Saturday, December 8, 2007

Ellsbury sees himself in Boston

The World Series is long over, but baseball season never ends for the players. Rookie sensation Jacoby Ellsbury took some time to reflect on his first season in the bigs, the World Series, and his future.

BostonNOW: You haven't even officially started your rookie season yet and you've already won a World Series. What other accomplishments do you look forward to?
Jacoby Ellsbury: Going into the offseason, I've learned just through playing a Major League season, what my goals are, you know. Keeping my body healthy and things ... that are going to prolong my career. I want to have a long career.

BN: You've been compared to Johnny Damon. Is this something you welcome?
JE: Johnny's a great player. To be [compared] to someone of his caliber, especially this early in my career, is great. At the same time, I haven't really tried to pattern my game after him or anything like that.

BN: Are there any moments in the postseason that really stick out, where you feel like you really shined?
JE: After [Game 3 of the World Series] where I had the four hits with three doubles, that was a pretty special moment. And that last pitch of the game to win the World Series. Actually the last nine outs. My heart was pounding and I was just counting down the outs. Eight outs, seven outs, six outs to World Series Champions...

BN: Where do you see yourself in the future as far as Major League Baseball is concerned?
JE: I see myself with the Red Sox, having a long career ... It's the only team obviously that I know, being drafted in 2005, coming through the minor league system, so it would be nice to stay with the Red Sox for a long time.

To hear the interview in it's entirety, go to

This article appeared in BostonNOW on December 7, 2007.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Festive scents add joy to home

There is nothing better than walking through your door and catching a whiff of an array of holiday scents. Pine, sugar cookies and various intangible aromas associated with the winter months make the home welcoming and luckily, they can all stay in the air throughout the season without having to bake or produce a new wreath weekly.

Candles are key
Nothing spells fragrance like a high-quality candle. Don't settle for cheap ones from the pharmacy either. Yankee Candle offers the best bouquet for your buck, as they burn longer and give off delicious scents. Although there are dozens of sprays available, canned scents don't live up to their waxy counterparts and while bagged potpourris are often natural and visually appealing, they also tend to fade in strength quickly.

Consider the room
A fresh-cut apple scent is great, but doesn't necessarily make sense in a bathroom. But some rooms don't have any limits. The den should be welcoming - which any pleasant fragrance can be - and smells greeting guests at the doorway are universally heartwarming this time of year.

This article originally appeared in BostonNOW on December 6, 2007.

Big traditions, little wanderers

On Nov. 28, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and WCVB-TV's Liz Brunner kicked off The Home For Little Wanderers' Gift Drive and Online Auction with a reading of The Night Before Christmas to more than 20 children in the home's Jamaica Plain location. Although it is the auction's third year of fundraising, the home's gift drive has been a Boston tradition since 1865.

The drive, then called "ThanksgivingInGathering," called upon the community to give to those less fortunate. "The Sunday before Thanksgiving," recounted Heather MacFarlane, public relations manager of The Home For Little Wanderers, "[The home] invited people to bring food, but also toys, clothing, and all types of things" for children in need. The community answered the call, and has been doing so ever since.

"People come in and say 'my mother or my grandmother came here and used to give, and I want to as well,'" said MacFarlane. "We had our kick-off last week, people from the neighborhood were coming in immediately when the sign went up."

The drive, MacFarlane emphasized, is not just about toys. "We call it a 'gift drive' because things as simple as toiletries to gift cards are important to these people," she said. "The simple items that we take for granted are things these kids really need."

In addition to giving, supporters can also receive. Gifts ranging from a spa package for six people at Emerge Spa & Salon on Newbury Street to a chance to meet celebrities such as Stephen Colbert and Ellen DeGeneres are being auctioned off on the home's website. According to MacFarlane, celebrities have been more than willing to support the cause. While some of them are sought out by the home, many celebrities, such as local comedian Jay Leno, "have a relationship with the home, and they donate every year."

The gift drive will run through Dec. 21, with drop-off points at the home's Toy Room at 161 South Huntington Ave., as well as all Bernie and Phyl's Furniture or Coldwell Banker locations. Toys can also be donated online at The online auction runs through Dec. 16 at

Article originally appeared in BostonNOW on December 6, 2007.