Thanks to Zoo New England, little patches of wilderness from Africa, South America, Australia, and other parts of the world now dot Massachusetts. The non-profit organization operates both Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo, each full of exotic creatures and their habitats. These microcosms represent an ideal world, one where endangered species thrive and fragile ecosystems last for generations to come.
At Franklin Park Zoo, tigers display their exotic stripes in the Tiger Tales exhibit where guests are educated on the perils these animals face in their natural habitats. Elsewhere, thousands of plants as well as mandrills, ocelots, and a pygmy hippopotamus turn the zoo into a tropical rainforest.
Stone Zoo, meanwhile, places simulations of the world's highlands next to Spot Pond. One area focuses on the Sierra Madre mountain range, which spans Mexico and the Southwestern U.S. The elevated habitat counts jaguars, coyotes, Gila monsters, and cougars among its denizens.
A portion of every admission goes to the organization's conservation efforts, which supports projects both locally and globally. For would-be zookeepers, Zoo New England hosts various adult and kids' educational programs, and lets volunteers help in the care of zoo plants and animals.
Some problems confound the means and efforts of even the most gifted individuals; in 1904, tuberculosis was one such problem. Then, concerned citizens banded together to create the American Lung Association—one of the oldest voluntary health organizations still extant in America today—ultimately defeating the disease through the power of collective action. Today, the nature of the battle may have changed, but the spirit of community concern and volunteerism still thrives. Instead of actively fighting to cure certain diseases, the American Lung Association takes a big-picture approach, helping people quit smoking through education and encouragement, providing in-school programs for kids with asthma, and encouraging the community to keep the air healthy, breathable, and free from clouds of inhalable hornets.
Summertime breezes sneak through fork prongs and rustle across napkins at the 16th annual Taste of Allston, where community foodies unite under a banner splattered with international ingredients. More than 20 restaurants introduce taste buds to some of the city's best eats, from the Far East fare of Korean Garden to the smoky brick-oven flavor of Pizzeria Regina's pies. In between bites, live music, beer samples, and raffle prizes plate up entertainment for adults, and kid-friendly attractions, such as face-painting stations, keep young'uns from trying to sneak away between oversize hoagie buns. All profits raised by the festival go straight to the Allston Village Main Streets, a nonprofit revitalization effort working to keep the community safe.
Situated at the core of Davis Square, Diva Indian Bistro brims with the aromas of a menu that borrows from the culinary traditions of regions from Bangalore to Bombay. Beneath a bubbly goldenrod ceiling that looks like a collection of soft-lit skylights, patrons settle onto plump black benches to munch samosas and peruse offerings of lamb, seafood, beef, and tandoori dishes soaked in the warmth of the traditional clay oven. Saffron- and cardamom-scented basmati rice stars in biryani dishes, and dosas, a type of crepe crafted from rice and lentils, enclose chicken or veggie fillings alongside coconut chutney and lentil soup. The wall behind Diva’s bar mimics the ceiling’s rectangular bubble pattern in white, with a long row of blue glass bottles bisecting the surface. High black and chrome chairs slide up to the brushed-silver bar, where patrons murmur over cocktails and ice clicks occasionally like a tap dancer having a nice dream.
Inside Guard Up! Family Swordsmanship’s training facility, students of all ages work in groups with instructors to learn the fine techniques involved in Japanese swordsmanship and foil fencing. The Guard Up! Family Swordsmanship instructors also lead classes in stage combat, teaching techniques used by stage and film actors during fight sequences. Once students are comfortable controlling foam practice swords with their minds, they can join the Guard Up! Family Swordsmanship crew on interactive play adventures, such as the Wizards & Warriors summer camp. The live-action role-play events integrate medieval themes with lessons in historical weapons and self-confidence.
With five distinct courses etched into the New England countryside, Sterling Golf Management promotes pin-hunting recreation for Boston-area golfers of all abilities. The longest and most difficult of the five, The Shattuck Golf Club's 18-hole course kicks off with a 409-yard par 4 where players hack their way toward a green that is visually wreathed by the rising red rocks of Mount Monadnock, setting the tone for a scenic, 6,764-yard round. Groves of trees ensconce the fairways and barter over carbon dioxide at Norwood Country Club's recently renovated course, a relatively flat layout characterized by smallish greens and flanked by a lighted driving range. Designed in 1921 in the Donald Ross tradition is Maynard Golf Course, a picturesque par 70, 9-hole course with a full-service clubhouse. The same sylvan makeup returns at Newton Commonwealth's course, where lush tree lines cast shadows over a creek as it snakes across the fairways of seven holes. Rounding out the grassy quartet, Chelmsford's nine-hole course takes golfers careening across 2,467 yards of narrow fairways, placing straight drives or skilled golf ball pilots at a premium.
Henry Houh has earned four degrees—including a Ph.D.—from MIT, patented seven inventions in the United States and Europe, founded several tech start-ups, and even played on the famous MIT blackjack team portrayed in the film “21”. Instead of spending his afternoons toasting flutes of champagne with other successful entrepreneurs and scientists, Henry works with kids. When he’s not raising his own three tykes, he’s educating other youngsters at local schools, museums, or his own venture, Einstein's Workshop.
Henry and his staff fill the 7,000-square foot Einstein’s Workshop with hands-on activities designed to teach scientific, technological, engineering, and mathematical concepts in a fun, engaging way. Inside the main play space, youngsters can solve stacking puzzles, build elaborate LEGO and K'Nex structures, or assemble electronic devices using Snap Circuits. Classes delve deeper into various scientific subjects, from 2D and 3D computer-aided design workshops to classes where students create robots using LEGO WeDo and Mindstorms kits. Einstein's Workshop even caters some courses to curious adults, such as sessions that explain how to operate a laser cutter or implant a cleanliness microchip into messy roommates.