Archive for February, 2012

February 29, 2012

Bally Total Fitness, totally gone

The Bally Total Fitness health club that was located on Guest Street, next to WGBH and opposite the New Balance headquarters and housed in the same building as the New Balance outlet store, has closed. The sign on the door said they lost their lease. No word on a future tenant.

February 28, 2012

Bang bang

Boston police arrested a man around 8:30 Sunday morning on Harvard Avenue for assault by means of a dangerous weapon after receiving reports from two witnesses that he had a handgun, and had aimed it at taxis. The weapon turned out to be a large BB handgun. I didn’t know that they existed.

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February 28, 2012


Boston College student Franco Garcia has been missing since Wednesday, February 22 when he left MaryAnn’s, a Cleveland Circle bar. A resident of West Newton, he has not been heard from since. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Newton Police Department at 617-796-2100.

February 28, 2012

Former McNamara Funeral Home, Black & Decker development plans

The Brighton Allston Improvement Association will hear presentations on proposals for both sites at their meeting this Thursday, March 1 at 7 PM at the Elks Lodge, 326 Washington Street, Brighton Center. These and other issues will be considered.

February 28, 2012

Maureen Driscoll remembered has a nice article on Maureen, who was known to many people as a long-time employee at Johnny D’s Fruit in Brighton Center.

February 28, 2012

Speedway update

The Boston Herald has the latest on the state’s plans for the former MDC police station. More here. They want an “unconventional” developer for the site. Does this mean someone with lots of tattoos and piercings? Or is this just a euphemism for “highest bidder, no matter how ridiculous the proposal”?

February 28, 2012

Those mystery zoning hearings

The most interesting one is for 154-162A Brighton Avenue in Allston. The building owner is Blanchard’s, but I from what I gather this is to allow the Brighton Music Hall, formerly Harper’s Ferry, to expand their capacity from 340 people to 476. This will also require permission from the Boston Licensing Board and the Boston Licensing Division.

For the rest of what’s going on in Room 801 this week, click here

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February 24, 2012

Memorial service for Maureen Driscoll

Maureen Driscoll, who was killed by a tow truck last week, will be remembered at a memorial service at the Brighton Evangelical Congregational Church, 404 Washington Street at 12 noon. Maureen worked for many years at Johnny D’s Fruit & Produce in Brighton Center.

February 24, 2012

Mice, mold & rats

A visitor to 48 Brighton Ave.

The BU Daily Free Press writes about some pretty gross conditions, and gross violations of housing codes, at some addresses in Allston, including 48 Brighton Avenue. When it snows, you can tell you have reached the building because the owner/management company/slumlord never shovels the sidewalk.

Since the management company refuses to give contact information for the owners to tenants, I thought I would help them out. The Assessing Department lists four owners: Wayne Siegel, Kevin Ryan, Joseph Ciliberti and New Brighton Realty Trust. Based on what I could find in public records, Joseph Ciliberti lives at 12 Marshfield Road, Newton. He is also an owner of Brighton Realty. There is a post office box in Brookline listed on the deed, but that’s not what we’re looking for. That’s all I got, let me know if you have any leads.

February 24, 2012

Somewhere in Allston: Thieves Grotto

“Allston Pudding” covers the local music scene, focusing on discovering and promoting the local bands that don’t get a mainstream mention, never mind a real club to perform in. This review liked the crowd, the high basement ceilings of the literally underground Thieve’s Grotto, and all the bands. The ‘Foxes as Pets’ members are all of 16 and 17 years old, and must have borrowed mom’s car to make the drive all the way from Scituate. Thieve’s Grotto takes place in a seriously undisclosed location, somewhere in Allston.

February 24, 2012

Something old, something new

The Brighton Allston Heritage Museum will hold a celebration of its five years of promoting and preserving local history this Saturday, February 25 from 2 to 3:30PM. The museum is located in the Smith Senior Center, 20 Chestnut Hill Avenue, Brighton Center and is well worth a look.

February 24, 2012

Mystery zoning hearings

The Board of Appeal will have hearings on a number of local properties Tuesday, February 28 at 9:30AM in City Hall. Unfortunately, the city has not sent out any information on what the owners are proposing, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

February 21, 2012

100 Years on Ice

The Skating Club of Boston celebrated one hundred years of ice time by some of the sport’s greatest talents, as well as many thousands of Bostonians who just enjoy the winter exercise. The gala was covered in the Boston Globe (paywall) and there is more information on the club’s website. The money raised will support the construction of a new facility at 176 Lincoln Street, Allston to replace the current rink on Soldier’s Field Road. This initiative is part of a land swap between Harvard and the club.

February 18, 2012

Get drunk & die

Bostonography created a map of local watering holes. Cross-reference it with this, and you can figure out a place to spend your last moments in the event of a nuclear strike.

February 17, 2012

Be careful out there

A girl is mugged, but manages to run to safety, losing only her phone.

A local woman loses her life crossing the street in Brighton Center.

February 17, 2012

St.E’s has some competition

St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, now owned by New York-based Cerberus Capital Management L.P. (also known as Steward Health Care, but let’s stick with the real owners) now has to contend with these Allston street medics.

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February 17, 2012

84 Linden Street & the latest “crackdown”

Two mailboxes at what's left of 84 Linden

There are lots of news reports about the city’s sweep of rental housing in Allston. The fire that prompted this hit 84 Allston Street and ended up with one student severely injured.

The house is listed as a single-family with both the Assessing and Inspectional Services Departments. As you can see from the above photo, taken after the fire, its actual use was probably different. Questions about the legal occupancy go back to 1975, according to documents at the Building Division. The previous owner, David Fay, got a permit to expand the living space into the basement, although it looked to me from the permit that he was really adding another apartment. But Mr. Fay did quite well. He bought it for $220,000 in 1998 and sold it in September of last year for $572,000.


This carriage house in the rear, pictured below, appears to have been unused at the time of the fire. The area behind the house was lovely. Completely paved over.

February 16, 2012

A field of dreams and Ultimate Frisbee

New Balance, continuing its march across the community, has now claimed naming rights to the new playing field that BU will build at the corner of Babcock and Gardner Streets in Allston. Games will take place atop a 350 car garage, and there will be room for one thousand spectators in the stands. Ultimate Frisbee will be added to the school’s roster of intramural sports, which will be among the club sports using the field. The women’s varsity field hockey team will get the most turf-time, returning for their first home games after eleven years of off-campus contests and practices.

Kudos to New Balance. They are putting serious money into Allston Brighton, they pay property taxes, and their plans will generate jobs and activity that seem like they will benefit our neighborhood. Maybe we have an alternative to Harvard’s ‘Occupy Allston’ approach: buy it and do nothing.

February 16, 2012

Playing possum

The Animal Rescue League tweeted that a possum managed to wiggle its way into the wheel well of a car in Brighton. Better to find a critter attached to your tire than the Denver Boot. (Image courtesy of Cody Pope)

February 16, 2012

Machete suspect arrested

The machete-wielding man who is accused of a home invasion this morning at 136 Chiswick Road in Brighton has been arrested.


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