Profiles articles

LAST WORD: Larry Thomas

LAST WORD: Larry Thomas

Larry Thomas sells Spare Change News in one of Boston’s most bustling spots: outside of the 7-Eleven on Washington Street in Downtown Crossing, across from the Old South Meeting House. The downtown crowd is a colorful blend of Freedom Trail tourists, wealthy residents from the local high rises and groups of homeless people who mingle

JIMMY TINGLE: Local comedian is no joke

Jimmy Tingle, much beloved comedian, is a like a favorite son in Cambridge. He has enjoyed a large local and national following for several decades. In fact, he grew up and continues to live in Cambridge. He has long been interested in issues of social justice and is known for his humorous political commentary. Remember 60

Beatrice Bell

LAST WORD: Beatrice Bell

It’s the morning of Good Friday at Spare Change News, and Beatrice Bell, one of the newspaper’s longest-serving reporters, is telling me an amazing story. At the age of seven, after a terrible asthma attack, she found herself having one of those life-changing experiences that are called, in the literature, “near-death.” For three days, which


Selling Spare Change News provides an obvious financial reward for the newspaper’s homeless, formerly homeless or financially strained vendors. But for some, the reward has an extra therapeutic dimension, which proves beneficial in their transition from the streets, as the story of this week’s profiled vendor, Mark G., makes clear. Anyone who’s experienced addiction to


Tommy D. has fantastically blue eyes. Outside the Spare Change News headquarters, in the bright sunshine, it’s a little hard to tell exactly whether they’re blue, green or a mixture of both. When I mention how amazing they are, he replies jokingly that it must be something to do with his mixed Cuban/Italian ancestry. The


One of Joe M.’s earliest memories is of jumping into bed at night and his mother saying, “Quiet, I’m praying.” Joe always respected his mother. Telling me about her now, he laughs at the little quirks in her character—for instance, the fact that she would always make Joe and his sisters go to church on

Linda Larson: Rise and Shine

The poems printed here were selected from Linda Larson’s most recent book, Rise and Shine, published by Wilderness House Press. Larson writes with exquisite talent and soul. She reaches into her past to give the reader stunning portraits of a kaleidoscope of feelings and situations, from a doorway in Cambridge on a cold winter night