January 17th, 2011
Hey! I’m an “ultimate insider” in the MSN website’s new “Rediscover…” series of travel videos profiling 12 U.S. cities. In the intro to the Boston videos, three other insiders and I gather for pints at Doyle’s in Jamaica Plain and gab about our fave spots in greater Beantown. Then, we splinter off into four separate vignettes where each of us pairs up with another Bostonian and drives a Buick (the series’ sponsor) to different neighborhoods. Here’s the one I’m in with Harvard archivist and Boston Typewriter Orchestra member Giordana Mecagni.
The other Boston insiders are Fenway Park DJ (and sometime drinkboston drinking buddy) TJ Connelly, butcher and fishmonger Michael Dulock of Concord Prime & Fish, and Kupah James, a hiphop dancer, DJ and mentor to teen boys. The videos jam lots of noteworthy places and things, both touristy and un-touristy, into just a few minutes: East Boston (the Zumix performance space, the Boston Typewriter Orchestra, Piers Park, Santarpio’s Pizza, Scups), downtown (Union Oyster House, Boston Athenaeum, Stoddard’s, Bond) Back Bay/South End (Casa Romero, the Otherside Cafe, Darrell’s Corner Bar, Wally’s), Inman Square (East Coast Grill, Trina’s Starlite Lounge, Olé), Concord (Concord Prime & Fish, Main Streets Market, Concord Barber Shop), Jamaica Plain (Salmagundi hat shop, Vee Vee, Ten Tables, Doyle’s) and Fenway Park, to name a few.
The experience gave me an appreciation for the skill with which professional video producers boil an entire weekend of shooting into just a few informative, lively minutes. My favorite behind-the-scenes moment was showing up at the Union Oyster House in the middle of an autumn Saturday lunch rush with a crew of about 10 (producer, a couple camera guys, a sound guy, a photographer, assistants, etc) and nonetheless being politely expedited to a table where we filmed a conversation amid the hubbub. And I got to fulfill my lifelong dream of sucking down a raw oyster on camera.