Monthly Archives: February 2011

New England’s Dunkin’ Obsession

Source: Wikipedia

Many of my previous posts have centered around unique attractions, restaurants or experiences in Boston. What’s important to understand about this post is that the rest of the country doesn’t love (or even have access to) Dunkin’ Donuts nearly as much as Boston. Dunkin’ Donuts was founded in Quincy, Massachusetts by William Rosenburg in 1950. The franchise has somewhere around 300 stores in the state – meaning that every time you turn around, you run into a Dunkin’.

Most Bostonians, when asked about their coffee choices, will select either Starbucks or Dunkin’. I’ve found that most people I know prefer Dunkin’. And not only is it everywhere, but it’s cheaper than many alternatives like Starbucks. Of course, when you hit up Fenway Park or any other large sporting event, Dunkin’ is typically a bit more expensive but still a staple at these area festivities.

The obsession with Dunkin’ really is quite a phenomenon in Boston. When I mention that Dunkin’ can’t really be found in Texas, expect for the grounds at supermarkets, I usually receive baffled looks. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Dunkin’ – and am definitely converted from my former Starbucks days. However, the loyalty to the franchise is kind of unique to this area. It definitely provides insight into the Boston persona.

If you visit from out of town, or just moved from an area that doesn’t have any Dunkin’ options, I definitely suggest grabbing a big cup on the way to work. It may not be a historic attraction or a swanky four star restaurant but the brand has deep roots in Boston. And it’s wicked good!

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Happy (Red Sox) Truck Day!

Apparently, today is a day to celebrate! Today is known as Truck Day! It is the day the Red Sox officially finish packing up the truck and head down to Florida for spring training. I didn’t even realize this was a big deal – but I’ve seen quite a few news articles on this already today, so it must be something worth mentioning here!

Beginning of the Season is So Good!

Here’s the general idea: the Red Sox staff loads up a truck full of gear and equipment in less than two days. It’s driven straight to Florida, where it’s set to arrive on Thursday. The players report on Sunday for the beginning of spring training. Fans and media are invited to the official send off of the truck – and Wally and other Red Sox staff give away swag to those in attendance. Not a bad way to get fans excited about an upcoming season – especially one that is already being hyped up as “So Good, So Good, So Good”!

Be sure to check out the Boston Globe’s photo gallery of the event: http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/gallery/2011/02_08_truckday/

For more information on Truck Day, check out ESPN’s blog: http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/red-sox/post/_/id/7888/rite-of-spring-training-happy-truck-day

And on a more important note: Go Sox!


Activity Time: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Boston has some incredible landmarks, historical sites and museums. When asking for local’s top recommendations of places to visit, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was usually among the top 10. Interestingly enough, I’ve found close friends have recommended this quirky collection over the massive collection of the Museum of Fine Arts (which I’ve also heard great things about).

View of the Courtyard - Source: Google

The museum was developed by Isabella Stewart Gardner, who according to the museum’s history, became a private collector of art and antiques after receiving a large inheritance from her family at an early age. She and her husband were a part of the socialite society of Boston, and Gardner built the museum in the Fenway area before it became a relative hot spot in the city. The building’s rooms are all laid out exactly to Mrs. Gardner’s specifications and when she passed away, she stipulated that the collections must be maintained as they were originally presented. This presents a very interesting quality to each room, as they seem to be very eclectic groupings of paintings and other antiques.

Some of the most impressive areas of the museum included the indoor courtyard, which you can see from every level of the building and was designed after buildings in Italy, and the Titian room, which is a collection of religious-themed paintings including an incredibly breathtaking piece by Titian.

Titian - Source: Wikipedia

Personally, I love visiting art museums, so walking around and viewing all of the pieces was moving and inspiring. This is definitely not an activity I would recommend for 1) children (unless they attend a special education event), 2) anyone clumsy or 3) people who don’t like art. Each room of the building contains tight corridors and pieces that might sit on the floor that cannot be touched. This does, however, seem like a great activity for a romantic date, group or individual visit, or a bad weather day. If you want a preview of what the museum has to offer, check out their comprehensive website where you’ll find pictures of some of the larger pieces in the rooms.

Another fascinating piece of the museum’s history is the art heist of 1990. Some of the biggest pieces of the museum’s collection were stolen in one of the largest art thefts in history – and the museum leaves the frames where these pieces were once housed empty, in the hopes that they are some day returned.

I would definitely recommend visiting the ISGM, but would recommend scheduling a return trip after 2012 when the expansion project is completed. A few of the rooms were under renovation when I personally visited but I’m excited to see these on my next trip!


Measuring the Snow, the Boston Way

It does seem never ending, this crazy snow fall that won’t stop hitting Boston. With yet another storm approaching, the Globe has started measuring the total accumulation against a Shaq-o-meter. This is pretty funny:

http://www.boston.com/news/weather/graphics/2011_snowfall/?p1=News_links