Archive for the 'Everything Else' Category

Reading Is Sexy

 

Spotted in the parking lot at Whole Foods:

Is It?

Is It?

 Not sure if that’s so but I’m willing to entertain the idea.

Here are some more bumper stickers seen around Cambridge:

Don’t Litter

Obama

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East Cambridge Greek Revival Door

I was parked on an East Cambridge side street today to go to the Registry of Deeds in Cambridge for a real estate closing.  This beautiful pair of Greek Revival doors caught my eye.  This Cambridge neighborhood is a hotbed of Greek Revival architecture and there are many handsome examples.

East Cambridge Greek Revival Doors

East Cambridge Greek Revival Doors

To learn more about East Cambridge architecture see the Cambridge Historic Commission’s book East Cambridge by Susan E. Maycock.

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Rose Covered Arbor

Rose Covered Arbor on Hammond Street

Rose Covered Arbor on Hammond Street

Rose Covered Arbor   It’s been a long time since I’ve done a House Parts We Love entry – cripes it’s been too long since I’ve posted anything for that matter – the Cambridge real estate market has been humming and I’ve fallen off the blogging bandwagon.  Time to get back on track and start filling in all those empty days (it’s one of my guilty secrets – blog posts are dated but I have complete control of the dates).  So don’t be surprised if multiple posts show up in your email.

Back to today’s favorite feature – Rose Covered Arbors.  There’s a bumper crop of roses out and about in Cambridge and Somerville and nothing’s prettier than a arbor gate covered with roses.  This pretty arbor is next door to a house I sold on Hammond Street in Cambridge.

I’m a bit of a wimp about bees so I’m not sure if I could walk the gauntlet every time I come and go but these sure are a pretty sight – from a safe distance!

Here are some more house features we fall for:

Victorian Bracketed Entries

Beautiful Fences

Front Entry Benches

Glassed In Vestibules

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Mind The Bump

Mind the Bump

Mind the Bump

Somerville and Cambridge are making a lot of “traffic calming” improvements around town.

Bumps, bulbs, islands in strange places – the idea is to eliminate straight-aways and get cars to slow down.  Not a bad goal but it can make urban driving even more of a challenge.

I thought the new street crossing humps / bumps / plateaus – whatever you want to call them – on Somerville Ave were pretty intense but nothing matches the big new hump on Cameron Avenue at the bike path crossing close to the Cambridge / Somerville line.

This can’t be the final version. Even though they seem to have done some road resurfacing the incline is still way too steep.

In fact, the new pavement makes the hump less obvious.  It caught me by surprise the other day – and even at a fairly slow speed – it’s right before the turn onto Mass Ave after all – the impact on my car was intense enough that I feared my next call would be Triple A – or the dentist – that bump packs a wallop.

Mind the Bump.

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Hawks In High Places

Hawk on St Peter's Steeple on Concord Ave

Hawk on St Peter's Steeple on Concord Ave

Hawks In High Places    If you keep your eyes peeled and look in the right places it’s more and more common to spot hawks in Cambridge when you’re out and about.

I’ve learned to look at the highest points around – and that’s often a church steeple.  I love to see a hawk sitting way atop the spire – surveying his territory below.

The hawk at right is a regular visitor to the steeple at St. Peter’s at 96 Concord Ave in Cambridge near my Coldwell Banker Real Estate office.

I took the second photo earlier this year of a similarly positioned hawk – he’s a bit hard to see in the picture – on a steeple in West Medford.

Pity the poor pigeons on the ground below – it’s difficult to escape the sights of that hawk as he makes dinner plans from his high perch.

Hawk in West Medford

Hawk in West Medford

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Widener Library at Harvard Before the Digital Days

The front page article in the Boston Globe on Monday about digitization efforts at Harvard’s libraries caught my eye.  Before I became a real estate agent in Cambridge I was an archivist.  As a lifelong lover of all things on paper I shudder at the thought of the venerable Harvard libraries going down the digital path in lieu of paper.

The article does give me a good excuse though to share another postcard find from the Brimfield flea market.  I love this 1915 view of students studying in Widener Library, the year it opened.  My photo of the card doesn’t do the detail justice. The large reading room is filled with students – all male – reading, many with their hat on the table beside them.

Vintage postcard of Widener Library at Harvard in 1915 the year it opened

Vintage postcard of Widener Library at Harvard in 1915 the year it opened

If you want to read about the impact on the historical record when libraries ditch paper be sure to check out Nicholson Baker’s book Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper.  As much as I’m tempted to link that title to Amazon I’m resisting since I’m also a fan of bookstores and libraries.  Visit one today!

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Vintage View of Atherton Street in Somerville

Vintage View of Atherton Street in Somerville   Recently I spent the good part of a day searching through 1000s of vintage postcards at the Brimfield Flea Market. If you’ve never been to Brimfield you’re in for a treat.  This small town turns into a massive antique mart three times a year – in May, July and September.

My destination was the postcard hall, however, so I missed the craziness of the fields filled with booths and collectors from around the world.  Instead I spent hours flipping through boxes of postcards with views of the towns and cities in Centers and Squares territory – Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Medford, Somerville and Watertown.  I found some great cards and will share some of my favorites here.

 

Early View of Atherton Street in Somerville Massachusetts

Early View of Atherton Street in Somerville Massachusetts

This postcard is a view of one of Somerville’s most well known buildings – the Round House on Atherton Street.  I have several other views of the Round House but this was a card I hadn’t seen before.

The image includes the  Carr School across the street. But what I really love about the card is that it shows another of my favorite buildings – the Round House’s next door neighbor – the mansard house at 40 Atherton Street on the left side of the card.  I’m a big fan of mansards and this one has a particularly appealing profile.  Here’s what the house looks likes now:

Mansard house on Atherton Street Somerville MA

Mansard house on Atherton Street Somerville MA

What fun it would be to have a century-old postcard view of your own house!  If you live in an older house someday you just might stumble across one of these vintage views of your home.

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Cambridgeport Trolley on Brookline Street?

Cambridgeport Trolley on Brookline Street?   They’re repaving Brookline Street in Cambridgeport (where aren’t they repaving lately?) and it’s an opportunity for an interesting look at what lies beneath the blacktop.

If you happened to drive or walk by while the work was underway you got a look at the old street covering.  It seems that Brookline Street was paved with brick at one time. 

What lies beneath Brookline Street in Cambridge

What lies beneath Brookline Street in Cambridge

Even more unexpectedly it seems that perhaps there was a trolley line running down the streets. Here’s a photo of the tracks that have just been pulled out and placed at the left of the street by the sidewalk.

Pulling out trolley tracks on Brookline Street in Cambridgeport

Pulling out trolley tracks on Brookline Street in Cambridgeport

I can’t find anything about a trolley line on Brookline Street. My family lived at the end of the street for eighty or so years and I meant to ask my dad if he remembers a trolley.  Anybody know the story?

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