Monthly Archives: January 2012

Barefoot Kids

I have just discovered that Vibram, the 5 toe barefoot wonder shoe, has a kids line.  I get it, I do – that we all start with these beautiful, flexible, wiggling, well spaced, articulate feet.  Then we mash them into structured shoes – limiting mobility, weakening muscles and narrowing the balanced spread of the toes.

Vibram has been this incredible eye opener for runners, shedding light on a “new”, well old idea about gate pattern and weight distribution.  When you barefoot run you land on the ball of your foot, gently lowering down through your heel.  With a typical running sneaker you land heel first as the bulk cushion on the heel of the sneaker intends to absorb the shock of the impact.  Although I have reservations about the impact onto cement and brick in urban area’s, I back the concept of mid- foot strike completely.

Why not extend that to our kids and never get into this whole foot/joint injury mess in the first place!

Isabella Get’s a Face Lift


I must admit it’s been a long time since I last visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.  It’s always been a beautiful palace, with an exceptionally beautiful center courtyard, but it’s art was a little stale for my taste.  As a kid here in Boston, the famous museum heist in 1990 has always fascinated me.  Two thieves dressed as police officers ( nice copying Ben Affleck!), roamed the museum at night taking 13 pieces of art.  A Vermeer and 3 Rembrandt’s are a few of the never recovered pieces.  I watched a documentary about the robbery & still open case, Stolen.  It was 2 hours of: Well, heck, we don’t really have any leads.

This week marks a new day for the Isabella, as she has just re-opened with a whole new 180 million dollar modern wing designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano.  The 70,000 square foot addition houses a modern art collection, concert hall, large cafe, educational area and greenhouse!  I think I’ve shared how much I like modern art, so this is very exciting to me, the city of Boston and of course the Isabella Stewart Museum.

Wonder if kids events are in the cards?  I’ll keep you posted.


Retro Fabulous

On my many trips out to Arlington for our fav family mexican restaurant, Zocalo, I have noted this fabulous retro – modern ranch right on the Medford-Arlington line.  My eye follows it as traffic slowly moves along….

I was pleasantly surprised to see Boston Magazine feature this gem of a house in their latest issue.  They transformed it into a vintage movie set in stills, complete with the actual home owners modeling classic 60’s style.



Swell Winter Sale Continues…

– S E C O N D    M A R K D O W N S –


Shop Winter Favorites from Ketiketa, Mini Rodini, Shampoodle, Kit & Lili for kids and Matta, Lucky Fish and Shampoodle for Women.  There’s still plenty of cold weather to come, but we need to make way for Spring 2012!


Monica Bill Barnes at the ICA tonight!

Last night’s opening performance of New York based Company, Monica Bill Barnes & Co. was stellar.  I knew of Monica years ago in NYC, when she was just starting out as a choreographer.  It was a great pleasure to see her work now and how she has grown as an artist.   Well, she’s all grown-st up and a real talent!

An evening work set in 3 pieces, telling the story of ageing, effort, relationships and joy, all set to powerful score of music including Otis Redding & Nina Simone.  The music really narrated the evening – drawing you into the performers minds and emotions all the whilst the dancers presented themselves to us the audience.  Hmm… as I write that I realize that’s an odd one to pull of, but true.

The Company talk after the performance was intriguing, too.  Though she spoke clearly on her process and goal to INCLUDE the audience into the dancer’s experience through music, subtle and not – so subtle facial expression and body ticks expressing a depth of emotion, and even self – declared simplified movement so as not to alienate her viewer.   What was most unusual was an audience – company discussion of the lifestyle of a dancer, even the lack of pay and health benefits!  Gaw!  That’s a first.

Bottom line is dancing is not for the faint of heart, like many struggling to be an artist, it offers little stability.  What was clear from the small, successful 4 top MBB & Co. is a passion to dance and an ability to COMMUNICATE something more than movement. Kudos to Monica, you made me laugh, hard, and you made me cry.

Brave the snow and see Monica tonight at the ICA!


Chunky Move at Mass MOCA

Closer than New York City’s Joyce, Mass MOCA in North Adams, MA is presenting my of the moment favorite dance company, CHUNKY MOVE, from Melbourne, Australia.   Well worth the drive, the release based company creates amazing phrase work, simultaneously being flawless dancers and acting out a human relationship.









Swell meet Access

Swell has joined the very cool team over at Spreedia & New Brahmin to offer you a membership card to select boutiques in the Boston area.  The ACCESS card is a yearly membership that offers you a 10% discount on full priced merchandise at all of their shops ( now including Swell!).  It also hooks you into special events and exclusives just offered to ACCESS card holders.   The ladies of Spreedia & New Brahmin have carefully selected a fresh, stylish and forward group of women’s, men’s and home stores.  Their message is to shop local, shop boutique and enjoy the cool factor.

Individually, they have created their own Boston fashion resources.  Spreedia is a curated online directory of local boutiques from former Daily Candy writer and Improper Bostonian Style & Beauty editor, Amanda Knorr.   New Brahmin is an online resource for fashion and beauty, in town events and Liana Peterson’s personal take on style.  Liana’s background as a stylist and writer for the Wall Street Journal, Interiew and Stuff Boston inform her pulse on style.  I love how she says, “We are here to connect the stylish and promote the cause throughout our city.”

… ACCESS meet Swell.


Zany Dan Zanes!

Brooklyn’s finest kid’s band, Dan Zanes & Friends, is headed to the Somerville Theatre, Feb 5, 2012.  Couldn’t be happier to welcome back the awesome kids rock fest that the zany Zanes brings.  They played in Somerville a few years ago at which time I watched gobs of kids rush the edge of the stage, shake and shimmy their little bodies as the band jammed out.  It was awesome and inspiring for kids and parents alike.  After a few years not returning, they are back… HOoorrraaY!






Recall on… your hip?

Not exactly the same thing as returning a recalled toy or calling for a new part.  However, there is a large and growing number of metal on metal hip replacements being recalled.  New York Times recent article, The High Cost of Failing Artificial Hips,  highlights the health issue of all metal hips and the multi – billion dollar cost for both the medical/ insurer and the individual patient/taxpayer.

Here’s the scoop:  Metal on  metal hip replacements are failing within a few years compared to the 15 + years other artificial hips are lasting successfully.   Until the recent decline, all metal hips made up 1/3 of the estimated 250,000 hip replacements performed yearly in the US.   There have been updates to the design in recent years, but even that has not improved the lifespan nor safety.

Metal debris from friction points along the artificial joint are damaging muscle tissue or worse, floating systemically causing major health issues.  The Times has a great chart of Sources of Debris , listing the 3 main points that metal debris occurs.

All of this leaves the patient incapacitated as they await a new joint replacement, going through another surgery, left to cope with the costs not covered by insurance and law suits to pursue.

The article explains that insurers are covering many of the costs associated with a faulty hip, but will look to the individuals law suit settlements for reimbursement.

What a mess, right?  Well yes…yet the silver lining is that hip replacements with a combination of other materials ( metal, ceramic, plastics) have a very high success rate.  Freedom of movement, relief of pain and ability to return to one’s daily life and health goals are all apart of the success stories from hip replacements.

In my 12 years teaching Pilates & Gyrotonic I have worked with many joint replacement clients.  Of course their success varies, their bodies varied before the replacement, too.  But all have been successful and I’ve got them all rotating their joints 360 degrees and in deep flexion.  I’m not cheerleading surgery,  but when a hip replacement is really called for and done right, it can change a person’s life… for the better.







Moms Night Out at Swell


Ok, so minus the men and well, the fabulous iconic Audrey Hepburn, but still a party…

for the lovely Charlestown Mothers Association Members!

This month’s Moms Night Out will be held Wednesday, January 11, starting at 7 p.m.  It will be hosted by CMA member Emily Randolph Silva at her new shop, Swell Body and Boutique, located at 87 Warren Street. Emily will provide dinner and dessert, so please bring $5 as the cover charge and a bottle of wine or other beverage of your choice.  Hope to see you there!