Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Lead Umbrella

That is what my po-po friend told me I would need this summer, since the forecast was for a summer of bullet hail.

And you know, I am thinking he might have been a little bit right.

This morning as I was driving down the street I noticed long strips of yellow crime scene tape roping off the last quarter of the block.

And then I noticed several bloody towels & tee shirts hanging on a fence.

And about eight crime scene/police vehicles double parked.

And a really new looking cop guarding the scene.

And a scattering of yellow tent cards dotting the courtyard.

Seemingly someone got shot, but will survive - I looked for it in the papers but nothing.


Monday, July 23, 2007

I'll get you my pretty and your little pushcart too!!

The Heraldo is running and article today about the pushcarts being pushed out of Downtown Crossing.

And rumor has it that all the food windows have to close. Heck, maybe they all are already closed....

I get why it is happening - someone at the BRA decided South Endify Downtown Crossing and that means no gritty city crap allowed.

I wonder where Hip Zepi is going to go?

Although if they close Falafel King heads will ROLL!

I sure hope that Downtown Crossing doesn't turn into some overpriced tourist destination mall like Fanueil Hall.

And I know that I am from Boston because I know what hot subway and hot candied nuts smell like in the blustery sea-salty wind that whips damply through the buildings. And you only smell that smell in Downtown Crossing.

Friday, July 20, 2007

That's the way the cookie crumbles

Anyone from/living in Boston knows that the city is run by about 6 competent people and about 6800 total boobs.

A handful of these boobs work at the BRA (Boston Redevelopment Authority).

The BRA should been dismantled - it is mostly corrupt and out of touch with the needs of the city. Criticism of the BRA has come up recently due to the fact that they've made some questionable approvals with regard to university expansions in both Roxbury and Brighton.

On a personal level, yesterday they awarded a parcel of land to a neighbor. Let me just say that of all the people in the neighborhood there are two people I don't like and this neighbor is one of them.

Over the years I have watched him as he has slowly turned his house into a dilapidated sh*tbox.

First there was the "roofdeck" he installed. Cobbled together with stair balusters, bits of string, and odd ends of wood, it is mostly now rotted and threatens to blow away in a stiff wind.

Then there was the time he woke everyone at 2am by jackhammering the cement steps off the back of his house - in boxer shorts of all things. Then he built in wooden steps and added on a long corrugated shelter over the stairs, like a big slide off the back of the house.

Not done with the jackhammer, he then turned his attention to the side of his house, jackhammering a big rectangular-ish hole in the exterior wall. Which he then filled in with a piece of wood (to brace the space) and glass block and a wooden shutter.

When the building department came by, they asked him to close it up. He said he would but never did and that was about 5 years ago now. They also told him to sort out the "roofdeck" and that is still there.

So now the BRA looked at his application and decided he was clearly the best candidate for the vacant lot. And yes, I applied also, just to see what would happen.

The BRA has put restrictions on the parcel. It has to remain an open greenspace. And if he wants to build anything on it he has to submit architect plans for approval, and he can't use it for parking - among other things.

If he doesn't comply with these restrictions he will forfeit the property. At least that is what the BRA claims.

I say that is bullsh*t.

He is planning on adding more windows, a deck with an overhang, and a six foot chain link fence.

If it were any number of my other neighbors, I would be more enthusiastic. But because it is this clown with a jackhammer doing the work himself, I am kind of bummed.

As for the permits and plans he needs, I doubt he will complete that part since he has a serious disdain for city authority unless it serves his needs. When they started the street sweeping program, he ran out to the city workers, screaming at them that they were Nazis and took photos of them as "evidence" of their Nazism. Did I mention he is from Germany himself?

He will wreck the parcel just like he has done to the exterior of his house and to the apartment he rented over the winter and like the house he bought in western Mass when he thought he was going to move away.

Way to go BRA!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

My Dream Traffic Nightmare

From the Odds & Ends wire:



If I was in that traffic jam, sorry, that traffic fondue, I would have thought I had died and gone to heaven.

Especially if the cheese truck had smashed into a toast point truck!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Emperor is Not Wearing Clothes

For the most part I like the police. Most of them anyway.

I know that that there are a few rotten apples and of course like everyone else I hate seeing blue lights in my rear view. And I especially HATE getting pulled over for speeding, especially since I NEVER speed.

And yeah, I think some changes should be made within the BPD, but I also firmly believe in personal responsibility, community engagement and being a good neighbor - all these things help keep neighborhoods safe.

Which means that if you witness a crime, call the cops. If someone is screaming for help, call the cops. If you can drop a dime, drop it. Problems don't solve themselves - desire and effort and work do.

Not everyone agrees with this though.

Lots of folks believe that neighborhood safety falls squarely on the the shoulders of police and politicians and when crime happens it's because the BPD f*cked up. Often these are the same folks who won't cooperate with police, or be witnesses, or report crimes - who then say they are afraid because of all the "bad" cops.

After the year we've been having, there are those who really believe that it's the police department who is at fault that the crime is high and that some murders remain unsolved. And Commissioner Davis takes this sentiment personally.

So now the Commish want to calm the masses with a BPD shakeup - appointing a new head of homicide, among other things.

And everyone is apparently thrilled with this new arrangement. Even if they can't tell the wolf for the sheepskin he is sporting.

Those who are thrilled are overlooking the scary fact - that the person they just put in charge of the homicide unit is a publicity scrounger who vows to impress with numbers.

What? Now that can't be a good idea.

The only way that is going to happen is to have officers make lots of arrests quickly, preferably in time for the 11'o clock news. Or the morning edition.

Great news for people of color hanging out on Boston streets late at night. Or for some poor slob driving their rusted out sh*tbox Camaro down Broadway in Southie after some packy gets robbed.

And it's a big problem when he encourages his officers to arrest the most guilty looking person - oh wait, I mean the person who looks like the most probable cause of trouble, because the arrest-first-sort-thing-out-later method sometimes results in finding out your "perp" was really hanging out with a cop, at Boston cop no less. Read about that HERE.

Like I said, everyone is thrilled, except for dedicated "good" cops who believe in doing things the right way rather than the easy way and for the folks at the DA's office who know that prosecuting crime is not at all like you see on Law & Order - that prosecuting crime takes time and patience and sometimes disappointment.

But you know what, until a crime happens to you personally, you can't imagine what it would be like to be ground through the system just to then find out that the police made an arrest for show and that the real culprit was still out there, getting away with it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Best Breakfast in Boston

Ok, well my friends are going to kill me, but eh whatever.

Since Mike's is now waaaaaayyyyyy over-rated and over-populated we went to Jaks on Northampton Street, down by Harrison Ave - right next to LiquorLand.

And you can park at LiquorLand, but you just need to get a sticker from Jaks.

Seriously - great breakfast and lots of food for cheap.

Check out their menu HERE

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I went to see Transformers this weekend and LOVED it - well almost all of it.

All of it except about 10 minutes in the big fight scene that dragged the ending out like a drunken party guest at 3am.

However what I really wanted after I left the theater was one of these:


Friday, July 06, 2007

How to Get a Free Punch in the Stomach

My Mom called me up today to pass on a story of something that happened to a co-worker today.

Seemingly this co-worker was taking the train today along with a woman with a dog who was carrying a large suitcase.

Who knew you could take a dog on the T, but whatever.

Anyway, Co-Worker watches as the Suitcase Lady is chatted up by a fellow male passenger. As they are getting off the train at Park Street, the FMP offers to help her with her suitcase. He inquires about the contents of this unwieldy case and she replies:


To which he responds by punching her in the stomach, grabbing the case, and taking off.


But really the "whoops" is on him.

Turns out the Suitcase Lady was either a vet or going to the vet (I missed this part of the story) because the contents of the case had nothing to do with "electronics", but instead contained the remains of a deceased dog.

So how was YOUR commute?