T

Five Things Friday: iPhone app Edition

I recently became a proud iPhone owner thanks to rain damage sustained to my Blackberry whilst rocking out to Portugal. The Man at Lollapalooza. I gotta say, it feels good to be rid of my “1998 technology” as my buddy (and longtime iPhone user) Andy likes to say.

In honor of Steve Jobs announcing his resignation as the CEO of Apple, I thought I would share the 5 apps that have made my iPhone experience so freakin’ awesome.

1. instagram

Since before I owned an iPhone, I’ve had instagram envy. I love being able to take a photo, put on a sweet looking filter and share it with my friends not only on instagram but also with the option to share on Twitter and Facebook. I like it so much that it has actually decreased my Tumblr usage quite a bit.

 

2. OKCupid

I’ve been a fairly avid user of OKCupid over the past couple years, and the iPhone app is really awesome. The Local feature plays off of the grindr format in that it allows you to see who is local and available to hang out right then and there. I haven’t taken advantage of meeting someone through this feature yet, but it’s definitely something I might be open to when I’m out on the town in Boston.

3. Kik Messenger

The one feature I knew I was going to miss about my Blackberry was bbm. Kik messenger is the iPhone equivalent. While it isn’t super necessary because the iPhone texting format is basically the same as chatting, it’s still nice to have a messaging tool that feels somewhat exclusive.

 

4. NETFLIX

Uhhh. I don’t think I really even need to explain why this is so awesome. Thanks to this app, I can take Don Draper on the T with me every morning on my way to work. Waiting for a friend that is going to be half an hour or so late? BAM. An episode of Party Down at your fingertips. Netflix is just generally one of the best things ever, but it in an app and its even better.

 

5. Catch the T

Out at the bar and wondering if you’re going to be able to hit up last call and still make the last T home? Wonder no more. If you rely on the Orange, Red or Blue line to get home, Catch the T has you covered. You can check times by line and station and it gives you three options to take (assuming its early enough to have three options left). It’s the only app I’ve paid money for, and I’m sure its going to prove itself worthy.

Have an iPhone app that you can’t live without? Share it in the comments!

Five things Friday: Life in Boston Edition

I’ve been living in Boston for about a month now, and so far, so good! It’s a lot different from San Jose, but I definitely feel a San Francisco-esque vibe here that I’m totally into. And thanks to visits from friends and a very social roommate, I’ve already done a bunch of fun stuff here and have even started to know my way around (which if you know me, that’s a huge feat).

Here’s a list of the things I have found to be really enjoyable in Boston so far:

1) The T

As someone who hasn’t owned a car over the past two years, the T is a blessing. Public transit wasn’t too bad in San Jose, but the T blows VTA out of the water!

Luckily for me, I live really close to an Orange Line stop and that line runs right by the City Year office and Emerson College, so it is pretty ideal. My only complaint is that the T stops running pretty early (around midnight-ish) so if you don’t want to cab it home from a late night out, you have to cut your night short. But maybe that’s not such a terrible thing…

2) Jamaica Pond

I live in Jamaica Plains, which is a really cool area of Boston. It’s a fairly quiet neighborhood in comparison to the college-ridden parts of town and there is a really cute downtown area.

My favorite part of Jamaica Plains is the Jamaica Pond. It has beautiful scenery, you can rent sailboats and rowboats, go fishing or walk your dog. I try to make it there every day to go running around the 1.5 mile loop, cause if I’m putting myself through hell to try to get back in shape, I might as well do it in a pretty place!

3) Sam Adams Brewery

It’s no secret that I love breweries. Thankfully, I have the Sam Adams Brewery right around the corner!

I love the Sam Adams Brewery because the tour is SUPER informative (they even passed around hops for us to check out), the tour guides are really friendly and it’s free.

During the tour, they take you to a tap room where they show us how professional beer tasters sample their wares and encourage us to do the same as we “taste-test” up to five different brews.

They provide you with a small Sam Adams taster glass for you to keep and don’t charge you for the beer, either. They do ask folks to give a donation that the brewery will then in turn donate to local organizations that work with kids. Can’t go wrong with that!

After the tour, they offer you a free Party Trolley ride over to Doyle’s Pub, which is the first bar in Boston to serve Sam Adams (and also apparently makes an appearance in the film Mystic River). If you go there from the tour and buy a Sam Adams draft, they will give you a really nice Sam Adams glass for free. Excellent.

4) Boston Common

This is a really cool area in Boston that just so happens to be where Emerson College is located. There is a really pretty park, lots of cute café’s and eateries and of course, pubs. I really like Sweetwater Tavern and have frequented the AMC movie theater in that district. I’m excited to spend a lot of my time in the Common.

5) Purple Cactus

One of my big concerns moving here from San Jose was that I would be doomed to eat crappy Mexican food for the rest of my life. Then I went to Purple Cactus and saw the light.

Not only do they serve burritos that are the closest I’ve found to the greatness of California taquerias, but they also serve delicious fruit smoothies (I highly recommend the Classic Blonde).