Archive for February, 2013

February 28, 2013

Overheard at Mary Ann’s: “You know half of this bar is underage tonight”

The above quote was addressed to police during an inspection shortly after midnight on Friday, February 22 at Mary Ann’s, the preferred watering hole of the underage, especially at Boston College. Mary Ann’s has been around a long time. Apparently it was established shortly after BC was founded 150 year ago, and the party hasn’t stopped. Among the 261 patrons present (61 over capacity) were fourteen people who gained entrance with fake ID’s, or ones borrowed from people who don’t look like them. Violations issued, hearings will be scheduled before the Licensing Board.

February 28, 2013

Daly Field dreams

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The Friends of Daly Field are having a meeting to present their plan to transform the property into a multi-use sports site. It would be paid for by Simmons College, and in return the school would gain exclusive use of the property during certain times, as would Brighton High School and the Allston-Brighton Little League. While it is not a done deal, it seems likely that the Department of Conservation & Recreation will approve it. The Friends would hold the lease, subject to the terms of legislation that was passed in August. The Friends website does not list its board members.

CORRECTION: The board of directors is listed here.

The meeting is Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 6:00 pm at Brighton High School, 25 Warren Street, Brighton.

It is crucial that there is strong oversight by the state. Once private entities get control of property, it is hard ensure that they allow public access and keep all their commitments. Harvard and the YMCA have long-term leases on their local properties (500 and 99 years, respectively). Harvard’s Allston gates are closed to the community and the Y reserves its health club to paying members and bailed on many promises.

February 27, 2013

Vicious attack on Brighton Avenue

A few weeks ago someone was knocked to the ground and literally stomped in the head as he left Redneck’s Roast Beef at 140 Brighton Avenue, at the corner of Harvard Avenue. The victim was bleeding heavily and vomiting by the time an ambulance arrived. The attack occurred around 2:30AM on Friday, February 8. It was witnessed by a police officer on his way to another incident, and the perpetrator was arrested.

And some people think we need to let Allston’s bars and fast food restaurants to stay open later.

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February 26, 2013


A big hunk of cliff collapsed onto 40 Olive Street on Sunday, missing the house but leaving a big pile of boulders next to it. Olive Street is a small private way off Brock Street. The Boston Fire Department reports there were no injuries.

February 18, 2013

Regional tax for regional transit?

Should the MBTA be able to raise money through a regional tax to deal with its chronic operating deficit? Sen. Will Brownsberger is floating the idea. His trial balloon’s basket contains a suggestion that an increase in the sales or property tax, subject to voter approval, would be the most likely source of funds. Sen. Brownsberger wants to know your thoughts, weigh in here.

February 14, 2013

Cattle call: Stockyard re-opens tonight

The Stockyard Restaurant, a local landmark for over forty years, opens tonight under its new owners. It’s great to see the place back in business.

February 13, 2013

Condom thieves think ahead

First, they stole condoms. Forty-three boxes of Trojans and Durex from the CVS on Market Street. Who knew there was such an off-market for them? Or were the man and woman who lifted the items desperate from desire and lack of cash? Exactly one week later, the pair struck again, this time helping themselves to twelve pregnancy test kits. In case the condoms proved defective?
(Information from Boston Police reports.)

February 10, 2013

A porch with a view

Storm 12
Storm 5
Charlie Vasiliades, a.k.a. the mayor of Oak Square, took the above photos looking toward Oak Square from his porch. Matt Rocheleau at 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.

February 10, 2013

Originally from Allston

Recently I discovered “Originally from Allston,” a Facebook page devoted to memories of the neighborhood by people who grew up there. Check out the photos.

February 8, 2013

The trolleys that kept trying during the Blizzard of ’78

During the Blizzard of ’78 the MBTA kept running, at least until the snow overwhelmed buses and above-ground lines. Photos here of trolleys on Commonwealth Ave in Allston.

H/T to Adam at Universal Hub.

February 6, 2013

Engineering school move to Allston Harvard’s latest cheating scandal

Harvard will be moving its engineering school to Allston, according to the Crimson, which interviewed president Drew Faust. Until now, the public plans were to use the property now occupied by the Charlesview Apartments as a parking lot. The private plans were clearly quite different from what was submitted to the BRA last fall, and presented to the community. What other surprises are in store?

CORRECTION: The engineering school will relocate to the Western Avenue planned life sciences center site, not the Charlesview location, according to Kevin Galvin of Harvard. Harvard Magazine has an overview of the school’s Allston history.

Not the only cheating scandal going on at the university, eh?

Harvard has been both high-handed and underhanded in its treatment of Allston. Underhanded, with its surreptitious acquisition of acres of property. High-handed, with its shabby behavior. Emptying out the properties it acquired and letting them sit vacant for years, greatly harming the vitality of local business areas. Not to mention lots of vacant building look awful.

How will the BRA react to this? The city’s planning agency can’t plan if a developer deceives it.

February 5, 2013

62 units, plus commercial space proposed for 425 Washington & 10 Parsons site

The developer will present his plans for the property this Thursday night at the BAIA meeting at 7PM. It will include 10,000 square feet of commercial space and 104 parking spaces. A design that preserves the house at 10 Parsons would be great. Full agenda here. Last fall the property owner withdrew his plan to demolish 10 Parsons, pledging to work with the neighborhood. Also on the agenda is a plan for 37 units (with no parking) at the corner of North Beacon and Everett Streets.

UPDATE: Will the 37 Everett proposal have parking or not? It depends. At the BRA meeting, it was no parking. At the Allston Civic, 37 parking spaces materialized. It is absurd to think that no one will have a car. Wonder what the developer will conjure up for Thursday night.

CORRECTION: The proposal is for 44 units, as stated in the original post, link above.

February 4, 2013

Blaze hits Oak Square home

4 Langley Fire
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.

Photo courtesy of BFD

February 3, 2013

The Charles River, day by day

Charles River Chris Devers

Chris Devers, a Somerville-based photographer, is taking photos of the same spot along the Charles River several times a week. The vantage point is from the Watertown side near Greenough Boulevard and North Beacon Street. This bend of the Charles River is one of the prettiest views in the neighborhood.
Photo used under this Creative Commons license.

February 3, 2013

Bright lights, jail city

Shining your high beams into the car in front of you is annoying. Doing it to a police car is stupid, as two gentlemen cruising along the streets of Allston discovered Friday night. When the driver did not take the hint when to officers behind him put on their rear blue lights, they pulled him over. Driving without a license, and the apparent cocaine in the pocket of his passenger, got them both arrested.

February 2, 2013

Bus hits Soldiers Field Road bridge, mostly minor injuries

A bus carrying 42 passengers hit the Western Avenue underpass on Soldiers Field Road at 7:42PM today. The rescue of occupants took a little more than an hour, according to the Boston Fire Department. The chartered Philadelphia-bound coach had just left Harvard. While most people’s injuries did not appear serious, a few people were removed with back boards.

UPDATE: One person has life-threatening injuries, according to Boston EMS’s Twitter feed. The bus was removed early this morning. More here.

Photo courtesy of BFD Twitter feed.

February 1, 2013

Rich university, poor university

Harvard University, with an endowment of $32 billion the nation’s richest school, also heads the list of debtors, with $6 billion owed. The school recently unloaded the Arsenal office complex in Watertown for $168.5 million, which it purchased for $162.6 million in 2001. The school was on a buying binge, and clearly had no plans for the property. Lots of money, but no vision, no plan.

February 1, 2013

St. E’s, bigger and bigger

The pile of masonry that houses St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center continues to grow. The steel frame of the latest addition, three stories on top of the recently added three story emergency room, was recently completed. The new construction was part of an agreement that the owners of the for-profit facility, Steward Health Care a.k.a Cerebus Capital Management, agreed to when they bought the hospital. The Attorney General’s office, which oversees implementation of the agreement, has released a report stating that first year goals were met. Financially, the chain is losing money on its Boston area operations.


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