Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fired Up on a Wednesday Morning

The Massachusetts Senate approved a sales tax increase last night, raising it to 6.25%. By a veto-proof margin, at that. Booooo.

After all that hemming and hawing about not raising the gas tax during a recession, they're raising a tax that applies to... everything else! 

I understand they need to raise revenue, and quickly. But you're telling me that instead of raising the tax on gasoline, which would encourage people to consume less gas — something pretty much everyone agrees is a good thing — the solution is to penalize people buying stereos, books, and cars at at time when we need that commerce the most? Weak. I'm writing this Michael Morrissey fella to give him a piece of my mind.  (If you like sending angry emails as much as I do, you can find your elected officials here.)

Last night I went to my first Sox game of the season, a great one (not to mention a fast one), and before the game we met up at the new "Irish pub" adjacent to the House of Blues, called The Lansdowne. It looked promising when we saw it (close to completion) a few weeks ago, during a rain-out, and after our visit last night I'd say it's still promising. But for now it's just that: promises. It has the potential to be a great place someday, but they don't seem to know what they're doing yet, and the layout is difficult and unworkable for pre-game masses (and this was just a Tuesday night in May; what about a summer Saturday?). The bartenders were nice, and there were plenty of them, but it was tough to get to the bar — while the table area was vast and largely vacant, despite a 15-minute wait for tables. The Guinness was acceptable. For my money, though, the Bleacher Bar is still the best bet on Lansdowne St.

Much more Yelp-worthy was the Lower Depths' Mackin' Cheese dog. Granted, we stopped here after the game and I hadn't eaten anything since lunch, unless you count beer (which we won't), but wow did that impress! And for just $3. The saucy, corkscrew mac n' cheese had with a nice garlic flavor, and their hot dogs are the same as Fenway's (but only $1 a pop before toppings); the combination of these two flavor forces nearly caused a euphoric episode in my mouth. I also had a chili dog, but it didn't stack up to that mac n' cheese-slathered pork de rĂ©sistance. Mmm. I'll be thinking about that thing for weeks!

(Do note: the Lower Depths is cash only, which has been a sticking point for me in the past. Given this tasty new development, I will now get over myself and deal.)

Finally, what's a Wednesday without some write-on lines? Today we'll have a pop quiz based loosely on last night's events:

1. _____ has the lowest ERA amongst Red Sox starters.

2. A Coors Light at Fenway costs $_____.

3. A girl at the Lower Depths proudly told us, three times, how she pretended to ______ over the railing before entering the bar.


(Answers: Tim Wakefield; $7.25; throw up) 

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