 15th at Revere Beach from 5 p.m-8 p.m. I am assuming that one is free, and would be a great excuse to go to the beach and enjoy the evening.

The other one is RIDICULOUSLY amazing! The concert will be July 17th from 3 p.m.-6 p.m at Morse Auditorium (on Boston University’s campus). And it is with NOTA! That’s right, the winners from season one of The Sing-Off will be at Boston University singing with The Dear Abbeys. Ball in the House, another a cappella group in Boston, will be performing as well.

And I promise it will be amazing!

Ticket information has not been released yet, but keep checking the Facebook event page for all information. They are very good about updating.

How to get to this amazing concert: Green Line, B line to Blandford Street (one past Kenmore). The auditorium is right across the street and has a large-ish staircase in front and green dome on top (it used to be a synagogue).

If you can’t make it to this concert (either of them really), try to go to one this fall. The Dear Abbeys really will blow your mind. Or, if you really have something against BU, go to an a cappella show at another school. Tufts is home to The Beelzebubs, the runner-ups to NOTA (though the Bubs are way too cocky and not that good of singers for my taste).

Try a cappella, you’ll love it.

Vote for Boston’s Best and Find Your Next Favorite Place

7 Jul

While we were in college, my best friend and I would wait around for the Improper Bostonian’s Best of Boston Issue every year. We would get the magazine and go through it, cutting out the places that we want to visit. We would then put everything in a photo album and make a plan to visit each one (Outlook calendars were used to their fullest potential!).

Little did I know (up until a few days ago), there was another way to get all that information as well.’s A-List.

This is something does every year. It is meant to name the best local businesses of 2011 via popular vote. Over 4,500 businesses are listed on this website, and you can add your own if you think it is worthy of a title.There are dozens and dozens of categories, such as Best Burger, Best Pizza- Slice, Best Sports Venue, Best Bakery, Best 2011 Celtics Player and Best Wedding Photographer (can you tell I like the food?). There is a category for everything.

The A-List is a contest and voting ends July 15th. You can vote in every category once, and when you do, you can earn pins (flashy
stuff that goes on your profile). Every once in a while you can also earn deals, such as 18%  or 50% off your bill at your favorite place. Pretty freakin’ cool, right?

Plus, there is, of course, the social component. You can connect to your friends on the A-List and see what they voted for (maybe you have something in common you never thought of and could go there- first date idea!). You can also share what you voted for on Facebook and Twitter and connect to your friends that way as well.

How would I use this website you ask? (Well, you didn’t really ask but guess what? I am going to tell you anyways, because, well,
honestly, that is the point of this blog.) Vote for what you like, rather, what you love, but also look at the top vote getters of each category. Take note of what they are and keep them in mind for the next time you want to go out, etc. For example, if you love Indian food, go to that category and see what others have voted for. They can also leave comments, so read those as well. If you don’t feel like going through that “hassle”, see who the winners were for 2010 and pick something from there.

Voting ends July 15th, so keep an eye out for the list of winners!

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