Friday, July 20, 2018

A-List techies release their inner children

Alas, I am not now nor have I ever been an A-list entrepreneur. The closest I ever came, I guess, was when I worked for a C-list entrepreneur and our company did some technology collaboration with Microsoft and Bill Gates before Microsoft and Bill Gates were all that big a deal. Our big C-list brag was that we were at Windows of the World when Bill Gates when Windows 3.0 – the first REALLY BIG version of Windows - was announced. Our recording technology – yay, us! – was embedded in Windows 3.0. If only we’d been smart enough to negotiate for a penny a copy for each instance of Windows that was sold, we might still be in business. Unfortunately, we were paid a flat fee ($50K as I recall) and all the bragging rights we wanted. That’s pretty much as close as I ever got to an A-list entrepreneur. Other than at the tech conference when I shared an elevator with Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy and we chatted a bit.  Of course, both those brushes with A-list fame are so far in the rearview mirror, those two Bills are A-list emeriti.

Anyway, not that I know/knew them, I can’t imagine either of those Mr. Bills getting “in touch with their inner child in private ‘songversations’”, which is apparently what the latest crop of A-listers are up to.

Tech elites who are looking for more than extra zeros in their bank statements are finding it in an unlikely place: so-called songversations, emotion-heavy gatherings that combine philosophical rap sessions with improvised music, run by a ukulele-strumming songstress who describes herself as a “heartist.” (Source: NY Times)

The “heartist” is named Jess Magic. And she’s not just a heartist, she’s a ceremonialist and a muse.

I truly believe that languages are living, breathing, growing whatevers. But did we really need the words heartist and ceremonialist? I think not.

Guess they’re differentiators. I mean, anyone can be a muse. But a heartist. Well, that’s something else.

And the techies swoon about the magic that goes down when Magic’s in the house, a “safe space” for those who’ve lost sight of the fact that there’s more to life than heading up the next unicorn.

Branded as “Soul Salons” they import the cosmic-explorer sensibility of Burning Man’s dusty playa into the cozy living rooms of prominent entrepreneurs, where they sing freestyle on topics as diverse as environmental degradation and heartbreak. Think of it as a free-jazz equivalent of an Esalen retreat.

As anyone who’s been anywhere near me at the gym, or gone on a road trip with me that lasted more than 10 minutes, knows, I really like to sing. I sing in the shower. I sing along with whatever’s on the CD or the radio. I sign at concerts. (You should have heard me when they did “Chicken Fried” at the Zac Brown concert at Fenway in June.) I don’t have a great voice, but it’s okay. Pleasant enough. I can carry a tune and, thanks to four years as a second soprano/alto in an excellent high school glee club, I can harmonize.

A song in my heart may be the one and only thing I have in common with Peter Thiel. At least when he’s in the presence of Jess Magic.

“I don’t know if you’d call this a breakthrough,” she said, “but I got Peter Thiel to sing along and Elon Musk to smile.”

Actually, I’d call it a breakthrough if she’d gotten Peter Thiel and/or Elon Musk to act like less of a shit, but I’m sure it was something to get them to sing and/or smile.

Ms. Magic, who seems to approach every topic with a sense of giddy wonder, as if she just fell in love five minutes ago, believes that her appeal is rooted in the spiritual hollowness so many business elites feel, despite their wealth.

“The finance and tech scene is still riding the waves of hypermasculine values,” she said. “Coffee to get through the day, alcohol to wind down, then sleeping pills at night to turn off the mind from all that they have going on.”

“People forget that they are human beings rather than human doings,” she added.

You’d think there would be plenty of opportunities for human doings to act like human beings. Playing with their own kids or the kids of non-A-listers. Walking their dog or the dog of a non-A-lister. Calling their mothers and letting them complain about their fathers’ snoring. Chatting with the person at CVS who directs you to a checkout station. Yelling at the ump at a baseball game. Singing along at the gym.

But I guess when you’re spending 24/7 pursuing tech-based mammon, you don’t get to do those pedestrian little nothings.

Enter the Soul Salon, which Ms. Magic calls “a play date for your inner child” and performs as a “gift,” she said (although guests are invited to “contribute in accordance with the value they feel they received”).

I will say one thing, if you’re going to ask people to pay based on the value they get out of something, you might as well do it with the ultra-rich.

The salons usually start with a theme — say, the emptiness of consumer culture. As key phrases arise, Ms. Magic will begin strumming and humming, weaving those lines of dialogue into a lilting melody. The effect is vaguely akin to Joni Mitchell performing freestyle rap at Davos.

As the extemporaneous song grows, others join in with musings of their own, call-and-response style. Not every captain of industry can carry a tune, of course, but that’s not the point. As Ms. Magic likes to say, “We don’t sing to be good, we sing to be free.”

I can only imagine what those call-and-response sessions must be like. Can I get a “platform”?

“One of the reasons why I do what I do, and why I am, honestly, on this planet, is to show up with such a level of vulnerability and sincerity and authenticity, that it almost gives people permission to let it go for a little while,” she said.

Sincerely, authentically, don’t these A-listers have any loved ones? Any friends? A dog? A cat? A goldfish? Anyone they can kick back with? Sit on the porch with and ask Alexa to play a little Springsteen so they can sing along to “Thunder Road”? Releasing your inner child (or inner human) shouldn’t be all that hard.

At least back in the day, Bill Joy was willing to chat with a nerd stranger on the elevator in a hotel in San Jose.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Blockbusted

This is what we used to do on Saturdays.

First, head to Fred’s video on Charles Street and reFred's videont a movie. Or two. Order pizza or Chinese. Put the first movie in. Watch it. Rewind. Watch the other movie.

It was all VHS. I don’t ever remember renting DVDs.

Some people didn’t rewind, since rewinding supposedly wore out your VCR. I think that Fred’s fined the folks who didn’t rewind – at least fined them theoretically – and did the rewinding themselves. But every once in a while, you rented a movie and found that the selfish jackass who’d rented it before you hadn’t bothered to rewind. Nor had Fred.

We’d watch whatever we rented – rom-com, James Bond, whatever - supremely enjoying the fact that we could enjoy a relatively recent movie without having to go to the theater. (The existence of Fred’s absolutely cut down on our trips to the movie theater.) Sunday morning meant walking back to Fred’s before it opened and putting the movies in the slot in the wall, sometimes using the video box in hand as a battering ram to push the boxes that were clogging the chute.

When looking for movies, we never cared about the latest. Give it a couple of months, and it was going to be available. We could wait. But when we lucked out, and something new and shiny was there for the asking, well…

When you went on weekends, Fred’s – a tiny little place to begin with - was always crowded. Nabbing a movie before someone else got their hands on it always gave you a little feeling of triumph.

Fred’s has been gone for quite a while now, done in by Netflix. By infinite choice at the click of a button. By everything on demand.

We didn’t have a Blockbuster anywhere nearby. Blockbuster was a “box store” kind of a place. Suburbs had them, not cities.

We had our own little peculiar and particular stores, like Fred’s. We also had Gary Drug, a terrific little independent drugstore where they knew all their customers and took really good care of them. And Charles Supply, a combination hardware and general store where they knew all their customers and took really good care of them. Fortunately, we still have both of them.

But back in the day, when we had a jones for a movie, we went to Fred’s, or to the place around the corner on Cambridge Street.

Like a lot of folks, we rented a lot of movies over the years. Before, like a lot of folks, we didn’t.

I hadn’t thought of video rental in years. And then I saw on the news the other day that the two Blockbusters in Alaska are closing in another month or two. That will leave the one in Bend, Oregon as the last store standing. At the Blockbuster high point, there were 9,000.

The longevity of those Alaskan Blockbusters made sense. Alaskans haven’t had ubiquitous Wi-Fi, and broadcast reception in plenty of places has been substandard. But modernity final caught up with Alaska. Leaving Bend, which is privately owned and just licensed the Blockbuster name. Blockbuster dump the last of the stores it owned a few years ago.

Sandi Harding, the general manager of the Oregon store, who has worked for Blockbuster since 2004, said there are no plans to shut the store any time soon.(Source: NY Times)

Ms. Harding is absolutely hands-on. She buys her movies at Walmart and Target, and sells candy she scoops up at Costco.

“We still have that core group of customers that know we’re local, are very loyal and come in every week,” she said. “Everyone’s tired of sitting at home on their phones and their laptops and not having any personal interactions.”

Bend, Oregon, must be kind of a magical place, as it seems to be just about the only place in the US where “everyone’s tired of sitting at home on their phones and their laptops.”

Good luck to Sandi Harding. May it ever be so.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Yep, I’m a liberal. (But I’m not all that white…)

A couple of economists at the University of Chicago business school:

…taught machines to guess a person’s income, political ideology, race, education and gender based on either their media habits, their consumer behavior, their social and political beliefs, and even how they spent their time. (Source: Washington Post)

Well, thank god they taught machines and didn’t do it themselves with their very own calculators and eyeballs. What are machines for, if not to guess race and politics?

Anyway, the machine will peg me as a liberal because I don’t own a fishing rod, a reel, or lures, or hooks. Not that I have anything against fish or fishing. I eat fish. I’ve been fishing. Okay, that fishing was when I was a kid. But I guess I’m just an easy to spot liberal. It’s not just the fact that I haven’t gone fishing. I drink alcohol on occasion. And I buy novels. The one thing I’m illiberal on is that I do on occasion buy ranch dressing.

As for brands that mark you as a liberal, of the ten brands that liberals apparently don’t use. I’m a liberal all the way. Arby’s? No thanks. Maybe if the choice was between Arby’s and Roy Rogers..  But, ah, no.

I’m not choosy enough to use JIF, either. I’m a Teddie’s girl, and when i get “normal” peanut butter, it’s Skippy. (JIF? I didn’t even know if was still available.)

I don’t eat at Applebee’s, own a Chevy, or buy Tyson products. I do eat chicken, but it’s apt to be whatever the house offers or, if I’m feeling flush – and ultra-liberal – I go for Bell & Evans.

The other items on the brand list – Sonic, Wranglers, Dockers, Little Debbie’s snack cakes, and Cool Whip. No, no, no, no, no. Sonic I’d be okay with, it weren’t for their annoying ads. And I’ve got nothing against Wranglers or Dockers. It’s just that, for whatever reason, my husband didn’t wear either brand. As for Little Debbie: a colossal waste of calories. If I’m going to eat crap that’s bad for me, well, there’s plenty in line ahead of Little Debbie’s, starting with Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia and ending with a Drake’s Devil Dog. And  I will note that my politically liberal mother did use Cool Whip. I’m just not all that big on whipped cream. If I do make strawberry shortcake – the one dessert that absolutely demands whipped cream – I whip it up from scratch.

On the whiteness end of things, I’m a little less predictable. I don’t watch “American Pickers” or “The Big Bang Theory” (although, as a liberal nerd, I suspect I’d like “The Big Bang Theory”). And I fall down on the biggest indicator of whiteness: owning a pet. Oddly enough, the second biggest consumer product predictor of whiteness is owning a flashlight which, I guess, is correlated with home ownership, and whites are more apt to own their own homes. I don’t actually get this. Rent, own, camping, squatting. I’ve always had flashlights. Who doesn’t have a flashlight????

But I really don’t come across as white when it comes to social attitudes. The best social attitude predictor of whiteness is that you “approve of police striking citizens.” Say what??? I’d like to see how this one was phrased. There are plenty of circumstances in which I’d say, strike away. On the other hand, tasering an unarmed guy sitting on the sidewalk complying with police directives….

Second up: gun ownership. Third up: pro death penalty. Fourth: own a rifle. Fifth: voted for a Republican for president. (As if…) I’m a little whiter the further down you go. I don’t believe gay sex is wrong; I don’t believe premarital sex is wrong. (While we’re at it, while it’s not on the list, I don’t believe premarital gay sex is wrong, either.)

In terms of income identifiers, it used to be that purchasing Grey Poupon that predicted a higher income level. Today, it’s owning an iPhone. Chalk it up to my just being a “Never Apple” kind of gal.

The researchers find that, across almost every dimension, America’s cultural divide has remained constant. Yes, high-income households buy different things from low-income ones, and white Americans and black Americans watch different television programs and movies. We’re divided. But we always have been and, despite popular narratives to the contrary, it’s not getting worse.

“What’s really striking to me,” [Chicago economist Emir] Kamenica said, “is how constant cultural divisions have been as the world has changed.”

But there’s one exception. And it’s a big one. The ideological difference between conservatives and liberals is wide and growing.

“This is not a new phenomenon,” Kamenica said. “For the past 40 years, liberals and conservatives are disagreeing more each year. On every topic, liberals and conservatives are disagreeing more than they used to.”

I guess if the machine and the economists say it’s so, it’s so. But I would like to say that it seems to me that the real gap that’s emerging is between Trumpists and non-Trumpists. Nicolle Wallace. Steve Schmidt. Bill Krystol. Evan McMullin. Michael Steele. They’re all pretty conservative, and I’ve found plenty of common ground with them.

Oh, well. What do I know? I’m just a non-fishing pole owning liberal who’s white enough to own a flashlight, but not quite white enough to own a gun.

Ah, I love social science.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Build-A-Bad-Promotion

When my nieces were young, I did some time in Build-A-Bear, the shop where you can make yourself a tarted-up stuffed animal. It was actually fun letting the girls pick the skinned plush carcass of their animal of choice, watch it get stuffed and sewn up, and pick an outfit out for it. Cute enough. I enjoyed it. But I remember it as pretty pricey – especially when you considered the quality, which was not exceptionally high.

Anyway, someone came up with what I’m sure they thought was an excellent promotional idea: a Pay Your Age sale. I.e., to get the basics – a stuffed animal with no extras – you only need to pony up three bucks for a three year old, six bucks for a six year old etc. (There must be a break-even age, of course. Surely, if I wanted to build myself a unicorn or whatever, I wouldn’t have to pay $68 for it.)

Word started circulating excitedly on Twitter a few days ago that “Build-A-Bear” was about to have a huge “Pay Your Age” sale. For one day only, the cuddlies would be sold not for the usual price, but for the dollar equivalent of the age of the lucky child, as long as the child was present on the premises. (Source: Wapo)

As a promotion goes, this one actually sounded like a pretty good one. After all, it’s the add-ons that add to the cost, not the bare-naked bear. All those enticing sounds, smells, costumes, and accessories? It goes without saying that any kid is going to want plenty o’that.

But apparently Build-a-Bear, which has claimed to sell “smiles” rather than products  - pardon me while I, as a marketing pro, gag; just like Revlon selling “hope” and not lipstick – underestimated the lure of this promo.

On Thursday, smiles faded at the company’s stores across the U.S., Canada and Britain after a big Build-A-Bear sale drew such large crowds — with lines up to a mile long and waits of 5 to 7 hours, sometimes for nothing — that the great stuff-your-own-bear company had to stuff the sale.

There is nothing on this good earth that I’d wait 5 hours in line to purchase, even at an extreme discount. Let alone a stuffed bear in a fireman’s outfit.

In Leeds, England, the police were called in.  One shopper described the situation as “chaos.” In Charlotte, NC, the words were “Black Friday-like frenzy.” In Raleigh, it was “carnage”, with “mobs of kids (and moms) in tears.”

So Build-a-Bear tweeted out an alert:

Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional Guests at our locations due to crowd safety concerns. We have closed lines in our stores. We understand some Guests are disappointed and we will reach out directly as soon as possible.

If I don’t like products being referred to as “smiles”, and lipstick as “hope”, I really and truly despise customers being referred to as guests. One thing if you’re in a hotel. Stretching it, but okay. After all, you are sleeping in their beds. In your very own-for-the-night private room. At a Build-a-Bear you’re in a swarm of other people, with the pestery-kid-to-adult-ratio of 3:1, all gearing up to put a tutu and a baseball cap on a pink dinosaur. You are not a guest. Guests don’t stand in mile-long lines for 5 hours. Those are customers.

And nutso customers at that.

I understand that you don’t want to disappoint the little ones, but this is a perfect example of being able to offer those little ones multiple life lessons. First lesson: it’s really a dumb-ass waste of time to wait 5-7 hours in line, under a broiling sun, to purchase something that the kid won’t give a stuffed rat’s ass about within 24 hours of stuffing the rat. Second lesson, courtesy of the Stones: You can’t always get what you want.

Build-a-Bear had to jump into (re)action, offering their turned away “guests” a $15 voucher.

Inevitably, Twitter did what Twitter does best: deliver some hilarious posts on the situation:

Gotta love Big Mouth Princess@BigMouthPrincss, who tweeted:

NASA now reporting they can see the queues outside Build A Bear Workshops from space.

And multi props go to local news guy from Boston’s very own WBZ:

“My kids love Build-A-Bear,” tweeted one David Wade. “When I saw they were having a ‘pay your age’ promotion I thought to myself: ‘I’d rather have someone cut my chest open with a spork and insert a plastic heart that makes a fake heartbeat noise’ than be there for that. It was a good call.”

Excellent instincts, David, excellent instincts.

I don’t imagine that Build-a-Bear will be running this promotion again anytime soon. But marketer to marketer, let me offer this: how about a Pay Your Age deal tied to the kid’s birthday? Maybe do it by the month, and have it be the Pay Your Age for the year before, just to let the parents think they were getting a deal. You’d spread the crowds throughout the year, and you’d probably sell a lot more of those add-on plastic hearts.

Monday, July 16, 2018

A glamping we won’t go

I did quite a bit of camping back in my twenties. I drove cross country, camping most of the way. I hitchhiked through Europe, alternating camping with hosteling. I did a few smaller camping trips here and there, including winter camping in the Catoctin Mountains. We were in a cabin (unheated), sleeping in sleeping bags, and it was about 100 degrees below zero. Pee froze on the way out, before it hit the ground. I thought I was going to freeze to death. Let me tell you, I was never so happy to see a HoJo Motel. I do believe that was my last time camping.

The Catoctin escapade aside, camping has quite a bit to recommend it. It’s fun sleeping out under the stars. If you’re under a tent, it’s nice lying there listening to a light rain ping off the tent’s fly. Breathing in all that fresh air is truly bracing. And nothing tastes better than the grub you cook after a day stomping around the woods breathing in all that bracing fresh air.

On the other hand, the ground is hard, even with an egg crate foam “mattress.” There are insects. There are bugs. There are skunks. There are bears. No matter how hard you hammer those stakes in, two-person tents have a tendency to blow down when there are gale-force winds. There are scary sounds. There are scary people. And whether you’re having to make a go of it in the campground facilities, or answering your call of nature behind a bush, in full view of nature, it’s not pleasant. I much prefer having an actual bathroom. Sure, I did actually prefer taking a crap in a beach-side field while being watched by a donkey in a small, off the beaten path Greek island, to having to use the communal, hole-in-the-floor toilet in a 50 cent a night hotel in Turkey that turned the water off at 10 p.m. But mostly indoor plumbing is better than outdoor nothing.

Anyway, re-upping my camping bona fides is most decidedly not on my bucket list.

I suppose if I met Mr. Right, and he wanted to go camping, I’d consider it. But only if he looked and sang like George Strait. Or if he had an Airstream Trailer. In which case he wouldn’t have to look or sing like George Strait. (Are you out there, Mr. Airstream?)

But I must admit I’m a tad bit intrigued by the idea of glamping – the high-end camping options that have been popping up the last few years.

Sandy Pines in Kennebunkport, Maine – a charming little town where George HW Bush summers – has introduced a couple of new ways to go glamping.In addition to up to 16 luxury “Glamp Tents” (from $179 nightly), campers can choose from 12 “Camp Carriages” and another dozen “Hideaway Huts.”

The carriages, stylish cottages on wheels, are fully outfitted with king-size beds, coolers, exterior window shutters, fire pits, and seating areas. Pricing starts at $119 per night. The huts are modern-looking rustic wooden A-frames. The single-room structures also offer full-size beds and lighting, with outdoor seating areas and fire pits. Those rent from $75 per night. (Source: Boston Globe)

But if I really think about it, I don’t care how glampy those “Glamp Tents” are. For $179 I do not want to have to make my way to the bathhouse in the middle of the night. I know, I know, you can always take a discreet leak outside the tent. But if a campsite is in a crowded area, well, and there’s not ample room for run-off without running into someone else’s Glamp Tent, it’s just not done.

I’m sure I’d be lying there on my king-sized bed, holding my water, and wishing that I’d had the brains to come from Old New England Money so that I could have a beautiful summer place like the Bushes house on Walker Point. Or getting up and peeing in a Tupperware container.

Add a toilet to one of those “Camp Carriages” or “Hideaway Huts” and I might consider it. But wouldn’t that be more like staying in a hotel than camping? In which case, I’m back to casting an interested eye on Brownie’s Cabins on Route 6, just around the corner from my cabinc_01sister Kath’s house in Wellfleet. They don’t look all that glampy, but that’s my idea of the great outdoors.

A-glamping we won’t got. But maybe there’s an opening at Brownie’s….

Friday, July 13, 2018

Perfectly on brand, I’d say. (Be Besto!)

I was actually going to take today off.

Friday the 13th. Lovely mid-summer’s day. Better things to do with my time – like use my new electric toothbrush. (You don’t know just how long 2 minutes is until you power up one of these suckers, that’s for sure.)

And then this most excellent of stories appeared before my very wondering eyes:

There’s a Russian asbestos company that is using Trump’s image and his pro-asbestos words to market its product.

be bestos

Well, this would sure get me to buy a pallet of Russian asbestos. And you?

The company Uralasbest posted photos of the pallets adorned with a seal with Trump’s face in the center on its Facebook page in June.

“Approved by Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States,” the seal read, according to a translation supplied by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit focused on human health and the environment that flagged the posting. (Source: Wapo)

While it’s not as widely used as it was in the days when we were less aware/less concerned about products killing us, asbestos is not banned in the US. It has, however, been banned in plenty of other countries. Just not us. In fact, on his way out the door to pick up his used Trump mattress, former EPA chief Scott Pruitt put some policy in place that backs down on asbestos regs.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to get mesothelioma?

I know my friend MB was just delighted that it almost killed her twenty years ago, and that the treatment that enabled her to survive has caused all sorts of spin-off health problems. After all, when you decide to become a librarian, it’s just one big adventure, and part of her big adventure was apparently exposure to asbestos particles when her library was undergoing a reno.

Trump, not surprisingly, is something of a denier when it comes to the connection between health and asbestos. He blames “the mob” for anti-asbestos hysteria, claiming that they turned people against it so that they could make money removing it. This is actually a somewhat plausible scenario. Sounds like something the mob would do. But it doesn’t eliminate the fact that asbestos is a real health hazard. It’s okay as long as it doesn’t decay. But, hey, it decays, as anyone who ever saw a furnace wrapped in an asbestos blanket can tell you. (And by the way, I’m pretty sure that Trump got his scientific education at the same place Elena CeauČ™escu got hers.)

The asbestos company focused on this supportive stance in a post accompanying the pictures.

“Donald is on our side!” the company posted in a caption for the photos, which also cited Pruitt.

Uralasbest’s asbestos is mined in a town poetically named Asbest which:

…was once known as “the dying city” because of elevated rates of lung cancer and other diseases, the center reported. A New York Times report from 2013 paints a grim picture of life in the mining town:

“Residents describe layers of it collecting on living room floors. Before they take in the laundry from backyard lines, they first shake out the asbestos. ‘When I work in the garden, I notice asbestos dust on my raspberries,’ said Tamara A. Biserova, a retiree. So much dust blows against her windows, she said, that ‘before I leave in the morning, I have to sweep it out.’ Asbest is one of the more extreme examples of the environmental costs of modern Russia’s deep reliance on mining.”

Doesn’t sound like a candidate for a Trump Hotel, but I did read that the Trumpire was coming up with a down-market chain offering.

Anyway, Trump’s bestie – asbestie? – Vladimir Putin is a big supporter of Uralasbest, so maybe old Vlad engineered the endorsement for his old pal. It’s all about the brand, and this one is so on-brand: Trump, Russia, and something toxic. Win, win, win.

I do hope that Trump is making some money off the use of his image. He’ll be annoyed if he’s not getting a chance to, as the old Mafiosi used to say, “wet his beak.”

And I do have a branding suggestion for Uralasbest. They should certainly consider a play on Melania’s campaign. Forget “Be Best”. How about “Be Besto”? It sure beats, “I really don’t care, do u?”

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Welcome to Boston, all you sheiks, oligarchs and Kardashian types

I saw today that Kylie Jenner, at 20, is the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. I had to google exactly what she does, but it’s sell makeup.

Anyway, if she ever finds her way to Boston – and I don’t suppose she will: too many thin-lipped old frumps like me here – there’s now a place that she can stay. The John Adams Presidential Suite at the Boston Harbor Hotel, which will run her $15K per night.

First off, I get that it’s the Presidential Suite, and that John Adams was the first president from Boston. But still… Defending the redcoats who killed our boys during the Boston Massacre? Sure, it was all kinds of ACLU-y, but still… And then there was the Alien and Sedition Act. The letters to and from his wife Abagail make up for a bit of it. But still…

That aside:

The suite, which made its debut this week, occupies two levels that were previously used as event space. The palatial 4,800-square-foot suite includes two bedrooms, a large, open concept living room/dining room/bar, a full kitchen, a multimedia room, and 2½ baths. You won’t find any mini bottles in the bar here. It’s filled with top-shelf brands, and the wine fridge is well stocked. If your spirit of choice is missing, the staff will find it for you. Don’t worry, there’s no extra charge for the liquor. If you feel like eating in, or having friends over for a dinner party, meals can be prepared by hotel staff in your kitchen. The dining table seats eight. (Source: Boston Globe)

There’s also a 1,000-square-foot patio – harbor view, natch – that’s almost as large as my condo.

There’s also a private elevator, because if you’re paying $15,000 a night for a hotel room you shouldn’t have to share an elevator with strangers.

In the event that you need more bedrooms, or that 4,800 square feet feels a bit cramped, you can add two bedrooms to the suite for an additional $1,000 a night. If you’re already spending $15,000 a night, what’s another $1,000?

Not sure who-all comes to Boston who’d spring for this sort of spend. The hotel is looking at those in the entertainment biz. I guess I can see George and Amal Clooney and the twins staying there, if they decided they wanted to see where Matt and Ben grew up. The hotel is also expecting that someone coming to town to take advantage of our hospitals might want to have a nice place for family to hang out for the duration, a nice place to recuperate after the procedure. Surely, a really well-to-do person – the kind who could afford to spend $15K a night to shelter in a place – wouldn’t want to stay at the Holiday Inn that’s practically right next door to Mass General.

I can’t share any pictures of the hotel. There are plenty in the article, but The Globe is being remarkably mean-spirited about sharing. Still, it’s safe to say that the decor is more Bostonian than Trumpian. There’s one sort of glitzy chandelier in one of the pics, but mostly it looks like a bit more pumped up version of Restoration Hardware. Even the framed Hermes scarf is something of a salute to fuddy-duddy old Boston, no?

Anyway, I for one am happy that Kylie Jenner, George and Amal, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, or any number of oligarchs have a place to call home away from home when they’re in our previously humble little town. Not that the oligarchs will be coming here. I’m guessing Mar a Lago would be more to their liking.

Sigh…