The Upper Crust

November 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

For more pictures of The Upper Crust, click here.

The Upper Crust
222 Newbury St.

Sun. – Wed. 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Thurs. 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Fri. – Sat. 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The Upper Crust is my go-to pizza place in Boston. Now, if you read my About Me page, you’re probably wondering why I eat pizza if I don’t eat dairy products. Well, I don’t eat pizza usually. But when I do, it’s Upper Crust. (Sadly, there is no vegan option.)

I paid a visit to the Upper Crust on Newbury Street with a friend to get a couple slices this weekend. If you don’t know how it works, I’ll lay it out for you. If you want to order by the slice, you have six options: cheese, pepperoni or the Slice of the Day, each on regular or whole wheat crust. (The Slice of the Day changes every day, and is always something delicious, like pineapple and gorgonzola.) Beyond that, they offer some whole pies with a variety of delicious toppings.

Here’s a rundown of the prices:
Slice of cheese: $3
Slice of pepperoni: $3.25
Slice of the Day: $3.57
(Regular and whole wheat crust cost the same)

Whole pizzas range in price from $14.25 to $20.75.

The Upper Crust is the perfect place to stop in on a chilly autumn afternoon and grab a slice with a friend. Usually one slice is good, they’re pretty big. It’s always pretty busy in the Newbury Street location, so don’t be surprised if you have to wait for a seat. But when you finally sit down and take a bite, savor the crispy, thin crust and perfect proportion of sauce to cheese. And the soundtrack can’t be beat: “Waterfalls” by TLC was playing as I left the shop.

The Upper Crust doesn’t have a student discount, but its does have a frequent visitor card – buy 10 slices, get the next one free. I forgot my card when I went. Oh, well.

My personal favorite is the cheese, and maybe some customers’ favorite too, but The Upper Crust is known for it’s Slice of the Day. It’s always changing, so be prepared for a surprise!


Figuring out The Beantown Bloggery

November 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

The only celebrity I’ve seen in Boston is Gary Busey – he was leaning against a limousine outside the Mandarin Oriental hotel on Boylston Street. But I know people who’ve seen Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes jogging down Newbury Street.  Sometimes Hollywood comes to Beantown! And the place to hear about it is The Beantown Bloggery.

The blog (I would call it more of an aggregator), from a nameless, former MIT student, compiles info about the best things to do in Boston, and where and when to catch celebrities making appearances/making movies here.

Let me give you a rundown of what I like and what I don’t like about the site:


– The way it selects the best events. My usual source for everything going on in Boston is Yelp, but sometimes it can get tedious to sort through everything there is. What’s nice about The Bloggery is it selects the cream of the crop.

– The Free tab. I like free stuff!

– The Contest tab. I’m not usually one to engage in something in which the odds are mathematically against me, but suppose I come across a contest with a prize I cannot resist? I would surely find it in that tab!

– The celebrity updates. I’d like it if my star sightings went beyond Gary Busey. (Although, I went trick-or-treating on Beacon Hill and saw former presidential candidate and Senator John Kerry hugging children outside his home!) The charms of Beacon Hill are endless…


– The 1000 Words tab. It’s a feature that tells stories with pictures, but the pictures suck.

– The frequency of updates. Some of the posts under a few tabs are from months ago.

– The blog’s Twitter feed. It’s just tweets about new posts on the site.


The site is nice for some arts and entertainment info, but I don’t think it’s a must-read, just a site to check out every so often.


Final Project: Edible Boston

November 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

A screenshot of the cover of the latest Edible Boston.

For my final project, I would like to profile Edible Boston, a local magazine about sustainable food.

A part of a larger network of local food magazines (ex. the sister magazine in Connecticut is called Edible Nutmeg, because CT is the nutmeg state), Edible Boston features recipes, profiles of local food producers and interesting features about the best seasonal food.

To accompany my profile of the magazine and its website, I would create a slideshow of the best places in Boston to get local food, even in the winter when New England produce is scarce. (A Google map would go along with this too). And my video component would feature interviews with editors of Edible Boston, food bloggers and perhaps some Boston residents who are passionate about local food.

I Live-tweeted the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival

November 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

Let me begin by saying I wish I could have posted pictures of the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival, but my phone is archaic. I tried to set up an account with Twitpic, but then I tried to use it from my phone and nothing happened. Well, about an hour later I saw the picture I tweeted, but the text wasn’t there. Maybe I’ll figure it out in the future.

Anyway, I live tweeted the Vegetarian Food Festival. It was basically a large room (a gymnasium in the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center at Roxbury Community College) filled with exhibitors promoting their vegetarian/vegan food and products. And the place was packed, as you can see by my tweets. I think the best thing about it was all the free, delicious food.

I wanted to go there to see if I could learn anything new about vegetarian food that I didn’t know already, and to learn about new products. But I’m a skeptic, so I was underwhelmed by the new products. How many vitamin-infused smoothies can there really be?

What’s unfortunate about live tweeting an event is that you don’t get the whole picture the way you would on a nightly newscast. Pictures would help, but they still don’t provide the whole scene. So Twitter is somewhat limited in the amount of information it can offer (the 140-character limit helps with that too).

The best part was the personal account you can get of an event. I’m always interested in how people spend their time, and I think it’s fascinating to experience someone else’s experience almost as soon as it happens.

Following Twitter for a Day

November 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

Ten Twitter users, one day. What did I learn?

First, here are the people I followed: Tyler Florence, Martha Stewart, Grub Street Boston, Bon Appetit, Ruth Reichl, Saveur Magazine, NYT Dining, Chez Panisse, The Kitchn and Mark Bittman. (These are links to websites, for their Twitter accounts, click on the link to my Twitter account on the right, and then see who I’m following.)

Now I’ll walk you through 24 hours (all day on Oct. 26) of these 1o Twitter users:

Mark Bittman started out the day linking to a post about McDonalds on his own blog and an article about greenwashing in the WSJ. NYT Dining and The Kitchn did links to posts on their own websites in the morning, but Saveur started out by retweeting someone who liked one of their recipes. I liked this, it engaged the Twitter user and promoted its website.

Next up was Bon Appetit, which promoted a contest to win the new NYT cookbook, and then Martha Stewart posting pics of her products at Home Depot. I think Martha was my favorite of the day. I’m much more interested in what she’s doing than reading tweets about what’s on her site. If I wanted to know, I would just visit the site, you know? (Side note, in addition to visiting Home Depot, she also met Tony Hawk. She’s crazy!)

So for the rest of the day, I would tell you what the tweets were like in some detail, but it can be summed up like this: NYT Dining, Saveur and The Kitchn just tweeted about posts on their site for the rest of the day, and there was a little Martha thrown in there too. I got nothing from Tyler Florence, Chez Panisse, Ruth Reichl or Grub Street Boston. What a tease! I will say that normally Ruth Reichl’s tweets are quite poetic, for instance: @ruthreichl Black birds swooping into orange trees; beautiful ballet of the air. Cool, bright autumn. Softly poached eggs on hearty white bean stew.

I would have loved to read more from Ruth. I think what I learned is that while Twitter can be a great tool to redirect traffic to your website, I most enjoy it when tweets are about something personal, and don’t feel like another extension of some corporate machine. I think the best way to do it is to focus on the personal, but every so often, throw in a link to your own site to let people know about the work you’re putting out there.

So far, I’ve just been tweeting about myself and not posting links to this blog, which is a huge mistake! Lesson learned.




November 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

First, let me say I am sorry to fall so far behind on posting! I know your life depends on this blog. Here are some things that are going to change/have changed:

1. The About Me page is now slightly more revealing – now you can find out my name.

2. I added another link to the list of blogs on the right: Grub Street Boston, which is the source for everything food in Boston.

3. Forget the posting schedule I made (I think we both know it wasn’t working out). I cannot live life with such regiment! From now on, I am going to post whenever I feel inspired, and that will be much more often. And expect a better variety of posts.

4. Now you can get a full rundown of the food I eat on Twitter. Vital information! (Also, expect posts very soon, and by that I mean they are coming right after this one, about my Twitter page, and the festival I live-tweeted this weekend.) Please see my Twitter feed on the right of my blog.

A visit to ERC

October 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

The other day, I paid a visit to Espresso Royal Caffe in the Back Bay to talk to some customers and employees about why they like it so much (ERC has a reputation for being a cool hangout for local college students). Have you been in ERC? If not take a look at my video. Even if you have, you should still check it out – the vibe of the crowd at ERC is always interesting.