Category Archives: east boston

Product Review: Utilitech 1/6 HP Utility Pump

This past weekend, I had the unfortunate pleasure of using a utility pump to get water out of my basement.  It was a good pump, but did not come with any instructions or trouble shooting so I was mostly wandering around blindly while inches of water came in through my basement. I thought it might help some people if I wrote about how to use it.

  • The shorter the hose the better. I originally had 100 feet of hose attached to the pump, but that was way too long. I bought it that long so that I could run the hose out of the basement to the front, but my father pointed out that I could get a shorter hose and put it through the drain for the washing machine. Since the power cord was 10 feet long, I bought the shortest hose I could get (15 feet)/
  • Sometimes the pump would not spin. This was because of silt that had gotten into the mechanism.  By drilling the screws out and wiping each part down, I was able to get most of the silt out. Always make sure that the pump is turned off when you do that and try it out before you put the screws back in.
  • Sometimes that even doesn’t work. The only way I figured out how to make the pump start working was to turn it out, put it on the floor, and then unscrew the hose until it started taking in water. Then you have to move very fast, angle the pump on its side and screw the hose back on. This way, it will start taking water up and through the hose.
  • Make sure to give it time to cool down. It has a little engine and it is doing a lot of work, so put it in a cool place.
  • Clean it completely after you are done with it.

Hopefully I won’t have to use this again anytime soon. However, we need to get a few contractors out to fix things in the house and yard.

I bought my pump at Lowes. It was located in the back behind the fridge/sink/toilet display against the back wall.

What you stole

Sometime yesterday afternoon, you and at least one other friend broke into my house and stole my stuff. You pawed through my clothing, you smoked in my house. You violated my security and you left your tire iron on my bed.

You stole my pearl earrings and necklace that my grandparents had given me. But you cannot steal the memories of being at Epcot Center with them and the joy of watching the guy open up the oyster I had picked and finding not one, but two pearls in it.  Even my grandfather was overjoyed with my luck that day and we had them made into earrings with gold backings.  I wore them and the necklace they gave me at my graduations, at weddings, and at my grandfather’s funeral as a tribute to him.

You stole the necklace my father brought back from Saudi Arabia.  But you cannot steal the feelings of happiness when he would finally come back from setting up the computer system for his client or the anger and annoyance that went with it.  Not entirely happy memories, but they made us a stronger family.

You stole my celtic knot…perhaps my most favorite necklace. It isn’t worth anything on the street, especially in a neighborhood with no Irish. However, you cannot steal the fun that I had out at Hammond Castle, Connecticut, Carver, or Salem dressed up as a “Renaissance” woman being teased by actors and men who believe in chivalry or the memories of delivering cookies or taking pictures from the front lines.

You took my baby locket, my confirmation cross, my grandmother’s jewelry.

You took my feeling of security in my own home.

You ruined my door and the wall I had just painted.

You took my stash of Canadian money.

You, however, did not hurt anyone who lives in the house.

You did not burn down my house with your disgusting cigarette left burning in the rug.

You did not take my great grandmother’s charm bracelet, the only thing I have of hers.

You did not take one of my best gifts ever…the one that my niece picked out for me on her own, and with her own money. The one that I will be wearing this Christmas as it is the about the only jewelry that I have left.
I doubt you are long for this life…but I hope before you die, we get to have some news that you have been arrested or are already in prison and off the streets. I can honestly say that you are one of the few people that I hate.

House updating

Now, I knew when we bought this house that there would be a lot of time spent fixing things. But I didn’t really realize that it would take so much work. And it still isn’t done yet!! There is always something to do and something to buy.

The Office Before
The Office Before
The Inbetween
The Office Inbetween

So this is our office. It went from being a boring light blue like the other rooms in the house into a nice light yellow squash. There is still some touching up to do but it is much nicer than before and has our desks set up just in time for school to start up again.

Bedroom After
Bedroom After
Bedroom Before
Bedroom Before

The bedroom has been changed a lot, as well. Before it was a bland green color and the furniture they had in there was huge! We changed the paint to a “mellow mauve”, really a nice purple color and will be putting in a much smaller fan. This one feels like its going to take someone’s head off. That room is mostly done except for the fan, which is a small job that can be taken care of easily.

Now we just have to get moving on removing the asbestos covered hot oil heater in the basement. Its going to be easier than I thought, which is nice since we don’t have a ton of money to toss around on something like this.

Crime…

So, if you read Universalhub.com on a regular basis, you would probably think that everyone in East Boston is being mugged, shot, stabbed, punched, and generally living in a combat zone. Out of the last 10 reports on Eastie, 8 have to do with crime.

I know that crime happens in East Boston, however, our major crime has been in decline over the last few years (As seen in this pdf here (East Boston is the A-7 district)).

It would be nice if Eastie were mentioned for some of the great things to do…perhaps some help is needed in finding those out?

  1. Constitution Beach: I would not suggest swimming here because it is a fairly enclosed body of water with airplanes flying overhead, but it is a great place to go play frisbee or to watch planes take off and land. They also have a great little playground for kids of all different ages and an ice skating rink that has public skating. (Bennington Street near Orient Heights)
  2. Belle Isle Marsh: The last of the salt marshes in Boston proper, Belle Isle is not only people friendly but dog friendly. A great big area for dogs to run around, just watch out for ticks and the occasional coyote or skunk. It is also a great place to go birdwatching. There is ample parking and is T accessible from Suffolk Downs.
  3. East Boston Piers Park: Beautiful park! Lovely views of the skyline and a bunch of interesting art installations.
  4. Madonna Queen National Shrine: 35 foot tall statue of the Madonna. It is an interesting statue and has a great view of the city and airport.
  5. Temple Ohabei Shalom Cemetery: A coworker told me that the name translates to “Those who love peace” . This cemetery was created in 1844 as the first legally established Jewish cemetery in the state.  Because there was no sacred ground in the area, Jews were sent to Rhode Island, the West Indies, or Europe for burial.  This is a historic cemetery, but still used and is tucked away.  The building next to it used to be a small school and the congregation is located in Brookline.(Information taken/adapted from The Bostonian Society) (Wordsworth and Horace Streets)

And then there is the food:

  • Rincon Limeño Restaurant: Great Peruvian food…who knew they put their food on top of french fries? Brilliant! (Chelsea Street)
  • Belle Isle Lobster and Seafood: Where else in the city can you eat your food while feeling like you are in a scene from Wayne’s World (the part when the plane flies over them and they are arguing)? Great food, but they only take cash. (Saratoga Street going into Winthrop (RT 145)).
  • El Paisa: Tasty tasty Colombian food. They change the menu every once in a while and are now serving brunch. (Bennington Street)
  • 303 Cafe: Have not been here yet, but they have a strong focus on craft beers and have trivia. (Maverick Square)
  • Betty Ann Food Shop: Where else can you get donuts that are cooked in a coal fired stove for next to nothing? They have lemon, sugar, plain, round, crullers…and they also serve brownies, cookies, cakes, and other baked goods at a reasonable price. They have odd hours, though, so pay attention!

So, much more to Eastie than just crime, gangs, and angry people…history, great food, and some real hidden gems for people to discover.

A walk on the beach…

Tomorrow will be spent in the mountains, finally getting Cannon off of my list of summits and starting the summer hiking season, but the other day was spent at the ocean. It isn’t that hard, seeing as how it is across the street from us…but we don’t always get over there. There were a lot of interesting planes taking off and landing and a lot of clams digging into the sand.

Found this little guy on a large piece of sea glass…I have a large collection that I hope to make into necklaces once I get my stained glass equipment back.

DSCF0557

Loved the light that was at the beach…

DSCF0556

Sights and sounds of Eastie

I have been trying for months to see the Osprey that nest in Belle Isle Marsh…but have never been able to see any until today. This one was just lazily flying around, probably trying to see if he could catch some lunch somewhere…the marsh was fairly quiet except for the Red Winged blackbirds and the people establishing a new trail, probably for National Trail Day.

Osprey

While walking home, I heard some interesting music and looked up to see this man on his front porch:

Accordion Player

He was playing the accordion. I love that my neighborhood has such diverse people in it…we have a garage band a few houses down, airplane pilots and attendants, students, families, and everything in between. Lovely way to end a walk.

Ugh

This was totally not what I wanted to come home to yesterday after a trying day at work. Got off of the subway and saw some police cars and activity by our house…and then saw the boy with my camera. Turns out, someone was driving so fast down the opposite side of the street that when they lost control and hit the concrete planter, they had enough force to push it. And push it they did…across 2 lanes of traffic and into our car. After hitting, it bounced back about 4 inches.

Thankfully, the police responded quickly and the firemen up the street came running without hesitation. I love living near them. The bumper is a bit off of the car and there is a dent, but thank god no one was really hurt.

My creation

The Ocean

One of my favorite Dar Williams songs is “The Ocean”…it seemed especially relevant to me when we moved near Belle Isle Marsh and the Harbor. While I adore mountains, the ocean has always been a constant in some way throughout my life. We’ve been going to Cape Cod for over 25 years now, one of my first memories is getting bitten by a crab while splashing into the Atlantic Ocean…and every time I go over the Sagamore bridge, I visibly relax.

Now, living near the water, I’ve begun to appreciate other things. Today, the most important was that there was almost no ice to navigate while getting to the car. It stayed warm enough here, probably because of the ocean, to not hard freeze everywhere. There is literally no ice in front of my house…nor is there any salt melt put down. I love it.

I also love the fact that on some nights, foggy ones especially, I can smell the ocean at our house. There is nothing like going out onto your back porch with a drink and some good conversation, smelling the ocean and watching planes fly over your house.

Unfortunately, I do not have time to go walk by the water today 😦 Our teacher gave us 3 chapters of reading! 3! In the first week! Geez 🙂 and I have to clean up the house. Its amazing how much dirt gets tracked in with boots.

The View from Eastie

DSCF9369

Well, our little party was a success…only 1 car got lost and ended up by the airport. They were also the car that had a person slightly freak out when they went through the tunnels under the harbor and who asked every few minutes “Is that an airplane?!”

Too bad about the Patriots, though. The Jets suck.