Hail Mary

I’m not interested in church for the religion as much as I am for the variety. Visit a city or even a mid-size town and pop into a few of these institutions and you’ll see what I mean. Some resemble medieval castles with their lethal spirals and flying buttresses while others are modest boxy things […]

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Funky Town: Graffiti Alley

Every city has its kink, its pockets of oddball charm like the shag rug underneath the grand piano. Seattle has an entire second subterranean city sunk underneath its streets. New Orleans encourages graveyard tourism. Los Angeles is block after creepy block lifted from a David Lynch film. Boston has Graffiti Alley—funk central in the form […]

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This Is U.S.

All the other parents swooped into the rec hall to collect their kids from the “children’s mass” except mine. I was five. Stranded. Abandoned, like, forever probably came the panicky whisper in my child’s mind as green and unruly as a field of wildflowers. We were not really a churchy family. My father swore off […]

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Boston’s Magnolia Queen

Laura Dwight started keeping a mental inventory of all the ways her once great neighborhood in Boston’s Back Bay was headed for the garbage chute– crumbling front stoops, broken gates, dirt and litter patches passing for gardens and flower beds. She lived in the Back Bay, the tidy track of streets surrounding Newbury St, Boston’s […]

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Stacked: The Boston Public Library

After living here for more than a decade, I thought it was time to visit the Boston Public Library. I wasn’t avoiding the library. I don’t have any past traumatic library experiences like racking up enormous overdue fines or getting busted reading a copy of the Karma Sutra tucked behind A Brief History of Time. […]

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The Universe is Phoebe’s Tattoo

There’s an episode of Friends where Rachel convinces Phoebe to get a tattoo with her.  go Rachel has a small heart inked on her hip. Phoebe chickens out. The blue speck of ink on her shoulder is as far as she got before bolting. Rachel is pissed; they had a pact. “They use needles!” she […]

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Grateful Dead

In Boston, the dead are everywhere. They are immortalized as statues in the middle of courtyards and public walkways; they show up on plaques tacked onto the outside of historic buildings and screwed onto the backs of park benches. They lie in the ground across nineteen different cemeteries spread out across the commonwealth. The city […]

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