Spare Change News

Spare Change NewsFor this episode, I took a good look at something many of us find ourselves pointedly avoiding: Spare Change News, a newspaper sold – and written – by Boston’s homeless.

Of course, Spare Change News doesn’t just help the homeless; the vendors may have a place to live (and even a job). The paper is there to give anyone who needs it a way to make money.

My guest is James Shearer, President of the Homeless Empowerment Project and one of the founders of Spare Change News. He and a number of others started the paper 15 years ago while living on the streets, then turned what sounded like a crazy idea into a paper which now publishes thousands of copies every month.

I’d always been intrigued by the paper and wanted to learn more, so I visited the paper’s office in the basement of the Old Cambridge Baptist Church in Harvard Square for a conversation with Mr. Shearer.

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T.J. Scallywaggle’s

T.J. Scallywaggle’sFor this week’s show I went out for pizza — and came back with a meat-less, cheese-less pie that’s pretty close to the real thing.

T.J. Scallywaggle’s Vegan House of Pizza & Subs sells all of the standard pizza-place “comfort foods” without many of the standard ingredients. I found the idea unusual (to say the least!) and some of the food surprisingly delicious. So, I headed out to Allston a while back to find out what it takes to successfully make a meatless meatball sub.

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Swan Boats

Swan BoatFor this episode, I took a stroll in the Public Garden – and a ride on the Swan Boats.

The Swan Boats have been around almost as long as the Public Garden has, and through four generations, the Paget family and their crews have paddled around the lagoon pushing people from all over the world on a leisurely, human-powered ride.

Of course, the boats and their drivers have figured prominently in many stories – the two most famous ones are probably Make Way for Ducklings and The Trumpet of the Swan – but they have stories of their own. To hear a few of them, I visited Lyn Paget – the current owner of the fleet – on their dock in the Public Garden.

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Every city should have a podcast like Boston Behind the Scenes.

- Gawker's Gridskipper

This one is a no brainer; add it to your rotation right away.