Tag Archives: Boston

An Update: Housing, Jobs and a Beerathon.

Big News. I’m moving, I’ve gotten a job and I’m entering the real world of being a female young professional.

I’m moving to Brighton, off the Cleveland Circle stop. I worked somewhat near here at Harvard Business School Publishing in Watertown.

I’m moving out the 29th, moving in the first of September…Boston’s big moving day.

I’ve heard horror stories of the day’s events and traffic. I’m not so excited.

According to Yelp, Cleveland Circle isn’t the hottest spot around boston, according to three separate reviews below:

“Cleveland Circle is the blemish on Beacon Street, the one really ugly part where you wonder if maybe you accidentally got onto Comm Ave somehow.” 

“Being in Cleveland Circle makes me wish I could summon a tornado.”

“This place is kinda like a beat-up pickup truck.”

Well, I may have signed myself up for an interested three months in the beloved Cleveland Circle, but I don’t think it can be too bad. The commute to work is kind of a bitch, 48 minutes by T (and considering it’s on the Green Line, I’d say we can tack easily tack a good 20 more minutes), and it’s not super convenient or close to my friends, who are mainly still around the NEU area…but it could be worse. It’s close enough, nice enough and it’s got a liquor store, a Dunkin’ Donuts right across the street and a laundromat down the block. 3 months…I’ll live.

I met my two roommate off of Craigslist. A sentence which is generally followed by “Are you serious, Kimber?” or “The famous last spoken words…”

But they seem pretty cool so far. Both are young male professionals, I think between 27-29 and share a passion of acrobatics, which is pretty sweet. We have jujitsu training mats covering the entire floor of one room which I’ll have access to. Hello ab workouts! And they both drink beer and seem easygoing.

As for my job…I’m starting up tomorrow in the Advertising field at Dig Boston. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve gotten the physical copy of Dig fairly often, and I am a regular browser of the website. It will be neat to work with the people who’ve been publishing the alternative weekly recently.

My boss asked me to be in at ten, which sounded great at the time, but my insomnia kicked in around 11 tonight so I’m hoping to catch at least some sleep before my big day.

For those of you Bostonians who love beer, buy yourself a ticket to The Boston Beerathon. My best friend and I got tickets, and it’s going to be a great event. We’re starting at Mija Cantina.

Order yourself tickets right now, buy yourself this pad, and mark September 15th on your calendar as a day dedicated to beer, old friends and new friends. No better way to ring in the Autumn season.

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Filed under Boston, Events

Previously Loved: Boston’s Second Hand Stores

I am an advocate for second hand shopping. Some people find it disgusting, but I’m one of those people whose favorite threads have all originated from the wear of someone else. Lucky for me, my friends know this, and hand me downs are constantly added to my collection of clothes. I’m also an avid thrift store shopper.

Boston has quite a few thrift stores. I have shopped at four different Second Time Around locations around Boston, and also at The Garment District.

To put it simply, I have fallen in love with Second Time Around. The stores have all been extremely neat, clean and orderly. They organize clothes by size, the service has always been phenomenal, they have a rewards program, and generally speaking, the prices are very fair. I have gotten a ton of closet staples at these stores, including a $29 black velour Juicy Couture hoodie in impeccable condition.

My findings at various Second Time Around locations in Boston.

The clothes are in phenomenal condition, clearly washed, and well taken care of. I’ve spoken with the manager of one of the stores, and it is clear they are very picky when it comes to selling clothes. They won’t sell you garbage, and the clothes are always in great condition. They also have great accessories.

Expensive name brands are set aside at the store, and, while expensive, are unrealistically reasonable in comparison to their initial selling price. Some of these clothes are in less than perfect condition (but $15 for a Coach bag covered in the “C” logo is any middle schooler’s fantasy, even if it’s slightly used). I remember the importance of labels during my early teen years.

As for the Garment District…my thoughts vary. The store is downright disgusting. I’m not sure if they’ve ever heard of a vacuum, a duster, a washing machine or any form of cleaning product. The music is consistently terrible, and the prices make no sense.

With that said, you’ll be surprised to know that I actually go to the Garment District fairly regularly. The staff is great – always helpful, personable, funny. Even they make jokes about the lack of hygiene in the store.

The store has a “buy by the pound” policy, where you can buy pounds of clothes for minimal cents. I will never go near these clothes, nor should you. There is a reason these clothes are in unkempt piles on the dirty floor in the back of the store. Even the store clerks won’t touch them. A coworker of mine informed me his friend obtained shingles while perusing these garments. Not for me.

Their “New Women’s Clothes” section is also ridiculous. Ugly clothes for $30+. No thanks. I’ve noticed some of the used clothes smell like body odor. Ew, walk away.

The saving point for me are the hidden treasures I’ve found tucked in some of the store racks. I got one of my favorite funky summer dresses for $9 there, and just bought a “tag still on” Joe’s Jeans skirt for $20. Both were great deals, and there are some wonderful clothes there – if you have the time and patience to find them.

My findings at The Garment District.

My warning about The Garment District: wear “undergarments” before going there. I always wear a pair of spandex and a tight fitting undershirt. I will not put these clothes on my skin until they have been washed…multiple times. I recommend the same to all.

Locations:

Second Time Around (listed with my preferred store locations on top)
8 Eliot Street, Cambridge, MA
324 Newbury Street, Boston, MA
176 Newbury Street, Boston, MA
219 Newbury Street, Boston, MA

The Garment District
200 Broadway, Camridge, MA

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Some Other Reality

I’ve been absent from blogging at all. I’ve been working quite a bit.

I recently began working at The Blue Room, an upscale restaurant located in Kendall Square (Cambridge). I’ve been learning about food and wine. Being a recent graduate of Northeastern, naturally I thought I’d be particularly fond of learning the glory of wine. Quite frankly, it’s proven to be quite difficult for me – from understanding where wines get their names from to classifying how to describe characteristics of wine. Thus, I will be using my blog to hone my skills, organize my learnings and share my opinions.

I added a page to this blog dedicated to my tastings. See here, check for updates. Always open to questions, suggestions, comments, inspiration and corrections.

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Filed under Boston, Food, Reviews

BostInno: Feature Story

BostInno was the brainchild of two young entrepreneuers hoping to break into the Boston startup scene. After graduating from Hamilton University in upstate New York in 2007, BostInno co-founders Chase Garbarino and Kevin McCarthy moved to Boston with little money and big ideas. They started a digital media company in college together, and were interested in working in the field further.

In late 2010, the two created a technology, Pinyadda, that gathered the news and organized it by topic through a simple system of tagging.  The initial plan was to use this technology to create a “consumer news aggregation platform,” said Garbarino. The platform didn’t gain the popularity the two had hoped, which Garbarino credited to people needing “less information, not necessarily more.”

The work put into the technology was far from fruitless, as it allowed the creators access to well-organized, real-time news. The challenge was to gain traffic. At the time, BostInnowas a WordPress-hosted blog Garbarino and McCarthy used to write on Boston’s growing innovation and tech scene.

“We ended up taking the technology that we had built, using it for being data driven, in terms of how we covered things…so that would drive traffic for us, seeing what was trending on news, getting out very early on with news coming in,” said Garbarino.

With this technology, Garbarino and McCarthy were able to see that city news was a topic BostInno could capitalize on, so the team shifted their focus to the Boston news scene. Their plan of action was to go as deep as possible into the trending news topics, and because of their shared interest in technology and media, BostInno’s first vertical became Boston’s growing tech and innovation scene. From there, traffic grew, investors showed interest and enough money came in that the team was able to branch out and grow.

“[We] expanded our team from a handful of people to a few handfuls of people and we expanded editorial, started to bring on marketing and sales, brought more developers to continue to build out the platform,” said Garbarino. Beginning in 2011, the team began rolling out new content by expanding coverage to interests outside of just local tech and innovation.

“We have a writer for each vertical, and that’s something we’re constantly expanding and working on and finding out where we have an audience,” said Melissa Ablett, marketing coordinator at BostInno. The editorial team holds daily meetings to go over what content will be put out on the website, organizing the deadlines incrementally to have a continuous stream of new content being pushed out.

Currently, the team covers three umbrella interests: technology, city news and education.

With articles covering topics such as the upcoming unveiling of Harpoon Brewery’s Boston location, Babson’s new wind power initiatives and weekly rollouts of “BostInno Approved” events, the website is reaching out to a variety of audiences.

BostInno’s heaviest readership is among the 25- to 34-year-old demographic. But the fastest-growing demographic for the site comprises people between 34 and 50.

Early on, Garbarino and McCarthy sought to establish an edgy voice in covering local business. As the company grew, they wanted to maintain the early company standards of edge and depth, while still expanding their audience.

“The way that we think of the whole editorial coverage is work, play, buzz – which is a template for pretty much every city in the country,” said Garbarino. This coverage has proven to be successful, as BostInno is no longer the only city with a website of this kind. BostInno.com is now in a league of three, with Washington D.C., getting coverage on InTheCapital and New York City’s InTheEmpire. Altogether, the three websites make up Streetwise Media.

The cities thrive from the unique and fresh voices present on the Streetwise Media teams, but also the community platforms available on all the websites.

“We really focus on the fact that, in this day and age, every single person can produce content,” said Ablett. The BostInno team decided to embrace the community of writers putting out content

The platform, called Channels, is where organizations can publish directly on the BostInno platform. BostInno opens the platform to anyone, even likely competitors. Channels is a platform made up primarily of companies focused on content marketing and strong blogging reputations. Companies create a channel they use to publish posts and create a branding for their organization.

For companies like MassChallenge, a Massachussetts initiative to funding local startups, the Channels platform has become a perfect place to spread news of featured startups. BostInno shares the 14th floor of their corporate building with many of the small startups featured on MassChallenges’ posts. It’s been beneficial all around, as the site and startups keep each other in tune to local shifts in business.

Individual users wanting to publish outside of the organization-based Channels have the option to submit a guest post. The posts are screened by the BostInno team, but according to co-founder Kevin McCarthy, they allow all posts except ones that reflect “outright hate for no reason or no benefit.” McCarthy, who work primarily on the technical side of the website, says this is essentially a “non-issue”, and thinks they’ve had less than a handful of posts deleted.

Streetwise Media has expanded across multiple social media platforms. It has 5,115 fans on Facebook and 3,120 followers on Twitter. They’ve tapped into visual media with a “Party Rocking at the #InsiderAwards” Storify story and have a regularly updated Flickr account.

The website is still growing, reaching new readership everyday. However, the goals of the team remains strong. “Our biggest focus will always be going as deep as possible in the news, [no matter what] we’re coming,” said McCarthy. Even as they roll out new verticals, this dedication to in-depth coverage has proved to be successful. BostInno thrives from its writing style and coverage, and also its community platform. Allowing other businesses to publish on BostInno’s platform has proven to be a great success for BostInno, and the content pushed out by these companies is well-read by the BostInno audience.

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Filed under Boston, Business & Economy, Technology & Innovation

Meet BostInno: The Video

Meet BostInno: The Video

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April 24, 2012 · 1:20 am