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Move-In Madness!

Posted by Noah Guiney August 29, 2013 02:14 PM


We've all been there. No matter how hard we try or how much we plan ahead, moving is always a nightmare. And in Boston, that nightmare has become a yearly tradition, as hordes of college students descend on the city over Labor Day weekend. But this chaos can be a blessing in disguise. For some Bostonians, it's a business opportunity. For some, it's the start of "Allston Christmas," when sidewalks fill up with used dorm furniture left by former students. And with enough planning and outside help, maybe even the most stressed-out freshman can enjoy some of that old-fashioned cheer.

How to make it work? We sought out move-in tips from a wide range of people, and their answers are below. Did they miss anything? If so, post your comments below, or tweet them at #HubMoveIn.


Meet the Mayoral Candidates: What's Your Vision for Suffolk Downs?

Posted by Joanna Weiss August 28, 2013 06:15 AM

Suffolk Downs.jpg

Boston got one step closer to a casino at Suffolk Downs this week, when Mayor Menino signed an agreement with the racetrack that would guarantee the city $32 million each year. Still, a public vote hasn't happened yet. There's looming competition from Steve Wynn in Everett. And some, like Globe columnist Adrian Walker, are clamoring for more discussion -- from the public, and from Boston's would-be mayors.

This week, we asked the mayoral candidates to give us their vision for Suffolk Downs -- and to tell us whether or not it includes a casino. Feelings are strong, and opinions vary. Add yours to the comments, or tweet them at the hashtag #BosMayor.


Meet the Mayoral Candidates: What I Learned in College

Posted by Joanna Weiss August 23, 2013 02:20 PM

higher education.jpg

As Boston's mayoral primary approaches, we've been polling the candidates on issues that face the city. But we want to get to know them as people, as well. So we asked them to name the college course that influenced them most.

Let us know if you're as intrigued by the answers as we were -- and tell us what college course was most influential to you, by adding to the comments or tweeting at #BosMayor. As a bonus, see if you can guess where Mike Ross's car is stopped in his video below. We'll eventually post the answer in the comments.


Rose Kennedy Greenway: Paradise or Work in Progress?

Posted by Noah Guiney August 21, 2013 01:10 PM

An urban oasis... surrounded by highways.

Five years after it was unveiled, the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway has become a huge hit with Bostonians and tourists. It doesn't boast the museums and permanent structures that once were promised -- though a custom carousel is opening this month -- but attendance has increased sevenfold since 2009, according to a recent Globe story. Still, many urban planners see the Greenway in its current state as a missed opportunity, a shadow of a world-class park.

While it's easy to love what we have, it's worth considering -- and crowdsourcing -- ideas to make the Greenway even better. We asked a some urban designers and big-city thinkers whether they'd change the park, and how. Their answers are below, along with some models of great urban parks. If you have your own knockout idea for the space, let us know in the comments, or tweet your suggestions at #BostonGreenway.


Meet the Mayoral Candidates: Condoms in schools

Posted by Joanna Weiss August 19, 2013 01:59 PM

Condoms in schools.jpg

In this month’s #LabDebates, Boston's mayoral candidates answered our questions about everything from crime and education policy to Happy Hour, trash pickup, and, of course, cage fighting. But we didn't have time to address every issue, even in a lightning round. So with just over a month before Election Day, we're continuing our series of questions for the candidates, to get them on the record about issues large and small.

This week, we asked the candidates whether they support the distribution of condoms in Boston public schools -- something the School Committee voted to do earlier this summer, pairing the handouts with safe sex counseling in Boston's 32 high schools. Here's what they said, in the order responses were received.


Instant Replay: The Third and Final #LabDebate

Posted by Alex Pearlman August 15, 2013 12:36 PM

Globe columnist Larry Harmon was joined by Bay Windows co-publisher Sue O'Connell for the third installment of our series, the #LabDebates. The 7 p.m. face-off of mayoral hopefuls included Boston City Councilor Charles Yancey, Touch 106.1 co-founder Charles Clemons, Boston City Councilor John Connolly, and former school committeeman John Barros.

Check out the video below for an in-depth conversation on crime, the Boston police, and whether or not the next mayor should allow Wal-Mart to set up shop in our neighborhoods.

New Generation 2 Chromeless player.

Instant replay: The Second #LabDebate

Posted by Alex Pearlman August 15, 2013 12:06 PM

If you missed the action of our double-header #LabDebates on Wednesday, you can check out the earlier one (4 p.m.) below.

We were joined in the Globe Lab by Boston City Councilor Felix Arroyo, Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley, Codman Square Health Center co-founder Bill Walczak, and former public school teacher David J. Wyatt. Watch the discussion, moderated by the Rappaport Institute's Steve Poftak and our own Joanna Weiss.

New Generation 2 Chromeless player.

Instant replay: the first #LabDebate

Posted by Joanna Weiss August 8, 2013 11:43 AM

In case you missed it -- or you just can't get enough of it -- here's the full video of our first mayoral #LabDebate, featuring City Councilors Rob Consalvo and Mike Ross and State Representative Marty Walsh. Watch them debate housing policy, transportation funding, the virtues of Uber, and the joys of brunch in Boston. And join us again next Wednesday, August 14 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. for more small-group forums with the candidates.

What would you ask the mayoral candidates?

Posted by Joanna Weiss August 5, 2013 02:55 PM

Tune-in alert: This Wednesday from 4 to 5 p.m., we'll be hosting our first mayoral debate, featuring Boston mayoral candidates, streaming live on

The candidates this week are Rob Consalvo, Mike Ross, and Marty Walsh. The topics will range from crime to education to the arts, though we'll focus on development issues and city life for people under 30 -- two topics that readers have asked to hear more about.

Now, we're asking you to join the conversation. What specific questions would you like to ask the candidates? Submit them on the form below, or tweet them to @BostonComment with the hashtag #LabDebates.

Meet the Mayoral Candidates: What's your favorite piece of public art in Boston?

Posted by Alex Pearlman August 2, 2013 04:30 PM


Boston -- with its elegant, red-brick architecture and beautiful vistas along the Charles river -- is certainly a very pretty city, but it rarely thought of as a center for public artwork. However, that has begun to change. For example, last year the famed Brazilian artists Os Gemeos, in conjunction with a show of theirs at the ICA, put up a mural of a boy in pajamas in the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway in Dewey Square. The work -- which is slated to be replaced later this year -- is loud, brash, and controversial. It's also become a focal point for the discussion of public art in Boston.

As cities like Chicago -- which has subsidized public art since 1978 -- have shown, a diligent mayor can transform the artistic landscape of a city. With this in mind, we asked the mayoral candidates what their favorite piece of public art in this city is, and why. If you have a favorite piece or art, or an opinion on public art in the city, put it below in the comments section, or tweet it at #BosMayor.

Dan Conley, @DanFConley
Suffolk District Attorney

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for DanConley.jpgMy favorite piece of public art is the Robert Gould Shaw Monument on Beacon Street. I've always been interested in the history of the Civil War and the many extraordinary men and women of that period. Shaw was a man well ahead of his time who firmly believed in the fighting ability and bravery of black soldiers. He was right, and willing to take a stand for his principles and core beliefs. I've always admired people like him. Shaw also trained the MA 54th at Camp Meigs in the Readville section of Hyde Park. 100 years later I played Little League Baseball on those same fields as a young boy growing up in Hyde Park! The monument itself is artistically impressive and it honors a true American hero: Robert Gould Shaw.


John Barros, @JohnFBarros
Former school board member

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for johnbarros.jpgMy favorite piece of public art is the monument to the Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial representing the sacrifice and full inclusion of the US Army's first African American regiment. This art represents both the heroes that sacrificed in a pivotal battle in the Civil War, but also the leadership that Boston has and continues to play in ensuring that all individuals are included in our society.

Bill Walczak, @BillforBoston
Community leader

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for BillWalczak.jpgMy favorite public art piece in Boston is The Pear in Edward Everett Square. I like The Pear because the piece is quirky and it evokes questions on its meaning. The Pear is meant to remind us of old Dorchester, a community that was known for its innovative farming methods, and invites us to look farther to the statue of Edward Everett and the Blake House, the oldest house in Boston.


Charlotte Golar-Richie, @Charlotte4Mayor
Former State Representative

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Charlotte Golar Richie .jpgOne of my favorite pieces of public art is the Boston Women’s Memorial on Commonwealth Avenue, which honors three women who have contributed to our city’s rich and illustrious history: Abigail Adams, Lucy Stone, and Phillis Wheatley. These women, through their literary prowess and steadfast activism, paved the way for many others to follow – including me. This memorial makes visible and knowledgeable the efforts made by the women of Boston to not just the city but to the American people as a whole. I witnessed its unveiling with great pride, and to have it rooted right there on one of our city’s most beautiful boulevards, Commonwealth Avenue, makes clear to our visitors and residents the great respect that we have for their presence in our history, and our appreciation for the heroism of the past.


Mike Ross, @MikeForBoston
Boston City Councilor

Marty Walsh, @Marty_Walsh
State Representative

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for martywalsh.jpgI like the Clapp Pear by Laura Baring Gould in Edward Everett Square in Dorchester. The work speaks to Dorchester’s agricultural history; the Clapp Pear was cultivated on a farm that stood at the site where the pear now stands. The piece also includes 10 satellite sculptures representing other aspects of the past, present and future or Dorchester, which were added after an extensive series of conversations with neighborhood residents. The process, which I was part of, was rewarding. I especially like the bronze three decker! I know not everybody likes that sculpture, but it means a lot to the people of the neighborhood, and it enlivens an area that has had challenges. I also really love the Shaw Memorial. Boston needs more public art – temporary and permanent. It adds vitality. When elected, we will look to identify revenue sources and partnerships that will allow us to expand public art in Boston.

About Boston.comment

weiss.jpegBoston.comment is an exchange for ideas about Boston and beyond, brought to you by the Boston Globe editorial page and edited by Globe columnist Joanna Weiss. We're the sponsor of's #LabDebates and the creator of the Choose Your Own Adventure mayoral game.

Our producer is Alex Pearlman, with contributions (and sea monsters) from Noah Guiney. To join the conversation, post a comment, tweet with our daily hashtag, or follow us on Twitter @BostonComment.

A note on comments: Be honest, be open, be polite. And be warned: Personal attacks will be removed.

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