Back Bay

By - 12/15/08 - 4:15 pm

Although the afternoon performance is still canceled, the evening performance at the Church with the Giant Crack will go on, but with a piano, not the organ, FirstNight tweets.

By - 12/13/08 - 5:31 pm

When the sun hits the Hancock just right at sunset, it changes color rather dramatically, making a trip up to Peters Hill in the Arboretum well worth the effort.

By - 12/13/08 - 3:35 pm
Santas in Speedos

Third Decade took lots of photos (including the one above) at today's Santas in Speedos run.

Marciela posted photos, too. Nicholas Cifuentes posted more.

Even more photos.

By - 12/12/08 - 6:45 pm

Since the organ can't be used thanks to the crack caused by an MBTA elevator contractor (yes, that crack). Via FirstNight tweet.

By - 12/11/08 - 1:09 pm

Yes, it's the moment you've been waiting for: Penthouse units at the Mandarin Oriental have dropped from $12.5 million to $9.95 million, the Boston Condo Guy reports.

By - 12/11/08 - 12:13 pm

The annual Santas in Speedos run is this Saturday, along Newbury and Boylston streets.

By - 12/11/08 - 8:57 am

Because they don't think the in-debt-to-its-eyeballs T can come up with its 40% share of the $1.5-billion bus tunnel, the Globe reports.

The Outraged Liberal can't wait, says this might finally be the kick in the teeth the state needs to come up with an actual, serious plan for dealing with all of the region's transportation issues:

... But then again, this is Massachusetts. If we could tax words, we would be swimming in cash.

By - 12/10/08 - 9:07 pm

Taghi TajgardounA Prudential Center resident who sells t-shirts celebrating drug use and drug kingpins was arrested today on charges he ran a full-scale drug distribution center out of his apartment.

Taghi Tajgardoun, 28, pleaded innocent today in Boston Municipal Court to charges of trafficking in cocaine, possession of a Class B substance with intent to distribute, possession of a Class D substance with intent to distribute, possession of Class B and C substances and three counts of violating the state's drug laws within 1000 feet of a school, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney's office. He was ordered held in jail in lieu of $1 million bail - and ordered to give up his passport.

Tajgardoun was arrested at a downtown UPS store where he'd gone to pick up 10 pounds of pot that authorities had earlier intercepted, DA Dan Conley said.

Conley said that at Tajgardoun's apartment at 790 Boylston St., investigators found more than 800 grams of cocaine, two bags holding crystal meth, several containers of prescription painkillers, five more pounds of marijuana, digital scales, equipment for sealing plastic bags, cutting agents, more than $25,000 in cash and three Iranian passports in his name.

"Judging solely by the evidence, we're looking at a sophisticated drug distribution point," Conley said of Tajgardoun's apartment. "Investigators seized cocaine in trafficking quantities, suggesting that he was moving it to low-level dealers."

Tajgardoun is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 7.

Tajgardoun runs an online shop selling t-shirts with slogans such as Smoke Me - I'm dope and with collages of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. He also co-owns a South Boston real-estate concern.

Innocent, etc.

By - 12/10/08 - 12:17 pm

MariaSophia tweets that a Green Line trolley stopped so suddenly at Hynes today that somebody went flying and got injured.

By - 12/10/08 - 10:00 am

On Switchback, Bill picks up on something in that recently released proposal for improving Boston Common: That city councilors Mike Ross, Bill Linehan and Sal LaMattina really wish the MBTA would stop with all this nonsense about putting a Silver Line tunnel under the park. They write:

The Silverline project will rip up the entire stretch of the Common along Charles Street for up to 10 years, for the staging area for heavy equipment. It will snarl traffic as they close a lane for the construction of a new tunnel, and it will make an entire stretch of the Common nearly unusable during that time. All of this will be done for the purpose of putting in bus transit that is unnecessary, when tunnels already exist for light rail, and when it is nearly universally agreed that the bus system as set up does not work, and is not nearly as effective or efficient as light rail.

The Silverline Project is a mistake. The plans in place will disturb sacred grounds, such as the historic graveyard. Unused light rail tunnels already exist below ground, and the MBTA, with its multimillion dollar deficit, should be looking at ways it can build a system around what is there, and ensuring that we have opportunities to become a greener, more efficient city while not tearing up our precious parks system during the construction.

Ed. note: The T has a multi-billion dollar deficit.

By - 12/9/08 - 5:28 pm

Boston Police report that people walking through Copley Square last evening objected to Adan Ibrahim's technique, which they say consisted of going up to them and demanding, "Give me a dollar or I'll punch you in the face."

He was charged with being a disorderly person.

Innocent, etc.

By - 12/9/08 - 11:16 am

Just before 10:30 AM, 6 or more marked and unmarked Boston Police cars raced up Marlborough Street, in the Back Bay, the wrong way, turned onto Mass Ave and headed into Cambridge.

I returned home and turned on a police radio and heard reports that a police car was damaged but the officer was not hurt.

The car was to be towed from 99 Sixth Street, Cambridge.

There was talk about a bank but I can't confirm that this was the reason for the chase or a separate incident.

By - 12/9/08 - 12:51 am

Here (3.8M PDF file).

The report, by councilors Michael Ross, Bill Linehan and Sal LaMattina, calls for some major changes to the Common, including:

  • An ornamental fence along Tremont to delineate the park and keep Tremont Street pedestrians off the grass while keeping it open to sunbathers;
  • A "Grand Entrance" to the park at a rebuilt visitors center;
  • a low-cost cafe on the site of either the old men's room or parks maintenance building; a dedicated dog run;
  • A permanent carousel at the Frog Pond
  • Permanent underground facilities for storing equipment needed for events at the bandstand.

In addition, the report calls for increased maintenance (everything from sidewalk to the Soliders and Sailors Monument are in poor shape) and efforts to help the homeless who congregate on the Common find permanent housing. To pay for it, the councilors propose a betterment fund paid for by neighboring landowners and gradually increasing the amount of money now raised by Boys and Girls Club kiosks on the Common dedicated to the Common.

Some initial comments by Kevin McCrea.

By - 12/7/08 - 6:20 pm

Michael Paulson reports on a wedding yesterday at the now cracked Old South Church - it went just fine, only with a piano instead of an organ (since the organ might have caused plaster to fall on people's heads).

Paulsen also provides a copy of an e-mail message from Rev. Nancy Taylor on short-term fixes and more permanent solutions, all of which will be paid for by the MBTA (including the hiring of organ and stained-glass consultants).

The breaking news at Old South.

By - 12/7/08 - 6:17 pm

People who like the existing old Shreve building at Boylston and Arlington and don't want it torn down for a new structure will protest at 10 a.m. on Weds., Dec. 10.

By - 12/6/08 - 11:47 am

The Outraged Liberal hopes the T uses its time-out on the Copley project to consider whether similar work at Arlington should be modified to protect the Arlington Street Church.

Breaking news at Old South.

By - 12/5/08 - 11:27 am

Wheeler's Cafe & Ice Cream Bar, 334 Mass. Ave. (by Symphony Hall) opens on Dec. 15.

Owner Wheeler Del Toro says, in a press release:

I think people hear vegan and they think militants eating twigs and dirt! I love eating and I'm not going to create anything that doesn't taste good.

Del Toro, a recovering meat eater, says he'll be serving all-vegetarian salads and sandwiches and will offer free WiFi and the occasional DJ spinning "gentle jazz, house and trip-hop."

By - 12/4/08 - 10:08 pm

Alecia Batson reports on a crack that starts at the foundation, goes at least 30 feet up and is large enough at some points to put your hand in. And it's on the Dartmouth Street side, right where the MBTA is doing its never-ending Copley work, which is why she's written an open letter to the T (speaking for herself, not the church) asking what it's going to do about it:

... The organ should not be played, now, as it could prompt large portions of the plaster to fall. This directly affects the Boston Secession concert that will take place there tomorrow evening, Friday, 5 December 2008, as the concert makes use of the organ. Will my friends' concert take place? We do not yet know. Tomorrow, structural engineers will determine if the sanctuary is even safe for habitation. Will church services take place this coming Sunday? Only time will tell. ...

By - 12/4/08 - 9:02 am

Kevin McCrea relays the news that the City Council's Special Committee on Boston Common, chaired by Councilor Ross, is holding a "working session" on Monday, Dec. 8, starting at 3:30 p.m. in City Hall's Curley Room.