Archive for the 'Everything Else' Category

Hawk Nest at 185 Alewife Brook Parkway in Cambridge

I’ve been meaning to write about the hawk nest at 185 Alewife Brook Parkway in Cambridge for a week or two but real estate has been keeping me too busy to blog.

I was out on a tour with buyers when we passed a group of people with binoculars looking up at the office building across from Whole Foods. The nest on the front of the building is quite large and hard to miss once you try to figure out what everybody’s looking at.

A quick search pulled up all sorts of info about the red-tailed hawk nest and its occupants – the two parents and their three baby chicks. Here’s a video that tells the story of the Cambridge hawk family.  There’s also an update on youtube that shows the chicks in the last few days – they’re really getting big!

The Boston Globe had a long article about the hawks today and it hit the news on TV this evening as well. The hawk family is famous! 

According to the Globe article, traffic’s been affected as people slow to try to figure out what’s going on. Truthfully the traffic through this stretch is so horrendous you’re typically sitting there anyways. 

Two of the baby red tailed hawks at 185 Alewife Brook Parkway

2 of the baby red tailed hawks at 185 Alewife Brook Parkway

Update on May 29th:  I finally stopped and joined the crowd watching the birds.  The babies are so big now that you can see them clearly when you’re driving by – and it sometimes seems that only one or two are still in the nest. 

But no – all three are still there though they seem to take turns standing up at the front of the nest.

I think that’s why some of the birdwatchers return day after day – they’re hoping to catch the hawks’ first flight.

 

It must be getting pretty crowded in that nest. And as my dad commented – those hawk parents are working really hard keeping those big baby birds fed.

My dad was a bit blase about hawk watching since he’d just been fishing up in New Hampshire the day before and had a close-up view of the bald headed eagle that nests at the lake.

Watching the hawks across from Whole Foods

Watching the hawks across from Whole Foods

Birdwatching traffic problems remind me of another amazing roadside birdwatching opportunity – the blue heron rookery on Route 2 near 495 – it’s in Littleton I think.  When the herons first nested here cars lined the side of the highway as people parked to watch these beautiful birds. In short order no parking signs were posted.  Nowadays you have to crane your neck as you zoom by – not the safest way to birdwatch.  Someday I’m going to find some place to park and hike back.

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Looks Like The Electric Needs Updating

Original Edison Electric Wiring Box

Original Edison Electric Wiring Box

How cool is this?

I spotted this vintage electrical wiring box / gizmo in a carriage house in Somerville during our weekly tour of new real estate listings.

Yes – that’s knob and tube wiring visible at the top of the photo.  But what I really love is the original “Edison Service Cut-Out” box.  Never have seen one of these before!

I can’t remember when Boston Edison turned into Nstar but this piece of equipment clearly predates that by many a decade.

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Open House Turkey

Today was a beautiful day – perfect for hitting the trail in search of real estate after celebrating with Mom. I was out with some home buyers and part of our tour took us to  a couple of open houses in Belmont. 

When we walked out of the open house who did we find but this turkey. I’ve heard of wild turkey sightings in Cambridge and nearby towns but this was my first encounter.  He was beautiful – made me want to reconsider Thanksgiving.

Wild turkey outside a Belmont open house

Wild turkey outside a Belmont open house

I’m a magnet for odd urban animal sightings for some reason. Here’s a series of photos of an opossum in Porter Square I stumbled upon recently.

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Cat On A Stroll

I’ve often said that one of the perks of my job as a real estate agent in Cambridge is the chance to meet so many cats. Cats are more often than not kept indoors nowadays so it’s a treat to visit them in condos and homes around town.

Our tour of new listings in Cambridge and Somerville was a marathon yesterday – 28 new listings – and many an amazing property among them.  It will be a great weekend for open houses.

I couldn’t help but be tickled to see this cat while on tour – taking a stroll in the Agassiz neighborhood with his owner.  Not every cat is going to be happy on a leash but this cat was loving it – he’s a former outdoor cat who’s now inside except for his walks.

Cat On a Walk In the Agassiz Neighborhood of Cambridge

Cat On a Walk In the Agassiz Neighborhood of Cambridge

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Local Luxury Home Builder Is Tough As Nails

Newton Home Built by Tough as Nails builder Cindy Stumpo

Newton Home Built by Tough as Nails builder Cindy Stumpo

Tonight’s the premiere of HGTV’s new show “Tough As Nails” featuring Massachusetts luxury home builder Cindy Stumpo.

Stumpo’s company, C. Stumpo Development, builds multi-million dollar houses in Greater Boston, many in Newton and Brookline.

With the show that WGBH’s Emily Rooney described as “This Old House Meets Jersey Shore” and a star characterized as the “sassy builder of haute homes” I’ll bet HGTV has a winner on its hands. I know I’ll be watching.

The half-hour show premieres tonight on HGTV at 9:30 pm and repeats at 12:30 am.

Here are a few homes, new homes and resales, built by Stumpo currently on the market. Click on the small photo to see additional photos and more information:

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Every House Is Green On St. Patrick’s Day

Green House in North Cambridge

Green House in North Cambridge

Every House Is Green On St. Patrick’s Day    In honor of St. Patrick’s Day we’re going to give Cambridge and Somerville green houses their day in the sun.  Yes – it’s sunny!! after a long, rainy siege.

No – these aren’t necessarily energy efficient houses – these are green houses – painted in shades of green. Minty green, bright green, park bench green and the muted, earthy shades of green that are popular nowadays.

Green houses in Cambridge and Somerville come in a variety of styles – two families, Victorians, mansards, modern townhouses and lots of triple-deckers.

Whatever the style – on St. Patrick’s Day every house is green.

Or orange.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Centers and Squares.

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The Story Of Stuff

Annie Leonard, from The Story of Stuff Project, was on the Stephen Colbert show tonight promoting her new book about the project.

I’ve got to confess to being a lifelong fan of stuff. I’m a collector – some might say packrat – and really like my stuff.  Why have one of something when five or six or a dozen is so much more satisfying?  George Carlin’s routine about stuff where he describes our houses as piles of stuff with roofs on top hit pretty close to home.

I’m reforming, though, and in December celebrated my third anniversary of being storage-unit free.   Admittedly that’s due in large part to an attic crammed to the rafters  – but still – it’s an improvement.

What appeals to me though is typically second-hand if not antique. Our throw-away culture worries me and the endless array of stunningly cheap imported merchandise that fills big box stores gives me the willies.

Nowadays it’s too easy to buy and buy and put the week’s trash out at the curb. Too little thought is paid to how all that stuff gets here and where it goes when discarded.

Annie Leonard spent ten years studying just that- “where our stuff comes from and where it goes” and this video is the result.  Watch it and pass it on!

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Remembering Don Kent – Weatherman, Local Institution

Remembering Don Kent – Weatherman  It’s a sad day in the Bolton house today and a sad day in many Massachusetts households. One of our favorite citizens, Don Kent, passed away last night at the age of 92.  Don Kent was a meteorologist for 34 years for WBZ radio and TV. But he was much more than that.

My dad is the kind of guy they invented the Weather Channel for.  He’s been obsessed with the weather since he was a young boy, filling small notebooks with daily weather observations.

In our house, the weather report was  (and is!) sacred time.  No talking at the table was allowed during the weather.  Speak at your peril.

And for years it was Don Kent who gave the forecast.  He was the weatherman on Channel 4 from the 1950s to 1983.  He set the standard for weather reporting and was hugely popular in Massachusetts. He was a weather buff’s weatherman.

Here’s a video segment produced for Don Kent’s retirement from WBZ-TV:


 
In our family Don Kent was revered.  A story that we still tell gives some idea of how big a part he played in our daily life for decades.

I was a baby – about a year and a half old.  My grandparents were over for a visit and I was in my bedroom, babbling.  My grandfather, asked “What’s she saying in there?  Don Kent! Don Kent!”?

Though I would come to know and love our favorite weatherman I wasn’t that precocious.  I was calling “Down crib! Down crib!”. 

But to my grandfather, who well knew how important the weather was to his son-in-law, it made all the sense in the world that his small granddaughter was invoking the name of our local weatherman.

I had planned to write Mr. Kent to tell him that story and yet regretfully I never did. My sympathies to his family. I hope they know how much he meant to so many.

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