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.


Anonymous said...

yeah the are suppose to remodle all the shops under the bridge on mt vernon street. is mayo still going to build condos next to the kieth building.

Cheryl said...

Good to see that your are up and feeling better. Missed your blogs.
Sad to hear about Oxford, seems to look deserted quite often when I pass by lately. Too bad!
Have you heard anything further about the Italian Restaurant that was talked about? Seems there is a for rent sign on the storefront now. We could use a good Italian place in the area. Oh and I agree on the wine shop. Maybe if question 1 passes we can get some at Shaw's.

Mike C said...

That's the plan anonymous.

Mark, haven't been to that tailor yet. We get are drycleaning done at Toomey's on Boston Street. We've had some minor hemming done there and been satisfied. They have a tailor at their Western Ave location (by floating bridge) a couple times a week.

I'd be interested about the tailor as well since I need a suit taken in.

Chris said...

What is going on with the brick building that is being renovated on the corner of Washington and 1A near the Heritage Museum? My friend and I disagree. He thinks a Starbucks is going in. I think the Starbucks is going to be on the Lynnway (according to the Lynn Item this past summer). Anyone know for sure?

Kevin said...

Quite honestly I am disgusted with the Mayo Group. They are slum lords who don't take care of anything or anybody. I'd like to see them actually fix the multitude of problems at 7 Central before they go off to build another shack that will fall down with the next strong ocean wind.

Anonymous said...

What are the problems with 7 Central? A potential buyer wants to know!

Corey said...

Rosina's needs everyone's help. Go buy flowers from her or we are going to have another abandoned storefront in central. Buy flowers THIS WEEK. Marcus, if you could go talk to Rosina and post a front page story on this, it might help.


Marcus said...


Rosina's is on your turf. You go talk to her. ;-)


Mike C said...


2 things, looks like we are getting a new business in the Square. Going in next to Omar and Oscar's is another flower shop.....just what we needed, not.

Also the Oxford Street Grill has closed, anybody know why? Was is for personal or business reasons?

3 business that I think would do well in the Square.

1. A Wine, cheese, and gourmet food store..ala formagio's or Shoobies in Marblehead.
2. A resturant somewhere between Gulu and Oxford Street Grill....ala Christophers (in Porter).
3. A good pizza place (Di-Mio and Urban Gourmet come to mind).

Just some thoughts....

Anonymous said...

I am a prospective Central Square condo buyer, and I have a question for all of you. Is the area safe at night? I see a number of violent crimes logged on the Lynn police web page. I also see a number of level 3 sex offenders reside in the immediate vicinity. Are there areas to avoid? In general, do you all feel ok walking around at night?

Marcus said...

Our area is very safe. Notice I said our area. If you continue West past Sloan it gets sketchy. Central Sq. is 2 blocks from police headquarters. So the police roll through all the time. We had a couple of incidents on the T platform. One was a suicide and the other was a fight between homeless people. We've had a couple of incidents of car vandalism, but not theft. There was one break-in of a building storage area. A bike was stolen, and nothing else. We've had no violent crimes against residents. The street is industrially gloomy at night, but safe. We're a tight knit community. Everybody knows everybody, whether you like it or not, and we watch out for each other. Keep an open mind and you'll be most pleasantly surprised.

Anonymous said...


Thanks, good to know. How about amenities within walking distance? Is there a grocery store you like to go to in the immediate area? I see the Super Stop+Shop, but that looks like more of a drive away.

Marcus said...

I go to the Shaws 3 short blocks away for the basics. For the rest I drive to the Wholefoods and Trader Joes in Swampscott about 1.5 miles up 1A. Up 107 there is also a Market Basket which is popular with a lot of folks, and it does have a great selection. Target and Home Depot are also in the same shopping area there. The Super Stop and Shop down the street is generally a good store, but I only shop there if I happen to be driving by or going to Blockbusters. A few people here actually have Peapod deliver groceries. There are two convenience stores in 1 block of the square. Both cater to the latin community and have a good selection of spices and the basics. The dry cleaner next to Shaws is great and inexpensive. Bedens hardware store is near the square and has everything most people would need to fix up their place. The post office is one block away. Sovereign bank is one block and Bank of America is next to Shaws. Gulu, Tacos Lupita, Bistro, Pho Lynn, and Capitol Diner are 2 minutes walk. We have a pharmacy in the square, but the Shaws has a CVS in it and there is a Walgreens 4 blocks up Union. We have a tailor in the square and a cobbler up from Bistro. I use the seamstress at the dry cleaners. Mature lady. Gruff, but does great work. There is a Radio Shack across from Shaws, and a liquor store next to it. I tend to use the liquor store next to Wholefoods. Capitol diner for Saturday brunch, before 2, Mildres for Sunday Brunch. I think that covers the basics. Anything else? :-)

Anonymous said...

Well, that does about cover it. How about a gym or a ymca?

Marcus said...

There is a YMCA about 4 blocks down State street. Thats the street in front of Shaws. There is City Fitness in the same shopping center as Walgreens. Sean from BML likes the YMCA. They have a pool, I hear. I use a gym near work, so I can't comment on them. I hear that Mt. Vernon Lofts, Apartments (I believe they're renting instead of selling now). Actually has a fitness center in it.