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Posts Tagged ‘boston’


Sunday, November 21st, 2010

I went to my first Patriots game Sunday.  I’ve lived in Boston for nine years, though not consecutively.  I went to college here, worked here twice, I’ve covered numerous Patriots-based stories but this was my very first game.  And it was awesome!

Not only did the Patriots beat the Colts but a friend of hubby’s got us pre-game field passes. There was Tom Brady up close, that one was obvious.  But I also got to see my favorite player, Patrick Chung, told Deion Branch I was a huge fan as he ran by, watched Peyton Manning drill balls into the hands of his receiver, and was asked if I was part of the Kraft family because we were in Robert Kraft’s area on the field (We were quickly told to move on!).

What made the experience even more enjoyable… I was thoroughly prepared for my first Patriots game at Gillette Stadium due to all the fabulously nice tweeps on Twitter.  Here are some of the suggestions, many of which are brilliant!  Thanks!!!


@susantran OH I almost forgot, bring some cough drops for right after the game, or you might be a little hoarse from all the screaming later


@susantran Oh and snacks too LOL!


@susantran bring one of those little stadium butt pads. Those seats are uncomfortable.


@susantran LOL some inventive suggestions there. Average wardrobe for Pats game: Jacket, Gloves, Warm hat, lap blanket and Hot Cocoa.


@susantran are you able to go to CBS Scene. Or do you have to stick with NBC affiliated restaurants


@susantran Don’t forget your flask. Dr. McGillicuddy’s Mentholmint does the trick.


@susantran a Philadelphia Eagles jacket.


@susantran Must bring invite to luxury or owners box. It’s cold out there. My wife loved the Bass Pro Shop though. Seriously crazy.


@susantran dress like your going skiing no sun at 415 start


@susantran it’s going to be cold, get those hand warmers to put in your gloves and boots. Park in P-2 and Fried Dough at Halftime is my Fav


@susantran I went to 1 game when I was a kid. Bring a warm jacket (depending on weather). Sneak in snacks if prices are high. lol

i am freezing

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

I stood outside waiting for my 11:00pm live shot and I had one prevailing thought – fear!  It is October.  I can see my breath!  I was standing out there, waiting the 10 minutes before I’d go live and I realized, I was freezing.  How was I going to survive this winter?  The other day, I wore a coat to work and hubby removed our air conditioner from the window.  Not only was summer over but winter was already nipping at my frigid fingers.

I am actually scared of winter.  The last time I was in Boston, I worked mainly during the day.  It meant various court stories, where I would be bundle up, yes, taking off many layers as I sat in court, but at least I was warm for a portion of the day.  This go around, I am on the night shift.  There are no court stories in the evening.  Nearly all of my stories take place outside.  And, of course, it’s colder at night.  I can honestly say I’m frightened!!

It’s been 4 years since I’ve reported in the bitter cold of a New England winter.  In Charlotte, October is the most glorious month after September.  In the Carolinas, summer extends well into September.  October and November are late summer months.  Autumn comes in December.  January and February are the winter months.  Spring is in March while April, May and June are the summer months.  It’s July and August that are dreaded because they are oppressively hot and humid.  In the South, July and August is über-summer.

I started to think about New England weather.  I returned in late March.  I still needed a coat and gloves.  Spring starts in April here and summer arrives in June.  Friends told me August actually marks the end of summer.  Fall arrives quickly in September and as I’m now realizing, winter starts dipping the mercury in October.  At this rate, winter will extend into December and frozen tundra time will occur in January and February.  Awesome.

I came home from my live shot in a full panic.  Where are my winter boots?  Did I donate them to the Salvation Army 4 years ago?  How many pairs of long johns do I have?  Oh poop, only one.  I donated several pairs when we moved south!  I thought of the hand and feet warmers I’d have to buy.  I purchased them in bulk before and when I left for Charlotte, I bequeathed them to my photographers, but now I’d have to invest again in mass quantities of these little packets of warmth.  I need to locate the hats, gloves, and scarves.  I don’t even know where to start looking for my space pen.  (While working in Boston, every year I’d ask for a space pen for Christmas.  It allowed me to write in freezing temperatures.  Don’t laugh – it was a necessity!)  Maybe this year I’ll just use a pencil.

The hyperventilation panic has subsided.  Thanks for the longer nights, I’ve gotten a good night sleep and have awaken with a brighter perspective!  I figure I have enough gear for fall and winter here, which gives me a couple more weeks to prepare for the frostbite months.  I’ll take any suggestions you have on stay warm (best thermals, must have jackets, warmest boots) but I think the only positive side is – there are only four more months until spring.


Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

It’s official.  My bio is up on WHDH‘s website, so I’m officially part of the team.  I can’t tell you how super excited I am about being back here in Boston.

To be honest I didn’t think I’d be back.  After the first winter in Charlotte, which was sunny and gorgeous, hubby and I kind of thought we’d never leave the South.  We imagined my next career move could take us to Atlanta or we’d just stay in Charlotte forever; we didn’t contemplate a move back to the Northeast.  I even donated almost all of my winter coats and most of my snow gear.  We were done with snow.

Then came the call to come up for three months.  The station needed some freelance reporters to fill in as two reporters were out on maternity.  I hesitated.  I didn’t want to move back, live with friends and work at a station that was once competition (I’d worked at the Fox affiliate from 2003-2006).  We had dear friends here in Charlotte and while on sabbatical, I had finished my first novel, volunteered a ton, and took improv classes.  I was happy.  But I missed working.  So I took the assignment with this in mind, I’ll hate it and know I’m done with news or I’ll have some new, updated stories for my resume reel.  But it didn’t take long for me to remember why I loved reporting in a big market; stories of national and international significance were constantly happening.  I was covering the police raid of the accused Time Square bomber’s Connecticut home.  I was standing outside the Garden as the Celtics attempted another championship.  I interviewed a concert violinist who left her instrument on a transit trolley, only to have it returned.  Even with all that, I still hesitated when the station offered me a full time position.

I thought I wanted to pursue my news anchoring dreams more.  I thought I wanted to focus on my fiction writing.  I thought I might try something outside of TV news.  But in the end, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else but telling peoples’ stories; using their words,  my words, my photographer’s video.

While at WHDH during those three temporary months, I gained new perspective, saw a new opportunity, and regained my love of TV news.  Ultimately, what I found was a new place to call home.

moving day

Friday, August 6th, 2010

I hate moving.  You’d think that since we move about every 3 years, I’d be used to it, but I’m not.  I loathe it.  It’s my personal hell.  Actually it may be purgatory, you don’t know when it will be worse or when it will get better.  You’re stuck perpetually in between boxes.  Every time I move, I tell myself, no, never again. But that is silly since hubby and I are often moving to advance my career and upward means onward!

beautiful charlotte

roommates matt and bob

our new street

This time we moved back to Boston.  But it was just 3.5 years ago we moved from Boston to Charlotte. And just 3 months ago, I had moved in with friends, as this job at WHDH was only temporary at the time.  So I had some stuff in Arlington, hubby and my stuff in Charlotte, and we needed all of it to make its way to our new apartment in Boston.

moving day in clt

We had some great movers, Gentle Giants!  But no move is without its kinks.  This time, it was timing!  With me working (in Boston) and hubby traveling, the giants picked up our stuff in Charlotte on July 23rd.  But we couldn’t get into our apartment until August 1st.  We needed to paint so they delivered our belongings on the 4th.  We also moved from central air, everywhere, to a quaint brownstone without an air conditioner.  Of course moving day was one of the hottest, most humid days of the year, so there was a desperate, last minute search for an air conditioner.

In the middle of unpacking I caught myself saying never again!  Hubby looked at me.  I’m not sure if his stare was in disbelief, exasperation, or surrender.


Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

photo by: eric guzik

When we first moved to Charlotte, we thought it was a place we’d live for three years and be out, like a layover, a situation to be endured.  We had no idea we’d fall in love with Charlotte.

We should have known.  We arrived in mid-September, one of the best times of the year for the Queen City.  Carolina blue sky welcomed us the day we drove in and remained a constant sight for weeks thereafter.  The weather was perfect, it felt like the perfect 75-degree day, everyday and that awesome weather lasted well into December.

photo by: eric guzik

I remember having lunch at the Fox and Hound on Tryon Street, Uptown.  We had picked up several free magazines on the walk over: Uptown Magazine, Creative Loafing, and Skirt.  The waitress immediately engaged us in conversation upon arriving at our table.  I thought she was just a friendly server but the same hospitality was extended at the grocery store and Starbucks next day.  No one behind me in line batted an eye when the barista asked how I was, and actually waited for a response.  I felt like I had been transported into a foreign land.

A co-worker introduced me to NASCAR.  Another taught me Southern terms like, “over yonder,” “might could,” “having your picture made,” “mashing a button,” and “right quick.”  I learned that “bless your heart” was not a compliment.  I embraced the word, “y’all.”  I found the best fried chicken place ever (Price’s Chicken Coop) and drank sweet tea like it was spring water.

Football season arrived and we met friends of friends.  They were serious tailgaters who opened up their home to friends for every home game.  They continued the tradition even when they had their daughter.

There were a core group of 10 of us.  We ate, drank, and played together.  You could often find one of us at Connolly’s on 5th.  One other friend called us a herd.  We thought of ourselves as a commune.  If we were without a car, someone else let us borrow theirs.  If a washer or dryer was out, we’d go to another’s home.  We looked out for each other’s pets, houses, and spouses.  Eventually, our commune grew into a community of friends.  We had holiday dinners, celebrated birthdays, and toast accomplishments.  We took joint vacations.  We collected toys for children during the holidays, tried to help build a home for Habitat for Humanities, spearheaded Mustaches for Kids, to raise money for supplies needed in local classrooms and collected clothes for homeless men.

Hubby and I settled into Charlotte.  It felt like home.

So it goes without saying, it was extremely difficult to leave.  The freelance job I took in Boston became permanent.

I have no doubt we’ll be back in Charlotte, it may be just for a visit, in three years when my current contract is up, or when we retire.  But we’ll be back because we love Charlotte.

In the meantime, I’m bringing y’all to Boston.  (The phrase and not the literal y’all, though if you’re in town… let me know!)


Monday, June 28th, 2010

This is my view as I’m writing this blog post.  I’m in Bermuda and if you haven’t been, you need to go for five reasons alone!

1. The View – this is what you’ll be looking at during your stay.

2. The Ease – it’s a quick flight (2 hours) from Charlotte or Boston.  I venture to say it’s easier to get to Bermuda than the Outer Banks or Provincetown.

3. The People – they are Bermudian and English.  They’re basically the nicest and most polite people you’ll meet.

4. The Money – they use US currency so there is no exchange rate.

5. The Community – hubby and I have visited a few islands and resort communities where the poverty is disheartening.  We would leave feeling like ugly Americans who visit, consume and utilize what locals could not afford.  In Bermuda, they are often more educated and wealthier than us.  The economy isn’t based soley on tourism so locals want you to love their home but it’s more out of pride than necessity.

** I’m headed to the beach now.  I’ll be updating during the trip then give you a full video tour upon my return!


Monday, June 21st, 2010

Big Fun!  I love big fun.  And recently it entailed a pedicab and a fantastic dinner.

First the dinner.  Our friends’ friend (like a cousin twice removed), Tiffani, of Top Chef fame, had just taken over the kitchen at Rocca.  A large group of us went and had a wonderful meal.  Among some of the delectable delicacies we ate: White Tuna in Beet Cure, Swordfish Belly Escabesche, Crispy Artichokes, Stozzapretti Neri (hubby’s favorite dish), Gnocchetti, and some grilled breads with House Ricotta and Lobster Butter.

But to get there we got into three pedicabs.  It was my friend Steve’s idea.  I was hesitant at first.  I’d often seen folks riding behind men (and some women) in these chariots powered by mighty calves.  I think because it looked so rickshaw-like, I’davoided them; as if riding in one would make me a vicious tyrant taking advantage of someone’s manpower.  Of course I soon figured out this was not just a means of transportation but also a source of income for, often, recent college graduates.  And needless to say, I ended up loving the ride.  There was the scenery – rows of gorgeous brownstones streaming past us like a transition in a movie.  The chatty pedicab drivers added to the charm with their tales of interesting fares.  And of course there was the humor of watching the crazy drivers, in cars, who appeared rather annoyed that their rate of speed had been seriously impeded by our presence.  It was all big fun!

Lets Go Celtics

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

I grew up in Los Angeles.  After long visits with friends and family, I revert back to the Valley Girl in me and start tacking on “likes,” “you knows,” and “oh my gods,” as if they were commas.  So it goes without saying, my new declaration of wanting the Celtics to beat LA flies in the face of my hometown.  And I’m getting a ton of hate from friends and family back home.  The truth is, I’ve been away from Los Angeles almost as long as I’ve lived there and I’m starting to feel like home is here on the East Coast.

So don’t hate!  Sunday’s admission into the Garden came with a hefty price tag; not just for the tickets but the crap I’m getting with the declaration of my new found allegiance.  With that being said, “Let’s go Celtics!”

bummed toe

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

There was recently an intense thunderstorm in Boston that brought down trees and damaged many properties.  It was a Sunday.  I was home when the sky started turning an ominous shade of gray.  I set my flipcam and tripod on the porch so I could capture video of the storm while I sat safely in the house.  I watched as blades of lightning illuminated the sky, followed quickly by crushing sounds of thunder.  After shooting a few minutes of video, I saw the rain was starting to come in horizontally.  I went outside to grab my camera.  At that precise moment, I remembered the lightning story I did just last week when a teen was struck while holding a screen door.  I started to freak out and tried to run inside.  In my haste, I slipped and this is the painful result.  The worst part, the video was so uneventful!

White in Whitefield

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

I arrived home at 2:30 this morning after my live report from Whitefield, NH last night.  On Google Maps, Whitefield is 160 miles from Boston.  It’s nearly 3 hours away and I think it was about the farthest distance I’ve traveled, by car, for a story in a long time, maybe ever.

We didn’t get the word that we’d be going to the mountains of New Hampshire until about 6:00pm.  And I knew I was in trouble.  Of all days, I left my rain/snow pants and boots in my car.  I thought twice about it that afternoon when I parked my car, but I didn’t grab it (darn!).  So on the way up north, we had to stop and get me some boots and socks!

We arrived at the foothills of the Twin Mountain area around 8:00pm.  The sun had just set and it was spectacular.  I wish I got video and didn’t just snap shots with my cell phone; but I was harried!

The area is a resort town, so when we arrived in town it was buttoned up.  We had to travel several more miles to Whitefield before we found civilization outside a Cumberland Farms.

It was 9:00pm by the time we interviewed several locals, who were so sweet to talk to us.  They were all genuinely surprised to see us.  Apparently last spring snow is part of living in Whitefield, so they didn’t know why it was such a big deal. I had to explain, snow on tulips is unusual for us in Boston.

We had a live story for the 10:00pm and the 11:00pm shows.  All went smoothly.  Then it was the long ride home.  The moon was full, the mountain range stunning, but my flipcam and cell phone camera couldn’t capture the beauty.  I guess I’ll just have to return another time, when I’m not working, to fully enjoy its beauty.