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January 23, 2015     Post-Gazette
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January 23, 2015

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Page 8 POST-GAZE'I-rE, JANUARY 23, 2015 SOMETHING NEW IS BREWING AT CITY HALL Mayor Walsh Welcomes Local Organic Coffee Cart Vendor by Sal Giarratani Not Quite Perfect at the Calderwood Pavilion through February 7th Taking in a performance of Ken Urban's "A Future Perfect," directed by M. Bevin O'Gara now in its world pre- miere, I was wondering if it was my age that had me feel- ing cynical about the char- acters in the play that is set in the Brooklyn apartment of Claire (Marianna Bassham) and Max (Brian Hastert) and opens with them sharing Asian food with old friends Alex (Nael Nacer) and Elena (Chelsea Diehl). The thirty- somethings are having fun talking when Max starts pouring some wine and Elena refuses to have a glass. Max and Claire figure out something is up and ask if Elena is pregnant, which it turns out she is. This now turns into some awkward conversation as Claire, while trying to show joy in the news, betrays her nega- tive thoughts about it, and also the emotions the news triggers within her. As the play moves on the characters all begin to wrestle with the reality of their changing lives and how it affects their friendship and values. Max and Alex realize they will no longer be able to continue playing music together, something they have enjoyed for many years. Claire has become quite successful in the cor- porate world, but pauses to observe the Occupy Move- ment on her way home and starts!to question her val- ue.s, Yes, life does change as we move on in years, and we do evolve and grow and Annabelle (Uatchet Jin Juch) and Max (Brian Hastert). question, but it seems many We live in an age when so of the stages of life that many are just looking to be L-R: Danny and Maria Cordon, Tom Barnes (baseball cap) and Alberto Garcia A popular little coffee shop opened up a few years back on Bromfield Street. It looked like a little hole in the wall at the time but soon became a hidden gem in Downtown Crossing. Last year Boston Brewin Coffee Company opened a second shop over in East Boston at the Maverick Square Market- place where it became a friendly gathering place for coffee lovers with great coffee and food for all. On Sunday mornings, it is standing room only. On Tuesday, January 5% Boston Brewin opened its third site inside Boston City Hall and none other than Mayor Marty Walsh himself came downstairs from his 5th floor office to welcome Boston Brewin to the building and also to get him- self a great cup of coffee. This local enterprise is the brain child of Tom Barns who humans have always gone through are happening on a slower track these days. I guess 30 is the new 20. It is also interesting to ob- serve how difficult it is for all involved to speak to each other honestly, as they are all honest people. You can just feel how they struggle with their words as they work hard at not offending each other, which they con- stantly do, especially Claire. I thought of how sad this is when I think of how many times I have witnessed this in real life, and how we are often repressed by our language. The wrong word or the wrong intonation can set someone off so easily. offended. I first met by accident at his Bromfield Street Shop shortly In the beginning it is after its opel~g. In East Boston, Boston Brewin has partnered Claire who appears to be cold up with the Donald McKay School. Barns is hoping that Bos- and uncaring, but by the end we begin to realize she has a warmth and a desire to have passion and meaning in her life, Much like the Speakeasy Stage production of "Bad Jews" a few months back, this is billed as a comedy. Dealing with life's struggles while having the comedic pressure valve to ease the pain is very helpful. At one point I was think- ing this is a bit of Woody Allen for the lower middle- class. When the couples be- gin arguing, Max shouts out "I am a child of divorce, I don't know what to say when adults fight." A very funny line. There is also a very touch- ing moment where Max, who is employed as a puppeteer for PBS, is rehearsing a scene with a young girl named Annabelle, played by the amazingly talented Uatchet Jin Juch. The audience is not aware of who she is or that it is a rehearsal until the scene wraps up, so it is very touch- ing as Max tries to explain war through the mouth of the puppet. It is also a bit disquieting to see how ton Brewin sales will mean 705 McKay students will get IPads and this dream of his is quite do-able. Knowing Barns, you know it will happen and sooner than you might think. In the past, whenever I was at City Hall, I liked to go up to the 82 floor for breakfast, lunch or just coffee. It was so peace- ful and quiet up there, away from the hustle and bustle of people coming and going at the entrance points to City Hall. Only City Hall insiders knew of this floor refreshment center. Boston Brewin has added a dimension of friendliness and hospitality to the otherwise cold, concrete enclosed, aloof place where we go to pay our parking tickets so we can be sure to get our licenses and car registrations renewed. And it offers an alternative to the 8th floor food offerings with coffee, tea and small treats on the 3 floor mezzanine of City Hall. During a four-month trial period the coffee cart will acti- vate and enliven this important civic space, welcoming the public and employees to stop by. This effort is the most recent from the Walsh Administration to look for ways to make public spaces inside and outside City Hall more inviting, engaging and personable. "City Hall is the front door to local government, and I want everyone who visits to have a great experience," said Mayor Walsh. "This is a small step we can take, which has a big impact, to activate the people's public space and enhance constituent interactions with the City." "By sharing our business model, we provide the opportu- nity for people to be real Bostonians and support their own community through coffee," said Tom Barns, Founder of the Boston Brewin Coffee Company. The Boston Brewin Coffee Company's stand in City Hall will offer coffee, lattes, mochas, espressos, and teas from Dean's Beans. It will also sell locally sourced pastries from the Haley House, Lyndell's Bakery, and C and C Bakers of East Boston. The coffee cart, made of discarded school desks will be open Monday thru Friday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. The project is a collaboration between the Mayor's Office I DIAMONDS 1 ROLEX ESTATE JEWELRY Bought & Sold Jewelers Exch. Bldg. Jim (617) 263-Tr66- The acting is superb, won- derful lighting, and the excellent set design that is a signature of the SpeakEasy Stage Company. of the City, the #WickedCooITree activated by Twitter, and the "Stairs of Fabulousness" art installation, a result of the Mayor's Public Space Invitation. Outside of City Hall, several projects of the Mayor's First Public Space Invitational have been launched. In addition to the Fenway's 30 seconds of Cinema and PitchBoston, digital video art projects. Boston Brewin Coffee Company uses a four-part business model called *Pay it 4ward." Using this strategy, the com- pany gives 100% of profits back to the immediate commu- nity or a local nonprofit organization. It uses only 100% organic fair/direct trade, shade grown coffee, pays living wages to all employees, and is a triple bottom line company focused on people, product,, and the planet .......... Claire (Marianna Bassham}, Max (Brian Hastert), Elena: nonchalantly and unemo- (Chelsea Dlehl), and Alex (Nael Naeer}. of New Urban Mechanics, Property and Construction Man- tlonaily Anfiabell9 [gets up as agement, Inspectional ServicesDepartment, the Mayor's (Photos by Oraig Bailey~Perspective iili the r g hea rsai finishes up. Office of Economic Development, "and the Office of Small & I a-play thatLocal Business Enterprise ..... : : ::i Vrith a younger According to the press release from: the Mayor's office, in " " audier/ e and I do hope the past year several projects have improved the experience younger people go to see it. inside of City Hail, including a greeters program, a model