Category Archives: Boston

Boston’s affordable home buying program

BRA, Boston, cost of living, housingLast month one of my readers noted my real estate themed posts only showcase costly new construction like the Ink Block, Four Seasons, etc… and after reflecting upon that constructive criticism, I thought I’d give a shout out to Boston’s affordable home buying program.

Boston has a well deserved reputation for being an expensive city to live, but there are opportunities to purchase and rent more affordable condominiums and apartments if you are persistent and know where to look. One such resource is the BRA Affordable Units website, which lists existing affordable units.

There is more information about Boston’s affordable housing program on the BRA website, bostonredevelopmentauthority.org/housing/overview.  While this program can take time and requires a lot of paperwork – it can really pay off.  I know this firsthand because back in 2002 / 2003, Sergio and I decided to look into this program.  At the time, Sergio was working as a flight attendant and I was working at a health and human services nonprofit; our combined income was barely enough to afford rent but thanks to Sergio’s persistence after a few missed opportunities we were able to purchase a home through Boston’s affordable home buying program at Rollins Square in the South End.

Of course there remains a chronic shortage of affordable housing in Boston and the Mayor and surrounding communities need to do more to help make housing and rentals more affordable but there are properties available (and in some great neighborhoods) if you do your homework.  For all you would-be home buyers, I wish you luck in finding the perfect property for you.

John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo is open

Boston MarathonPart of the Boston Marathon experience is the build up of excitement, starting the weekend before, as tens of thousands of visitors come to Boston ahead of the race, which takes place this Monday.   One of those events that is fun to check out (and free) is the three-day John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo at the Hynes Expo in Back Bay.  Last year, more than 100,000 attendees participated.

In addition to possibly meeting  some of the world’s top runners and fitness enthusiasts, the Expo also offers an opportunity for bargain shoppers looking for health and fitness related apparel and products.

Where: Hynes Convention Center
900 Boylston Street, Boston

When:  Friday, April 17:  2:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Saturday and Sunday, April 18 – 19:  9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Boston Globe reports Eataly will open in Boston in 2016 at the Prudential Mall

BostonFollowing rumors that were reported a few months ago that Mario Batali was looking to open a third US location for the Eataly chain here in Boston, one day after his Babbo Pizzeria opened in the Seaport, The Boston Globe reports that Battali’s Eataly is close to signing a lease at the Shops at Prudential Center.

Early plans call for the marketplace to take over the existing food court at the Shops at Prudential Center. Eataly will add a street-level entrance with a cafe, leading up to the marketplace and connecting to a new building under construction on the Pru property. A new rooftop restaurant and brewery, seating up to 300 people, will be added above the space currently occupied by the food court.   Saper said plans for the Boston Eataly may change and his team has yet to sign a lease with Boston Properties Inc…Eataly hopes to open in mid- to late-2016, he said.

You may read the full article in The Boston Globe here.  I’m bragging a bit too since I told Eater Boston that this was the year Eataly would come to Boston. Mario Batali

Jacques to ask Boston Licensing Board to change their liquor license

Gay, Drag, CabaretUniversalHub reported over the weekend that Jacques Cabaret  in Bay Village will go before the Boston Licensing Board today to get permission to change their liquor licence, which currently requires that they serve food.

Yesterday, Jacques had to explain to the same board why the Boston Police caught them on March 2nd not offering food to customers.  FYI – Jacques doesn’t even have a kitchen or food-preparation area, which begs the question, how did they get a liquor license that requires they serve food in the first place?

Jacques has a long, rocky history with neighbors who have complained about noise and loitering outside and nearby the cabaret.  I hope that they can manage to get this licensing issue straightened out quickly.  While I may not visit Jacques it is the only remaining drag bar in Boston, and  I would hate to see them penalized or worse over this issue.

Sanctuary in the city

BPL, Todd Van HoosearSource: Todd Van Hoosear

Although Boston isn’t quite there yet, spring is definitely in the air and it is a beautifully sunny day in Boston.  This courtyard in the McKim building of the Boston Public Library (BPL) is one of my favorite places to enjoy in good weather. The BPL courtyard (open to the public) is surrounded by an arcade that reminds me of architecture more often found in Europe than the US and is the perfect place to get away from all the noise and nonsense in one’s life.

Whenever visitors come to Boston, I bring them to the BPL.  It isn’t on a lot of tourists radar but everyone I bring here leaves both impressed and glad they stopped by. If you have time be sure to also walk upstairs to check out the John Singer Sargent’s murals.

Boston ranked 3rd most walkable city in America

LGBT Boston, gay life bostonEarlier this week Boston was once again ranked as one of America’s most walkable cities. I suppose the only real surprise in this ranking is that San Francisco ranked so high (ranked #2 behind New York City). While San Francisco is a beautiful city and one that is relatively easy to walk around, I would think the hilly topography would make it difficult for anyone with disabilities and or who may be older.

This annual ranking by RedFin, consistently ranks Boston as one of America’s most walkable cities.  Some of the other cities that scored well in addition to #1 – NYC, #2 San Francisco and #3 Boston, included: Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago, Washington DC, Seattle, Oakland and Baltimore.

 

Donna Summer outdoor roller disco returns in June

Flashback FridayMark your calendars because on Friday, June 19th City Hall Plaza will once again play host to a Donna Summer Memorial Roller Disco.

Friday, June 19th Boston to host Donna Summer Roller Disco

Similar to last year when more than 4,000 people came down to Government Center, the event will be free and open to the public, with skates for rent, food on hand and of course some excellent music courtesy of DJ Kon.

Check out these pictures from last summer’s inaugural Memorial Roller Disco to Boston native, Donna Summer. #HotStuff

BosGuy, Boston Guy