The month of July is a beautiful thing not to be wasted. Beyond sun and warm waters, there’s a fleeting island of opportunity that exists solely within the borders of 50 states. Some call it Fourth of July; I prefer to think of it as Manifest Destiny.
As we prepare for Opening Day at Fenway Park, while simultaneously being blanketed in snow, fond memories of its sun soaked 100th anniversary carry promise of summer’s approach. Last year, I wanted to capture this anniversary and the activity it incited across the city. After considering how to accomplish this, I landed on the team that is in the heart of the spectacle, the Boston Pedicab. With the help of a close friend, we attached a GoPro to the handlebars of his pedicab. Taking pictures every few seconds, we captured over 3,500 images of the day.
In the summer of 2010, The Ad Club was anticipating their 10th Anniversary of the Hatch Awards, the largest creative awards celebration in New England. To promote the fall event and meet the renowned judges, we partnered with the SCVNGR team to create a trek leading to the “Meet the Judges” pre-event location. I was charged with designing the locations, clues, and general operation of the trek. Following these key guidelines, it was a huge success.
As you are well aware, it’s snowing sideways with only more on its way. Plenty are adventuring outside in Allston to play in the snow, including some brave souls riding bikes. A few vans are also breaking the driving van to try to offer cab rides to walkers. Here are the photos my ventures produced:
We could all use more time in our day. While we’re all limited to 24 hours, there are plenty of tools to squeeze the most out of our time. These 10 tools are some of my favorite for a variety of applications. Hopefully they can serve you just as well!
Traditions make the most of the social fibers that string us all together. They connect friends, evoke culture, and normally share culinary delights with the power to forge bonds between even the biggest Debbie-downers. Hailing from a family that lacks our own, I’ve taken it upon myself to create a few original traditions to pioneer forward. May I introduce: The Thanksgiving Redo.
This tradition actually grew from tragedy. After a visit to a friends the night before Thanksgiving, I started cycling home. Only a block away from my apartment, I simultaneously turned to check a car behind me and hit a crater of a pothole. My feet were still on my petals after I flew over the handlebars and stopped rolling down the street, but my collarbone was in pieces. After immediately ensuring the three girls that witnessed the accident that I was perfectly fine, I went home and passed out.
The following day was spent in the ER, following a quick trip to Hubspot.tv for a quick beer and taping. Thus, my holiday was stolen, and I was ripe for revenge. I returned to Boston with one arm, and prepared an entire Thanksgiving dinner to feed friends. The Thanksgiving Redo was born.
The week following Thanksgiving provides the perfect storm of elements to create a holiday party. Friends return to their routine home, people normally need to recover from their relatives, and, most importantly, all Thanksgiving food goes on severe discount. A quick trip to Market Basket provides $10 turkeys, cheap herbs, potatoes galore, and discounted fresh cranberries.
Here are the secrets to preparation: Always get fresh cranberries, they go quickly. Three bags are ideal, two will suffice. Add some fresh orange juice and zest and you’re golden. Brine the turkeys. It makes the juiciest turkey you could imagine, brings out the flavor of the meat, and makes the cooking time only four hours. For our redo I cook two turkeys, brining them for 24 hours beforehand as they defrost. Follow the brining mix below, invite all your friends over, and prepare to hear all the stories of drunken relatives.
- 6 Quarts of Chicken (or vegetable) broth
- Fresh Thyme
- Fresh Sage
- Fresh Rosemary
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- Salt, Pepper, and Lemon Zest
Counting the number of holidays on the calendar, it quite obvious one’s favorite comes down to personal preference. Depending on the ranking order of colored eggs, chocolate hearts, or Turduckens, your favorite time of year could fall on any season. However, for those from the “Live Free or Die” state, an assumption that the Fourth of July takes precedent over the rest, isn’t stretching the truth.
Growing up on Arlington Pond in North Salem, NH did provide its advantages. Primarily, it served as a front row seat for a rural interpretation of true independence. All the festivities start with a short road trip to Sparks Fly Fireworks in Concord. Not only supplying the most visually stimulating fireworks, Sparks Flys also sells everything at buy-one-get-one-free. Thus, you buy a 500 gram Openfire cake, you get a 500 gram Loud-n-Rowdy cake. Perfection. Next, you secure a lakeside, or better yet a boat, spot to watch as neighbors compete in a fireworks display and thousands of dollars explode overhead.
Feeling a bit more rowdy? Many individuals (including my younger brother) take it to the next level by shooting a charge out of a cannon. Yes, you read that correctly. You’ll know it happened when the foundation of your house shakes, and an applauding chorus resounds across the lake. Roman candle fights push the limits, as well as trucks riding by shooting fireworks out of their bed into the tree canopy above. When the last cake is fired and the bonfire dies, you’ve just experienced a true holiday celebration.
God bless America.
Three hour, late night rides bundled in blankets. Brief naps and watching lights stream by would pass the time. Perhaps even a bulky portable TV would glow a Disney VHS. An arbitrary battle over the minivan’s wide back seat would normally commence the journey, yet every trip to Grandma’s house would end in the same warm welcome.
While the traditions and destinations differ, most trips to one’s Grandma’s house evoke the same warm connotations. Secret treats, funny tasting water, treasured ice cream shops, and vintage furniture make for plenty of delights to explore. Some of the Wolynec traditions involve flying paper airplanes from the top of the stairs into the living room, mandatory trips to Pepe’s Pizza, double-cones at Dip Top, sledding hills on the golf course, put-put golf on the driveway, and wiffle ball games.
Making the home further unique was my grandfather’s architectural design of the lofty living room, cubby entry mudroom, and my grandmother’s garden spanning the entire property. On my last visit to this home I captured the elements of this place that hold the greatest significance from years past.