Every Body Yoga Tour: Jessamyn Stanley in Boston

Young black woman doing yoga in background with text showing cities she's visiting for Every Body Yoga book tour.

Instagram star and internationally acclaimed yoga instructor Jessamyn Stanley is now also a published author.

Her new book, Every Body Yoga, will be released in April  and she’s going on tour to promote it.

Lucky for us, Boston is on her tour list and she will be speaking at Boston Public Library on Tuesday, June 6th, 6pm – 7:30pm.

Mark your calendars!

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Image: JessamynStanley.com

Boston Public Library, Wedding Ceremony Giveaway

Color photo of wedding venue at Boston Public Library.

If you’re looking to get married this June and you’d like a free ceremony, you might be in luck. The Boston Public Library is giving away a free ceremony to six couples.

What better way to begin the next chapter of your life together than exchanging vows inside the Central Library in Copley Square’s iconic outdoor Courtyard? As one of the City’s most sought-after wedding venues, and an institution dedicated to serving the public, the Boston Public Library is giving six couples the opportunity to host their wedding ceremony within its historic walls this June — for free!

Get more details on how to win on the library’s website.

An online lottery is taking place now through Sunday, March 12th. The winners will be notified no later than Monday, March 13th.

So enter now and you might get lucky!

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Image: Courtyard Restaurant, Boston Public Library

Free Sahaja Yoga at Quincy’s Thomas Crane Public Library!

*Updated 4/3/2017* 

There must have been a good response to the first few classes, because they have been extended until May! Classes are from 3pm – 4pm.

Color photo of Shruti Bansal talking about Sahaja Yoga.

The types of yoga and the locations of free yoga classes in the Boston area continue to expand.

Starting this Saturday (February 11th – March 4th) and for the next four consecutive Saturdays, the Thomas Crane Public Library will offer free Sahaja Yoga sessions. The classes will be from 2pm – 3pm and you don’t need a yoga mat.

In this video, Shruti Bansal talks about Sahaja Yoga and what to expect. Below is a description of the yoga from the Sahaja Yoga website.

Sahaja Yoga is the Spontaneous Connection/Union with your true inner being i.e the Spirit through the awakening of a residual energy called Kundalini which resides dormant at the base of our Spine in a triangular bone called the Sacrum. 

Based on the video, this not a regular yoga class where you are moving around on a mat. It appears to be more focused on breathing and meditation.

I meditate regularly, but have never tried Sahaja Yoga, so I plan to get to at least one of these classes. Hopefully many of you will too!

Thank you to Thomas Crane Public Library for offering these classes!

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Screenshot: YouTube

{You Pick Six} An Interview with Travel Writer & Essayist: Maria Olia

maria_olia

This past spring, I attended an open house for Friends of the Thomas Crane Public Library. I love Quincy’s library system and think supporting the library is a great way to be a philanthropist — even if only on a small scale.

I’ve been a Friend of the library for years, but it was my first time attending this type of event. And I’m so glad I did. I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Maria Olia, who writes about travel in the Boston area and New England in general.

Maria’s current book, New England’s Colonial Inns & Taverns, is a great resource and timely too.  For those of you who believe in ghosts and  are looking forward to Halloween, she lists some haunted historic inns in her book.

But don’t be scared! We’re going to resume this ongoing series with the 14th interview of You Pick Six and learn some more about Maria.

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What brings you peace every day?
My long walks around Crystal Lake in Newton bring me peace every morning. I love walking outside every day, in all weather. Sometimes I walk with a friend, sometimes I listen to classical music. Walking helps set my mind for the rest of the day. And sometimes walking is the best part of my day!

What is a favorite quote?
One of my favorite quotes is from Mark Twain- ” In New York they ask, ‘How much money does he have?’ In Philadelphia they ask, ‘Who were his parents?’ In Boston, they ask, How much does he know.'” Of course, historically, Boston was the intellectual impetus for the American Revolution. And I think Twain’s quote is still apt- we are “smaat!”

What is a favorite childhood food memory?
I’m a child of the 70’s so one of my fondest food memories was having cheese fondue.The idea of sharing food from a communal pot was totally hippy. It was very exotic for the time- the little enamel pot filled with melted swiss cheese and the long forks with the color coded handles – I always picked red. In our house, my Mom, my Dad, my little brother and I would eat fondue sitting on the floor huddled around the coffee table in the family room which just added to its “specialness.”

What is the best meal you ever had and where was it?
I eat out constantly in Boston doing research for my travel books and I have had some amazing meals along the way. But my most memorable meal was 10 years ago in Tuscany. My husband and I, along with our three sons, our daughter and my parents toured the Castello di Brolio vineyard. Afterwards we had the tasting menu at the vineyard’s small restaurant. I don’t remember exactly what I had for each course, but it was an authentic Italian meal outside on a perfect summer day in a magnificent setting and with all the people I love.

How did food become an important part of your life?
Ever since I was a teenager, I was a foodie. One summer I made a project of cooking meals from around the world. I would do the research and make things like saurbraten with spaetzle, or Venezuelan beef tamales in banana leaves. One year, for my high school French class final report I made a croquembouche- a tower of cream- filled choux pastry balls decorated in caramel sugar. Naturally, dining is a huge part of my travel writing. You can plan entire days around the restautrants, bakeries and food markets that I write about in my guidebooks.

new-englands-colonial-inns-taverns

Tell me about your book.
My newest book is New England’s Colonial Inns & Taverns (Globe Pequot). It’s a travel book that profiles 29 historic New England inns and taverns that have a connection to the colonial era; places that date before the year 1800. Some of the places are well known, like the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge or the Union Oyster House in Boston. Others are less common, like Mount Hope Farm in Bristol, Rhode Island and Eben House in Provincetown.

What is unique about this book is that I delve deeply into the colonial history of each place; how and when they were established and the tavern or inn’s relationship to their community through the years. And for these places we are talking centuries! I have also written about what today’s traveler would expect; the types of rooms or amenities at the inns and the dining experiences found at the taverns. There really is something for every taste; romantic country inns of course, but also high-end boutique inns, elegant townhouse inns and rustic chic- inns. Some taverns are all about Yankee pot roast and chicken pot pie, but there are several that are fine dining destinations with excellent wine lists.

Finally, the book has nearly 100 color photographs throughout- what I like to refer to as “Instagram-worthy” photos. There is a two-page spread of cows in a misty meadow, a full page photograph of a bicycle with a wicker basket of hydrangeas propped against a country fence and a full page collage of seafood dishes from Maine’s York Harbor Inn that looks like it should be in a food magazine. The book is a large format paperback but it has the feel of a coffee table book. It’s visually very appealing. I think that we are very lucky to be living in this corner of the world!

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Thank you so much for participating Maria!

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Photos: Provided by Maria Olia.

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If You’re Decorating Your Office….

PacificoYou might be interested in some art by Isabel Shamitz. Especially if you’re looking for some nice art to decorate an office space. If you just want to look for free, then stop by the library this month and take a look.

During April, the Thomas Crane Public Library in Quincy, has an exhibit of Shamitz’s work called A Tale of Two Cities: an exploration of Boston and Quincy images.

As I was walking around picking up some books that I had put on hold and looking at the new DVDs, I saw her paintings. The colors, texture and mood drew me right in! Because the exhibit focuses on the Quincy and Boston area, I recognized some places too.

If you’re from the area, you’ll probably have a sense of familiarity. Also, Shamitz’s style reminded me of Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks.

That feeling of looking into the private world of another by glancing into a coffee shop window and seeing strangers interact. A certain light that puts you into a nostalgic mood when you’re not even sure what you’re feeling nostalgic about. But it’s there and quite palpable.

Since my work brings me to many a different office, one of the first things that I notice is the art work on the walls. That and where is the coffee located.

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Image: Screen shot of painting by Isabel Shamitz from Thomas Crane Public Library event website.