Archive for the 'Living Here' Category

Cambridge Solar Map

Check out the Cambridge Solar Map

Check out the Cambridge Solar Map

Thinking about installing solar panels?  Wondering how much it would cost?  Wondering if solar is worth the investment? 

The city of Cambridge, in collaboration with the Sustainable Design Lab at MIT and MoDe Studio , has just launched a very cool tool – the Cambridge Solar Map that will answer these questons and more.

On the Cambridge Solar Map page you can enter your Cambridge address and get estimates about how much it would cost to install a solar system and projections of potential production, cost savings and pollution reduction.  There’s an estimated payback time given and links to additional info about rebates and other programs.

The Cambridge Solar Tool is fun and fascinating to play with.  For my house the tool projects some significant savings as well as what to me seems a somewhat daunting price tag.  Zooming around the color coded map it’s easy to see some buildings that look like particularly promising sites for solar.  All those large flat roofs look to me like bright yellow potential solar farms.

 

PS – make sure you have an updated browser – no Internet Explorer laggards allowed – the Cambridge Solar Tool requires version 9 or above or some other more “modern” browser like Chrome, Safari or Firefox.

Categories: Living Here
Tags:
Comments: Please leave a comment. Your opinions welcomed.

Chickens in Somerville

Chickens in Somerville

Chickens in Somerville

I love Somerville Massachusetts.  More specifically, I love Somerville municipal government.  Somerville city government always strikes me as  progressive and forward thinking. I can’t help but be impressed in most interactions with the City.

Case in point – chickens. Somerville recently became the first Massachusetts city to pass an Urban Agriculture Ordinance. The ordinance encourages urban food production and specifically allows for beekeeping and the raising of chickens.

Hurrah!  Many communities have yet to embrace the renewed popularity of raising chickens.  Kudos to Somerville for its chicken-friendly stance.  Ditto for bees – more and more people I know are keeping bees at home and it’s great to see the City acknowledge the value of urban food production.  Look for Somerville eggs and honey coming to a market near you.

Categories: Living Here
Tags: ,
Comments: Please leave a comment. Your opinions welcomed.

Voter Registration Deadline

Voter Registration Deadline is October 17th

Voter Registration Deadline is October 17th

The deadline to register to vote in Massachusetts in November’s election is October 17, 2012.

Here are links to local towns’ and cities’ voter registration info:

Arlington

Belmont 

Cambridge

Medford

Somerville

Watertown  

The big day, Election Day, is Tuesday, November 6, 2012.  See you at the polls!

Categories: Living Here
Tags:
Comments: Please leave a comment. Your opinions welcomed.

New Somerville Library Planned for Union Square

I was happy to read recently about plans for a new main Somerville Public Library in Union Square.  Somerville has big ideas for Union Square revitilization and it turns out that relocating the main branch of the library is part of that vision. Exciting times for Union Square, with the Green Line, a new $45 million  library, and more.

The yellow brick building that currently houses the main branch of the Somerville Public Library was built in 1912 on Highland Avenue. 

The Somerville Public Library main branch was built in 1912 on Highland Avenue.

The Somerville Public Library main branch was built in 1912 on Highland Avenue.

The 1912 library replaced the former library, pictured below, designed in 1884 in the Romanesque style by Somerville architect George F. Loring.

Former Somerville Public Library built in 1884

Former Somerville Public Library built in 1884

See images of the next version of the Somerville Public Library and read more about the grant Somerville hopes to get for library construction in this Boston Globe article.

Categories: Living Here
Tags:
Comments: Please leave a comment. Your opinions welcomed.

Hubway Bike Rentals at BU

Hubway Bike Sharing at Boston University

Hubway Bike Sharing at Boston University

I was at BU a week ago or so for the Wordcamp conference and came across these bikes on Comm Ave.  I had heard about the new rental bicyles but this was the firt time I’d stumbled across them.

With Boston University students home for the summer the Hubway station was full of rental bikes.

Hubway’s bike sharing program debuted in Boston last year.  Here’s a great post about one bike rider’s experience with renting bicycles by BU and from other kiosks.  From the sounds of it Hubway is very popular and the BU bikes are well used when classes are in session.

Categories: Living Here
Tags:
Comments: Please leave a comment. Your opinions welcomed.

Arlington Storm Damage

Arlington Storm Damage   If you weren’t in East Arlington last week you may have missed the terrible storm damage from last Wednesday’s “micro-burst.”  According to local residents we spoke to, town employees and local tree companies did a super job – clearing downed trees and cleaning up in less than 48 hours.

“Micro” seems to be the wrong way to describe this freak storm.  In just minutes more than 100 trees were knocked over and countless branches broken in a large part of town – on both sides of Mass Ave from Walgreens to Route 16 .  It’s terribly sad and a huge loss to the local landscape and tree canopy. 

Urban trees have it hard enough under normal  weather conditions – or what passes for normal nowadays.  You could see evidence of this year’s drought around the uprooted trees.  The very dry exposed earth around several toppled trees looked more like sand than dirt.

My Dad and I drove around on Friday.  We wouldn’t have been able to drive through East Arlington just a day or so before – streets were littered with trees. There were still some downed trees  and branches that had yet to be cleared but it was amazing how much had been done in such a short period of time.  Kudos to all who worked so hard on the cleanup. 

 

Arlington Storm Damage July 2012

Arlington Storm Damage July 2012

Categories: Living Here
Tags:
Comments: Please leave a comment. Your opinions welcomed.

Supermarket Hours

Foodmaster doesn't have the best hours but it's my favorite supermarket

Foodmaster doesn't have the best hours but it's my favorite supermarket

Supermarket Hours  The real estate market is buzzing and many nights I leave the office late. I’ve spent way too much time lately driving around trying to find a supermarket that’s open. What gives? I live in the city in large part because I like the conveniences. The suburbs roll up the carpet early – in the city we night owls expect our conveniences.  Shame on these supermarkets with their lousy hours.

So – here’s a rundown of supermarket hours in local cities.  I know I need this list so I’m betting you do too.  Supermarket hours are current as of today, July 7, 2012, but are subject to change.

Cambridge Supermarket Hours:

Shaw’s 699 Mount Auburn Street
     Mon – Sat: 6 am to midnight
     Sun: 7 am to midnight

Shaw’s Porter Square
     7 days a week: 24 hours – hurrah!

Shaw’s 20 Sydney Street Central Square
     7 days a week: 7 am to midnight

Trader Joe’s 748 Memorial Drive
     7 days a week: 8 am to 10 pm

Trader Joe’s Fresh Pond
     7 days a week:  8 am to 10 pm

Whole Foods Fresh Pond
     7 days a week: 8 am to 10 pm

Whole Foods 115 Prospect Street Central Square
     7 days a week: 7:30 am to 10:30 pm

Whole Foods 340 River Street Cambridgeport
     7 days a week: 8 am to 10 pm

Arlington Supermarket Hours

Foodmaster 808 Mass Ave
     Mon – Sat: 7 am to 9 pm
     Sun: 8 am to 9 pm

Stop & Shop 905 Mass Ave
     Mon – Sat: 7 am to 11 pm
     Sun: 7 am to 9 pm

Trader Joe’s 1427 Mass Ave
     7 days a week: 8 am to 9 pm

Belmont Supermarket Hours

Shaw’s 535 Trapelo Rd
     7 days a week: 7 am to 10 pm

Medford Supermarket Hours

Aldi’s 630 Fellsway
     Mon -Sat: 9 am to 8 pm
     Sun: 10 am to 7 pm

Shaw’s 61 Locust St
     Mon – Sat: 7 am to 10 pm
     Sun: 7 am to 9 pm

Super Stop & Shop 760 Fellsway
     Mon – Sat: 6 am to 11 pm
     Sun: 7 am to 9 pm

Whole Foods Route 16
     7 days a week: 8 am to 9 pm

Somerville Supermarket Hours

Foodmaster 45 Beacon Street
     Mon – Sat: 7 am to 9 pm
     Sun: 8 am to 9 pm 

Foodmaster Route 16
     Mon – Sat: 7 am to 10 pm
     Sun: 8 am to 9 pm

Market Basket Union Square
     Mon – Sat: 7 am to 9 pm
     Sun: 7 am to 7 pm

Shaw’s 14 McGrath Hwy (aka East Cambridge)
     Mon – Fri: 6 am to midnight
     Sat – Sun: 7 am to midnight

Star Market aka Shaw’s 275 Beacon Street
     7 days a week: 7 am to 10 pm

Super Stop & Shop 779 McGrath Hwy
     7 days a week: 7 am to 11 pm

Watertown Supermarket Hours

Super Stop & Shop 700 Pleasant St
     Mon – Sat: 7 am to 11 pm
     Sun: 7 am to 9 pm

Super Stop & Shop 171 Watertown St
     Mon – Sat: 7 am to 11 pm
     Sun: 7 am to 9 pm

Categories: Living Here

Comments: 2 Comments »

Living Without Air Conditioning

Living Without Air Conditioning

Living Without Air Conditioning

It’s days like this that test my convictions about living without air conditioning in New England.

I really don’t believe in it and am horrified at how it’s increasingly considered an expected amenity in new or renovated condos and houses in Massachusetts.

It didn’t use to be this way and if the trend continues we’ll all be in trouble. Pick up a copy of Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World (and Finding New Ways to Get Through the Summer) to read about the impact on our planet of the increasing popularity of air conditioning.

So how to survive the dog days of summer?

Here are my methods for living without air conditioning:

  • Keep the shades down
  • Open the windows at night
  • Use fans in several windows to blow in cooler air overnight
  • Close windows during the day
  • Drink plenty of icy cold water
  • Take it easy – save the chores for the cool days that will come
  • Ice cream – you earned it
  • Find a pool or a pond – buy a wading pool if you have to
  • Spend as much time as possible in an air conditioned mall, movie theater or office – communal A/C makes sense
  • In fact – consider getting a job at the Foodmaster on Route 16 – it feels like a meatlocker – you’ll look forward to going to work

Remember – this too shall pass. It was chilly just two days ago and it will cool down soon.  But eventually it won’t if everyone keeps firing up the air conditioners.

Categories: Living Here
Tags:
Comments: 1 Comment »

Copyright © 2008 - 2012 Centers And Squares     Agent Login     Design by Real Estate Tomato     Powered by Tomato Real Estate Blogs

Real Estate Tomato