Boston Blog Posts

January 7, 2008

City of Newton Recycles

The City of Newton has this great site: Newton Recycles. This list all the various items that can be recycled and where to properly dispose of them.

What a great list! A quick look around our apartment this weekend I can see how we can use some of the sites that are mentioned on the page and perhaps make some cash in the process. I am sure my landlord will appreciate it.

Another place that we found this weekend is that Goodwill will take about 90% of the stuff we have. The only problem is that the nearest Goodwill is in Summerville. Its a long drive to get rid of stuff.

I also found the United States Book Exchange to be a good source to recycle old books. However, don't be afraid to throw out those old Computer books, you know, how to install Windows 3.1. Hmmm, that might be a good book to throw on eBay...

December 28, 2007

Wireless at South Station

In the past, travelers to Boston's South Station used to be able to get free WiFi while waiting for their train. If you google WiFi South Station you'll find several article about the free wireless access at South Station. However, the Free WiFi is gone in favor of a paid service provided by GuestBox.com.

So how is the wireless service at South Station? Is it worth the $9 month fee or $8 hourly fee? Don't ask me, it appears that the service isn't Macintosh friendly.

I am unable to login to the service using my Powerbook G4. I had no problems with the signup process, it went very smoothly and I was very excited to get online. However, I can't get past the login screen. I don't get any error messages, its just the login screen keeps showing up asking me to login everytime.

Problem is that I already put in my credit card number for a monthly subscription. I am unsure if this is related to having Macintosh 10.5 installed on my computer. I'll check to see if I have the latest patches. I am currently using Mac OS X 10.5.1 (9B18) on a Powerbook G4. I am also using the latest versions of Safari and Firefox.

If you have any support issues with South Station wireless, you should contact GuestBOX, you can call them at 888-999-1299.

December 26, 2007

South Station

The Boston's South Station commuter rail was pretty quiet this morning. This isn't a surprise since most business travelers took most of this week off. I was very excited to find a seat this morning.

Can someone explain why Dunkin Donuts hasn't open a franchise inside South Station? The nearest one is about 3 blocks away from the station. It seems that with all the commuter trains that come in the morning that Dunkin Donuts would do pretty well in the morning. There's a Dunkin Donuts in the Harvard Square 'T' station that does pretty well all day.

The South Station terminal has a good assortment of restaurants, and I have seen many people goto the station to get lunch during the busy lunch hour. There's three main eating establishments restaurants: Cosi, McDonalds, and Master Wok.

If you plan on taking Amtrak METRO or Acela from South Station, I highly recommend that you bring your own food on the train. A bag of chips or soda is much cheaper at a supermarket than at the train station. Also the food selection at the station is very limited.

I suspect that the commute tomorrow isn't going to be that bad so its going to be a good week to be going into Boston.

December 18, 2007

MBTA Delays

Traindelays

The MBTA was experience delays this morning due to the cold weather. This morning I waited almost a 1/2 hour in the freezing cold waiting for the train. Most commuters left after about 25 minutes.

The MBTA should have a better system in place to let commuters know about train delays. Hopefully they will fix this in the future. I feel sorry for the people that were in the train waiting to get into Boston. Wonder if the commute will be better tonight if the cold air continues.

December 13, 2007

Snow Day in Boston

Today was a pretty snowy day in the Boston area. Weather forecasters warned people that it was going to be a quick storm dropping about 6 inches or more of snow during the evening commute.

What made the storm really bad is that almost everyone left work early! This caused a grid lock with most of roads in eastern Massachusetts. I know some people that left work in Natick around 3pm and didn't get to their house in Newton until 7pm. A commute that usually takes about 30 minutes for the 20 mile distance took 4 hours today!

The MassPike was bumper to bumper going into and out of the city of Boston. The bottleneck lasted for many hours, and the side roads weren't any better. Washington Street in Newton had the largest backup that I have ever seen. Most people were taking this route to avoid the traffic on the Mass Pike and get to 128.

The suburbs weren't any better to commuters. Local media reported slow traffic on Route 9 in the Newton/Wellesley area. Some commuters even ran out of gas on Route 9! There were lots of reports of people being on the road stuck in traffic for 5,6,7 hours.

I was in the city of Boston and took the commuter rail from Newtonville to South Station. I got out of work around 4:30 and waited to catch the 5:05 train. The train was a little late getting in and they waited an extra 15mins before leaving. (I am not sure the reason for the delay.) Most of the trains were late getting in and there were lots of people in South Station waiting. I manage to get to Newtonville around 6pm.

I stopped at the Lobster Wok to pick up Chinese takeout for dinner, and there were few other people also had the same idea. The restaurant was the crowded that I have ever seen it! I did notice that the Starbucks next door was also crowded and a few people were using their laptops in the cafe. Must be nice to sit inside and sip on a Eggnog Late and enjoy the first winter storm of the season.

My white 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS had no problems getting up the street to my apartment. The car was covered in snow, but had no problems getting through the unplowed parking lot. I saw several front wheel drive cars having problems in the parking lot and fish tailing on several side streets. It really helps to have all wheel drive.

The next time a big storm supposed hit the Boston area during the evening commute its probably best to work from home, or at least leave really really early. I am sure there's plenty of New England drivers that wish they didn't go to work today.

November 15, 2007

Boston Sports Bar

Yesterday, KirkJerk posted that no Boston Team has lost since the Red Sox came back from being down 3 games against the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS. (The only exception is the Boston Bruins) Since October 16, the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and the New England Patriots haven't lost a game.

The Boston Celtics do look pretty good this year, and I enjoyed watching them win to go 7-0 for the season. It couldn't be more perfect for the Boston fan, watch the Celtics win during the week and then on Sunday watch the Patriots win. No question about it - Boston sports teams are playing at a very different level than other teams.

If you are visiting Boston and looking for a sports bars to watch the games, here are three good options:

The Good Time Emporium - 30 Sturtevant St, Somerville, MA 02145
Lots of big screen TVs and plenty of free parking makes this a great sports bar. Plenty to do before or after the game.

The Fours - 166 Canal St, Boston, MA 02114
Directly across from the Fleet Center, a great local favorite. Easiest to get to via Public Transportation.

Game On - 82 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215
At Fenway Park, a great place to watch any game.

October 30, 2007

Boston South Station

This week I am doing an installation at a customer site near the South Station MBTA Terminal in Boston, Massachusetts. I have been taken the MBTA train from Newtonville in every day.

Its amazing how quickly you can get to Boston from Newtonville than to take the 'T' from Woodland or from Riverside. Ts three stops from the Newtonville station to South Station. If you take the Riverside Green Line, at three stops you still in Newton and miles away from the city of Boston.

The only "downside" is that I have to stand during the whole trip to Boston, but its a short trip so I don't mind. There's plenty of 8 hour parking across the street from Shaws, and it cost .50 an hour or $4 for 8 hours. Plus there's a Starbucks and a Dunkin Donuts near the station, so riders can pick up a treat on their way in.

There's plenty of shops and resturants in South Station. However, I think along the Amtrak northern corridor station the best station has to be Grand Central Station in Washington DC.

October 17, 2007

Visit Historic Concord, MA

If you plan on visiting Boston this fall, you should include Concord Massachusetts on your trip. Here are some places to visit in the Concord area.

Walden Pond
There's nothing like enjoying a nice fall day by walking around Walden Pond. Enjoy the sites and sounds of Concord Woods and enjoy scenic views of the fall foliage reflecting in the pond.

The Wayside and the Orchard House
The Wayside in Concord, Massachusetts is a National Historic Landmark lived in by three American Literary figures: Louisa May Alcott, Margaret Sidney and Nathaniel Hawthorne. The Alcott House is where Lousia May Alcott wrote her books and it is kept the same way it was when the Alcott's lived there.

Old North Bridge
The Old North Bridge is the site of the famous battle between the Minuteman and the British. You'll learn about the reason why the British wanted to cross the bridge and who the Minuteman were.

Colonial Inn
Enjoy an afternoon tea or lunch at the Historic Colonial Inn. The Colonial Inn was where many solders were treated during the Old North Bridge battle. Did you know that directly across the street from the Colonial Inn is a grave stone marker of a British Solder? Some people think the building is haunted.

October 5, 2007

Red Sox Baseball Tonight

MBL.com sent the following back on April 2, 2007. Let's see what the new faces can do about making 2 - 0 against the Indians!

Red Sox ready to roll
Three high-profile additions (Daisuke Matsuzaka, J.D. Drew and Julio Lugo) hope to blend in with the returning core to give the Red Sox what could be a special team. It all starts today - Opening Day 2007 - when the Sox travel to Kansas City to take on the Royals at 4:10 p.m. ET.

I can't believe that I didn't blog the 2004 World Series. Won't make that mistake this year!

August 28, 2007

Baseball Night in America

Yankees and Red Sox are meeting tonight for an exciting series in New York. While the Yankees are 8 games back, there's still plenty of time for them to catch up. They are a very talented team, so anything can happen. You can bet Terry Francona isn't thinking about the playoffs this week. Its one game at a time.

The Yankee and Red Sox rivalry is the best of any sport. Over the past five years the rivalry has intensified, with some Red Sox players joining the Yankees, the most notable is Johnny Damon. There has been numerous quotes between the two owners, with the most notable being called “the evil empire” by the Red Sox.

Expect an exciting game tonight as Daisuke Matsuzaka (13-10, 3.76) goes up against Andy Pettitte (11-7, 3.69). Andy Pettitte is the best pitcher that the Yankees have in the current rotation.

How this series plays out will certainly determine if the Yankees will be playing much baseball in October.

Go Sox!

July 26, 2007

Summer Cleaning

Spring Cleaning 2007

The above graphic describes what I'll be focusing on this weekend, cleaning the basement. I did this a few weeks ago and made tremendous progress, but the task is yet to be completed.

Yesterday I went to Target to get some more storage container bins. They had a good deal on 18-gal bins for $4.99. The only thing I don't like about them is that they aren't clear, so you can't see the contents inside the bin. I picked up three bins anyway.

The best place to get bins is at Target. Usually they have some bins on sale every week. When they run out, wait a couple of days and they will probably have it back in stock. Over time you'll see that they usually have the same bins on sale over and over again.

The Container Store has the best selection of clear bins, but they have it at a premium price. I would recommend getting bins for valuable items such as baseball cards and letters that you want to keep. The Container Store bins are pretty good quality.

Walmart has a pretty good selection of bins but I didn't find them much cheaper than Target. Walmart selection did seem a little smaller than Target, maybe Super Walmarts carry more inventory? Walmart quality is pretty good, but the bin section seemed very unorganized.

I recently purchase a few bins at Ikea and found the quality to be pretty good. My only complaint is that they charge extra for the lids. Not sure of the logic behind that: $3.99 for the base and $1 for the lid. I can't think of any reason of why someone would not want a lid. The bins are pretty good quality, almost like the Container Store and they stack very nicely.

My advice to those looking to declutter their basement/attic is to use lots of small bins that are stackable. I find sorting things between smaller bins makes things easy to find later on. For example, I have several small bins that I use to store some office supplies, that way it will be easy to find pens/paper and notebooks when I am looking for them. Use larger bins for storing seasonal clothes and large holiday items.

Its going to be a fun weekend decluttering the basement. I plan on having a Yard Sale in a few weeks so I need to decide on what to keep and what goes in the yard sale.

September 24, 2006

Mountain Dew

PitchBlack

Pretty soon Mountain Dew's Pitch Black will be back on the store shelves.

Expect CVS, Stop and Shop and other stores to have plenty of Pitch Black just in time for the Halloween season.

Mountain Dew Pitch Black combines the great taste of Mountain Dew with a blast of black grape flavor. It follows in the footsteps of Mountain Dew LiveWire, which grew the Mountain Dew trademark more than 10% during its inaugural six-month run in 2003. Building on that successful strategy, Mountain Dew Pitch Black will capitalize on excitement leading up to Halloween with a shorter, 10-week on-shelf stretch beginning very soon.

Its one of my favorite drinks and worth the 100 calories...

September 20, 2006

Sagamore Rotary

SagmoreRotary

Today the Rotary at the Sagamore Bridge will no longer exsit. Going to Cape Cod via Route 3 will no longer be the same. Its esimated that the new flyover will cut traffic down by 20 minutes.

I don't think this is the end to Cape Cod traffic at the Bridge. On Saturday and Sundays the traffic off the Cape is caused by the merge of Exit 1 traffic, right before the bridge.

August 3, 2006

Weight Watchers

Today I reached my 10% goal at Weight Watchers! In 11 weeks I lost 10% of my weight!

Here are the keys to my success:
  • Go to Weight Watchers with a Buddy.
  • Go to a meeting every week and mentally challenge yourself to loose weight.
  • Eat less FAT!!
  • Write everything down. If it goes in your mouth, then write it down! Learn the Weight Watcher's Point system, and stick with it.
  • Eat Healthy snacks! I enjoy Frosted Mini-Wheats as a snack. Mini-Pretzels are great too!
  • Goto a Weight Watcher's meeting with a great team leader and an interactive group.
  • Drink lots of water!
  • Eat more Fruit and Vegetables.

July 7, 2006

Salvi's Barber Shop

If you are looking for a Barber Shop that equivalent to the West Concord Barber shop, this one is pretty good.

Salvis Barber Shop
386 Watertown St, Newton, MA
617-924-9563
Hours
Sunday Closed
Monday 7:30 - 5:30
Tuesday 7:30 - 5:30
Wednesday 7:30 - 6:00
Thursday 7:30 - 5:30
Friday 7:30 - 5:30
Saturday 7:30 - 5:30