Haute Secrets: Boston’s Michael Ross Discusses Politics, Writing & Fave Spots

Michael Ross

Adorned with citizens of resolute lineage and altruistic minds, Boston could be considered the patriarch of American cities, and Michael Ross is certainly a most devoted son.  Born and raised throughout neighborhoods within Boston, Ross is a first-generation American who truly represents what it means to live a life dedicated to public service and humanitarian causes.

Mike Ross has a deeply held passion regarding the importance of being actively engaged in the political process and arena. His father, Stephan Ross, survived the Holocaust, but lost his entire family in Nazi-controlled Poland. Michael cites the awareness of his father’s history as being a crucial factor in his interest in government, as well as his desire to serve in the public realm. During his first stint in a political position where he worked as a young assistant to Mayor Thomas Menino, Ross quickly ascertained the vast ability of politics to accomplish important functions for society and soon knew that he’d be running for office himself one day.

Having served on the Boston City Council from 2000-2014, Ross also made his first run for mayor of Boston in 2013. He’s now a commercial real estate attorney with Prince Lobel Tye LLP, and has been appointed by President Obama to serve on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, where he “hopes people might visit to learn about tolerance for all.”

With a self-noted passion for “wonky” and “nerdy” topics, it’s probably not surprising that Ross holds several degrees, including an MBA from Boston University and a Law Degree from Suffolk University Law School.

An ardent reader of nonfiction books, Ross cites Robert Caro and his works on Lyndon Johnson as the standard bearer of what good literature looks like to him, noting that Caro “inspires me to be a better writer.” Evidence of Mike’s aptitude with the written word can be found in his columns as a contributing writer to both the Boston Globe and Boston Magazine. He is also currently working on a national piece for Politico.

What does Michael Ross have to say about what he considers the best of the best in Boston while he’s waiting to binge-watch the next season of House of Cards? Read on to find his answers in this exclusive interview.

Where were you born? Boston.

How long in the Boston area? My whole life, other than one college semester in Washington D.C., and a summer in Alaska.

Neighborhood? I’ve lived in most of them – Back Bay, Allston, Fenway, Beacon Hill, and Mission Hill. I now live in East Boston, which is sort of analogous to Brooklyn.

Occupation? (Former City Councilor and candidate for Mayor) I am a commercial real estate attorney with Prince Lobel, and a contributing writer to the Boston Globe and Boston Magazine.  I am working on my first national piece for Politico.

Favorite Restaurant? Toscano, Beacon Hill.

Best Sushi? Oishii, South End.

Best Italian? Rino’s Place, East Boston.

Best dessert? An after-dinner drink.

Best Sunday brunch? For me, it’s spending it on my sofa with my girlfriend, lots of newspapers, and the morning news shows.

Best place for a power business meeting? I try to avoid power business meetings.

If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend? The Lenox Hotel.

Favorite shopping venue/boutique? I buy my suits at J. Crew’s Ludlow Shop in Copley Place.

Best Spa? NA

Favorite Cultural Event? Eating at a Chinese restaurant on Christmas Eve.

Favorite Cultural Institution? ICA. (Institute of Contemporary Art)

Best Steakhouse? Grill 23.

Best Pizza? Santarpio’s, East Boston.

Best Gym/Athletic Facility?  Baron Baptiste Yoga.

Describe your city in three words? Smart, small, smug.

Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore? New England Holocaust Memorial.

All-around favorite spot in Boston?  Running along the Charles River.

Best Aspect of Boston?Boston’s recent growth within its innovation, culinary and cultural sectors, combined with a massive infusion of young people from throughout the world, has added to our historically recognized strengths as an international thought leader.  In the last decade, I think we’ve established ourselves as one of the best American cities to work and live in.