Tag Archives: boston

Vandals

I cannot stand people who vandalize buildings, especially National Monuments or other places of importance.  It happened once at the Bunker Hill Monument where people believed that the monument was dedicated to the British who died there.

Unfortunately, it happened again to National Park property the other day. As we drove around the base of the Dorchester Heights Monument you could see the vandalism that occurred.
My creation

Water, water everywhere

and you seriously would not want to drink any of this.

Pumping 3 inches of rain water out of your basement is not a good way to spend your time. Now imagine thinking you broke your utility pump in between attempts to pump it out.

So not fun.

Seriously need to get this basement a bit more watertight. I want a door like this:

Think that would qualify as an energy star approved door? It would at least keep the giant squid out!

The Libraries of Boston

Today, Mayor Menino stated that the  “days of the old encyclopedia are long gone.”

Oh, are they, Tom?

Did you know that libraries offer so much more than dusty old encyclopedias these days? Where do you think people get those electronic databases and the skills on how to search them? Where do you think the poor people of your neighborhoods of Boston go to use computers to access electronic data and to fill out important forms? Where do you think homeless people go to spend some time warming up and looking at the newspapers and magazines during the day?

If you think libraries are so passe, then why do you think they created a new library in Mattapan that looks great? If libraries aren’t part of the social structure, then why is usage up?

And if you close libraries and community centers, where are the kids going to go during the day in the summer? How much more crime are we going to experience in the next few months because these important community gathering places are no longer open and the safety and security that go along with them is gone?

How about this, Tom…Instead of you closing libraries and putting dozens, if not more, of librarians out of work (and onto unemployment) how about you stop taking a paycheck from the city of Boston? How about a few of the higher paid people take a lower paycheck or none, and allow these hard working people to keep their jobs?

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.

USS Constitution

I had a great post here about the neighbors who want the USS Constitution to change the way she fires her cannons because they feel lit is too loud.  They want the cannons to be quiet until 9 AM on the weekends and the National Anthem to not be played so loudly and the charges to be smaller.

stern
To which I say: shut up.

This tradition has been going on since before 1800 and the charges have been made smaller over the years already. They barely use any black powder to set the cannons off already and oh yeah, we are at war. These cannons are shot off twice a day in honor of the men and women who are serving and who have served. Many of these sailors will be going off to active duty combat after their 3 years at the Constitution is up and many of the National Park Rangers have also served in some capacity.  This ship is the mascot of the entire Navy and it is only appropriate for her to fire her cannons off as a sign of respect…and its pretty cool to watch them do it, as well.
I was lucky enough to get to take a trip on the Constitution a few years ago with my Dad. It was Armed Forces Day and so there was a 19 gun salute (why are they always odd numbers?) to the men and women of the Armed Forces. While I couldn’t really see over the sides of the ship, I knew enough to get down to the gun deck in time to see them load and fire the charges. Afterwards, I got one of the shells as a souvenier of my trip…it stunk to high heaven for a few weeks, but it is awesome. See:

DSCF1361

So, be quiet people living at Flagship Wharf…Nomar would have never been a jerk like you are. Oh, and I hope you enjoy it next summer when they are turning the Yard back into a working one and putting the USS Cassin Young into drydock! That should be exciting…lots of banging and crashing and melting and tearing. Its going to be awesome to see what kind of letter you send to the NPS unit.

From whence they came…

At work, we have some maps up and try to encourage people to mark where they are from with pins. At the end of every week, we take the pins down and “reset” the maps. I took down the old maps the other day because certain areas (like Hartford, CT and the Netherlands) were completely obliterated, but it was really interesting to see the distribution of all the pins. Here are some pictures (and proof, if you’ve ever needed it, that people come from every continent to visit Boston):

Visitors from the South Pacific
Visitors from the South Pacific
Visitors from Europe and the Arabic Pennisula
Visitors from Europe, Asia Minor, Northern Africa
Visitors from Africa
Visitors from Africa

It will be interesting to see how the map morphs and changes over the next few weeks as most of our visitors will be from New England and Western Europe. Most of our cruise ships are carrying people from the New York/New England area or Britain to Canada and back again, so probably fewer South Africans or people from the South Pacific, but who knows!

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.

Mawwidge

DSCF0120Got through yet another wedding the other day. This one was fun since I didn’t have to give any speeches but got to be in the wedding party and see a friend who I’ve know for her entire life get married. It was quite nice…the crepes at the end of the ceremony were sooo tasty.

As reminders from the wedding, I have a huge bruise on my left shin (I ran into a large piece of marble while jumping from one room to the other), some blisters on both feet from standing during the ceremony too long, a swollen toe from someone stomping me, and a lot of great photos.

Thankfully, no weddings until August again…now, I just have to slog my way through my homework. Yuck.

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.