The Places

A Detailed Look at the Improper Bostonian's 9 of the Best Bars in Boston

One of the best things about living in Boston (arguably the best thing) is how full of life it is.  You could spend an entire month exploring the city and still miss some if it's best attractions.  So, as some of the most experienced real estate agents in Boston, we've made it a priority to acquaint ourselves with the city in every way, which hasn't been too difficult since our agents live, work and play in the neighborhoods they work in.  Whether it's a question about luxury condos for sale in Back Bay, the best Italian restaurant in the North End, pet friendly buildings in Fenway, or what Bostonians can expect from the massive amount of development in The Seaport, we have all kinds of answers.  But while our agents love exploring the city and gathering information for clients (a job perk for sure), we also like to consider the opinions of others around town.  So, we partnered with our friend Jessica Kane to get the details on The Improper Bostonian's list of the 9 Best Bars and Clubs in Boston.  Here's what Jessica had to say:

The Improper Bostonian, a lively, alternative newspaper serving the community, likes to develop lists of the best. An important "best list" from The Improper Bostonian addresses bars, taverns, and nightclubs in Boston.

If you are planning a trip to Boston, or if you live in or near the city and want to learn more about nightlife in your community, there are nine establishments that made the longer "best list" that are well worth a look.

Best Beer Bar: The Publick House

Although beer bars have been popping up in Boston at a rapid pace in recent years, The Publick House has been and remains ahead of the ever growing pack. The Publick House is described as the "sultan of suds" by The Improper Bostonian. 

The Publick House features over 30 styles of beer, served in over 80 bottles. In addition, the establishment offers its patrons an ever rotating selection of brew on tap. 

Best Cozy Bar: Anchovies

Anchovies is recognized as the best cozy bar in Boston. Anchovies is a dimly lit joint, that comes complete with a dark wood bar. It is a neighborhood tavern, that includes nick-knacks about the place, and bartenders who are generous in their pours.

Anchovies is a friendly spot, a pub that serves a large cast of regulars. In addition, Anchovies serves a full menu of delectable, authentic Italian food until 1:30 a.m. 

Best Dance Club: Royale

When it comes to Boston dance clubs, Royale is a survivor. Dance clubs in the city, indeed across the country, come and go in a flash. Royale is now in its seventh year, and no other venue has come close to taking the perch as the best away from this venue.

Royale is located in the Boston Theatre District and packs crowds in each and every weekend. Royale features a wide array of marquee DJs and EDM stars. In addition, the venue is outfitted with a tremendous light and sound system. Royale is also home to some great live concerts each year, thanks to its partnership with Bowery Presents. 

Best Dive Bar: Drinking Fountain

Who doesn't like a fun dive bar? And Boston has more than a few. With that said, Drinking Fountain is the best dive bar in town.

Drinking Fountain has been able to withstand the trend towards gentrification that has been sweeping the city in the past couple of decades. In addition, Drinking Fountain offers some of the most affordably priced drinks to be found anywhere in Boston.

Best Date Bar: The Gallows

Despite the establishment's name, The Gallows is regarded as the best date bar in Boston. The Gallows is a lively, vibrant South End gastropub. In addition to reasonably priced adult beverages, the establishment offers a nice selection of small plates. It is a perfect place for comfortable conversation, even well suited to that all important first date.

Best Gay Bar: Club Café 

In business for 30-plus years, Club Café remains the best gay bar in Boston. People still line up down the block to get in. This remains the case even as gay bars shutter as LGBT patrons venture towards partying in "mainline" establishments. 

Club Café offers the best cabaret stage in town. In addition, there is a lively dancefloor located at the rear of the establishment. 

Best Hotel Bar: Hojoko

If you are visiting Boston, or if you are a resident that wants to try out something not normally seen in a hotel bar, Hojoko is the place to go. The establishment is located in the trendy Verb Hotel.

The establishment features a vibrant décor not normally associated with a hotel lobby bar. The colorful décor provides a marvelous backdrop for the best sake selections found anywhere in Boston. Midnight snacks of ramen are served daily. On a seasonal basis, beverages from Hojoko can be enjoyed poolside.

Best Irish Pub: The Field

What would Boston be without its wonderful Irish pubs? There are plenty of them. And, The Field is considered the best.

The cash-only pub offers patrons pints of Guinness, pool, and darts. Keep in mind that The Field is not located in Southie, but in the Cambridge area (not necessarily where you'd expect to find the best Irish Pub). Because of its location, The Field attracts a truly eclectic array of patrons, people from all walks of life and a myriad of backgrounds. It is a truly friendly gathering place.

Best Jazz Club: Wally's Café

Wally's Café tops the list as the best jazz joint in Boston. Wally's Café, in its 70th year, is a Boston institution. 

The establishment has featured nightly jazz performances by veteran musicians and up-and-coming performers. There are early evening sessions at Wally's Café, followed by scheduled performers.

Jessica Kane writes for TIPS Alcohol Training, offering TIPS responsible alcohol service training online for both on and off premise needs.  

The Charles Realty has had its finger on the pulse of Boston real estate for 34 years.  Our agents have unparalleled knowledge of the city and it’s neighborhoods, and oftentimes have access to information not yet made public.  For questions about homes for sale in Boston, or if you're looking for the most dedicated seller's agents in Boston, please contact us.  

 

How To Find the Best Food Trucks in Your Boston Neighborhood

Cookie Monstah Food Truck in Boston

Though the food truck industry can be traced back to 1897 (according to the NY Times), very few people could have anticipated the 2008 boom that caused every struggling restauranteur hesitant to take on a new restaurant, to consider a mobile kitchen.  Because of the recession, food trucks were an appealing option because they required significantly less investment and enabled chefs to reach more people.  But what was born from necessity quickly gained momentum and usurped fast food chains as the best option for good and inexpensive food fast. In the beginning it was simple - hot dogs and tacos and other easy to prepare meals that could be slung out a window to folks in suits, hustling through Downtown Crossing from one meeting to another, but I doubt anyone imagined the smorgasbord of dishes that can be found in mobile kitchens.  Here are 3 ways to find out which food trucks are open, and in your area:

The city of Boston has a food truck schedule on their website.  It's based on permitted information and offers general neighborhood location (Financial District, Back Bay, Rowes Wharf Plaza, etc. - sometimes listing two or more) for each mealtime.  

Street Food Boston, created by Tatlow Park Software, is a free app that gives you up to the minute food truck and food cart schedules.  It also gives you the days locations and daily schedules and allows you to track your favorites!  

Boston Feed Me is a real-time graphic that tracks nearly 60 food trucks around the city. It was created by a group of graduating seniors at Northeastern University Jenn Kappel, Karen Doyle, Moling Guo, and Khrystyna Reyes, graduating seniors at Northeastern University, and provides profiles of each truck with menus, schedules, photos and more.

Bon Apetit!  

 

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The Best Activities and Entertainment This Holiday Season in Boston

(Photo credit: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/ultimate-guide-christmas-boston)

Boston is a fun place to be any time of year, but especially at Christmas-time, when the sparkling Christmas trees and festive lights illuminating streets and storefronts bring cheer to even the scroogiest Bostonian.  The city buzzes with music, holiday shoppers fill the sidewalks and stores and best of all, special holiday events start filling people’s calendars.  To make sure you capture the allure of Boston during the holiday season, and to avoid missing out on tickets or double booking yourself, it’s important to start planning your event schedule as early as possible.  Here are our recommendations for the best activities to participate in this year:

Lighted Christmas Trees - By late November and early December beautifully lit christmas trees begin to pop up all over the city.  You can find two of the biggest trees in Boston Common and Faneuil Hall, which is also the site of the Blink! holiday lights and music show which is free and runs 12 times between 4:30-10pm.  Here is a list of tree lightings taking place in November, and here is one for December. 

Ice skating on the common - If you're planning to head to Boston Common to see the glorious Christmas Tree, make sure to pack your ice skates for the outdoor rink, which opens in mid-November.    

Menorah lighting - Also in Boston Common you'll find public Menorah lighting each night through Hanukah (December 24th - January 1st).

The Nutcracker - Performed by Boston Ballet at Symphony Hall from November 25th-December 31st.  

Holiday Pops - Performed by Boston Symphony Orchestra from November 30th-December 31st.

Holiday shopping - You'll find unique shopping experiences in some of Boston's most charming neighborhoods.  Make sure to check out Newbury Street and the Prudential Center in Back Bay, Charles Street on Beacon Hill, Salem Street in the North End, Washington Street in Downtown Crossing and Harvard Square in Cambridge.  

Santa - In many of Boston's popular shopping areas you'll have the chance to visit with Santa, which is a nice way to break up a day of shopping with the kids.  

Santa Speedo Run- On Saturday, December 10th, hundreds of scantily clad runners will hit the streets for a run that raises money for The Play Ball Foundation, "which provides Boston middle school students with a chance to play, and build friendships and character through the lessons of sports - teamwork, communication and discipline."  It's a fun, unique holiday event for both runners and their audience

First Night - Boston's signature New Year's Eve event includes a fireworks show over Boston Harbor, a huge Celebrate Boston Parade down Boylston Street, musical performance, ice sculptures and fun activities for the whole family.  

These are just a few of our favorites, but there's no shortage of festive, entertaining things to see and do in Boston during the holiday season.  For more advice on activities in your neighborhood, contact one of our agents, all of whom live in the city and surrounding area.  

 

 

 

Updates to 34 Plympton Street

A Modern Renovation in the Trendy South End

Unit 1 Updates: Will now be converted into a 3 bed/2 bath for $799,000.

Unit 2 Updates: Price reduced to $849,000.

Unit 3 Updates: Price is still $899,000, but will include a private roof deck to be built by seller.

All 3 Units: Seller will include 1 years parking in area garage.

These spacious loft style homes embody the flawless balance between state of the art amenities and modern designelements.  The open kitchen boasts recent renovations such as: stainless steel appliances, granite counters, plenty of cabinet space, dishwasher/disposal, and refrigerator.

These residences boasts modern features such as hardwood floors throughout the units, and tranquil bathrooms complete with rain shower heads, tiled walls with inlays, Toto water saving toilets, and Kohler tubs.

Residency at 34 Plympton offers luxuries including: a security system, air conditioning, private designated storage, walking distance to the restaurants on Harrison Avenue and Washington Street, and easy access to 93 and the Mass Pike.

If you would like to see any of the three condos in person, feel free to contact one of our expert agents by scheduling a showing here. Also be sure to go to 34plymptonboston.com for more images and information.

Boston's Best Parks for Lunch Breaks

Now that the weather is becoming more seasonable, it is the perfect time to get outside and explore Boston's finest parks. With over 2,600 acres of park land throughout the city, Boston offers a wide range of parks. Here are some to check out.

Public Garden (Beacon Hill/Back Bay)

photo via beaconhilllivingsir.com

One of Boston's most notable parks is one of America's first public botanical gardens. With a Victorian era feel, there are memorials, sculptures, and the famous George Washington statue. Flowers and trees throughout this area beautifies the park even more and during the warmer months swan boat rides are offered to give a close up view of the lagoon.

Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park (Waterfront)

photo via beaconhilllivingsir.com

One of the best places to enjoy a picnic while watching boats in Boston Harbor, Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park also features the Memorial Rose Garden trellis. This park is perfect for people of all ages and is located near the Aquarium and North End.

Norman B. Leventhal Park at Post Office Square (Downtown)

photo via beaconhilllivingsir.com

With 1.7 acres of land between buildings in Downtown Boston, this park is a hot spot for people working in the area. With a sculptural fountain and a long trellis, there is plenty of scenery in an unexpected spot. Lawn cushions are provided for seating on the lawn during the day, and live music is provided variously. This park will make you forget that you're in the middle of the city with its beauty.

Cassidy Playground/Chestnut Hill Reservation (Brighton)

photo via beaconhilllivingsir.com

Boasting both recreation and beauty, this park is adjacent to the reservoir and its 1.6 mile path perfect for walks, runs, and dogs. The park also has one baseball field, two softball fields, and two tennis courts among the large grass covered park.

Piers Park (East Boston)

photo via beaconhilllivingsir.com

Over in East Boston, where fewer businesses are located is the 6.5 acre Piers Park. This park features a playground, mini amphitheater, and a 600 foot pedestrian promenade with views of downtown Boston. Although no ball throwing is allowed, this is one of the best picnic spots in Boston.

Boston's Off-Campus Apartment Market

Recent news stories have brought the off-campus apartment market into the limelight, highlighting that over recent years students have been exposed to the dangers caused by the housing shortage. With universities in Boston accepting more and more students every year, housing both on and off campus cannot keep up.

As a result of less off-campus housing inventory, college students have begun to make sacrifices. Students are now living in small, cheap, and run-down apartments to save money as financial pressures continue to grow on students. Bedbugs, rodents, and additional hazards have become more common news stories due to the state of some off-campus apartments.

With high demand and low inventory, landlords no longer have to compete to find customers and don't feel the same pressures to update their properties. In an editorial by the Boston Globe titled 'Student Apartments Expose Ravages of Housing Shortages,' it was said "As housing units come up for sale, deep-pocketed landlords whose business models involve skimping on maintenance, and packing in tenants beyond what the law allows, can easily outbid individual families or more conscientious investors." Over the last few months it has becoming increasingly difficult to go without seeing a story in the news about an apartment fire, hazardous apartment conditions, and overcrowding because of what's going on in the off-campus apartment market.

So, what is needed when moving forward?

-          City inspectors will need to step up more than before. More visits are needed to apartments and tickets will be given for safety code violations.

-          Universities should help guide students and their families in the direction of safe off-campus housing. Some universities already do a good job at this.

-          More housing. This won't happen overnight, but more housing is needed in Boston to keep up with the demand.

-          Use a rental agent. The Charles Realty's rental agents went to schools in the Boston area and know the off-campus apartment market. They can guide students to the right landlord and safe housing.

Sources: Student apartments expose ravages of housing shortage A House Jammed with Students, a Life of Promise Lost Overcrowded and at Risk: A Way of Life and, Sometimes, Death for Student Tenants A Devastating Mismatch: City vs. Scofflaw Landlords

What to Look for in a Neighborhood

Buying a home requires a thorough evaluation of the house itself, and the surrounding environment. The surrounding environment, or neighborhood is a major part of the investment made when buying a home. Buying a home in an up-and-coming neighborhood is one of the best investments one can make. Investing in an area that is on the rise rather than an area that is already thriving will give a bigger return on investment.

When searching for a home there are many variables to take into account when looking into the neighborhood from the school systems to the crime rate. Here are some things to look for when research a neighborhood:

  • Taxes and location based expenses: People often forget about expenses separate from the price of buying the home. Be sure to check the property taxes, any association fees, and any other expenses that may arise.
  • Area rules and laws: Every association and town has different rules and laws that should be brushed up on.
  • Crime rate: There are numerous websites allowing people to view crime rate statistics in a zip code. Look up the crime rate of the areas you currently live in compared to the places you are looking to move and see how they stack up.
  • Schools: School systems are a crucial element in the home buying process. See if the area has preschool to high school public and/or private schools. Schools aren't only important for families, having a good school system will help with the resale of the house.
  • Amenities: Amenities including, shopping centers, grocery stores, and so on might be areas you need to travel to often, so how far do you want to travel to get to these places?
  • Commute: How long will it take to travel to work? How long will it take to travel to see relatives? Use an online mapping website to see how long the commute will be to the places you need to travel to regularly.
  • Sights, sounds, and smells: When at the house see how loud the environment is. Is there traffic? Does it get louder at night? Also study what sights you'll have from each area of the house. Lastly check the smell of the area, does a local store have scents that travel to the house?

Remember even if some of these variables don't impact you, always think about the future. Someday you'll sell your house and things such as, the amenities and school system may be more important to someone looking to buy the house from you. Overall remember a house is an investment, so do research and plan for the future.

For any questions or comments, please comment on our Facebook.

Sources: Top 10 Things to Look for to Find Your Dream Neighborhood 5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Neighborhood How to Choose a Neighborhood

101 Beacon Street

Now it's Your Turn to Make History with This Enchanting Gem

This grand and beloved lady comes to the market for the first time in over 60 years. Circa 1862, 101 Beacon was built for the notable Arthor Lithgow Devens of Boston. Over the year this gracious Victorian has been home to such notables as: William Mountford, Percival Lowell Everett, and Augustus Thorndike. In 1959 the home was converted into nine residential units by prominent architect Saul Moffie allowing the top floors of the home to take full advantage of sweeping views of The Charles River.

Location! Location! 101 Beacon is the last building on Beacon Street before the Boston Public Garden. Such prominence in location is not surpassed in Boston. Its rare setting allows river views from the front and southern exposure in the rear.

The third floor of the home features direct elevator access to the former mansion grand library. Boasting the original detail of this opulent residence, the floor through one bedroom is highlighted by mahogany wainscoting, decadent fireplace, antique sconces, and dramatic bay windows.

Floors four through seven have direct elevator access into the spacious, floor-through, two bedroom, two bath residences.

With 10,575 square footage, 101 Beacon is listed at $5,995,000. For more photos and information please visit 101Beacon.com.

Open Houses:

4/24 3:00-6:00

4/25 11:00-1:00

4/27 12:00-2:00

This Week's Featured Neighborhood: Downtown

Boston's Center for Business and Government

photo via city-data.com

Not only is Downtown Boston the center for most business and government, but it is also home to some of Boston's most notable parks. At the edge of Downtown, Boston Common and the Public Garden stand out as Boston's most visited parks. Downtown is also one of Boston's top shopping neighborhoods, offering large department stores and boutique shops. One of the country's most visited landmarks, Faneuil Hall, is the center of shopping and dining in Downtown as one of the country's most visited landmarks.

Downtown Boston is a growing neighborhood with two innovative plans that will further improve this area. The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway will bring twenty-seven acres of green space and Crossroads will bring a new set of street standards though the neighborhood, reuniting the surrounding neighborhoods to Boston Harbor.

Some restaurants include: Bistro du Midi (French): 272 Boylston Street Ruth's Chris Steak House (Steak): 45 School Street Union Oyster House (Seafood): 41 Union Street O Ya (Japanese): 9 East Street

Some shopping stores include: Newbury Comics: Faneuil Hall Boston Harley Davidson: Faneuil Hall Macy's: 450 Washington Street

Some bars & pubs include: Stoddard's Fine Food & Ale: 48 Temple Place Grill 23 & Bar: 161 Berkeley Street

Be sure to let us know your favorite spots in Downtown Boston by commenting on our Facebook! For more information on Downtown Boston, feel free to message our Rental Agents directly at our new rentals Facebook page, Charles Rentals.

For Downtown Boston listings please visit our website http://www.thecharlesrealty.com/.

Sources: Cityofboston.gov

87 High Street #1

Quintessential Victorian Parlor Home

A private entry welcomes you to this charming 872 square foot two bedroom Victorian home. The home's double parlor floor plan features high ceilings and light from front and back. Pocket doors lead to the formal dining room with space for eight to dine with antique China built-ins, and pine floors. Next to the formal dining room, the living room features: pine floors, walnut fireplace, and high ceilings.

The recently renovated kitchen features: custom cabinetry, stainless appliances, granite counter-tops with room forstool seating, gas cooking, and direct access to private deck.

Centrally located on High Street with an easy walk to The Monument or Main Street. This home includes: in-unit washer/dryer, basement storage, pet friendly association, re-sealed basement walls, spectacular views of the city, gas heating system, and a hot water tank.

Offered at $479,000 with a condo fee of $135/month, the building is making plans for a repair of the roof and roof deck sometime in the next 3-5 years.

For more on this property please visit our website. To get in contact with the agent, ask for Betsy Herald at 617-236-0353 or betsyhearld@realtor.com.