Friday, October 23, 2009

HalloweenTown this weekend

HalloweenTown looks like fun for kids, and it's close to the Children's Museum too.

If you are a Zipcar customer, you can donate $5 to pay for a kid to go to HalloweenTown, and Zipcar will give you $10 credit. Win-win.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Boston Noir

What a great article by Peter Keough in the Phoenix about Boston Noir.
When I was growing up in Roslindale a few decades back — among tribes of ignorant, second-generation immigrant kids whose favorite words began with “f” and “n” and who liked to torture small animals and beat up small children before they moved on to their future vocations as petty criminals, dead dope users, or real-estate agents — it didn’t occur to me that this was a setting rich in literary and cinematic potential.

Now with films like "Mystic River" and "The Departed", there is a Boston Noir look - low cloudy skies, closed-in streets lined with triple-decker houses, dark clothes. And now a book, Boston Noir, to be launched on Saturday at the Boston Book Festival by writers including Dennis Lehane.

Like everything Boston related, there is more than a little bit of Irish influence in Boston Noir. I've always thought that Seamus Heaney's poem "Whatever you say, say nothing" reminds me of parts of Boston as much as the north of Ireland:
Smoke-signals are loud-mouthed compared with us:
Manoeuverings to find out name and school,
Subtle discrimination by addresses
With hardly an exception to the rule
And, from the same poem, this next piece was originally written about northern Irish Nationalists. They were "besieged within the siege" - besieged within the larger Unionist population, who themselves felt under siege in Ireland as a whole. And, figuratively hiding, they were like the Greeks whispering to each other in the Wooden Horse of Troy. But recently it makes me think of the working class Irish neighbourhoods of Boston, themselves feeling "besieged within the siege" of other minority groups who themselves would feel under siege in America as a whole.
Where half of us, as in a wooden horse
Were cabin'd and confined like wily Greeks,
Besieged within the siege, whispering morse.
All of which makes for paranoia, suspicion, tribalism, and, of course, noir. I'll try to head down to the Boston Public Library on Saturday to get a copy of Boston Noir.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Premier League soccer in Boston?

Speculation that an English Premier League game could be staged at Fenway Park. However: (a) Fenway Park is pretty small for the crowds would go to a Premier League game, (b) I can't see the Premier League putting a game in Boston before it runs one in New York or Los Angeles [or indeed Dublin or Dubai or Shanghai], (c) if the game is after the baseball season, then it may be too cold in Boston, or there could be snow, and (d) FIFA would not allow it.

Nice idea though.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Real housewives of Boston

This comment on UniversalHub about an imagined "Real housewives of Boston" (Episode 1 set at the Corrib in West Roxbury) is so funny, it deserves a post of its own:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hurling out

Legendary Cork hurling goalkeeper Dónal Óg Cusack has come out as gay. It really says something that this is not a big deal in Ireland. Paddy Power bookmakers have opened a book on which sport will have the next coming-out. Darts, golf(?), and boxing are all low on the list.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Code for free in-flight WiFi when flying Boston to BWI

If you're flying Boston to BWI on Airtran, you can get free WiFi from now until the end of 2009 by following these steps:

1. On the plane, select the "gogoinflight" SSID
2. Sign in or click "Buy" to create a new account.
3. On the "Payment Info" page, enter this code (case sensitive): BOSBWI
4. Click "Update Total".

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hilary Clinton loved in Ireland

She really is, as shown from her walkabout from Hogan's Pub to McDaid's Pub in Dublin this weekend. I was in the front of the crowd when Bill Clinton spoke in front of Trinity College. Hillary walked over, and a guy half-jokingly asked "do y'have any sisters Hillary?".

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ireland votes Yes

Today's Irish Times features the universal Irish symbol for "Yes" - I guy in a pub drinking a pint of Guinness and another guy giving a thumbs-up. We don't have a word for "Yes" (or "No") in the Irish language so this is what we do instead. The "Yes" vote is interpreted as Ireland choosing to stay in the EU, and stay part of the global economy - a good thing for people like me who depend on Ireland being part of a global economy.