You Say You Want a Resolution: Our Top 10 Changes For The New Year

The New Year is fast approaching and you know what that means: It’s resolution time!

But, rather than a ridiculously ambitious list of resolutions that often lead to failure, guilt and cartons of pistachio ice cream…we’ve set out some very realistic goals for the New Year. Here we go again. Wish us luck.

1) DRINK MORE… water. At least 64 oz. per day! Staying hydrated is an easy way to improve your physical and mental health and make you feel well-refreshed all day long.

2) EXERCISE LESS… but more effectively. Optimize your workout plan with attainable goals that don’t leave you feeling guilty about not going to the smelly, sweaty gym after a long day at the office. Increase how much you walk on your commute, start running, biking, doing yoga at home. Create a culture of exercise as an enjoyable daily routine that makes you happy instead of a chore.

3) TELL YOUR BOSS TO SCREW OFF… the cap of that expensive scotch you bought him. Laphroaig is a classic standby for a single malt scotch from the Islay Isles that never fails to please. There’s more than one way to get to the top!

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Editor’s Note: This article is part of a branded-content series for TheFenway.com, an arts & entertainment site that generates commercial/residential interest in The Fenway neighborhood of Boston.

Ask a Bartender: Rich from Citizen Public House

Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar (aka “Citizen” as it’s known to its fan base of regulars) is a neighborhood tavern and gastropub that’s become a local favorite since it opened a block from Fenway Park in 2010. It’s a cozy and classy modern take on a traditional English pub with leather booths, a long dark wood bar, a 100-year old fireplace, and a hearty menu of Berkshire pork, steak frites, mussels and oysters prepared by Chef Brian Reyelt (of Franklin Café and Tasty Burger fame).

We talked with resident mixologist Rich at Citizen Public House about the late-night crowds, their famous stockpile of rare whiskies and what’s new on the cocktail menu for the winter season.

Q: What cocktail are you gonna fix up for us?

It’s a new cocktail we added to the menu just a couple weeks ago – Wakin’ Up Ain’t Easy. It’s tequila, Plantation dark rum, orgeat (almond syrup), lime juice, and a little Cynar to finish. It’s definitely a cocktail worth getting out of bed for. Something exciting, something beautiful.

Rich carefully adds the ingredients to the shaker and mixes it up. He slowly pours the cocktail in a coupe glass. It’s a little spicy, a little bitter, a little sweet, balanced through-and-through with a smooth kick.

Q: Are you from Boston originally?

No, I’m from New Haven, Connecticut.

Q: What brought you up this way?

I spent a year in Worcester for school and then went to Suffolk. I really wanted to become a bartender, learn how to socialize with people, get out and connect. I helped open up Sweet Cheeks five years ago, and then I moved across the street to Citizen. For me, this is the dream I wanted. I said five years ago: ‘I’m gonna work at Citizen Public House.’ This is the place I wanna be.

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Editor’s Note: This interview is part of a branded-content series for TheFenway.com, an arts & entertainment site that generates commercial/residential interest in The Fenway neighborhood of Boston.

The Future of Onboarding: Appcues Joins Hatch

Hatch Fenway continues its amazing run of bringing startup talent to the neighborhood by welcoming Appcues into their coworking hub in the Landmark Center. Appcues is an innovative software service that helps software companies create personalized user experiences without needing help from developers.

“Everybody wants to have a highly engaged user base, whether it’s on mobile or desktop,” says Jonathan Kim, co-founder of Appcues. “They [developers] want everyone who signs up to fall in love with their product and use it forever.”

The reality of current app engagement is not quite so rosy. According to Jonathan, even popular social media apps like Twitter and Facebook see a dramatic decline in user engagement after the first 90 days.

“The fact that even they can’t retain more than 30% of their user base after 90 days is just daunting for everybody else,” Jonathan says. “Our goal is to help people have an awesome first-run experience, as the data shows that engagement trickles down over time—the better your first experience is, the more likely you are to stick with it.”

Appcues offers developers a software toolkit that focuses on customizable “onboarding”—the creation of a stimulating first impression through beautifully designed welcome pages, tutorials, tips and more that introduce the user to the world of the app and build “an ecosystem that helps [the user] fall in love with a product over time.”

“We like to look at [onboarding] as everything it takes in order to take a brand new person, a newbie, and turn them into a master,” Jonathan says.

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Editor’s Note: This interview is part of a branded-content series for TheFenway.com, an arts & entertainment site that generates commercial/residential interest in The Fenway neighborhood of Boston.

Brand of Brothers: Wahlburgers Officially Opens in The Fenway

There’s a new juicy contender in the battle of the best Boston burger here in The Fenway. The legendary Wahlbergs opened their latest Wahlburgers restaurant in the neighborhood earlier his month. The expansive burger joint at 132 Brookline Ave comes complete with an outdoor patio, full bar and signature favorites on the menu including the tasty Originally From Dorchester (O.F.D.) burger, sweet potato tater tots and whatever-makes-you-happy toppings.

The Wahlbergs have been rapidly building a burger empire with locations in Florida, New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania and even Toronto as documented on the A&E show “Wahlburgers.”

Chef Paul Wahlberg, who owns Wahlburgers with his famous brothers Mark and Donnie, has been busy with The Fenway restaurant opening and making sure it is camera-perfect for its inevitable spotlight on the A&E show. He sat down with us to talk about cooking the perfect burger, family values straight out of Dorchester and his excitement about opening a restaurant a pop-fly away from Fenway Park.

Q: So, Wahlburgers is now open in The Fenway. You are a native son of Boston. Why’d you decide to open up shop in the neighborhood?

The Fenway is just an amazing location. Growing up as a kid, that’s where things happened. I waited out overnight in ‘86 for tickets to the World Series. I remember going to opening day with my brother Donnie. Being a true Red Sox fan, it’s the place to be for us. With the rejuvenation of the neighborhood, it’s really amazing what’s going on.

Q: What was it like growing up in Dorchester? Do you go back there often?

There was never a dull moment growing up in Dorchester. We absolutely had our struggles. But you think about the connection with the city and being part of the city…lots of people say ‘oh I’m from Boston,’ but really it’s the suburbs. We are from Dorchester. We are from Boston. This is who we are.

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Editor’s Note: This interview is part of a branded-content series for TheFenway.com, an arts & entertainment site that generates commercial/residential interest in The Fenway neighborhood of Boston.

Ask a Bartender: Joe from Hojoko

Hojoko, The Verb Hotel’s rock ‘n roll sushi and late-night hotspot, may just be the coolest new kid on the Boylston block in The Fenway. The dark-wood izakaya hangout feels like the inside of a 1960s Japanese jukebox with its paper lanterns and neon pop fixtures, katakana posters of famous rock bands, open kitchen in the back and a long chrome and green formica bar, mood-lit for intimate conversations over inventive cocktails.

We talked with resident bartender, Joe about Hojoko and the cocktails he’s fixing up for the fall and winter season.

Q: So what are you making for us today?

It’s called a hato [Japanese for “dove”]. Going into the fall, we wanted to use a little bit of cinnamon in a cocktail.

Joe whips up the cocktail, naming off the ingredients as he adds them into the shaker.

Combier Pamplemousse (aka grapefruit soda), mezcal tequila to provide a little bit of smokiness, black rice shochu, a little bit of our homemade cinnamon syrup and just a squirt of lime.

Joe shakes the cocktail with vigor.

Q: Where are you from, Joe?

I grew up in Melrose. I’ve been here my whole life. I live in Medford now.

Q: What do you do on your days off?

I’m actually a brand ambassador for a whiskey company…so I spend my days off tasting whiskey instead of serving it! I just got married so I hang out with my wife a lot.

Q: Nice! What’s her name?

Kaitlin.

Q: Do you have any kids?

Not yet. working on it.

Q: Are you a sports fan?

Big sports fan. I pretty much negotiated Sundays off for my whole career to watch the Patriots. I used to be a season ticket holder for the Celtics, until working at night got in the way.

Q: So who were you rooting for in the World Series with the Red Sox out?

I was rooting for the American League team, just like my dad taught me.

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Editor’s Note: This interview is part of a branded-content series for TheFenway.com, an arts & entertainment site that generates commercial/residential interest in The Fenway neighborhood of Boston.

Beyond the Moon: A Chat with Astronaut Buzz Aldrin

Published July 2009 on PopSci.com

It’s been 40 years since Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin landed the Apollo 11 lunar module in the Sea of Tranquility. Aldrin, now 79 years old, recalls that fateful day with clarity. Alarms were sounding inside the space capsule during their speedy descent, and even down to the last seconds, the astronauts were uncertain whether they would need to abort the landing. Millions of Earthlings watched on television as the Eagle touched down…

Speechwriting

Speechwriting is the art of inspiring and influencing audiences with a powerful narrative. I’ve crafted speeches for corporate executives throughout the world to communicate big ideas, deliver business strategy, and empower employees to succeed.

The speechwriting process begins with discovery sessions to understand the full breadth and scope of the objectives behind the speech. Working backward from the objectives, I collaborate with the speaker to compose a multifaceted purpose-driven narrative that’s meaningful to the audience.

In essence, every speech is a dialectical argument in narrative form. You set the mood, tone, and foundation for your speech from a Unique Proposition/Perspective (see The Big Idea for more on this). From this departure/vantage point, you lead the audience through a narrative to the first definitive statement, the second, the third, building in momentum until you deliver an emotional conclusion that links A, B, C, etc. in an impactful way that provokes, excites, and engages the audience’s hearts and minds.

Once the narrative is scripted into a formal draft, I coach the speaker through multiple rehearsals while refining the speech to make sure it’s natural and authentic.

Hops for the Holidays: Great Craft Beers for Gifting

The holiday season is a fantastic time of year for getting together with family & friends over a home-cooked meal or around a warm fire on a winter’s night. This year, instead of buying everyone socks for the Yankee Swap or bringing a boring green bean casserole to the potluck, why not give the gift that everyone really wants? That’s right. Beer. Even better: delicious craft beer made locally by the amazing brewmasters in the Greater Boston area… (Read More >>)

Editor’s Note: This article is part of a branded-content series for TheFenway.com, an arts & entertainment site that generates commercial/residential interest in The Fenway neighborhood of Boston.

So You Want to Be Indiana Jones?

Published July 2011 on Concierge.com

Finding a truly legendary destination that hasn’t been spoiled by tourist kiosks and souvenir hawkers can feel like a search for the Lost Ark of the Covenant. But have no fear, intrepid explorers—it’s still possible to hack your own jungle path with a backpack full of maps to discover a lost civilization (and if you’re lucky, a hoard of gold). We’ve scoured the globe for mysterious places that instill a sense of otherworldly wonder, where you can explore at will without feeling like you’re trapped in a theme park. So hold onto your hats, Indiana Jones wannabes, because the journey has just begun…

10 Most Visited Cities in the World

Published September 2012 on Budget Travel

Where do Americans travel most outside the states? That was the question asked when compiling Budget Travel’s Top 10 Most Visited Cities by U.S. Travelers. Paris? Definitely, no doubt. Florence? Maybe… what about Bermuda? Thanks to the travel experts at Expedia and their analysis of U.S. hotel bookings and flights abroad, we now know the answers. And to go along with our Top 10 Most Visited list, we’ve created a mini-guide for each city with the three must-see, must-do attractions for both new arrivals and return visitors. Can you guess all 10 top cities? Some of the answers may surprise you…