This bear’s bullish on life
When Boston IVF decided to hold its second “fertility soiree” for the gay, lesbian, and transgender community, the clinic wanted to keep the event casual. What better way than hiring a man dressed in a bear suit who plays dance tunes on a keyboard slung around his neck?
Keytar Bear, a music and hip-hop dance teacher who is a fixture on the local busking scene, will provide the entertainment during the cocktail hour, warming up 100 or so expected guests Thursday evening at Bella Luna & the Milky Way in Jamaica Plain.
Guests will then hear from medical experts in the field, who will talk about egg and sperm donations, as well as new developments, including insurers that have started covering fertility procedures for lesbian couples.
The hope is that Keytar Bear’s presence will keep the soiree “light and casual,” says Emily Redfern, marketing coordinator for Boston IVF.
Keytar Bear started off playing in MBTA stations but has been spotted at corporate events around the city. In March, Keytar Bear appeared with another favorite local character, Boston Yeti, at a launch party for an Eastern Bank ad campaign.
The beauty of Keytar Bear is that he’s not just a guy in a goofy bear suit, he’s talented, too.
“It’s funny at first and then it becomes entertaining because he’s actually doing a really good job,” Redfern says, recalling the first time she saw him at an employee appreciation party: “All of a sudden this bear just walked up and started playing. And he’s amazing.”
Keytar Bear could not be reached for comment, but in a 2014 Boston magazine interview, he told reporter Steve Annear (who now works for the Globe) that he liked to play “danceable stuff” like Prince and Rick James to remind people that they are human, “not a robot.”
“It makes me happy to make people happy, too,” he said. “Life’s short, man.” — KATIE JOHNSTON
Parents as examples for D.C.
Governor Charlie Baker gave strong praise to Ray Stata, the legendary chairman of Analog Devices, during his speech at the Massachusetts High Technology Council’s annual meeting on Wednesday.
And Baker offered props to Aron Ain, the CEO of Kronos, who is expanding his company in Lowell with state help. (Ain will be the council’s new chairman, and he received a new leadership award named after Stata.)
But like any good son, Baker reserved the strongest kudos for his parents, Charles and Betty Baker.
He spoke about their bipartisan relationship — Dad was an ardent Republican, Mom a loyal Democrat —
“It troubles me to no end that so much of what passes for political dialogue these days is not political dialogue at all,” Baker told the crowd, earning heavy applause. “It’s name-calling and insults. It misses the heart of what this country is all about, which is the capacity for reasonable people to have different opinions.”
Sure, there were some tough debates in the Baker household.
“Dinnertime was a laser light show for everybody that showed up,” Baker said. “I had a lot of friends who wouldn’t come in unless they had a helmet.”
But the tone Baker’s parents set was important: It’s OK to disagree politically with someone.
They almost always canceled out each other’s votes at the ballot box, Baker said.
But what about in 2010, when Baker waged his first campaign for governor?
The Republican, of course, ended up losing to Deval Patrick that year.
“Did you finally agree with Dad on one election?” Baker recalled asking his mom, who died last year at age 83 after a long illness. “She looked at me and said, ‘Well, you know dear, it is a secret ballot.’ ” — JON CHESTO
Stretchy makes for a cool sneaker
NBA superstar Steph Curry does a lot of things well. But the Warriors point guard, who faces the Cleveland Cavaliers in game four of the NBA Finals on Friday, didn’t exactly have a slam-dunk when he unveiled his new pair of Under Armour sneakers last June. The all-white, frumpy Curry Two Lows looked as though they targeted the AARP set, and Twitter had a field day with memes of grandpa jokes.
“These shoes definitely look like something your dad would wear,” one CBS Sports headline mocked.
In comparison, Curry’s latest shoe release was a relative success. Curry sported the new UA Curry 4 in the first game of the finals, and the all-white, stretchy-looking high-top sneaks were met with a much higher regard.
“I mean, all-white high tops tend to be a pretty unimpeachable style play, but these also manage to look athletic and also decidedly not like a thing your dad would wear to a cookout,” Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo wrote in a quick assessment.
Curry may be able to attribute that cool factor to the seamless technology from the Massachusetts company Bemis. The 107-year-old Shirley-based adhesives company uses a technique called Sewfree Bonding to create garments that stretch and move in ways average textiles can’t. They’ve incorporated the technology into fabrics for Nike, Lululemon, and Victoria’s Secret and are hoping that it gives Curry, and the Warriors, an edge this round.
Bemis Sewfree allows the Curry 4 to have lighter, higher stretch seams than if they were sewn. That results in more freedom of movement, more comfort, and fewer distractions for the player, the company says.
Is it cool to know that this sneaker is considered far cooler than the “dad sneakers?” The company says it’s thrilled with the strong feedback. — JANELLE NANOS