Tuesday, July 11, 2006

New Neighbors and Other Musings

7 Central Condominiums is starting to sell. There have been 3 closings already and rumor has it there are 7 more on the horizon, so at best 3 more. This is good news! More new neighbors to juice up the block. I hope they're nice. I hope the guy who bought 202 has ear-plugs for the train. How much do you want to bet he's going to try to rent it?

More Power Tools
I picked up a great little power-tool the other day. The Bosch 10.8 V. drill-driver. It's the size of a small ray-gun but packs a tremendous amount of power for its size. It has a variable speed trigger, 10 position clutch, speed chuck, work light, and 80 in/lbs of torque. It uses Lithium ion batteries - so it's lite-lite-lite. Two batteries come with the driver, take 30 minutes to charge, and hold their charge for nearly a year. Once home I promptly disassembled everything within reach that had a screw - except for the fridge (don't want to jeopardize the beer). Don't ask about assembly. The tool is compact, powerful, and handles like a dream. It's cute too. Can't wait to actually do something useful with it. Highly recommended.

Flower Store
Do people actually buy flowers from the Flower Shop here? When I look inside I barely see any flowers. It's sad when the Whole Foods has more flowers than the flowershop. The place seems geared towards fulfilling wedding orders, but I'm amazed that they can get any business at all. The store front definitely needs some work. I suspect their business would improve if they actually put some flowers out on the store front for passersby to see. Like people coming home from work. Some stepped benches in front of the store adorned with fresh flowers and plants would probably boost daily sales a bit since flowers and plants are quite often impulse buys. I would certainly grab some every week as I walk buy from train to home.

Video Store
The Russian Video store is gone, but it was only a matter of time. I mean think of the turn-over the place would need in order to just make rent. I still think a video store can succeed in Central Square, but it has to be mainstream in order to generate adequate sales. Obviously it should carry art films and such, but realistically it will survive on mainstream movies. The place must also be small and efficient with space. I think it's doable, but I could be wrong. There just needs to be an a business person to crank out the numbers and take the plunge.

Fishing Disaster
Has anyone else noticed all the fisherman, mostly Latino and Asian, tossing away skates and stingrays to die on the rocks? They catch them with their lines but apparently these fish are not desirable. So instead of releasing them back into the water they essentially leave them to bake in the sun. Do they realize how tasty they are!!!??? Skates and stingrays are of the same family as sharks. Consequently they are delicious. Their meat is similar to, get this, scallops. So much so imitation scallop meat is quite often really shark, skate, or stingray. All that yummy food gone to waste. Remember kids - the ignorant destroy.

Hooks Under the Bar
Ladies, in case you didn't already know the bar at the Oxford Grill has hooks for coats and purses under the bar. I discovered these to my great delight Saturday night. Very convenient. Why don't all bars do this? And no, I don't carry a purse... but I do have a man-bag.


Anonymous said...

Glad to see you are back with your tales for the Lynn Lofters! We missed you!

Mike C said...

Hi Mark,

We agree about the flower shop. Not to complain but it seems like some of the businesses (flower shop, russian book store) that have opened in the area aren't really geared toward the new residents. As they say the residents will bring in the business so hopefully the new condo sales will bring the need for the convienences that many of us were used to in the Cambridge/Boston area. We could definetely use a wine/cheese/gourmet food store. Oh and I can attest the masons are there and it seems like they've finished filling in the right side the other day.

leah said...

hey marcus-
thanks for the tip about the hooks-i really should have realized because lowell has good taste and of course he would put hooks under the bar-
i just found your site from my neighbor and i find it amusing and informative- perfect!
i've lived on munroe street for about a year and have yet to get involved in the community so maybe this is a start- i know- bad neighbor
i'll be at neighborhood night this coming tuesday- if you will be too it would be nice to meet you-

Corey Jackson said...

Hi Marcus,
I am one of the new residents at the Lofts at Central Square. These windows must be made of steel because train noise is minimal. I love the visuals of the trains coming in/out of the station from my top floor loft. My nieces love it even more.

I walked into the flower store once and all the flowers they did have were dying. I'm not sure what their business model is but looks like it has something to do with going out of it.

Can't wait for Flava z. How about a bakery? How about a bookstore / video store?

So, what is this neighborhood night that leah mentions? I love the potential I see in this area. Would love to meet more neighbors? Would love to see more neighbors at the Gulu. There's never anyone in there. Last night it was packed, but it was all non-neighborhood.

Marcus said...

Hi Corey,

I'm glad your new place is working out for you. You may indeed have better windows, but steel would be the worst material, wood is better - for noise attentuation anyway. But enough of that. Welcome to the neighborhood!

Look at the links to past articles at the side of the Blog for the link to Neighborhood Night. Basically it's a discount night, Tuesday, at the Oxford St. Grill. I'll probably be there tomorrow, later, like 8ish. Check it out.

Gulu-Gulu, like most places of business, have off nights and on nights. Regardless, the people there are all your neighbors. They may not live in a loft, but they are neighbors, and great neighbors too. Besides, we're the new comers. Get to know them. They are great people and full of fantastic information about the area. They know the best bars, the best little shops, the best places to get blindes, etc. etc. I have the priveledge of knowing several well, like Calvin and Gale, who gave me a lot of information about the area. Also, be sure to introduce yourself to Steve and Marie, owners of the Gulu so they can remember your face as someone from the block. They can direct you to the local bakery. As for bookstore and video store. It would be a tough life for a bookstore with all knowing Amazon around. A video store has a better chance of surviving, but at present the nearest one is the Blockbuster Video on Boston St. Check out www.blockbuster.com for directions. It's about 1 mile away. Once we fill the square with residents, like yourself, we'll attract business like a local video store... and a wine and cheese shop.

Again, welcome!