Travelers bustling through South Station’s busy grand concourse to their various destinations in Boston slowed down last week to listen to an assortment of classic music selections by pianist Bruce Lewis. The lunchtime concert may be a glimpse into the future of space utilization in South Station.
According to Equity Office, a company that holds a 30-year lease for the commercial space in the MBTA operated station; there is a new vision for how to enliven this space. Starting as early as this fall, it may not be uncommon to encounter live music every day in addition to art exhibits, theater troupes and a white table-cloth restaurant while rushing to catch a train or waiting for your bus to arrive. John Conley, vice president of asset management for Equity Office, said in a statement regarding the new initiative for South Station’s grand concourse, “We looked at it and said this is one of the best indoor spaces in Boston… But the station is underutilized. We asked how could we take this terrific space and really enliven it.’’
South Station as an “Indoor Park”
Equity Office previously used an in-house marketer to coordinate occasional events within the station. However, the company has recently hired Daniel A. Biederman, a New York City park consultant, to assist in the ongoing project for this space. Although there are no concrete plans for how the space will be utilized, Biederman says that he envisions the “40,000-square-foot grand concourse as an indoor park flush with potential for events and intriguing experiences to promote products and entertain commuters.”
While ease of transportation will still be the primary focus for the station, this new vision may provide a bit of a lightened atmosphere for daily commuters. Perhaps soon residents throughout Boston neighborhoods like Allston, Fenway and the South End will opt to meet friends and family at the train for the chance to experience the new ambiance of South Station.
Despite the dreary weather this past weekend the Murr Center at the Harvard Athletic Complex was host to the fourteenth annual Taste of Allston. Restaurants from around the area came together to provide people with a sample of the types of food there is to experience in this neighborhood.
Just walking down Brighton Avenue it’s clear that Allston is home to a diverse mix of restaurants. Within just fifty feet you can smell Asian cuisine being prepared at Shabu Zen; classic pub food from the White Horse Tavern; Italian cuisine from Carlo’s Cucina Italiana; and even Mexican food at the Sunset Grill.
The 2011 Taste of Allston this past Saturday was a demonstration of the wide variety of food and culture you can find in the area. It featured food from all over the world – China, Korea, Brazil, Russia, Italy, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Colombia, France, Thailand, India, and of course classic all-American favorites. The event also featured tastings of international and domestic beers and wine, a silent auction, and live music. The proceeds from the event were donated back to the community through Allston Village Main Streets, a community-based public-private partnership aiming to revitalize the Allston commercial district.
You’ve finally taken the ultimate step in independence, you’ve moved out of your parents’ house and into a new apartment all on your own, congratulations! This is a very exciting event, one that you should be proud of- and prepared for whether you’re moving into the college-student-friendly Allston, the prestigious Back Bay neighborhood, or the attraction-rich Fenway area. Here are a few helpful ways to make the entire process a smooth one.
1. Do Your Research
Before signing your lease or agreement, find out what, if any, utilities are included in each month’s rent. Basic expenses include water, electricity, and heat, and then there are the luxuries such as cable and Internet. Do some research beforehand to see the typical monthly cost of whatever neighborhood you want to live in and contact your cable/Internet provider to see if there is a cheaper package deal you can purchase. Another little hint: if you have a cell phone with adequate service, skip the land line cost altogether!
2. Create a personal budget.
How much will you be earning each month? How much are your bills going to be? Is your income going to cover your bills, food, and entertainment costs? Once you create a realistic budget, stick to it! Too often, many young people get so caught up in the excitement of their own place that they end up ignoring all the responsibility that comes with it and end up right back where they started- their parents’ house. You can avoid this by keeping your budget in sight, whether it’s posted on your fridge, set as a reminder on your computer, or written in a planner.
3. Don’t Waste Your Money
There are several things you can do to keep your apartment from becoming a money pit. Turn off lights, fans, televisions, etc after you leave a room to cut your electricity bill. If you’re not home during the day, lower the heat! Cover your windows with plastic during the winter months to keep the heat in and the cold draft out, and try to lower your water bill by turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth, filling the sink instead of letting it run while doing dishes, and keeping your showers short.
4. Furniture, Appliances, Lighting
Chances are your apartment will not come with furniture, appliances, and lighting, things that you wouldn’t normally have to worry about if you were still at home. Ask family members if they have any old furniture you could have or check out flea markets, yard sales, and secondhand stores for bargains, just be careful to inspect pre-owned furniture for unsightly rips/tears or more serious problems such as bedbugs. If there is no washer/dryer in your apartment, check to see if there is a communal laundry room or a nearby Laundromat. Find out if each room comes with lighting fixtures, and if they don’t purchase lamps to light the rooms that don’t.
5. Making Your Apartment a Home
Once you’ve covered everything else on the list, decorate! Before spending your hard-earned cash (remember your budget!) see if you have anything from home or college that you can use in your new apartment. Try adding frames to posters to create a neater look or filling your apartment with pictures to make it feel like home. Curtains can make a room something special, and they don’t have to be really expensive, you can even make them yourself!
While moving into a new apartment can be stressful, it should also be exciting. By spending your money wisely, doing your research, and dealing with responsibilities as they come, your new apartment should be ready in no time! Phoenix Realty has lots of great listings in the Boston area, so contact an agent today to schedule a viewing and find your new home!
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