H+ Magazine | No. 3 | Fall-Winter 2015

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Kristina Hare Lyons can’t wait to move back to the city!

www.hacin.com/portfolio/1480-tremont-street/ www.1486tremont.com

Design. Service. No Boundaries. www.hacin.com

The view from Mission Hill just got better. Leasing 2016

Hacin + Associates [architecture + design]




75 ARLINGTON STREET - BOSTON - MA 02116 T. 6 1 7 . 4 5 1 . 9 4 0 0 - I N F O @ M O N TA G E W E B . C O M

W W W . M I N O T T I . C O M


Team: FBN Construction, Hacin + Associates, Jama Samek Interiors, Bulthaup Kitchens, Metalwork + photo Šwww.bartekkonieczny.com

17 WOLCOTT CT, BOSTON, MA 02136 | 617.333.6800 | info@fbnconstruction.com | www.fbnconstruction.com



Letter from the Editor


Under Construction


Culture +


Modern Bostonian Insight


Travelogue, Paris

A message from David Hacin, principal at Hacin + Associates, about our rapidly evolving city, and the exciting possibilities ahead

Some of Team Hacin’s architects and designers on site at some of our recent residential projects in progress around the city

A list of things we love, including what we’re listening to, reading, watching, eating, buying, and discovering lately

Four Bostonian women who we’re privileged to call our clients, share their entrepreneurial expertise and perspectives on living in the city

A design diary from H+A’s Jennifer Clapp, exploring the details and discoveries on a trip to Paris shown through a designer’s eye




Return to the City


Hollywood Apartment Style


The Urban Minimalist




A couple returns to Boston from the suburbs after three decades to reclaim the home they lived in as newlyweds

Team Hacin looks at fictional city apartments on the big and small screens that we’d love to live in ourselves

An essay from designer Aimee Epstein Norton on the minimalist lifestyle’s effect on the mind, body, and soul

A photographic essay “Process” Design palettes by Team Hacin

List of 10: The New Boston A list of 10 new Boston Experiences to add to your repertoire of traditional ways to see the city






PUBLISHER Hacin + Associates EDITOR-IN-CHIEF David Hacin CREATIVE DIRECTORS David Hacin Emily Neumann PHOTOGRAPHY Trent Bell Jennifer Clapp Bartek Konieczny Bruce Martin Emily Neumann Michael Stavaridis COVER IMAGE Emily Neumann PHOTO STYLISTS Jeffrey Brown Rob Clocker Aimee Epstein Norton Russell Higgins Jonathan Levine Joshua Lentz Jeremy Robertson David Tabenken Scott Thomson ADVERTISING media@hacin.com Printed in China


CONTRIBUTORS Scott Thomson David Tabenken Matthew Manke Kate Kelley Jeremy Robertson Hillary Faccio Matthew Arnold Jeffrey Brown Jennifer Clapp Rob Clocker Aimee Epstein Norton Darien Fortier Russell Higgins Michelangelo Latona Joshua Lentz Christine Rankin Manke Rebecca Rivers Eduardo Serrate Matthew Woodward Sean Farrell Jonathan Levine Tim Grafft SPECIAL THANKS Joanne Chang Paul and Elaine Cohen Tamar Salter Frieze Kristina Hare Lyons Maggie Gold Seelig FBN Construction Holland Companies Sea-Dar Construction Sleeping Dog Properties Montage Lekker Home Casa Design Boston Casa Outdoor Boston







Fulfilling the inspiration of architects & homeowners for over 20 years

Architecture & Design Hacin + + Associates Architecture + Design bybyHacin Associates Associates

Sleeping Dog Properties, Inc. General Contracting | Design–Build | Real Estate Development

sleepingdogproperties.com | 617-576-6100



David and Oscar at the Joe Wex Dog Recreation Space in Peters Park (an H+A community project) in the South End.

P hoto @Em ily Neu m a n n

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR When we started H+ last year, I’m not sure any of us here realized how much fun we would have sharing stories and ideas about our clients, collaborators, projects and people. With this third issue on ‘Living in the City’, that energy literally jumps off the page…Thanks Kristina! Our hometown of Boston is evolving so quickly right now that it can seem breathtaking. Streetscapes and skylines that felt almost too familiar are finally changing. For me, it has become necessary to actively explore the city just to keep current with the casual ‘water cooler conversation’ in our H+A kitchen— and that’s been great inspiration! People are moving to the Boston area to start careers or back to Boston to contribute to and participate in the spirit of a reinvented city. For architects and designers, it’s an exciting time full of possibilities. This past summer, I was honored to have had a chance to express my own sense of this potential from an architect’s perspective with a talk sponsored by TedX Fenway. I invite you to check it out and imagine where the city may go from here. [www.hacin.com/david-hacin-tedxfenway-4boston/] In this issue of H+ we explore life in the city from a number of diverse perspectives from the practical to the imaginary: We ask four of our most dynamic recent clients to share their perspective on city life, including style, food, entertaining, and even shopping for a new home; we interview Paul and Elaine Cohen on their romantic journey from Boston to the suburbs and back again [by grace of a lightning strike!] and we hear from Aimee Epstein Norton on living a minimalist lifestyle in the city; we explore Paris [my favorite city] from designer Jennifer Clapp’s perspective; we get some helpful tips from some of our exceptional general contractor partners, and we even imagine life in urban homes that only exist on screen…And finally, we introduce you to more of Team Hacin on the job sites where they are each helping transform the city around us, one building at a time. I am particularly excited that the hard work of Emily Neumann in stewarding this magazine project to fruition was recently recognized in several categories by the Content Marketing Awards, with a special award for our use of photography, most of which Emily takes herself. As we remind each other, we have started on an exciting journey that never stops…even if it snows like last winter. See you again next spring!

David Hacin FAIA President and Editor dhacin@hacin.com




Luxury Residential Living at 477-481 Harrison Avenue Fall 2015 www.thejordanlofts.com | 617.556.2900


Loft Office and Retail at 46 Wareham Street Coming 2017 visit www.thehollandcompanies.com | 617.556.2900






UNDER CONSTRUCTION H+A Architects and Designers on site at some of Boston’s newest residences. intro by David Tabenken | photography by Emily Neumann




Alarm clock fades in with local morning news. 10:10 AM Phone rings. Site Super asks if I can swing by Mayor Walsh speaks about an upcoming Imagine Boston the site this morning to take a look at the railing mockup 2030 event. Involuntary snooze bar tap averted. that arrived late yesterday. He’s concerned about the weld details at the corner posts and the spacing of the 6:30 AM Drop the weekly trash and recycling curb side for adjacent vertical rails. Planning to head over later to check morning pickup. Run into a neighbor who gives an update out progress on the window installation. See you then. on last night’s neighborhood association meeting—new building planned for the long empty lot at the end of the 10:20 AM Talk to a colleague about an alternate block. porcelain tile for the lobby after getting an email from the Project Manager saying the specified finish has been 7:00 AM Arrive at the gym for a quick workout. Jump on discontinued. Call the vendor and see about getting an elliptical next to one of our favorite furniture vendors some samples to review. They have a new line that should and mention that our client is pulling the trigger on his be a very close match—perhaps a nicer finish but less order today. Pop in the headphones to watch a recap of expensive. Bonus. last night’s debate on CNN. 10:40 AM Log in submittals received this morning via 8:30 AM Walk to the office and spot a former client email. Light fixtures, dryer exhaust fans, hardwood entering her building. When are we having lunch? flooring. Make note to turn these around by the end of the Thursday is good. Let’s try that new café on Tremont. week. Email the General Contractor to check on the status of the overhead garage door shop drawings. 8:40 AM Arrive at 112 Shawmut, the elevator is full of H+A bicycles--take the stairs to the 5th floor. Quick pace 10:50 AM Grab half-size drawing set, a hard hat, and is interrupted by two tiny siblings heading to day care— head out to the Orange Line to go to the site. Notice that one excited to see her teacher, while the other tries to pull steel on a new building nearby has topped off. Pull out mom back down stairs. the iphone, google the address to see if there are any renderings on line. Hmmm. Give me a roll of trace and 15 9:00 AM Coffee in hand, email checked, cross out two minutes, and I could have fixed that. items from the To-Do List, and add three more. 11:10 AM Excited to see progress on site after being on 9:15 AM Listen to voice mail from the finish carpenter at vacation last week. Site Super explains how the window our townhouse renovation project, asking for clarification installer and water proofer addressed the concerns on the 2nd floor stair detail. Review the sketch a colleague outlined in our envelope consultant’s last field report. worked on yesterday. Add two more dimensions, and Do a quick walk-though of the residential units. All 60 email it over to the site. Call the carpenter to talk it through, are now framed in. I pick my favorite. Take photos of the and he agrees if the reveal is 1/8” higher, it will align railing mockup and note issues to be addressed by the perfectly with the adjacent wood trim. He’ll mock it up and fabricator. snap a photo. 12:10 PM Ten minutes late for the Lunch-and-Learn 9:30 AM Open the metal panel shop drawings for the multiabout new sliding door hardware for residential family project on Mission Hill to finish reviewing dimensions interiors. Grab a sandwich and a cookie. Since two of 4th floor panels along the west facade. Mark-up locations colleagues are out at a job meeting, remember to tell where panels are not flush with window frames. Check that the them about the options for wide openings that might spacing of exposed fasteners matches what we have in our work for their restaurant project. Revit model. All set. Stamp it “Make Corrections Noted” and email to the General Contractor. 1:00 PM Email the finish carpenter to let him know the photo of the stair detail looks good. 6:00 AM



Print out an existing site plan of our new client’s property. Grab a roll of 12” trace and a felt tip pen and work on laying out options for developing the site. As outlined in her email, she wants to look at three schemes-keeping both existing structures on site, demolishing one, or removing both. Setup a meeting in David’s Outlook calendar on Friday to review the sketches. 1:10 PM

to review prior to our meeting next week. Since David will be coming from a zoning hearing at City Hall, he’ll walk over and meet us at their office. Look online for a precedent suggested by a colleague for the new mixed-use project. Save several photos of the modern rain screen panel façade intersecting with an historic masonry warehouse. 5:00 PM

Colleague asks to take a look at an exterior wall section to see if the panel detail at underside of a 5:20 PM Watch two-minute video that a colleague sent projecting bay window works, relative to what we did on about automated fabrication of panelized wood framing our project. Looks good, but perhaps extend the vertical for commercial buildings. Think about how this might work panel beyond the horizontal one so the joint is concealed. for the project that’s currently on hold. 2:30 PM

Review the fee proposal received from two 5:25 PM Open the Revit model to work on the Lobby, structural engineers, and plug their numbers into our draft based on the client’s selection of a large format wall proposal to discuss with David later today. graphic. Check the reflected ceiling plan to verify that the lighting layout still works—it doesn’t. Coordinate the 3:00 PM Get a call from the Beacon Hill Site Super with location of the wall graphic, the extension of grout lines a question about the recessed sliding door track in the from the floor up the wall, and the shifting of the downlights Study. Because the existing wood beam isn’t level, the to re-center on the wall. Prepare a formal sketch and issue track needs to be shimmed, and clearance for the wood as a clarification to the General Contractor. doors is tight. Better if I see this in person—I’ll jump on a Hubway and zip over to the site. 6:20 PM Send a text that I’m running couple of minutes late. Dash out of the office and jump into an Uber. Driver 3:15 PM Run into the plumber on my way into the house, passes by our job site and comments how nice it is to see and he says the shower trims in the Master Bath arrived something finally going up there. He lives up the street. today and should be installed by tomorrow before my walk through with the owners. Check out the new stair detail on 6:45 PM Dinner with an old friend, also an Architect. my way upstairs to look for the Super in the Study. Compare stories from the trenches. Commiserate about real estate prices. These kebabs are really good. Try one. 3:30 PM We agree the best solution is to the undercut the door and lower the door casing to conceal the shimmed 8:15 PM Walking to the subway, past a retail storefront track. He suggests we add a ½” reveal above the door to that H+A colleagues are working on—haven’t been by avoid having to lower the wall trim which times out with the since the millwork was installed. Remember to tell them window casing. the signage looks fantastic. Overhear a couple surmise what’s going in there. 4:00 PM Back at the office, get a tall glass of ice water. Continue working on the sketches for the development 9:00 PM I’m behind…queue up one episode on Netflix. schemes. Calculate the approximate square footage and look back at the Zoning Memo from the client’s attorney to 10:15 PM In bed. Check the calendar for tomorrow. 9:00 verify the allowable Floor Area Ratio. AM meeting. Don’t respond to any work emails now. Okay, just these two. 4:45 PM Meet with David and the project team to review the fee proposal and revised work plan for the new project. 3:00 AM Did I check the location of sprinkler heads in that After some minor edits, it’s ready to send out to the clients lobby ceiling plan?! 2:45 PM





H+A DESIGNER: Jeremy Robertson PHOTOGRAPHED AT: Private Residence WHERE: Beacon Hill, Boston, MA CLIENT: Private Client BUILDER: The Holland Companies www.thehollandcompanies.com

It’s been exciting to work on a new ground up residence in Beacon Hill. This rare opportunity involved a long and detailed public approvals process in a community where everyone cares about the integrity of the Beacon Hill Historic District. It’s also been a physically challenging construction effort—full demolition between abutting townhouses, within tight urban quarters. What I love about working with the Holland Companies is that I know they understand that this kind of residential work is never a “zerosum” endeavor. The only way for a project to be considered a true success, is if each party— Architect, Owner, and Contractor—achieves the fulfillment of their goals. It’s clear throughout the process that Holland allows each member of the team to work together towards the same goal. As a collaborator, their strengths include incredible flexibility and perseverence, a group of loyal and committed sub-contractors, and an efficient and streamlined approach. - Jeremy H+ MAGAZINE




H+A DESIGNER: Jeffrey Brown PHOTOGRAPHED AT: 110 Arlington Street WHERE: Bay Village, Boston, MA CLIENT/BUILDER: R.L. Smith Construction rlsmithconst@netzero.net | 617.233.6819

It has been great breathing new life into an old structure that is both close to the office and part of the historic fabric of Boston. The project at 110 Arlington is a couple of blocks south of the Public Garden and the two new floors added to the structure present a contemporary addition that mediates well between the historic context of the Bay Village residences and its larger commercial neighbors. The existing brick structure will receive a renovation with a refurbished brick facade and replicas of the original windows. Like many older buildings, there are many irregularities in the existing structure which have made the renovation and addition much more complex than other buildings its size. The design team incorporated the current Code requirements of reinforcing the structure and providing new circulation without overwhelming the existing and highly irregular floor plate. Ron Smith of R. L. Smith Construction has developed many projects in the Boston area and is navigating the crowded waters of development in Boston to deliver high quality spaces to enhance the urban core of the city. - Jeff H+ MAGAZINE




1478-1484 Tremont felt like a team project more than any other I have been on in the past. Our design team from H+A worked closely with the developers, Trellis Group, and the contractor, Hamilton Company, from the beginning design stages in order to achieve a mixed-use project H+A DESIGNERS: David Tabenken, Aimee that met our design standards in an economical way. Recurring meetings with Hamilton facilitated Epstein Norton, and Russell Higgins decision making at early stages in the process. PHOTOGRAPHED AT: 1478-1484 Tremont Street The contractors not only provided early pricing information to the developers directly, but also suggested alternate construction methods and WHERE: Mission Hill, Boston, MA building systems that could achieve the final goal without compromising our design intent. Hamilton CLIENT: Trellis Group, LLC has a long history of building and developing multi-family housing in the Boston area, and their BUILDER: The Hamilton Company knowledge was very beneficial during the design www.thehamiltoncompany.com process. - Aimee H+A enjoys a long relationship working with The Hamilton Company on numerous projects as both client and builder, the most recent being The Lofts at East Berkeley Street and 601 Albany Street, both in the South End. This project, our first on Mission Hill, was also the first for which Hamilton came on board as the general contractor for another of our clients. Long before a shovel hit the ground, Steve Weinig and his team collaborated with H+A and the developers, The Trellis Group, to help shape the project, monitor costs, and interface with the community. Because this is a tight urban site, ringed on three sides by residences, it’s crucial that the on site construction team maintains good relationships with the neighbors. The community has been very supportive of this project, and it’s exciting to see how it’s already impacting the neighborhood as it takes shape on Tremont Street. - David

When working on a building project you need to have patience and take the “long” view of things. We started this project in 2012; we’re now (late 2015) a year into construction and it’s just starting to look like itself--but it still won’t be finished until spring 2016. Building is a complicated and time-consuming process. Challenges creep in during design; more challenges creep in during construction, no matter how much you work out during design. The process can be difficult (and sometimes a little nerve-wracking) but with a good team working together, all of the challenges are surmountable. I’ve no doubt that more hurdles will arise as construction nears completion but that’s okay...we have a great design and construction team that can handle anything. - Russell H+ MAGAZINE




H+A DESIGNER: Scott Thomson PHOTOGRAPHED AT: 448 Beacon Street WHERE: Back Bay, Boston, MA CLIENT: The Congress Group BUILDER: The Holland Companies www.thehollandcompanies.com

I have always admired the Hooper Mansion from afar as one of the most spectacular historic residences in the Back Bay. It has been a great opportunity to work on this important project with the very hands-on development team at the Congress Group, the expert consultants at Wessling Architects, Goldstein/ Milano and Cosentini, and the construction specialists at the Holland Companies. Because of our history collaborating on a number of successful luxury residential projects in the city with the Holland Companies, we've developed an in-depth understanding of their flexible and nimble operation; likewise, they know our process well, which goes a long way in navigating the challenges of a large project. The design team at H+A [David, Eduardo, and Christine] have created an amazing collection of residences and it is rewarding to see these magnificent interiors take shape! But perhaps most important is the fact that Robert C. Hooper is credited as starting the Boston Terrier breed‌so I’m also doing this for my dog, Kiko. - Scott H+ MAGAZINE




H+A DESIGNERS: Rob Clocker and Joshua Lentz PHOTOGRAPHED AT: Private Residence WHERE: Beacon Hill, Boston, MA CLIENT: Private Client BUILDER: Sea-Dar Construction www.seadar.com

This project was a fantastic opportunity to restore and update a historic home while at the same time adding a contemporary rooftop addition. We worked closely with Sea-Dar construction who did an excellent job at coordinating multiple craftsmen inserting precise details within the old framework. It was also great to have the homeowners closely involved throughout construction, allowing us to evolve the design as it took shape, such as the expansion of the roof deck to take advantage of the dramatic views. - Rob When you have a project that overlooks the Public Garden and Beacon Hill, you might want to take advantage of the unobstructed views...that is exactly what we did! Working closely with South Endbased Sea-Dar Construction, our interior design team, and active and thoughtful clients, the entire team was able to seamlessly weave an intricately detailed modern intervention into a historic home - a challenge we enjoy. As my first project at H+A and my first completed project ever, I was fortunate to work with such a magnificent group, setting a high bar going forward and creating a truly unforgettable experience. - Josh H+ MAGAZINE



Building in the city always means running into surprises and challenges here and there. We asked four of the city’s preferred general contractors with whom we have recently completed residential projects in Boston to share some unexpected experiences and a bit of advice for homeowners on building and renovating a home in the city.

The Holland Companies

Sea-Dar Construction

“We have done multiple projects on the flat of Beacon Hill, recently two on Chestnut Street, which required ground water systems to be located under the ground floor slab. Because we had to introduce water under these slabs, we added levels of protection against infiltration into finished spaces. Before we poured the concrete we put down a vapor barrier directly above the filtration system. In addition to that, we installed two commercial pumps with battery powered back-up to protect against a rain event so big that it would overwhelm the system (a 100 year storm, which seems to happen every other year these days).” - Joe Holland

“We were involved in the renovation of a tall building on Beacon Street near the State House that required the installation of a large HVAC unit on the roof. Due to the height, weight, topography, limited setback, and road closure limitations, traditional craning of the unit was not feasible. After some head scratching, we found a company that lifted the unit off a truck stationed in a parking lot less than one mile away and dropped it onto our roof with a helicopter. When you factored all the costs associated with the crane, it was not as big of a premium as one would expect, and more importantly it solved the problem.” - Jean Abouhamad



When building in a neighborhood in Boston, be mindful of existing Be attentive to your abutters and neighbors, and do your best to conditions. You may be in a seismic zone, or you may be sharing a accommodate their requests. It will pay off ten-fold in mitigating the structural wall with a neighbor whose building has structural issues. Do unavoidable issues that arise when building in tight urban settings. your due diligence and have a contractor walk through the property with www.seadar.com you before closing the deal. www.thehollandcompanies.com

Sleeping Dog Properties

FBN Construction

“Change is a constant in city living, which means we often need to reinvent the use of obsolete space to conform with current family needs. During one of our renovation projects in Back Bay, we needed to make sure the home was livable for the family throughout construction and meet tight timelines due to the family’s impending delivery of new twin girls. Carefully planning and coordinating the renovation of each area of the home was key to a successful project. Sometimes, construction is the easy part.” - Chris Rapczynski

“When working with older stock, in particular in Back Bay and the South End, it is not unusual to uncover interesting and unexpected spaces above ceilings, behind walls and under floors. These spaces are often able to be reclaimed and provide for great additional storage and/or square footage of floor space that are a bonus. In addition, finding interesting and unique architectural details, whether they be hidden crown moldings or ceiling medallions, even antique lighting fixtures or hardware long ago concealed by earlier remodels, provide for nice surprises.” - Robert Ernst



Selecting a contractor that can administrate, schedule, and coordinate There is no substitute for experience when working in the city, to with your family’s needs can lessen the impact construction has on ensure an efficient and timely project. Knowing the opportunities and your day to day. There is enough to do in life already, and selecting a challenges that will present themselves makes all the difference. great contractor allows you to stay on pace. www.fbnconstruction.com www.sleepingdogproperties.com


| 1313 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02118 | 877.753.5537




What we’re into right now at H+A Pinkcomma Gallery, South End

This gallery, tucked cozily away in the side streets of the South End, consistently succeeds in presenting forwardthinking and experimental architectural ideas percloating in the City of Boston. They question why a city so well stocked with architects (professional and not) is so resistant to change. [Michelangelo Latona] Sean Collier Memorial, Kendall Square

Adjacent to the Stata Center on the MIT campus is this recently unveiled memorial designed by Howeler + Yoon. The all granite structure evokes strength through its seemingly elastic form and creates framed moments which cause one to pause and reflect in remembrance. In the evening, the ground is illuminated in the form of the constellation of stars from the night of April 18th, 2013. It is a sensitively designed structure that honors Officer Collier in a beautiful way. [Aimee Epstein Norton] LA/MA: ‘60s Pop From Both Coasts, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis Univ.


A new exhibit at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, “60s Pop From Both Coasts” examines and contextualizes pop art masterpieces from East Coast artists with their West Coast counterparts. The exhibit, along with showcasing pop-art, aims to draw out a coherent history of museum-collecting, and its push-pull relationship with art and artists. [Hillary Faccio] Song Exploder, podcast

Song Exploder brings music into the science lab. Editor and host Hrishikesh Hirway invites artists to dissect and inspect their own tracks. The first portion of the show delves into the construction and concepts of the song, as told by the artists themselves. Then, the song in its entirety is played, so the listener can fully experience the musical transformation and journey. [Christine Rankin Manke] M3LL155X, FKA Twigs

FKA Twigs, an experimental, and hardly describable, synth-pop-experimental-soul-R&B singer and dancer, released the eccentric-titled “M3LL155X” in August to critical acclaim. The EP offers a wonderful blend of erratic, smooth, and bass-bumping beats that back up FKA Twigs’ beautiful, quavering-yet-powerful singing voice. The accompanying 16 minute music video is just as expertly crafted. [Jonathan Levine] 30


We’re excited to crack open our copy of the newly released book HEROIC: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston, by Mark Pasnik, Chris Grimley, and Michael Kubo. Heroic tells the fascinating story of Boston’s controversial and imaginative era of concrete buildings from the 1960s and 1970s, including interviews with some of the major architects of the era and an array of archival imagery from the history of these buildings. [David Tabenken]


Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston

Bon Appetit Magazine

What really separates Bon Appetit from the crowded field of online and printed cooking resources is its dependability. Offering a wide array of delicious recipes, palatable prep times, and mouth-watering images, the magazine targets both the casual cook and the food enthusiast alike. The images are truly inspiring and perhaps of equal importance the results shown are actually achievable! [Jeremy Robertson] Morphing: A guide to mathematical transformations for architects and engineers

This book explores, visually and mathematically, the ability to use sinusoidal parametric equations to create any shape, from a sphere, to a cube, to the most complex shape imaginable. The book draws several real world examples of computational design, and breaks them down into their generative parametric equations. The book, if not for its mathematical content, is worth a look just for its graphics and illustrations. [Jonathan Levine] All the Lights We Cannot See

This story centers around two characters: a French girl in Paris who goes blind as a young child, and a boy, living in Germany, talented in mathematics and electronics in the years before, during and after WWII. Doerr creates a non-linear storyline jumping from year to year in the characters’ lives as the events around them push them both to a small town on the French coast. [Michelangelo Latona] Infinite Jest

In light of the movie’s recent release, it’s great to revisit the book itself. A modern day comedy, Infinite Jest follows the swirling lives of a family throughout the hardships and humor of life, somersaulting through various scenes and points of view. David Foster Wallace’s stream-of-consciousness style is taxing, but enjoyable. You may need to set aside several months to get through this book, as it is both lengthy and dense, but finishing even a few pages is a rewarding experience. [Jonathan Levine]




Wild Tales, film

Argentina’s entry to the Academy Awards this year, is a series of short stories about repressed human emotions like anger, revenge, and desperation, being flamboyantly unraveled into their highest expression in a series of events that are simultaneously extreme, disturbing, funny, and almost cathartic. It is the train wreck that you want to see. [Eduardo Serrate] Alive Inside, documentary

This film chronicles the efforts of Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he fights against a broken healthcare system to demonstrate music’s ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it. The inextricable connection between music and memory reveals itself in the stories of patients who have rediscovered themselves, and their families, through the simple act of listening to music. [Matthew Woodward] Last Week Tonight, television

Going through withdrawal from losing The Colbert Report and The Daily Show? Check out John Oliver’s show on HBO, Last Week Tonight. The show combines the satirical hijinks of the aforementioned shows with the substantive content of Real Time with Bill Maher. Oliver focuses on a single subject each week, bringing to light some of the terrible truths about our current day politics and American culture. Full disclosure – some stories may be difficult to stomach. [Aimee Epstein Norton, Jeremy Robertson] Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman, documentary

Julius Shulman, the premier architectural photographer of the modernist era, photographed buildings from Frank Lloyd Wright to Frank Gehry. His photographs are some of the most recognizable of any era, and “Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman” offers a never-before-seen perspective. It tracks the exciting vector of Modernism in Southern California, and also follows the magnetizing Julius Shulman on his quest for the perfect photograph. [David Hacin] An Honest Liar, documentary

A documentary about the world famous magician/ escape artist, James ‘The Amazing” Randi and his quest to publicly expose and defraud those who use the art of deception to con their way to success. As the film covers Randi’s plans to take down con-artists, a shocking revelation in his personal life is unearthed – and it isn’t clear whether Randi is still the deceiver – or the deceived. [Joshua Lentz] 32


The owners of the Market Restaurant in Gloucester (Anisquam) and its sister Short & Main in downtown Gloucester are alumni of Chez Panisse in Berkeley and each eatery is a take on great local food. Short&Main is simple salads, wood fired pizza and local oysters, while Market is a daily changing menu of what’s in season. [Rob Clocker]


The Market Restaurant & Short and Main, Gloucester, MA

Pleasant Cafe, Roslindale

Located in Roslindale, and with the appearance of a 50’s diner, Pleasant Café is a café – with pizza. Its mantra, “Comfort. Served Daily” can be tasted right down to the housemade pizza sauce and dough, made fresh every morning. The menu features Italiancomfort combinations, at quite affordable prices. I like to keep it simple: pepperoni + garlic pizza. [Jeremy Robertson] Barrington Coffee, Fort Point

Barrington Coffee makes one of the best cappuccinos in Boston. It is smooth, rich, and flavorful without being bitter, and may make you wish you ordered a bigger cup. With two stores in Boston - one on Newbury and the other in Fort Point, they have a large selection of beans from around the world which they roast themselves. [Eduardo Serrate] Blue Ox, Lynn, MA

If you find yourself North of Boston seeking sophisticated comfort food, check out Blue Ox in Lynn. This small restaurant delivers city flavors in suburban-sized portions. The drinks don’t disappoint either. Tell the bartender your spirt of choice and an herb/fruit (for inspiration) and they will concoct something delicious. [Aimee Epstein Norton] Lil’s Cafe, Kittery, ME

Lil’s café, in Kittery, Maine, provides warm flavor in a comforting and relaxed environment. This is the quintessential “café”, serving up wonderful hot and cold drinks, food, and particularly, baked goods. Crullers are a fan favorite, a croissant-doughnut hybrid, essentially, topped with delicious glazing. Alongside the delicious fare, Lil’s Café also has a large collection of vinyl records for sale. If you’re looking for a calm meal and music, Lil’s is the place to go. [David Hacin]




Pod, Cambridge

Located at 35 Sacramento Street, Cambridge, this petite boutique features a wide range of unique, handselected items; from simple glassware to luxurious creams and soaps to timeless and well-designed household objects. A welcoming and refreshing spot to shop, Pod is thoughtfully edited and continually updated by owner Julie Baine. Opened in 1998, Pod has become an essential gift and home resource in greater Boston. [Scott Thomson] Bikes Not Bombs, Jamaica Plain

Bikes Not Bombs is certainly not your ordinary bike shop. In fact, its premise isn’t even really to sell bikes. Bikes Not Bombs is set up to provide job opportunities to the disadvantaged, and to promote positivity in underdeveloped and deprived neighborhoods. They also offer refurbished bikes for reasonable prices, and repair and upgrading services. Bikes Not Bombs is wonderful as a standalone bike shop, but its great cause really puts it over the top. [Jeremy Robertson] Black Ink, Harvard Square

Amidst the growing chains in Harvard Square is Black Ink, a small independent shop full of trinkets, books, games, and more. The quirky, design-focused products are fun to peruse and make for great gifts. Whether it’s a sake set or a book on animal architecture, you're guaranteed to find something that you didn’t know you needed. [Aimee Epstein Norton] Alive & Kicking Lobsters, Central Square

Do you ever forget that we live in New England and have access to some of the best seafood around? Alive and Kicking Lobsters is a tiny shack tucked away on a residential street in Central Square…and business is booming. While technically an eatery (with three items on the menu, you know they are confident about their product), here, you can pick a crustacean to bring home. Don’t forget to pair it with one of their homemade sodas. [Aimee Epstein Norton] Delectable Mountain, Brattleboro, VT

Easily missed, as the store does not have a sign out front, it may appear a bit disheveled from the outside but it’s a treasure inside. The shop sells fabrics, old hats, and other bits and baubles. Best of all, the button collection is amazing. For someone like me who enjoys changing cardigans up by adding vintage buttons, you could really spend all day perusing the selection. [Kate Kelley] 34


Just a half hour North of Boston is Lodge Park, a wildlife sanctuary along the cliffs in Nahant. From this lookout point you’ll get 360 degree views of water crashing against the beautiful cliffs that distinguish New England coasts. There are walking paths with benches alongside for relaxing and taking in the fresh ocean air. Parking is limited so be prepared to walk a long way, but the view is worth it. [Aimee Epstein Norton]


Lodge Park, Nahant, MA

L’amarrage, Geneva, Switzerland

An H+A-inspired ‘Plus’ swimming pool? Not exactly, but when in my childhood home of Geneva, visit L’amarrage, Pont De La Machine, Genève, the floating natural baths on the Rhone River in the shape of the Swiss Flag ‘Plus’. Open to the public, the pools encourage swimming at the city’s river and are frequented by swimmers, sunbathers, and spectators alike. [David Hacin] Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France

The Fondation Louis Vuitton in the Bois de Boulougne in Paris is an art Museum designed by Frank Gehry. The building itself functions as an art piece, resembling something of a mix between a gem and an alien spaceship that landed in the park. Worth the visit just for the architecture, it also offers a beautiful space for art exhibition. [Rob Clocker] Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is without question one of the world’s greatest cities, offering a fascinating history, unique cultural blend, and some of the friendliest people on the planet. From the jaw-dropping mosques to the awe-inspiring Ottoman palaces, every district in Istanbul boasts amazing architecture. Above all, however, it’s the rich and vibrant cuisine which will leave you yearning for more! [Jeremy Robertson] Zevitas Marcus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

If you find yourself on the West Coast, check out the newly opened Zevitas Marcus Gallery founded by our favorite South End gallerist, Steven Zevitas of Steven Zevitas Gallery, and Boston native, Richard Marcus. If you hurry you might catch the end of the gallery’s inaugural exhibition, “This is Boston, Not L.A” featuring works by several super-talented artists that are either Boston-based are have strong Boston ties. [Rebecca Rivers]






photos by Emily Neumann

Behind every great city, you’ll find some inspiring, entrepreneurial, and incredibly stylish women. Four of our recent clients share their expertise and perspectives on living in the city.



Tamar salter Frieze Event Planner

You are a seasoned Bostonian event planner and have curated some exquisitely stylish weddings and events. Did you always know you wanted to help people throw the perfect party? TSF: While I was initially drawn to event planning after college for the perceived “glamour” of it all, anyone who has planned and designed an event knows that the sheer amount of details and logistical considerations can sometimes take the glamour right out of it. As the person behind the scenes responsible for someone else’s reputation as a host, you need to always be three steps ahead and plan for all possibilities. What propelled me to launch Salter Frieze Weddings & Events in 2008 was really a passion for creating these magical and amazingly meaningful moments for my clients. I find such gratification in helping my clients celebrate milestones in beautifully designed environments that reflect the core of who they are as individuals and as couples. I love hearing guests say “the wedding was just so them!”







theme or any occasion can become a memorable one when you put thought and effort into the guest experience.

Do most of your clients come to you with ideas in mind about what they want, or do you more often have to find inspiration to create the design, style, and atmosphere intended? What are your go-to sources for finding that inspiration when needed? As far as go-to sources, it really varies from client to client. Most don’t have specifics in mind when we first meet. Most only know they want an event that is “elegant”, “tasteful”, “chic”, “fun”, “intimate”, etc. Wonderful words that make up the essence of any great party, but aren’t necessary cues in terms of design or the original details or elements of the evening that are going to make the magic. What I love most about my job is pulling that vision out of them. I always look to the couple for initial inspiration – what is their story? Their style. How do they live their lives? What is unique to them and their families? And then we start down the path. Even if it’s an all white wedding, I want the experience and environment to be totally original and timeless. What do you think is the most important component of creating a memorable event? The event environment. I say ‘environment’ versus décor or venue because I think we all know that some of the most memorable gatherings are not always, or even usually, the most elaborate ones. The environment is really a mood or energy that is created by the host. Any theme or any occasion can become a memorable one when you put thought and effort into the guest experience.



What are some of the more surprising or unexpected wedding and event venues in Boston? Any tales of strange or eccentric themes, décor, or celebrations you’ve witnessed or organized? It is difficult to continue to find new and unexpected venues in Boston. But its not impossible if you know where to look! One recent event I did was a stunning rehearsal dinner on Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor. The client and their families were seasoned hosts and their guests were entertained on a large scale frequently. It was a fun challenge to find something that none of them experienced before right here at home. After a 10-minute boat ride to the island from Long Wharf, guests dined on traditional New England clambake fare while playing beach volley ball and sitting by the beach bonfire - all the while enjoying the most incredible sunset view of the Boston skyline. I also once planned a Halloween wedding. The couple was obsessed with Halloween, and got married on Halloween and we took it to the nines. Guests dressed in full costume. Abraham Lincoln officiated. We transformed the AFH EpiCenter in South Boston into a dungeon of debauchery of sorts, complete with candy corn cocktails and copious amounts of candy. Any locations in Boston you hope to create an event in or around one day? A Hacin + Associates designed event space. David, let’s do it!

We worked with you on the renovation of your home in the Back Bay and, of course, part of your home was designed specifically for entertaining guests formally or otherwise. What kind of social entertaining do you like to do at home? Do you have some favorite ways to prepare for your own events? We host all different kinds of events from community gatherings to dinner parties, family holidays and I even take client meetings at home. What is funny is we spent so much of our time working with the Hacin team to design an entertaining space where I wouldn’t have to prepare for my own events! That was the whole point. Preparing to entertain now is effortless because I don’t have to do anything but let rooms shine on their own! Mainly when we entertain, I focus on the tablescape, food and flowers. Our personal taste (mine and my husband’s), which I feel was so well realized by Hacin + Associates in the interior design of our home, is that graciousness in entertaining comes from the subtlety and authenticity of thoughtful details. But again, I love to keep it easy. I set the table with my husband’s grandparent’s Minton china and crystal (I love the juxstapositon of our modern home and their traditional china), purchase different varieties of the same color flower to make a quick composite arrangement, dim the lights, add candles, and go! As a professional, what three pieces of advice would you give to someone about hosting an intimate social event or party at home? 1. Create a schedule for the set up to eliminate the stress of hosting. I always say to my clients, if the hosts are having fun, the guests will have fun too. Try to do as much as you can before the day of the party. Clean the house, run errands, set the table, prepare the bar and serving dishes. Then, for the day of, schedule when and in what order should the food be prepared and timed to be served at proper temperature. Set aside at least an hour of down time to get ready yourself and integrate some cushion time before your guests arrive so you can relax, have a cocktail yourself, and begin the evening on the right foot. 2. Enlist the help of some great local vendors to help create something special. Depending on the occasion, I will rent specialty glassware or linens, or even different china just to elevate

the visual experience for your guests. Peterson Party Center has a great selection, and Marc Hall Design in the South End is a favorite for floral. If you aren’t using a caterer, even hiring a single bartender can make the evening flow better for you. Event Temps of Boston is a great resource. 3. Use Pandora. Music is key to the energy of a party, especially at the beginning of the night when conversations are just starting and there may be moments of brief pause. Fill that space with good vibes of good music. It also sets the tone of the energy of the night. Upbeat and energetic, or low key and relaxed? Music sets the tone. For your blog, Merit, you write about things that are ‘worthy of praise’ . The items and ideas reviewed are always selective and the local finds are definitely only those a true Bostonian could give. Can you tell us three recent Boston-related people, places, or things you found ‘worthy of merit’? 1. Balans Studio Boston (Back Bay). Balans is Boston’s premiere private health and training studio that offers all-private postural therapies, movement and strength training, yoga, pilates, and chiropractic services along with massage and organic spa treatments. I found Balans through my good friend and yoga instructor Amy Leydon, and have been a die-hard fan ever since. www.balansboston.com 2. Christina Kotseas Concierge services. From household management (hiring domestic staff, managing contractors and vendors, vehicle maintenance, personal errands, etc.) to event planning to one-off organization projects, Christina’s resources and execution are impeccable. You can hire her hourly or add yourself to her list of consistent clients. www.christinakotseas.com 3. Sarma Restaurant in Somerville. It is worth the venture outside of Boston proper. Exquisite modern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food and a cocktail list that kills in a casual tapas-style environment. www.sarmarestaurant.com






Joanne Chang

Baker + Restaurateur As Boston’s celebrity baker and restaurateur, how did you go from Harvard College honors graduate in Applied Mathematics and Economics to such a celebrated baker? JC: I worked for two years as a management consultant directly after graduation. At the end of my second year I was helping out with our undergraduate student recruiting program interviewing prospective candidates. Recruits were graduating college seniors, and as an ice breaker I would ask the students, “If you won the lottery today, what would you do? Where would you go?� After asking hundreds of students that question I started to ask myself and I realized I would be in a kitchen. At that point I made a commitment to figure out how to change careers. I sent a cover letter and resume (this was before email) to four of the top restaurants in Boston at the time; I explained that I had no professional experience but I had a ton of passion and was a very hard worker. Chef Lydia Shire who owned Biba called me and offered me a lowman-on-the-totem-pole position as bar food cook. I jumped at the chance to work in such a well-regarded kitchen with such a talented chef. Two weeks later I left my cubicle and was julienning scallions and making chicken stocks. After a year on the savory side of the kitchen I realized I was much more interested in pastry and I started working in a bakery. From that point I was completely hooked on baking. I worked in bakeries and restaurants in mostly Boston and then NYC before opening Flour in Sept 2000.



Was there a relationship between mathematics and economics and your baking pursuits? Baking is definitely all about precision so my math and economics background does come in handy. What during your college career helped you the most with building business experience to ultimately open Flour? To be honest one of the most valuable things I learned at Harvard was how you can be not perfect and still be okay- or even better than okay. I was the top of my class in high school and had never been in a situation in which I hadn’t succeeded. Harvard quickly changed all that when I found myself in over my head time and time again. Despite not being “the best” at anything anymore, I learned that I could still

of that. I learned so much working with Francois. Payard was an incredible experience. However I knew that I wanted to return to Boston and open up something of my own here...Boston is my home! Most of my culinary training happened here and I had (and still have) a lot of mentors here. What do you think is one thing everyone should know about the food industry, perhaps a misconception? That it is glamorous. It’s a service industry which means you’re working when everyone is having fun. It is physically very hard work and it’s not like you are granted full freedom and creativity when you start out. Rather you have too much work to do and not enough time to do it and if you are an avid home cook or baker it can be a shock to enter the professional kitchen and learn how regimented it is.

One of the most valuable “ things I learned at Harvard was how you can be not perfect and still be okay- or even better than okay.”

pursue interests and passions and enjoy them and push myself in them. That lifelong lesson has given me the confidence to pursue things without thinking I have to be perfect at them. You worked in the cake department of Payard Patisserie and Bistro in New York City for awhile. What brought you back to Boston? Well Christopher was here for one. While we weren’t dating at the time I kind of hoped we would eventually. Being in NYC sort of got in the way



The four branches of Flour Bakery + Café have been very successful in Boston and have been featured in a wide array of publications, including the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and Bon Appetit, and you’ve been featured on the Food Network. What do you think is the ‘special ingredient’ that makes Flour such a successful series of bakeries in Boston? We’ve always focused on making sure WE are having a great time. If my team is loving being at work then they will give it their all. We work really hard to create a positive supportive work environment that

everyone is proud to be a part of. We are not perfect, for sure, but we do try every day to get there. We frequent Flour Bakery’s South End location all of the time, and there’s a consensus of some favorites we have from the menu – we see a lot of roasted chicken, avocado and jicama sandwiches, and peanut butter cookies in the office. Will you tell us your personal favorites from the Flour menu? I love that chicken sandwich too! It is my favorite of our sandwiches. I always love the soups that the chefs make. Each has his own style and one of the fun parts of my day is going location to location and trying out the soups. For pastries I eat banana bread and chocolate chip cookies and double chocolate cookies every day. I love our pain aux raisins and our butter breton cakes and I get pretty excited when I see a slice of chocolate cream pie on our snack tray. We worked with you to design the newest Flour location on Clarendon Street in the Back Bay and on the more recent corporate location at the Novartis campus in Cambridge. What would you say is the biggest challenge of finding a new location, establishing the design, and opening the bakery? The biggest and also most rewarding challenge always is finding and cultivating a team to embrace and fulfill my vision for Flour. I know exactly what I want it to look like, feel like, smell like, taste like ...and I need an army of people to help me achieve that. So every time we open a new place it’s all about inculcating the team with what we call Flour love. You and your husband Christopher also opened the Chinese restaurant, Myers + Chang, just around the corner from us in our South End neighborhood in 2007, which we also worked with you to design (and is also another lunch favorite here). What inspired this venture and why did you choose the South End as the best place to launch the restaurant? We had both wanted to open a Chinese restaurant and we were working opposite ends of the clock- he was working late late late into the night and I was getting up before the crack of dawn. We realized that if we wanted to see each other our best bet might be to work on a project together. We both wanted a fun and casual place with amazing food that you craved. We wanted to share a bit of both of us in

one restaurant. Christopher is all about atmosphere and hospitality and design and I’m more focused on the kitchen and back of house operations. We spent a lot of time eating out, visiting Chinese places that Christopher had grown up eating at; I cooked a lot, making dishes I remember growing up with; my aunt came over from Taiwan and made us a slew of dishes that we loved; my mom started sending recipes from her childhood and mine and she visited a few times as well. All of these came together to form M+C! Having M+C so close to the original Flour was a huge advantage too. It is obviously logistically simpler in terms of commuting and we love the South End community that we had become a part of by that time with Flour. We had no idea that Ink Block and Whole foods was coming at the time and now it feels like an especially fortuitous choice to be where we are. As a chef, are there any unique favorite local spots or Boston resources you have for seeking certain ingredients or foods used in your menus? We work closely with Specialty Foods in Boston. Whenever they have interesting ingredients they call us and we love testing and trying new things. Sparrow Arc Farms sends us new things to try all the time too. We visit Mings pretty much daily and you can walk down any aisle and find a dozen new products that we’ve never tried- we get a lot of ideas just buying random things and seeing what we can create with them at the restaurant. Where do you look for inspiration when you’re creating new menu items? We go to a lot of restaurants and bakeries in town, and when we are traveling we're always on the hunt for new ideas. Certainly sites like Instagram and Pintrest and Twitter have been really helpful in showing us ideas that we wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to. Old fashioned magazines and newspapers are always inspiring too!

www.flourbakery.com | www.myersandchang.com



Maggie Gold Seelig Real Estate Matchmaker

real estate matchmakertheir You were trained as an attorney. What attracted to you to a career in the real estate industry?

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MGS: Real estate has always been a passion of mine. Following the markets, renovating my own properties, and advising friends on real estate purchases and renovations was something I was doing long before getting into the business. I also have a deep appreciation and passion for architecture which also attracted me to make the transition from law to real estate. Beyond that, the dynamic nature of the real estate market in Boston, the gorgeous historic properties that I am privileged to enjoy and share with my buyers and the meaningful relationships that I build with clients through their search to find their next home is what really excites me about what I do! What do you think are the biggest challenges of finding the perfect home in the city? The biggest challenge right now, generally speaking for the market, is inventory. There is not enough supply to meet demand. Specifically, however, and with regard to my clients, there is not one defining challenge. Each client comes



to me with their own unique set of wishes and desires for how they want to live. It is my job to help flesh that out and help them realize their vision. Advising a client on the program and flow of house and how that fits their needs (or at times, doesn’t fit their needs) is an important part of the conversation. It is truly an organic process. As a native New Yorker now living in Boston, what are some of the things you feel sets Boston apart? Boston holds a special place in my heart for so many reasons. It is a smaller city than NYC which allows for a different sense of community and connection. Also, Boston’s architecture and buildings are so accessible and built on a more “human” scale. The way we are able to interact with such a historic city sets it apart from any other city in which I have lived. You’ve been part of the process of bringing Four51 Marlborough to life as a consultant for the project. You also used to live on Marlborough street, so you know the Back Bay quite well through your work and as a former resident. Do you have any favorite ‘hidden gems’ in the neighborhood that the average Bostonian might not have experienced? What about spots in other parts of the city? The great thing about any neighborhood in Boston is I am always discovering new things – from a new restaurant, a new play at a theatre like the ART which is doing cutting edge work, to a lecture at one of our many universities. As well as I know Boston, I feel like there is always something new to explore and enjoy. That is part of the innovative nature of our city. We are a leader in innovation in almost all domains…and to bear witness and be a part of that is remarkable. But sometimes, it is the very small things…I have



walked a street like Commonwealth Avenue hundreds of times, but on occasion, I take note of a statue for the first time that has been there for decades, if not hundreds of years. Sometimes it is just about opening your eyes to something you pass everyday that is a real hidden gem of our city. As an expert in the city’s real estate market, how do you keep your finger on the pulse of the industry? How do you find out what’s about to be available on the market, and how do you best determine what kinds of homes people will be drawn to? (i.e. being a real estate ‘matchmaker’). The market is dynamic and changes literally by the minute. Besides being obsessive about checking the public markets multiple times a day, the reality is that real estate is about people. I spend a lot of my time talking to people and meeting with people…you learn a lot about who is moving or thinking about moving and since much of my business actually happens off the public market, that is important. I also have great relationships with many of the area’s other top brokers which is key to my ability to get my clients in early on a property in a competitive market place. The process of finding the right home for someone is a responsibility that I take seriously and treat with great care. Listening to what a client wants and their aspirations for how they want to live is the foundation. Visiting their current home and seeing what works and doesn’t is also informative for me. From there, the process is so organic and the more we process and see the more we learn about what is really going to make a house their home. You must see a lot behind the closed doors of homes for sale. What’s the most interesting or strange experience you’ve had scoping out potential homes for clients?

The way we are able to interact “ with such a historic city sets it apart from any other city in which I have lived.

I pride myself on being a “human vault.” So while I have seen many many interesting things along the way…I will need to keep those to myself! List three pieces of advice that you would give to someone moving to Boston and searching for their next home. 1. Walk the neighborhoods and really get a feel for what matters to you – is walking to a restaurant important? Is being close to a park important? Where is the nearest hardware store? I can give my overview on neighborhoods, but nothing beats pounding some pavement and getting a personal feel firsthand. 2. See as many properties as you can. The reality is that often the properties that don’t interest you really help inform what does excite you. Then, we can be laser focused. 3. Work with a broker that knows the market and the properties and who is committed to finding your perfect home. Make sure they want to be part of a dialogue with you and are willing to spend the time necessary to

get the job done right. And also work with someone with whom you can have some fun! A real estate purchase is often the most money one will spend on something…so you should enjoy it! There are, of course, Boston neighborhoods which will always be prime living locations, such as the Back Bay and Beacon Hill, and then there are neighborhoods like East Boston that are “up-andcoming”…as an expert, where do you think the next ‘up-and-coming’ neighborhood generating investment and buyer interest will be? I wish I had a crystal ball and could tell you all the answers to this one! I think that there are definitely neighborhoods like East Boston that will be interesting to watch over the next 5-10 years. I also believe that the Fenway has yet to be fully realized and will become even more interesting over the next five years and is another neighborhood to watch.






As one of Boston’s most fashionable women, you have a particular and eclectic sense of style, your closet has been profiled by Boston Magazine, and a headline of the Boston Herald pictured a fabulous photo of you at the MassArt fashion show last year with the words ‘style guru’ in the caption. Did you always have this eclectic fashion sense, and what exactly inspires your choices? KHL: Wow - not sure about all that, but I would say a big “YES” to the eclectic fashion sense bit, and I think my family would agree that it’s in my DNA for better or worse. I spent my first few years in France and was the first child of a stylish European mother, so that may have had something to do with it. I grew up with my mother’s fashion icons, Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot & Sophia Loren, and spent my school years in a uniform, which I tried to fiddle with as much as possible in a desperate attempt at self-expression. I actually loved the freedom of the uniform (and I'm a big fan as a mum), which made dressing up on weekends and those free dress days in high school fun. I still operate that way, running around too much of the time in yoga clothes, but then really enjoying chances to layer on the style when the occasion strikes. I was put on a very strict budget as a pretty young kid, so I worked every




moment I could to make money, and I would take my hard-earned dollars and troll the discount stores in the Philadelphia area for treasures. I always went for statement pieces - something uber glamorous to pop my otherwise rather ordinary androgenous wardrobe for a girl growing up in the 70s & 80s. And I vividly remember the day my mother bought me my first fashion magazine: Seventeen with Brooke Shields on the cover. I was 11 and it began my lifelong love affair with fashion and photography. So the day I landed in the West Coast Editor chair of ELLE Magazine in Los Angeles I was pinching myself. My sense of style has matured considerably since those days, due to experience, exposure to the industry while at ELLE, and even more so at Portobello Road, but it's also informed by some basic tenets that run like a thread through my wardrobe over time: classic basics with pops of high fashion, comfort, and wanting to stand out from the crowd a bit. One thing I have come to appreciate much more as I’ve gotten older and wiser is quality of craftsmanship. My mother always told me that it was better to have fewer things that were really well made and to keep them for a long time - but it took me decades to fully appreciate her wisdom and it’s particularly important in this age of cheap and plentiful throwaway goods - a trend which has implications for the environment, working conditions, and human rights. At Portobello Road, the lifestyle boutique in Chestnut Hill which I own with my business partner and dear friend, Marina Kalb, we buy with the notion of integrity in mind: both in the design and the whole life-cycle of how something is made. I believe things are imbued with meaning and I buy accordingly for the store and for myself. The things I wear and surround myself with tell a story - many many stories, actually. At Portobello Road, how do you select and curate a collection of pieces? What are the characteristics of an item that determine whether you’ll buy it or walk away from it? There are so many considerations and Marina and I have learned a lot over nine years of buying together, and we have a great dynamic tension between us when



we buy that keeps us on the straight and narrow. I tend to be drawn to statement pieces, and original design and craftsmanship, but at the same time we have to consider cost and wearability/saleablity in our market/climate, fit, and practicality. How do you clean something, for example, is it an item that will shed, get snagged in the store, or jewelry that will lose stones? We stand behind what we sell, so we are not interested in disposable merchandise. We are also interested in the story behind what we buy and seek out fair trade, organic, and things made by women’s cooperatives, or companies that give back a percentage of their sales to good causes. Our tag line is “the shop with a soul” and we hope that every item we sell contributes in some way during its lifecycle. We also hope to make our customers more aware of the impact their consumer purchases have. But what we seek most is for our things, and the whole experience of shopping in the store with our candles, music, our lovely and talented sales team, and assorted treasures, to bring joy to our customers and our community. In addition to your time at Elle, you've been a producer at Frontline, you've worked on developing a screen play, on political efforts, and as an assistant to Oliver Stone. How did you end up on the West Coast, and does your background in storytelling influence your diverse style, your home, and the curation of pieces for Portobello Road? Landing my job as Oliver Stone’s assistant at 23 was basically like getting hit by lightning, but in a good way. Down and out and unemployed in the wake of my year on the Dukakis campaign, I was living in DC trying to figure out my next steps when we got a message on our answering machine, at the house I was sharing with a bunch of friends, asking if anyone was interested in being Oliver Stone’s assistant. Soon, I found myself on a plane to LA to meet my new boss. I believe that my three and half years as Oliver’s right hand perhaps had more impact on who I am today than anything other than my parents, who gave me the stability and sense of self that allowed me to weather those crazy Hollywood years. My time with Oliver actually inspired my sister Mimi Hare’s novel, The

Second Assistant, and I still can't seem to shake moviemaking from my system: I'm currently working on bringing NYT best seller Those Who Save Us to the screen with producing partner, Sandra Missakian. I think my wanderlust and taste for adventure forced the direction of my life, and my experiences have informed my eclectic style. I like to collect and keep things from travels and different stages of my life, or things passed down from my parents and grandparents and beyond, because so much memory is wrapped up in things. For decorating, there is a tension between wanting to simplify, and a desire to hold onto the strands of one’s life and family history,

You’ve traveled quite a bit, and your family lived in Italy for a year. What was it like, after a year of living in the beauty of Italy, coming back home to Boston? Wonderful! It felt brand new. I even got lost a few times on roads I used to be able to drive blind folded. I hadn't driven in a year since we couldn't have a car in the center of Rome, so it felt exciting initially to be behind the wheel again. Italy was everything we dreamed of and the Romans embraced us during our dolce vita time there, but there is nothing like old friends, and our friends really do make our world. Our family is so blessed in that regard. We also

I believe things are imbued “ with meaning...the things I wear and surround myself with tell a story - many many stories, actually. which is why I think moving is so healthy - to have a chance to edit one's things and tune up one’s story to keep it fresh and relevant. I’m so excited about this move to Beacon Hill - a place that is steeped in history, yet our space will be almost entirely new and loft-like, and high-tech. I'm in the process of researching smart house technology now, and thinking about where to put some of our favorite pieces of art from family portraits to fabulous abstract paintings we got at the Mass Art Auction. We are designing a modern house, but I can't get away from my eclectic instincts, and will have to be very strategic about layering in antiques and ethnic bursts of color and texture to give the space character and make it our own.

appreciated American efficiencies and comforts a lot more. What we missed most about Italy, other than the coffee and gelato, was walking everywhere and the layers of history surrounding us, which is part of what drew us to Beacon Hill, with its European flavor and locally owned businesses, that give it such a neighborhoody feel. I've always been drawn to the building Richard Meier designed to house the Ara Pacis in Rome; it garnered a lot of controversy, but I find its elegant simplicity to be the perfect foil for better appreciating the overwhelming array of ornate architecture surrounding it. The idea of building effectively new construction in Beacon Hill appealed to me in the same way. I love the juxtaposition of old and new, though one will have to come inside for the



wow factor in our case - the exterior of our building will remain exactly as it has for nearly 150 years. And how does living in Boston compare to L.A.? I think LA and Boston are the two most opposite cities in the US. I was also a single girl in the film business in my twenties in my LA days, whereas I have been married with children for my two decades in Boston. There are many things I love and miss about LA - there is so much innovation around exercise and nutrition, and people lead such a healthy outdoor lifestyle because of the weather, and I love the entrepreneurial spirit and sense that anything is possible. But Boston is, to me, a much better place to raise children: a nice hybrid of focus on education and family, while being generally socially progressive. LA feels more exciting to me, but Boston feels like home. I guess the two cities speak to two different sides of myself, and I tend to work a bit in opposition to my environment in my never-ending search for balance: I’m more LA in Boston (one can definitely see the West Coast influence at Portobello Road), and when I was in LA, I liked to wear my nerdy intellectual hat more. I sought gravitas in response to all the superficial red carpet nonsense in LA - I got involved with democratic politics, human rights, global health, which I dug deeper into while at Fletcher and continue to care deeply about today. Working on the design of your new Beacon Hill home has been great. Why did you decide to relocate from Brookline to Boston, and what are you most anticipating about being in the neighborhood? With my daughter off at college and only our 12-yearold son at home, it made sense to downsize, but we were also just ready for a change and to be city people again - and Patrick and I like building together. We had lived in Back Bay when our daughter was born. I also thought that our son, as an effective only child, would really enjoy having the freedom to explore the city, which he will be old enough to navigate on his own, as opposed to me spending the next four years playing chauffeur. While we loved our life and community in Brookline, both Patrick and I enjoy

having the urban buzz right outside our door. We also think our new address on the flat of the hill is the perfect location. How many American cities offer a village-like setting with history, community, charm, and cobblestones right in the center of a big modern city? I love our proximity to the river and the public garden and downtown and Back Bay - and Scampo, of course...we can walk almost anywhere in 15 minutes, and we are so excited to explore the neighborhood, find those home-away-from homehaunts one has in the city (I'm thinking Tatte Bakery & The Athenaeum) and inhabit the thoughtful and inspired design of H+A. I am so excited about diving into the interior design in the months ahead and can't wait to have our first party, family movie nights, and to curl up on one of our many window seats overlooking Chestnut Street. Your husband, Patrick Lyons, is a renowned Boston restaurateur and entertainment entrepreneur, so nightlife is something that you have a lot of knowledge about. For your perfect night out, where would you go, who would you be with, and what would you be doing? There are so many perfect nights out in Boston, which is what’s so much fun about being in a dynamic city: taking a picnic and gathering kids and friends to watch American Graffiti outside on the Rose Kennedy Greenway; a night of cocktails and music at the Gardner Museum - there’s a place that captures history, elegance, and cutting edge design; the nights I’ve turned Towne’s events room into a salon to introduce friends to ideas and organizations that are doing amazing work in global health and human rights, getting dressed to the nines for the Library or ICA galas, or the spectacular annual Mass Art Fashion show; getting silly on stage and off at Urban Improv's Banned in Boston, dinner parties in our candlelit wood-paneled dining room or on our deck, or taking over the spectacular screening room at Kings in Burlington with movie buff pals on a bitter January day and doing a triple feature while gorging on burgers, sundaes and margaritas….heaven!




BOSTON COMMON TOWNHOUSE 2015 Regional Winner of the Sub-Zero Wolf Kitchen Design Contest 2015 Winner 'Best Private Residential Design' IIDA New England Design Awards


Hacin + Associates [architecture + design]

TRAVELOGUE,PARIS When I used to think about Paris, I thought about stuffed owls. And tigers and bears. And by stuffed, I mean taxidermy. Perhaps I was reading too much David Sedaris. But it’s been said that the French love their taxidermy [for the polarity of quirky + imperial perhaps?] and that cultural idiosyncrasy along with a famous design show drew me to the city this fall.

Once there, I was delighted to see that amidst all the intense formality is a magical thread that weaves its way through everything. A sense of whimsy dances around floral and children’s shops filled with colorful mobiles and wild roses...

...Fashion is the demure grey jacket paired with the unexpected funky red eyeglasses. And design boutiques are filled with oddball accessories next to Prouve icons. It made me happy. And inspired.



Feminine details in masculine places... Lacey ironwork at the Eiffel, delicate stained glass windows at SainteChapelle, and a gentleman’s embroidered clothing in a painting at the Louvre. But then...masculine details in feminine places. New collection of women’s wear by Comme Des Garcons feels like body armor in the best possible way. And meanlooking thistle grates in a women’s perfume shop window.



Museum and shop display was sublime. From top left: Who doesn’t need mouthwash with a snake on it? From Buly 1803. Hunting badges at the Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature, Sentou basement with neon orange, Atelier de Villatte white earthenware and lace drapery, traditional potpourri display at Buly contrasted with a modern skincare display at Aesop, the sparkling glass ceiling above sleek fixturing for bookstore at Le Bon Marche, and a typewriter with visitor contributed notes posted at Shakespeare and Company.



Above, a sketch of Francois Pompon’s GrandDuc sculpture from the 20’s at the Musee d’Orsay. And YES...taxidermy! Spent some time at Deyrolle talking to the team about their values and methods for collecting specimens: all animals at this 170-year-old institution have died of old age or illness at reserves, parks, or zoos. Deyrolle shares these creatures for education, preservation and biodiversity awareness.

Eek!! Since post-modern furniture was [unfortunately] everywhere at the Maison & Objet trade show, I needed respite in the form of beetles, spiders, and piggies. Keep in mind, you should never buy taxidermy without the proper certificate! The famous green wall of Deyrolle is visible behind a zebra [bottom right photo]. Found myself drawn to green a lot on this trip...springy green Queen Anne’s Lace, emerald beetles, faded frescoes, mint typewriter keys, and dusty butterfly wings.

A couple returns to Boston, and after a devastating fire, reclaims the apartment they lived in three decades before.



Return to the City Interview by Kate Kelley & Eduardo Serrate






e met Paul and Elaine Cohen in 2008, in their search for an architecture firm to work with on renovating their penthouse apartment in the Back Bay. After living and raising a family in Swampscott, MA for 30 years, the couple wished to move back to the heart of the city, and lightning struck. Literally. Their apartment in the Back Bay was struck by lightning, starting a disastrous fire, and requiring a total renovation of the building and the home they had planned to return to. We sat down with them to hear them revisit the story, the project, and the process.

KK: Why don’t you tell us a little bit about how you came to Boston and how you found this property. PC: Well, I started the condominium development in the Back Bay in 1976 and I had done a small project at 236 Comm Ave, which was four units, much smaller, and after that project I looked for another and this building became available. There were 20 units and it was full of Harvard law students and rent control issues. I saw the potential and bought the building.

KK: And this is in a time when condos were not really very prevalent in the city, right? PC: Well, I did the first total rehab of an existing building into condos in Boston. There had been paper conversions of other condominium projects, but the one I did at 236 was the first total rehab and this property was my second. There were a lot of others to follow with various developers and properties. But here, two laborers and I did the demo on the entire building ourselves.

ES: That is a large inventory for a newcomer to tackle...and demo! PC: Well, I was 30, a lot younger, and a lot stronger. So it was the first time units came onto the market in the Back Bay for $100K apiece and they were all over 2000 SF, so that was $50/ SF in those days. PHOTOS PREVIOUS PAGE + TOP: MICHAEL STAVARIDIS, BOTTOM: HACIN + ASSOCIATES

ES: So then you moved to the suburbs for awhile... PC: We lived here for about two years and then we moved to the North shore to Swampscott where we lived for 30 years while we rented this place. We always loved the city and always wanted to come back. When the kids got older and we finally decided to move back to the city, the plan was to simply renovate this apartment's kitchen and bathrooms, since the bones were basically the same as they are now. The night before we started the process, lightning hit and destroyed the building. It gave us an opportunity to build and re-imagine this place in an intimate way all over again.

ES: Talk about making lemonade out of lemons, right? I actually remember picking up the phone when you first called our office, and thinking, "Wow, this is really unfortunate". PC: But we had an opportunity to start from scratch since this was an empty canvas…

KK: Right..you couldn’t just do kitchens and baths after that!

“ We had the

opportunity to start from scratch.”

EC: It was a burnt out shell!

ES: I remember walking through the space. You could smell the ash. PC: Everything was burnt and black. The ceilings, the walls...the lightning hit the electrical panel and it just spread throughout the entire place. This was the only building hit that day in the Back Bay. But it gave us the opportunity to do what we really wanted. Our tastes are very modern, so we wanted to go with one of the top modern architects in the city; I spoke to different firms and interviewed with everyone, and it was Hacin + Associates that had a great portfolio and with which I felt most comfortable. And I like the people! It was just a good meeting. David, Scott, and you both (Kate and Eduardo) worked really well with us on this project.



ES: With your background as a developer, I feel like the design process was very collaborative. I remember you both were very insightful with your questions and thought through every aspect of an idea; in the end it guided the product that we have now. How do you think that your background influenced your process? PC: For many years I had been working with clients on high end condominium projects, so I was very familiar with the process and how the relationship worked between architect and client. So with this project, for the first time, we were on the client side of the relationship and had the ability to really do the things we wanted to do in our own home that I had done for so many other people over the years.

KK: You were really ambitious with the level of detail. The stairs, for example, are typically tucked to the side of the unit, but you really wanted to make a moment out of it. PC: That’s one of the big architectural elements that Eduardo was key to designing. The entire space is an example of great design. It’s comfortable and very timeless. That’s how we feel, that it’s just timeless. We wake up every morning and it feels like we’re waking up in a five star hotel.

comfortable and very timeless. ”

EC: I knew that I liked H+A’s style and I knew you would help us put it all together. For me, it was more about the total look. I know Paul had very distinct ideas about what he wanted. I agreed to a lot of the things that he liked because he has a good sense of style. I think I do too, but it's easier for me to realize what I don't like, so I relied on your team to really help refine the interior design direction. PC: Well, Elaine has a great fashion sense. She’s very modest about it, but she has excellent taste, and our place now reflects it. And Kate, you directed us to so many great options to choose from that worked for us both, which makes it a perfect place. There’s a zen-like feeling that you get and any of our guests or friends that come over feel it too. There’s just a wowfactor. They love it. EC: It’s five years later, and we still love it. PC: We always say to each other that we are very very lucky to be here and to be in a space like this. EC: I’m happy to be here and I don’t want to change anything! Less is more! PC: Right, and we got rid of so much from the old house. EC: When we talk to friends living in the suburbs who are interested in moving to the city, their biggest issue is what to do with all of their things if they move.

ES: Yes, the idea of moving from a big house in the suburbs to the city can be daunting to some people, because they think, ‘I have all of these things! Where am I going to put them?’ EC: It prevents them from doing it. When people come to our home and they see this minimal look, they’re envious that we have so few things in the space and yet it looks so good. I point out that what do you need in a bedroom other than a bed and a dresser? And they agree, and they want to get rid of everything and move.




“ It’s

KK: Well, you both have a shared appreciation for design, but you have different styles. Paul, you were more attracted to the 70’s styles, with more metals, and Elaine, you were more attracted to some of the dark woods and a more minimal look. The challenge was to marry both of those two styles in a way that worked for you.



PC: The only things we brought from the old house are our art, the Pace chairs, and the buffet from our original place in 1978, and we restored and reconditioned those pieces. They look brand new and they feel timeless. We’re into comfort and timelessness. We don’t want to get old!

“ We went

from a suburban desert to an urban oasis.”

ES: So if you had a couple of friends that were moving from the suburbs into Boston, what would you recommend to them in terms of the process? Would you say the sooner that you let go of the need for so many things, the easier the transition will be? EC: Yes, it’s the letting go. PC: Knowing that you just don’t need lots of stuff. It’s not the answer. We’ve had New Year’s Eve parties here for five years now, and it’s the most festive place. It’s like being somewhere else. It transcends. It just doesn’t get old and that’s whats so exciting about it. Here we live in every inch of the place.

ES: I was thinking of how architecture and design in general has changed a lot from the 70’s and 80’s, to today, and it reflects our current lifestyle. In your previous house for example, you had a very typical layout with a formal living room, an enclosed kitchen, a family room…it was very compartmentalized…a room for a function. EC: That’s good when you have kids. It was great raising a family there. PC: But there’s a formality when you live in compartmentalized rooms. You’re confined to the living room, or the dining room, or the kitchen. Here, everything is integrated into one space and it works. The kitchen is a busy workplace for me. I’m in there cooking all of the time. We cook every meal at home practically, and we go out to restaurants infrequently. The kitchen is so beautiful that it’s as much apart of the living room as it is the kitchen itself. The space integrates and it can be as formal as we want it to be or as informal.

ES: Is there something from the suburbs that you miss? EC: Nothing! Everything is here! I don’t even have a car anymore. I don’t need a car…well we do have one and it’s for traveling outside of the city, but otherwise we walk everywhere. And Boston’s such a great walking city…everything is close…anything that we have to do we can get to by foot. PC: Well, speaking of what we don’t miss...we have an incredible roof deck here and we treat that as a room. We use it all of the time. We had dinner there with friends last night, we eat there, we read the newspaper there, we have coffee there. I can’t believe that people that have decks in town don’t use them as much. We probably use our deck more than any other couple in town. We look around over at the other roof decks and there’s no people there! And Elaine and I would have a hard time living in the city ourselves if we did not have that outside space. We used our yard and pool in the suburbs regularly, especially if the sun was out…we like to be outside. So we’re just using it all of the time. It was important that the deck be as well-designed as the interior.

ES: So what you’re saying is that you don’t feel you’re missing out on anything because you’ve replaced all the functions you had in Swampscott, here in the city. EC: I didn’t grow up in the city, but after the kids grew up and left home there was nothing there left for us, and so we left and all our friends followed. PC: We went from a suburban desert to an urban oasis.

KK: So what advice would you give to your friends who are coming into the city to live?



PC: It just revitalizes people of our age when they move from the suburbs into the city, because there’s more activity going on and everything is at your fingertips. We go to the farmer’s market in the summer months, all the stores are here, and places like the library…Boston is very rich culturally.

ES: So the final questions is what would you do differently, given the chance to experience the process again? Whether it was the design process, the construction, or the move to the city? EC: It was a dream, working with you all. Could we have picked out and planned everything here? Not without you. And it was worth every penny to be able to have a team work with us.


PC: Nothing. I like to be where I am. I love this location, and we’re in the middle of everything. We’ve got the city on one side and the river on the other. There’s absolutely nothing as far as design that I would change…Really! There’s absolutely nothing I would change. And it’s a real result of our collaboration.









Apartment Living, Hollywood Style Introduction by Jonathan Levine With commentary from David Hacin, Matthew Arnold, Jennifer Clapp, Darien Fortier, Christine Rankin Manke, Emily Neumann, Matthew Woodward, and Tim Grafft Name any film or TV show, and your mind immediately conjures up an image of the lead actor or actress. Friends? Jennifer Aniston, of course. The Titanic? A young Leo, clad in a puffy sleeved white shirt. But, like normal people, characters need some place to stay, real or fictional. Houses and apartments are mainstays in movies and TV shows – often acting as the central setting for an entire production, and therefore a character in its own right. Yet, we, the audience, may never really recognize their cinematic power. We here at H+A and Tim Grafft ,our “in house” film expert, who has worked for many years in the Massachusetts Film Office on film locations, highlight selected films from a professional's perspective –the filmography, the cinematography, the set design, and how the elements all dance together in a perfect symphony to create outstanding visual art. Our designers take a look at how the spaces influence and reflect characters, themes, social canon, and so on. The design of these fictitious living spaces can inform the expression of an entire work. After all, H+A believes in the importance of “No Boundaries”, even on the big screen.



Rosemary’s Baby (1968) TG:

Everybody knows living in NYC can be creepy, but Richard Sylbert’s design of the interior of the Dakota building, built on a stage, is so real it seems like Satan really does live next door. DH:

This classic movie is set in the legendary ‘Bramford’ which is really the Dakota Apartments on Central Park West in New York, designed in 1884 by the architect Henry Hardenbergh (who also designed the similarly grand Copley Plaza Hotel). Many years ago, I remember walking into the courtyard and being told by a doorman that no two apartments in the building were alike, but were each wildly unique. This was very different from the ‘stacked’ and somewhat banal white brick apartment building I grew up in which added to its sense of grandeur and mystery.

Sex and the City (1998-2004) CRM:

The casual thrown-together look of Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment (in reality, a film set in Queens) filled with flea market finds is a reflection of her internal, disorganized, creativeself and stands in stark contrast to her overthe-top designer wardrobe and impeccable street style. Perhaps the imperfect nature of her apartment was an attempt to make it more believable that she could afford to live in a brownstone on the Upper East Side on the salary of a sex columnist who spends more money on shoes than rent. Her alcove studio apartment was primarily devoted to the private aspects of a home - a space for sleeping and waiting for the phone to ring, a space for writing while peering out that iconic window, and an impossibly large walk in closet. She even used her stove for extra sweater storage as only a single woman could. For Carrie, like many urban dwellers, the city served as her social space - an extension of the home - taking ‘living in the city’ to a whole new level.



The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) TG: This iconic Boston movie, set in the swinging

60’s of Boston, has the Otis Mansion as the home of millionaire Thomas Crown played by Steve McQueen. The famous interior scene of McQueen playing a sensual game of chess with Faye Dunaway is not to be missed. This is another stage set--real Beacon Hill Bostonians would never play...chess, that is. DH:

“The Windmills of your Mind” was always one of my favorite movie scores and listening to it while watching split screen images of Boston in 1968 has always been something Tim and I have recommended to old and new Bostonians. Thomas Crown’s residence, the [2nd] Harrison Gray Otis House designed by Charles Bulfinch in 1800, always felt to me like it belonged to a different world from the rest of the city and Beacon Hill — it still does. Here, we are invited in, and it’s a much cooler image of the Yankee Bostonian residence than you are expecting.

Rear Window (1954) MW:

“Underneath the credits, jazz music plays as the bamboo shades rise slowly over four vertically-rectangular windows in a small Greenwich Village apartment. The camera tracks out through the windows, showing the surrounding Lower East Side apartment buildings, lower courtyard and garden.” Thus begins Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 masterpiece, Rear Window. Filmed entirely at Paramount Studios on one massive set – comprised of an urban courtyard surrounded by more than 30 apartments, the film is an account of the curiosity and unspoken voyeurism common to city living. Largely shot from the vantage point of the wheelchair bound protagonist, played by the iconic James Stewart, the film places the viewer in direct site of the daily activities of the surrounding neighbors - deeds that range from the commonplace to, perhaps, the deadly… 76


The Royal Tenanbaums (2001) The Royal Tenenbaums house in NYC is as much a character in the film as any of the family members. The director, Wes Anderson, has said that once the actors walked their bedrooms, they were able to realize their characters with even more depth. Each detail holds a clue to the family’s collective past. His fable-imbued films rely heavily on nostalgia, and this set is a visual overload, screaming that these people are complicated and fascinating. JC:

EN: Wes Anderson’s perfectly symmetrical

and very architecturally-styled, straight-on camera viewpoints really frame the spaces as much as the people. There are loads of blogs dissecting the interior design of his films, and with this one, that infamous red zebra wallpaper became a HUGE trend.

I Am Love (2009) DH: I’ve always been fascinated by Italian

architecture from the 30s and 40s because it feels like design is transitioning from Classicism to Modernism [via Fascism] but isn’t fully part of either style -- it’s a kind of extravagant mash up that only the Italians could dream up. Antiques, brocaded wallpapers, wood and metals, modernist proportions, and lots and lots of mirrors. The movie describes a family in transition. Tilda Swinton, the protagonist who wants to break free from the constraints of her world, perfectly describes the Villa Necchi Campiglio in Milan [built between 19321935 and designed by Piero Portaluppi] as “part palace, part museum and part prison” which makes it a perfect setting for the story. I find it all to be pure inspiration.



An American in Paris (1951) MA:

In the musical film, “American in Paris”, Gene Kelly wakes up in his ‘cozy’ and very small Parisian apartment - a ‘studio’ for some, a closet to others. The space tells you what you need to know about his character...he’s an artist, a romantic type, and he doesn’t need much to get by. But Gene beautifully transforms his space from sleeping quarters to living quarters with the use of pulleys, wheels, and hinges and of course, gracefully executed choreography. He hoists his bed away and stores it high above his head and gracefully flips and pushes table and chairs into the space from a corner closet for his morning breakfast. This is a great example of how living in small spaces can still provide everything one needs to enjoy their environment. If you’ve got room to dance, you’ve got enough space to live well!

The Jetsons (1962-1988) EN: Created in 1962 when Americans had a

renewed interest in "the future" (and in space travel), the Jetsons were an embodiment of that future - 2062 to be exact; where a typical workweek is an hour a day, two days a week (including time for George Jetson’s afterwork martinis and smoke breaks - a true ‘60’s tv show, right?), and meals are made with the push of a button. The Jetson's home is the ultimate in high-tech luxury. They live in the Skypad Apartments, in Orbit City, where all buildings and architecture are built on columns, elevating the structures into the sky - making it easy for flying cars to avoid rush hour. The interior decor is still influenced by a mid-century style - proof of its timelessness! With Rosie, the robot housekeeper doing way more than a Roomba ever could, the Jetsons have plenty of time to enjoy their multitude of household gadgets and gizmos. 78


Auntie Mame (1958) DF: Set in 1928, ‘Auntie Mame’ is a musical

film about an orphan boy who gets dropped at the steps of his aunt’s extravagant Manhattan apartment. He opens the door to find his glamorous aunt at the top of a grand staircase, the interiors themed in Japaneseinspired décor - gold dragon wallpaper, large samarai statues, and intricately ornate metal doors. Her motto is, "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are fools", and throughout the story, her apartment and her look (including her hair color) reflects this appetite for life, being refashioned six times over the years as the boy grows up. Auntie Mame is a must-see for those with an interest in interior (or set) design, and the character herself is an inspiration, as someone who lives in the present, experiments with design, immerses herself in her surroundings, and has a lot of fun along the way!

Mad Men (2007-2015) MW:

When the 5th season of Mad Men premiered, fans were thrust from the lingering social mores of the halcyon 1950’s and into the progressive, and decidedly daring, times of the mid 1960’s. They were also left drooling over the iconic imagery of Don’s new Upper East Side apartment. The quaint, curvilinear and pastel impressions of life give way to the sleek, hard lined, and brightly colored features of Don’s new life. From the sunken living room filled with midcentury modern furniture to the jewel-toned Case Study style kitchen, the set is complete with all the trappings of a bachelor pad including a bar and “high-tech” gadgets like a push button phone. It’s a visual feast for fans of mid-century design. The set is also an essential character unto itself – symbolizing the major shift in social and political attitudes of the US across the 1960’s.




“ State Park’s execution of a

unique concept is right on target. It made us feel like we’d stepped into a party where everyone was having a good time.” - w ww.h un gryfordesi gn rev i ew. com

the urban minimalist How Moving to Boston Made Me a Minimalist (and why I’m thankful) an essay by Aimee Epstein Norton

As a designer, I consider myself a minimalist. I appreciate clean lines and simple forms that offer people opportunities for living uncomplicated, healthy and fulfilling lives. This design approach has benefitted me well in my education and career. As an average person moving into the city four years ago, I did not have the same approach. I grew up in a suburb with three shopping malls within a five mile radius of my house. Commercialism was all around me and I succumbed‌and acquired many, many things. This way of life was all I knew until I moved into the South End of Boston. It was an exciting time. I was moving in with my boyfriend, and we were going to my favorite neighborhood in the city. We chose a tiny, recently renovated one bedroom (roughly 400 sf) on Shawmut Avenue and loaded up the moving truck. To say unpacking was challenging is an understatement. We knew what we were dealing with when signing the lease, but were overly optimistic about what we could fit. As an architect, I got creative with layout and double duty furniture, and eventually found places for 82


the items we valued most. Then we boxed up the extra “stuff” and stored it away at relatives’ houses and in the trunk of our car (this may sound familiar to some of you). Almost all of that stuff was completely forgotten. I quickly settled into my new neighborhood and began taking advantage of all the urban amenities at my fingertips. I borrowed books from the Boston Public library. I went to museums, galleries, and music venues for entertainment. I watched football at Clery’s with other fans. I ate lunch on a blanket in Peter’s Park. The rapidly growing sharing economy made it easy to order any service or goods I needed by the push of a button. Having immediate access to so much made me question what I actually needed to own and keep in my home. Slowly, I started cleaning out my apartment. I didn’t realize at the time that the minimalism philosophy was beginning to resonate with me. I simply had some perspective and was noticing how many things I owned that I didn’t need. I started with my clothes and ended up giving away half my wardrobe. I was left with my most valued pieces. Then I moved on to the junk drawers brimming with inkless pens, old CDs, note pads with company logos, and more. Almost everything went into the garbage. I zoomed out and thought about removing bigger items. I donated furniture used only for storing possessions I didn't need, and instead started investing in quality pieces that could serve multiple purposes. This was the beginning of a new phase of my life. With every purge I felt lighter, and I could breathe easier in my apartment. Little things started to feel more significant, like the breeze coming through my bay window on a weekend morning or walking through the park with my partner. I was paying less attention to my material possessions and more attention to my surroundings and my relationships. By giving up my belongings, I stopped comparing what I had to what others have, and letting go of those insecurities transcended into other areas of my life.

“I was paying

less attention to my material possessions and more attention to my surroundings and relationships.



The process was revealing and rewarding. Decluttering my home had the side effect of decluttering my mind, making room for some introspection. I decided I wanted to work somewhere that valued the social responsibilities of designing in an urban environment, and that is how I found myself working at H+A. I also recognized that I wanted to share my design education and inspire others, leading me to begin teaching at the Boston Architectural College. Just these two things have shaped my adult life in many positive ways. My health has improved too. With less time being spent buying and maintaining things around my home, I have been able to take up running, a hobby that has benefitted my body and my mind.

“Decluttering my home had the side effect of decluttering my mind, making room for introspection.



I spent four years in my tiny South End apartment, but eventually the time came to move on. My husband and I moved to a new apartment in Somerville that is three times the size of our South End apartment. When I think about why we moved, it is because we wanted more space but not because we wanted more stuff. We wanted a second bedroom so we could host family and friends. Having a bigger kitchen meant we could cook nice meals together. And, in my humble opinion, having an in-unit washer and dryer is invaluable. I don’t think I’ve abandoned the minimalist mentality by moving to a larger place. In fact, I feel that I am using the same philosophy to determine what is most important to me; what is worth making space for and what is not. Our new home is relatively sparse with minimal furniture and décor that is very personal to us. The walls and shelves hold things that we love, and no clutter is concealing them. My experience living in the city taught me to live more, with less, and it’s a lesson I will take with me wherever I go in life. Living a minimalist lifestyle means something different to everyone. What is minimal to one person may seem extravagant to another. It is a very personal exercise, but the constant goal is to live with less “things”. It’s the process of assessing what is most valuable to each of us, and discarding the unnecessary.

How? You can start small with gestures like cleaning out closets or donating books, but the full effect won’t be felt until you are truly free from what you define as your superfluous possessions. Once you do this you will create space in your life and your soul for pursuits that will bring great fulfillment.

Minimalism how-to: Decide why. Why do you want to be a minimalist? Are the walls of your apartment closing in on you? Are you trying to de-stress? Are you looking to make a big change in your life? Start small. Pick a room/closet/etc., and clean it out. Discard or donate things you know you no longer need. Test the waters. This is for items that fall into the “maybe discard” category. Try putting them away in a basement/attic or just pack them up in a box. See if you miss any of the items. If not, get rid of them!

in the city “Living taught me to live more, with less...

Think Twice. When shopping, ask yourself constantly if you need the item. If you do, decide where you are going to store it before making the purchase. Invest in quality. Spend your money on well-made items that will last a long time. Be patient but persistent. Understand that this is an ongoing effort, a lifestyle choice, and it’s okay not to be perfect all of the time.

Learn more:

www.theminimalists.com www.becomingminimalist.com A Rich Life with Less Stuff: the Minimalists at TEDxWhitefish (Ted Talks) Tiny House Movement: Andrew Morrison at TEDxColorado Springs (Ted Talks) The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo (Book)



Focus a photographic essay

PROCESS Design palettes from four of our multi-family projects under construction in the city by Team Hacin




H+ MAGAZINE South End: jordan lofts, 477 harrison ave, Boston, MA | Completion 2015 12 Luxury Condominium and Rental Residences By The Holland Companies www.jordanlofts.com





Lower Roxbury: Douglass Park, 150 Camden Street, Roxbury, MA | Completion 2017 44 Unit Multifamily Rental Apartment Building By The Hamilton Company www.hacin.com/portfolio/douglas-park/ | www.thehamiltoncompany.com




H+ MAGAZINE Back Bay: 448 Beacon Street, Boston, MA | Completion 2016 6 Luxury Condominium Residences By The Congress Group www.hacin.com/portfolio/hooper-mansion/





Mission Hill: 1478-1484 Tremont Street, Boston, MA | Completion 2016 Mixed-Use Multifamily Development with 66 upscale rental apartments By Trellis Group llc www.hacin.com/portfolio/1480-tremont-street/




H+ MAGAZINE Back Bay: Four51 Marlborough Street, Boston, MA | Completion 2016 8 Luxury Condominium Residences By The Holland Companies www.four51marlborough.com





NEW BOSTON EXPERIENCES 1. Checking out Illuminus

Illuminus is blossoming into a citywide art + performance festival. Go to see exciting visual, audio, and performance art that manipulates light, sound, and projection to create an immersive spectacle.

2. Shopping at Boston’s New Public Market

Located at 100 Hanover Street, this indoor public food market operates year-round with scores of vendors selling local produce, fish, gourmet food, & so much more to satiate any foodie.

3. Ice Skating at 70 Rowes Wharf

What better way to acclimate to freezing temperatures than…ice skating at the rink under the rotunda at the Boston Harbor Hotel, which is open to the public for a small fee, and offers fantastic and picturesque winter fun.

4. Having a Pastry at PAUL

The famous French café opened its first Boston location (and first dine-in restaurant) in Downtown Crossing this year. Go, sample the puff pastries, the macarons, the café au lait, and indulge your inner francophile.

5. Riding on the Greenway Carousel

The perfect “urban canvas” for Boston's myriad art displays, the Greenway is now home to a new carousel. Take the family, or go on your own and experience the childish glee of riding your choice of whimsical creatures.

6. Hanging out at the Lawn on D

The Lawn on D, home of the famous “light swings”, is quickly becoming a burgeoning cultural center open to the public, and home to many exciting installations and activities on a daily basis.

7. Spending an Afternoon in East Boston

Take the Blue line to Maverick, eat at a neighborhood taqueria, and walk to Piers Park for views of the Boston skyline. For an even closer look, try the community sailing center for sailing in the Boston Harbor.

8. Standing in Line at Primark

Prepare yourself America, Primark has arrived. The well-known Irish department store opened a US location in Downtown Crossing. For a (very) affordable one-stop-shop, try your hand (or rather, feet) at waiting in line to get in.

9. Attending the Design Biennial Boston

In its fourth edition in 2015, the Design Biennial showcases local emerging talents in architecture, landscaping, and design who are awarded an opportunity to create site-specific installations in the city.

10. Touring Boston's New Craft Breweries

Boston is quickly becoming a craft beer destination! Some great new breweries are located in the area, like Bantam, American Fresh Brewhouse, Aeronaut, Slumbrew, & Winter Hill Brewing Co..



THIS PAGE Private loft residence South End, Boston © Trent Bell BACK COVER FP3 Fort Point, Boston © Bruce T. Martin







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