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Cell Phone Service on the T

12/31/2007 02:28:00 PM 2 Responses
Starting this past weekend subway riders started noticing that their cell phones were working in certain T stations. InSite Wireless has struck a deal with the MBTA to build and maintain the wireless infrastructure for the underground and aboveground T stations.

The T will be paid at least $4 million over 15 years, with additional paments as the network expands. I think the way it works is InSite sets the system up and then charges the cell phone carriers to use it.

As of right now, those folks with cell service from T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon can make and receive calls at the following stations:

Park Street, Downtown Crossing, Government Center, and State Street.

I haven't had the pleasure of testing this out yet, I usually walk wherever it is I need to go. But maybe sometime this week, I will try to make my way over to Park Street just to test it out.

Anyone out there use their phones underground yet? BostonNOW reports that the service is a little spotty underground so calls get dropped pretty frequently. That's ok, just stick to txt messaging while underground. At least you can still be reached.



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Grezzo the 100% Raw Organic Vegan Restaurant

12/29/2007 02:21:00 PM 5 Responses
No need to rub your eyes, it's true. Something that I once saw in an episode of Sex and the City (Yes, I've seen a couple of episodes) is coming to Boston. Chef Alissa Cohen is planning on opening Grezzo, a 100% raw organic vegan restaurant next month in the North End.

What exactly does raw mean? Apparently it means nothing will be heated over 114 degrees "in order to retain enzymes believed to be crucial for optimum digestion and absorption of nutrients.

What can you expect to eat there? Saffron-infused butternut squash soup, wild mushroom ravioli with asparagus cream and dark chocolate ganache truffles.

But the aforementioned ravioli, cream, and ganache are stylized replicas. The end result of soaking, sprouting, dehyrating, blending, and juicing basic ingredients to render them more digestible, then assembling incredibly complicated, labor intensive dishes.

It really does not sound very tasty to me. I don't think I'm even curious to try it. If i'm going to the North End, you'll find me at Giaccomo's or The Daily Catch. Anyone out there excited for this place? Let me know your thoughts. Click (here) to read the current chat about Grezzo on Chowhound or click (here) to read more about Alissa Cohen.



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Famous Bostonian's Homes

12/29/2007 02:12:00 PM 0 Responses
Happy Holidays everyone. I took a couple days off because yesterday was my birthday and I've been home visiting my family.

If you've been hiding in a rock for the past several years, Improper Bostonian has the listings of the 'reported' homes of a few famous Bostonians. I guess they say 'reported' because these folks probably have multiple homes (one for each day of the week).

Tom Brady - Back Bay
The top of two floors of a Beacon Street townhouse inbetween Fairfield and Exeter.
I thought he was selling those though (here). The Improper goes on to say that Mr. Brady owns multiple properties in the area so chances of seeing him at the townhouse are lower.

John Kerry - Beacon Hill
Lives in a five-floor townhouse on the corner of Pinkney Street and Louisburg Square.

John Malkovich - Harvard Square
Lives in a $2.8 million dollar mansion in Harvard Square off Craigie Street.
This one surprised me. Does J. Malkovich really live in Boston? That's pretty awesome. I've never read or heard anything about him being in the Boston area.



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1 Year Free Zipcar Membership or $10 Coupon

12/26/2007 06:43:00 PM 0 Responses
Looks like BostonNOW and Zipcar are teaming up for a holiday promotion that will allow new subscribers to get 1 Year Membership for FREE! My favorite price. =)

Congratulations & Happy Holidays! You have received a free 1 year membership to Zipcar! This is a savings of $75.

No deposit. No monthly commitment.

What does it cost to drive?
From $9/hour and $68/day (any 24-hour period), depending on the car model. Gas, reserved parking, insurance and 180 FREE miles* are included.

What about housemates or family?
Once you join, you can add other drivers to your account. It's $25 to apply. There's a $50 annual fee. You may wish you weren't related — but they'll at least be happy about it.

Click (here) for a link to the promo page and save yourself $75 bucks.

For those of you that are already members here's a $10 coupon code. Go (here) to redeem the coupon and login using your user id. Then use coupon code "ZIPBOSNOW" to claim your $10. The code expires on Feb 04, 2008.


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The Jasmine Sola Soap Opera

12/26/2007 03:49:00 PM 0 Responses
Wow, tis the season for business related drama. First there was the week long saga of Alpha Omega (here) and now the January issue of Boston Magazine has a fairly sordid tale about the former owner of Jasmine Sola - Luciano Manganella.

So first off a little history lesson. Jasmine Sola was founded by Luciano Manganella some thirty years ago. In 2005, New York and Company purchased Jasmine Sola in a $30+ million dollar deal and retained him as President. Two short years later, New York and Company announced that it was closing Jasmine Sola. You probably read about it in one of my original blog entries (here).

So where's the soap opera you ask? That's next. Apparently Manganella was dismissed by Jasmine Sola amid accusations from six women that they were sexually harrassed by him. Lawyers got involved; arbitrators got involved. Sounds like it got messy.

In the end, things may come full circle for everyone:

But Manganella is not completely without hope. Late last fall, he made a bid to repurchase Jasmine Sola..... After that offer was rejected, he tried again and early last month received a more receptive response; the deal, if it goes through, would let him buy back five Jasmine locations and start over.

Click (here) to read the article.



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Merry Christmas Everyone!

12/25/2007 11:17:00 AM 0 Responses
Merry Christmas!
Hope everyone got some cool stuff this year.





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Bob Cramer - Serial CEO

12/24/2007 10:08:00 AM 0 Responses
I always get a little excited when I'm reading a regular magazine (not one that's Boston-focused) and then the article ends up taking place in Boston. Yes, I'm weird like that.

So imagine how happy I was when I read the latest issue of Inc Magazine (a magazine about entrepreneurship) and the cover story was on Bob Cramer - a Boston resident. I like to consider myself a fledgling entrepreneur and it's inspirational to read stories like the one on Mr. Cramer.

The article covers Cramer's attempts to get VC funding for a company called Nimbit that he was helping out while juggling offers from VCs to run companies they had invested in. I got a taste of the VC game when I did the 50K competition while I was in school at MIT (I hear they've since increased it to 100K).

I won't ruin the ending for you because I think it's a worthwhile article to read for any of you out there that want to work in start ups. Click (here) to read the article for yourself.



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Paradise Rock Club To Be Sold

12/22/2007 03:04:00 PM 0 Responses
I've seen a fair number of concerts over the years at the Paradise Rock Club. It's a decent venue - fairly T accessible. The Globe is reporting today that the current owner, Lyons Group, is going to be selling the Paradise Rock Club.

Local bar entrepreneur Joe Dunne is partnering with LiveNation to make the purchase. With backing from such a big concert-promotion company I'm sure that the future holds some really great concerts for the Paradise

The Lyons Group, run by entrepreneur Patrick Lyons, operates several entertainment facilities in Boston including the club Avalon, which is now undergoing a major renovation and expansion on Lansdowne Street.

The official said a purchase and sale agreement has been signed and a transfer of the liquor license from Lyons to the new owners is pending approval.

Dunne owns Lir, a restaurant and bar on Boylston Street in the Back Bay, and McGann's Pub, a bar and restaurant in the Bulfinch Triangle near North Station that is outfitted like an Irish country pub and sometimes features live music.

Click (here) to read the original article.



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Equinox Holiday Sale - Join By 12/31

12/22/2007 02:32:00 PM 0 Responses
New Years is only a little over a week away. Crazy right? And then it'll be 2008. And all the New Years Resolutions will be made. I'm sure all the gyms are banking on it. Anyhoo, Equinox is having another promo sale where they'll waive the initiation fee if you join by December 31st.

Equinox
Back Bay
131 Dartmouth St.
617.578.8918

Offer expires 12.31.07. Valid for Select and Regional Access Memberships only. Special pricing available for All Access Memberships. Certain restrictions apply.

Let me know if you'd like a copy of the email and I will forward it to you.

Also, there's the member referral promo at the Sports Club LA for those that are interested (here).



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Alpha Omega - Followup

12/21/2007 11:24:00 AM 3 Responses
Yesterday it was only on the front page of the Business section of the Globe. Today it's Front Page news. It looks like Alpha Omega might be declaring bankruptcy and perhaps the assets will be sold off by the bank.

Financial documents reviewed by the Globe show Handa's debts were mounting, and yesterday his lawyer said Handa's bank had taken possession of the assets at his upscale jewelry stores, which were closed for business five days before Christmas.

Middlesex County records show Handa remortgaged his house and a second piece of property he owned about a dozen times in the last 11 years, often for million-dollar-plus sums.

"Raman is quite ill, but he's been in touch with people at his company and with the company's attorneys by e-mail and we've talked to him on the phone as well," said his lawyer, Richard E. Mikels."

I will admit that it's a little suspicious that the owner and his entire family have left the country due to his illness at the same time that his business is going under. But, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt because as we all know - sometimes when it rains, it pours. Here's wishing Mr. Handa a speedy recovery and that the tides change for his business and all his employees.

PS. I'd love to come help out, but I don't think I can afford anything in your stores.

PPS. Read the Globe article (here) for yourself.

UPDATE 12/22/07
Here's a link (here) to another follow up article from today's Globe that the management at AO has been restructured and the stores will reopen.



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Newbury TGIF = Papa Razzi

12/21/2007 10:56:00 AM 0 Responses
I can still vaguely remember when the TGIF on Newbury Street went out of business - I believe it was several years ago. I always wondered why it had lain vacant for so long - isn't restaurant space on Newbury St a prime location? Look at 279A Newbury (here). They've gone through at least five iterations in the past seven years.

Anyway, Back Bay Restaurant Group has taken over the space and announced that they're relocating Papa Razzi over to the new space at the corner of Newbury and Exeter. No word yet on what the former Papa Razzi location will be turned into after the relocation - but most likely it'll remain some sort of restaurant.

BBRG is working on purchasing the liquor license from the old Armani Cafe to transfer to their new Newbury location, so that the old Papa Razzi can keep theirs.

Here's a little who's who in the Boston restaurant world. The Back Bay Restaurant Group owns: Papa Razzi, Joe's American Bar & Grill, Bouchee, Abe & Louie's, Atlantic Fish Co, and Charley's Saloon.

The full article I read is in the Back Bay Sun. I can't seem to find the article online, but click (here) to go to the Back Bay Sun's official site. If you're wandering around Back Bay doing some Christmas shopping, pick up a copy.



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Alpha Omega In Financial Trouble?

12/20/2007 02:36:00 PM 0 Responses
There's an article in today's Globe reporting that the luxury jewelry/watch chain Alpha Omega may be in a bit of financial trouble. Like they always say, "Never judge a book by it's cover." I always thought Alpha Omega was a wildly successful jewelry chain. But then again, with all the hub-bub about us going into a recession, I guess no one has extra cash laying around for a Rolex or a Vertu phone.

According to a report on Boston Magazine's website, Raman Handa returned to his native India with his family on Saturday after several weeks of rumors about his business's financial health.

... a salesperson at one store, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that workers were called together by their manager after they clocked out on Tuesday and told "something is going on" and "in a couple of days we will find out if we are going to have new owners or if the stores will be closed."

Alpha Omega has been around in Boston/Cambridge since 1980. Whether the rumors are true or not, Good Luck to all the employees of Alpha Omega - it's a tough time of year to have to be worried about losing your job.

Click (here) to read the Globe article for yourself.



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Boston's Best Hot Chocolate

12/20/2007 11:59:00 AM 1 Response

Citysearch just emailed me a list of what they have determined to be the top five best places for hot chocolate. On this particular list, I've been to Burdick and Caffe Vittoria - I would agree that Burdick is the best - I like to have half white chocolate / half milk chocolate when I order hot chocolate at Burdick.

L.A. Burdick
52 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA
Chocoholics come from all over the city to sample this Harvard Square favorite's drinks. By using real ground chocolate (customers choose between dark, ivory and milk), Burdick's produces a rich, thick hot chocolate. TIP: For the ultimate chocolate rush, opt for the milk chocolate variety.

Paris Creperie
278 Harvard St, Brookline, MA
For a different spin, head to this Coolidge Corner cafe for its Nutella hot chocolate. TIP: To really shake things up, ask for mint flavoring.

Upstairs on the Square
91 Winthrop St, Cambridge, MA
The afternoon tea menu's hot cocoa, made with Valrhona chocolate, housemade marshmallows and Chantilly cream, is worth seeking out. TIP: While it's only listed on the afternoon tea menu, the hot chocolate can be ordered after dinner, if you ask nicely.

Caffe Vittoria
296 Hanover St, Boston, MA
This North End institution serves up an authentic Italian "cioccolato caldo," topped with plenty of whipped cream. TIP: For the ultimate sweet tooth fix, order an authentic slice of tiramisu along with your hot chocolate.

Flour Bakery and Cafe
1597 Washington St, Boston, MA
In keeping with this cafe's approach to making everything in-house, hot chocolate gets a slightly bitter kick from housemade bittersweet chocolate ganache. TIP: Order some homemade flavored marshmallows on the side to liven things up.

Click (here) to read the article for yourself. Apparently, I have three more hot chocolate places to try out this winter.



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Sip & Shop at Whim - Tonight & Tomorrow

12/20/2007 11:40:00 AM 0 Responses
There's two beverages that keep us working folk going (and probably college students too) - that would be coffee and alcohol. One for those painful mornings and one for those late nights (which end up in painful mornings). What happens when you combine the two? You get Starbucks Liqueurs. Never had any myself, but I bet it's pretty tasty.

Whim Boutique (253 Newbury) and Starbucks Liqueurs are teaming up for two after hours Sip & Shop events tonight and tomorrow night 7pm-9pm. Click on the image below to get more details.

According to Reader Holly - Whim is now offering 30% off everything in the store and guests enjoy complimentary cocktails and gifts!


This is a good opportunity to finish up some of that last minute Christmas shopping. Free booze is also a nice perk.



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Sexy Santa Lingerie Show - 12/19

12/19/2007 12:49:00 PM 0 Responses
Happy Hump Day everyone! Halfway through the week and hitting the home stretch until the Christmas holidays. There's really no better motivator to make it through the day than the promise of hot women and alcohol.

The Place (2 Broad Street) is hosting the Sexy Santa Lingerie Show tonight 12/19 starting at 10pm.

This is the biggest night this year! The most drop-dead beautiful girls in Boston showing off the hottest new product line of sexy lingerie from Kiss Me Lingerie!!


I'm not sure I'll be able to attend, It's been two solid weeks of late night conference calls with folks in Asia for me, but for any of you that do plan on attending - have a shot for me. And then send me photos of the fashion show tomorrow. =)



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NonBoston - Jamie Lynn Spears Pregnant

12/19/2007 12:34:00 PM 2 Responses
I know this isn't Boston related (although there was a blurb in the Boston Globe about it this morning) but I'm just curious to know what you guys think.

Britney Spears' 16 yr old younger sister has announced to the world via OK Magazine that she is three months pregnant. My question is not why did she choose to announce it publicly like that, because I know that answer - MONEY. My question is this: Her boyfriend is 19 years old. Shouldn't he be in jail?



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Denzel Washington at Harvard Tonight - 12/18

12/18/2007 11:56:00 AM 0 Responses
Denzel Washington is going to be in town tonight for a special screening of his new movie "The Great Debaters." According to the Harvard Crimson, he will be attending a black-tie premiere at the Carpenter Center on Dec. 18 (here).

The Great Debaters tells the the true-to-life events of Wiley College during 1935 - the year the debate team from the all-black Texas school took on a prestigious white university to become the first black college to win the National Championship (here).

I don't think this is the type of event that us normal folk would have been able to get tickets to, but if you know any Harvard students, their was apparently a lottery for students to get tickets.

Per usual, though, if you go to the usual celebrity haunts like the Four Seasons, the Ritz Carlton, or Boston Public, etc you might be able to see him.



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Christmas Celtic Sojourn Snow Passes

12/17/2007 03:19:00 PM 3 Responses
How has the weather been impacting you? Last Thursday, my flight to Chicago was canceled due to the snowstorm and then yesterday I had the bright idea to walk to the Border's Bookstore in Downtown Crossing to buy a book. Between the rain and the huge puddles on the streets, I nearly drowned.

In the Globe today there were a few little blurbs on how lots of concerts and shows were cancelled or postponed due to performers not being able to make it to their venues. Amongst the affected shows was the Christmas Celtic Sojourn show that I blogged about earlier (here).

As a result, they're adding a show this week and giving Snow Passes to those that missed the show on last Thursday and yesterday due to weather.

An extra show of A Christmas Celtic Sojourn with Brian O’Donovan has been added for this Thursday night (12/20) to accommodate theatergoers that couldn’t make the show yesterday and last Thursday because of the storms. Patrons with unused tickets who wish to receive snow passes for the added performance can call the Cutler Majestic Theatre Box office at 617-824-8000 or visit the theatre box office during regular hours (10am-6pm.)

I wish everyone was this considerate. Last year, I had tickets to see the Pussycat Dolls when they performed with the Black Eyed Peas. PCD didn't show - I was pissed. And then more recently the Decemberists canceled their concert tour. Who knows when they'll be back.



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Dog Rental Service Coming to Boston

12/17/2007 02:27:00 PM 2 Responses
Apparently people aren't happy that FlexPetz is coming to Boston. It was frontpage news in the Globe this morning and Michael Graham was talking about it this morning on the radio.

FlexPetz is a California-based dog rental company. I first read about it a little while ago when it came to New York. I'm not a pet person so I shouldn't really talk. But from my observation, it's just so much harder to have a dog up here than it was when I lived in Texas.

In Texas, your dog can just run around in and out of the house year round as it pleased (if you had a doggy door). In Boston though (especially downtown) no one has a yard and it's also cold for much of the year. At my former job, a coworker of mine had a HUGE dog and she had to leave work everyday at 5pm to go walk her dog otherwise it tore her condo apart. It just seems like such a huge hassle in the city.

So, in my opinion in a city like Boston, for those that travel a lot for work or just can't get home at the same time everyday- Flexpetz seems like a good idea.

My only question is, what happens if you're renting a dog and that dog bites/attacks somebody. Who's liable?

Click (here) to read the Globe article yourself.



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Intimacy of Boston @ Copley Opens Today

12/17/2007 01:23:00 PM 0 Responses
A new lingerie store opens today December 17th at Copley. Intimacy is a European lingerie boutique that originated in Atlanta. If my memory is correct, its store is next to Barney's in the Copley Mall.

The boutique carries: La Perla, Cosabella, Lisee Charmel, Hanky Panky, etc. They also offfer a free 30 minute one-on-one fitting consultation. More info and reservations made on their official website (here).

PS. If you're in the market for Hanky Panky's (the world's most comfortable thong according to the Wall Street Journal) - they sell them at Jasmine Sola. And as you probably know, everything at Jasmine Sola is on sale (here).



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1000 Words - TJ Maxx Elves

12/16/2007 05:05:00 PM 0 Responses

The TJ Maxx Elves & Some Random Dude
Downtown Crossing
Click (here) to Read More



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STIX Restaurant Review

12/16/2007 04:49:00 PM 2 Responses
I first blogged about STIX in October (here) right before it opened. Well the reviews are in and apparently the place is not so good. The owners of 33 who opened this place up in Bomboa's former space seem to have missed the target. Here is an excerpt from the Globe review from this weekend.

Unfortunately, these $9 signature plates were our least favorite part of the meal. The shrimp on the Thai coconut lime skewers was overcooked and accompanied by a cloying lime-pineapple-sesame chutney. The tuna sashimi on ginger mango skewers had an already-been-chewed texture, and the portobello mushrooms on garlic-herb skewers left a bitter, burnt taste in our mouths.

To the owners of this new restaurant, if you're reading I have a few tips for you:

I already complained previously in my other blog entry (here) that $9 for three sticks is WAY overpriced. You also shouldn't force diners to purchase three of one thing per order. Price your yakitori (if you can call it that) at $1.50-$2 a stick and let us mix and match - one stick at a time.

You might also want to have a talk with your chefs. That little excerpt above from the Globe was descriptive enough to make me throw up a little in my mouth.

The one good thing about the review? Apparently there's lots of women there:

There were so many women there - almost all with long, straight, salon-fresh hair, tight dresses, and high heels - that one of my dining companions took it upon himself to count: 35 women and 7 men. Not a bad ratio for a guy on the lookout.

Click (here) to read the Globe article for yourself.



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Feast of Seven Fishes WINNER!

12/14/2007 06:16:00 PM 0 Responses
Congratulations to Beantown Bloggery reader Christine Delany for winning the Feast of Seven Fishes Contest (here). Apologies to everyone for not posting earlier. Due to inclement weather, I've been stuck in Chicago all day with no internet.


Christine, I'll put your free copy of The Feast of Seven Fishes in the mail tomorrow (as long as they stop delaying my flight and I actually get home today). Stay warm everyone. Have a great weekend!

PS. To all those PR and Marketing folks out there with things to promote - SEND ME STUFF! I will give it away on this blog. My readers love getting free stuff (who doesn't?).



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Sports Club LA Promotion - 50% Off and More

12/13/2007 11:48:00 AM 1 Response
I received an email a couple days ago from a Beantown Bloggery reader interested in joining the Sports Club LA. So, last night, I went to the membership office to see what kind of discount I can get for her via a member referral. I wanted to open it up to anyone else who's on the fence. Details are below. If you're interested in joining (serious folks only), send me an email and I will forward you the details along with my membership number so that you can use me as a referral. Here's a mini-excerpt from the email I got from the membership director.

Glad to hear that you enjoy the club so much that you recommend it to friends. For new members that Join in December we can take 50% off the $650 initial investment for the health membership. If your friends join by the 24 th of Dec we can take and additional $50 off of that ($275). Additionally, for new Health members that come in and join at the same time we can give them both the family add-on rate of $150/month as opposed to the standard $165/month. Also, for new health members that join by the 24 th of December we are offering December and January complimentary.

One and a half months free is pretty awesome. It's almost New Years Resolution time so now you can lose weight and save money at the same time. Two birds with one stone. w00t!



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Casting Call for ABC's "America's Prom Queen"

12/13/2007 11:10:00 AM 0 Responses
I received a press release from ABC Family that they're going to be doing a casting call for what I assume is some sort of new reality tv show this upcoming Saturday 12/15 at 33 Lounge.

ABC Family is on a nationwide search for the next TV's America's Prom Queen! ABC Family and PB&J Television's new series "America's Prom Queen" are searching for girls who will live in a story book mansion, compete to be crowned the nation's Prom Queen and have the chance to win a dream prize package! If you are ages 18-20 and dream of being prom queen, we want you! Bring your friends!

18 to 20 year old girls - so all you highschool seniors and college freshmen (who want to relive prom) hop to it. More information below:

Saturday, December 15th
11am-5pm
33 Restaurant & Lounge
33 Stanhope StreetBoston, MA 02116
EMAIL: kristincastingshows@yahoo.com for a VIP audition appointment

For more information or to apply please log on to www.abcfamily.com/prom or www.pbandjtv.com



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Upcoming Concert Ticket Sales

12/13/2007 10:56:00 AM 0 Responses
A couple of upcoming concerts go on sale tomorrow and saturday: Lenny Kravitz on 1.31.08 and Mika on 2.1.08. I don't know anything about Mika other than the fact that PerezHilton loves to blog about the guy. I haven't listened to his music at all, but I figure if he shows up on Perez, there must be lots of people out there that want to see him in concert.

Tickets for Mika go on sale Fri, 12/14/07 noon EST. He's performing at the Orpheum on 2.1.08. Click (here) to go to the Ticketmaster page.

Tickets for Lenny Kravitz go on sale Sat, 12/15/07 10am EST. He's also performing at the Orpheum (one day earlier) on 1.31.08. Click (here) to go to the Ticketmaster page.



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Martin Scorsese To Film in Boston

12/12/2007 11:18:00 AM 0 Responses
Apparently Martin Scorsese is in town in search of a location to film his next movie. Apparently, the town of Medfield is likely going to be the winner. Originally planned for Worcester (but unavailable due to construction) - the former Medfield State Hospital might be used to film Scorses's next film: Shutter Island.

Shutter Island is the movie adaptation a Dennis Lehane novel about a murderer in the 1950's that disappears but is believed to be hiding in a hospital for the criminally insane.

I know what you're thinking: Since Cameron Diaz and the crew of "The Box" are finishing up and leaving town soon, which stars can we expect next? According to the Globe, already signed up for the movie are: Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams, Ben Kingsley, and Mark Ruffalo.

Click (here) to read the Globe blurb for yourself.



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Robert Graham Trunk Show - 12/13

12/12/2007 11:10:00 AM 0 Responses
Robert Graham is holding a trunk show at Frank Stella Clothiers tomorrow, Thursday 12/13. If you haven't heard of Robert Graham, you can check out his website (here). Just be careful if you're at work, the website has music - so mute your computer's speakers before you click.

An evening of style and fun as a DJ spins and hors d’oeuvres and wine are passed at the Robert Graham trunk show at Frank Stella featuring the designer brand’s holiday and resort collections. Robert Graham representatives will be on hand to offer style tips, gift giving suggestions and work with customers one on one to find their best Robert Graham look. A sneak peak at the spring collection will also be available. Buy Robert Graham, receive a fun gift with purchase item.


The event runs from 6pm - 9pm at Frank Stella (220 Clarendon Street between Boylston and Newbury Streets)


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Shear Madness Discount Code

12/12/2007 10:34:00 AM 1 Response
I went to go see Shear Madness the very first year I was in Boston. It was interesting, pretty entertaining. I don't think I'd see it again though.

For all of you out there that haven't seen it yet, they're running a promo through 12/23 for $10 off all tickets by using the promo code "NOW".

For Boston area college students out there, Shear Madness also does the Student Rush Tickets which are: $20 per ticket at the box office. (one ticket per college ID, available 1 hour prior to showtime, subject to availability)

Discover for yourself why over 8 million people around the world have seen Shear Madness, America's favorite comedy. Set in a hairstyling salon that is the scene of a wacky murder, Shear Madness is the uproarious whodunit where the audience gets to solve the crime.

Click (here) to go to the official website and get more info and to purchase tickets.



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Feast of Seven Fishes Contest

12/11/2007 03:00:00 PM 0 Responses
Have you ever heard of The Feast of Seven Fishes comic? I hadn't either until now. It's a comic book that is part comic and part cookbook. Intriguing combination. I've got a copy now (Thanks, Christina!) and just started reading it.

A little salty, a little racy, the Feast of the Seven Fishes is always honest. From the moment it debuted in September of 2004, the online comic strip developed a loyal audience who rabidly followed the romantic and culinary adventures of an Italian-American family preparing for and celebrating the traditional Christmas Eve seafood feast.

Well, the Feast of Seven Fishes crew is on tour this week and will be stopping in Boston on 12/14 at the Boston Beanstock Coffee Co (10 High St. Boston) from 4pm - 8pm. In honor of this, I'm giving away a free copy of the book to one lucky reader. It's been a while since I've given something away - so I figure it's about time.

If you'd like a chance to win a free copy of The Feast of Seven Fishes, subscribe to the Beantown Bloggery via RSS or email. Then, send me an email with your name and address (I'll be mailing the comic book to the winner) with "Feast of Seven Fishes" in the subject heading.

The winner will be chosen on Friday, 12/14 at noon EST.

PS. Feast of the Seven Fishes is currently in pre-production to be made into a movie set for release around Thanksgiving 2008

PPS. Click (here) to get more information on this comic strip or go (here) to read their blog.


Want to enter the Contest? Email me.
beantownblog@gmail.com




Christmas Shopping - Bloomingdale's Coupon

12/11/2007 11:35:00 AM 1 Response
For those high rollers out there with expensive taste, here's a coupon code for Bloomingdales.com that will help out a little bit. I don't think I've ever purchased anything from there, but I did try on a pair of True Religion jeans once. I still don't understand how jeans can cost $200 dollars.

CORRECTION: I was just reminded that I did purchase two Burberry scarves from Bloomingdale's a couple years ago as Christmas presents to my brother and sister. So I have shopped there before. My bad.



Happy Shopping!



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Christmas Shopping - Coupons

12/11/2007 11:30:00 AM 0 Responses
The Globe has been littered with coupons lately - obviously encouraging us to shop for Christmas. I took the liberty of scanning a few of the coupons in case they are of use to folks out there.

20% off your entire purchase at Bed Bath & Beyond (usually its just 20% off 1 item)

20% off your entire purchase at the Christmas Tree Shops

$20 off $100 at REI, REI.com, or REI-OUTLET.com - the promo code is "HOLIDAY7"



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Email me at beantownblog@gmail.com




TJ Maxx Elves Touring the City - 12/12

12/10/2007 11:49:00 AM 0 Responses
Oh, TJ Maxx (and Marshalls), I can't really decide how I feel about you guys. Things were great for a while and then you had to go and lose 100 million credit card numbers (here). Identity theft is one of those things that terrifies me (almost as much as clowns and those weird hairless cats), so imagine how pissed off I've been after this incident. Click (here) to read about how I'm dealing with it.

Anyhoo, the TJ Maxx elves are going to be touring the city and giving away free stuff. Yay for free stuff - the key to my heart.

A fleet of 'stylish' elves will leave the North Pole early and hit the Boston streets to spread holiday shopping cheer, prizes and fun beginning on December 12th. The elves will do good deeds throughout the city, hand out a Holiday Gift Guide filled with creative tips on entertaining, holiday gift ideas and more, as well as prizes worth up to $1,000. The elves will also be equipped with holiday giveaways including candy canes and t-shirts!

Wednesday, December 12
Downtown Crossing (10:30 - 2) South Station (2 - 6:30)
Thursday, December 13
Downtown Crossing (10:30 - 2) Faneuil Hall Area (2 - 6:30)
Friday, December 14
Boylston Street (10:30 - 2) Newbury Street (2 - 6:30)
Saturday, December 15
Downtown Crossing (10:30 - 2) Faneuil Hall Area (2 - 6:30)
Sunday, December 16
Boylston Street (10:30 - 2) Newbury Street (2 - 6:30)



Know of Any Interesting Boston News or Events That You'd Like to Share?
Email me at beantownblog@gmail.com



A Christmas Celtic Sojourn - 12/13

12/10/2007 11:21:00 AM 0 Responses
The Theater District has been a frenzy of activity lately since the Nutcracker opened a week and a half ago. Here's another reason that it's just going to get crazier until after the holidays - the 5th Annual "A Christmas Celtic Sojourn" with Brian O’Donovan opens this Thursday 12/13.

The show is an intimate evening of holiday music, songs, dancing, poetry and stories to warm the heart. A Christmas Celtic Sojourn with Brian O’Donovan received rave reviews last year, playing to sold-out houses. This year, Brian welcomes beloved performers new and old including Solas, singer Aoife O'Donovan, guitarist Dougie MacLean, musicians Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas and dancer Kieran Jordan. A Christmas Celtic Sojourn with Brian O’Donovan takes place live on stage at the Cutler Majestic Theater in Boston.


Click (here) to go to the official website for more information (there's an 8 minute video on the site that has a bit of a preview if you're interested in checking it out). Or if you'd like to buy tickets, go (here).



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1000 Words - Jasmine Sola Clearance

12/09/2007 12:02:00 AM 0 Responses


Click (here) to read all about the Jasmine Sola debacle.



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Email me at beantownblog@gmail.com




Comcast Promotional Offer

12/08/2007 11:43:00 PM 3 Responses
Welcome to the newest affiliate on the Beantown Bloggery - Comcast. I know what you're thinking, cable companies are the devil. But what I'm hoping to do is help ease the pain with a special promotional deal that you can get through my link below. Why pay full price if you don't have to?

Here's some of the stuff that folks were able to get in the past:

Comcast High Speed Internet for $19.99/month for 6 months
Free Cable Modem and Wireless Router
Up to $300 in Cash Back and Bill Credits
Free HD Service for 12 Months

I've got RCN right now (because my building doesn't have Comcast). And I have to admit, I miss Comcast's High-Def On Demand. Now I hafta tivo all my shows like Entourage and what not if I want to see it in HD cause otherwise if I watch On Demand it's in standard definition.



Click (here) if you're unable to see/click the banner ad above.



Know of Any Interesting Boston News or Events That You'd Like to Share?
Email me at beantownblog@gmail.com




Matt Light Appearance - 12/8

12/07/2007 03:11:00 PM 1 Response
Matt Light is going to be at the new Circuit City in Foxboro tomorrow 12/8 from noon to 1pm. Only a one hour window, so if you're die hard Patriots fan and want to meet him be sure to be on time. For those of you that aren't into sports click (here) to read his bio.

Matt's going to be there for something called the Samsung HD Tour '07 and the most important part is that obviously the free stuff you could potentially get. They're giving away $100 gift cards if you purchase certain Samsung TVs and they've also got a Madden '08 competition where you're competing for a $100 gift card.

All that practice at home playing online versus 12 yr olds has finally paid off. Head over to Foxboro tomorrow and kick some Madden butt and go home with a gift card that you can spend on more video games. I would recommend Guitar Hero III or Rock Band.

And while you're down there, head over to Bass Pro Shops. I blogged about it (here).

PS. Buy a Vizio TV not a Samsung - way better value. Unless of course you're swimming in money. In which case, buy a Samsung (or two Vizio's).



Know of Any Interesting Boston News or Events That You'd Like to Share?
Email me at beantownblog@gmail.com




Passion of the Scrooge - 12/8

12/07/2007 02:57:00 PM 0 Responses
Everyone getting into the holiday spirit yet? I was having a bit of a bah humbug moment earlier this week with that blog that was ripping off my content. But I'm good now. It's Friday afterall. Happy Friday everyone!

For those of you that are looking for something for the whole family to do together this Saturday, consider the 4th Annual Passion of the Scrooge concert.

Selected as a holiday “Critic’s Pick” (Boston Globe) for two consecutive years, The Passion of the Scrooge brilliantly executes the essence of Dicken’s wonderful literary tale. Conceived and composed by Jon Deak, each character is depicted by its instrumental counterpart resulting in the musicians singing, acting, humming, and even clanking the chains of Marley’s ghost. Led by conductor Chris Kim, the 10-member Firebird Ensemble is joined by the exquisite vocal and acting abilities of highly acclaimed baritone Aaron Engebreth as narrator. Other familiar holiday music on the program includes A Not-So Traditional Christmas Medley by Cameron Wilson for strings.

WHEN: Saturday, December 8th @ 2:30pm
WHERE: Fanueil Hall Square, 4 S. Market Street, Boston.

Tickets are $20 Adults; $10 students/seniors. The event is free for children under six. Click (here) to go to the official website for more details.



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25% Off H&M Friends and Family Coupon

12/07/2007 11:44:00 AM 0 Responses
Still shopping for Christmas gifts? Or maybe you just put on a lot of weight during Thanksgiving and now you need new fat pants. Well, H&M is having their Friends and Family promotion starting today, December 7 and running through the entire weekend.

I've converted the coupon from a pdf to a jpg so that I can post it on here. Click on the small picture so it enlarges and then do a 'save as' so that you can print it out. Alternatively, if you want the pdf, shoot me an email and I'll forward it to you.

Happy Shopping!


Know of Any Interesting Boston News or Events That You'd Like to Share?
Email me at beantownblog@gmail.com



Best Public High Schools in MA

12/06/2007 02:34:00 PM 1 Response
This week's US New and World Report has a cover story on the 100 top public schools in America. This is most likely a lot more important to the parents out there, but I will admit that I've thought about this myself. It's mini-storytime, but before I start, you should know that the #1 school this year was Thomas Jefferson High (TJ) in Alexandria, VA.

If you live in Boston, chances are pretty good that you know someone from TJ. I know probably a dozen. Every year, TJ sends LOTS of their students to top notch universities in Boston like MIT and Harvard. One of my frat brothers that I still hang out with a lot is from TJ. Let's just say that his high school education and my high school education (I went to a regular public school in Texas) were drastically different. To quote the article "Boston Latin is so much harder than what we do in college." I don't know where that girl went to school, but my experience was the exact opposite. High school was easy, MIT was hard.

Here is a list of all the public schools and their ranks that made the cut in Massachusetts. Remember that this doesn't include private schools - just Public ones.

#19 Boston Latin (Boston)
#60 Weston High (Weston)
#65 Dover-Sherborn Regional High (Dover)
#70 Wellesley Senior High (Wellesley)
#99 Media and Technology Charter - MATCH (Boston)

Click (here) to access the web version of the article.

Congratulations to the 5 schools that made the list. Thanks for all the hard work to all the teachers and students.



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Email me at beantownblog@gmail.com



Write Your Own Content - Conclusion

12/06/2007 02:14:00 PM 3 Responses
Well this story unfolded fairly fast. Thanks to all the readers out there that sent me emails and comments with tips on how to deal with the problem blog that was stealing content from me and most likely a handful of other blogs - my original post (here).

Just to update everyone, the offending site is down. Thanks again for all your support. I did get one very suspicious comment that I think is from the site owner. Comment was anonymous and said:

Actually, it's your RSS feed that AllBostonBlog was pulling. It was supposed to give you full credit and a link back to your site, but their was a glitch in the system...but they have deleted your feed and posts now...good luck.

Hi Anonymous, how do you know it was supposed to give me full credit? And if it was, why did "they" (when i say "they" i mean "you") take my daily signoff asking folks to email me if they have news or events to share and replace my email address with their (your) own? If you pulled an RSS feed, my email address would still be on there.

Anyhoo, I'm satisfied. AllBostonBlog.com seems to be down now. Score one for bloggers everywhere. *golf clap* To reader Dan who notified me about this originally: I owe you a beer.

UPDATE: According to at least two readers, they can still load the AllBostonBlog page. I however cannot. I dunno if there's some sort of way that they can block my specific IP, but I can't seem to load their page anymore. But I've been told that my materials have been removed.

PS. The owners of AllBostonBlog have tried to post an 'apology' comment to everyone on my blog saying it was unintentional and that it was a glitch in the system. I am not publishing it basically because I don't believe them.



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The North Face NSE Collection - 12/8

12/06/2007 02:00:00 PM 1 Response
This is for all you fashion folks out there and perhaps those of you who like to spend time out in the cold weather and look good doing it. Personally, I shop on the sale racks at clothing stores (so I'm rarely "in-style" and spend as little time outdoors as possible (Me + Cold = Sad).

The North Face NSE Collection, a limited edition special collector's release (fewer than 400 units) direct from Goldwin Japan. The collection is being shipped direct from The North Face Japan for an exclusive, limited U.S. release and is being sold in Boston on December 8th at Bodega in Boston, 6 Clearway Street, Boston, MA.

Here's a link to the store's site and a few more bits of trivia on the collection:

-The North Face NSE Collection was inspired by the white birch forests of Japan's Kitakami Mountains.
-Engineered specifically for Japanese snowboard and ski enthusiasts demanding the highest quality products, the NSE Collection highlights the latest technical innovations in insulation, construction, and waterproof, breathable fabrics.



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Write Your Own Content BIATCH!

12/05/2007 04:55:00 PM 6 Responses
They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery. Apparently AllBostonBlog.com is trying to flatter me. But it's not working. Someone out there is trying to profit off my hours of work. Whoever you are out there (and I know you're reading because you've been copying every single one of my posts word for word except when swapping in your own email address at the end) - know that I loathe you. Check out the imposter (here).

For all of the loyal Beantown Bloggery readers out there, I appreciate you guys. Special thanks to reader Dan who brought this to my attention. Basically here's how it works, someone copies my content, fills his page with ads, and then hopes that people read MY content and click on HIS ads so that he profits. GRRR.......

What have I done about this? So far, I've sent a cease and desist letter to the admin at AllBostonBlog and I've also reported him to Google Adsense as a violation of their policy.

If you guys have a few spare minutes and wouldn't mind doing me a favor, I'd appreciate if you could report this site as well to Google. Click (here) and then select the option that says "This site is distributing someone else's copyrighted material, possibly without permission."

If I don't hear back in two weeks, then my lawyer friends are going to get calls from me.



Know of Any Interesting Boston News or Events That You'd Like to Share?
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Bill Brett Book Signing - 12/6

12/05/2007 02:23:00 AM 0 Responses
Not as exciting as Playboy models, but it's Boston-centric so it's Bloggery material. Bill Brett will be signing copies of his new book "Boston An Extended Family" this upcoming Thursday, December 6th from 6:30pm-8:00pm

The signing will take place at Barmakian Jewelers in Framingham. Address is: 496 Cochituate Rd./Rt 30, Framingham, MA 01701.


RSVP by sending an email to rsvp@globe.com. The event is free, but space is limited.



Know of Any Interesting Boston News or Events That You'd Like to Share?
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Playboy Models at Gypsy Bar - 12/7

12/05/2007 02:07:00 AM 0 Responses
Did I get your attention? Or at least the attention of all the male readers? I thought so. Happy Hump Day. Just like you are, I'm already thinking about the weekend. And this weekend is going to be filled with Playboy Playmates. w00t.

Sara Jean Underwood, Playmate of the Year 2007 and featured guest on E!’s “The Girls Next Door” along with her fellow playmates Penelope Jimenez, Lauren Anderson, Hiromi Oshima, the first and only Japanese Playmate ever, will help Santa Claus hand out goodies to all the wicked boys and girls at Gypsy Bar on Friday December 7th.

Wow....it was actually quite tough to find a picture of her to post that's work-friendly. I'm not in the business of getting anyone fired, so if you want additional pictures, google her yourself. BTW, I highly encourage you to read my blog while at work. It'll help pass the time and plan your evenings and weekends.

Tickets are $10 at the door. Go early - the line at Gypsy is always pretty long. Add on four Playboy models and cold weather, and you DO NOT want to be stuck waiting outside. (Although these lovely ladies would probably make it worth it)



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Hotel at MIT Sold

12/04/2007 04:04:00 AM 1 Response
I'm sure there's plenty a parent of an MIT student that has stayed at the Hotel@MIT in University Park (Central Square area). Well it's being sold and is going to be reintroduced as a Le Meridien hotel.

Has anyone stayed at the Taj hotel (the old Ritz on Arlington) since it was purchased? Is it better than it was when it was the Ritz? The Hotel@MIT is being purchased for $60 million and then the new owners are going to spend another $7.3 million renovating it.

I stayed at a Le Meridien once when I was in Minneapolis. I wasn't that impressed. I would at some point like to stay at the new Intercontinental on the waterfront just to check it out - it looks awesome.

I'll hafta pass on Le Meridien when it's done in 2009. The $200 bucks a night they charge would be better spent on Guitar Hero III and/or Rock Band. Click (here) to read the article for yourself.


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Sports Club LA - 1 Week Membership

12/04/2007 03:58:00 AM 0 Responses
It's ironic that right after I get the email from Equinox, I get a postcard from the Sports Club LA. I guess there's less than one month before everyone starts making those New Years Resolutions and the gym gets really packed. This only lasts for a both two months, though. Then all those resolved folks start dropping like flies and go back to couch surfing.

Anyway, I'm not sure how much of a great promotion this is, because I think you can just about always request a 1 week free membership if you're a prospective new member, but here's the details on the flyer.

Take care of yourself this busy season with a complimentary one-week membership. Plus, receive a special holiday gift when you join by December 24th. Please call 1.800.420.8404 for more details.

Complimentary one-week membership must be activated on or before 12/24/07. Non Transferable. Local residents who are first-time guests only, please.

The 'special holiday gift' could be nice. Also, if you do want to join the Sports Club LA, shoot me an email and let me know. A lot of times, they have promos for member referrals where the new joiner gets a discount on the initiation fee if they're referred by a current member.



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$0 Initiation Fee at Equinox When 2 People Join

12/03/2007 10:49:00 AM 2 Responses
One Equinox promo just ended (it was a Thanksgiving one that I didn't post because it only lasted three days) and now another begins. No offense to Equinox but it smacks of desperation.

After I took my original tour of Equinox (here), the sales person made it a point to say something about how they never do promotions on the initiation fee and that it would only go up as the gym's grand opening promo ended. Well, its been about two and a half months since my tour and there's been at least 3-4 promotions on the initiation fee. A sales person lying to me? Never!

Here's the details on the latest promotion:

1+1=$0
THIS HOLIDAY SEASON JOIN WITH A FRIEND
AND EACH PAY $0 INITIATION.

CALL OR VISIT TO JOIN TODAY.

Back Bay
131 Dartmouth St.
617.578.8918

Offer expires 12.31.07. Valid for Select and Regional Access Memberships only. Special pricing available for All Access Memberships. Certain restrictions apply.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is perfect for couples. You can both join and pay no initiation fee. Otherwise if you're single good luck finding someone to join with you. I've been trying to get folks to join the Sports Club LA with me for ages. No takers.

As usual, if you'd like a copy of the original email promotion, send me an email asking for it and I'll forward it to you.


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Prudential Center Winterlights Festival

12/01/2007 03:36:00 PM 0 Responses
Going on this weekend at the Prudential Center is their 6th Annual Winterlights Festival. It's finally starting to get cold out, so I'd advise going somewhere indoors. Entertainment will take place on 2 stages throughout the weekend.

A few of the activities that will be going on:
Free Face Painting
Letters to Santa with Crane & Co
Cookie Decorating at Legal Seafood

Click (here) to get the entire schedule of events at the official website.



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Boston Music Awards Tonight

12/01/2007 03:27:00 PM 0 Responses
Tonight is the 20th annual Boston Music Awards. The award show will be held at the Orpheum Theater at 7:30pm tonight. Celebrities that will be there include: Lori McKenna, JoJo, Matt Nathanson, Augustana, Joey Kramer, and Bobby Brown.

Tickets aren't available online anymore but if you're interested in going, you could go to the Orpheum to see if any tickets are left or I'm sure folks will be scalping them.

The after-party will be at the Hard Rock Cafe in Fanuil Hall. Proceeds from the show benefit Music Drives Us and the Berklee City Music Program.



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