Friday, October 27, 2006

New Lofts = New People

Ok, ok, ok.... I've been gone for a while, but now that I'm much better and working mostly from home I have plenty of time to keep you updated on the happenings of Central Square Lynn.

Development Continues

The Mayo Group is actively working on the Mt. Vernon St. artists lofts. They've torn out the old windows and appear to be in the process of gutting the building; thus, prepping it for its new life to come in the following months. It'll be nice to see what they develop. Now we all know I'm not enamored with Mayo, but I give credit where credit is due. They've contributed heavily to the revitalization of downtown. The Mt. Vernon St. lofts, as rumor has it, are meant to be sold to people who are in the arts industry. I have no idea what qualifies. It'll be interesting to see if this qualification holds. None-the-less, the more new home owners the better. You should see the bustle in downtown. Very active. Dunkin-D, FlavaZ (flayvuzz), Gulu, and Lupita are hopping! All the people are so nice around here too. Cars actually stop to let you cross the street, even when there is no crosswalk. How often do you see that in Boston?

The lofts at 7 Central Square are selling. A bit slowly, but they are selling. The model unit does a good job of conveying the possibilities, and having met one of the new residents I'm pleased to see the mix of people is, well, very well mixed. Nice.

And let's not forget RCG. Word has it RCG is working to convert another quasi-industrial building in Lynn to mixed use. This building, however, is in Western Lynn.

Rumor has it that the old stationary building next to Raw Arts is going condo soon. The biggest obstacle is the building needs an easment in order to have the land to put a second means of egress for the building. Behind this building is a latino "church." One of many (4) within a block of Central Square, I must add. Anyway, the church sits on the land. The church wanted a "donation." Something like 20k for the easment. That's right $20,000. I didn't know God was in such need. Anyway, there may be some progress. If not, the Church may be in such a state some other means of obtaining approval could be possible - oh like, eminent domain. "Give what is God's to God, give what is Caesar's to Caesar." Time will tell.

Anyone know what's up with the waterfront project? That barge is still sitting there. Leaning. Like something out of Planet of the Apes. Where's Charleston... and the hot babe? No, we don't need the horse or the monkeys.

Oxford Blues

Oxford is going downhill and in a hurry I am sadden to say. After the chef that lead it to earn the Best of Boston North Shore award left, yes he left, the place hasn't been quite the same. They ditched the nice white table-cloths. WTF!? Those table-clothes are key. Details, details, details. The place was sooooo nice. Now it feels unfinished and, well, awkward. The table cloths need t0 come back. If the issue is the price of laundering those cloths, how about doing what other high end places do... put sheets of white paper tastefully over the clothes. That should cut down on the laundry runs while preserving the sophisticated atmosphere it had. We have enough pubs and diners. We need a nice place to relax. A beautiful relaxing place with great food, great service, and attention to details, details, details! Otherwise Oxford is just another diner with a nice facade and cool lighting.

Speaking of food. Oxford's food isn't so great. I am unimpressed with the new chef Pierre's, yes that's his name, cuisine and presentation. The ribs were sour, the steak waaaaaaaay thin and not very tasteful. Picture this - 8 oz steak about 1/4 inch thick sitting in the center of a round plate with dreary looking carrot slices and soggy green beans lying parallel to it. Not very pretty, and, unfortunately, not very tasty either. Sad. Hopefully Lowel will get his good taste back in order. I heard the reason for the change in ambiance was because Lowel felt the place might not be warm, inviting, and approachable. You know, like a pub. Please! It's a nice sophisticated eatery. What's really going on? Maybe it's just an identity crisis. You tell me.

Soak Test

Starting late tonight we have a whopper of a rainstorm coming in. This will be the first stress test of the Keith Building's newly renovated forward facade, and roof leak fix. Please cross your fingers. I just moved all my clothes back into my newly restored walk-in closet. I'm feeling optimistic, and think all will be well.... Right, forget the optimism, I should move all the clothes out asap.

What Else?

We have a new business in the hood! Welcome Flag Pharmacy! Nice little place. If they don't have it they will get it for you next day. So convenient, so nice, and so local. The owner speaks Russian. For those of you not in the know, we have a large Russian population here in Lynn. Great people. Lots of fun.

I just noticed there is a Tailor around the corner from the Gulu. Fantastic! I have a pair of pants that need to be hemmed. I guess I should test the tailor out with a pair that isn't pricey. Maybe some repair work first. A good tailor is so hard to find.

I love Beden's Hardware. The place doesn't look very organized, but they have just about everything you need. I got my air filters and masonry drill bits there. So convenient. Now if I can only get a wine shop to move in. I am optimistic!

How I Miss The Silence

Cronin's is now the Fenix Latino bar. It's a club. I hear the music all the time. I call the police, the police call the Febux, the music goes down, and goes back up again, I call the police, the police maybe calls them... sigh... I just want a quiet nights sleep. All they need is to put in some sound proofing. How do you say sound proofing in Spanish?

That is all. Have a great weekend and stay dry. If we have any building drama you'll see it first right here!

Right, this set was lame. I'll do better next time.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Things Forgotten

So sorry for the dirth of postings for the last few months. As some of you may already know back in August I ruptured a disc in my lower back and was rushed to surgery. The rupture crushed the nerves to my right leg rendering it useless for a time. I'm much better now and recovering slowly. Although my doctors say I'm recovering very quickly it all feels too slow to me. Perhaps I'm impatient, or maybe it's just difficult to accept the experience of having full use of my leg one day and not so much the next, but I digress. As result of the intense medications I was on for over a month my memory and cognitive skills.... just aren't what they used to be. They, along with my nerves, are recovering -- slowly. So, if I don't seem to recognize your face, have a hard time remembering your name, or don't recall your comment or email, I apologize. Please bare with me while I piece things back together and get the blog back into action.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Parking Issues

There is a meeting tonight at the Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce at 7 pm. All residents are encouraged to come, listen, and submit your concerns and ideas about the parking situation. However, residents from the prior meeting have already set a simple agenda of problem areas to discuss and it is our hope to focus on these items during the majority of the meeting. In summary the items are:

  1. Change parking restriction enforcement hours - for example to 8 am to 6 pm
  2. Change on-street parking signage to reflect hours of parking restrictions
  3. Establish resident only parking areas and hours
  4. Establish visitor permits for Central Square
  5. Fix signage of parking lots to accurately reflect parking hours
  6. Fix lighting in parking lots to ensure safety and promote feeling of safety
  7. Add drainage to parking lot to allow convenient passage
  8. Establish regular cleaning of parking to demonstrate an investment in the area

The creation of permit parking and posted hours of restrictions are well established proven practices in Lynn as well as other cities with dense populations, such as Boston and Cambridge. None of these items are unreasonable, and most importantly they will improve the quality of life for residents of Central Square.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Far From the Maddening Crowd

Cronin's Cafe is a bar. The address is 517 Washington St. I have no issues with Cronin's but one - NOISE! It's now Monday 12:35 AM. The base from Cronin's speakers is vibrating my windows. Surprising when you consider I'm on the other side of the block, but unfortunately there are no buildings between me and Cronin's, and, obviously they have no sound dampening system in place at Cronin's. I have the noise regulations somewhere in my email system from James Marsh of the Mayor's office. I think it's time for me to brush up on them and get a noise meter from Radio Shack, and a video camera to record the noise and happenings down there. I have no issues with people having a good time, as long as they don't ruin my sleep late Sunday night before a work day. Friday, fine. Saturday, great! Sunday, absolutely NOT!

I don't think asking Cronin's to turn down the volume on Sunday night is too much, do you? I'm not asking for Friday or even Saturday for that matter. I'm talking about Sunday, the sabbath - a school night!

I put in several noise complaints with the police. They're very good about hasseling away the people on the street outside the "cafe" that may be rowdy, but having Cronin's turn down the volume seems to be a challenge. I wonder if politics are involved. Is there a guy named "Cronin" on the council? Do I need to stand in front of the city council with a power point and video of a DB meter pegging to get my point across? One would think the police department may find that a bit embarrassing.

Downtown is now a professionals residential area. The city should recognize that issues such as noise will hinder the return of downtown to that of a vibrant community. I'm not asking for dead silence. I'm asking for common good neighbor courtesy from Cronin's Cafe. Cronin's - please turn down the music on Sunday after midnight.