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Epicurean afternoons

on March 24, 2011
categories: Art and culture, Food and Dining, Picks and Pans, PurposeFULL Living

Delicious Italian wines, cheeses, and other savory pairings served in the company of good friends in the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the Skyway Cafe.

Sound good?

That’s what a few of the folks who live here at North Hill were treated to this afternoon.  Choreographed and served by resident Italian cuisine expert, Eric Moore, the event pictured above and described here was the first of a series that are designed to delight the people who live here in this fun new space.

Live North Hill.  Live Well.

New General Store Opens!

To create our new art gallery space, we relocated our general store down the hall.  We just finished installing new shelving, and it looks great.  Here’s a picture of Ana standing by ready to serve her next customer.  We’re expanding inventory to include cards, gifts, groceries and sundries.  How convenient!

Compromise elsewhere. What a great tagline!

on February 15, 2011
categories: Food and Dining, Picks and Pans, PurposeFULL Living

 Boar’s Head, the high end purveyor of  cold cuts, is running an ad campaign now with the tag line “Compromise Elsewhere.”

We wish we had thought of that one ourselves.

Since we didn’t, go out and get yourself some of those delicious and nutritious Boar’s Head meats and cheeses, and while you’re out, swing by and take a look at another uncompromising product:  North Hill.  We’ll be glad to take you on a tour.

Does the AARP speak for you?

on January 26, 2011
categories: Long term care planning, Picks and Pans

Before President Obama had even made his way out of the house chamber after his State of the Union Address, the AARP had released a statement damning his very mention of the social security entitlement.  It read thusly:  “…we are disappointed that he [President Obama], like his fiscal commission did last late last year, seeks to address this bedrock of financial security [Social Security] in the context of reducing a deficit it didn’t cause.”  To suggest that social security hasn’t contributed to the deficit is at best, naive, at worst, completely disingenuous.

Social Security is a program with noble intentions that has all but eliminated poverty for older people.  However, when it was established, life expectancy was under 60, and benefits were paid after age 65.  Now people can begin collecting retirement benefits as young as 62, and our life expectancy is well north of 80. 

It seems to us that it’s time for the AARP to stop taking such parochial positions, and embrace a longer view instead.  In Massachusetts, fully one third of the entire state’s budget goes to Medicaid.  Entitlement programs need to be fair game for adjustment, especially when there are great, free-market, private sector alternatives to them… Like North Hill for example!

What do you think?  Does the AARP speak for you?

Restaurant review: Skyway Bistro

on January 25, 2011
categories: Food and Dining, Picks and Pans, PurposeFULL Living

This blogger had the unexpected privilege of being the first to be served in the new Skyway Bistro.  The daughter of a prospective resident happened to finish up her tour just as the Bistro was opening for lunch, and the opportunity to show off this new space was just too delicious to pass up on.

Our small party dined on a flavorful seared rainbow trout that was lightly dressed with a roasted tomato vinaigrette.  The fish was very fresh, and the seared skin gave it a lovely, crunchy texture, with just enough saltiness to complement the sweet dressing perfectly.  Steamed fresh asparagus made for an ideal accompaniment to the dish.

This entrée was preceded by a hearty vegetable beef soup for me, and a simple petite chef salad for my dining companion.

The timing of the meal was unrushed, and our server, Mary, was friendly and attentive to our needs.  We couldn’t resist her descriptions of desserts, and we enjoyed those with cups of steaming hot black coffee.

In terms of atmosphere, we were both very impressed with what the Skyway offered.  The view of the Boston skyline remains the signature element of this dining space.  However, the warm colors and eclectic lighting give one the feeling of being truly “in” the dining moment, and transported away from the rest of the world.  The acoustics of the space are ideal for an intimate conversation, and the comfortable furnishings encourage one to linger over coffee when the meal is complete.  Menus have been updated and are simply presented on a parchment style stock.  A Café menu is also offered for those who prefer something lighter.

The Blog gives the new Skyway Bistro two thumbs way up… our highest dining endorsement!

“Alone Together:”… taking a shot at “social networking”

on January 23, 2011
categories: Art and culture, Picks and Pans, PurposeFULL Living

Author Sherry Turkle has published a book called “Alone Together” that takes a shot at the concept of so-called social networking (Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of instant, albeit distant electronic connection.)

This blog takes the position that electronic gizmos that encourage isolation are bad news, so in spite of what can arguably called a case of hypocrisy, we’ll jump on board with the premise.

Years ago, futurists predicted a day when we’d all have a “video” telephone.  That never materialized, but we do have Skype, which is basically the same thing.  We contend that a video conference is a poor substitute for dinner with friends, a whispered joke, or a hug from a friend.

Having said that, at North Hill we blog, Facebook, Tweet, and Skype with great abandon.  We found out about the book referenced here surfing the Internet.

Does that make us hypocrites?

A pick! The view I like the best is my front porch looking in…

on January 22, 2011
categories: Art and culture, North Hill Community, Picks and Pans, PurposeFULL Living

The music we listen to the most here at North Hill is of the classical variety, but every once in a while we’ll let the search button go on the radio.  This morning it landed on a Country station.  The song that was playing was the one named in the title of this post, and we couldn’t help think that this was an important message for someone who was contemplating the North Hill lifestyle to consider.

North Hill attracts the people who live in some of the most amazing homes in the world.  They have great views… the ocean, city skylines, other magnificent homes….all hard things for one to part with.

The message of the song is that who is in your home is a lot more important that what you’re looking out at, no matter how spectacular that may be.  We have great views here at North Hill too… beautifully landscaped grounds, lush forest, and even the Boston skyline.  Those are great, but what really matters is the great life that the people who are enjoying those views are having here.

Live well, and remember to look in from the porch once in a while!

Question: How many interior designers and architects does it take to reinvent a kitchen?

on January 16, 2011
categories: Picks and Pans, Project True North

Answer:  2

Meet Cindy and Mary.  North Hill hired them to reinvent the kitchen for our new design center.  They’re smiling, and so are we.  Stop by soon and see what we can reinvent for you.

Successful aging is a lot more than the absence of disease

on January 15, 2011
categories: Healthy Aging, Picks and Pans

The groundbreaking MacArthur Study of Successful Aging helped to change the conversation about aging.  It led to the publication of the simply and aptly titled book, Successful aging.

The book does a great job of pointing out that our health in old age has more to do with our lifestyle choices than our DNA.

Still, despite this great message, we think that defining successful aging as the absence of disease is too small a threshold.

Successful aging isn’t just being healthy, it’s being excited, engaged, needed, wanted, influential, strong, independent, and powerful.

Come to think of it, you don’t really need to be in perfect health to be all of those things.

What does successful aging mean to you?

Dr. C. Everett Koop should be ashamed of himself

on January 12, 2011
categories: Healthy Aging, Picks and Pans

Here’s why… It’s not so much that he has chosen to endorse Life Alert pendants… the little electronic gizmos that you touch if you have fallen but can’t get up… It’s that he makes a promise on his TV commercials that, with one, you’ll never be alone again…  Really?  The reason we’re in a twist about that is that the very purpose of a Life Alert device is its promise that it’s okay to be alone.

Call us old fashioned, but we think that a little plastic panic button is a very poor substitute for really not being alone.  For example, living among fellow human beings in an environment like the one we have here on the Hill.

There’s a place for these personal safety buttons… we use a similar product here ourselves… However, we’d rather see Dr. Koop advocating a more safe and socially integrated lifestyle like ours rather than endorsing a product that is designed to promote living in isolation.

People should aspire to more than just survival.  Don’t just live, live well.

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About the Northhill Blog
The True North blog contains upbeat and helpful tips, advice, insights and resources to help baby boomers and seniors live inspired and PurposeFULL lives. Enjoy regular features on exercise, healthy eating, lifelong learning and updates on the transformation of our Boston-area continuing care retirement community into the next evolution of senior living.

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