I’ve always considered myself fairly good at sharing: I play well with others and have no problem lending people things when they need them. But sharing for money is a completely new and intriguing concept. When I first heard about websites allowing people to commoditize their assets—homes, cars, housewares, even themselves—I was fascinated. And admittedly, I also saw dollar signs. Why not make cash for renting out the stuff that you own anyway?
I decided to explore the burgeoning sharing economy for Boston Magazine—out in the May issue now—and found the entire marketplace way more complicated than I anticipated. Questions arose like: What does it mean to own something? What degree of trust do I need to feel secure about sharing? And is sharing for money even really sharing, or is it forcing us to avoid actually sharing with the people we know and love? Suffice to say that there’s way more to say about collaborative consumption, and you can read a lot more of my thoughts about it here.
How is it already the end of February? The past few weeks have flown by, in part because I’ve had a few more things on my plate, including few new television spots. The first was a travel segment for the Chronicle focused on Valentine’s day destinations, which was fun to put together (many spots still on my to-do list, click the link to see the spot). I also was sat in for two more segments discussing my Mind the Gap story on the wage gap in Massachusetts, one on Bloomberg News and the other on NECN’s Broadside with Jim Braude. I’m glad to see this issue getting so much attention.
I was invited to go on Fox 25 this week and talk about my wage gap story for Boston magazine. As I say in the clip, the more we can talk about this issue, the better. Click through to see the full segment. (more…)
In the February issue of Boston magazine, I have a story that looks at the wage gap in Massachusetts. After the American Association of University Women ranked the commonwealth 37th in the nation for pay equity, I was pretty pissed off. That means that despite our progressive bona fides, women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man makes here. Fortunately, there are many local women who are finding new ways to keep us aware of that gap, and more importantly, helping us to close it.
Every writer has a few pet projects that they kick around in the back of their heads. The kind where you think: If I could take full advantage of my chosen career path, which enables me to call people up and ask questions about their lives, I’d really like to give these guys a call. Suffice it to say that my oral history of Good Will Hunting, which just went up online today at Boston Magazine, was one of those projects. It’s always been one of my favorite films, and I’ve admired the careers of both Ben Affleck and Matt Damon ever since they found their seemingly overnight success with their Oscar win for best screenplay. But if there’s anything I learned in speaking with them, and the rest of the cast and crew, it’s that the work that went into making the film was so daunting that there were many moments when it seemed that the movie wouldn’t happen at all. I’m so glad it did.
Confession: Until I started reporting my recent profile of George Howell for Boston Magazine, I didn’t like coffee at all. But if there’s someone who has the passion to convert me, he’s the man. Howell is a true coffee guru, the inventor of the Frappuccino, and an incredibly talented and engaging human being. He was a delight to follow around for a few weeks, and I look forward to following his future endeavors. Here’s an excerpt:
The sampling, or “cupping,” of coffee is an intricate process. Demonstrating it one recent morning, George Howell places a precisely measured layer of freshly ground beans on the bottom of a glass, then sniffs, shakes, and sniffs again. Boiling water is poured on the coffee, and Howell puts his nose up close and inhales deeply. Then, surgeon-like, he uses two spoons to remove any bean debris or foam that’s floated to the surface of the glass. Next comes the stir: A spoon is rapidly submerged three times in the glass to allow the aromas to escape. Howell leans over, putting his face up against the edge of the glass as he stirs. As I attempt the maneuver alongside him, I wind up splashing coffee on my nose. Howell, laughing, tells me I’ve been baptized.
That’s not much of a stretch, actually. At various times, Howell has been called an “idol,” a “god,” and the “high priest” of the coffee bean. “George has this almost mystical obsession with coffee flavor,” says Peter Giuliano of the Specialty Coffee Association of America. “It’s totally inspiring to coffee people. He has a transcendent passion about coffee, and a quasi-religious zeal.”
Read the full story here at Boston Magazine. And can we acknowledge how awesome Miller Mobley’s photo is? The dog kills me every time I look at it.
For my latest story in Boston Magazine, I spent several months following Elizabeth Warren on the campaign trail during the Massachusetts Senate race. Warren is fascinating, brilliant, and politically savvy, having done tremendous work in Washington in the wake of the financial meltdown. But running a campaign–and being a candidate–is new territory for her, and she’d been struggling when it comes to connecting with voters. My story starts at what was widely regarded as the lowest moment of her candidacy–the controversy regarding her Native American heritage–and works through the next several months of campaign stops as she looks to win over independents and convince Democrats that’s she’s as much of a fighter as they anticipated she’d be.
I typically use this blog to keep track of my magazine clips, but I may need to make a site for my dog, Winston, who is getting some clips of his own. One of the perks of working in magazines is that you can occasionally get to call in people you know when you need model subjects, and apparently dogs are no exception. Here, Winston, Boston’s greatest dog model, goes on a hike through the Blue Hills for our summer fitness package.