Boston: Built on Water

I’ve always enjoyed looking at old maps of Boston that show how the coastline has changed over the past 400 years, as more and more “man made land” was created. I was just talking about this over the weekend with a few friends, and then today National Geographic put out a piece, “How Boston Made Itself Bigger,” with some great maps illustrating the changes. Here’s the simplest view, comparing 1630 to today: A few things: As a South Boston resident for 10 years, I’m getting tired of my mom telling me that when sea levels rise, I’m dangerously close to the water. Look mom, I don’t live in the filled in area! (and yes, I’ve checked the topographic maps as

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Andrew Combs’ Rainy Day Song

I discovered Andrew Combs about a year and a half ago when he opened for Shovels and Rope at the Sinclair in Cambridge. He’s got a really nice country/folk/americana thing going on, and if you like that sort of sound, I recommend checking out his album Worried Man on Spotify, and his earlier EP Tennessee Time. I recently saw him a second time at Atwood’s Tavern in Cambridge, and he opened the set with a folk song off his upcoming second album which brought the noisy bar room to silence. I just found a recording of it, and thought I’d share. Doesn’t quite compare to how it sounded live, but beautiful nonetheless:

UberBoat Boston

This could be interesting. Starting this week, Uber began offering boat rides around Boston Harbor for $10/person: “June 4 through June 15, you can use the Uber app to request a water taxi, powered byBoston Harbor Cruises. Make waves as you ride to your favorite Seaport restaurant. Sail over to the ICA for First Friday. Add a splash of fun to your morning commute – or even a quick cruise to or from Logan. Catching a flight has never been so easy!” It actually seems like a reasonable deal to the airport from the Seaport, especially during rush hour. Or potentially as a quick way to get to Charlestown. Here’s a list of the pickup docks and destinations.

Joie de Vivre (JDV) in Businesweek

Max Jahn, what a guy. I used to be a part of the JDV club during my last year at Sloan, which mostly meant that I spent time with some great people and organized group homebrewing sessions. A nice shout out in Businessweek: “In January 2011, 20 students at MIT Sloan School of Management traveled to Austria to learn about chocolate-making, the waltz, and proper etiquette for greeting a dance partner in the grand tradition of the Viennese ball. (The gentleman bows his head to the lady’s outstretched hand, but stops short of planting his lips.) Those aren’t skills most MBAs have on the top of their to-learn lists. Then again, Sloan’s Joie de Vivre club, which organized the trip, isn’t your typical

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Southie Development Time Lapse

I have three good friends who all live in this building, a few blocks up the street from my place. A year ago it was in pretty rough shape, likely abandoned and condemned. This time lapse below, covering the gutting and development of the building, is pretty great. Especially since my friends get to have a professional video of their homes being built. It seems like every fifth lot in the neighborhood is undergoing something similar.

The History of Rainfall in Massachusetts

I’ve been learning a bit about data visualization tools lately, and last night I decided to go digging through Massachusetts government websites to see if there was any interesting data I could plot. I didn’t expect to spend my night learning about the history of rainfall in the state, but the Massachusetts precipitation database turned about to be a great resource. Below is what I came up with in half an hour or so. On the map, each color represents a water basin — essentially where the water for the town or city comes from. The size of the circle represents the total rainfall in the area in a given year. You can toggle between years on the right. In

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Andrew Combs

Last weekend I went to see Shovels & Rope at the Sinclair in Cambridge. A few things to quickly note. 1. I can’t really describe Shovels & Rope well, but if you haven’t heard of them, check them out. A recent NYT article actually gets it pretty close: “They like to say they are “making as much noise as they can” with two old guitars, a kick drum, snare, harmonica, tambourine and occasional keyboard. I dare to match them with the couple that set the standard for country duets, Johnny Cash and June Carter. Both couples share Southern roots and that music-from-the-back porch country sound.” They were great live too, although they didn’t quite meet my (very high) expectations. 2.

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Where’s Foodies? On Fire, Apparently.

Or at least it was last Tuesday. As I previously mentioned in this post, I’ve been excited for Foodie’s to open a grocery store in Southie — around the corner from my apartment — for some time. As much as I love my neighborhood, we don’t really have any options for groceries, short of going to Stop & Shop on the east side or into the city. And there’s nowhere to get prepared food either. There’s been talk of the store opening going as far back as 2010, but starting this past spring, we began to see real progress, as contractors started renovating the long-vacant Chocolate and Nuts Factory on Broadway. I’d heard lots of rumors that they were very

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Thoughts on Flying a Plane

Last weekend I was fortunate to have the opportunity to fly a plane for the first time. My girlfriend Laura purchased a lesson for my birthday, which turned out to be an amazing gift. It’s something I’ve loosely thought about trying for some time, but I probably wouldn’t have pulled the trigger without a push. It always seemed like an expensive and difficult thing to do. Having now been through the experience, that’s certainly not the case. The lesson was purchased through a school at Minute Man airfield on Living Social. The deal included an hour of on-the-ground instruction, followed by an hour of flying.  Leading up to it, I was fairly certain that the hour of instruction would be

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