Home 'n' hearth

By - 1/26/09 - 9:14 am

John Ford posts fourth-quarter apartment-rent numbers for Boston.

By - 1/23/09 - 10:12 am

Note to self: Next time you open your bedroom window and use a loose bedpost to knock down some of the two-to-four-foot-long icicles hanging from your front gutter because you and the kidlet think that might be cool, you might want to let the wife, sitting downstairs watching TV, know first so she doesn't think the house is under attack or something. But at least I proved to the kidlet that just because I'm going to do something stupid (i.e., use a loose bedpost to knock down giant icicles), it doesn't mean I'm going to do something really stupid (i.e. lose my grip on the loose bedpost and then have to go outside and navigate the three feet of snow in the front yard to retrieve it or, even better, listen to it bounce off one of the shrubs and crash into a living-room window).

By - 1/10/09 - 1:52 pm

As a J.P. resident, the short walk down Boylston St. to the Stony Brook T stop becomes treacherous during the winter because several neighbors rarely clear away snow and ice from the narrow sidewalk in front of their homes.

I know it's a pain to shovel. I'm a condo owner in one of J.P.'s triple deckers, and we share shoveling duties. It's no fun, but we do a decent job of it. These folks, however, don't even make the effort. Perhaps there are extenuating circumstances, but in any event it's a genuine safety hazard.

By - 1/8/09 - 4:10 pm

Well...you won't have much to choose from. While Back Bay was formerly made up almost completely of single family homes, over the past 30 years this has dramatically changed. It started with landlords converting many of these into multi-family apartment homes and more recently with developers converting them to multi-unit luxury condos.

By - 12/30/08 - 3:34 pm

I got a thank-you note today for a Christmas tip, from the person who delivers the Globe! This was so unusual that I wanted to post it - there is still great service out there.

I also got a typed-up note saying that she would not be delivering the paper for a couple of days, but someone else would, and it included a phone number to call in case of any problem with delivery.

She also delivers the paper right to the front step, every morning, even during the awful weather we had last week. (I really love having the paper delivered.)

Ho ho ho to those who go that way today! Hope everone wasn't up too late last night wrapping or celebrating, especially if you have kids.

Happy Chanuka to those who celebrate for more nights than just one. Adam Sandler's classic has been getting a lot of airplay lately; I heard it twice in one morning, I think on the same station (hmmm, did Mix's playlists change dramatically when Lander went, or is that just my imagination?).

Joyous Winter Solstice for those who are thankful the sun has come back to us, a little more each day.

By - 12/21/08 - 10:29 pm

I need to build a "staircase" for my three-legged cat to get up to my couch; he's no longer able to jump up more than 3-4 inches.* I'm using phone books right now, but they're pretty slippery.

An old set of encyclopedias would be perfect; they're large, they're hardcover, and they have a nice grippable surface. Does anyone have a set that's too old to bother giving to schools, but too new to be a Valuable Antique?

By - 12/16/08 - 9:31 am

Kevn McCrea explains how that could happen - basically, commericial property values are plummeting even faster than residential ones:

The result is that residential taxes will rise, perhaps substantially, even if home values continue to deteriorate in 2009. Successful lawsuits from owners of larger commercial properties may exacerbate the shift of tax liability from commercial properties to residential properties in 2010 and beyond.

Because, remember: Prop. 2 1/2 only limits the total amount of money a city can take in in property taxes, not how much an individual property owner pays.

By - 12/12/08 - 3:24 pm

The state Attorney General's office has gotten a temporary restraining order against a mortgage broker who allegedly soaked troubled homeowners for fees he claimed would help him stave off their foreclosures. According to the lawsuit filed against David Coleman of Methuen yesterday:

... Coleman would target vulnerable homeowners on the brink of foreclosure by combing newspapers for victims' contact information in foreclosure notices. He would then allegedly make unsolicited calls to the homeowners where he would offer to save their homes from foreclosure by assisting them in filing for bankruptcy in exchange for a $1,000 cash fee upfront. The complaint further states that Coleman held himself out to consumers as a bankruptcy expert and an attorney, even though he does not hold a license to practice law in Massachusetts or in any other state. ... In many instances, the bankruptcy petitions were deficient and dismissed because they were incomplete or lacked the proper information. Homeowners allege that when they attempted to contact Coleman about these deficiencies, he was either not reachable or, if reached, he brushed off consumers’ concerns. ...

By - 12/10/08 - 11:47 am

The 7NEWS team has cooked up a great way to help feed the hungry. For a modest contribution to Project Bread, the state’s leading antihunger organization, donors can treat themselves to more than 20 different holiday recipes - from Randy Price’s “Mud Bug Salad,” and Frances Rivera’s “Crusted Baked Brie and Apricot Dip;” to Pete Bouchard’s “Homemade Chocolate Coconut Bars,” and Joe Amorosino’s “Pan-Seared Halibut with Black Bean Salsa Fresca.” These recipes and more are now available online.

By - 12/1/08 - 10:17 am

With Plum Island washing plum out to sea, David Robichaud asks the question.

By - 11/30/08 - 1:01 pm

Spatch is not happy with whoever's remodeling the kitchen in the apartment under his:

... [P]ower drills are whirring and things are getting hammered and slammed and pulled down and stuff.

At 7:30 in the goddamn morning. On a Sunday. ...

By - 11/25/08 - 2:05 pm

With the holiday season upon us, and being sure that there are at least some posters here who're amiable to homemade desserts and/or side dishes, I thought I'd post a couple of recipes that might be of interest to any dessert lovers or lovers or fresh side dishes. Here goes:

This is a dessert for people who're chocolate freaks. (I count myself in there):

Rich Chocolate Pound Cake with Chocolate Glaze:

I) Cake:

2 cups sugar
2 cups white, all-purpose flour
2 sticks melted unsalted butter
6 squares melted unsweetened baking chocolate
1 tsp. baking powder

By - 11/20/08 - 10:14 am

In these hard economic times, we're all looking for ways to save some cash. The State, as well as The City of Boston and other local municipalities, say they are strapped. Well, here's an idea: Don't put up or turn on Christmas lights until after Thanksgiving.

By - 10/31/08 - 9:01 am

Third House Journal awakens on a cold October morning:

The house rouses, her reassuring furnace below, thump and ping of pipes and radiator, muffled rushes of the first cars far beyond. Early light seeps through her ribs.

By - 10/26/08 - 6:53 pm

When the economy is going in the tank what do you do? Design a neighborhood based on Feng shui!

NECN with the story.

By - 10/21/08 - 7:56 pm

Maggie is looking at a great apartment, but with a hitch: Heat and hot water are not included in the rent (it's in a house). She wonders how much people around here pay for heat.