Michael Blanding

Life of the Party: Giovanni DeCunto

Boston socialites may not be able to name the mysterious stranger who shows up at virtually every high-profile bash in the city—but Tom Cruise can.

Brendan Ciecko: Would You Let This Kid Save Your Town?

Brendan Ciecko made his name—and a boatload of money—as the music industry’s go-to website designer. Now that he’s finally old enough to buy beer, he’s decided to take on a slightly less sexy project: remaking his hardscrabble hometown.

Points of Interest: Mount Desert Island vs. Blue Hill Peninsula

Mount Desert Island THE PEAKSWatching the sunrise from the top of the 1,532-foot-high, cedar-studded Cadillac Mountain may be as close as you’ll ever get to God. THE PEOPLEA strange human bisque of Camelbak-and-Teva-wearers and caviar-and-boat-shoe-loving occupants. The tourist crush in…

Meet the New Boss(es)

It’s called workplace democracy, and at the local companies leading the movement, employees can set their own pay, veto new projects—even demote the chief exec. But as some are finding, that’s still not always enough to make coworkers get along….

The Little Transit System that Couldn't

“, “ Will he ever return? No, he never returned. And his fate is still unlearned. >>>”Charlie on the MTA,” the Kingston Trio For anyone accustomed to the nightmare of public transit in Boston, the silver bus arrives like a…

The Battle of Midway

If the walls at the Midway Café in Jamaica Plain could talk, they'd probably slur. What passes for décor is a mismatched collection of secondhand guitars, an American flag, and a pair of longhorns draped with Mardi Gras beads. On…

Bad Medicine

Under normal circumstances, Dr. Joseph Gerstein wouldn't have taken the call. His assistant knew that the Tufts Health Plan administrator didn't approve of so-called “detailers” — pharmaceutical-company representatives who ply doctors with free samples and high-priced dinners to get them…

Fear in the Air

Anthrax. The word itself lodges in the mouth like a sore — the nasal first syllable, the scrape of the tongue along the front teeth, the end bristling in the back of the throat. Three years ago, few of us…

A Murder Story

The beat-up black BMW sputtered to a stop, and Harold Stonier stepped out onto the New Bedford waterfront. The sky was overcast, with gulls wheeling in circles overhead. Their cackling grew to a din as Harold walked through the parking…

The Big Picture

The two-story punched steel stairway leading up to film director Brad Anderson's loft looks like the set of a low-budget horror movie, with its dim lighting and exposed pipes, and a dark figure standing at the top, calling down a…