Get It Together, Boston!

What do you do when a relationship book deal is on the line and your boyfriend dumps you?
How fast can you learn the sacraments before a blind date?
What happens when your speeddating event is in a lumber yard and your date’s dance moves are the kind you pay for?
These and many more are the questions posed when dating in Boston, at least in Get It Together. But against all odds, four friends try to write dating research worth publishing!
Please join us on January 14th for this epic (and FREE!) event at the Regent Theatre. It’s going to be a fantastic night of local Boston Filmmakers screening some wonderful work and of course, a dating film to end all dating films.
Artists featured on the bill include:
Can’t wait to see you there, popcorn at the ready! Find more details on FACEBOOK and check out our trailer below!
See you at the movies, Boston daters/film appreciators!

If you liked this post, check out The Problem with Choice.

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About Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB): CMB  is a free dating service that helps members make meaningful connections. It’s designed for busy singles who want to find something real with little or no effort.

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The Simulacra, Simulation and the Pseudo-reality of Online Dating

There are three films in the past twenty years that a great many of you have probably seen. Those are The 13th Floor, The Matrix and Inception. Yet even if you have seen these films, you may not know who Jean Baudrillard is, though you should. His essay on the Simulacra and Simulation is the foundation for their plots- some with direct references, others without. All have the simulation of reality as the cornerstone for their story’s success. All three are strikingly similar to one another in this regard and the ways they achieve an alternate reality, and (important for us) all have me thinking about online dating.
In 1981 Jean Baudrillard released his Simulacra and Simulation, the crux of which (if you HAD to put it in a nutshell) was that there is a transformation of symbols or signs of objects in which they begin as a direct representation of an object- the word Apple actually representing an apple, for example- and change until they are so far removed from what they actually represent that in fact a new reality is formed and understood, made entirely of simulations. The real, as it was understood, becoming obsolete. His steps to break this down are essentially this:

  1. The first stage is a definitive copy of an original where both the replication and the original reality are distinct and distinguishable from one another. The word Apple is distinguished from our image, our taste of an apple.
  2. The second stage is a distortion of reality where the sign no longer points to a reality properly, but rather hints at a false reality that it cannot actually represent.
  3. The third stage we lose site of the original reality completely, as signs pretend to replicate reality but in fact no longer have an original reality to point to. The signs make claims to be something- The word Apple pretending to represent an apple- but we no longer have a relationship to what an apple is. Only the word for it. Only a reference to something else.
  4. The fourth stage is pure simulation, where there is no relationship to any kind of original reality at all. Signs only are references to other signs. Apple as we know it is only a kind of fruit is a kind of food is something we eat. But we don’t know what a real apple is. Our lives have become established on such artificial terms, that the language is entirely understood based on artificial connections and devoid of original meaning.

With this in mind, what I’m posing to you is this: Are we traveling towards an ultimate simulation in which the aspects of online dating no longer have anything to do with what we often refer to as real life dating? Are we creating a new dialogue in which the language for that particular reality hasn’t yet been written because it has not broken ties with symbols associated with “real life”? I think it’s totally possible and also unavoidable.
With all of our avatars currently existing as a representation of the self, is it responsible then to guess that the realm of dating is tip-toing a line that eventually will take the entire experience out of reality as we know it and fully into an online existence? A reference for a reality of self that is rapidly losing its original meaning?
If you think about it, you currently have a profile, the amount of truth in it is to a large degree fully up to you. There are no reality police in online dating. Your representation of self is comprised of a number of pictures that are a self-perceived representation of not necessarily your personality, but more so the personality you are hoping to project in an online pre-relationship stage. So at this stage, the “you” that you know is already a compacted, simplified version of the You that those who know you in what we’ll call “real life” are familiar with. Let’s break a relationship down into 3 stages:
Initial Dating
We are currently at a moment in time in which only the first of these three stages, Courtship, has begun its transformation from an original “real life” occurrence to one that now is capable of happening with avatars. The other two, Initial Dating as well as Relationship may have elements that we associate with technology such as talking on the phone or skyping etc, but to a degree they still require face-to-face interaction to sustain themselves. But my guess is as we continue to accept the degree to which an online profile is an accepted representation of the self, we are allowing for more wiggle room for the other two areas of a relationship to transform the meaning or sign of “Relationship” from the understanding we now have into a definition we currently reserve for “Interaction”.
The word or sign “Relationship” currently has in large part expectations of romantic interactions, and as of right now our mental reference for it also includes personal, face-to-face meetings. But if we are headed in a direction in which not only actions but also intentionality can be imitated online via representation of the “self” real or unreal through avatars, am I really that far off-base in thinking that in the not so distant future we are going to be looking at relationships that exist entirely in an online forum? I’m not talking about a video game that you play with a person you don’t know where one of you is a “wife” and the other can be a “husband”. I’m talking about no longer differentiating that relationship as different from your mom and dad’s, or your brother and his boyfriend. I’m talking about the word relationship no longer referencing something outside of a computer. And if that’s the case, what does that mean for the meaning of the term, the sign “Relationship”? Are we going to be able to the choose the kind of relationship reality that we would like to have? One requiring physically meeting someone vs only knowing them through an online persona? Or will we forget at some point that that used to be something real? What will “Real” be in the future?
Maybe  “Reality” will be another criteria to choose on your profile. Perhaps it is as Baudrillard implied that only by reaching the understanding that there is no real then we reach the truth- the Simulacrum. But I’m not particularly looking forward to it, myself. Chris Impicciche, a friend of mine, made a great short film called Save State about the transition from a gaming perspective. It seems entirely relevant now more than ever.

If you liked this post, go check out A Boy Named Boob.

Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB): CMB  is a free dating service that helps members make meaningful connections. It’s designed for busy singles who want to find something real with little or no effort.
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"Back in My Day…": Creative Date Ideas in Boston

Hey Bagels!

We’re still celebrating Throwback Week! So far we’ve covered LA, San Francisco and NYC. Now we’re in Boston searching for spots where your parents, and maybe even your grandparents, used to go out on dates. We managed to find 3 creative date ideas that will definitely create some memories.

Mendon Twin Drive-In: Want to watch the newest movies, but don’t want to deal with the large crowds at the theaters? Well drive on over to the Mendon Drive-In for that old-school-drive-in-movie feel. Although there are only two screens at this theater, each night there is a double feature for each screen. This place is open 7 days a week through Labor Day so be sure to check it out before they close for winter!

creative date ideas

The Mendon Twin Drive-In is still a popular spot to catch a double feature


Toscanini’s Ice Cream: This creamery may not have that vintage feel, but going out for ice cream is always a classic date. While they usually have about 40 flavors in regular rotation, Toscanini’s has a whopping 60 core flavors; not including the hundreds of other flavors they have made over the years. Patrons can also purchase 3 gallons of their favorite flavor!

creative date ideas

Why settle for 31 flavors when you can try 40 that are homemade?

Underground Hip Hop dot com (UGHH)
: If you’re looking for some old hip-hop or rap vinyl to add to your collection this is the place to be. From Jay-Z’s newest album to some of the Notorious B.I.G.’s early work, this store has it all and more. So grab your turntables and headphones and get ready for a great time.
creative date ideas2

Next stop…Underground Hip-Hop!


fireworks couple 2

4 Ways to Watch the Boston Pop Fireworks Spectacular

Although the Boston Pop Fireworks Spectacular won’t be televised nationally this year, it’s all the more reason for you to get off your couch and watch the fireworks live! Check out these 4 ways to catch the sparkles live for a romantic 4th of July in Boston.
Best Way to Actually Attend
This famous Boston affair will be launched at 10:30pm over the Charles River. If you’re looking to catch the actual Pop performance, the Oval seating area in front of the Hatch Shell opens at 4pm on July 3rd and 9am on July 4th. Come decked out in your best red, white & blue gear, as this affair can get really patriotic.
boston pop fireworks
boston pop
Most Low-Key 
If you want to watch just the fireworks, the best spots are typically on the Longfellow or Harvard bridges. Pack your picnic basket and head over there early, as these popular hot spots tend to fill up fast.
Charles River
boston pop fireworks
Most Romantic & Intimate
Looking for something a bit more intimate to catch the Pop performance? Reserve you and your date a spot at the Top of the Hub for a dressier, high-rise experience of Boston’s fireworks.
top of the hub
boston pop fireworks
Most Comfortable 
If you really want to cozy up in your sweats and watch it from the couch, then check out our recent post on how to throw a fun 4th of July party in your own home. Thankfully the Boston Pop Fireworks will be televised locally, so Bostonians aren’t missing out from the comforts of their home. Might as well go out with a bang!

Boston Summer Date Idea: Christmas in July Pub Crawl

Ho Ho Ho Bagels!

Wanting to celebrate Christmas in July but don’t know how? Why not join a pub crawl with Santa and his little helpers in Boston in July? You might just see Rudolph playing with the others in their reindeer games. This as also a great summer date idea, so don’t miss out on all the fun! You can purchase your ticket here.

3 reasons to check it out:

-It’s a great way to meet locals in Boston
Free food at select bars and drink specials at all bars
-Discover new places in the city with your date

WHAT: Christmas in July by Crawl in Boston

WHEN: Saturday, July 20 @ 12pm

WHERE: Faneuil Hall (1 Faneuil Hall Square, Boston, MA 02109)

Best Summer Date Ideas: Festivals in Boston

Hey CMBers,
We previously looked at summer festivals in Chicago, San Francisco, LA, and NYC. We’ve now arrived in Boston, where there is food galore! Hope you’re hungry because we’re about to explore some of the best summer date ideas for foodies in Boston.
1) Phantom Gourmet Beach BBQ Party– Come out for a day of ribs, brisket, sausage, and more! This event attracts barbeque teams from Texas to Australia. It may not be the best first date, but it’s definitely a perfect date for foodies.

Best Summer Dates

At the Phantom Gourmet Beach BBQ Party there is a wide variety of vendors to choose from.

What: Phantom Gourmet Beach BBQ Park
Where: City Hall Plaza, One City Hall Square, Boston, MA
When: June 21-23 (Friday-Sunday)

2) Boston JerkFest 2013– If you’re thinking this is an annual gathering for Boston’s finest douchebags, you are waaaaaayyy off target. The Boston JerkFest offers a taste of the Caribbean Islands as well as Jamaican Jerk cooking. This is a new level of spicy for all of the adventurous types out there.

Best Summer Dates

Jamaican me crazy!

What: Boston JerkFest 2013

Where: Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, Tremont St. Entrance (directly across the street from 478 Tremont St)

When: Saturday, June 29; 11am-3pm & 4-8pm

How to pick up the "Bahston" accent: 5 apps to check out if you are new to Boston

This post is part of our “Getting Plugged Into Your City” series, and in this one we explore what Boston has to offer for newcomers like yourself.
Great news! You’ve landed that dream job and now you’re moving to Boston. And since you’re new to Boston, you’ll probably want to find some things that will help you get acquainted. Here are five apps, and websites, to help you get started.
Transportation – OpenMBTA
This app provides realtime information on schedules for all MBTA buses and trains. Whether it’s catching the bus to meet your date across town or going to the ball park for game day, OpenMBTA has all the times you need.

OpenMBTA gives you realtime updates for bus and train lines.

Public Safety – Boston Citizens Connect
Public safety is a big issue when it comes to moving to a new town. Fortunately there is Citizens Connect, an app that allows you to send in reports about graffiti, potholes, broken street signs, or anything else going on  in your neighborhood.
Several posts on Citizens Connect. Watch out for the pothole!

With Citizens Connect you can see where different safety issues are around the city.

For the Foodie – Street Food Boston
Food trucks seem to be all the rage these days, and they also offer a local flavor in their respective areas. Thankfully Street Food Boston will tell you where your favorite food truck will be in real time.
Would you like some fries with that?

Lobsta Love is one of the many trucks featured on Street Food Boston and definitely offers a taste of the East Coast. Follow them on  @LobstaLoveTruck

I'll take the breakfast sandwich please!

Clover is another local truck that prides themselves on using fresh, never frozen, ingredients, which means their menu is constantly changing. You can follow them on @cloverfoodtruck!

All Things Boston via Twitter – BostonTweet
If you’re looking for something to do during your free time or just looking for a good time, follow @BostonTweet on Twitter. From free ice cream from ZipCar to the newest burger joint opening up in town, these tweets are definitely all things Boston.
Something Fun – Mobee
This app will leave you saying, “Wait…I get paid to go shopping?” Mobee users act as secret shoppers who give feedback to local businesses in the greater Boston area. In return, Mobee users receive points that can be redeemed for cash or gift cards to stores like Target or Gap.
Yes, the cashier at Dunkin' Donuts told me they had Maple Glazed.

Mobee rewards users for shopping at places they already frequent.

Fun Summer Date Ideas Chicago & Boston: Bye Bye Liver

Hey Bagels,
Time for another post on fun summer date ideas! This summer date idea is Bye Bye Liver, a satirical sketch comedy performance on young drinking culture.
We love it because the audience gets to be involved in the play and the cast is so hilarious you will not stop laughing!
WHAT: Bye Bye Liver PlayBye-Bye-Liver

Boston- 25 Union St @ Hennessey’s 
Chicago– 3914 North Clark St @ The Public House Theatre
Boston- Every Friday 8pm
Chicago– Every Friday & Saturday at 8 & 10 pm
3 Reasons to Check it Out

  1. Drinking Games with the cast- this play gets the audience involved by interspersing drinking games into the show! Play Never Have I Ever or Would You Rather right along with the cast.
  2. Comedy- nothing like laughing together to break the ice with someone new. Laugh a little or a lot at their clever sketches on those annoying people we’ve all seen at the bar.
  3. Cool Venues- Both locations have great vibes & drink deals!

You can buy tickets on the Bye Bye Liver website for $20 a piece- not too shabby for a great night full of drinking and comedy!
Boston Bagels- Get a 50% discount! We found a deal where you can get tickets for just $10.
This play is a perfect 75 minute ice breaker. Both venues put shows on every weekend so you Bagels have plenty of opportunities to check out this play with whichever Bagel you choose!
For more info check Bye Bye Liver out on Twitter Chicago@ByeByeLiver Boston@BostonDrinkers
Content: @SurprenantK

Best Urban & Fun Date Ideas: Boston Part III

Welcome back to Urban Dating: Easy & fun date ideas from urban experts!
Here is the continued series from MC Slim JB.
After your first couple of dates have gone well, try something more adventurous! Here are some ideas:
Adventurous Date:  Drinks on the Waterfront, water taxi to dinner in Eastie, water taxi back to the Seaport, nightcap in Fort Point. Pick a night from Thursday to Sunday (my restaurant choice is closed Monday to Wednesday) when you anticipate clear weather.
If you want to start the evening on a swanky note, begin with a pop at the Alley Bar at Rowes Wharf, the new patio bar at the Boston Harbor Hotel. (Don’t confuse this with Downtown Crossing’s similarly-named Alley Bar, a gay hangout.) The specialty cocktail list at this breezy outdoor bar features refreshing, summery long drinks like the Alley Cat (vodka, mint syrup, lime and cilantro). If you’re in the mood for something more casual, have a quick one at Biddy Early’s Pub just across the Greenway at the edge of the Financial District, a dumpy, loud after-work joint with big, cheap drinks.
Then walk to the dock behind the InterContinental Hotel a few doors down from the Boston Harbor Hotel and summon a City Water Taxi to Stop #11. Take it to the East Boston Harbor Shipyard & Marina (Stop #68), and tell the captain you’re headed to KO Pies; you’ll get a nice discount off the fare. This short, romantic boat trip features absolutely stunning views of the Boston Waterfront.
At the other end, walk through a real, working commercial shipyard to KO Pies at the Shipyard, a rare outpost of Australian cuisine in Boston. The food here is nothing an American will find challenging, just fresh and nice-priced snacks, salads, sandwiches. Be sure to get at least one Aussie pie, a small pot pie with a terrific pastry crust and fillings like curried chicken or beef stew, and maybe get a beer, too. These are best enjoyed at the outdoor picnic tables.
Hail your return City Water Taxi, but this time, debark in the Seaport at Stop #8, at the Barking Crab. The Seaport is an undeniably hot dining and drinking destination these days, but most venues there are dull chains or tourist traps, middling and overpriced. You can do better: take a quick stroll down the Harborwalk, hugging the Fort Point Channel on your right (away from the Moakley Courthouse, toward South Station). Then take a left down Congress Street at the Boston Children’s Museum’s giant milk bottle and proceed a couple of blocks to Tavern Road. This hopping new gastropub has a cool industrial vibe, very good desserts (like housemade ice cream sundaes and cookies), and a fantastic bar program: just the place to put an exclamation point on your evening.
Adventurous Date Recommendation by MC Slim JB


Best Urban & Fun Date Ideas: Boston Part II

Welcome back to Urban Dating: Easy & fun date ideas from urban experts!
Here is the continued series from MC Slim JB. If things went well on your first date, here’s some fun date ideas for a second one!
MC Slim JB icon
Second Date: Drinks at The Hawthorne, dinner at Island Creek Oyster Bar, nightcap at Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks. A bit pricier of an evening out. Best to choose a night when the Red Sox aren’t playing at nearby Fenway Park.
I’m a craft-cocktail nerd, love the handful of bars in Boston that take their inspiration from the star bartenders of the pre-Prohibition period, carefully making serious, often complex drinks that are unusual to many modern drinkers but delicious. The Hawthorne is one of Boston’s best in this style, a charmingly decorated space (like a friend’s cool apartment) in the basement of Kenmore Square’s Hotel Commonwealth. Turn right through the unmarked door just inside the hotel’s main entrance, have the hosts seat you at a couch, table or the bar, and order something off the specialty cocktail menu and maybe one of their fine little bar snacks, like a fresh-baked soft pretzel or spicy whipped ricotta to spread on baguette rounds.
The Hawthorne (15)
Then head upstairs to Island Creek Oyster Bar, one of the city’s very best New England seafood restaurants. It features an astonishing raw bar and exceptional renditions of shore-food classics like fried clams and lobster rolls, as well as more sophisticated seafood dishes like lobster-roe noodles with lobster and short ribs.
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For a nightcap, you needn’t leave the hotel: just mosey over to Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks, a big, lively brasserie-style space. The bar programs at all three of these venues are managed by Boston bar superstar Jackson Cannon, so the cocktails, wines and beers at each are superb.
036 - Eastern Standard (12)
Second Date Recommendation by MC Slim JB

Thanks MC Slim JB for your simple &  fun date ideas! Keep an eye out for more of our urban experts best date tips on our CMB Blog!
Check out more of MC Slim JB’s reviews on his blog & follow him on Twitter for updates @mcslimjb.