10/30/2015: Guest blog — Ed’s kitchen renovation

Guest blog from Ed today you guys. Just started his kitchen renovation.

I’d Like to Tell You About Our Kitchen Renovation … and Borrow Your Dishwasher

We’ve joked that our kitchen was designed by someone who had never used a kitchen before – riddled with “choke points,” a “fridgehole” (it’s a word, or at least it should be) narrowing our choices to one model of refrigerator, and an oven with a vent to … actually, I’m not entirely sure where—and basically tried to stuff the “elements” of a kitchen into a narrow space.

So we had the makings of a kitchen, just not a very good one. We also had some sweet faux Mexican tiling. A 2009 painting of our cabinets bought us a few years, but we finally decided it was time.

Unfortunately, we decided it was time at a time when there were no contractors available. The winter of 2015 pushed back every good contractor—so anyone who was available, well, sucked. Those who were good were booked for some time. So we found someone good—and waited.

So—time passed, and this “new kitchen” seemed like a far-off dream we’d achieve, maybe, someday. Even when the start date finally arrived, it still didn’t seem real.

Let me tell you—stuff got real fast. And what I’m going to tell you isn’t going to be news to anyone who’s undergone the process. Ours is a little more complex (opening up into the living room; moving some additional doorways; elevating the sunroom that was haphazardly added on by somebody, at some point, from what the City technically would classify as a “shanty,” “lean to” or “flower box” into an actual room with walls) … but we can handle 10-12 weeks without a kitchen.

Eds kitchen 1

Figure 1: Our “kitchen,” October 2015-?



I’m not crying. It’s just construction dust.

We’re through two weeks. Only a few surprises thus far (“Hey! There’s a stack pipe where that new door was going to be! It’s not just an ornamental stack pipe, is it? Because that would be awesome.” “Oh, that was a load-bearing wall. Oh, the 1980s bathroom renovation removed elements of an important load-bearing beam.” “Oh, there’s a gas pipe 6 feet above the sink I planned to do dishes in for the next three months … and I’m 6-foot-6. The bathtub is cool, right?”).

Eds kitchen 2

Figure 2: Clearly, this is a good long-term solution.

Eds kitchen 3

Figure 3: That looks expensive.

Here’s a list of things I didn’t expect (yet probably should have) going into this:

  1. Demo goes fast. Everything else goes really slow. Within a day, it’s like our kitchen was never there. Many days later, it still looks like our kitchen was never there.
  2. Life with a garbage disposal is better than life without one. And it’s hard to get loose food bits out of a bathtub.
  3. When renovating, you need to pack up your kitchen as if you were moving out. Because you actually are.
  4. Face it. You’re going to use paper plates. In an effort to be green, we usually avoid paper plates and idealistically thought we’d do the same through this project. That said, we drive a VW diesel as one of our cars, so we pretty much helped kill at least 60 people. So you know what? We’re using paper.
  5. It gets dusty. Like 1930’s Great Plains dusty (too soon?).

So far, we’ve set up a temporary kitchen in the living room, and thanks to our outside grill, a good toaster oven and a borrowed microwave, avoided the lure of takeout food … so far. Check back in a few weeks when, if the Editor allows, I’ll update you. And likely ask if I can bring over a box of dishes to wash.

10/29/2015: Closer look at the master bath at 180 Cherry

Did they just order this whole bathroom outta The Sharper Image catalog? I mean look at the tub. Gotta be one of those that you can swim laps in and go nowhere, right?

180 cherry tub

And this vanity you guys. Think it transforms into a DJ booth with turntables & light show?

180 cherry vanity

This shower has space and/or time travel written all over it. Feel like if you were showing this place and Bill & Ted were in there rocking air guitar it wouldn’t be that weird.

180 cherry shower

10/28/2015: Love letters

I just recently got engaged. My fiancée did not accept my proposal with great enthusiasm. She has only told immediate family of the engagement. She has not told any of her male “friends.” When I am away, I have noticed she talks to these other male “friends” more often. I have confronted her about it and she says they are just friends and that she loves me and she doesn’t want anyone else. So I am very confused.

Should I call off the engagement and move on with my life, or should I stay and see if she really does love me? Also, what should I think about her male friends? Should I be concerned?

– Engaged


Concerned and confused about what amigo? You just got engaged! It’s Coors Light time. I mean so what if she didn’t seem happy. And has a ton of guy friends. And is keeping the engagement on the low. And possibly doesn’t love you.

Time to plan this wedding! Local or destination? Destination weddings are so hot right now. I mean where do you think your fiancee and all her guy friends will want to celebrate the big day? Will her family even come? Will yours? So much to plan but don’t STRESS! This is gonna be UH-MAZING!!

A little advice. Don’t overthink things. (You know you do this!) Enjoy being engaged (?). This is a special time for you, your fiancee and her guy friends. Possibly her family as well if she tells them. None (and I mean zero) of your friends or family think this is a good idea but support you anyway! So next time you’re stressin — don’t. Just crack a cold Coors Light, point to yourself and say this guy’s gettin married.


10/27/2015: Big Red (399 Waltham) just closed for…

399 Waltham1

$900k. Really such a great tradition we have here. Someone moves to the neighborhood and I tell everyone how much they paid. Must feel so welcoming.

The bigger story here is me being clairvoyant. Told you guys this would be around $900k. I mean I saw the sale price and thought my god Dave you can legit tell the future.

Hope my new superpower doesn’t change things between us. Still the same guy. Just can tell the future. No biggie.

10/25/2015: Price INCREASE on 825 Watertown St

Price just got jacked up from $1.899M to $1.950M on 825 Watertown St — aka The Chief — aka 00 Watertown St. I mean what are you gonna do? The Chief wants $1.950M you give him $1.950M you guys.

The Chief

This move is not all that uncommon in new construction. As the home is closer to completion, developers tend to increase the price. Big house gang. 5 beds/5.5 baths and 6,400 sq/ft of space.


10/22/2015: RandlettPark.com is huge in Lebanon

You know how people always say Hasselhoff is huge in Germany? Well RandlettPark.com is huge in Lebanon. For real you guys. WordPress tells me where people login from. Obviously the US and A is numero uno. #2 is Lebanon. UK is #3.

The internet — what a funny place huh? I mean people don’t even login to RP.com from Waltham. But Lebanon is crushin on Randlett. That’s what happens when you’re America’s Favorite Street (.com).

Look I don’t know what the deal is with Lebanon. But these are very sophisticated people. Gonna need to head over there. Maybe fly to Jerusalem or Syria, rent a car from Avis and cruise over the border? If you guys have been and have travel tips let me know.



10/21/2015: Door-to-door salesman arrested

You guys remember Laderius Lowe — the dude who was going door-to-door a few weeks ago and casing houses? Well Newton Police arrested him for soliciting without a license last week. They arrested his boss as well — a 34 year old dude from San Diego.

Quick thanks to the Newton Police. They were all over this and according to the crime blog, no homes were broken into.


10/19/2015: AmericasFavoriteStreet.com

Oh yes we did. Just when you think this blog couldn’t get more obnoxious. Boom! It gets more obnoxious. Christian bought the URL AmericasFavoriteStreet.com and redirected it to RandlettPark.com. So we are now officially America’s Favorite Street!

Like I don’t want to say the blog has made me neighborhood famous, but I’m kinda neighborhood famous. Every now and again someone will say hey blog guy what’s the name of your site? Um — it’s only AmericasFavoriteStreet.com! Actually excited about people rolling their eyes at me when I tell them that.

And to the people that live on Eliot. This just keeps happening to you guys…


10/16/2015: Earth to 180 Cherry

180 Cherry this is earth. Come in. 

You’ve been on market for 104 days. We’re getting negative feedback on price at $1.718M. Gonna need you to go ahead and drop down to about $1.5M. Over. 

We’re gonna need you to re-paint the foyer as well. Picking up some kind of solar   glare off the lime green. Over and out you guys. 

10/14/2015: whats up with traffic on the Mass Pike?

Those of you driving to/from downtown every day know the Mass Pike has been a total shit show lately. Traffic during rush hour is down to 3 lanes each direction. Then down to 2 lanes every night. You can be scooping someone at Logan at 10pm and sit in traffic for an hour. What’s the deal?

MassDOT is re-building the median from Allston tolls in. Yawn. The median used to be a guardrail so MassDot decided to spend 2 years and millions of USDs on re-building. When they’re done with that, MassDOT will re-build the Commonwealth Ave Bridge. Don’t worry you guys, the Comm. Ave. Bridge portion of the project hasn’t even started yet. So it will be at least another 12 months of construction.

Mass Pike

10/9/2015: Just paid $1.39 for gas at West Newton Shell

Filled up for $23 using the Stop & Shop Rewards card Management got me. Saved me $.90/gallon.

Don’t know about Stop & Shop Rewards? Here’s the deal: you save $.10 per gallon for every 100 points earned at Shell. Looks like we had a crap ton of points. And yes — you get points if you use Peapod. You guys need to look into this.

Looks like I win at the gas game. Guess I’d like to start by thanking Management for the Stop & Shop Rewards card. And my two beautiful children — you sonsabitches sure eat a lot of oatmeal. Also OPEC, thank you for continuing oil production even though barrel prices have fallen off a cliff.


10/9/2015: Meanwhile at BSC Newton

This is happening.

BSC newton2

82 year old woman parking in a handicapped space at BSC Lower Falls went right into the side of the building. Luckily no one was hurt. BSC employees thought it was an earthquake.

The driver’s husband went inside and worked out anyway. Not even kidding you guys. I mean his wife totals the car AND the side of the building and this boss still gets his cardio in. Need this guy on my team.

BSC newton


10/8/2015: Bald eagle pics from Warwick

Well that only took 6 months. Finally found good pics of the bald eagle we had in the neighborhood last spring. Some woman named Lauren on Warwick St had a blog called Much Ado About Something and posted them a while back. She moved to North Carolina — probably because I have the West Newton blog scene locked down you guys.

bald eagle

Just look at this thing. So majestic. Look I don’t know shit about bald eagle’s migratory patterns. But I do know this. Bald eagles love the USA. And Randlett Park is America’s favorite street so yeah I think this thing will be back.

bald eagle2