Archive for the 'Everything Else' Category

Fire in Teele Square Somerville

I couldn't figure out what was holding up traffic in Teele Square this afternoon.  Turns out it was people gawking at the damage left by last night's fire in Teele Square Somerville.  What a sight! The fire was discovered at about 11 pm last night, Saturday.  That must have been a challenge - fighting the fire in the middle of the bizarre October snowstorm.
Fire damage in Teele Square Somerville

Fire damage in Teele Square Somerville

The damage is extreme - hard to believe actually given the block's proximity to the fire station around the corner. The damage extends for almost the entire block in the center of Teele Square between Clarendon Ave and the intersection of Elm Street and Broadway.  Hawk Cleaners at the corner was destroyed - you can still see some of the blackened dry cleaning hanging on the rack amid the rubble.  The space holding the nail salon next door was also destroyed.  The next few storefronts, including the Chinese restaurant Kee Kar Lau and the Somerville police substation are boarded up.  At the end of the block a hair salon and Rudy's restaurant seemed to be intact though Rudy's was closed for the day because of the fire with signs posted that they hope to be able to open by Monday evening. It's a sobering sight - the devastation that fire can cause so quickly no matter how close the firefighters may be.
Somerville fire reduces businesses to rubble

Somerville fire reduces businesses to rubble

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Furniture Drive for the Homeless

Massachusetts Furniture Drive

Massachusetts Furniture Drive

Do you have unwanted furniture that you want to get rid of?  You can clean out and do a good deed at the same time.  The Greater Boston Association of Realtors is holding a furniture drive from November 7 - 10, 2011. Items collected in the furniture drive will be donated to Massachusetts families transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing.   The furniture drive will be conducted in conjunction with Olympia Moving and Storage of Watertown. To schedule a furniture pickup contact Olympia Moving and Storage by emailing mahomeless@olympiamoving.com or calling Mark McEwen at 617-231-1204. The deadline for scheduling a pickup is Friday, November 4, 2011. Donated furniture must be in clean, usable condition, free of any rips or tears.  GBAR reserves the right to refuse unsuitable items. Questions about the furniture drive?  Contact Anastasia Prapas at aprapas@kw.com or 774-264-0155.

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Medford Elm Tree

American Elm tree in West Medford

American Elm tree in West Medford

I was psyched to see this newly planted elm tree aside the West Medford fire station. Elm trees once lined New England's streets.  I loved the canopy of green, leafy trees that I walked beneath on my way to school when I was a kid.  It was years later, when I went back and found not a tree on the street, that I realized those must have been elm trees lining the street.  Dutch Elm Disease wiped out 100,000s of American Elm trees. There are efforts underway to plant DED-resistant elm trees.  This tree, a Liberty Elm, from the Elm Research Institute of Keene, NH was planted by the fire station in memory of West Medford resident Laurie Cote. I didn't have the privilege of knowing Mr. Cote but found this tribute in a newsletter from the Piano Technicians Guild.
West Medford elm tree plaque honoring Laurie Cote

West Medford elm tree plaque honoring Laurie Cote

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Wednesday What’s It – How Well Do You Know Cambridge?

Ok - I think this is an easy one - don't prove me wrong!
Win a cup of coffee and a donut - tell us what it is and where it is in Cambridge

Win a cup of coffee and a donut - tell us what it is and where it is in Cambridge

The first two people to identify the what-and-the-where of our new Wednesday What's It will get a card for a cup of coffee+ on us. How well do you know Cambridge?  Tell us what this is. 
Give Us Your Best Guess!
 

cforms contact form by delicious:days

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Cambridge Flamingos

It's October and Fall is in the air - and the Halloween decorations are popping up in Cambridge yards. I spotted these variations on the pink flamingo in a yard on Eustis Street in Cambridge when we were on tour this week.  No pink flamingos for us - we've got skeleton flamingos - Halloween themed yard art.
Skeleton Flamingos in Cambridge

Skeleton Flamingos in Cambridge

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Boston Globe Magazine Home Design Issue

Kitchen Booth in a Cambridge House

Kitchen Booth in a Cambridge House

The Home Design issue of the Boston Globe Magazine is always one of my favorites. I was psyched when I opened the newspaper this morning and found that today's Magazine's theme was Your Home: Kitchens and Baths.  Be sure to check it out. The magazine features some beautifully renovated kitchens and baths.  There's also an article about building new - not something many home buyers in our area are able to do. Another article features the return of kitchen booths.  I love kitchen booths.  My favorites are the ones that look like old fashioned restaurant booths that were put in houses in the 1910s to 1930s.  I don't have a good picture yet of one of those - they're often in a hard to photograph spot in the kitchen I've found.  But the stylish booth pictured here is similar to the ones featured in today's article about the revival of kitchen booths.  These booths are newly created and crafted for modern kitchens.  The Globe features booths with padded seats - or "banquettes" as some have taken to calling them.  Me?  I'm tempted to call them "diner booths" no matter how stylized they've become. The booth above was in a superbly renovated house at 15 Bellis Circle, Cambridge that sold earlier this year. De

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Groton Inn Burned in Fire

The Groton Inn has long been one of the signature buildings on the lovely main street through Groton Massachusetts. Sadly, the Groton Inn burned in a large fire on August 2, 2011. Groton is lined with gorgeous Colonials and parts of the Groton Inn dated to the 1670s.  The inn was on the National Register of Historic Places.  At least one mural in the inn was thought to be painted by Rufus Porter. I wrote up an offer on a house for sale in Groton over breakfast at the Groton Inn earlier this year.  It's hard to believe it's gone. It's actually not gone yet.  I was surprised several weeks ago to see it still standing, albeit terribly damaged.  Turns out that there are many pushing for parts of it to be salvaged.  The Historic District Commission and an architectural preservationist from the National Park Service have toured the badly damaged inn and identified a portion that might be salvaged.  The town has since  issued a demolition order and it seems that the current owner is intent on demolishing the inn in total.  A petitition has been started urging that whatever can be saved be preserved. It's difficult to think of Groton Center without this beautiful old building.   Here are a few photos we took of the Groton Inn several weeks after the fire.
Groton Inn Destroyed by Fire

Groton Inn Destroyed by Fire

Groton Inn Groton MA

Remains of the Groton Inn Groton MA

Catastrophic Fire Damage - Groton Inn

Catastrophic Fire Damage - Groton Inn

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Good Stamps

Good Stamps

Good Stamps

Representative Stephen Lynch has proposed a bill to tweak the USPS pension payments in an effort to keep the USPS afloat.  Good thing since I've got a lot of stamps to use. I love good stamps.  I'm that picky customer in front of you making the postal clerk produce every commemorative stamp he's got in his drawer.  But I buy a *lot* of stamps so I figure I've earned those few extra minutes at the post office counter. My latest haul at the post office filled me with joy.  Now these are good stamps! I had stopped by the post office because of a Cambridge-postal stamp connection.  Botanist Asa Gray, whose 1810 Cambridge house at 88 Garden Street sold for $3,400,000 earlier this year, is one of the four scientists featured on the American Scientists stamps from the post office. While I was picking up the Asa Gray stamps I couldn't help myself.  I also bought: The new Mark Twain stamps.  If you've never been to Mark Twain's house in Hartford CT you are in for a treat. It's magnificent. The new Pioneers of American Industrial Design stamps.  These stamps are so cool.  Designers responsible for such signature pieces as the Selectric typewriter, the Brownie camera and Fiestaware are featured.  Designers honored on the stamps include Russel Wright, Norman Bel Geddes and Raymond Loewy. The new Go Green stamps.  I love what these stamps depict - actual environmentally friendly, simple practices as opposed to "green" (as in the color of money) marketing efforts.  The stamps promote:
  • Composting
  • Turning off lights when not in use
  • Fixing water leaks
  • Buying local produce and reusing bags
  • Insulating your house
  • Adjusting the thermostat
  • Using public transportation
  • Sharing rides
  • Hanging your clothes out to dry
  • Choosing to walk,  not drive
  • Planting trees
  • Maintaining tire pressure on your car
All of these stamps, like all the new USPS regular rate stamps, are "forever" stamps.  Let's hope the USPS is around for years to come - I've got a lot of stamps!

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