Archive for the 'Living Here' Category

Address in the Boston Globe

Address in the Boston Globe

Don't Miss Address in the Sunday Boston Globe

Do you get the Sunday Boston Globe?  There are plenty of reasons to get the Sunday Globe - news, community, coupons! - but since last spring one of the best reasons is the Globe's Address section.   The Globe had been getting a bit skimpy but lately it seems that they're adding new sections rather than eliminating portions of the paper. Address debuted last March and is really a must-read for anyone interested in real estate and in houses.  It's filled with articles and columns about real estate and home ownership and is subtitled "Your Real Estate Guide to Buying, Selling, Living".  In years past the Boston Globe's real estate coverage struck many agents as "a day late and a dollar short" - the Globe always seemed to be reporting news and trends from several months back.  But their real estate articles have been noticeably better and more timely and Address reflects that improved coverage.  Regular features include:
  • An essay by guest columnists titled "My First Home"
  • A Massachusetts town profile that fills two full pages each week
  • Columns with questions and answers about home repairs, gardening and landscaping
  • The "Home of the Week" featured property for sale 
  • A decorating feature "Room to Love"
This Sunday's Address section included
  • A two-page profile of Malden, MA - you're bound to find out things you didn't know about Malden
  • Info about sealing granite countertops
  • An article about decorating a Craftsman-style house on a budget
  • A wonderful "My First Home" essay written by a local minister
Just like the New York Times' Home section on Thursday the Boston Globe's Address has become a must-read for me every Sunday - something I look forward to as soon as the newspaper hits the driveway.  Check it out!    

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Davis Square Bike Path Heading to Boston

Bike to Boston on the Davis Square bike path

Someday you'll take the bike path from Davis Square to Boston

It was announced today that the Davis Square bike path will be heading to Boston.  Currently scheduled to be extended to Lowell Street soon when construction ends at the Maxwell Green complex, the MBTA will be extending the bike path along the path of the planned Green Line extension. When finished, the bike path will connect to paths along the Charles River, connecting 11 cities and towns over a 48 mile stretch.  It's an amazing prospect and sounds like the nicest commute possible into the city and beyond. The announcement from the city of Somerville is well worth reading with interesting details about Somerville's efforts that have landed it top rankings in bike-friendliness and walkability. With my new listing at 31 Adams Street in Somerville, I've been looking more closely at plans for the Green Line extension. These are exciting prospects for Somerville, too long a very dense city with too few top notch transportation choices.  Kudos to the city government and Mayor Curtatone for their extensive efforts to improve the city's transportation options.

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Audubon Shop Turkeys

Turkeys at the Audubon Shop at Drumlin Farm

Turkeys at the Audubon Shop at Drumlin Farm

Today I headed out to Lincoln for my annual visit to the Audubon Shop at Drumlin Farm.  These two big turkeys were right outside.  There was actually a third turkey sitting among the trees behind us. Nothing's better than being a turkey strutting about the day after Thanksgiving. And nothing's better for Christmas shopping than the Audubon Shop.  It's one of my not-to-be missed stops every year about this time. There are gifts for people of all ages from wonderful children's toys to housewares, accessories, jewelry, garden items, bird feeders, binoculars, and all sorts of beautiful and intriguing items.  Why settle for run of the mill when you can instead buy something lovely and unexpected?  The book section is particularly rich with loads of books about animals, birds, nature, the landscape, etc.  Many have a local or New England emphasis.  You can also count on finding very nice boxed Christmas cards here. As part of my shopping at the Audubon shop I renew my parents' Massachusetts Audubon Society membership.  It comes with a subscription to their excellent magazine, Sanctuary, and all sorts of benefits including 10% off in the Audubon Shop. So skip the mall and head to the Audubon Shop this month.  You'll be able to make real headway on your shopping list and contribute to a great cause at the same time.  The Audubon Shop at Drumlin Farm is located on Route 117 in Lincoln, MA.  The address is 208 South Road, Lincoln, MA 01773.  The store is open 10 am to 5 pm and is closed on Mondays except for Monday holidays. 

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Cambridge Election Day

Cambridge Campaign SIgns

Campaign Signs are Everywhere Around Cambridge

The other night the long line of sign waving supporters for Cambridge City Council candidates on Mass Ave gave me pause.  Was it Election Day?  I was sure it wasn't but it *was* Tuesday after all.  With so many days to vote this fall - the Boston mayoral primary, the special election to fill Markey's seat, even the election that Corey Booker won in NJ - it's been difficult to figure out when the Cambridge election day is.  If you're still wondering it's next Tuesday, November 5th.  Turns out the crowd of campaigners on Tuesday had gathered outside the candidates forum at the Senior Center. Next Tuesday, November 5, 2013, Cambridge residents will vote to elect City Council and School Committee members.  Twenty-five(!) people are running for nine seats on the City Council and there are nine candidates for the six seats on Cambridge School Committee.  No wonder there are so many election signs around town. My intention was to link to all the candidates' websites but instead I found an excellent page with a  list of candidates  that links to their interviews, statements, websites, etc.  It's well worth checking out before Election Day.  It's too easy to walk into the voting booth knowing little about many of the candidates.  Since Cambridge residents can vote for more than one candidate, we've got more homework to do than many voters. Cambridge uses a system of proportional representation for both the City Council and the School Committee voting.  You rank your choices with your vote for your number one candidate your most valuable choice. Even your number two choice matters.  You have to wonder, with this many candidates, if your third or fourth place vote might matter more this year. And last, in case you missed it, here's a link to the Boston Globe article about the 11-year-old campaign manager for one of the Cambridge School Committee candidates.  Love this!

~~~

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Getting Around Town

Last weekend's blizzard was fun - for a day or two.  But getting around town is no easy feat this week.  Luckily, the daytime temperatures have been above freezing since a whole lot of melting is needed before we can easily get around Cambridge again. 
Getting Around Cambridge May Be a Challenge

Getting Around Cambridge May Be a Challenge

Cities just aren't designed to have this much snow.  Cambridge sure isn't.   Driving is nervewracking with so many people walking in the narrow streets.  Snow piles make intersections hazardous.  Two-way streets are reduced to one lane.  And parking?  Forget about it.  Parking will be a challenge until spring. Somerville, as usual, is doing a fantastic job of snow removal.  City workers are on the job around the clock with convoys of dumptrucks taking away the snow that bulldozers have cleared.   The other night Ball Square was blocked off by the police for snow removal.  I noticed today that there is NO snow left in the square.  Now, that's the way to do it. This recently erected sign strikes despair in Cambridge drivers' hearts.  Expect delays - ok - what else is new?  But for TWO YEARS?  How depressing is that?  The next screen announces work on Western Ave that will be tying up traffic for two years.  Ugh.   From bad to worse. But enough griping.  We New Englanders are a hardy lot.  Spring will be here soon and a little - or a lot of - snow makes it all the sweeter.

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Back on the Bus

Bus Service Only for Weekend Red Line Commuters

Bus Service Only for Weekend Red Line Commuters

It's time to get back on the bus - the shuttle bus that is if you're heading into or out of North Cambridge over the next few weekends. The MBTA is again doing repairs on the Red Line tracks between the Harvard and Alewife stations.  Red Line service between Harvard Square and Alewife will be provided by shuttle buses on the next few weekends. So if you need to go beyond Harvard Square or get on the T at Alewife, Davis or Porter Square you'll be taking the shuttle bus instead. Weekend shuttle bus service will run between Harvard and Alewife on November 24-25 and December 1-2, 2012.  The work scheduled for the weekend of December 8-9, 2012 has been postponed and the subway will be running this weekend.  The City of Cambridge website has more info here.

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2012 Election Results

2012 Election Results

2012 Election Results

I think it's fascinating to compare how towns and cities vote so here are the 2012 election results for Centers and Squares territory as compared to results for the state vote overall.  And what about home town advantage?  Elizabeth Warren lives in Cambridge and Mitt Romney's from Belmont. Though the percentages varied, election results in Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Medford, Somerville and Watertown aligned with  state-wide results with Obama and Elizabeth Warren winning in each town or city in our neck of the woods.  There were three ballot questions that appeared on every town or city's ballot.  We voted for flexibility in car repairs (Question 1) and in favor of medical marijuana (Question 3), questions that passed state-wide.  Question #2, to allow physicians to prescribe medication to the terminally ill to end life, failed state-wide by 51-49% but passed in every Centers and Squares municipality except for Medford. In Somerville, Question 4,  a vote to adopt the Community Preservation Act, passed by a large margin. For more information check out each city or town's website.  Here are the preliminary 2012 election results:

Massachusetts 2012 Election Results:

Obama 61%    Romney 38% Warren 54%  Brown 46% Question #1 "Right to Repair" passed 85% to 15% Question #2 "Die with Dignity" failed 51% to 49% Question #3 Medical Marijuana passed 63% to 37%

Arlington 2012 Election Results

Obama: 18,580  72% Romney: 6,659  26% Warren: 17,501  68% Brown: 8,265  32% Question #1  Yes - 19,668  No - 2,455    Passed 89% to 11% Question #2  Yes - 14,352  No - 10,648 Passed 57% to 43% Question #3  Yes - 16,876  No - 7,961     Passed 68% to 32%

Belmont 2012 Election Results

Obama:  9,108    65% Romney: 4,728  34%  Warren: 8,480  60% Brown: 5,577     40% Question #1  Yes - 10,662  No - 1,565   Passed 87% to 13% Question #2  Yes - 7,622  No - 5,853     Passed 57% to 43% Question #3  Yes - 8,883  No - 4,592     Passed 66% to 34%

Cambridge 2012 Election Results

Obama:  41,991   86% Romney: 5,340   11%  Warren: 41,127  85% Brown:  7,463     15% Question #1  Yes - 35,841  No - 4,716     Passed 88% to 12% Question #2  Yes - 30,909 No - 14,639   Passed 68% to 32% Question #3  Yes - 36,063  No - 9,564     Passed 79% to 21%

Medford 2012 Election Results

Obama:  18,613   68% Romney: 8,294   30%  Warren: 16,808  61% Brown:  10,580    39% Question #1  Yes - 12,705  No - 1,666     Passed 86% to 14% Question #2  Yes - 12,588 No - 13,445    Failed 52% to 48% Question #3  Yes - 16,678 No - 9,070     Passed 65% to 35%

Somerville 2012 Election Results

Obama:  28,467   82% Romney: 4,865   14%  Warren: 27,412  80% Brown:  7,038      20% Question #1  Yes - 26,787  No - 4,486    Passed 86% to 14% Question #2  Yes - 21,210  No - 11,904  Passed 64% to 36% Question #3  Yes - 25,733 No - 7,357     Passed 78% to 22% Question #4 - Community Preservation Act  Yes - 24,358  No - 7,714  Passed 68% to 32%

Watertown  2012 Election Results

Obama:  11,878   71% Romney: 4,516   27%  Warren: 10,773  64% Brown:  5,938      36% Question #1  Yes - 12,705  No - 1,666   Passed 88% to 12% Question #2  Yes - 8,821  No - 7,080     Passed 55% to 45% Question #3  Yes - 10,884  No - 4,921   Passed 69% to 31%

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Voting Hours in Massachusetts

Polls are open for voting in Massachusetts from 7 am to 8 pm

Polls are open for voting in Massachusetts on Election Day from 7 am to 8 pm

Voting Hours in Massachusetts It all comes down to this.  Months of political chatter, the hours and hours of political TV that are the backdrop in my house every night, debates, rallies, phonecalls, tweets, fundraisers - it all comes to an end tomorrow when we vote. It always boggles my mind that it all comes down to what happens on just one day - Election Day.  The tension and excitement is almost unbearable. Make sure you get out and vote tomorrow.  Voting hours in Massachusetts are from 7 am to 8 pm. See you at the polls!

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