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Freedom Begins in Boston

CONTRIBUTORS Editor-in-Chief Shelly Straub Art Director Lucia Camarda Contributing Writers David Duran Read Connextions Magazine online or purchase your print edition through our website at: WRITE TO US: Do you have a question or comment regarding this issue or future issues of Connextions Magazine? We would love to hear from you! Email responses, press releases and future event listings are always welcome. All submissions become the property of Connextions Magazine. The views and opinions stated throughout this magazine are not necessarily the opinions of staff at Connextions Magazine. Connextions Magazine, LLC publishing office is located at 8601 Tartan Drive North, Cicero, New York 13039. Connextions Magazine will not knowingly publish or advertise text which is fraudulent or misleading. The publisher reserves the right to edit, limit, revise, or reject any text without cause. Connextions Magazine assumes no financial responsibility for typographical errors. If any errors are found, please notify Connextions Magazine immediately. Materials in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. ISSN 2160-4347 (print) ISSN 2160-4355 (online)


I do not speak with any fondness but the language of coolest

history, when I say that Boston commands attention as the town which was appointed in the destiny of nations to lead the civilization of North America.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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With almost 400 years of history, Boston

is considered one of the most historic, wealthy and influential cities in the US, making it into the top ten most popular tourist locations in the Country. There’s a lot to see and do in Boston, so first and foremost… bring comfortable shoes since its known as ‘the walking city!’

The Freedom Trail draws you into early American History starting right at the Boston Commons, where "redcoats" (British Army) are found at every turn. The infamous Quincy Market highlights music, entertainment and shopping, while Boston's North End (Little Italy) provides quaint restaurants with world-class cuisine! If you are not completely exhausted by nightfall and seek more Boston thrills, Ghost Tours are available for those who dare! Boston patriots played key roles in the fight for American independence, and pride along with the revolutionary spirit still influence the city's culture, attitudes and décor. It’s difficult not to take an interest when you are ‘where history happened.’ Walking where Paul Revere rode; eating where our founding Father’s ate; and standing on the grounds where hundreds died for our freedom, give you a sense of awe inspiring pride and patriotism. Whether by land or by sea, the city of Boston and its harbor is rich and fulfilling for all. CLICK HERE AND I WILL READ THIS ARTICLE TO YOU!



Revere Hotel Boston Common by David Duran

photos courtesy of the Revere Hotel Boston Common

A new face of luxury and sophistication has landed

in the Boston Common neighborhood. The Revere Hotel Boston Common is about to approach its one year anniversary after the majestic transformation from what once was a Radisson Hotel. The Revere is hip, modern and extremely well staffed. In fact, that staff at this property will


“The Revere is hip, modern and extremely well staffed.”


pretty much go out of their way to make sure you are well taken care of—starting from the moment you pull into the driveway and are greeted by the young men in extremely well tailored, fashionable uniforms. 4

The simple and all white lobby is enhanced with modern sculptures. The circular ramp makes it an ease to reach the front desk to check in without having to deal with luggage and steps. The rooms are quaint but make up for size with luxury. If you are environmentally friendly, this property goes far beyond most to help conserve, offering lavish bathroom products in large refillable containers, with two options for essentials. And for those who work out while traveling, there’s a gym with brand-new, state of the art equipment that boasts a water fountain with a plastic bottle sensor for easy refilling -- you know, for saving the planet and stuff. A beautiful executive desk graces the corner and makes working from your room feel extra important. If you are picky about pillows, the Revere has a pillow menu to help alleviate your worries. Four additional pillow types are offered and can be brought to your room at your request, at no additional charge of course. Strategically located next to the property but still connected, is the independently owned Rustic Kitchen restaurant which provides all the food for the hotel and offers guests a convenient option for dining experiences. But don’t let dinner be the end to your night. The Revere also has a hidden gem tucked inside the hotel. The Emerald Lounge, modeled after the Wizard of Oz is the place to be, and it’s exactly where the hip, Boston crowd turns out on the weekends. It’s unlike any other Boston bar—offering top DJ’s in an upscale environment. The intensely green-lit lounge can have lines around the corner, but hotel guests jump to the front of those lines, with the guest

elevators just feet from the entrance. The lounge has a limited capacity, for the comfort of their guests. There’s also an extended bar area that opens up late at night where guests are encouraged to dance. Within the Emerald lies a ruby. An unknown, more private back bar that takes a few extra twists and turns to get to. This lounge is decked out in all red and offers a pleasant visual change from the sea of green and people. The Revere Hotel Boston Common is not your typical corporate mega hotel. It’s futuristic in design while still comfortable. Their welcoming attitude to all guests

makes this the new place to stay when in town. Customer service ranks a 10 out of 10. Feel like an A-list celerity without paying the price!



A Culinary Walk through Boston

by David Duran

The city on the hill is offering up

some new as well as classic, out of this world dining to both visitors and residents alike. From small and almost unnoticed locations to extravagant fine dining—Boston seems to have it all. This beautiful New England city is pushing the limits of gastronomy with amazing restaurants headed by some of the country’s top chefs. The classic New England seafood is without a doubt available and each culinary experience featured here, offers up some of the best -- each with their own unique take on the cuisine. These establishments are changing what once was considered a relatively standard food scene and propelling Boston to one of the nation’s top food destinations.


Summer Shack

Rustic Kitchen

photo courtesy Summer Shack

photo courtesy Jim Cafarelli

Acclaimed Chef Jasper White who is synonymous with fine dining, shocked the culinary world when he opened his first Summer Shack. This energetic and fun atmosphere has space for the masses and offers all the New England seafood one could dream of, including -- but not limited to -- lobsters, clams, and oysters. White took this fun concept to a new level by creating a menu that also presents easy to eat, comfort food such as corn dogs and fried clams.

This relaxed, stylish Italian trattoria offers a robust Mediterranean menu of homemade authentic pastas and brick oven pizzas, as well as gourmet salads and zesty sandwiches – all beautifully and creatively presented. With an open pasta-making station and wood-burning oven, the bistro’s atmosphere nicely mixes modern with the traditional. The Rustic Kitchen also offers a spacious bar, with a seasonal selection of homemade vodka infused cocktails made with fresh juices.

It’s definitely a hot tourist spot, so make sure to check out this restaurant during off-peak times, or hang out with the crowd amid their famous summer happy hour and enjoy seasonal beers & specialty craft cocktails. Summer Shack, which now has five locations, offers high-quality, authentic New England seafood set in a casual atmosphere, in high-traffic retail locations.

Adding a unique element of entertainment, the Rustic Kitchen is also home to “The Cooking Show,” a TV program hosted by famed local chef Liz Bramwell, and is taped in front of an enthusiastic audience in their elaborate, state-of-the art soundstage tucked away in the back of the dining room. Guests attending the show are treated to appetizers and entrees that are made live on the show that day.

Meritage photo courtesy Boston Harbor Hotel

Foodies who wish to have a true Boston-dining event will be delighted to learn that the Boston Harbor Hotel’s famed chef Daniel Bruce was the creator of the Boston Wine festival, which will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014. Each year for the festival, several special wine pairing dinners are created by Chef Bruce and he can proudly boast, that in the history of the festival and countless dinners, a dish has never been repeated. For oenophiles, it’s worth a visit to attend a few of these special wine events that run for several weeks at the beginning of each year, ranging from small, intimate dinners with vintners to larger, more casual tasting parties. The Meritage offers multi-course meals perfectly paired with outstanding wines, personally chosen by in-house sommelier Nick Daddona. The seasonal menu features an array of locally sourced products as well as imported items, such as Kobe beef, seared scallops and lobster. If the menu isn’t enough, the elegant dining room’s huge windows provide guests with gorgeous harbor views…to be soaked in while feasting on the chef ’s delectable masterpieces. With bus service from each terminal at Logan Airport and South Station in Boston to all of Cape Cod including Provincetown, Plymouth & Brockton makes it easy to kick back and start relaxing!

Let us get you there!







A simplified wine list and knowledgeable staff makes pairing your meal with the perfect wine a cinch. A variety of homemade breads will tempt you from the start. The menu, which is not overly produced, has just the right amount of items to confuse your hungry stomach, as you will not be able to choose what to order as all is beautifully described. If pizza is what will settle your cravings, be adventurous and try the lamb pizza.

James Hook Co photo courtesy David Duran

This stunning restaurant located in Boston’s Liberty Hotel is a culinary lovers dream destination and was created by legendary Chef Lydia Shire. The Italian inspired menu has hints and inspirations of both the Mediterranean and Middle East. The space is contemporary, dark and sexy. An open kitchen concept allows guests to view Shire’s team in action as they prepare the majority of the starter courses out in the open for all to witness.

Cinquecento photo courtesy Cinquecento


photo courtesy Eric Levin

Cinquecento, which translates into 500 in Italian, is located in Boston’s Historic South End.  The Roman Trattoria is edgy yet contemporary, while casual and energetic. The oversized dining space is sleek and brand new, as it just recently opened and is already garnering a massive local following. The craft cocktail selection is one of the most impressive as it offers an outstanding range of liquors. Not to be outdone, the wine menu is equally extraordinary. The menu is on the heavy side, offering unique twists on classic Italian dining. The artichoke hearts can’t be missed as a starter and tiramisu must be tried for dessert.

James Hook & Co. is a family business managed by four siblings of the third generation of the Hook family. They are committed to brining the highest of quality lobster and seafood products to both the wholesale and retail markets. From the outside, you wouldn’t know what to expect inside this small permanent trailer, but the moment you walk in and are greeted by the massive lobster tanks and friendly staff, as well as the fast moving line of people, you know you are in for a treat. This retail location has a walk-up counter and dining space provided but it is first come first serve. When coming to Boston, it’s a prerequisite to try the famous Boston lobster (lobstah) roll. The James Hook lobster roll is unofficially the best roll in town as per the locals. They offer both a half roll, or if you are feeling adventurous and have an empty stomach, the full roll. The fresh lobster mixed with their signature sauce makes the Boston delicacy mouthwatering delicious.

“I think that curiosity happened on these reviews where I was just a guest of the reviewer, because it introduced me to new cuisines and to the idea of cooking as a mechanism for studying other cultures and understanding other parts of the world.” - Ted Allen


Quincy Market Quincy Market, also known as Faneuil Hall marketplace, offers hundreds of shops -- many of which are uniquely designed peddler carts offering artisan crafts, more than 50 food court stops and renowned restaurants, and one of Boston's most popular comedy clubs, Mottley's.

Located along the “Freedom Trail” route, Quincy Market is just a few walking-minutes from the New England Aquarium, The Children's Museum, The Old State House, and Paul Revere's House.



One of Boston’s most popular tourist stops is the pedestrian only zone with vibrant street life.

Boasting shopping, dining, nightlife, and entertainment including street performers, Quincy Market is a must on the itinerary!

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Swank Properties

Apartment style short


long term rentals in Boston

My partner and I enjoyed a weekend full of fun in Boston, topped with luxurious accommodations at Swank Properties. Swank Properties offers 15 condo style apartments for short or long term rental. The Sumner Street location offered us a fully-equipped kitchen, living room, library, deck, 2 separate bedrooms, 2 full baths, as well as off-street parking. If you are new to apartment renting vs. hotel accommodations, erase the fear from your mind -- check-in is as simple as following a few instructions that are emailed to you prior to your stay. Details include where to park and the key box code to enter the secure building. Perfect for those who prefer privacy. The parade of colorful plant life that surrounds the property makes a great first impression. The cleanliness of both the apartment and exterior landscaping was impeccable. Not a dust bunny to be found. The maticulous attention to detail leaves


no questions unanswered. For example, take-out and restaurant menus were placed in the kitchen drawer and directions to the “T” (Boston subway) were located at the front entry, as well as plenty of tourist attraction books, cards, and pamphlets. As stated by Lance, “It’s the little things that make all the difference!” Lance Swank was born in Alexandria, VA, grew up in Western PA, spent 7 years in Hawaii, and finally landed in Boston after attending Grad school in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Well-respected in his community, Lance devotes a great deal of time to his surrounding neighborhoods, and enjoys working with non-profit organizations, such as DotOUT is a grassroots, member driven organization committed to the ideals of acceptance, inclusion, fairness, and equality in the community of Dorchester.

Swank Properties offers a private, peaceful and luxurious home away from home. Check out all available rentals at www.

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43rd Annual Boston Pride Celebration

MAR|APR 2011

Boston Pride, New England’s largest, is held every year during the first week of June in the heart of the city’s downtown neighborhoods. The city itself has a myriad of things to offer and provides a wonderful setting for Boston Pride’s 10-day celebration. Boston Pride boasts a diverse line up of activities and programming including a boat cruise, book signings, a youth dance, a community forum, the family-friendly festival, and Boston’s largest and most vibrant parade. The week begins with a formal flag raising over City Hall and ends with a bang at two signature (and simultaneous!) dance parties. With hundreds of thousands of people in attendance, Boston Pride has something for everyone and in its 43rd year is proud of its theme: “Moving Forward...Proud, Strong, United.”



Jujubee The crown jewel of Boston’s drag scene heads a glamorous court

Weddings and Travel

How to do them right — our annual tips

You’re Out!

Longtime Boston Herald sports columnist declares he’s gay


Inside the Manhunt Mansion

Dungeon? Hmmm ... we take you inside so you can see for yourself


the course of the 10 days

Special guests/Entertainment: Karmin, Kwanza Jones, Rachael Sage, Shockolady, Zhe, The Genki Spark, Houston Bernard & DJ AGA.

Boston Spirit is a very classy LGBT publication in the Massachusetts and New England area. This award-winning publication is full of feature articles on all the latest hot spots for travel, shopping and dining throughout the Northeastern region of the United States. Look to Boston Spirit for all upcoming LGBT events.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft keynotes LGBT biz event

Angels of Asylum

Worcester church shelters a growing number of oppressed int’l LGBTs

Date: May 31 - June 9, 2013 Attendees: estimated 1 million over

The Freedom Trail Possibly the most popular tourist attraction in Boston, is The Freedom Trail --a 2.5-mile, brick-lined route that leads you to 16 historically significant sites. Explore museums, statues, houses, and burying grounds. Discover how the United States was born as a free nation and the rich history of the American Revolution, as it began in Boston. ‘Show’ your kids a history lesson they are sure to remember. Didn’t bring the kids? Enjoy sample size flavors of Sam Adams beer and contemporary Boston fare on a 90-minute historic pub crawl.

Trolley Tours If it happens to be raining, as it was on the day I was in town for a tour, I opted for a relaxing narrated ride around town on a trolley. The hop on – hop off trolley tours bring you to all the popular sites such as Boston Common, Faneuil Hall, Old State House, Boston Harbor and many more, including a historic tour of “America’s most beloved ball park!”

Pictured here: Old South Meeting House, significant for being a gathering place since the Boston Tea Party days and a haven for free speach.

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Ghost Tours Not for the faint of heart, Boston offers some of the best ghost tours available. Take a creepy walk through unmarked burial grounds or take the trolley to visit the biggest grave-robbing scandal in New England’s history. Hear the untold stories of murder and mayhem – torture and execution, as well as revolutionary war heroes who may or may not still be walking the streets.

Free Fun Fridays Brought to you by the Highland Street Foundation, Free Fun Fridays offers 60 museums and cultural venues open for free on Fridays, all summer long. To view the full schedule, click to

Pictured here: Old State House - Boston’s most historic building. Journey back to the year1770, and visit the scene where the Boston Massacre occurred, and experience the people and events that sparked a revolution. The Old State House is a museum that offers interactive tours, exhibits, and special events.

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Boston Harbor

Tour Boston via the waterway and enjoy spectacular views – Take a romantic evening sail or a historic daytime cruise; or for adventure seekers, maybe a kayaking excursion or a ride on the action packed Codzilla boat is more up your alley. Whatever you choose, make sure a visit to the Boston Harbor islands is on the itinerary. Boston Harbor Islands A Hidden Gem! The Boston Harbor Islands host museums, civil war castles, scenic trails, restaurants, entertainment, nature and adventure -- and best of all, amazing views of the Boston city skyline. Each of the 12 islands offers a unique experience, such as George’s Island, which is dominated by historic Fort Warren, a Civil War-era fort known for its graceful granite archways and reputed ghost, the Lady in Black. A 15-minute ferry ride for under $20 will start your journey at Spectacle Island, where you can enjoy swimming at the sandy beach, hiking, boating, and history lessons. Ferry service runs from April through October. This is a fantastic overview commercial of the islands: Click here





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LGBT Friendly Travel to Boston  

An overview of traveling to Boston - Includes MUST-SEE and MUST-DO!

LGBT Friendly Travel to Boston  

An overview of traveling to Boston - Includes MUST-SEE and MUST-DO!