Scene Here: Shamrock in the Wind
Mar24

Scene Here: Shamrock in the Wind

I’m at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and there are more plastic cups whipping down High Street in the wind than there are people waiting for the parade to turn the corner. I’m beginning to think the parade has been delayed by the 30-plus mph wind gusts, when I spy some resolute revelers claiming their spots along the sidewalk. Donning heavy coats, gloves, and hats for the 30-degree weather, they drop their chairs on the curb closest to...

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Taste-Off! Slice Showdown, Part 1: Which Northampton by-the-slice pizza joint lays claim to the best?
Mar24

Taste-Off! Slice Showdown, Part 1: Which Northampton by-the-slice pizza joint lays claim to the best?

Pizza — it’s as American as, well, burritos and frankenfurters. Determining what’s the best pizza is a heady, touchy business. And in an area where there’s a pizza joint every 50 feet or so, the stakes are high. For something that is, at its most elemental, just cheese, sauce, and crust, pizza is also subject to plenty of variations. Some of them are variations that aren’t necessarily obvious — what makes (an American) pizza “Greek”...

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VIDEO Jailhouse Rock: What do a dozen Northampton inmates and a chorus of senior citizens have in common?
Mar24

VIDEO Jailhouse Rock: What do a dozen Northampton inmates and a chorus of senior citizens have in common?

It’s mid-morning at the Hampshire County Jail and House of Correction. Eight inmates are gathered around an electric keyboard in the visiting room, laughing and talking quietly. Keyboard player Ken Maiuri hits middle C, and together they warm up with some scales. Up and down, they sing: “la-la-la-la-LA-la-la-la-la,” then one note higher: “mi-mi-mi-mi-MI-mi-mi-mi-mi.” Then one note higher, and higher again. Up front, next to Maiuri,...

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Tech-tracking: Why your technology is keeping tabs on you and how to stop it
Mar24

Tech-tracking: Why your technology is keeping tabs on you and how to stop it

Pandora has gotten a little too intuitive. Recently, I was running at the gym, earbuds in, Pandora streaming Kelly Clarkson’s upbeat “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” when the song was interrupted by an ad inviting me to become a certified personal trainer. That was followed by a series of songs about running, sweating, and working it. I began to suspect Pandora might know just where I am. Is Pandora spying on me? It’s...

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From Our Readers, March 26-April 1, 2015

Cis-gender? So much concern with body images and now a “cis-gendered woman?” (“Letter to the Editor: No room for transphobic language in Advocate,” March 5, 2015) People are exploring the age old question of, “Who am I?” Find yourself on the soul level. Try a course in meditation, perhaps Buddhism. As the Christian Bible states, “You must lose yourself in order to find yourself.” Barbara Lafountain Ludlow Time to toss the tax code Let...

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An Open Letter to Sandwich-makers: It’s time to ratify sandwich standards
Mar24

An Open Letter to Sandwich-makers: It’s time to ratify sandwich standards

Since the first time an Arab stuffed meat into a pita, the sandwich has been awesome. Sure, the Earl of Sandwich gave the lunchtime staple it’s name during a furious poker match, but the first recording of someone putting food between bread and eating it dates back to 110 BC when Hillel the Elder came up with the dish for Passover. There’s no question why the sandwich has such international staying power: It’s simple, versatile,...

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