The semester is over. So long blog fam!

We can’t believe that spring has finally arrived!  That means the end of the semester, and the end of our postings (on here at least).  Thank you to everyone who checked out our blog and engaged with us in the digital and social media world.  We enjoyed it and hope you enjoyed our content.  We would love to keep in touch in the future, so follow our twitter handles below and we’ll #followback.

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Kristina

 @KristinaDiGirol NY State of Mind  I’m inspired to take a trip! Graduating!

Monica

 @MonicaDeGiorgio When You Can’t Get to the Gym   Need to try these. 6 classes left to go

Steve

 @UPenn2Bman 5 TV Shows You Should Be Watching (If You Aren’t Already!) Nothing better than unwinding with a favorite TV show

Graduating!

Anna  @alittizz Who’s Ready for Happy Hour?Umm, who isn’t?

6 classes left to go

You can connect with us on LinkedIn and Facebook too!

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Thanks again everyone and have an amazing summer 🙂

Sincerely, Your @YoProBTG bloggers ❤

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Best Spots to Watch the Boston Marathon

Marathon Monday is one of the best days of the year to be in Boston. Whether it is your first time watching the marathon or your 10th, here are Boston.com‘s top spots on where to watch.

My favorite spot is by Coolidge Corner where you can help motivate the runners by letting them know they only have 2 miles left!

Content below is from: http://www.boston.com/sports/marathon/course/wheretowatch/

“Hopkinton (Start to 2 miles): The race begins here, but if you think you’ll find a good viewing spot, forget it — it will be packed. Instead, meander down the route as far as a mile; around Frankland Road you’ll get a good view of the racers as they zip downhill from the starting line.

Ashland (2 to 5 miles): The area around Ashland State Park is usually roomier than the center of town.

Framingham (5 to 8 miles): Check out broad Waverly Street near the railroad station, about the 6-mile mark. The crowd thins out from Union Avenue to the Natick line.

Natick (8 to 11.5 miles): The town green is likely to be pretty crammed, but if you get there early, you can snag a good spot. The 10-mile mark is at Central Street.

Wellesley (11.5 to 16 miles): This town’s business district features the exact midway point of the 26.2-mile race. But before the racers get there, the screaming Wellesley College students make for a lively — and loud — watching spot. It’s also here that the racers leave Route 135 and merge onto Route 16. Set up either just before the college crowd or after, closer to Town Hall. Hunnewell Park is on a hill and provides a nifty overall view. Wide, straight Washington Street in Wellesley Hills is a great place, too.

Newton Lower Falls, West Newton (16 to 17.5 miles): The well-known red brick Newton Fire Station marks the sharp right the racers must take as they turn from Route 16 (Washington Street) onto Commonwealth Avenue (Route 30) and face the daunting Newton hills. Lots of locals set up picnics here, but there should be room for newbies.

Newton (17.5 to 20 miles): Lots of green space all along Comm. Ave. Check out both the Dartmouth Street and Chestnut Street intersections, as well as the lawn in front of Newton City Hall.

Chestnut Hill (20 to 21.5 miles): This is the make-or-break section of the race: infamous Heartbreak Hill. You’ll encounter another noisy college crowd here — that of Boston College, right at the top of the hill — but there are wide roads and green space for good viewing spots.

Brighton (21.5 to 22.5 miles): Another exciting spot to watch is Cleveland Circle, where runners turn left onto Beacon Street. The race is entering urbanville, with the attendant noisy crowds.

Brookline (22.5 to 24.5 miles): The same can be said for lively Coolidge Corner. For a better view, walk down Beacon toward Kenmore Square until the crowd thins out a bit.

Boston (24.5 to 26.2 miles): If you want rowdy, park yourself in Kenmore Square and bring a ladder (only kidding). The crowd swells when the Red Sox game gets out, and whether the Sox won or lost, they’ll be um, very loud. This is the last wide-open space for viewing; from here, the racers continue down Comm. Ave., take a right onto tiny Hereford, then a left into the madness of Boylston Street and the finish line.”

Boston things to do – Go ahead, act like a tourist!

Maybe you have lived in Boston for a long time or maybe you are new to the area, regardless you should check out some of these things to do around the city.  Go ahead, act like a tourist!

Tour Fenway Park –  This iconic ballpark opened on April 20, 1912 and still maintains much of the character from that time.  Explore the historic grounds of “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark” on a  60-minute guided tour with team, ball club and player history.  The tour takes you through the visiting locker room, under the stadium, to the oldest seats in MLB, on top of the Green Monster, inside the Press Box and all around the stadium! Tickets are $18 for an adult.

tour_03_300x230Image Credit:  Boston Red Sox

Grab a beer at Harpoon Brewery – At the Beer Hall you can sit at the bar or around long wooden tables with great views of Boston.  They offer a full selection of Harpoon beers & delicious pretzels to pair with your pint. You can also take a tour of the Brewery!  Tours are $5 and include a beer tasting where you will enjoy a range of freshly-brewed Harpoon and UFO beers. Tours last about an hour.

MainImage Credit: Harpoon Brewery

Visit the Institute of Contemporary Art –  Located in the Seaport District the ICA has beautiful views of Boston Harbor and unique exhibits.  Admission is $15 but every Thursday night you can visit for free from 5 – 9 pm during ICA Free Thursday Nights. On the first Friday of every month stop by for First Fridays with guest DJs, live performance, gallery talks, specialty drinks, and more!

institute-of-contemporary-art-institute-of-contemporary-art_54_990x660_201404181933 Image Credit: Henry Flickr

Walk the Freedom Trail – Stretching from Boston Common through Beacon Hill, Faneuil Hall, the North End, and Charlestown, the Freedom Trail covers many sites that played important roles in the US history and that people flock to Boston to experience in the summer months.  Sites include the Old State House, Paul Revere’s House, Old North Church (cue “the British are Coming!”), Bunker Hill Monument, and the USS Constitution.  You can step off the red brick road trail in Faneuil Hall to get a drink or to eat basically anything you can imagine at Quincy Market while you watch the street performers.  Then get gelato for dessert in the North End.  Bonus: the North End and Charlestown are where much of The Town was filmed.  Just do yourself a favor and make sure you save this for anytime from April-October!

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(Image: Some of Anna’s family being legitimate tourists in front of the Paul Revere Monument on Freedom Trail.)

Check out Top of the Hub – For some of THE BEST views of Boston check out Top of the Hub located 52 floors above Back Bay in the the Prudential Tower.  For 5 reasons Top of the Hub is great for locals check out this post by Matthew Simko.

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Image Credit: Top of the Hub

What’s your favorite Boston attraction?  Comment below or tweet @YoProBTG.

(Tweet at blogger: @KristinaDiGirol)

Going Out in the Fenway Area

Whether you are there for a Red Sox game, grabbing after work drinks or enjoying the night life (Tequila Rain, anyone?), the Fenway area is a great place to go out. Here are some of the Yo Pro Beyond the Grind bloggers’ favorite spots:

1) Game On

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Game On just redid the bar with a new downstairs area to include ping pong tables, cornhole and batting cages.

2) Cask n’ Flagon 

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3 words: Buffalo. Chicken. Dip. They call it legendary for a reason.

3) Lansdowne Pub

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Great spot to head on a Friday or Saturday night to hear a cover band play.

4) Eastern Standard 

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If you are looking to class it up a bit or sit outside for some drinks, Eastern Standard is the perfect spot. My personal favorite: the Whiskey Smash.

5) Boston Beer Works 

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So many beers that even your snobbiest beer friend (we all have one!) will find something they love.

Where is your favorite spot to go out in Fenway? Tweet us at @YoProBTG and let us know!

Tweet blogger: @monicadegiorgio

Red Sox Opening Day at Fenway

fenway park

photo courtesy of Wikipedia

After the Red Sox pushed across their 6th run via a sacrifice fly in the 19th inning at Yankee Stadium on Friday night to go ahead and hang on for a 6-5 win, who isn’t excited for the Sox home opener at Fenway on Monday??!!

Not feeling a full work day on Monday after this weekend?  Well, that’s great because the home opener vs. the Washington Nationals (many believe Washington will be one of best teams in the MLB this year) starts at 3:00 pm at Fenway.  Check out StubHub if you are still interested in getting tickets for the game.  Just know that opening day is always a hot commodity and you are already looking at a ballpark price (no pun intended) of $100 per ticket since it’s only a few days away.

Even if you aren’t willing to fork over that kind of dough for one baseball game, I highly recommend you consider heading down to Lansdowne Ave for drinks and apps at a local bar with friends.  You get the atmosphere and excitement of opening day without the overly inflated ticket prices.  The first time I went to Fenway, I paid $50 bucks to park.  Don’t get sucked into that trap.  If you get into the city a few hours before game time, there is plenty of meter parking and other cheaper options within a few blocks walking distance from Fenway!

The Red Sox had a disappointing season in 2014, recording a win-loss record of 71-91 and missing the playoffs just one year removed from winning the World Series in 2013.  This season, there will be a palpable buzz in the air as the Sox look to rebound with a newly reloaded, star-studded offense.  Their two through five hitters are 2. Dustin Pedroia 2B, 3. David Ortiz DH, 4. Hanley Ramirez LF, and 5. Pablo Sandoval 3B….if that doesn’t get you singing “Sweet Caroline”, then I don’t know what does.  The big question mark this season will be pitching.  My early prediction is the the Red Sox hang on for a Wild Card birth to the postseason.

For me, I’ll be dreaming of Fenway franks and the beautiful crack of the wood bats as I sit in class at Boston University on Monday night…at least I’ll only be a few hundred feet away.

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photo courtesy of bostondirtdogs.boston.com

Shout out to my Penn Quakers who are off to a 7-1 start in Ivy League play and are taking on Cornell this weekend in a 4-game series. #America’s Favorite Pasttime

Tweet blogger @UPenn2Bman and check us out @YoProBTG

Shopping, Entertainment, and Dining Treat- Assembly Row

If you haven’t been there yet, you have to check out Assembly Row in Somerville!  I’ve been going there for HomeGoods and Bed Bath & Beyond since I moved to Boston.  Recently, they’ve added so much awesome shopping & great restaurants that I find myself going there all the time.   It’s 5 minutes over the Boston border and very easily accessible because:

  • They have a huge FREE parking garage and outdoor lots.(It’s high tech too- you’re signaled to open spots that are lit in green.)
  • They have an Assembly Row T-stop on the orange line now!
  • It’s close enough to take a taxi or Uber without it costing you.
  • It’s getting nice out, so why not bike along the Mystic River.  Check out our post on the pros of biking.
The restaurants and bars are amazing.
  • Earls might be my favorite, but it’s hard to choose.  It has amazing food (especially brunch), an open layout with center bar and open kitchen, cool art on the menus, and the drinks are delicious…and funny.

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Other faves include:
Pick up a venti caramel macchiato (yes, there is a Starbucks too) and you can head to some of these shops to easily spend your money.  There is something for everyone and if you have kids, you can keep them occupied (or bribe them to be patient while you shop) by bringing them to Legoland!
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The store directory is below.

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Some of my fave shops include:
  • Saks Off Fifth
  • Nike
  • Express
  • Adidas
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • HomeGoods (TJ Maxx)
My personal favorite part of assembly row is the AMC movie theater. I swear you won’t want to go anywhere else after you’ve been here.  Features include:
  • Reclining stadium seats

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  • Bar in the movie theater

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  • Free refills on large popcorn

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  • 3D IMAX movies

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Have you been to the new #AssemblyRow yet?  Let us know your fave things to do there by tweeting @yoprobtg #yoprobtg!

(Tweet blogger @alittizz)

Photocredits: http://www.assemblyrow.com

Renting in Boston? Where to Get the Most for Your Money

Coming in behind San Francisco and NYC, we all know renting in Boston can be really expensive. I’m on a June lease and my boyfriend and I recently started the apartment hunt feeling a bit overwhelmed not only by all of the neighborhoods…but by the crazy high rent prices.

The renting game in Boston is all about figuring out what is most important to you: is it being by the T? Parking? Being closer or further away from the city? A large space? Once you can get a handle on that, you can start evaluating where you can get the most bang for your buck.

Check out this article from Bostinno noting the average rent prices by Boston neighborhoods. Here are some of the highlights (lowlights?) from some of the most popular areas:

  • North End
    • Average rental price from Zillow: $2,756
    • Average rental price from Jumpshell, 1-bedroom: $1,968 – or $3.46 per sq. ft.
  • Charlestown
    • Average rental price from Zillow: $2,792
    • Average rental price from Jumpshell, 1-bedroom: $2,291 – or $3.17 per sq. ft.
  • Beacon Hill
    • Average rental price from Zillow: $2,969
    • Average rental price from Jumpshell, 1-bedroom: $2,379 – or $3.96 per sq. ft.
  • South Boston
    • Average rental price from Zillow: $2,681
    • Average rental price from Jumpshell, 1-bedroom: $1,778 – or $2.84 per sq. ft.
  • Jamaica Plain
    • Average rental price from Zillow: $2,524
    • Average rental price from Jumpshell, 1-bedroom: $1,482 – or $2.25 per sq. ft.
  • Allston
    • Average rental price from Zillow: $2,323
    • Average rental price from Jumpshell, 1-bedroom: $1,559 – or $2.42 per sq. ft.
  • Brighton
    • Average rental price from Zillow: $2,075
    • Average rental price from Jumpshell, 1-bedroom: $1,433 – or $2.35 per sq. ft.
  • Fenway/Kenmore
    • Average rental price from Zillow: $2,505 (Fenway), $2,288 (Kenmore)
    • Average rental price from Jumpshell, 1-bedroom: $2,198 – or $3.40 per sq. ft.
  • Back Bay
    • Average rental price from Zillow: $3,257
    • Average rental price from Jumpshell, 1-bedroom: $2,821 – or $3.94 per sq. ft.
    • MBTA subway stations: Arlington, Copley, Hynes, Kenmore, Prudential (Green Line), Back Bay, Massachusetts Ave. (Orange Line)
  • South End
    • Average rental price from Zillow: $3,019
    • Average rental price from Jumpshell 1-bedroom: $2,533 – or $3.72 per sq. ft.

And for those thinking Cambridge or Somerville, you are looking at an average of $2000+ for a 1 bed.

Where do you think the best value for renters in Boston is? Tweet us @YoProBTG and let us know your thoughts.

Tweet blogger: @MonicaDeGiorgio

Heavyweight Hoops Matchup Tonight for NCAA Title

wisconsin logo vs. duke logo

Wisconsin and Duke show down tonight for the Men’s NCAA Div I Basketball Championship at 9:18 ET on CBS.  After coming off what must be a season high in defeating the #1 overall Kentucky Wildcats, I like Wisconsin’s chances to keep rolling tonight.  Duke is no slouch though with Coach K’s pedigree and Okafor as a dominant force in the paint.  However, Kaminsky and Dekker will look to stay crafty on the offensive attack to lead the Badgers to the National Title.  Fun fact:  Wisconsin has played the highest possible seed in every round so far in the bracket and hasn’t backed down from anybody.  I expect a close game, decided by 6 points or less on either side.  Wisconsin’s composure, length, and unique scoring ability from Kaminsky and Dekker have me leaning that way.  Enjoy the game tonight and try not to fall asleep with Cheetoh fingers on the couch!

Tweet blogger @UPenn2Bman.

We survived winter, now its time for Happy Hour on a sunny patio with your dog! (Yes, with your dog!)

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Ever have those days where the weather is perfect and you really feel like going out after work but you also hate the thought of leaving the dog alone inside for 1 more minute?  Patios will be opening up soon and the urge to go to happy hour will get stronger and stronger!  Don’t miss out or make your dog suffer – in and around Boston there are a bunch of dog friendly restaurants where you can grab a drink with friends AND spend quality time with your pup!

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Top dog friendly areas:

Check out Bring Fido for more dog-friendly activities in your area!

dog-friendly-restaurants-bostonTips:

  • Dogs are not allowed inside restaurants – don’t go if you don’t want to be on the patio!
  • Bring the dog to the park  or take a walk first, a tired dog makes a much better dinner buddy
  • Bring something to chew on, a distracted dog also makes a much better dinner buddy
  • Be aware of your dogs actions and other diners reactions – not everyone thinks its cute when your dog begs for food.

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My dog Emma loves going to dinner at Publick House!

Have a favorite dog friendly restaurant around Boston?  Comment below or tweet @YoProBTG

Image Credit: Fido Loves, Erik Jacobs for The Boston GlobeMckamey Animal Center

(Tweet at blogger @KristinaDiGirol)

Duke Awaits Winner of Wisconsin and Kentucky in NCAA Final

duke logo vs. michigan state logo

Duke took care of business against Michigan State earlier tonight in the first matchup of the 2015 Final Four.  Leading by 11 at the half, Duke cruised to a 20 point win 81-61.  Check out the box score.

wisconsin logo vs. kentucky logo

Now Duke awaits the winner of #1 seed Kentucky and  #1 seed Wisconsin. As I expected, Wisconsin’s size and athleticism is matching up well against Kentucky so far and it looks like this one is going to come down to the wire. With 10:00 minutes left, Wisconsin leads Kentucky 56-52.  Kentucky has a chance to go 40-0 and post the best record ever in Men’s College Basketball and be the first team to go undefeated since the Indiana Hoosiers in 1976.  Clearly, the Wildcats are going to have to work for every bit of such a storybook ending.  Personally, I think Wisconsin holds on for the upset win.

Tweet blogger at @UPenn2Bman