Thursday, November 12, 2009


...Thru my Urban Hellhole seems to be much easier here, than for other places. Mostly, I would say the greater area is better than most for bikers, runners/joggers and pedestrians.

I would say that about 80-90% of my friends/co-workers use some sort of public transit...the ones who use their own cars, do so out of convenience/cost than anything else, I believe. My only thought about it is: "Carsharing/pooling options...why don't we have more?" With that, Atrios has something to say about car sharing in his UH...enjoy.'s the typical (with all regards to Steve McGinn, pictured) get-up for the commute in and out. I think it's probably perfect biking weather, low 50's, cool/cold breeze. Winter smells are begining to take hold, and I'm sure I noticed a little Quebecoise in the air the other day. With the fact that we had snow in October, I'm still wishing for snow on my b-day...but alas, the 10-day don't look promising. There's always the internet web cams to look at...oh well.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy All Saint's Day!

November 1st (followed by All Soul's Day tomorrow) from the urban hellhole and alas, autumn's not too bad if you live in a city center with nice green space! This is from the Fens, an area just south of the Charles river and west of Back Bay.

I came across this tidbit while searching for something (I don't remember what it was...I'm old after all). Good to see my taxdollars at work...actually, I'm all for improving this wetlands area. It's funneh, but I used to think it strange for this area. Especially while coxswaining in the '80 and smelling the swampy odors waft onto the Charles.

I'd have to say that the reason we have a bit of "growth" in the economy may be the good use of funds for improvements. Whether that be an interchange in Kansas City or a small river in Boston, I'm all for improving the needs of local urban hellholes (although instead of an interchange, I'd rather see that cash go towards improving the roadway so it needs less maintenance...but you do what you can).

Some inter-tube linkys that are interesting too (no relation to posts, but still interesting):

Atrios re: tolls
Matthew Yglesias re: infrastructure/taxes

And I'm glad to hear about this in Philadelphia (especially during the World Series)...transit strikes are a real pain for everyone.

Here are more pictures for your enjoyment:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

There be rowers here!

Urban Hellhole readers, please take note...the crew teams are in town for the Head!

That's right, it's Head of the Charles weekend.

It looks like Saturday will be better than Sunday...but still it's gonna be a bit windy for the crews. Back in the day, I was a coxswain for BU (BOO CREW!). I ended up competing on the 4-line boat in the Foot of the Charles (late in the season!). If you ever have a chance to go out on the Charles, definitely take it. It's probably one of the best views...even in stormy/foggy weather.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Roses in October

As many of you know, I volunteer at the Boston Public Garden. I work on the Rose Brigade under the tutelage of China Altman. The Brigade works with the Friends of the Public Garden

Our season was incredible this year [this year so far, Michael...they just won't stop blooming!]. We've had an abundance all throughout the summer, starting in about April and they're still going.

Here are some pictures from this afternoon...I know...It's Fall and everything!

Enjoy...we still are.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Nothing Special...

But this made me laugh:

Enjoy for now...more later.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Well whaddya know!

...fifth on the list of best places to grow up, according to Yahoo!

Not too shabby.

Also, I saw this from Sadly No! a few days ago and became pretty proud of my Commonwealth. It seems my state is pretty [Pre-supposing you want a state featuring urban hellholes, well designed suburban enclaves, and acres of farmland]

Lastly, the SN! post highlights something that every freaking state should remember...we initiated this little war for freedom! We also had to take some tough times with this, this and this...all a full year before the Declaration!

Enjoy the following I took on a nice walk along the Cambridge side of the Charles River.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Private Public Space

Here's a scene that epidomizes what a properly designed urban hellhole can be.

This looks very serene considering this is steps away from some very busy places (Mass. Ave.)

I took this as I was walking to the grocery store. It's a spot right near the "Mother Church" for Christian Scientists. I think it's a pretty good shot...young woman practicing in the middle of a city...what's not to like? Music in the city!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I admit, I have lived in Dayton

It's nice to see political leaders starting to recognize that urban areas that don't grow, may need to be redesigned for the 21st Century.

To wit:

I'm really enticed by the following:
"We can't go back and recreate the neighborhoods of the 1950s and 1960s, but we
have a huge opportunity to create a new form for our cities," Mr. Gower said.
"People want to live in beautiful places near green space."
That's refreshing from the director of planning and development in Dayton, OH. I always thought that Dayton is very auto-centric. I've commuted on the bus lines that are sparce in frequency and routes.

That said, I would say that some of the parks in and around Dayton are GREAT!

The Carillon Park in Kettering
The Miami River Conservancy District parks
The many clusters of baseball fields along the Miami

I'm all for taking another look at form and function when thinking about redesigning a city. Good luck to you all: Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, Youngstown, Charlestown (WV), Cincinnati and YES, Dayton.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Urban and Sub-urban living

Atrios (in Philadelphia, a very walkable city) makes the simple observation that some cities are true hellholes while others are not as bad. If you live near/in a city where the downtown seems depressing (and virtually deserted) after about 5PM, then I would argue your city is not condusive to urban living. I consider myself lucky to live in a city that doesn't shut down after normal business hours!

Tomorrow is Rose Brigade day, so if you see me in the Public Garden...stop by and say "hi".

Here's a little review of last weeks blooms. Enjoy!
Update (9:25PM): Seems Matt Yglesias at Think Progress talks about his urban hellhole too!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rose Brigade in the UH

The Public Garden here in Boston is one of the finest places to spend some time on a hot August day. Ducks, swans, flowers, trees, lovers, friends and occasional musicians all for free

Please spend some time enjoying the roses.

I spend a few hours a week helping the Rose Brigade. It's fun getting dirty in the middle of a city...heh!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I just realized, it's been days since I posted

So...for your reading pleasure, I present some links you may find interesting:

The HuffPost did a little notice on Farmers Markets in the country. Mostly other cities, Boston is not highlighted. I remember going with my mother on Saturdays to the West Side Market in Cleveland. Those were good times, but also good training in evaluating what you eat. The most vivid memories include:

  • The Mediterranean store in the corner that sold all sorts of olives, strange pastas, spices, cheeses and meats...and candy from all over the world.

  • The Calabrese Produce stand, specifically 2 things: on cold (and I mean below zero weather) Mr. Calabrese would add an extra orange in for us kids; second item, he ALWAYS had a great smile and a warm hello.
  • The Ehrenfeldt (Beef) Butcher...I don't know if they're still there. They don't show up on the vendor list.

I miss the interaction we used to have with our neighbors/vendors. I sort of have it with the dry cleaner woman (a brief chat about the weather...the smile and nod when she's busy...the "have a great weekend; should be nice...make sure you get out"); and, my Dunkin Donuts counter guy knows me; and, well...there are that many. Certainly, I don't have similar interaction with my fish monger/beef counter dood/veggie restocker at the neighborhood Shaw's (think about your local mega-supermarket, plunk it down in the middle of downtown and charge 10% more for everything...Hey FREE 1 HR PARKING! LOL)

I guess what I miss is called "familiarity". I think maybe I get a better product/service when I cursory "know" the person...oh well...whatever.

Topic 2 for you...I am removing the Twitter feed's too annoying. But a few days ago (maybe even a week!) I showed you the free wifi spots near the Pru. The tweet didn't do them justice so I'm hoping to get better pictures. Stay tuned. For more info (the only info I found online...blerg), see here.

Last note:

If anyone cares...and there are no comments so far (so I don't know if anyone is out there)...I am going to redesign the blog a little. I'm using a standard template, and I'm bored with it. It doesn't really add anything. So I'm hoping to change it. Your input is desired, wanted, needed...etc. I'm going to have to add some more graphics and pictures...especially of lovely Boston! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Aux armes, citoyens

Formez vos bataillons
Marchons, marchons
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons

...that's the best part of La Marseillaise IMO!

It certainly is well remembered from Casablanca:

Here's to our friends in République française.

Happy Bastille Day

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday Sails Success

This sort of stuff always happens in an Urban Hellhole near the ocean.

I'm very happy to learn that it drew a lot of people (2 Million?!)...seems a weekend with good weather and stuff to do will make people come downtown...huh?

Who da thunk it?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday Evening Post

...yeah...I guess that's not around anymore.

Old media...LOL! Speaking of which, I heard the Old Grey Lady may begin charging for content (didn't they try this before?)...meh!

Nothing new in the UrbanHellhole...'cept, my Red Sox may be blowing an 8 run lead!


Friday, July 10, 2009

from Sadly, No!

Here's a little advice...don't mess with Massachusetts...dammit!

Enjoy the snark

Health Care here in the Socialist Republic isn't as bad as everyone thinks.

Also, isn't it funny that we (Massachusetts-ers? Massachusett-ians?) are the butt of a lot of cultural jokes and all; yet the stats show otherwise. Must be something in the water...I blame the flouride ruining our bodily fluids...heh!
Posting from my phone

Hellhole father Atrios

He (Atrios, Duncan Black) even includes some pictures, when he posts about his urban hellhole.


Urban Hellhole and what it means

I live in Boston (not B-town, beantown, or any other crap name you want to call it)!

I also follow a blog called run by Duncan Black out of Philadelphia. In it he often refers to his city as an "urban hellhole" to really mock those who think living in a city of great size is a PITA. I agree wholeheartedly that his assessment of this very common thought is pretty much why people who live outside of cities denegrate urban living as either unhealthy, unappealing or simply unnatural. Eff 'em!

I love my city...I love my urban hellhole!
(Oh, and to quote from a very good movie "I'm black and I'm proud!")