Living a Locally Supported Lifestyle

Posts Tagged ‘boston’

Eco Olympics + Farmers Markets = Eco Markets During this Earth Week

Monday, April 19th, 2010
Root for the home team during Boston University’s Eco Olympics.
Root for the home team during Boston University’s Eco Olympics.

You’ve heard of the Olympics and the Special Olympics, but the Eco Olympics?  That’s right.  The Eco Olympics are here in full speed this week as its key players involve themselves with “Competing for Team Earth.”  After all, it’s Earth Week.  When would be a more opportune time to root for the home team?  The Boston University-based concept materializes in a long list of events and at-home activities for the eco-minded.  Go online to learn more about what’s going on in Massachusetts.
Though Forest Lakes, Virginia may not be on your map, its Farmers Market starts for the season on Wednesday, April 20th.  From then through September, the Tuesday evening market will feature local produce, animal products, and home-baked goods.
When you put the Eco Olympics and the Farmers Market together, you (kind of, sort of) get the EcoMarket.  In Charlottesville, Virginia on Thursday, April 22nd, a farmers market in celebration of Earth Week will occur right on Grounds at the University of Virginia.  A second level of fusion will be the connection between the local community and the students of the University.  As we know, one of the major purposes of acting locally is to engage with, learn from, and invest in those around us.  This week, let’s fully make that mission our own.
-Serena

Boston Locallectuals: Hit Up the Boston Handmade Marketplace Saturday

Thursday, July 9th, 2009
Handmade in Boston

Handmade in Boston

Looking for more than local foods in Beantown? Then on Saturday from 3-7 PM, make a point to be at the Boston Handmade Market place. The outdoor market (raindate Sunday) features work by Massachusetts artists and craftspeople associated with Boston Handmade . The fair embraces the Locallectual mission by promoting local, independent businesses producing handmade works in small studio environments, not factories. There will be more than 25 artists and craftspeople will be on hand plus live music and craft demonstrations.

-Jess

Deep Sea Delight: Chromalab Refurbished Furniture

Thursday, April 9th, 2009
Chromalab Deap Sea Refurbished Dresser

Chromalab Deap Sea Refurbished Dresser

OH MY LANTA! I love this dresser! I love everything from Chroma Lab Refurbished Furniture. This company is taking your average yard sale finds and turning them into unique and colorful designer pieces. This “deep sea dresser” is not only affordable but definitely a conversation piece that no one else will have. The company, located in Boston, also sells modern, almost psychedelic, hand painted clocks as well as really beautiful lamps with custom shades. They also do custom order pieces and color consultant work if you have a big project you need help with. Take a look at their website and while you’re there, check out the “about us” page for a serious giggle.

-Raven

Boston Binge, Exhibit 4: A Locavore’s Look at Crema Café

Friday, March 27th, 2009

I could not have asked for a better end to my weekend trip to Boston.  With just a little over an hour to savor before it was time to taxi out, Crema Café was the perfect place to spend it.  Located smack in Harvard Square, it was easy to get to and relatively unassuming with its dark brown awning.  Once the doors opened, however, I knew that my friend had picked the right place.
Crema Café was warm and bustling with graduate students who were there with their parents or friends.  At first glance, the lunch menu was reminiscent of other high quality cafes that can regularly be found along the coast of California.  There were sandwiches both savory and sweet, soups as well as salads, a featured quiche and the usual spread of amazing-looking pastries.  The smell of top-notch coffee permeated the downstairs and provided the perfect welcome to those who were waiting in line to order.  While the “Sweet Potato sandwich with avocado, green apple, sprouts, hummus & caramelized shallot vinaigrette on toasted wheat” sounded to die for, I opted for the more Serena-esque choice of “Roasted Eggplant & Tomato with mozzarella & homemade pesto pressed on light rye.”  We found a table in full sunlight upstairs where we could whole-heartedly enjoy our selections, and then we did.
It made me even happier afterwards to discover that the wonderful-smelling coffee comes from beans that are roasted daily in the nearby Afton, Massachusetts, where they’re then artisan-crafted by George Howell of the Terroir Coffee Company.  Those fruits and vegetables that were in our sandwiches?   When possible, they’re purchased from local farmer’s markets.  Now this is happiness.

Serena's Crema Cafe Lunch

Serena's Crema Cafe Lunch

-Serena

Boston Binge, Exhibit 3: A Locavore’s Look at The Upper Crust Pizzeria

Thursday, March 26th, 2009
Interior of Upper Crust

Interior of Upper Crust

There are just some days on which if I don’t eat pizza, I’m not happy.  For every other day, there’s Mastercard.  Just kidding.  But really, pizza is one of the few foods that I crave very seldom but, when I do, the craving is seriously strong.  One such day of yearning came this past weekend, while in Boston, and now makes for the story behind this third exhibit.  I wanted pizza, and not just any.  I was in the mood for fantastically delicious pizza, and was prepared to accept nothing less.  Lucky for me, The Upper Crust Pizzeria is located just down the street from my friend’s apartment.
Upper Crust is a Boston-based chain of fourteen locations, spread out across the city.  Founder Jordan Tobins brought his version of Neapolitan pizza—think large pieces of tomato in sauce atop a super-thin crust—to the area eight years ago and appears to have been thriving with his business since.  Late on a frigid Sunday night, the Harvard Square store had a whole slew of people eating in or waiting to take their pies away.
For those who step in to eat just one slice (one was enough for me), there are usually three options: a simple cheese, a pepperoni, and a slice of the day.  Being a lover of the more unusual toppings (and also somewhat of a vegetarian), I was instantaneously pleased with the red pepper-portobello pezzo del giorno.  And, once I actually began eating, it was pretty darn good.
The added value of the experience was that Upper Crust’s produce supplier attempts to source its goods locally.  During the summer, this middleman draws from the Pioneer Valley Association, a cooperative of 35 growers and vendors that is based in the area.  In the autumn and winter months, the company selects from other regional farmers who can supply it with pizzerias’ standard basil, broccoli, greens, spinach, and tomatoes.
Once you’ve tried Upper Crust, head over to Stone Hearth Pizza Co.; they’re Cambridge’s competing Neapolitan pizzerias.  With both looking to go local, you can’t go wrong.
-Serena

Serena's Pizza at Upper Crust

Serena's Pizza at Upper Crust

Boston Binge, Exhibit 2: A Locavore’s Look at Boston Cream Pie

Thursday, March 26th, 2009
Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie

It doesn’t get any more typical than Boston Cream Pie.  After all, it is the state of Massachusetts’ official dessert.  Of course, I hadn’t heard much about the dish until I was actually there, in the midst of things, but that’s another story.  Perhaps that makes its local flair even more enticing?  The point is: as soon as I found out that the city I was visiting had a dessert named after it, I absolutely had to try it.  And not just from anywhere, from Boston’s most touristy eating location: Faneuil Hall Marketplace.
For those of you who don’t know what I’m referring to, Faneuil Hall is a sort of cafeteria— a Disneyland-ified Boston cafeteria.  For what feels like a few blocks, this enclosed space for shopping and consuming is lined with stalls that sell your typical Bostonian fare.  Lobster pieces from the nearby ports?  You got it.  Clam chowder in hefty bread bowls?  Of course.  And, somewhere nestled in between them all, are billions of bakeries.  No doubt, I bee-lined for one called North End Bakery, where, to my instant satisfaction, there was a whole tray of beautiful slices of Boston Cream Pies awaiting me.
My first question—and that of the supposed “Bostonian” that was acting as my tour guide that day—was, “Why does it look like cake?  Are we sure this is the real thing?”  The answer to both was, “Yes, you unknowledgeable outsider.”  (Well, not really, but upon further reading that’s how I felt that my question should have been responded to.)  Boston Cream Pies are called pies and not cakes for the simple reason that our much-revered colonial ancestors did not have cake pans, they had pie tins.  (Well, of course they didn’t.  Should we have expected them to bring their whole kitchens with them on the Mayflower?)
Once the nice lady behind the counter assured us that yes, in fact, we were ordering what we thought we were supposed to be ordering, we walked away with our respective slices, found the last table in the place, and sat down to enjoy our hard-earned desserts.  To me, it was a vanilla cake with cream filling and chocolate icing.  How many places in the United States incorrectly sell you a birthday cake instead of a Boston Cream Pie?  Too many.
There’s also a whole history to how the dessert got its name, but I’ll save you that for now.  All you need to know is that in the city of Boston, there is a wonderfully local dessert known as the Boston Cream Pie, and that if you visit, you should try it.  The cake, or the donut, which apparently (according to Wikipedia, at least) is the state of Massachusetts’ official type of Berliner.  I would have never guessed.
-Serena