Boston’s South End is a mythical land for many people, even those who have resided in the Hub for years. Since the T doesn’t go there, and you would never find your way wandering through the South End on your way to anything, its easy to understand why many are unaware of the neighborhood’s charms. Surprisingly, the once stagnant area has been revived in recent years, becoming one of Boston’s chicest neighborhoods, with hidden gems waiting to be discovered, not the least of which being a number of famous faces.
On Tremont Street alone, there are a number of names those in Boston are likely to be familiar with. A former tenant of the fancy Atelier 505 complex, former WCVB-TV Channel 5 anchor Natalie Jacobson just sold her condo in May 2009 for just over $2 million. Jacobson received $2.05 million for the unit she bought for $1.56 million in 2004,
Other residents of the posh place include former Red Sox player Nomar Garciaparra, and his wife, soccer star Mia Hamm. The pair purchased 2 spots in the early naughts, one right above the other, and connected the two with a spiral staircase to make one giant pad, facing the Charles River. However, shortly after the deal went through, Garciaparra was traded by his beloved Sox to the Chicago Cubs, right before the Sox went on to win the World Series. Garciaparra and Hamm still own the property.
The neighborhood is also host to a number of famous foodies. While not a resident of the area, don’t be surprised if you run into celebrity chef Andy Husbands, who owns restaurant Tremont 647 and bar Sister Sorel, and is often in the neighborhood. The chef also happens to be a former contestant on “Hell’s Kitchen” on Fox. While Husbands did not win the competition, he did last several weeks before an unfortunate incident with a mandolin, and host and resident curmudgeon, Gordon Ramsay, figuratively cut the talented and tattooed chef.
Just down the street, Stephanie Sokolove, the owner of Stephi’s on Tremont, though not necessarily a famous face herself, is married to attorney at law James Sokolove, whose commercial advertisements have been a mainstay of Massachusetts television for years.
Not too far from the crew on Tremont, Joanna Chang, owner and head chef of Flour Bakery and Cafe on Washington Street, as well as co-owner of restaurant Myers + Chang, was once challenged by Bobby Flay on his popular Food Network show “Throwdown with Bobby Flay”. They competed in a “best sticky bun” bake-off, and Chang beat the famous chefs, hands down.
The neighborhood has also played a part in movies and TV. Many scenes for Tom Cruise’s Knight and Day were filmed there, including the scene were Cameron Diaz is kidnapped from the restaurant Gaslight, on Harrison Avenue. The 1980s TV show, “St. Elsewhere” was fictitiously set at a urban teaching hospital in the South End. Most recently, Mark Wahlberg and crew have been spotted in the area shooting scenes for his new movie, Ted.
At the end of January, at Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino in Connecticut, the Sun Winefest 2011 event will be featuring a number of TV culinary personalities from a number of your favorite cooking shows. These TV stars, who also happen to be amazing chefs and restauranteurs, will be taking part in a number of food and wine activities, tastings, and cooking demonstrations. The most notable names to be participating include Bobby Flay , Robert Irvine, Donatella Arpaia, Andy Husbands, of Boston’s own Tremont 647, and Todd English, who recently helped open a new cupcake shop on Charles Street. Many of these stars, such as Flay (“Throwdown,” “Iron Chef”) and Irvine (“Dinner, Impossible”) have appeared numerous times of the Food Network as hosts or food judges. Others, like English and Arpaia, have also made appearances on Bravo’s “Top Chef.” Husbands is best known for appearing on season 6 of Fox’s hit show starring Gordon Ramsay, “Hell’s Kitchen,” placing 8th out of 17 contestants.
Tickets for the Sun Winefest can be purchased through their website. Packages are available for either the entire weekend, or for individual events, though some events are already sold out, please check the website for details. The event runs January 28th-30th at the Mohegan Sun Resort Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.
★ “True Blood” stars come to The Estate in Boston.
★ Jerry Seinfeld appearing at the Wang Center for two shows on September 11.
★ Star of the Food Network, Bobby Flay, comes to Connecticut to judge a healthy grilling contest sponsored by Aetna insurance.
★ The Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH gives you highlights from the Telluride film festival (which was at one time held in Portsmouth).
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