Archive for the 'Everything Else' Category

Best Doorknobs

Best Doorknobs

Best Doorknobs

Best Doorknobs  Cambridge real estate agents see so many renovated properties that we become mighty particular about the details. After viewing renovation after renovation, it's almost inevitable that you develop as sense for what works and what doesn't - what looks right and what just doesn't - what buyers tend to appreciate and what they don't. Relatively minor details - like hardware selection - can really separate the humdrum from the Wow! properties. Getting the style right, the finish, the choice of metals - it's not easy to pull it all together.  Here's an example from a house where the homeowner got every detail in the renovation just right. These are the best doorknobs I've come across.  The little flipper over the keyhole - not sure of its proper name - is reminiscent of antique doorplates but the overall style is crisp, classic - even contemporary. They're the perfect choice for the older homes that make up most of our housing stock in Cambridge. Not sure where these are from but I'll add the info if I find out.

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Armando’s Corner in Cambridge

Armando's Corner In Cambridge

Armando's Corner In Cambridge

I don't know how I missed this - the intersection of Concord Ave and Huron Ave in Cambridge has been named Armando's Corner - officially Armando Paolo Square. I thought the sign was new but when I went into Armando's Pizza to find out the guys told me the sign had been up for a couple of months.  Not sure how I missed it - my office is next door to the pizza shop and I'm at this intersection multiple times a day. There couldn't be a more appropriate person to honor at this spot.  Well known to generations of Cantabridgians and local workers, Armando and Dorothy Paolo have owned the popular pizza shop for almost forty years.  The place bustles throughout the day as construction crews, local office workers, Harvard scientists and school kids line up for slices or subs. Armando's Pizza is at 163 Huron Ave in Cambridge, MA 02138.  Stop by for a slice!  The new sign is just outside the shop.

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My Rhododendron Thermometer – Update

It's cold out tonight in Massachusetts

It's cold out tonight in Massachusetts

My rhododendron thermometer is back in business - and it is C-O-L-D out.  The leaves on my rhododendron are curled tight as pencils.  It almost looked like the bush had died or like some of its branches were broken - the leaves are curled so tightly I really didn't think it looked right. But it's just the effects of the super chilly temperatures today. It's supposed to be below zero in Cambridge tonight.  My rhododendron thermometer isn't sophisticated enough to give the exact temperature - simply a pretty good idea of just how frigid it is. I think the bush looks amazingly good considering all the snow that was piled on it.  Clearly rhododendrons are a hearty and resilient lot. Mine has really bounced back and lived to give more weather reports.

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My Rhododendron Thermometer

Rhododendron bush buried beneath the snow

Rhododendron bush buried beneath the snow

In front of my house there's a large rhododendron bush.  A lovely part of the landscape, it also functions as an unofficial "thermometer". When I go out in the morning or when I look out the window, I get a sense of the day's temperature by scoping out the bush. When it's cold the rhododendron's leaves curl tightly.  The more leaves that are curled and the tighter the curl - the colder the temperature. It wasn't until I looked over for a read on the day's temperature that I realized my poor bush was bowed beneath this mound of heavy snow.  It's difficult to tell by the photo but my rhododendron bush is about a third of it's usual height. So without benefit of my rhododendron thermometer - it's really chilly today.

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How to Select a Pendant Light

Have you ever stood in a lighting store and wondered how to select a pendant light among all the beautiful choices?  Here's a creative way to simplify the decision. This homeowner chose to install half a dozen different pendant lights over the dining area in a kitchen.  I love the look. Click on the thumbnails for a larger view.  ktichen with pendants and schoolhouse lights       Pendant lights

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Happy New Year!

Happy new year kitten    

Happy New Year

to one and all.

 

May you have a healthy, prosperous and peaceful 2011 - and a good time tonight!

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Boston Sightseeing Tours of Yore

Duck Tours have always struck me as a bit goofy and a weak alternative to the Freedom Trail.   The tours are popular with tourists however and someday I may just take one if guests are in town who want to sample the local schtick. Who knew that goofy tours have a long history in Boston?  This vintage postcard - "Sight Seeing Auto. The Ride I Took In Boston, Mass." - gave me a chuckle.  It dates from 1908 but bears an uncanny resemblance to today's Duck Tours.
Vintage Boston Sightseeing Tour Postcard

Vintage Boston Sightseeing Tour Postcard

A man named Frank sent the postcard to his sister Anna in Manchester NH.  It was postmarked October 19th. Seems that Frank's visit to Boston coincided with Indian Summer - he writes "it is awful warm down here, the thermometer registers seventy-eight yesterday. The trees on West Newton Street are in bloom just as on a spring day". Cheesy tourist rides.  It's tradition.

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Why oh Why Y-Not

Driving down Willow Ave in Somerville near the bike path this afternoon I was sad to see the refurbished Y-Not Variety corner store. Freshly painted, the side wall is now bare.  The rusty vintage Coca-Cola and "Submarines" signs that used to hang there were favorites of mine.  Here's a photo to remember them by.
Old Y-Not Signs Are No More

Old Y-Not Signs Are No More

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