Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Odwalla Bars

Odwalla bars, billed as organic food that is good for you, probably live up to their billing. We have become fans. They are on sale "every day" for $1.50 each at Stop & Shop. If you have a Shaw's in your vicinity, they cost $1.25. We are partial to the "Salty and Sweet" nut bars, but they come in a variety of flavors, mostly revolving around fruit and chocolate as such things are wont to do.

For a little more than the price of a candy bar, you can eat something that is of similar size and caloric content, but with a little roughage and more vitamins. It comes in colorful, snappy packaging and the marketing is light-hearted and guilt-free. We took the Silver Line to the Logan International Airport around Christmas time and one of the stations was decked out in Odwalla finery. We recall this past autumn when Boston buses were wrapped in Odwalla advertising. Instead of the abstract bird that is the company's mascot, the buses featured a happy, little man made of fruit slices. He made me smile during my morning commute. Where is he now?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial day

We were at the corner of Richmond Street and Dot Ave this morning at 9:30AM. The Memorial Day parade was assembled and started, heading in stately grace to Cedar Grove Cemetary to honor the war dead. It wasn't a long parade, but it was an important and grand one. The veterans's organizations were assembled, and the pomp was fit for the circumstances and occassion. We hold these truths to be self-evident: a community that honors its heroes is one that will never lose its soul. Dorchester is such a place.

A bigger crowd would have been nice, but a better audience wouldn't be possible. The sidewalks were lined by onlookers who knew the import of what they were witnessing. Tose who marched did it with dignity.

I tied a cloth poppy reminiscent of Flanders fields onto my motorcycle. It fluttered in the wind the rest of the day as I made my rounds around Dorchester. Let us remember the dead today and pay our respects throughout the year at the memorials that stand all over our noble borough. Freedom is not free.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Smith Street, Mission Hill

Smith Street is a little smidge of a road off Huntington Avenue just before Brigham Circle. It meets in a Vee with Wigglesworth Street, where Il Mondo Pizza is located. Il Mondo serves one of the better slices of pie in Boston.

Organize-It Software recently renamed itself Roxbury Apple Service. They have a spiffy, new, handpainted sign with the name and a handpainted Apple logo. Its not as splashy as the Apple Store on Boylston Street, but it is comfortable and accessible. They have been authorized Apple distributors and technicians for quite some time, so if you feel uncomfortable with glitz and want your Mac serviced, this might be a good option for you.

Smith Street, though very short, has one other address of note. It is an Irish pub called the Squealing Pig. Both the food and the staff there are very good and satisfying. I had a tasty Dutch brew there called Delerium Tremens. It had a pink elephant on the label. I know someone who had thier first taste of cream soda there. Nothing she has tasted since has matched that wonderful elixir.

A new, tall building is going up on the north side of Smith Street so it will be hard to see these establishments when passing by on the E train. They are worth seeking out though. It's a short street, but a nice one.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Smooth Sailing

Pleasant Street became a little more pleasant a few weeks ago and we were reminded of that when we coasted down its newly paved expanse between East Cottage Street Stoughton Streets. The road's surface is as unruffled as a placid lake and with the trees in bloom, it is as picturesque as a postcard. This is one of the nicer streets around Columbia/Savin Hill.

New paving also recently occured at the intersection of Washington, Harvard and Bowdoin Streets just north of Codman Square. The manholes are still a little above street level, but still, this is a pleasure compared to the usually kettleholes and ruts we have come to expect in Boston.

Dorchester just gets nicer and nicer for a motorcycle ride.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Giraffes in Franklin Park

If it is over 65 degrees Faranheit, the giraffes are outside in Franklin Park Zoo. If the weather is chillier, they are keeping warm in thier barn at another location and you can marvel at them there. On Sunday, it was warm enough for the giraffes to be out in the sun and they seemed to enjoy the weather. Children gawked and there were more than a five hundred strollers clogging the paths through the zoo. The strollers contained water bottles and discarded jackets. Children were everywhere underfoot.

Admission to Franklin Park Zoo costs $12 for adults and $7 for children between the ages of 2 and 12. It's not the Bronx, but for twelve bucks you get to see a tapir, a capybara, and ducks. You get to see other animals, most of them asleep and hiding. You get to see the giraffes who can't really hide. The giraffes stand in an open enclosure with a few zebras for contrast.

You have to be tolerant of children and baby-talking adults to enjoy any zoo. Today some kind of kidney reseach fundraiser was hosted by the Franklin Park Zoo. The excursion was worth the twelve dollar admission but I have to admit that Dorchester is not the Bronx. No point in fretting about that. A good time was had by all.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Flurry of Fliers

Pizza season is heating up as the Earth swings closer to the sun. Fliers are innundating Dorchester's mailboxes. Yesterday was Windy City Pizza on Gallivan Blvd. Today is Cee Cee's Pizza at 301 Adams Street. What will tomorrow bring?

Cee Cee's will deliver any order that totals more than $8.00 and add a $1.50 delivery charge. There is no caveat on the front of their brochure that they only serve a limited area so this may be worth the price of gas if you live in Allston or East Boston. We assume that if you live in New London, Conn. the delivery charge may be more than advertised.

The term "Monday Madness" means different things to different people, but at Cee Cee's Pizza it means a patron can purchase 20 chicken wings in the flavor of their choice for $8.99 plus tax. What are the flavors? Buffalo, Honey Hot, Barbeque, Honey Barbeque, Spicy Barbeque, Teriyaki, Honey Mustard, Sweet & Sour, and Ranch. One's tastebuds spin at the choices between spicy and sweet. What will yours be next Monday? Call in your order at (617) 436-2500. If that line is busy, and it may be, try (617) 436-2501.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Windy City

Windy City Pizza has the most colorful brochure of all Boston's pizzerias. Chicago is known for a first class pie and the Windy City Pizza logo sports an image of the Sears Tower. The menu boasts that they serve zero trans fat but a look at the photos should make an artery-conscious reader question that claim.

Windy City Pizza is well known for the specials advertised in thier front window that faces Gallivan Boulevard, at #516, just at the entrance to Adams Village on the right if approaching from JFK/UMASS. They deliver to a limited area between 11:00 and 11:00 and a fifty cent gas charge will be added to the bill. With the prices gas is selling for these days, you might save some money on delivery rather than picking up your order yourself. Check them out at

If you are going to go, order the M8 special. You will save $10.60 and have enough leftovers to last the rest of the week. Not a bad bargain in gourmet fast food.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Library Fun

On Tuesdays, the Field's Corner Branch of the Library doesn't open until 11:00 AM. This is a perfect opportunity to visit the branch in Lower Mills which is fairly modern by Boston Public Library standards and more cheerful than the Codman Square Branch. The Lower Mills branch has an extensive (racks and racks!) collection of mystery novels.

Though Dashiell Hammett is credited with inventing the modern American crime novel, you won't find him in the mystery section. Two collections of his complete novels (five in all) are found agains the wall with the literature, filed with other grear authors whose last names begin with H.

For those youngsters not interested in crime, the Lower Mills branch hosts "Mother Goose Storytime" every Wednesday beginning at 10:30 AM. Each week's program consists of a half hour of "songs, stories, rhymes, bounces, tickles and fun" intended for babies, toddlers and their caregivers. The program is geared for people three years of age and under, though it is assumed caregivers will be a bit older than three. The last program this year will be conducted on May 28th, so stop by before it's too late.

The library is a short, uphill walk from the Milton stop on the Mattapan High Speed Line. What better way to spend a Wednesday morning?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rewound Prank

Digital media have mostly replaced analogue but there are still boxes of cassette tapes tucked into basements, back closets and attics. Boys will be boys and their eager hands are made for mischief. Parents cannot keep their attention focused on their little rapscallions all the time. As long as the transgressions are minor, there is little need for parental intervention no matter the litter left afterward.

Mothers’ Rest is the most poetically named park in all of Boston. It is just north of Codman Square, on Washington Street in Dorchester. It occupies a bluff that overlooks Dorchester Bay and the rainbow painted gas tank on the bay’s shore. It seems a band of boys got their hands on a cache of antiquated cassette tapes stashed off Codman Square.

Sometime between 6:00 and 8:00 yesterday evening, someone unraveled what appears to be ten or twelve old cassettes and wove the tape quite loosely in the fence work at Mothers’ Rest. The wind picked up overnight and completed the job, tying the shiny, brown tape strands between the bars, around tree branches and bench feet. Mothers’’ Rest was rustling and unfurling with quarter inch thick tape. What sounds were originally recorded are unknown.

A public works crew was dispatched to the park armed with trash bags and pocket knives to cut the stray tapes off the objects around which the wind had wrapped them. The perpetrators had tossed the tapes willy-nilly and the gusts off the Bay finished the work, creating tangles more complicated than the biggest granny knot. No one suspects girls have committed this act of minor vandalism. One mother, witnessing the clean up, commented, “Boys will be boys.”

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Connecting the Dots

A new advertisement for Caritas Carney Hospital is posted oustside Gene and Paul's Meat Market on the corner of East Cottage Street and Dot Ave. It is written entirely in Vietnamese. I don't know what it says but I think it is spot-on. Carney is Dorchester's hospital and they speak the local lingo.

5-minute prostate exams were offered at the Shaw's Supermarket on Morrisey Boulevard today. A local sports radio station had set up a table outside with speakers and a freezer full of frozen pizzas on offer at sale price. The local post of the Disable American Veterans is selling paper poppies by the supermarket's entrance. You should purchase one for your lapel not only memory of the graves in Flanders fields but also to support those who come home with deep, undeniable scars.

Boston's Mammography Van is making the rounds in Dorchester. It stops at Neponset Health Center on May 22 and at Bowdoin Street Health Center on May 27. To make an appointment, call 617-632-1974. Dorchester is sunny today. We should enjoy it to the best we are able.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Bird Dogs and Gentlemen

The sap is rising. Finally. The trees are flowering, the cat birds have come north to roost. Worms are churning the topsoil and the grass is the green, green grass of home. Ah, Boston!

The turn of the weather today made a lot of gentlemen linger on street corners. It was a fine day for girl-watching. Skin is starting to be exposed. Not everyone has unpacked thier shorts and bikinis but hems are rising and sleeves are no longer full length. The down coats have been mothballed, thank goodness.

Pretty women are everywhere out and about, taking the streets by storm. Boston is full of eye candy and a virile man's thoughts turn toward the fairer gender. He can't help himself with so many pretty specimens walking the sidewalks. Some tips for potential bird dogs:

1.) Don't wear mirrored sunglasses. a.) Even if you have mastered the peripheral stare, ladies suspect what you are doing. b.) If you haven't mastered the peripheral stare, you look like a damned fool staring head-on at a woman while wearing mirrored sunglasses. c.) If you are not a cop or prison guard, why are you wearing mirrored sunglasses? Do you really want to intimidate lovely ladies by looking like a damned fool out of uniform?

2.) Women are more than a pair of breasts. When you look at them, look at the whole package. you won't seem like a fetishist and you will enjoy the many attributes female beauty embodies. Look the ladies in their eyes. You won't seem so much a creep. This doesn't apply if you wear mirrored sunglassses while you do it.

3.) Women are not just an attractive body or a pretty face. It takes a lot of work to make everything ship-shape. Admire a woman's clothing. Steaks are sold more for their sizzle than their meat. If you like an all-you-can-eat buffet, sloppy dressing may appeal to you. A true connosieur admires a woman's shoes. Ladies put a lot of thought into their outfits and they appreciate attention paid to thier footwear.

4.) A woman can have snaggle teeth and they can be charming. Nothing beats a confident, cheerful smile. Look a woman in the mouth when you look at her. There is plenty to admire and plenty to learn about a potential paramour. A piece of spinach between incisor and gum means she eats healthily. A gangrenous blotch of osteonecrosis means you probably don't want a kiss, no matter how bouncy her breasts.

5.) Muttering, "Nice choppers" is never overheard as a compliment. The same is true of "nice stems," or other unprintable things. Keep your thoughts to yourself no matter how strongly you feel them. Play your cards close to your vest.

Monday, May 05, 2008

All Boston All the Time

Your man on the Dot has been taking his time and stretching his legs, walking about, seeing the sights and inhaling the aromas that escape from Dorchester's kitchens and barbecue grills. Yes, Spring is in the air and the Fifth of May means cooking outdoors among friends while the sun shines its balm on Boston. It is about time. April truly was a cruel month, but on a day like today Mother Nature is forgiven even if she waited until a Monday to sweep the rain clouds away. At least the streets are clean.

Who is that Little Blue Ninja? It is Whalehead King, of course, sporting his sporty, armored jacket and his helmet dotted with stickers peeled off fresh vegetables. Our Man also sports a sticker he took off his coffee cup from the Mud House. The Mud House is a little storefront beanery located on Neponset Avenue just after Neponset Circle, which it one of the scabs on Boston's traffic arteries for which this city is famous. The ladies at the Mud House are quite pretty and attentive and pleasant. The coffee should be voted "Best of Boston." Check it out.

Next door is an efficient barber shop full of gentlemen who are masters of the electric clippers. Next to them is a police equipment supply store that may have vacated the premises if we saw things correctly while speeding by on our motorcycle. Whether the shop is open or shuttered, you can be sure Boston's Finest, the nation's first police force, will still frequent the Mud House to keep thier pep on the beat.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Boston in Spring

It isn't summer yet, but at least it isn't winter. You need a jacket outside or a sweater inside, but you don't need gloves or Wellington boots. The trees have started to blossom and it is nice to walk outside without a scarf or chillblains. It is springtime in Boston. Let May bring what it may!


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