Home 'n' hearth

By - 12/6/16 - 3:17 pm

City Councilor Mark Ciommo (Allston/Brighton) and Mayor Walsh are proposing a measure that could save the average Boston homeowner $300 a year in property taxes, which the city says it can pay for thanks to the local construction and real-estate boom. Read more.

By - 12/4/16 - 2:45 pm

An annual housing report card by the Boston Foundation and the Dukakis Center at Northeastern University highlights the dark clouds over the region's economic boom: Poverty rates are growing as the cost of living increases due to housing prices - yet the region is failing to keep up with growing demand for housing, at least for people below the highest income brackets. Read more.

By - 11/28/16 - 3:34 pm

I get treated like Ebenezer Scrooge at holiday time. After all, there is no investment advisor in Boston’s Enchanted Village. But rather than admonish my readers to rein in spending, I’m recommending you treat yourself this season.

By - 11/12/16 - 3:08 pm
Hawk outside somebody's door in the Back Bay

Casie Gillette stopped to look at the hawk outside somebody's front door on Commonwealth Avenue in the Back Bay today.

By - 11/10/16 - 6:18 pm

Adam, I hope you'll let me post a thank you to the students of the Boston Consevatory and of Berklee, who I'm assuming are jointly responsible for the chalk graffiti all over Boylston and Mass Ave, and to the Conservatory specifically for the quotations they posted all over their front windows. In a country I no longer feel I know, understand, or belong in, their messages of love, hope, and strength made me feel better and safer than I have felt in days. In my rush I wasn't able to take photos, but I would encourage everyone to go have a look. Hopefully it will lift others' weary spirits as it has mine.

By - 11/10/16 - 4:52 pm

Adam, I hope you'll let me post a thank you to the students of the Boston Consevatory and of Berklee, who I'm assuming are jointly responsible for the chalk graffiti all over Boylston and Mass Ave, and to the Conservatory specifically for the quotations they posted all over their front windows. In a country I no longer feel I know, understand, or belong in, their messages of love, hope, and strength made me feel better and safer than I have felt in days. In my rush I wasn't able to take photos, but I would encourage everyone to go have a look. Hopefully it will lift others' weary spirits as it has mine.

By - 11/2/16 - 11:31 pm

It's on Fort Hill, but still. The Bay State Banner introduces us to the most expensive house in Roxbury history.

By - 11/2/16 - 3:13 pm

I’ve always wanted to dispel the common investment myth that wealthy people have an automatic advantage in the stock market. So, I thought joining a Boston Brahmin social club would be the best way to explore this topic. Things did not turn out the way I expected, but the process reinforced some very basic life lessons along with investing realities.

By - 10/21/16 - 9:03 am

The Boston Sun reports the Back Bay Architectural Commission rejected dormers proposed for 197 Commonwealth Ave. after a neighbor complained their location would let people stare at her as she sat on her toilet. Read more.

By - 10/20/16 - 9:44 pm

WCVB reports the managers of an apartment building on A Street in Fort Point require tenants to have their dogs' DNA tested - so if maintenance workers find dog shit, they can test it and, if it matches a tenant's pet, they can be billed for the cleanup.

If only the building didn't have such a frickin' pretentious name: 315 on A. Because plain old 315 A St. just wasn't la-di-da enough.

By - 10/15/16 - 1:37 pm

I’m not afraid of the creepy clowns running around this year. If you really want to scare the Wicked Smart Investor on Halloween just come to my door dressed as procrastination. This horror show makes me jump right out of my skin. Okay, maybe it’s not Old Granary Burial Ground at midnight with ground fog and howling coyotes kind of scared, but the procrastination ghoul will certainly elicit blood curdling screams out of me! To be on the safe side, I’ll hang some garlic cloves on the front door before trick or treating starts.

Here are the reasons I find procrastination so scary:

By - 10/5/16 - 11:36 am

Boston’s South Shore is home to two varieties of money mysteries. There’s a big, almost unsolvable whodunit. Then there are thousands of smaller cliffhangers easily solved if the gumshoes kept the legwork simple.

By - 9/20/16 - 1:24 pm

Diners in Boston’s beloved North End are almost guaranteed a great meal. There are so many places to choose from and the competition among restaurants is fierce. If a chef doesn’t make mouth-watering entrees, customers can easily flock to the highly rated place next door. This sets the culinary bar astronomically high. While you can only choose one restaurant for a meal, the abundance of choice reduces the risk your palate will be disappointed.

By - 8/23/16 - 2:47 pm

Many of the buildings sit on wooden pilings that only rot when exposed to dry conditions. The Beacon Hill Times reports on nascent concern in the area about the pilings.

By - 8/18/16 - 12:34 pm

I’ve always wondered how Sir Isaac Newton, one of the smartest men that ever lived, lost a fortune in the stock market. I went back to school early this year and found out.

By - 8/3/16 - 4:50 pm

Industries have a life cycle just like humans . Like a person’s childhood, teenage years, adulthood and golden years, industries have distinct life stages. A local example is the Nantucket whaling industry. Let’s review the lifecycle.

1659: Nantucket settled.

1752: Start up stage. Whaling voyages begin. The market for clean burning whale oil is small but growing. Industry profits are negative and large amounts of capital are required to build ships and train mariners.

1760-1789: Growth stage. In this stage capital requirements are still high, but sales grow rapidly and profits are positive.

By - 7/23/16 - 2:22 pm

Paragon Park had a gaudy fortune telling machine in its arcade. It was called Grandma’s Prophesies and it looked like a heavily made up corpse laid out in an upright casket. But deposit fifty cents though and good old grandma sprung to life. Light bulb eyeballs lit up, the creaky head spun, and her fiberglass hands moved over a glowing crystal ball. The mystical music added to the experience along with the scents of fresh cotton candy and the Nantasket sea breeze. When grandma finished with her plexi glass enclosed gyrations, a fortune card was dispensed. The card was supposed contain to wisdom that only she could see.

By - 7/19/16 - 8:21 pm

The doorbell has an eerie echo tonight, as if it’s vocalizing your disdain for what is happening next. After years of procrastination you finally decided to meet with a financial planner. Retirement is on the horizon and you need to make the most of your savings.

As the clean-cut advisor crosses the threshold you notice his expensive designer clothing. With impeccable manners he makes eye contact as he firmly shakes your hand. Then, he even goes so far as to compliment the interior decorating of your humble home. That’s exactly the sing-song you expected and the rock in your stomach only grows.

By - 7/19/16 - 8:04 pm

Most people struggle to pick a career. It’s considered a stroke of good luck if someone finds their vocation, a job that they truly enjoy. I do consider myself a lucky man, but I wouldn’t exactly say the leprechauns were looking out for me the day I started on my career path. I’m also not sure that I found financial planning. Maybe it found me.

By - 7/19/16 - 8:51 am

For the second time in a little over a month, the Back Bay Architectural Commission has rejected a request by Steve and Judy Pagliuca to turn the basement of 352 Marlborough St. into a garage. Read more.