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September 2007

A Night in the Clink

I finally paid a visit to the new Liberty Hotel last night, on the recently refurbished site of the old Charles Street Jail.

Charles_st_jail The jail, which housed infamous inmates since the 19th century (including disgraced Boston Mayor James Michael Curley and notoriously convicted Italian immigrants Sacco and Vanzetti), had stood empty since 1990 when it was closed due to poor conditions.

Now, in addition to all the luxurious accoutrement of a boutique hotel, it boasts two bars: Clink, in the upper lobby, and Alibi on the first floor.

Clink_3 Clink occupies the open area at the top of the lobby escalators, beneath a magnificent  90-foot rotunda (the former indoor exercise facility for the inmates). There is a smallish dining room with a tasting menu, but most of the action is with the bar patrons out front [in the lobby]. The building's architecture is phenomenal to gaze at, but sadly, the bar itself doesn't provide much ambiance.

While Clink is very bright (too bright) and spacious, Alibi is very dark and Atrium_3 sultry. It maintains elements of the old jail, including original brickwork and cell doors, plus themed updates like celebrity mug shots (Lindsay Lohan, Frank Sinatra, Devine Brown...).   

It, too, has a full bar, but a limited choice of specialty cocktails and no food. It seems better suited to "date night", with a fair amount of 2-person high-top tables and intimate nooks for enjoying cocktails and conversation. There are several areas for larger groups to congregate, but the floor space is limited, and the tiny little stools clustered around low tables are rather uncomfortable. Alibi does have a large outdoor seating area, however, which will surely be popular in warm weather.

(photo credit: Read2Me)

What the Fluff?

Fluff Today is the 90th anniversary of Marshmallow Fluff, that sticky marshmallow confection that New Englanders know and love as staple of the fluffernutter sandwich (and more recently under fire in connection with childhood obesity).

To celebrate the momentous occasion, Somerville's Union Square, the birthplace of the gooey delicacy, held its second annual Fluff fest to honor its creator, Archibald Query, and the product itself.

Activities include Fluff jar bowling, bake offs, snacking on Rice Krispie treats Tower_5 and fluffernutters, and a recreation of the Prospect Hill Tower that overlooks Union Square.

There are also live bands throughout the afternoon, with burlesque dancers from Thru the Keyhole serving as a modern rendition of theFlufferettes_2 Flufferettes, the 1930s radio show created to promote the product.

Until today, when I mentioned Fluff to a friend and got a blank stare in return, I had no idea that it was a local phenomenon, and not immediately recognizable to kids across the country.

If you haven't tried it, you really should pick up a jar. It's delicious (maybe not nutritious).


Hand Soap

A girlfriend and I were talking about hand soap the other day, when browsing in a home decor shop that had a lovely array to choose from: blue robin's eggs in a twig nest, white seashells in a glass dish, tiny pumpkins for Fall.

They are always so delicate and cute, and they sit proudly on display in the guest bathroom but usually just collect dust because no one wants to ruin them (instead opting for the liquid dispenser).

And then there are these:
Hand-made, hand shaped, Hand Soap.

I don't know that guests will be any more willing to lather up with these babies, but they certainly are a conversation piece.

So Many Industry Events!

It feels like the late 90s again, judging from the number of marketing and technology networking events popping up around town. After years of lurking behind online profiles, Boston's best are coming out to shake hands in the flesh!


Last night I attended the first TECH Cocktail Boston event, which drew a crowd of 500 to the Tequila Rain nightclub on Landsdowne Street.  That's me with Jeremy from FlipKey and Steve from TripAdvisor.Techcocktailboston

TECH Cocktail is a series of mixer events, founded by Frank Gruber and Eric Olson, opened to bloggers, technology enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and other business professionals interested in the technology arena. The evening featured a free open bar, music, and fun activities from the sponsors: Compete.com, ZoomInfo, Northbridge Venture Partners, and Geezeo.com. View the Tech Cocktail Flickr set for photos.

But wait! There's more...

Continue reading "So Many Industry Events!" »