Dash for a Difference!

Looking for an adventure that is not only challenging, spontaneous, and fun -- but also one that helps other peopleBoston Cares has an exciting day for you!

Dash for a DifferenceOn Saturday, April 28, join hundreds of other Bostonians in the Dash for a Difference, a "race through Boston neighborhoods on a quest to help others, learn about our city, and raise funds for Boston Cares."

You'll get a chance to engage in a series of quick, short-term volunteer opportunities, while at the same time exploring Greater Boston and solving puzzles along the way. Think of it as a scavenger hunt that helps others at the same time. 

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Zip Lines & Heights

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Editor's Note For a zip line adventure closer to Boston, check out zip lines in New Hampshire and zip lines in Massachusetts.

The Adventure Blog featured an article on “having an adventure by having no choice”, which is something I've tried to believe in for years. It's not always easy; a number of years ago, I would panic every time I traveled anywhere, even if the end destination was someplace cool. And when I say panic, I mean panic: tears, shakes, complete meltdown. Many people would argue that if you are that frightened to do something, just don't do it; it's supposed to be fun, right?

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FIGMENT 2011 Recap

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Well, the chalkdust has finally settled, and it's pretty clear that Urban Canvas' participation in FIGMENT 2011 was a success (as was the festival itself!).  Hundreds of people joined in to cover Dewey Square Plaza with colorful, imaginative, and sometimes eccentric artworks, and we blazed through a record number of chalk sticks in the process. Thanks to all who came out, to FIGMENT for hosting us, and to our many volunteers who helped make this all happen.

We could gush on and on about our experience, but it'd be much more fun to let the pictures do the talking. Onward...

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First Class for the Common Folk

You may have read several days ago that we transformed the Red Line into a First Class Train.  We hopped on the Red Line -- dressed to the nines -- at Alewife, handed out snacks, cleaned the cars, and generally brought some good humor to a handful of lucky passengers.  That was our original plan, anyway.  This is the second part of that story. 

bannerSee, we had soon arrived at JFK/UMass, where we'd been planning on exiting and boarding a northbound train to continue our experiment.  Alas, it was not to be... apparently officials had gotten wind of our shenanigans, and -- pursuant to the MBTA's apparent policy of making people's rides as unpleasant as possible -- asked us to leave, rendering the train decidedly more coach class.

The good news is that we are persistent, and creative. So after a brief meeting, it was decided to take our extravagance out of the subway and into a more public space...the Boston Common.

What we weren't prepared to find was that it -- being the first real nice day of spring -- was the perfect day to find throngs of people sprawled out on the grassy expanse.

So, with missing hardly a beat, we descended upon the park green with our typical flair, much to the delight of the patrons who seemed pleased to realize they were in the newly-appointed First Class section.

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2011 Boston Midnight Marathon Ride Recap

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It seems like only yesterday during that fateful BU Bikes meeting where I proposed an idea for a bike ride after hearing someone mention some friends who were running the marathon route the night before:

Hey guys, wouldn’t it be awesome if we rode bikes along the Boston Marathon route the night before? At midnight?

And thus, the Boston Marathon Midnight Bike Ride was born. It started innocently enough the first year. From a simple Facebook event, word spread fast, and about 50 friends and strangers gathered at South Station to take the commuter rail out to the starting line of the Marathon route and ride bikes back into Boston. Then the next year, 70 people showed up. Somehow we all managed to cram 70 people and bikes onto the commuter rail cars.

Read on to see how many bikes we could fit on the train for the 3rd annual ride! 

Read more: 2011 Boston Midnight Marathon Ride Recap

 

First Class Subway

First Class Subway

It's kind of a given that you don't ride the subway for the experience. If the faces on your typical MBTA rider are any indication, it's a mundane experience at best: people stare into space, jostle amongst each other, and generally appear to wish they were anywhere but in the cavernous depths of a monotonous, clattering tunnel.

We changed all that for an afternoon. Gathering an enthusiastic group of dedicated BostonSOSers who opened their top shelf and dressed to the nines, our mission was to create a unique, pleasant, first class subway experience.

There were butlers and maids who made sure the cars were in tip-top shape: wiping down seats, cleaning the windows and support rails, and dusting those hard-to-reach corners. Keeping an attentive eye to the surprised passengers, they also offered hot towels, platters of hors d'oeuvres, magazines, shoe shines, and even a full-service coat check so passengers could shed a layer, sit back, and enjoy the ride.

The pièce-de-résistance of this spectacle: live musicians who provided pleasant ambience to the weary passengers: a piano crooner (taking requests!) in one car and a classical string duo in another.

So, without further ado, let's hop on the subway and take a closer look at the experience through pictures:

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