4xForth: Sarah Malin of Essential Design / by Clare Johnson

It's 4xForth Friday and today we're talking to Sarah Malin of Essential Design. Sarah first joined us at our Summer Salon in 2013 and she was gracious enough to share some of her professional reflections before moving to Boston in our Forth Forward series. Sarah's an ethnographer - and overall top-notch gal - who works with organizations to solidify their identity to improve engagement both internally and externally.

This woman is savvy, incredibly smart, and a wonderful conversationalist. Today, Sarah's putting her spin on 4xForth and listing some of her favorite Boston hot spots, where she'd like to travel, things she's looking forward to this winter, and favorite music groups.

Places I frequent in Boston:

1. The Sinclair: This is one of the first spots I went to in Boston. It has served me well with sleek cocktails, yummy bites and great music shows.

2. Washington Square Tavern: It's surprisingly difficult to find a good meal for a reasonable price in Boston. This place is still a little pricey, but it feels so homey, I'll take it. A go-to date spot for my boyfriend and me, we sit at the window sipping wine and sharing a crossword puzzle.

3. Jamaica Pond: The pond is the perfect walking destination at the bottom of Boston's Emerald Necklace. Bring a picnic, rent a rowboat or grab a seat on a bench and listen to the neighborhood folk ensembles pluck their tunes.

4. Tatte's: A sweet Israeli cafe serving dishes with Mediterranean flare as well as darn good tarts and coffee. Also, perhaps most importantly, the only place I've found with Jeni's Ice Cream this far East.

Places I'll go someday: 

1. Copenhagen + South coast of Sweden: After getting sucked into Wallander, I've decided my next dream vacation is a combination of the super design-savvy Copenhagen and the scenic country side of Sweden's south coast. I'm just hoping the crime rates aren't as high as the show makes it seem...

2. Portland, Oregon: One of my best girlfriends in Chicago just relocated to Portland and I can't wait to visit her. Having gone to grad school at University of Oregon, she passionately brought its energy to our cold Midwestern days and while I certainly benefited, I think Oregon's where her soul belongs.

3. India: My boyfriend makes a trip twice a year for his research so I'm hoping next time I'll be able to tag along.

4. Croatia: for a mixture of tumultuous history and beautiful beaches.

What I'm looking forward to this winter:

1. Winter sporting: I'll continue to luxuriate in the fact that I've relocated to a place with mountains!

2. Music shows: One of the best ways to pass a chilly evening. (see: The Sinclair above and 4 music groups below)

3. Starting a 'hobby share' to give my friends and me something to look forward to throughout the winter.

4. Winter beach visits because the off-season on the Cape can be even better than the on.

Music groups currently serving as the soundtrack of my life:

1. The Barr Brothers

2. The Stray Birds

3. The Parkington Sisters

4. Aiofe O'Donovan

Thanks for sharing, Sarah! Although you're no longer in Chicago, your energy is felt across state lines. Keep us updated on your many accomplishments and next time you're in Chicago, let us know!

Follow Sarah on Twitter, LinkedIn, and on her website Sarah Malin.