12/29/2015: Best of RandlettPark.com

So according to WordPress, the top posts of 2015 were all guest blogs. Which I think really says something. About my writing.

Not even gonna get upset about it you guys. I’m still huge in Lebanon. So there’s that.

Most read posts of 2015 were:

4.) March 26th: Guest blog from Tamara — Little Free Library(s) coming to Randlett Park. So Tamara can actually write you guys. Probably obvious to anyone that read this blog. Plus her and her dad, Jim, actually did something cool by building a Little Free Library in her front yard. Do something cool + real actual writing = deadly combo.


3.) Oct. 30th: Ed’s kitchen renovation (part one). Anytime someone takes on a major renovation people want to know what the deal is. Ed’s tearing apart his kitchen. Plus he’s funny. So it’s like useful and amusing at the same time. Why can’t I do that?

Eds kitchen 3

2.) August 11th: Randlett Road Repairs. Remember this? When Dale single-handedly had the road repaired? First she documented all the holes in the street. Then wrote a letter to the City. Then supervised the repair. THEN told me to blog it. Just took it to a hole nother level.

Road repairs

1.) Nov. 29th: Ed’s kitchen renovation (part two). The first blog on the kitchen renovation was so popular everyone was waiting for the next installment. Ed didn’t disappoint. Got into the real nitty gritty on this about construction surprises, setting up the temporary kitchen, etc. All the stuff you guys want to know but were afraid to ask. Maybe we can get another blog out of him?

Ed's sunroom




12/24/2015: 145 Fairway is gonna be nice you guys 

Just when you think I’m sleepin on the blog I come back at ya on Christmas Eve. Face it you’re already bored with your family and reading this. No amount of egg nog can make you give a crap about the story your uncle is (re)telling right now. 

145 Fairway is gonna be a good lookin house. Home was demo’ed last month and the new 4 bed/3.5 bath house is coming along nicely. No word yet if the owners will occupy this or not. 

If it goes up for sale, you gotta think it’ll be around $1.3M like 164 Fairway across the street. 


12/20/2015: Packages stolen last night on Fairway Dr

Heads up you guys. Packages were stolen from the front walkway of 134 Fairway last night around 3:30am. Homeowners were awake doing a late night diaper change when a black SUV pulled up next door. Someone got out of the car, walked across the yard and took a package from their walkway. By the time the homeowner shouted at them, the car was gone. 

Homeowners have filed a police report and in true West Newton style are considering leaving a box filled with dog poop for future thieves. 

12/18/2015: Worst of RandlettPark.com

So at the end of the year everybody does best & worst lists. One last chance before the new year to tell people hey good work or seriously you really muffed it this year.

Guess I should do a list for RP.com. Cause I seriously muffed some blogs this year.

5.) Jan. 22nd: New Window at Cherry Tree. File this under who gives a shit. Not kidding you guys, I think like 1 person read this. Thanks Mom — you always got my back.


4.) Sept. 15th: Wellington Parkfest. Yawn. This post sucked the big one. Go to a park and have soft drinks & chips with a bunch of people you don’t know? Woof.

3.) April 11th: For all the Randlett speeders. Morning after I wrote this I woke up kinda sad. Management would probably say I was crying. I mean this blog was such a lay up you guys. Everybody hates drivers that speed down Randlett. Blog should have been a rally point for the street. Instead I totally muffed it with my bad writing. Getting dusty just thinking about it. Quoting Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock?


2.) Love Letters. You ever feel like you have eyes on you? Like people are looking at you weird? That’s how I felt after Love Letters. On the street. When I dropped my kid off at Franklin. Shit was weird. And I made it weird with Love Letters. Sorry you guys.

1.) RandlettPark.com reviews 50 Shades of Grey. Regret, regret, regret. Like when you wake up after too many glasses of wine the night before. Or I don’t know jump in someone’s hot tub naked. That’s how I feel about the 50 Shades blogs. And there were 3 of them gang.


12/17/2015: Family holiday card

Management designed a really nice holiday card on Snapfish. But I guess Snapfish just told her and thousands of other people their cards won’t be ready until after the holidays. Like way after the holidays you guys.

So I guess this is the year I get to send out whatever I want. No cute kid pics or a nice snap of me & Management with our arms around each other.

After not a lot of thought, I guess what I want to say to you guys is this:

I know this time of year is busy. Shopping, parties, buying gifts. We all have a million things to do. But please take a moment to remember people in your lives who sometimes get forgotten.

Like Bryan. Maybe the most important Christ of all?

Bryan Christ


12/16/2015: Chief Randlett & his Stanley Steamer

The Chief. Circa 1903.

Cheif Randlett

The Chief doesn’t need a fire truck. Or a fire hydrant. Or an oxygen tank to fight fires. He’s got a Stanley Steamer with 4 gallons of water hitched up on the side. Just roll up to the fire, get real close and dump some water on it. Firefighting 101.

You guys know the first Stanley Steamers were made in Newton? Twins Freelan & Francis Stanley started the Stanley Motor Carriage Company around 1900, after selling photographic plates to some company called Eastman Kodak for $500k. This twin cylinder hog had a 10 HP engine. And a front cushion/foot rest for maxing/relaxing. Believe it or not, 3 years later the Steamer would set a world speed record of 127 MPH.

12/14/2015: Lumiere getting new owner

Michael Leviton, owner of Lumiere, is selling the restaurant after 17 years to his chef de cuisine, Jordan Bailey. Bailey plans to make changes early next year including a larger bar and more booze offerings. He’s gonna scrap the current 5 seat bar and expand to create a lounge area with high top tables. The menu will change too you guys with more apps so you don’t have to commit to a full dinner.

I give this 2 thumbs up. I’ve been living in W. Newton for 6 years and only been to Lumiere 3 times. First time was when we found out Management was pregnant and we were trying to act like adults. The other times I ordered Peroni and soup. Like I didn’t know what was going on and really wanted to be at the Cherry Tree. I think this bar expansion and menu change will make things way less confusing for me.



12/14/2015: 783 Watertown St. cancelled

783 Watertown was listed for $979k in early November. Sellers just cancelled the listing last week. Maybe just so they’re not bothered during the holidays. Or maybe cause you guys didn’t help out by telling your friends about this place. So what if the house is on Watertown, the garage is on America’s Favorite Street.

783 Watertown

783 Watertown2

783 Watertown1

783 Watertown3

12/8/2015: Austin St development vote tonight

Newton Board of Alderman is voting tonight on the development of the city owned Austin St parking lot. You guys know this lot — near Starbucks and the Shaw’s over the pike.

Austin Street Partners LLC wants to build 68 housing units, public plaza and ground floor retail.

Austin St.

Austin Street Partners has modified their proposal several times over the past few years to appease people/groups that oppose the development. If you haven’t been paying attention, people have been FREAKING OUT about this development. Getting super chippy about it.

Backers of the plan like the development because it would enliven Newtonville and add 68 badly needed housing units in one of the most expensive housing markets in the country.

Opponents of the development include local business owners that worry about parking during construction. One group even sued the city for “deficient & defective” procedures used during the approval process.

Um what are you even talking about? What’s a deficient & defective procedure? Sounds like some BS to me. This is a parking lot gang. Not a very nice one either.

We need housing you guys. Newton becomes less affordable each year. If the opposition wins, what do they really win? It’s not like a park they’re gonna tear down. It’s an underutilized parking lot. Let’s build this thing up and get some people living & shopping there.

12/7/2015: Rockport coming to W. Newton

You guys know those shoes your dad has had for like 11 years? The ones he wears for 8 straight days on vacation in Europe telling everyone how comfortable they are. By day 5 everyone is looking around like shut it about your shoes already dad. Well the company that makes them, Rockport, is coming to W. Newton.


The Rockport Group is moving it’s HQ to 1210-1220 Washington St — which is currently occupied by Continuum. Rockport will lease 70,000 sq/ft and bring 200 employees to W. Newton.

Sources familiar with the situation tell me Rockport employees are likely to burn out on Sweet Tomatoes extremely fast.

12/3/2015: My new kitchen came with a lot of things…

Cabinets, counter tops, appliances.

TV & beer fridge.

New kitchen did not, however, come with heat. Management & I were sitting in the kitchen a few weeks ago going to Cold One City and realized we’d never felt the heat fire up. This is not something we tested when the renovation was completed. It was July you guys.

So I called our contractor Pete and he came out with the plumber George. Here’s the deal gang. We have 2 zones of heat in the house. Basement runs on 1 zone. 1st & 2nd floors run on another. Heat comes from a boiler in the basement through radiators.

Problem is heat’s not getting to the kitchen & new mudroom. Hot water comes from the boiler and snakes through all the radiators in the house. Last stop is the kitchen/mudroom. The hallway radiator next to kitchen isn’t getting water hot enough to pass on. Which is weird because that radiator all of sudden gets super hot.

Pete & George are gonna put the kitchen on it’s own zone of heat. So when the thermostat calls for heat, it gets it. Rather than going the great circle route through the house and stopping in the hallway. We have 2 toe-kick heaters in the kitchen and a baseboard in the mudroom. Hopefully adding a new zone works and I can stop looking at the heaters like um hello?

12/3/2015: What’s up with Cherry Street?

This summer, the City began working with National Grid on a gas main installation on Cherry Street. The installation runs from Washington up to River Street. Around the same time they started a water main rehab from Washington up to Derby Street.

Umm maybe just rehab the sewer main while you’re down there? Street is already straight up nuked you guys. Hydrants leaking water everywhere. A long half-buried hose down Cherry Street that I think is carrying gas. Traffic detours. Only thing that could make this worse is winter.