1/28/2016: recap of homeless housing meeting

I could only stay for the first hour of this meeting then had to bounce. Management has a thing with her friends tonight.

I’m gonna recap this real quick for you guys. This will be the first of many meetings on this.

Here’s the deal. CAN DO and the City of Newton have identified this as a site that works to house homeless families because of access to transportation, employment opportunities and social services. Tenants will be selected through a fair housing lottery and pay rent (section 8). Tenants can stay as long as they qualify and will extend their leases on a 12 month basis. CAN DO will provide support via GED and ESL classes, teaching financial literacy, etc.

The existing house was built in 1718 and was originally on Washington St. Moved to current location during Civil War. CAN DO’s architect says house is historical and can’t be altered too much. So they’re proposing to build 2 smaller buildings on the Webster St portion of lot as well. Everyone, including CAN DO, thinks this property is crazy expensive at $6.6M for 9 units. CAN DO has to work with the property seller, city & state to close on the property. Gonna be a long road.

Meeting was packed. Lots of concern over cost and implications to the neighborhood.

My biggest question is why was this house moved during the Civil War? I bet they had like a lot of other stuff going on with the confederates then. I don’t remember hearing about the battle of West Newton so it’s not like they were moving the house outta harms way. Really gotta question this move.

1/28/2016: Meet our new neighbors at #47 Randlett!

Meet the McSherry’s you guys. Will be closing on #47 this spring (private sale). A note to Randlett Parkers from Meg below:

Brian and I have two girls, Lilly is 5 1/2, currently in kindergarten at Burr. Loves riding her bike, skiing, crafts and is always up for a fun time. Emma just turned three, is in preschool at Second Church – Jean is her teacher. Loves playing dress up, singing songs and will steal chocolate any chance she gets.

Brian works in Boston.  Loves snow blowing his driveway and is determined to have a lawn that rivals a golf course. He always has cold Yuengling stocked in the spare fridge.

I am home with the girls and our dog, Jack and have a small interior design business.  Love to cook, play tennis in the warmer months and attempt to read a book before falling asleep.

We are all very excited to move to RP! We are closing on the house April 1 and will do renovations for a few months, hopefully moving in by the end of June!  Once we are officially in the house I would love to introduce Lilly to other Franklin kids so that she can see some familiar faces when she starts first grade!


1/28/2016: Cherry St homeless housing meeting tonight

Please find meeting details below. If you haven’t kept up to speed on this, the project is now focused on providing housing for homeless families, not individuals. Tonight’s meeting will be a good opportunity to learn more about what the City & CAN-DO have in mind for this site.

West Newton Community Meeting

Thursday, January 28, 2016
Community Room, Newton Police Headquarters
1321 Washington Street
West Newton Square

Dear Neighbors,

Please join your Ward Councilors and Josephine McNeil to discuss the proposal by Citizens for Affordable Housing in Newton Development Organization, Inc. (CAN-DO) to develop housing for homeless families at 424-432 Cherry Street.

Barbara Brousal-Glaser Jim Cote Ted Hess-Mahan
Ward Councilor Councilor-at-Large Councilor-at-Large

424 Cherry

1/27/2016: DC street calls out Randlett Park on Facebook

So I guess Randlett Park got called out yesterday on Facebook.

DC had a snowstorm last weekend. Just one. And 17 inches fell at National Airport. People were freaking out. The Mayor actually told people to shelter in place. I thought that term was only used in live shooter situations but I guess not in DC.

Um is this a joke? We’re America’s Favorite Street. We had 110 inches of snow last winter. So many snow day parties I can’t even remember.


These poor people in DC can’t even get the county to plow their street. Honestly I feel bad for them. If they ever go back to work it will take them 4 hours to get there just so they can talk about how the Redskins almost won a playoff game this year.


1/25/2016: big accident at corner of Fairway & Waltham

Sources on the ground are telling me a car was shooting across from Derby to Fairway and got t-boned by a car traveling down Waltham St. about an hour ago. 

My man Ryan down the street is reporting good news on injury front from Newton PD:

“I just spoke to our serious crash investigators and they never called him to come out, so injuries can’t be bad!”  

So this coulda been way worse you guys. Unless you’re Terrence. And you drive home from work to see a freaking Lincoln through your fence. 

10 accidents in 5 years at this corner. 2 have hit Terrence’s fence. 


1/22/2016: Update on Constantine Place

Construction is pretty much done you guys. No tenants lined up for the 3 commercial spaces yet. The 5 apartments above appear to be empty too. Not sure what the deal is. Maybe the rents are too damn high?

Rent is too damn high

Um quick question gang. Why isn’t this guy running for president? I mean the beard and gloves? So presidential. Like 1850 presidential but whatever. Plus rents being too damn high is like the first reasonable thing I’ve heard any candidate say. 

1/22/2016: Newton Tab article on Cherry St homeless housing project

A nonprofit developer is looking to convert a historic property on Cherry Street in West Newton into rental housing for homeless families.

CAN-DO would need millions in city preservation funds in addition to state tax credits to complete the project at 424-432 Cherry St.

The developer submitted a preliminary proposal seeking $3 million from the Community Preservation Committee, but withdrew the request temporarily last week after telling committee members the plan’s details needed to be reworked.

The initial proposal called for nine individual units to be created inside the existing structure, plus another three newly constructed, three-bedroom units for families.

Josephine McNeil, executive director of CAN-DO, said the Warren administration preferred the project focus solely on homeless families. She is now developing new plans for a family-centered project.

But the project’s fate is still very much up in the air as McNeil waits to hear back from state housing officials as to whether her organization is eligible to apply for certain tax credits. She said the project wouldn’t be able to move forward without the state assistance.

McNeil said the Cherry Street project would be pursued using the state’s affordable housing law, Chapter 40B. She hoped it could be a so-called “friendly 40B,” whereby city officials would endorse the project ahead of the developer’s application for a comprehensive permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

CAN-DO has signed a purchase and sale agreement with the property’s current owner, CRM Management, LLC, to acquire the property for $2.5 million. The property is currently office space, according to McNeil.

The building — constructed circa 1716 — is the third-oldest home in Newton, according to research previously provided by Historic Newton.

Previous owners throughout history include prominent Newtonians William Williams, Richard Coolidge, John Pigeon and Samuel Warren.

McNeil said she would be meeting with the neighborhood to discuss the project next week.

She hopes to hear back from state housing officials about eligibility to apply for funding by the end of the month.

CAN-DO, or Citizens for Affordable Housing in Newton Development Organization, Inc., has completed roughly a dozen small affordable housing projects in Newton over the last two decades, according to its website.

By Jonathan Dame

1/21/2016: Breakfast at Moody’s 

Went to Moody’s this morning for breakfast. Not for me. For you – the readers. Hope you guys appreciate my level of commitment to America’s Favorite Street (.com).

Moody’s is not just big breakfast sandwiches – like the pork roll. Which was awesome.

They also have coffee, lattes, tea and fresh muffins. Something for everyone.

The real star is the homemade donuts. These were legit. Chocolate, glazed, plain – warm and deep fat fried. And yes I walked back to the kitchen to take this pic. Moody’s is open 7am Monday – Friday for breakfast.

1/18/2016: Management guest blog – MLK’s ties to W. Newton

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Many of you probably know that Dr. King had strong ties to Boston. In the 1950s, King studied at Boston University, where he earned his doctorate, and met his wife, Coretta Scott, a student at the nearby New England Conservatory. He returned to Boston in the 1960s on multiple occasions to address the State Legislature, lead a march from the South End to Boston Common during the early years of the public school crisis, and, later, to donate the bulk of his personal papers to BU.

But did you know he also had ties to West Newton? Our town and its Baptist churches actually have a long and rich history of connections to civil rights movements dating back centuries. Remember Nathaniel T. Allen, the abolitionist that owned the large yellow historic property on Webster St? Many of his friends were part of the congregation at the First Baptist Church, now Lincoln Park Baptist on Washington St. In the late-1800s, some members of First Baptist broke off to form the Myrtle Baptist Church, which is still located on Curve St. In the 1950s, a young Martin Luther King Jr. often attended services at Myrtle, preached from their pulpit, and visited with friends that lived in the surrounding neighborhood. Though Myrtle’s congregation suffered tremendous disruption during the extension of the Mass Turnpike in the 1960s, it remained a politically-active community during the racial turmoil of the later decades of the twentieth century. In 2008, thanks to the efforts of other Boston University students, the Myrtle Baptist Church was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Check out the resources at the Newton History Museum if you want to learn more about the history of Myrtle Baptist, African-American history in Newton, or Dr. King’s connections to our city!


1/15/2016: Comella’s now has pizza

Anyone that’s been to a kids birthday party in the past few years has probably had Comella’s pizza. It’s good. Not just saying that because when you’re at a kid’s party you get so bored you suddenly become starving.

Comella’s pizza is cheap.  Like $5.99 for a 16″ cheese pie. Problem is Matt and the boys didn’t have pizza at the West Newton shop. Now they do. All kinds of toppings, even gluten free. Give it a shot.

comellas pizza



1/15/2016: sleepin on the blog

You guys – sorry I’ve been sleepin on the blog. Super busy at work. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to get people at work to take me seriously. Told the work bros about my resolution and they had a good laugh. They were like you’ve been here for 5 years — good luck with that.

I fired them both but turns I don’t have that authority. So I had to apologize instead. Resolution is not off to a good start.

Anyway – here’s what I’m working on. If you have a ton of USDs and want to be downtown – I got you.

You can buy this place for $4.7M.

living room 2

Or this place for $3.9M.


Maybe just rent this 1 bed for $6,000/month?


Like lofts? Here you go. $2.350M.


If you gotta a boat buy this place for $2.340M.





1/11/2016: 230 Dudley Rd just listed for $10.5M

Yes — you read that right. $10,500,000. Big time price for Newton. 7 bed/6.5 bath home with 8,470 sq/ft and 5 car garage/carriage house. 2.6 acres — place is like an arboretum or something.

230 Dudley

That’s just the front yard you guys. Check out the back. Your guests will have their own house.

230 Dudley backyard2

Inside of the house isn’t really my jam. I mean this isn’t a living room, it’s a parlor. You don’t just give everyone a Coors Light and turn on the game in here. You play the piano for a bit, regale guests with some tales then retire to another room.

230 Dudley living room

230 Dudley bedroom




1/7/2014: 164 Fairway – 2 car garage?

164 Fairway is still on the market for $1.395M. I think I know why this place hasn’t sold you guys. Being advertised as a 2 car garage.

164 Fairway floorplan

Um that looks like a 1 car garage. With with maybe a ’76 Country Squire parked in it.


But since the garage measures 29′ deep, I guess you could get 2 cars in there.

Here’s how.

Buy a mini cooper and coming flying down Fairway. Preferably going 55-60 MPH. Your’re gonna need speed on this — trust me.

CRANK the emergency break, drifting up the driveway towards the garage.


Be careful drifting into the garage sideways you guys. Not exactly a lot of room to work with. Also check for kids playing in the yard. And don’t drift too far. You don’t want to wind up like the old lady that drove into the side of BSC a few months back.

BSC newton

Now that the mini cooper has come to a complete stop and you are parked sideways in the back of the garage — ease in the Country Squire, leaving 4″ between the 2 vehicles. Congrats amigo — you have yourself a 2 car garage.


1/7/2016: Burst faucet pipe this morning 

Management woke me up at 5am today and said we have a burst pipe. My first thought was I gotta turn off the water main. My instincts took over and I just reacted so fast – like I was in the military or something.

You’re probably thinking my second thought was thank god Management was up so early to go to TRX core blast spin class or whatever. Nope. I was thinking I’m gonna blog the shit out of this you guys!

So water had been shooting out the front side of the house from the faucet pipe – where we hook up the hose.

I was able to find the water shut off for this pipe in the basement. Weirdly it was the only pipe labeled. So with no water going to the burst pipe, I turned the water main back on and flushed the toilet my kids used immediately.

Kenny from Baker Elman Plumbing came over to look at it. Says no damage was done inside and he needs to cut a small hole in the basement ceiling to access & replace the pipe. Total cost $300-400. Says it can wait til spring.