We lost a true statesman this week. As Time Magazine said, Senator Edward Kennedy is “…one of the greatest legislators in American history.” Every form of media is covering his passing, recapturing his iconic life as a Kennedy in all its glory and controversy. For the next week much will be said about his life – Facts given and opinions shared on all his professional and personal strides and stumbles.
Of all his accomplishments that will be highlighted, it is Kennedy’s overall approach to work and life that has impacted and inspired me the most. Professionally, Senator Kennedy had a thorough, three-phased approach to problem solving. When addressing an issue, he would gather a group of experts and listen to them discuss the issue from every angle. He would sit there silently, taking it all in but not making any comments until they were finished. At that point, he would begin a grueling question and answer session where he would sharpen his knowledge and begin to shape his opinion. This was Phase 1. In Phase 2, he would begin his political maneuvering, meticulously researching, influencing and assembling his diverse group of supporters. Then, in Phase 3 he would map out and execute his strategy. Simple, effective and impactful.
Personally, it is the simple things that I most admire about Ted Kennedy. He was known as a dear friend, loving uncle and compassionate person who sent “thank you” notes within 24 hours, usually on hand-painted cards. I respected and appreciated that whenever I would see him sailing in Hyannis harbor on his beloved “Mya” (which was his brother’s, President John F. Kennedy), he would always wave. He did not know who we were. He had nothing to gain by taking the time and effort to wave. But he did, to every boat that passed. Genuine, kind and influential.
Rest in peace, Senator Kennedy.
Marco Queral, a South American photographer, released some amazing photos last week of a beautiful humpback whale and a diver. Check out these inspiring photos at the Telegraph.
Blogs are fantastic. One of my favorite things to do is read and coast the information superhighway in search of great content, writers and people.
Lately, I’ve been perplexed by the “business” approach to blog commenting. It is nice to comment on someone’s blog, regardless of whether you love it or hate it. However, posting a comment is not a way to plug your company or service, no matter how relevant or on topic you feel it is to do so. Even those who read the comments glaze over the propaganda or just smirk when they see such an obvious attempt to sell – well, at least this blog reader does.
My advice is to post a blog comment the way you would speak with your Mom –provided you have a relationship with her and are not hurting because you use wire hangers – polite, honest and easy.
You need to sell your company by offering advertising-free comments by making an effort not to sell. You are already one step ahead by taking the time to read and write to your favorite bloggers, so why waste the opportunity to genuinely connect with them?
You have already jumped in when you post a comment. The blogger knows their post inspires you when you leave a comment, so they are already baited. Why not just “unplug” and then hook them? If you must, keep your company name in your signature so you can begin the relationship with a positive start.
We are in the middle of an economic recession and if anyone has felt its harsh effects, it is the restaurant business. To be more specific: upscale, pricey restaurants. You can walk into many places that once had waiting lists seven days a week, to find empty tables and servers walking around with nothing to do. For this reason, many restaurants now rely on Restaurant Week to bring in more customers.
More than 200 Boston-area restaurants participate in Restaurant Week. For $33.09 (Dinner) or $20.09 (Lunch), guests can choose an appetizer, a main course and a dessert from a prix-fixe menu. Considering that these are the prices of just one dish at many of the places, this is a fantastic deal.
As someone who has worked many Restaurant Weeks over the years at the recently closed, South End icon, Icarus, I can report that the clientele for Restaurant Week has changed given the current economy. Many folks that used to eat at fine dining establishments on a regular basis now have no choice but to dine only during specials like these.
The good news is that since Restaurant Week does such a great job of bringing in diners, places such as Pigalle, Sibling Rivalry and Sel De La Terre have extended the special through the whole month of August. Don’t miss your chance to try out some good eats, but rest assured that with the economy as it is, there will probably be many more affordable prix-fixe menus to come.
My cousin, Jack Coates, is a cancer survivor and he recently spoke in Boston at the Dana Farber Living Proof: Celebrating Survivorship conference in June 2009. Jack spoke of his journey and the aftermath, and the support systems that helped him to emerge and become the man he is today. He shared with attendees his struggles, physically and mentally, due to the effects of the tumor and years of treatments he underwent. Funny enough, if I had to choose one word to describe Jack’s character through this battle, it would be “Strong,” despite the physical strength that he might have lost as a result.
Jack’s a fighter and he keeps fighting every day. I’m so proud of him; he continues to remind me that life is unpredictable and in the face of adversity, our strengths and capabilities as people are endless.
Read his story here, and find out how you can help support Dana Farber and the fight against cancer: http://www.dana-farber.org/how/default.html
We’ve had outstanding musical talent pass through the doors of J.J. Foley’s in the past seven months. Beginning in January, we started inviting local artists to perform on the last Thursday of every month, on a year the South End establishment is celebrating its 100th year in business. Starting in September, we will make free, live music a more regular staple at Foley’s – now inviting local musicians in every other Thursday.
The artists have provided the South End community with exceptional live music, so we hope you check out each of them in their own right – whether it be by supporting an upcoming gig or listening to their music online.
This past Thursday, July 30, was one of our best yet. Matthew James is a true talent, from Newport, RI, who impressed us all with his command of the lyrical acoustic sets of acts like Ray LaMontagne, Jack Johnson, John Mayer and more. We hope to have Matthew back as soon as possible, for our own listening pleasure. Check him out on Facebook.
One of our biggest bills was Ryan Fitzsimmons. Originally from New York, Ryan has dominated the Providence, RI scene, and is set to overtake Boston and the rest of New England. Playing at the Newport Folk Festival in 2008, Ryan shared the stage with some big names like Jimmy Buffett, Cat Power and the Black Crowes, and proved it with an outstanding set of originals from his album, as well as a foray of covers. We especially appreciated his on-the-spot tribute to Michael Jackson on the day he passed away. Check out Ryan’s impressive resume and find an upcoming act to check him out immediately! www.ryanfitzsimmons.com
We kicked off the summer with a little reggae… Can you blame us? Snatching up the vocal stylings of Rho, a member of the local reggae rock band Dreadrocks, we welcomed the warm months with easy-listening acoustic songs accompanied by bongo drums. Rho set the mood for the summer with covers from all our favorite Marley brothers and impressed us with his own log of reggae songs. Be sure to support his various local acts. You won’t be disappointed. They have frequent appearances at Boston colleges and universities, bars and restaurants. http://www.rhomusic.com/
A reoccurring favorite at J.J. Foley’s Music Night is the instrumental band, the Bar Flies. Headlined by guitarist George Chinaglia, the Boston band frequently has various vocal accompaniments that awe and wow us when paired with the exceptional beats and rhythms of the band. These guys simply love to rock out, and we can always appreciate a good jam session. The Bar Flies frequent local bars like Solas in the Back Bay, so be sure to look for them around town.
We could never neglect to mention our first act, one that we keep close to our hearts: Mike Silvious and Aaron Burman - local Northeastern grads who took their famed gig to Foley's, who normally played at parties and NU-area watering holes. These two really set the stage for what was to be a great year of music - they filled the room with awesome sing-a-longs and covers, jam sessions, laughs and even a tribute song to Metis. Mike and Aaron set the standard for J.J. Foley's Music Night and we thank them for initiating such a fun night.
We are constantly on the lookout for new bands and artists. Any suggestions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.