MARAC/NEA Spring 2015: “Want to grab a beer?”

This being a popular refrain at conferences, we thought we’d pull together some locations where you might want to do that. Many thanks to Kate Markopoulos for her research!

One of the best parts of living in the Northeast is the proud craft beer culture that is thriving in it. Using local ingredients, experimenting with different flavors and styles is what makes the culture of small breweries unique. They love what they do! The goal of this [very small] list is to introduce you to a variety of places within the Boston area. Listed with each stop is the most straightforward public transportation, although Uber is available in Boston and cabs are readily available when going to the breweries. Keep in mind heading back into town may take a little longer if you are calling a city taxi. 
Photo by Cyberslayer, Flickr,

I encourage you to check the website or social media site before your visit. This way you are updated on what they are currently pouring, learn some extra background information, and be sure they are open (many places book their space for private events).  It would also be a nice gesture if you are traveling in a larger group (10+) to call before you go and let them know.

Night Shift Brewing
87 Santilli Hwy, Everett (Orange Line – Wellington stop, then 15 min walk or quick cab ride)
Hours: Monday – Friday 3-10pm, Saturday 12-10pm, and Sunday 12-6pm. Free daily tours (check website for specific times) and weekend food trucks.

Current favorite: Somer Weisse – Sour wheat beer aged with lemongrass and ginger.

It is easy to start with this one as it the brewery most frequented by myself. They offer a wide variety of beer – hop heads, dark beer and sour lovers alike can all find something to enjoy. There are usually at least ten draft lines flowing at any given time. The tasting room is expansive, the bar extending most of the length of the room and picnic tables fill in the rest of the space. The tap list is on the wall and towards the bottom lie suggestions for food delivery if the food truck doesn’t have what you’re looking for. Feel free to bring in something of your own as well. Grab a flight (4-4 oz. pours) or a larger pour from of the listed beer on tap. Sorry, there is one beer that is only for Barrel Society members.

Slumbrew Tap Room/American Fresh
300 Canal St. Assembly Row, Somerville (Orange Line – Assembly Stop)
Hours: Monday – Saturday 11am-10pm, Sunday 11am-7pm.

Current favorite: Porter Square Porter – Maybe because of the cold weather, maybe because they use Taza chocolate.

The brewery/taproom on Ward St. in Somerville in the final stages of construction but it isn’t complete yet. Worry not, you can still get a taste of their delicious beer at American Fresh and get some good food to boot. American Fresh is an outdoor beer garden created by the folks at Slumbrew. It is a big white tent in Assembly Row, a growing shopping area, and surprisingly cozy inside. The atmosphere is reminiscent of a picnic area with colorful chairs and smaller tables. Local wares are available or you can play a board game while relaxing. Want to make a night of it? Check out their calendar for trivia and game night dates.

Mystic Brewing
174 Williams St. Chelsea (Green Line to Haymarket, 111 Bus to Beacon St. @ Broadway)
Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 11am-9pm.
Saturdays have 2 free tours: 1pm and 2pm

Current favorite: Melissa – Gruit style ale. Herbalicious!

Mystic Brewery is an artisan brewery focusing on rustic farmhouse ales. While keeping their focus on brewing these styles, they still incorporate a surprising amount of varieties into their lineup. The tasting room is rustic and cozy with locals ready to strike up conversation with you. The bar has roughly ten seats and barrel tables fill in the rest of the space. Note that the entrance is in the back of a parking lot so look for the Mystic flag hanging outside the door or you may pass it.

Bantam Cider
40 Merriam St. Somerville (Green Line to Lechmere, 87 Bus to Somerville Ave @ McGrath Hwy)
Hours: Thursday – Friday 4-7pm, Saturday 1-7pm.

Current favorite: Rojo – They use sour cherries and peppercorns, but it’s not too sour (if there is such a thing).

Looking for something other than beer? Check out Bantam. Started by two women, and now boasting a staff of eight men and women, they push the boundaries on what cider is and expected to be. The tasting room is streamlined yet warm and inviting, usually offering about 5 different ciders on tap. Take a tour and learn about not only the ciders but also about how they have burst into the craft beer scene and made it their own while helping pave the way for cider experimentalists.

Aeronaut Brewing
14 Tyler St. Somerville (Green Line to Lechmere, 87 Bus to Somerville Ave @ Loring St.)
Hours: Tuesday – Thursday 5pm-11pm, Friday 5pm-Midnight, Saturday 2pm-Midnight.

Current favorite: Bonsoir Quad – Raisiny. 
Stepping in to a warehouse is fairly typical, especially if you are a seasoned brewery visitor.  Guided tours are available Wednesdays between 5 and 7pm or by special arrangement. Select one or a few of their beers, available as small pours (or growler fills) and some local treats to take home such as Taza chocolate and Q’s Nuts. They also have trivia and movie nights as well as other locally inspired events listed on their calendar.

Trilium Brewing
369 Congress St. Boston (Green Line to Park St., Red Line to South Station, ~ 10 minute walk.)
Hours: Tuesday – Wednesday 4-7:30pm, Thursday – Friday 12-7:30pm, Saturday 12-6pm.

Current favorite: Fort Point Pale Ale. They have done several batches featuring specific hops.
Trillium is usually open for tastings, however, it is only growler fills and bottles for sale at the moment so if your travel plans allow for the transport of liquids, definitely wander over. Lunch time can be very busy and you may have to wait in line outside as it is not a very big space inside. It is worth the wait, I assure you. If all else fails, Row 34 is a seafood restaurant next door and they feature at least one Trillium product amidst their thorough beer list.
You may be wondering why Sam Adams and Harpoon are not on this list, since they are settled easily within city limits. It was on purpose. The simple reason being they are already widely established throughout the Northeast. Visiting is encouraged, both breweries frequently offer pilot batches (a friendlier way to say experimental batch) to taste to the happy tour groups and the tours can be quite entertaining. The hope is that you are able to experience a new brew during your visit that you are unable to get at home. That is, unless you elect to bring home some bottles or growlers. Cheers!

MARAC/NEA Spring 2015: Boston’s Legacy – Environmental and Informational Leadership

The urban hub of New England and a global center for information institutions, Boston, Massachusetts, is one of the world’s leading environmental actors. From the city-wide free recycling initiative, to the many green spaces and LEED certified buildings that pattern the city, to Brookline’s ban on plastic bag use in retail stores, Boston’s environmental awareness is alive and well amongst its residents, elected officials, and many institutes alike.

Situated on the east coast of Massachusetts against the blue of the Atlantic Ocean, Boston is home to the New England Aquarium which, in addition to its live animal exhibits and educational programs, maintains a series of short videos on its website, (also found on YouTube) called Blue Impact. This series discusses the science of climate change, its documented influences, and the way it affects the world’s oceans and marine species. Blue Impact also details ongoing conservation efforts as well as those that still need to begin. By providing people with an interesting and accessible way to learn more about marine ecology outside its walls, the Aquarium has established itself as an important part of Boston’s eco-consciousness.    

The Harvard Museum of Natural History, located not far from Harvard Yard in Cambridge, is another institution that focuses heavily on the environment, as well as on natural history and taxonomy. Through its partnership with the Harvard University Center for the Environment, the Museum’s exhibit entitled Climate Change: Our Global Experiment is committed to providing visitors with accurate information on the science of climate change so that they can form more informed opinions about the phenomenon. Climate Change also provides a computer simulation in which visitors can test out the different measures we can take to better serve the environment.

Another cherished Boston institute is the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, which was designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted in the late nineteenth century. Stretching over seven miles and covering 1200 acres from downtown Boston through Brookline, the Emerald Necklace is comprised of six parks, including the Franklin Park Zoo and the Arnold Arboretum, the latter of which is managed by Harvard University. The Arboretum is a National Historic Landmark and is famed for being the continent’s first public arboretum. As such, it is home to 281 acres of ponds, meadows, and woods, 15,000 living plants, a scientific research center, a horticultural library and archives, and several art exhibits.

Not only does the entirety of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy inspire a love of nature and an environmental awareness in those who visit, but it also serves an ecological purpose through the Emerald Necklace Tree Project, which manages and maintains the living trees in the Conservancy and plants new ones.
The sheer number of institutions in the greater Boston area speaks to the city’s academic and cultural breadth, a vital part of which is its environmental advocacy. Ultimately, as the capital of a state that has been nationally recognized for its strong environmental policy (e.g. ranked as the most energy-efficient state in 2014 by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy,, as well as its educational legacy, Boston’s lasting bloom of information institutions makes it a must-see this spring and, of course, any time of year.
Sources Consulted

“Arnold Arboretum.” Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Jamaica Plain, MA

Blue Impact web video series. New England Aquarium, Boston, MA

Climate Change: Our Global Experiment exhibition. Harvard Museum of Natural History, Cambridge, MA

“Emerald Necklace Map.” Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Boston, MA

“Emerald Necklace Tree Project.” Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Boston, MA

Kiker, Patrick. “Massachusetts Tops California as Most Energy-Efficient State, while Arkansas, D.C., Kentucky, and Wisconsin are Most Improved.” 2014. American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

“Welcome to the Emerald Necklace.” Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Boston, MA

MARAC/NEA Spring 2015: We’ve Got 99 Problems and a Thaw Ain’t One

Another installment in our series about Boston snow. Thanks to Marta Crilly for sharing these tips. Personally, I’m looking forward to trying the tea/hot chocolate options.

We’ve Got 99 Problems and a Thaw Ain’t One
I am an archivist who loves a good historic New England snow storm. So, in January, when I saw a blizzard forecast, I made all the necessary preparations with glee. I did some archival research on city snow removal, I scanned some photos of Blizzard of ’78 for my repository’s social media feeds, and I stocked up on tea, hot chocolate, cheese, and wine.  One month and 99 inches of snow later (as of this writing, we have had exactly 99 inches of snow in my neighborhood), I’m still into the snow, but I’m also looking forward to spring, though I know it brings mud and flooded streets.  Harvey Leonard, Boston’s Weather – , tells me that a thaw isn’t coming our way soon though, so here’s some wisdom I’ve obtained during the last 99 inches of snow.  
Do Not Wear White Trousers
We have slush. Urban slush. Everything you wear on the lower half of your body should be black, gray, and preferably impervious to any kind of moisture.  
Do look out for the Icicles of Doom
The Icicles of Doom are real and they are dangerous. Bostonians always keep one eye on the sky, and you should too.
The Icicles of Doom

Do Not Wear Cute Shoes
Our historic storm drains laugh at your cute shoes.
Do play “Is that a car or is it a snow drift”
Need a way to entertain yourself as you sight see around the city? This game is both challenging and fun! Also, a good way to break the ice with new archivist friends.

Is there a car lurking under this snow drift?
Do not jump naked out of second story windows into snow drifts.
Remember, you might think you are jumping into a snow drift, but it’s a probably a car that hasn’t been shoveled out.  Also, as Mayor Walsh reminded us recently, this isn’t Loon Mountain. It’s the City of Boston. Presumably, it’s okay for people to jump out of second story windows on Loon Mountain.
Do drink a hot chocolate
This is prime hot chocolate weather. There are many excellent places to obtain a good stout Boston hot chocolate, but my favorite purveyor of creamy goodness is Burdicks. And if tea or fancy pour over coffee is your winter weather beverage of choice, try Render in the South End or David’s Tea on the Freedom Trail.
Keep these handy rules in mind and you will glide through Boston’s 99 inches, hassle and worry free, just like Snowzilla!

MARAC/NEA Spring 2015: Cabin Fever

By Kate Bowers
I told myself I’d do three things today: clean the oven, write this blog, and do some laundry. Now it’s 9:39 PM and I’ve only begun writing. But it’s all good—really!
Today was the day of the great melt. After 4 weeks of below-freezing weather, temperatures soared this afternoon to a blissful, balmy, meltingly delicious 37 degrees!  I put my oven on its self-cleaning cycle and opened some windows.
Chop. Pause. Chop. Pause. Chop.
I live in a triple-decker. That sound was my neighbor, Sarah, hacking at the ice at the end of our driveway. I grabbed a shovel and joined her. She was liberating gray chunks of compacted snow, road salt, and grime with cheerful determination. She walloped, I scooped. Small shovelfuls I’d fling onto a snow pile as tall as I am. If the load was heavy, I’d walk a few steps down the street and heave them onto one only shoulder-high. After 45 minutes we exchanged tools and duties. After an hour and a half we left behind a much smaller iceberg, strategically graded and salted for traction. It was satisfying. It was fun.
And that’s what the great melt did for a lot of us today. Boston-area winters are often snowy, but our snow is usually followed by a day or two of above-freezing temperatures. The day after a big snowfall, you expect to shovel out, throw a snowball or two, and chat with the neighbors who are all doing the same thing. You expect to go to the movies. Go to yoga. See your friends.
Not this year. It’s been blizzards every weekend followed by relentless wind, single-digit temperature readings, and weekdays of hellish commutes. No one’s been hanging around outside long enough to chat. Everyone has had to cancel something. If it wasn’t the weather itself, it was what the weather has done to our aging public transit. My writing group has cancelled. Not just once. We have cancelled three times.
Things have been even harder for folks who aren’t physically able to move safely in these conditions. My parents and their friends are mostly in their eighties. When the weather gods provided a brief window and I was able to visit, my mother sighed, “I’m just glad for the company.”
Kate’s parents peeking out of their home
This one warm day has reminded us all that Spring will come. But everyone’s psyche is still a bit frayed—we have backlog of socializing.
At 6:15 I was mulling ideas for the blog and thinking about a load of dark wash when my phone rang.
“I’m going crazy.”
“Come on over,” I said.
Pizza. Sitting on the couch chatting. I think we watched a cat video. Normal, post-modern socializing.
So I’m finishing this blog several hours later than I intended to, but I wouldn’t have missed my friend’s visit for the world. And I can’t imagine better timing for a joint MARAC/NEA conference than at the end of this punishing winter.
NEA members will be happy to see you.
And we could really use the company.

MARAC/NEA Spring 2015: The New England Roundtable for Early Professionals and Students


The New England Roundtable for Early Professionals and Students (NEA REPS) would like to invite MARAC students and new professionals to our events at the Spring Meeting!  Even if you’re not in that category, please feel free to join us!  REPS takes the perspective that we all have a great deal to learn from each other in the archives profession no matter where you are in your career.  

We are holding two events at the Spring Meeting.  The first will be our annual roundtable meeting on Friday, March 20th at 3:30 pm.  The first 5-10 minutes of the session will be our business meeting which will be a synopsis of goals accomplished from the past year and goals for the upcoming year.  After our business is out of the way we invite y’all to tell us what you’ve been up to.  What are some interesting projects, ideas, or concerns that you’ve been thinking about?  

Then look for us on Saturday, March 21st at 11:00 am for our session.  It is a collaborative lightning round event with both REPS and MARAC members titled “Revolt against Complacency: Combatting Hurdles in Professionalism.”  This session aims to address a myriad of issues faced by students and new professionals such as imposter syndrome, mentoring, and developing a network.  So bring your questions and comments!

MARAC/NEA Spring 2015: The [Snow] Revolution Continues

Boston is going all out to make sure we feel welcome. Archives and records management are practically taking over the city!
Records Management: Most of you are probably aware that Boston has had a wicked lot (technical term, not yet added to the SAA Dictionary) of snow this winter. As of this writing, they have accumulated 96 inches, making it the second snowiest on record. For those of you in DC, take a trip over to the American History Museum to remind yourself how tall Julia Child was. Ninety-six inches of snow equals 1.3 Julia Childs!
Oral History from the archives: Streets in South Boston have temporarily been changed to one-way. And while we’re talking about Southie, check out this video regarding a time honored tradition during periods with less snow.

This is all a long way of saying, prepare for cold; the type of outdoor weather that makes your indoor archives feel warm and cozy. It is very likely there will still be snow, and therefore likely to be duck boot (though probably tough to find a pair) rather than duck boat weather. Travel within the city may take longer than it did the last time you visited. Boston’s public transportation system, the MBTA or “T,” has particularly suffered from this year’s snow. Service has shut down on several occasions, and is not expected to be fully functional until sometime in March.
But don’t let this stop you! There are still so many great, indoor places to visit (upcoming blog posts will highlight local attractions). Besides, you will be having such a great time at the joint meeting, you won’t even notice the weather.
Another exciting, not weather-related, aspect of this conference is that we have over 500 people registered. This does mean that rooms will fill up quickly. Plan to arrive early for all events. If you can’t find a seat, take a break and visit the vendors, socialize, or enjoy Boston.
On behalf of the Local Arrangements Committee, we look forward to seeing you in Boston!
Tunnel at the Wellington MBTA station. Via Twitter (@BostonBikeParty).

MARAC/NEA Spring 2015: Eating Out in Boston

We all need to eat while we are in Boston! Thanks to Paul Caserta, food writer and archivist, for pulling together a list of some great places to gather for a meal.
Known as a center of history, food trucks and farmer’s markets, Boston is a melting pot of good New England traditions, including great food. To experience the best of the best though, I recommend these culinary hot spots nearby and around the city.

Near Park Plaza Hotel:

1) Tapeo Restaurant and Tapas Bar ($$-$$$)
266 Newbury Street Boston, MA 02116
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Ready for a real treat? Try this Spanish Tapas style cuisine with flavors and ingredients so fresh it will make you feel like you were actually in Seville. Get a glass of the Grand Marnier Sangria and enjoy these dishes on your own or to share with your friends.

2) Sweetgreen ($-$$)
659 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02116

The core values for this food spot are to keep it real by providing delicious and healthy vegetarian and vegan food options while thinking about sustainability. That means local food from New England farms brought to your bowl. Simply put: it’s pure, it’s tasty, it’s Sweetgreen.

3) Petit Robert Bistro ($$-$$$)
480 Columbus Avenue Boston, MA 02118
In France, a bistro is where blue collar workers go to eat home-style fare at very modest prices; often served on bare wood or with draught beer and vin ordinaire. Petit Robert Bistro keeps to this tradition while bringing to the city a menu of principal plates you won’t want to miss.

4) Boloco – Boston Local ($-$$)
Multiple locations in Boston, MA
Globally inspired burritos is the game and Boloco is the name. Whether you’re gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, carnivore, or other, this chain of burritos, bowls, shakes, smoothies, and more has nutritional and fun eats everybody will love; and what’s better than local?.
Historic and One-of-a-Kind Places:

5) The Union Oyster House ($$-$$$)
41 Union Street Boston, MA 02108
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Located on the Freedom Trail near Faneuil Hall, enjoy this unique destination being America’s oldest restaurant. This Boston fixture, housed in a building dating back to Pre-Revolutionary days, started serving food in 1826 and has continued ever since with some of the best seafood in the city of Boston.
6) Jacob Wirth Co. German Restaurant ($-$$)
31 Stuart Street Boston, MA 02116
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Opening in 1868, this traditional Bavarian-styled German food site is less fancy, but not less flavorful. Grab a pint in the old-fashion beer hall, one of their specialty meals (the Sauerbraten or Weiner Schnitzel looked good to me), some apple strudel, and you’ll be good to go.

7) Trattoria Il Panino ($$-$$$)
11 Parmenter Street Boston, MA 02113
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Italian and Mediterranean Cuisine of the Amalfi Coast, Trattoria Il Panino is considered in some circles to be the North End of Boston’s original trattoria. Sit down in the surroundings of brick walls and the open kitchen with the scent of real balsamic vinegar in the air and you’d swear you weren’t in the U.S.A.

8) Cheers ($-$$)
84 Beacon Street Boston, MA 02108
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From the iconic 1982 television series where everybody knows your name, Cheers is a local tradition of good spirits and good times. Grab a pub burger while viewing the memorabilia and perhaps you will leave with a piece of the bar with you.

9) Top of the Hub Restaurant and Lounge ($$$)
The Shops at the Prudential Center, 800 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02199
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Soaring 52 floors above the Boston skyline, Top of the Hub gives a one-of-a-kind view unlike any other. Reserve a table next to a window and view the lit up cityscape while enjoying incredible made-to-order entrees with options many diners will love.
For Your Sweet Tooth:

10) L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates
220 Clarendon Street Boston, MA
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Specialty chocolates, cacao, desserts and more from around the world, L.A. Burdick is the perfect spot to give in to your secret dessert desires. Try a penguin truffle with a coffee or a Zuger Kirsch with a Single Source Drinking Chocolate.

11) Georgetown Cupcakes
83 Newbury Street Boston, MA 02116
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Home of DC Cupcakes on TLC, Georgetown Cupcakes has been spreading nationwide in a crazy way to the dessert world due to their fine ingredients, not too sickey-sweet taste and delicious products. Personally, I’d say go for the red velvet or key lime cupcakes.
12) Modern Pastry / Mike’s Pastry /
257 & 300 Hanover Street Boston, MA 02113
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Two Italian bakeries, (both being the best depending on which local Bostonian you ask), that will give you the experience of eating pastries many people have never even seen before. Try a pasticiotto, canoli, rum cake, or a sfogliatella. Make sure to bring cash for these specialty shops though.

13) Finale
Park Plaza | One Columbus Ave Boston, MA 02116
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Sit down at a table or take out dessert from this elegant patisserie. Known to have lines where individuals will wait over an hour, Finale creates decadent treats so good most of those people don’t even mind.

For reservations I recommend using the Open Table Reservation system ( for any of these food sites. It’s easy to sign up, free of charge, one can pick the restaurant, and the time they want to sit for dinner with no hassle waiting on the phone.