Month: December 2009

what i’m taking to paris.

okay, so this isn’t everything i’m taking, but this is the important stuff.  aka, the christmas stuff. – stockings.  these are new!  we got them from looploft, on etsy.  she repurposes old sweaters.  sweet. – the stack or cardboard snowflakes is actually a christmas tree, die-cut from recycled cardboard.  i’ll assemble it when we get there; i got it from Greenward.  How cool is that?  Now we can have a tree in Paris. – Guidebooks.  I love the DK eyewitness series for the history and all of the photos; it’ll be the perfect primer for Brian on the plane, since he’s a Paris newb.  The Michelin Guide has the best info about all the little neighborhoods in the city. – Advent Calendar.  So I’m crazy.  But it’s been really fun to count down to the trip, and now we can open the last window in the City of Lights! – A birthday present from my grandma.  My birthday is December 26, and I’m so excited to have it be the main event of this trip.  …

from the archives: bombay

As the holiday travel season is upon us, I thought I would share with you some photos from an incredible trip to India my boyfriend and I took in February 2008.  We stayed with my friend Sejal who was living in Mumbai at the time, in the residential suburb of Bandra.  In addition to living near the Bandstand Beach and in close proximity to the home of Bollywood legend Shah Rukh Khan, staying outside the small tourist area allowed us to experience real life in one of the most incredible urban areas of the developing world.  Glittering wealth sits next to the most abject poverty in the world: just as the city is home to the Bollywood stars, it is also the home of Goregaon, the largest slum in Asia.  The city is the commerce capital of India and as such doesn’t actually receive a lot of tourists, who tend to travel to New Delhi in the North to see the Taj Mahal, or to districts in the South to visit lush rainforests and Hindu …

lexington community farm and the CPA

I had an exciting conversation yesterday while I was in Lexington picking up my last share from Shared Harvest CSA.  An exciting conversation about land use!  The town has recently acquired the former Busa Farm land and is now trying to decide how to redevelop it.  Since Lexington purchased the land with funds collected through the  Community Preservation Act, the site will remain mostly open space.  There will likely also be some affordable housing included in the plan.  The town-wide debate is mostly over what form of open space it will be; the people at lexfarm.org want it to be used as a community farm, while many “soccer parents” want to see the land turned into a sports field. Currently there are no farm advocates on the appointed board for the redevelopment project. This reminded me a lot of what’s going on in Milton, except that Milton hasn’t yet enacted the CPA and their debate is primarily over the affordable housing decision.  Lexington seems pretty okay with small-scale affordable housing on Busa Land.  Seeing as …

what’s a town to do?

The Globe has been buzzing this week about a growing controversy in Milton.  Faced with dwindling assets and crumbling buildings, the Milton Poor Farm is now embroiled in a heated and all-too-familiar debate about its future use.  Designated in 1701 by Governor Stoughton as land to be used in perpetuity to benefit the city’s poor, the Poor Farm sits on 35 acres of desirable undeveloped land surrounded by large single-family homes on suburban roads and cul-de-sacs.  As you might imagine, the question is: should the land be developed? I’ll be writing a series on this story as it progresses and as I learn more.  So by way of introduction, I invite you to read the editorial, and comments, posted in today’s Globe.  Also check out Jenifer McKim’s good overview article, published on Tuesday.  They discuss how local residents resist the development of affordable housing on the site, in favor of creating a historic site that could be used for tourism, farming, and the existent animal shelter use.  The town is in favor of restricted affordable …

of blight and building

I was amused when I came across this flyer a couple of weeks ago: What I find funny about this poster is that while its creator clearly assumed that the natural answer to these questions would be, “No!  High-rise development is evil!”, some people felt so strongly the opposite that they were compelled to take out a pen from their pocket or purse and write their opinion on the poster.  And that’s how it is in Cambridge, where everyone is an activist, the general assumption is that everyone is against development, and people rarely fail to voice their (strong) opinions. A little background: the building under discussion was the long-time home of Bowl and Board, a home-furnishings store owned by Mike Giarusso.  It was part of a small New England chain which Giarusso opened in 1956.  He recently came upon some very hard times and moved from the Cambridge location to a storefront in Davis Square.  Unfortunately, due to financial and legal pressure, he was forced to liquidate his stores and close up shop this past summer. …