The Boston Redevelopment Authority is hosting a meeting regarding a proposal to build apartments at the long-vacant property at 99 Tremont Street, just outside Oak Square. It will be held Wednesday, June 25 at 6PM at the Presentation School Foundation, 640 Tremont Street, Brighton. The property has been an empty lot since a fire destroyed the previous building in 1979. If I remember correctly, at least one of the displaced tenants was part of Boston-based band The Cars.
Take a walking tour of Brighton’s Oak Square neighborhood on Saturday, May 31 from 10AM to 12 noon. Charlie Vasiliades will be your guide, giving you an overview of the history and landmarks of the square, followed by a hike up Nonantum hill, meandering to the EF Language school property, and ending with a picnic at Chandler’s Pond. You can sign up here:
The event is sponsored by Common Boston and several other organizations.
Plans presented at last week’s meeting on possible construction at 128 Newton Street, Brighton did not go over well, based on what I heard from people who attended. The plan involves two single-family homes at 128 Newton Street, two more singles on Bigelow Street at the foot of Hardwick Street, and smack in the middle, a five-story, twenty unit condominium building. So far as I know, the developer, Nartan Valbandian, has yet to submit any plans or letter of intent to any city agency. It’s too much crammed into an odd site. Not every corner of every lot is buildable. Keep the single families, maybe add a couple more, but get rid of the condo building.
Charlie Vasiliades, also known as the Mayor of Oak Square, was interviewed by WBUR about the race to replace that other mayor, Menino. Charlie brought up all the points that are important to the entire Allston Brighton community, as well those specific to Oak Square. Keeping the square’s library and fire station open, the need for quality schools to keep families, the plague of poorly maintained, absentee-owned property that afflicts the neighborhood.
In the last few days canvassers for both John Connolly and Marty Walsh were on my doorstep, Marty represented by his cousin. I raised the issue of keeping the Faneuil library branch open. It would be great if the two candidates could address this.
Several disagreements ended in fights last week. Among them:
A dispute over something, perhaps the alleged theft of what one lady claimed was a $70,000 engagement ring, erupted outside the Brighton Brighton Beer Garden on Friday, March 29. The incident began when the two women were outside smoking, and the victim dropped the ring when she was took it off to show the other. Somehow it disappeared, leading to fisticuffs. The police arrived, spoke to both women and a witness/friend of the victim, and searched the suspect. The ring was not found, despite a search of the area by the police. Perhaps they weren’t looking too hard since the victim had directed a obscenity laced tirade at them.
Also on the 29th, an argument between two women over stolen drugs went from words to fists at 40 Atkins Street. After smacking the victim in the face multiple times, she fled but returned a short time later. By that time an ambulance had arrived to treat the victim, and officers were not inclined to let the suspect hunt around for her missing drugs and keys. Despite being told to call it a night and head home, she left only briefly and returned again. Again she was told to leave, again she departed but wasted little time before heading back toward the apartment. At that point she was arrested after screaming “I’m going to kill the f’ing bitch!” The booking process turned up two outstanding warrants, both for failure to perform jury duty. Probably just as well she wasn’t part of the jury pool.
Finally, officers broke up a twelve person brawl involving guys and at least one woman at 51 North Beacon Street at around 4AM on Saturday, March 30. Three were arrested and charged with affray.
Charlie Vasiliades, a.k.a. the mayor of Oak Square, took the above photos looking toward Oak Square from his porch. Matt Rocheleau at Boston.com has a story about sledding down Brainerd Road, which brought back memories of doing the same down Bigelow Street. Of course, we didn’t wait for a driving ban. It was all in the timing, and occasionally avoiding a car. Adam at Universal Hub has a series of before and after shots, including these taken locally, here and here, and a really great night view.
Last night at about 9:40PM a fire broke out at 4 Langley Road near Oak Square. The six residents, three in each apartment, escaped unharmed. According to the Boston Fire Department, the two-family home suffered $300,000 in damage. The flames are believed to have started in a first floor bedroom.
Last Wednesday a woman had her wallet lifted while she was taking a yoga class at the Oak Square Y. The elderly suspect had an enormous purse, “overflowing” with stuff, according to the victim. Leaving her wallet on a bench in the yoga studio, she noticed the gray-haired possible perp sitting there. The loot included credit cards, passports for the US and Canada, and $400. Theft has been a problem at the facility since the day it opened. In another incident, Monday of this week a member returned to his locker to discover that his gym bag had been taken, containing his wallet, credit cards and iPhone.
The Oak Square space now home to a used record and book store will have a new groove as a fine wine and gourmet shop come September, if all goes according to plan. Currently the space is occupied by Diskovery, whose owner announced earlier this month she will be closing. Too bad she isn’t staying and the new upscale shop moving into another space in the square.
On the hipness scale, does Oak Square move up a notch or is it a demerit? Maybe these crusaders for coolness can let us know.
The official opening of the former Presentation school building in Oak Square as a community center is this Friday, May 19 from 3:30 to 8PM. The ceremonial ribbon-cutting, speeches and whatnot will begin at 4. The Presentation School Foundation has been working for eight years to raise money, renovate the building and attract service providers.