July 22, 2014 / 24th of Tamuz, 5774
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Molly Parr

  • If you’ve grabbed a meal downtown or off a food truck and didn’t pay with cash or a card, there’s a good chance Seth Priebatsch had a hand in that purchase. Seth’s invention, LevelUp, has changed the way we pay for things. I asked him how it all works and the future of paying for stuff with our phones.

    What’s LevelUp and how does it work?

    LevelUp is the easiest way to pay with your phone at your favorite local businesses and save. Basically ...

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  • Artist and art therapist Tova Speter’s work can be seen throughout the world. I was lucky enough to chat with her about her murals and how the process of making them brings communities together.

    I discovered you because I walked by a mural in Cambridge and was struck by what I saw. On closer inspection I realized the artist was named “Tova,” and I was excited that I might have the chance to feature you in this column. I had no idea your murals can be found throughout the worl...

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  • Rachel Ament’s mother has a lot to be proud of. Her daughter just edited “The Jewish Daughter Diaries: True Stories of Being Loved Too Much By Our Moms.” It’s a hilarious and enthralling collection of 27 essays about Jewish mothers written by some of the most compelling Jewish female voices out there. I had a chance to chat with Rachel about why she wrote the book and how often she calls her mother.

    Why did you put this book together?

    One night, when a...

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  • Photo credit: Union Square Donuts

    It’s getting harder and harder for me to conduct these interviews in person. But when the person I’m supposed to be interviewing makes the best donuts in Boston, I make an exception! This week I chat with Josh Danoff, the man behind Union Square Donuts. We talked shop, and yes, he did save me a donut (or two).

    So how many donuts do you make each day?

    It depends. We’re open right now Thursdays and Fridays and on we...

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  • Justin Kittredge has customized sandals for Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen, and he can customize ones just for you, too! I chatted with him about his company, ISlide, how basketball has changed his life and the Celtics’ chances for next year.

    Can you describe ISlide? Do I need to be an athlete to use your product?

    ISlide is the only premium custom slide company in the world. For those who don’t know the term “slide,” it’s another way to s...

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  • You might not need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, but you do need a weatherman to know how the weather will affect your business. I chatted with Judah Cohen, director of seasonal forecasting at the Atmospheric and Environmental Research, about his job, the upcoming hurricane season and what he does when one of his friends asks him for the forecast.

    I was on your website, wondering out loud how anyone can profit from the weather, to which my husband responded, “Haven&rsquo...

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  • In what proved to be one of the best perks of writing this column so far, I got to see an advanced screening of “Obvious Child,” starring this week’s guest, the brilliant actress and stand-up comedienne Jenny Slate. And I loved it. (But you don’t have to take my word for it.) It’s very much a romantic comedy (I love me a good rom-com!), but a bit of an unusual one—it’s written and directed by women and stars women. Oh, and it’s a...

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  • As the title of his latest book, “JFK, Conservative,” suggests, Ira Stoll has a different perspective on politics and economics. After a career in newspaper journalism, he’s now writing on his own and sharing his worldview on his website, Future of Capitalism. I asked him about his work and how he’s doing transitioning from New York to Boston.

    Tell me about your website, Future of Capitalism. What’s the unifying theme?

    It’s a news and opini...

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  • Jonathan Neman founded sweetgreen with his two college roommates. Now the chopped salad chain is taking on the Boston market, with locations in Fort Point and Back Bay. The newest store is opening in Chestnut Hill this week. I asked Jonathan about the philanthropic philosophy behind the business, which goes beyond just making healthy lunches.

    Build-your-own salad shops have been around for years. What makes sweetgreen different?

    We take pride in being more than...

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  • Jews and Chinese food go together as well as Bert and Ernie. So you can imagine how excited I was to hear about Black Trumpet, Gabe Fine and Mia Scharpie’s brand-new kosher meat pop-up that focuses on Sichuan cuisine. I asked them about the concept and inspiration for their launch next Thursday, May 29, plus I got their take on why pop-ups keep on, well, popping up!

    Tell me about Black Trumpet: the concept, the menu, who’s involved and how you got started.

    Black T...

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I live in Lower Allston with my husband, Rich, our daughter, Lilli, and our cat, Rooster. I work in the development department at the Perkins School for the Blind. You may have read my words (sometimes under my maiden name, Shaffer) in Jewish publications, including The Manhattan Sentinel, The Long Island Jewish World, The Jewish News of Western Massachusetts, The Jewish Advocate, The Jewish Journal Boston-North, The Jewish Voice & Herald of Rhode Island, InterfaithFamily, JewishBoston.com, or my personal blog, Cheap Beets.