3/31/2016: Mensa W. Newton?

So happy thursday you guys. Just found out I’m eligible for Mensa. No big deal — pretty much confirmed what I (and possibly Management) already knew. Took one of their online quizzes and smoked it.

Work bro at the office took the quiz too. Was hoping to be Mensa like me. Got a score of 13%. Nice guy but dumb. Just patted him on the head and told him keep truckin.

Screenshot (5)

Take the quiz. See if you’re in the top 2% like me. Pretty sure none of you are Mensa material but if you are we should kick it. Need to be around people on my level.

Here’s the link. Send me a screenshot of your score.

https://www.mensa.org/workout

 

 

 

3/30/2016: What would your house look like if you just kinda gave up?

Probably a lot like 168 Mount Vernon, which was just listed for $998k.

168 Mt

House was built in 1910. Somebody gave up on this thing a long time ago.

168 Mt Vernon

6 beds with 1 full bath? Not gonna cut it gang.

168 Mt Vernon1

This place is what we in real estate like to call a contractor special.

168 Mt Vernon3

Hope somebody knocks this place down and builds a beautiful home on this lot. With more than 1 full bathroom you guys. 

168 Mt Vernon4

 

3/30/2016: West Newton Neighborhood Club

Did you guys know about this? I sure didn’t. Only been around since 1890. The West Newton Neighborhood Club on Berkeley St. is a place where members play tennis and gather for social events. Currently there are 180 members (individuals & families).

Anyone in 02465 is eligible to become a member. But here’s what you gotta do to get in.

1.) You need at least 2 member sponsors (no problemo I have 3).

AnimalHouse

 

2.) You need to attend 2 social events (sign me up for the porch social and caroling party).

 

NATIONAL LAMPOON'S ANIMAL HOUSE, (from left): Bruce McGill, Tim Matheson, Peter Riegert, John Belush

 

3.) Host a home party with at least 5 members of the board in attendance (TOGA, TOGA, TOGA).

 

Toga

 

4.) Submit application, 1 time check for $1,000 and $600 in annual dues. Then learn to play tennis!

 

 

 

 

3/24/2016: How much could I get a month if I turned my house into an Airbnb?

Obviously I haven’t run this by Management yet. So if you see her maybe don’t bring it up. But what if I turned my house into an Airbnb. How much money could I make every month?

There are Airbnbs all over W. Newton. The owner of 473 Waltham gets $95/night for a studio. So I think I could get like $250/night for my crib. Say the house is booked for 20 nights per month — that’s $5,000/month. Easy money.

Of course there’d be some rules:

  • Check-in at 3pm & check-out by 11am.
  • 2 night minimum.
  • No smoking… anything (in the house).
  • Additional $50 cleaning fee.
  • Bachelorette parties and women on spring break welcome.
  • All parties should end by 2am (neighbors get bitchy 😳😳😳).

Then there’s the small issue of where we’d stay every night. Maybe with you guys? In your basement. Or backyard — we have a tent and sleeping bags. Just make sure to give us a nice dinner and Management some wine and we’re good.

 

Screenshot (1)

 

3/21/2016: Newton middle school student assaulted on way to school

A 12 year old student was assaulted at 9am this morning on his way to FA Day. The boy told police a man robbed him at knife point and took his phone. The boy was treated at Children’s Hospital and is doing ok. The man was described as a white male wearing a blue hoodie who had gotten off an MBTA bus at Lexington Street. More info here:

http://www.whdh.com/story/31529143/newton-middle-school-student-assaulted-on-his-way-to-bus-stop

3/21/2016: Parking at the raccoon house

So if you look at the raccoon house (AKA 350 Waltham) from the front, it appears there’s no parking. Or driveway.

350 Waltham2

But walk around the back of the house on Colman St (off of Eliot) and what do we have?

leaner

We got a leaner! I mean — sorry — the correct real estate term is a 2 car garage. I just hope when the Paddy’s owners who are renovating this property clean up the leaves they use rakes. If a leafblower gets anywhere near this garage it’s going down. Hard you guys.

3/21/2016: Ed’s kitchen renovation (part 3)

We’ll Always Have the Cambridge Residence Inn and the Mad Ups of Canada’s Property Brothers

So, denizens of the Greatest Street in the World (trademark pending), some of you have been reading about our now nearly 5-month remodeling odyssey (initial proposed completion date: 12/28/15). Ultimately, we will look back on all this and laugh.

Hell, no. We will not. I’d like to reference the handful of low points:

• It may have been the day that I was yelling at our new project manager, upon learning that the previous project manager 1) was creating schedules based in fiction; 2) was doing a wonderful job poorly handling a number of simultaneous jobs; and 3) was being fired.

• “I work in client service and half the battle is setting expectations. If I did my job like you’re doing yours, I’d be fired.”

• (That was cleaned up as this is presumably a family blog; and luckily, he was going through a tunnel—or saying he was going through one—and missed my tirade. In my mind, I was Alec Baldwin in “Glengarry Glen Ross.” “ABFMK! Always Be Finishing My Kitchen!”)

• It could have been the days over Christmas break—when my office was closed but I wished it wasn’t—when, after a particularly tense e-mail exchange about the lack of progress, they decided to throw every painter and plasterer in the Commonwealth at us to complete the work that, logically, should have been done AFTER the kitchen was done. These gentlemen did excellent work—and didn’t speak a lick of English. And as someone who speaks rudimentary Spanish, I once again learned that Portuguese is AN ETIRELY DIFFERENT LANGUAGE FROM SPANISH.

o At one point, through some hilarious pantomime, I determined that the plasterer was either definitely returning the next day, or definitely not retuning the next day.

• It could have been the Saturday in January when, desperate to escape the miner’s lung we were developing from construction dust, we decided to book a room at the Residence Inn in Cambridge, because it had a 1) kitchen and 2) indoor pool. Actually, this ended up being pretty awesome, but not necessarily the first thing you’d think of doing in order to escape your house. (Also, if you plan to stay at a Marriott Residence Inn in the future, their kitchens are, well, spartanly stocked. That said, it was a kitchen, with a stove, a luxury we had not known for some time).

Ed1

Fig 1.1 The clean but Spartan kitchen of the Marriott Residence Inn. Note: if you attempt to cook steak on the electric stove, you will likely set off a smoke alarm, which will 1) make the whole floor smell like steak and 2) get you a quick call from the front desk.

For quite some time, we had been planning a trip to Hawai’i over February break (note: when did our 50th state officially add the apostrophe to its name?) to celebrate our kitchen being done. Hilarious in retrospect.

Well, we are at nearly 5 months – and as we hit the home stretch, a few notes:

1. We have a working kitchen and appliances that are in place AND plugged in to appropriate sources of power/fuel.

2. I am functionally literate in Portuguese. (Note: that is a fact I made up).

3. I got to be in charge of decorating the “TV room” (my suggestions for other items in the kitchen and mud rooms were largely taken “under advisement”). Since then I have been told by the CEO of our home (I am at most a director-level marketing type) that the items I chose will likely not fit, and we bought them too quickly. Come to find out, I had a crazy belief that we were visiting a furniture store to buy furniture.
a. If you are a lucky Randletian, you’ll see me hilariously trying to do tai chi in there in the morning, until we scrounge up the money to buy blinds, or I realize that I am never going to figure this tai chi thing out.

4. My own casual swearing is down almost 30 percent.

5. I am more color blind that previously imagined. I love the green in our kitchen. I am told it is nearly neon—and that it is “ugly.” I believe Martin O’Malley received more votes in the Democratic primary in Mass. than did this shade of green.

Ed2

Ed3

Figures 2A and 2B: Due to my worsening color blindness, it took some effort for me to determine the number, but once I realized it, I immediately recalled it as the uni number of “Out of Service” Pervis Ellison during his endless stint with the Celtics in which he played maybe 30 games our of a possible 480 (note the extremely rare photo of Ellison wherein he is not 1) on crutches or 2) making the team plane late because he forgot his golf clubs). Perhaps I just care more about the mediocre Celtics of the late-1990s than colors.

6. Tai chi, the Mindspace meditation program, breathing, and breaking into tears for no apparent reason when a houseful of Portuguese-speaking don’t understand your queries are all excellent ways to cope with the stress of home renovation if you don’t drink.

7. Watching those home renovation shows on HGTV can be addictive, and can also make you want to fly to Toronto or Texas or wherever they film them to punch the family matriarch who complains because it might take “seven days” and “$30,000” for her home’s rehab to be complete.

8. That said, Canada’s Property Brothers are ballerz. And who knew Win Butler of Arcade Fire could hoop it up?

Ed4

Fig 3.: Win Butler of alt-rock’s Arcade Fire has a solid post game.

9. I very easily distracted. Where was I?

Oh yeah, the big reveal – well, were not quite done, but here’s some photos of the “near big reveal.”

Ed5

Ed6

Figs. 4A and B: Before. I can’t say I miss any of it.

Ed7

Ed8

Ed9

Ed10

Ed11

Figs 5A-F – new kitchen, including our first meal cooked within (salmon). Not shown: dishwasher which has obviated the need to use my bathtub to wash dishes.

More to come—

Ed12

3/17/2016: Wednesday night trivia at Cherry Tree

So Christian and I went to the Cherry Tree last night for wings and beer. Turns out it was trivia night. Place was packed. I guess the same teams compete every Wednesday night. Winning team gets like $50 off their bill and gets to play any song they want. Teams were taking this like really seriously you guys.

Christian & I were not taking it seriously. We had man stuff to talk about. We were just messing around and almost won the damn thing.

Actually, that’s not true. We came in 8th place. I mean what is terminal velocity? Some of the questions I was just like…

bruh

Anyway, we were reppin’ the hood with the team name Randy Park. Which got us thinking: we should get some Randlett Parkers to participate every month. Obviously we’d win every time because we’re smarter than everyone else. I’m good for sports questions not much else.

If you’re interested in participating — I mean winning — let me know.

Cherry Tree

 

3/16/2016: My Gift

Boston.com posted an article today about the exact month that was best to buy a home in and around Boston. Those who bought in April 2009 “hit the jackpot” according to the article. Homes purchased in the spring of 2009 could be worth as much as 40-50% more today.

You’re probably like so what? Well Management & I bought our place on Randlett Park in June 2009. Despite the market crash. Despite the mortgage meltdown. We just said F it and paid $602,500 for the place.

Now in 2009 I knew 2 things: I liked Coors Light and had a keen eye for real estate. What I didn’t know is that when I drank Coors Light, I became clairevoyant with an incredible ability to predict the real estate market and home values. Think Russell Crowe in a Beautiful Mind.

Russell Crowe

I spent the next 4 years harnessing the power of My Gift. But mostly drinking Coors Light. Then in 2013, I decided I needed to share My Gift with people of 02465 and started RandlettPark.com. I’ve been predicting home values and market conditions ever since.

Now enjoy some photos of my home before I bought it. It was so easy (for me) to see how much potential the place had — thanks to My Gift.

142 Randlett old living room

142 Randlett old dining room

142 Randlett old master

142 kitchen

 

3/16/2016: Tatte Bakery opens in Brookline

Your search for a new breakfast place just ended. Management, the low-to-mid level employees and I went to Tatte in Beacon Hill last weekend and this place is legit. I mean yeah you have to drive down near Fenway but it’s worth it. All kinds of baked goods. Croissants are on point. Even stuff like pork belly sandwiches. For breakfast. Can you go wrong with that?

Tatte2

In case you’re wondering, yes I still miss Keltic Krust. It’s like we had a such a good thing. They made warm croissants. I ate them. Then they just closed. Out of nowhere. Was it me? Did I do something? It’s only been 2 years. Still trying to get over this one you guys.

 

 

3/9/2016: Can you still get into 02465 for under $1M?

Not really. Here’s a snapshot of today’s market in 02465. Only 2 homes priced under $1M.

02465 market

The house for $549k on Grant St looks like it could fall over at any time. Does have DirectTV though. Throw in Sunday Ticket and maybe we have a deal?

37 Grant

16 Taft for $849k is in a little better shape with an updated kitchen & bathrooms. That’s still a lot of scratch for a home that’s 117 years old you guys.

16 Taft