Monday, March 25, 2013

Interview: Working at Faneuil Hall

Working at Faneuil Hall 

An short interview with college student Kaitlyn Coddington

This is Kaitlyn wearing an outfit from Loft, which she got with her worker's discount. She loves it!

Where do you work at?
I am the sales associate at Loft, a clothing store located at Faneuil hall. 

Tell me about the brand. 
It's a flirty clothing brand geared towards woman. We are one of the divisions of the renowned store, Ann Taylor. The style we offer is very polished and preppy. You have the classic shapes, but also fun, bright colors to play around with. 

Why did you choose this job?
I love the brand; I wear their clothes. Also, the team was very welcoming from the beginning and I thought it would be interesting to work at such a busy place as Faneuil Hall is. 

What particularly draws you to Faneuil Hall? 
The variety of people that circulate the stores. It is always a surprise for me who will come through the door of our store – a big family, a wondering tourist, a young couple, a potential college student; all different and unpredictable. There is no pattern, really. And that is exciting to work with. 

Would you say that the location of the store influenced your decision to take the job?
Definitely. It is a privilege to work at Faneuil Hall; I love it. It never ceases to interest me; there are so many options! 

Yet, you told me you are being transferred to another location. Is that right? 
Next semester I will be working at the Prudential for Loft, too. It will be an interesting change; both locations offer different things. The mall gives stability and regular costumers; a place like Faneuil Hall is unpredictable... people are exploring, always with a sense of curiosity. I feel that at Prudential I will get more costumers that will actually buy the clothes and will come in knowing the brand and what they want. Where I work now it feels like they are there for the ride; even if it's not their style they want to take a look and see what new thing they can find.

Kaitlyn at the Loft that will be opening in Prudential in April  
Check out their website:

The Green Madness of Irish Pubs

The Green Madness of Irish Pubs 

A pub is an abbreviation for public house – a drinking establishment that comes from British, Irish, Australian and Canadian cultures primordially. 
Its history can be tracked back to the Roman taverns 

Found in villages mainly

They offer beer, wines and soft drinks

Social atmosphere where one can interact with friends, meet people and celebrate

But, why? 
An Irish pub connotes freedom and rebellion. In the Middle Ages, the pub was a welcoming setting where people would gather to sing, relax, tell stories and exchange gossip and rumors. 
In the 19th century, the Irish pub was regarded as illegal by the oppressive British rule. Gradually, with the free-spirited and untamed spirit of the Irish, which characterized these social setting, the pubs began to flourish again. Before, it was were the rebels got together to complain of the crown and coordinate underground rebellions. Today, in Boston, it is where the juvenile, college "rebels" gather to challenge the drinking age, their ability to consume alcohol, to chug! chug! and what not, and the boundaries of a city that continues to be conservative in its core. The youth gathers, all high on green madness, the fever of the young soul who is thirsty for the medicine and adrenaline given at Irish pubs. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Paul Revere: Forever a North End Resident

By Christopher Gavin

The statue of Revere sits on Hanover Street in the North End of Boston.
Photo by C. Gavin

     You know this tale or at the very least remember the poignant and exclaimed phrase “The British are coming!” from your fourth grade history class. Maybe you had read a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow about the fateful night that made a local Boston craftsman a Revolutionary hero years after America gained independence from Great Britain. Maybe you remember the saying, “One if by land. Two if by sea.” Either way, you probably know Paul Revere; the horse-riding silversmith who made the Old North Church a signal tower and himself a patriot.
     In Boston though, history is not history. History is buildings; history is the Boston Common; history is not dead. With that said, it comes as no surprise that one can come to a city like this and not walk into a piece of the American Revolution.
     For example, you can take a walk down the Freedom Trail and as you meander through the streets of Boston, you are walking past the graves of colonists, standing where the Boston Massacre took place and even standing upon the deck of the USS Constitution herself in Charlestown. As you make your way about, cars come flinging past as if suddenly reminding you that you’re standing in 2013, not 1776.
     At one point in the middle of all that you may find yourself in the city’s “Little Italy,”-or as the locals simply call it-the North End.
     Besides being home to pastries and pasta, the North End is also home to a statue of Paul Revere, where you can find it canopied by trees and surrounded by bricks (and most likely tourists with digital cameras) in a walled memorial park known as The Paul Revere Mall on Hanover Street.
      The bronze-coated replica of Revere stands high above the heads of its admirers. His head his down. His left arm is out. His horse seems to be riding nobly onward as if it knew the importance of the man on its back.
     Cyrus Edwin Dallin, the statue’s sculptor, came to Boston in 1880, to work as an apprentice to Truman H. Bartlett, the father of a respected sculptor named Paul Bartlett. In 1882 Dallin was able to open his own studio. Three years later, his model for a statue of Revere won in the competition for the figure’s design, which became arguably his most famous work.[1]
     Today the statue is not only a tourist attraction but also a symbol of Boston as well, gracing the front of post cards and even acting as a scene setter for movies that take place in the city, such as “Fever Pitch,” released in 2005.
     Yet this emblem of Boston was not so easily set in stone. The commission that accepted Dallin’s model did not finalize the exact design until 1899.[2]
     The mall is where Webster Avenue, a small street that was home to tenement buildings, used to be in the mid-1920’s, Jeremy C. Fox said in a 2012 article. The 17 buildings were abolished-kicking out 100 angry North End residents-to make way for a playground, the Elliot School and then the mall. Displaced residents often stole construction materials and fought back against the city with the law.
     James Michael Curley, the Boston Mayor at the time and future Massachusetts governor and congressman, had originally thought of the idea of the public space.
     According to Fox, Curley’s vision came from the City Beautiful Movement, which was popular in Boston in the early 1900’s. The project would also create construction jobs during the Great Depression while also helping Curley with his chances to gain the Italian-American vote in his US Senate election. By removing the slums, the mall would connect the Old North Church with St. Stephen’s Church.   
     Dallin’s work of art was finally installed four years before his death in 1940.
     Revere made his famous ride on April 18, 1775. He rode through the countryside between Lexington and Concord warning colonists to arm themselves for the arrival of British soldiers. However, Revere never made it to Concord for he was caught by the British, released, and then sent back to Lexington without a horse.[3]
     The statue that sits behind the Old North Church as if Revere was going to gallop down Hanover is not only a symbol for America; for the birth of a nation, but also of a community. The Revere home is only a few blocks away in the North End where tourists and visitors can walk through the old green, wooded house in the footsteps of Paul himself.
     Standing around the statue for a few minutes, one can see these tourists pose for a quick Kodak moment, stare up at the figure for a few seconds, and quickly continue on their way through the mall as the top of the Old North Church guides their footsteps and their attention. Maybe the true meaning of the statue is lost on them.
     But perhaps one could even say that the bronze figure engulfs a call to service for both 

neighborhood and nation; to put ourselves forward for everyone else behind us; to ride forth into the 

darkness with the idea of a brighter day ahead flourished with the promise for a better world for every 

man, woman and child. Paul Revere rides for us.

Additional Sources: 
"Cyrus Edwin Dallin." Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1973. Biography In Context. Web. 14 Mar. 2013.
Fox, Jeremy C. "Friends of the Prado to Celebrate Paul Revere Statue on Sunday.", 27 Apr. 2012. Web. 14 Mar. 2013.
"Paul Revere." Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1936. Biography In Context. Web. 14 Mar. 2013.
"Paul Revere: A Brief Biography." The Paul Revere House. The Paul Revere Memorial Association, 2013. Web. 13 Mar. 2013.
"Paul Revere Heritage Project." Paul Revere Heritage Project. Boston University Graduate History Club, 2007. Web. 13 Mar. 2013.

[1] According to the Dictionary of the American Biography
[2] According to a web page maintained by the Boston University Graduate History Club
[3] According to the Dictionary of the American Biography

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

street performers

By: Julie Whalen

Street performers were always one of my favorite things in the city when I was little. It didn't matter if it was a man playing the guitar or a group dancing, I always made my family stop and watch. There was something about their energy, commitment and heart that made me feel the need to stay and watch.

One particular time, which was actually my first ever trip to Boston, my mom and I were just roaming around Faneuil Hall when I spotted a group of dancers. they were full of energy, running around trying to attract a bigger crowd before they started their show. As more and more people surrounded the more excited I became. The suspense was building and I was ready for the show. Finally they started picking people from the crowd to jump over. I was a pretty shy girl so I tried my best to sink back into the crowd. But the dancers were having none of that. One of the guys pointed to me and dragged me over to stand in a line of four other people. My heart was racing, i was nervous he was going to land on me since i was near the end of the line. But after much more added suspense he took his running start and flipped over the five people. The crowd went wild my heart began to beat at a normal pace. That memory tends to stick out to me whenever I think of Faneuil Hall. its one of my favorites that i know i will never forget

Interview with Alex Brown

This is an interview I did with 17 year old Alex Brown who has lived in JP his entire life.

Jeremy Maher: How long have you lived in JP?
Alex Brown: Almost 18 years.
JM: Have you always lived in the Forest Hills area?
AB: Yeah.
JM: What do you like most about JP?
AB: It’s accessibility to the city and such.
JM: Like on the T?
AB: Yeah.
JM: What do you not like about [JP]?
AB: I don’t like the gentrification. The like all the shit that causes it.
JM: What can you tell me about it?
AB: Well I mean how it’s pushing lower income people out and just like screwing them over. That’s what the issue is with gentrification. Also like destroying the [diverse] culture that is has. That JP has had for a really long time, especially in the latino community.
JM: How do you feel about people who call Jamaica Plain the hipster capital of Boston?
AB: I mean it kinda makes sense. A ton of people who are like moving in are yuppies in there 20’s that are sorta just getting by off of super super wealthy parents, driving the rent up and a lot of people who have been living there for decades who haven’t necessarily had fix rent, but people who assumed that the rent would stay the same, now it’s going up and it’s pushing all of them out.