Archive for the ‘Boston’ Category

An Open Complaint to [Institution Redacted]

In Boston, harvard, notes from the white collar ghetto, recession, Uncategorized on December 19, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Here is a letter that I submitted on some online form regarding the current financial crisis and [the Institution with which I am currently employed- an Institution that was fool enough to play chicken with its huge endowment, Might I Add].

Your question or concern (optional) It is wonderful to see the [Institution Redacted] campus coming together to implement such creative cost-effective measures. For example, my department has foregone the traditional holiday party and instead opted for a delicious potluck lunch. I do find it to be quite the irony, then, that last evening (Thursday, December 18th), I was exiting my office in [Building Redacted] when I encountered an elaborate set-up for a soiree given by and presumably paid for, by the [Institution Redacted] (though I did not see any fellow staff members in attendance).

Your cost-savings tip (optional) I propose that, perhaps instead of hovering over well-meaning Department heads with the threat of vast and looming budget cuts, the Dean and his associates opt out of planning private, extravagant, and arguably unnecessary events. If the [Institution Redacted] is really concerned with reassuring its staff in the wake of financial uncertainty, perhaps it is not the wisest PR move to rub the proverbial salt in the wound by flaunting excess.

Auto Bailout, Madoff, blah blah blarg. Not to get all Marxy on your white-collar asses, but we won’t stand for this much longer… or will we?


In Defense of Allston

In Allston, Boston on August 22, 2008 at 4:59 pm

I keep forgetting to address this article. Now I am going to. In summation, Jennifer Schwartz hated Allston, had to move there for convenience’s sake, grew to love it, is now moving to the South End [can a journalist’s salary cover that, Jennifer?], is going to miss it. Even though it’s positive, it still feeds into generalized perceptions of Allston, which even I’ll admit are not all untrue. But, for example, she balks about Allston’s crime rate. As Bostonist pointed out, Rock City’s crime rates are lower than those of the schwanky South End, and are more on the petty theft spectrum than the, you know, rape and aggravated assault side. I find many a Boston ‘hood endearing, but I really like living here and I’ve expressed that before [commenters didn’t seem to get it].

The thing is, I think a lot of people hate Allston because it’s dirty and loud. I have any number of friends and acquaintances who just can’t understand why I live here.


Do you think I actually care that sometimes there is vomit and trash on the streets here?

Also? The various bottle collectors’ informal economy is magnificent to behold, and reminds me of the various micro-enterprise projects in place in Garbage City.

I know the economy is really bad for travel right now but if it improves, can everyone please just resolve to go somewhere that is Not Europe so they can see what ‘dirty’ actually is and maybe- MAYBE- try to appreciate it a little bit? Take the stick out of your ass so you can realize that there’s actually shit up there.

[/End self-righteous rant; Carry on.]

The Ol’ Allston Scramble

In Allston, Boston on July 22, 2008 at 1:09 am

Within about, oh, let’s guess conservatively, four months? of living with five other people in a group house on Pratt Street*, I decided that I am really, really done with group houses. My kingdom for a non-sticky kitchen floor, for a futon free of the scent of 15-year-old crust punk**! Easy enough: My roommate Dianna is a yuppie who still likes to have a good time and is the best thing that Craigslist has ever brought me, and my cousin Allison lives with these retardedly ill-socialized girls [we are expecting their most recent interaction to be up on Passive Aggressive Notes any day now] who don’t even drink beer, so since we all get along we decided to live together.

Easy enough, except that, whilst I’m unopposed to trying other ‘hoods on, Dianna and Allison have this fierce, fierce loyalty to Allston. Which I don’t blame. Allston is a student ghetto, to be sure, but it also has an abundance of delightful cuisines all within walking distance, and is gritty and rock-‘n’-roll and charming in it’s emaciated, tattooed, asymmetrical haircut way. Seriously, upon first moving here I remarked to Mia that I felt like I was living in motherfuckin’ Williamsburg, but I can’t say anything outsider-y anymore because I’m dating a bike messenger who rides fixed [go ahead, laugh at me. I’m still the best dressed]. So I’m happy to follow suit in this ‘hood loyalty. I like the community A LOT, and I like that my restaurateurs know that I like it very spicy and that my bar waitresses know that I want a pitcher of Allagash White and that local folk know of our [Dianna’s, Allison’s, my] penchant for Scrabble.

So. Apartment hunting. Trolling Craigslist [per usual]. Nothing is going to be anywhere near as cheap as the rickety, band-practice, freezing-in-winter situation that I’m in now, and for good reason. It’s almost August which means it is damn straight high time for us to find a place. And? We’ve subjected ourselves to the yearly Allston Scramble. It’s a mad dash for nice apartments and it’s full of douchey ex-frat realtors who keep telling us that our low rent options are unfeasible and sign now sign now sign now to avoid the rush! Dianna and Allison have handled this all with grace and aplomb but I find it difficult [being a known ball-cutter doesn’t help] to go from a situation where I rented from the two best owner/landlords to dealing with these kindof heinous stuffed shirts who are getting obscenely rich from the yearly scramble for housing. It’s just not right. I’m happy to say that we found a radicool place for a reasonable price with a delicious deck, but house searching and dealing with these realtors has been a certifiable nightmare. I plan on throwing the housewarming party to end all parties as a cathartic way to get rid of all the angst that this summer has thrown at me.

There is, of course, a part of the Allston Scramble that I do know and love, and this is the shitshow that is September 1st. The streets will be filled with feasts- that is, bookshelves, desks, tables, and all manner of housewares. The upside of living in a student ghetto? Free furniture.

*Those friends who are non-locals: this is Allston’s most notorious party street. I did not know this upon moving in.

**I wish that I was making this up.

This Weekend: Four

In Allston, Boston, music, muzak on April 1, 2008 at 8:38 pm

Show #3

In Allston, Boston, partying on March 28, 2008 at 5:30 pm

Boston Basement Brigade‘s third show is going to be in my basement [again] this weekend. Come early before the cops show up.

Boston Basement Brigade


In Boston, harvard, moping, Uncategorized, unemployment, useless degrees on September 11, 2007 at 12:58 am

Waiting for employment is getting on my last nerve.

I have a job interview Tomorrow, my Day o’ Birth, at the illustrious Harvard Medical School, after three rejections from the Institution, including two entry-level-academic dream-jobs. [of course my resume is sparse, I JUST GRADUATED! I wish they could interview me and then see just how charming and capable I am.] However, I’ve been told by several Hahvahd insiders that the most viable way to land a job is to temp for some months so the fact that I actually have an interview is pleasing. Generally, though, I’m stumped as to why I want to work at Harvard in the first place. I’d be just as content working a stupid service-industry job, only with “the Real World” [a term I resent; since I’ve been living on my own means for OH ONLY TWO YEARS NOW] comes “Real Concerns”, e.g. a graduate-level degree, health insurance, TUITION REMISSION [glorious!!]. To be honest, guys, I’d be happy if I just got paid to be a blogger or a researcher but I GUESS I SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF THAT BEFORE I GOT A FUCKING DEGREE IN ANTHROPOLOGY.

Anyway, in theory, Boston is great, it’s just that the combination of unemployment, 9/11 Birthdays [UGH!], cold weather [already?] and no viable crushes [no different from Washington, DC, really!!] is taking it’s toll on my Sunny-as-Fuck Attitude [not to mention being at the Bottom of the Social Chain ALL OVER AGAIN. I’m not popular anymore! this is terrible!]. Sometime when I’m in a better mood I’ll write a cast list of the inimitable characters who hang out on my Allston porch on any given night, but instead I am going to fret about what to wear tomorrow and try real hard not to chainsmoke.

The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

In Boston, Egypt, FutureMe, Gemini, GMail, Space-Time, Time-Space, Uncategorized on September 4, 2007 at 6:59 am

A few days ago [2] I opened GMail and got this message:

  from “” <>   hide details Sep 1 (3 days ago)
  date   Sep 1, 2007 1:03 PM  
  subject   ??  

The following is an e-mail from the past, composed on Sunday, January 7, 2007, and sent via

Eh? Then I remember [vaguely] sending this email because some Internet-savvy friend [sortof] found this website [, shockingly enough] where you can send emails to yourself IN THE FUTURE. No, REALLY. Because apparently I got one. Barring discussions of THE space-time continuum [if you must know, that’s not my forte and I don’t care to understand it, and is it space-time or time-space?], isn’t that GREAT? I’m almost tempted to email myself in-the-future-one-year-from-now EVERY DAY so that I can know just EXACTLY what I did a year ago [har dee har har, Annie, isn’t that what JOURNALS are for?]!

Unfortunately, the content of the email wasn’t all that juicy as far as I’m concerned. I mean, it asked if I was still in love with Some Person, which I wasn’t, and it also asked if I had found a “Dashing Gemini” [Past-Me’s words, not mine!], which I haven’t, and, more importantly, it asked me if I was in Egypt, which I’m not, despite approx. four [plus] years of planning it to be that way. This made me feel a little dumb because instead of up-and-moving to Cairo I up-and-moved to Boston, and even though Boston in my mind is a lot scarier than the Motherland, most people have different perceptions of what scary is and even though people are bad drivers, Boston is Not Scary [I have my own reasons for thinking it is, but that’s for Therapy and Not For You!]. All in all, I’d just like to say this: I moved to Boston largely because of Youthful Abandon and I’m not ready to give up all the things that come with it yet, like short-shorts and hollarin’ and going out for beers and PDA and dancing all night. So, FutureMe, when the cold cold winter hits and you’re pissed off because you’re not dodging cat-callers and little children and cabs built in ’84, just remember your PastMe pursuits of Youth, Eternal. And, from FutureMe to PastMe: Don’t say I didn’t warn you.