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Try to find fresh basil in Boston during March, I dare you!  It’s no easy venture, and serves as quite the inconvenience as I regularly make Italian inspired dishes.  Farmers Markets are just coming into season, super markets neglect the finer foods for extended sell-by dates, and Sherman Market is just too far across the river.  So, what are you to do when your meal depends on that fresh flavor, and all you’re offered is Stop & Shops’ withering excuse of an ingredient? It might sound a bit crazy, but I recommend you check your local garage!

There is only one thing more refreshing than the taste of newly picked basil, and that’s the entrepreneurship that delivered it.  Marshall’s Fenway Farm Stand not only provides the freshest produce (obviously including basil), but serves as a great example of the opportunities provided by a recession.  With the help of Fenway Real Estate Developer Samuels & Associates, Bob Marshall was able to expand from his original Gloucester farm stand, and share his produce with Greater Boston.  Now located blocks from Yawkey Way in a repurposed garage, previously occupied by tire techs and industrial lifts, you will find a vibrant selection of farm fresh goods.  Milk sold in old-fashioned glass bottles, vegetables of every sort, marinated steaks, and pickled treats will have you forgetting your metropolitan home for a moment, and relishing in the flavors of the countryside.

Caleb Hutchings

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A few months have passed since my hilarious bicycle accident in which I broke my collar bone.  Recovery has been slow, but I’m ready to jump back on the saddle.  By no measure would I suggest fragmenting any bones in my body would be of timely convenience, but with registration opening for Bike Not Bombs’ 2010 Bike-A-Thon, I have no complaints.

Those of us who know it, hold this JP nonprofit in high regard.  Bikes Not Bombs strives to promote peace, sustainability, and social justice through the recycling and reconditioning of used bicycles. BNB also trains and employs local teen youth within their workshops (under professional supervision) as a channel of personal/community enrichment.  The majority of donated bicycles are shipped abroad to business development initiatives and youth training programs throughout Central America and Africa.  This June 6th, BNB’s influence will be felt a bit more close to home.  The 2010 Bike-A-Thon will begin in front of the Stony Brook T stop in JP, and will be segmented into 15, 25, or 62 mile rides. Be sure to register for your spot to join hundreds of other cyclist for an awesome cause!

Caleb Hutchings

In France I would be described as a flâneur,”One who walks the city to experience it.” There isn’t much of an equivalent in English, so I refer to myself simply as an “urban adventurer.” Of these wandering adventures, my favorite would easily be those which result in food. My culinary expeditions have taken me all across the city to farmers markets in the North End, diverse grocery stores in the heart of Chinatown, and (believe it or not) former auto garages in Fenway.  Yet, my curiosity for bizarre cuisine peaked this past week during a short walk through Allston.

Tucked behind a RiteAid and a boarded/abandoned building (at least from Brighton Ave. where I found it) is Bazaar International Gourmet. Not only does the odd location eliminate the cart wielding chaos of the Trader Joe’s crowd, but after a few minutes of browsing fresh produce and imported goods, it will make you feel as though you’ve found hidden treasure. I consider the prized jewels of discovery to be the extensive variety of fresh cheeses, a deli that would make a vegan cry and a carnivore drool, and unique products ranging from mango juice to smoked goldfish. Add the fresh selection of vegetables, shelves full of imported beer, and aroma of freshly baked/cooked delights, and you have my new favorite culinary destination.

– Caleb Hutchings

P.S. Bazaar also has a location in Brookline, which is next on my list to visit.

For most of Emmanuel College students, Rescue is common knowledge. However, during some conversations I’m still receiving a blank stare when I reference this small Allston boutique.  For those of you in the know, please excuse the redundancy. For the rest of you, I believe you will appreciate this introduction.

If you have ever spent an afternoon scouring clothing racks in Marshall’s, Goodwill, or small second-hand boutiques, you know first-hand it is an uphill battle. Apart from a few hidden treasures, quality is usually lacking or the price tag is a bit overzealous. You will be happy to hear these frustrations can be avoided with a short T ride to Allston. Rescue is a small second-hand boutique which offers quality articles of clothing at very modest prices.  Everything from tweed blazers, leather jackets, shoes, outerwear, and an impressive inventory of plaid button downs are sold, bought, and traded. Turnover is pretty quick in this store, so many patrons visit often to take advantage of the best deals. However, if you hate the B-Line as much as I do or care to avoid the hassles of the 66, Rescue updates their Tumblr on the latest arrivals, and tweets some of their goods as well!

Twitter: @rescuerescue

– Caleb Hutchings

As you have noticed, it has been a little while since my last post. Late one night in the end of November, after great conversation and a reunion with an old friend, I hopped on my bicycle and began pedaling my way home. Now, normally I’m a pretty aggressive rider, especially on a motorcycle, but tonight I was taking a easy cruise back to my apartment. Within a block of my home, I turned to check my blind spot as a car came up close on me, and simultaneously hit a giant pothole. My front wheel went sideways, and I shot over my handlebars like I was Clark Kent about to take flight. (I didn’t). When I stopped rolling down the street, my feet were still on the petals, and my collar bone was in two pieces. I’ve just broken out of my sling recently, so I apologize for lack of posts.  However, this brings me to my next point: stop this persecution of my fragile bones, and clean up Boston just by snapping a picture with your iphone!

The City of Boston has released a Citizens Connect iPhone App which allows citizens to snap a picture of potholes, graffiti, or broken traffic lights, and send a notice directly to the city. Every message utilizes Geolocation to identify the address of each repair, and a tracking number is offered to ensure the issue is fixed promptly. Seems to be a great integration of community and city, now I just need an iPhone.

– Caleb Hutchings

P.S. (Full Disclosure) The collar bone picture isn’t actually mine. Didn’t have a camera on me in the ER.

Boston Internships

I’ve been getting a LOT of questions about internships in the past few weeks. Although it is very late in the game for next spring, I thought I would write an early post for those who are preparing for summer. Below I have provided internship programs in Boston which would be my top picks. These include organizations I have interned for, small businesses I admire, and large agencies I would nearly die to get my foot in the door. Also, Emmanuel’s EC3 portal and the Boston Business Journal both have extensive lists of organizations categorized by industry. Be sure to check them out for companies that reflect your interests. I hope this helps your search, and PLEASE DO ADD to Saintly Advice’s list!

Google Cambridge: I had to get this one out of the way. The extreme competition for Google internships makes this a pipe dream for most, but of course it is the ideal opportunity for those who are qualified. I don’t think I need to explain why, if you don’t already know don’t bother applying.

Boston World Partnerships: I can personally vouch for this non-profit located in the financial district. Founded by Mayor Menino, BWP helps business leaders worldwide understand and access Boston’s competitive advantages. It as created a global network of Boston professionals, similar to a college alumni network. Through my internship at BWP, I had the opportunity to interact with many of these Connectors, and expanded my network in the Boston economy exponentially. I also participated in core strategy sessions, created original online content for BWP’s information rich website, and supported the management of the Connector body among a host of other projects. If you care for a introduction to this organization, come out their Open Mixers which are hosted once every month. The next Open Mixer is December 14th and it’s free. See you there!

Hubspot: When I said I would nearly die to get my foot in the door this is the place to which I was referring. Hubspot is not only the authority on inbound marketing, they invented the term! Apart from mastering SEO, content marketing, engagement, and website optimization, they are also pretty freakin’ cool. Every Friday at 4:00 they host HubspotTv live from their office in Cambridge. The video podcast is entertaining as it is informative, and even if it wasn’t their refrigerator stocked full of Harpoon would lighten your mood. Keep tab on the Hubspot team by following them on Twitter: @Hubspot, and follow this List of Hubspotters

Mullen: If you asked me what marketing agency I would like to work for there would be no hesitation in my answer: Mullen. There is too much to say to fit in this post, so I insist you follow the link to their website to understand my admiration for Mullen. I would also follow @EdwardBoches and @StuartFoster, as they guide you through the proper leverage of content marketing, engagement, and social media. If you are serious about marketing, this (Hubspot aside) is the internship I would be after. However don’t put all your internship eggs in Mullen’s basket, because with over 600 resumes accepted per semester, competition is fierce.

Hill Holiday: Hill Holliday is another large marketing agency with a location in Boston. Don’t let my bias for Mullen fool you, this is an amazing opportunity and just as competitive.

Arnold Worldwide: With these three agencies (Mullen, Hill Holliday, and Arnold) the breadth of this post really can not do any justice. I merely have to refer you to their site for the majority of the information, but then again I guess that’s the point of this blog. Take my word, you want this internship.

Street Attack: Tucked away above Whiskey’s bar on Boylston is one of my favorite smaller marketing agencies, Street Attack. I heard of SA before my stint at BWP, but while I was there I was hearing about their work almost every other day. I love the company first for their creative and demonstrated ability to leverage Guerilla marketing, WOM strategies, and influencer marketing to effectively brand their clients. Secondly, I love their corporate culture. They were nice enough to invite me over for a “meet and greet” this summer, and upon entering the office I realized everyone, for the most part, was sporting jeans and t-shirts. Now, I can’t remember if it was a Friday, I shouldn’t assume that’s an everyday dress code, but I thought is was an appropriate depiction of the priorities in the office. Creativity is paramount.

Connelly Partners: I wish I found this marketing agency before I graduated. I stumbled across their website while rolling down the BBJ’s local companies list, and have been kicking myself ever since. The agency has a creative but fun corporate culture, as demonstrated by the website’s intro and company facts. Yet, their work is no joke. An internship here will provide you insight into branding strategies, account service, and competitive analysis. I guess I’ll have to live vicariously through you!

The Castle Group: A renown Public Relations firm, the Castle Group offers what appear to be a very solid internship. The people I have met from the Castle Group have been very smart, creative and personable.

Boldfacers: One of my favorite startups in Boston has to be Boldfacers. Located near the Fort Point channel, Boldfacers does Boston a huge service by highlighting young entrepreneurs, influencers, and those who are in the know.  Definitely check out their website to read some of these inspiring stories, even if you aren’t looking for an internship. Lisa Piermont, Founder and Editor in Chief, is also a joy. She’s personable, funny, smart, and endlessly creative. Also, I didn’t see anything on the site about internships, but there is contact information. I met one of their interns last semester, and was immediately jealous. I mean come on, they have a swing in the office!

Onein3 Boston: Headed up by Devin Cole, offers Bostonians from ages 20-34 information on financial security, networking opportunities, and government resources available to the public. It is definitely one of the most valuable resources available to our demographic. To say that Devin is connected is like saying the ocean is damp. He’s the go-to guy for many in Boston, and an internship at Onein3 would grow your network incredibly.

– Caleb Hutchings

When Pigs Fly

I rarely consider highlighting stores or restaurants which franchise beyond Boston’s limits for Saintly Advice. Although some of my favorite stores fall into this category (Trader Joe’s being one), I make few exceptions. In this case, my weakness for bread has me forfeiting my principles and praising a favorite establishment. You know it’s the reason you go to Bertucci’s, the only saving grace of Olive Garden, and I’m so obsessed with bread I actually have a loaf of lemon poppyseed in the oven as I write this post. But i digress…let’s get down to brass tacks:

When Pigs Fly bakes the most creative loaves of deliciousness Brookline has to offer. The flavors packed into each slice are only limited to the extent of their imagination. The combinations in Cherry Peach Hog Heaven, Mango Pineapple Raisin with Toasted Sesame and Ginger, and Orange Toasted Walnut and Cranberry are more than an excuse to pick up a $6 loaf. Evolve from your rudimentary Wonder bread or Pepperidge Farm, and be sure to stop into When Pigs Fly for some real sliced wonders.

– Caleb Hutchings