Want to know how the Green Line Extension will impact Somerville? Here’s the Boston Globe’s take…

And note that I have a couple very nice condos available at 44 Radcliffe Road — right up the street from the future site of the Gilman Square Station! :)

Green Line Extension Map

Am feeling nostalgic as I think back to when I began my real estate career in November of 2009 — look at the inventory we had back then! Ah, the good old days…

Cambridge Housing Inventory
YTD, November 21, 2009 through 2013

Cambridge Housing Inventory

Somerville Housing Inventory
YTD, November 21, 2009 through 2013

Somerville Housing Inventory

Why You Love Somerville

October 7, 2013

The Somerville Beat — my favorite source for all-things-Somerville — recently asked readers to give their reasons for loving Somerville. Answers included Fluff Fest (as one reader pointed out, “…we’ll throw a festival for pretty much anything. We love to celebrate!”), the Somerville Theater, Olde Magoun’s Saloon, local brews Pretty Things and Slumbrew and residents’ involvement in the community. Here’s a sampling:

“On a cold winter morning when I bundle up and bike to the Armory for the farmer’s market, listen to a bluegrass band or perhaps a brass band that covers pop songs. I run into 6 people I know, buy a cider doughnut and try some Taza chocolate, and learn about the Somerville events coming up over the next month.” — Shoshana

“There are so many hidden green spaces that are tucked away–small parks, gardens. It’s always nice to stumble upon one. And Union Square has so many different food options within a block! Mexican, Italian, tapas, Peruvian … Best little neighborhood. I went to the Farmer’s Market the other weekend and was introduced to Relish by way of a little sign. It was awesome.” — Katie

“Most of all, I love being a citizen here in Somerville. I’ve come to truly embrace what that word means–being an active, engaged participant in the decision-making about my community–through living here, and I am thankful for many wonderful public officials and civil servants who facilitate and welcome my participation. I don’t always agree with them or with my fellow citizens about what should be done in the city, but I always feel that there is room for input and lively debate, and I feel honored to contribute to shaping the future of this wonderful place.” — Brandy

Read more things to love about The ‘Ville on The Somerville Beat…

HarvestFestPoster

We all know that Cambridge is a hub of innovation, and Kendall Square may well be “the most innovative square mile on the planet,” as its local business association claims, but… Somerville houses some great innovation centers as well, and companies born there are bringing well-deserved attention to Cambrideville’s other half.

This week I had the pleasure of joining the Cambridge & Somerville Chambers of Commerce to tour two great new innovation spaces in Union Square — Artisan’s Asylum and Brooklyn Boulders.

Artisan’s Asylum is 40,000 sf of shared use space for artisans, builders, and all sorts of creative maker-types. The AA offers private work studios, common work and lounge areas, use of amazing equipment ranging from massive drills and welding tools to 3-D printers, and classes for the public. Here are some pix from the tour:

Artisan's Asylum, Somerville

I love the sign on this 3-D printer.

Artisan's Asylum, Somerville

View down one of the aisles.

Artisan's Asylum, Somerville

And scooters to make getting down those long aisles easier!

Brooklyn Boulders is a rock climbing gym with an innovative surprise inside — a satellite office of Kendall’s own Cambridge Innovation Center. As described on its website, BKB is “a new type of curated community space anchored by 38,000 square feet of sophisticated, challenging climbing terrain augmented by art, culture, music and entrepreneurship.” Here are a couple pix from my visit:

Brooklyn Boulders, Somerville

Congessman Mike Capuano speaking to our group. The mezzanine space we’re standing in will soon be home to CIC.

Brooklyn Boulders, Somerville

View from the mezzanine looking down at one of the climbing walls — check out the high-tech pulleys which allow you to climb without a belay-er (is that a word?).

Soon to move in next door to Brooklyn Boulders and Artisan’s Asylum is Greentown Labs — a shared space for clean technology companies. Here’s a look at the plans for the space:

Greentown Labs, Somerville

And I couldn’t end this piece without including a link to the cool piece written in the Globe recognizing that innovation also comes in the form of non-tech startups, featuring Somerville’s own Cuppow!

 

Last weekend when it was so gorgeous out, I was looking for something to do *outside* and realized there’s no one place that lists all the cool (usually free) outdoor entertainment we are so fortunate to have in and around Boston in the summertime. I started compiling info I found on various sites and then realized this might be useful to my readers as well, so here it is!

Starting in Cambridgeville of course…

Somerville has a whole lineup of summer entertainment including SomerMovie Fest with outdoor movies at various parks around the city every Thursday from July 11 – August 29. The City of Cambridge also has an outdoor summer movie series — Screen on the Green — where the films are supplemented with magicians, clowns, music, and other family-friendly entertainment every Wednesday through August 14. Here are also a few neighborhood-specific options:

Harvard Square has a full calendar of events that includes outdoor summer entertainment.

Concert Series @ Kendall Square (co-sponsored by Berklee College of Music) — on the plaza at 300 Athenaeum Street on Thursdays 12 – 1:30 pm, now through September 5.  Plus evening concerts 4:30 – 6 pm on July 16, August 6 and August 27.

And if you’re in the mood to cross the river, there are many more options, and most of them are FREE (yay for free!) — check it out…

Boston Harbor Hotel Summer Movies

Hatch Shell Concert Series — a varying schedule (but mostly Wednesday evenings) of orchestra performances, starting with the Pops on July 3 and running through August 28.

Free Friday Flix at the Hatch Shell — July 12 – August 23.

Berklee Summer in the City — free mid-day and evening music performed at at a variety of locations in the metro area — now straight into September.

Mayor Menino’s Wednesday Night Concert Series — July 18 – August 28. Shows start at 7 at City Hall Plaza.

Summer in the City Movies & Music at the Boston Harbor Hotel — June 13 – August 30 live music every Monday – Friday evening,  followed by a movie at dusk on Fridays. Download the brochure here.

Shakespeare on the Common — July 6 – 28 — this year’s production is Two Gentleman of Verona.

ICA Boston’s The Art of Summer — includes an pop up oyster bar on Friday evenings, family activities, and the Harborwalk Sounds music series every Thursday from July 11 – August 29.

MFA Concerts in the Courtyard — June 26 – August 28 with shows starting at 7:30 — unfortunately this one is not free, but might just be worth springing the $30 for…

I really love Elyse Andrews’ Somerville Beat blog, which is great for keeping up with the events and cast of characters in the city. Thought I’d share her recent post of a conversation with my favorite mayor, Joe Curtatone. Enjoy!

Mayor Curtatone

Union Square Map

I have said this so many times in the past year, I feel like a broken record: I believe Union Square is the best real estate investment opportunity in all of Cambridgeville right now. And I’m not just saying that because of the three amazing condos I will soon be listing at 11 Church Street (located at the star on the map above).

Property values have already started to rise with the recent influx of new shops and eateries, and in anticipation of the coming Green Line station (latest timing I’ve heard is that the Union Square stop should be complete and operational by 2017 – and that was from Mayor Curtatone himself). But you still can get a lot of bang for your buck here, and not only that, it’s a great place to live: super vibrant and with a great community feel, this is a place to call home. And even now, BGL (before Green Line), Union has great access to pretty much anywhere you want to go, whether by car, foot, bike, or public transportation.

Take a visual tour of Union Square on Pinterest:

Union Square Pinterest

Just a few of the many great places in Union:

Artisan’s Asylum — a “community craft studio” offering space and equipment rentals, classes, and events

Be Yoga — housed above Bloc 11, Be offers Vinyasa yoga for all levels

Bloc 11 Café — great coffee shop housed in a former bank, with wifi, art exhibits and frequent live music and events

Capone Foods — get your fresh pasta, cheeses and specialty items here. You can even take cooking classes!

The Independent — a great casual neighborhood restaurant and pub

Journeyman — a food lover’s delight with a rotating menu of seasonal dishes and a super-stealth cocktail bar: backbar

Market Basket — people drive for miles for this grocery store’s fresh produce and super low prices

Precinct — sit outdoors or in at this restaurant-bar-nightclub located in the former home of the Somerville PD

Prospect Hill Park — a tranquil park with great views of the Boston skyline

Ricky’s Flower Market — has a fantastic selection of flowers, plants and herbs

Saturday Farmer’s Market — fresh fruit, vegetables, breads, local jewelry and craft vendors, plus entertainment!

And coming soon:

Brooklyn Boulders — read more about this rock climbing gym/multi-functional community space in my recent post

Getting around:

Union Square offers easy access to the McGrath-O’Brien Highway (28) and Route 93.

Plus direct buses to Davis, Harvard, Central, & Kendall (Red Line), Sullivan Station (Orange Line), Lechmere Station (Green Line), Harvard Business School, the Fenway/Longwood area, Chestnut Hill Reservoir and more!

For more information:

City of Somerville’s official Union Square/Boynton Yards information page

Downloadable Union Square community brochure

Union Square Main Streets website