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Kara Lawson

Features Editor
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Recent Submissions

What Makes a Great Cup of Coffee?: Featuring Barismo Coffebar & Roastery What Makes a Great Cup of Coffee?: Featuring Barismo Coffebar & Roastery

By Kara Lawson

For former barista Jaime van Schyndel, the desire to make a better cup of coffee started a frustrating search for transparency from local roasters and culminated with founding barismo, a sustainable micro-roaster committed to sourcing the freshest quality coffee.

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Classic Coffee Hot Spot: Featuring Diesel Cafe in Somerville Classic Coffee Hot Spot: Featuring Diesel Cafe in Somerville

By Kara Lawson

Although best friends Jennifer Park and Tucker Lewis met as adults, it didn't stop them from dreaming about opening a cafe and eventually turning that dream into a reality with Diesel Cafe in Somerville, Mass. Now they also own Bloc 11 Cafe and the newly opened Forge Baking Company.

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Get Pumped Up and Slim Down with TNT: Featuring Totally Natural Training in Quincy Get Pumped Up and Slim Down with TNT: Featuring Totally Natural Training in Quincy

By Kara Lawson

The new year goes hand-in-hand with resolutions to work out, lose weight and eat better, which is something Charlie Hardesty has been helping people succeed at for over 20 years. The certified personal trainer designs effective programs for clients who train at his private studio in Quincy, Mass.

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Jazz and Arts Spotlight: Outpost 186 in Cambridge Jazz and Arts Spotlight: Outpost 186 in Cambridge

By Kara Lawson

An unmarked hotspot, hidden entrance and word-of-mouth crowd are all part of a speakeasy's allure. The intimate 25-seat Outpost 186, a unique art, media and performance space in Cambridge, Mass., is none of those things on purpose. Founder Rob Chalfen talks about his inspiration for opening Outpost and what you can expect when you're there.

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An Authentic Thai Food Dream Come True: Featuring Spice Thai Food, 9Tastes and Mix-It An Authentic Thai Food Dream Come True: Featuring Spice Thai Food, 9Tastes and Mix-It

By Kara Lawson

Really good Thai food is like truffle fries or reality TV marathons - it's highly addictive. Just ask Nancy Jitjaruek who grew up in Bangkok, cooking Thai cuisine with her mom and dreamed of opening her own restaurant in the US. Today she's opened three Thai and Asian-inspired restaurants in Cambridge, and shows no signs of slowing down.

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Prohibition-Era Legacy Fuels Family Liquor Business: Featuring Pioppi's Package Store Prohibition-Era Legacy Fuels Family Liquor Business: Featuring Pioppi's Package Store

By Kara Lawson

Have you been sulking since the final episode of Boardwalk Empire? Here's good news: The Prohibition-era legacy is alive and well, supplying and inspiring craft beer brewers, wine lovers and cigar aficionados at Pioppi's Liquor Store in Plymouth, Mass.

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The Startup Gurus' Dos and Don'ts: Featuring New Leaf Legal The Startup Gurus' Dos and Don'ts: Featuring New Leaf Legal

By Kara Lawson

How valuable is the offensive line that protects Tom Brady every week? The Patriots' answer is $11.9 million, which equals one year of combined salaries for the team's five starting linemen. If you're running a startup or small business, Jessica Manganello and Shannon Jamieson Sadowski, co-founders of New Leaf Legal in Cambridge, Mass., can help you play offense, minus the hefty price tag.

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7 Fun Facts About The Thirsty Scholar in Somerville 7 Fun Facts About The Thirsty Scholar in Somerville

By Kara Lawson

Serving alcohol is included in the definition of pub in almost every dictionary, though most don't mention its long history as a public house, typically lively atmosphere or friendly patrons -- which are all part of Pat Cross and Gerry Brennan's definition and their real-life pub and sports bar, The Thirsty Scholar in Somerville, Mass.

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7 Signs of the Past in Plymouth: Featuring Brenner Signs & Awnings 7 Signs of the Past in Plymouth: Featuring Brenner Signs & Awnings

By Kara Lawson

Brenner Signs & Awnings is a family business that has been making signs in Plymouth for over 65 years. Check out this fun photo gallery of their Signs of the Past!

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How to Go Green with Your Next Oil Change: Featuring Mike's Automotive Services How to Go Green with Your Next Oil Change: Featuring Mike's Automotive Services

By Kara Lawson

Not only was Mike's Automotive Services the first car repair shop in Massachusetts to win Angie's List Super Service Award, but it was the first facility in Somerville to offer green oil changes, which result in 99.5 percent fewer heavy metal emissions and 85 percent fewer greenhouse gases than conventional oil changes.

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A Quick Guide to Recreation at Myles Standish State Forest A Quick Guide to Recreation at Myles Standish State Forest

By Kara Lawson

Find out what's new and what's in store at the state's second largest publicly owned state park in Plymouth and Carver, Mass. The forest has 13 miles of hiking trails, 15 miles of bike trails, 16 ponds, 35 miles of equestrian trails, camping areas, swimming, a cranberry bog, vernal pools, one of the largest pitch pine and scrub oak communities north of New York, and is home to one of the largest aquifers in Massachusetts and endangered species such as the Plymouth red-bellied turtle.

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10 Things You Should Know About Thomas Crane Public Library's New App 10 Things You Should Know About Thomas Crane Public Library's New App

By Kara Lawson

With Thomas Crane Public Library's new app, patrons now have 24/7 access to the library and its online collections on their mobile devices. This includes over 100,000 music albums, as well as thousands of movies, TV shows, magazines and ebooks.

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It's Raining Cats and Dogs in Plymouth: Featuring Court Street Animal Hospital It's Raining Cats and Dogs in Plymouth: Featuring Court Street Animal Hospital

By Kara Lawson

Dr. Norm Stillman started Court Street Animal Hospital as a new practice in 2004. This September they celebrated a milestone of reaching 4,000 clients!

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The Bicycle Whisperer Proves It's Never too Late to Learn: Featuring the Bicycle Riding School The Bicycle Whisperer Proves It's Never too Late to Learn: Featuring the Bicycle Riding School

By Kara Lawson

Once you learn how to ride a bike, you never forget. But if you never learned in the first place, that's another story. That's when you might decide it's time to check out the Bicycle Riding School in Somerville, Mass., where Susan McLucas teaches people of all ages how to ride.

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Tips for Beer Lovers and Foodies in Plymouth: Featuring The New World Tavern Tips for Beer Lovers and Foodies in Plymouth: Featuring The New World Tavern

By Kara Lawson

Love beer? Then once you find that genie's lamp, at least one of your three wishes can easily be granted at The New World Tavern in Plymouth, Mass. If you're a foodie as well, then make that two out of three.

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The Many Positive Effects of Food Waste Recycling in Massachusetts The Many Positive Effects of Food Waste Recycling in Massachusetts

By Kara Lawson

Did you know that food waste accounts for approximately 28 percent of all trash? Possibly the next big thing in recycling is food waste recycling. According to Patricia Welch, founder and president of Positive Effects, LLC, it's a cost-effective and easy solution that benefits the economy, environment, food supply, local communities and society at large. Her company is enthusiastically committed to promoting the positive effects of food waste recycling. Click to discover more!

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Habitat for Humanity's New Veterans Build Status, ReStore and Volunteer Opportunities in Plymouth Habitat for Humanity's New Veterans Build Status, ReStore and Volunteer Opportunities in Plymouth

By Kara Lawson

You often hear about people who volunteer for Habitat for Humanity projects in far-away places like Uganda, Argentina, Romania or Sri Lanka, but perhaps less frequently about Habitat's work in nearby communities, such as Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plymouth. Read this story to find out what they've been up to and what's new with this amazing nonprofit.

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Are You Ready to Get Unleashed?: Featuring the Arlington Dog Owners Group (A-DOG) Are You Ready to Get Unleashed?: Featuring the Arlington Dog Owners Group (A-DOG)

By Kara Lawson

The Arlington Dog Owners Group (A-DOG) helped establish off-leash recreation and the highly regarded Thorndike Dog Park in Arlington, Mass. The nonprofit organization's mission is to celebrate the canine-human connection, along with what dogs do for people and vice versa. And they always strive to do this while having fun.

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The Missing Ingredient to Transforming Your Health: Featuring Dubrow Performance Training in Somerville The Missing Ingredient to Transforming Your Health: Featuring Dubrow Performance Training in Somerville

By Kara Lawson

Amazon best-selling co-author of The Fad Free Fitness Formula, Callie Dubrow is helping her personal training clients to lose weight and body fat, along with adopting a healthier, happier lifestyle with Dubrow Performance Training small-group methods in a unique, family like atmosphere that's unlike most gyms.

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Hit Wicket Is Feeding a Love for Cricket in Cambridge Hit Wicket Is Feeding a Love for Cricket in Cambridge

By Kara Lawson

Owners Shubha Ramesh Kumar and Nada Heredia wanted to create a gathering place for old and new cricket fans in Cambridge. With their cricket-inspired menu, sport cheat sheet and cricket equipment corner, they're on their way to a sixer (aka when you hit a cricket ball out of the field in the air and are awarded six runs, think "homerun")!

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Chef Paul Turano Serves Up Comfort Food and Charity in Arlington: Featuring Tryst Restaurant Chef Paul Turano Serves Up Comfort Food and Charity in Arlington: Featuring Tryst Restaurant

By Kara Lawson

Unlike the average person who changes jobs at least 11 times, Chef Turano fell in love with cooking early on and has only ever wanted to do one thing. After opening his second restaurant Tryst, he makes a point to give back to the community with regular promotions, including this year's annual holiday fundraiser for the Boston Children's hospital - where you can get a $20 gift certificate to his restaurant for a $20 or more donation through Dec. 31.

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Kara Lawson is a Staff Writer at Mass Realty.

Kara is a writer, editor and marketer with a BA and MA in journalism from California State University, Northridge. She's a firm believer in the power of new media, innovative education, community engagement and green smoothies.