Wednesday, May 31, 2006

We Need a Diner

A real diner! The Capitol Diner is a nice landmark, and I'm sure the food is good considering it still exists, but DAMN IT, a diner should be open late!! I have no place local to go and get a nice hot meal after midnight. I once lived in up-state New York. I recall this one little place. All they served was breakfast, and they were (almost) never open during the day. You could say they had odd hours - from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. Let me tell you something: They were busy from 10 to midnight, packed from midnight until 4 a.m., light from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m., and absolutely slammed from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. They did stay open later on Sundays, until 3 p.m. to catch the brunch crowd.

Now, I'm not saying this model will work in Central Square, but it would be so nice to have breakfast out at 3 a.m. when I get home from, well, drinking. I'm not old, I don't get up early in the morning for my walk, and I'm in too much of a hurry to sit down and eat out before I go to work. I am, however, up until about 2 a.m. almost every night, and usually get hungry at 1 a.m.. Apparently I'm not alone since I swear I smell bacon cooking in the building around that hour. This is opportunity. Too bad Capitol isn't, well, capitalizing on it.

Neighborhood Night

Tuesday nights are "Neighborhood Night" at the Oxford Street Grill.

They have special menu items served at a discount for locals. The food is always fabulous at this place. I noticed the other week they reduced their portion size and the prices as well. This is good news, because the portions were enormous and more food than I could finish in one sitting. Not really a problem when you like leftovers, but I prefer to finish my meals in one sitting. Plus the lower price means I eat there more often. I don't' know about you but I don't have a habit of amortizing my return on investment when it comes to eating out. So the sticker shock is certainly a factor when it comes to choosing where to eat.

The Oxford, for those of you not in the "know," is a fantastic little place on Oxford St. (natch) serving up fine Germano-Asian-Fusion cuisine. Yeah, sounds trendy, but the food is great and the wine list is superb. The bar tenders are friendly and I love going there just for a snack and a snort. They always have something interesting on the TV if you're alone and feeling anti-social, but most of the time I end up chatting with my neighbor or the bartender. It's nice to be at a place where the bartenders still practice the art of psycho-mixology instead of just being a pour artist. Be honest with me, wouldn't you rather spend $11 on a glass of red, a listening ear, and advice than $250 at your shrink? Tell me the truth. Talk to me. I'm your friend. Here have a drink. What's troubling you?

The Great Flood of May 2006

Rain - rain - rain, and water damage. Oh the water damage. The rainy weeks we had a week ago and the subsequent days of light showers really did a number on our building. We now have mold growing on the upper window frame in the lobby window. This is, of course, due to the copious amounts of water filtering in through the brick and eventually through the window down onto our floor. It really sucked.

In addition, all the front bedroom units got a really good dousing through their windows. Unit 2A in particular had to change out several buckets a day during the deluge. All the water coming through around the window frame.

What did I have? Well I'm glad you asked. The ceiling in my master closet is a total wreck. The paint is hanging down, the joint tape parting, and I have three points from which the water leaked down onto my clothes. Luckily I have tons of closet space and the clothes were my suits in plastic garment bags, so no damage to my stuff. The water started to pool around the lights in the ceiling, which concerns me a bit. I hope there is no mold. The nice part about the crawl space above the ceiling is that it is actually well ventilated, if for no other reason because the brick work so damn porous!

Bad brick, that's why we're having all of our water problems. The building is so old the mortar between the brick is worn and porous and in some places absent all together. So, on really heavy rain days the water finds its way into my ceiling. The front units have it bad because the front face of our building takes on water on every rainy day. I had the back side of the building repointed before I moved in. That may be the reason why all the back facing units aren't having the same catastrophic water intrusion problems.

What about Mayo?
Mayo sent their building supervisor for downtown, Tim, to check things out. He's a nice guy, and I believe genuine. But I've met plenty of people from Mayo who are genuine. That's not their problem. The problem is Mayo as a company appears incapable of following through on their promises. On the bright side the units are getting their punchlist items fixed. On the down side - I have yet to see anybody erecting scaffolding around our building to remortar and seal our brick. Mayo did promise to do this. I even have the memo from Ed O'Donnell (Construction Directory for Lynn) saying as much. I even got a phone call from Tim saying people were coming over to examine the building and so forth. I haven't seen anything or heard anything. I did get a call from Tim saying a roofer and brick inspectors were to look at the building last week, but I haven't seen anything. In fairness, I haven't been around much to witness any activity either. I am happy to report, however, our light bulbs are getting replaced as they burn out and someone is cleaning the stairwells and lobby regularly too. That's a nice change. Let's be realistic though, it's the brick I want fixed, along with my leak, and my destroyed closet. A nice lobby doesn't seem so grand when I walk into my musty apartment with the moldy closet.