MCDRA Neighborhood Meeting…


From the MCDRA:

Dear Members,

Our March meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 17  at 7:00PM (Suffolk Law School):

Monday, March 14, 2016 at 7:00PM
Suffolk University Law School (4th FL, Courtroom, Room 425)
120 Tremont Street
(Handicap Accessible)


7:00PM Boston Police Department and MBTA Transit Police Update

7:15PM Announcement regarding expansion of the MCDRA Leadership Team – positions described below.* We are looking to fill these volunteer positions following our March meeting

7:30PM Chris Cook, Commissioner, Boston Parks & Recreation, will be joining us for a discussion around our open spaces, including the Boston Common and the new proposed Visitor Center

8:15PM Other Updates, including the proposed developments at 171 Tremont Street, 533 Washington Street, and Bromfield / Washington Streets

*As we continue to grow, we are looking to evolve from a small Executive Committee to a more robust Leadership Team. We are seeking to fill the following volunteer positions following our March meeting:

Technology Co-Manager
Assist with updating website, sending out meeting notices and announcements, helping with speaker / meeting presentations. Help to develop and curate timely web and social media content

Membership & Public Relations Manager
Conduct outreach to neighborhood buildings and condo associations within the MCDRA geographic area. Help recruit and welcome new members. Work with the Downtown BID, The Boston Globe, etc. to publicize association and neighborhood announcements

Social Coordinator
Plan and implement activities such as neighborhood tours, wine tastings, and other activities based on the interests of members. Encourage opportunities for feedback and participation.

Meeting & Events Co-Manager
Serve as a liaison with Suffolk University and others to secure monthly meeting location. Liaise with Leadership Team and residents to suggest and determine monthly speakers, extend invitations and set monthly agendas.

Estimated Time Commitment for each role
1. Monthly residents meeting (1.5 – 2 hours)
2. Leadership Team meeting (1 – 2 hours)
3. Time spent on your volunteer activity (1.5 – 3 hours)

Rishi Shukla, George Coorssen, Deva Hirsch
Executive Committee

About the Midtown Cultural District Residents’ Association (MCDRA)

The Midtown Cultural District Residents’ Association (MCDRA) is an independent organization that was formed in October 2014 by residents of Boston’s Midtown / Downtown Crossing neighborhood. The organization, run exclusively by volunteers residing in the neighborhood, facilitates community building and ensures that residents are informed and have a voice in key decisions that stand to impact the quality of life in and development of Midtown / Downtown Crossing. MCDRA requires that members disclose any conflicts of interest and that they reside in the neighborhood.


From Curbed Boston…

image image

Downtown Boston
Ritz-Carlton Spread’s New Owner Will Live There Two Weeks a Year
Meet Boston’s $4.1M pied-a-terre

The 4-BR, 3.5-BA Unit 19E at the uber-influential Ritz-Carlton Residences in downtown Boston just traded for $4,100,000 after nearly eight months officially on the market. The final going tag represents a significant price-chop from the original asking of $4,350,000; but it still pencils out to one of the biggest sales in Boston so far this year. Plus! According to a source with knowledge of the deal, the new foreign owner of the 3,263-square-foot condo with two garaged parking spaces plans to use it just two weeks a year. Kathleen Cook of Atlantic Associates Real Estae Cook of listed Unit 19E at 2 Avery Street. Have a look around at what might be Boston’s priciest pied-a-terre right now.

Got Wine?

MCDRA Wine Tasting



                     February 29th  from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Gordon’s Fine Wines and Liquors
39 Temple Place , Boston

It’s a Leap Year!

What better way to spend our bonus day this year than a gathering with neighbors to sample an assortment of wines! Please join neighbors and fellow members of the Midtown Cultural District Resident’s Association  at a social event at the new Gordon’s Fine Wines and Liquors on Temple Place. The shop will welcome you with samplings from their Enomatic Wine Machines that will offer the chance to taste wines from around the world, plus sample cheeses and charcuterie. A casual, informal social gathering to get to know neighbors. Gordon’s will present everyone who signs up by 3 days in advance with a Gordon’s customer card.

Tickets $10.00 on sale now through 2/26


150 Years Ago Today….

The Civil War ended 150 years ago and today the “Return of the Flags” was reenacted this morning on Boston Common.



December 22, 1886 was the exact day that the Govenor  of Massachusetts , John J. Andrews, was presented the battle flags of the returning Civil War battalions for  permanent installment at the State House. Those original flags are now stored away for preservation.


Today,  volunteer actors , some with direct Civil War ancestry, marched from the Common to the State House with replica flags.




And look who happened to stroll by…



Conan Obrien ! Lots of selfies with the troops.



Naughty or Nice…

Old St Nick made an early scheduled stop to the Ritz-Carlton South Tower recently . He just wanted to catch up with Christmas wishes of the excited youngsters.  And excited they all were. Of course there were cookies and milk on the menu too.

image image



We all know Quechee is always on the nice list…


But it wasn’t just the kids  or the pets that Santa took a shine to.


Whether these two are on the naughty or nice list, well, I  think I will leave that for you to decide!








MCDRA Last Meeting….


Last week at the MCDRA meeting ,which was held at the Modern Theatre , attracted a smaller than usual crowd, most likely due to the busy holiday season.



John Fitzgerald,  Deputy Director 

The main focus was on a presentation of Imagine Boston 2030, the first master plan for the future of the city in 50 years.

You can get the whole story at:

And you can participate in their surveys to provide your own vision for shaping the future of Boston. It is expected that the final plan will be adopted in the Summer of 2017.

Also on the agenda  for the brief meeting was an update on the Godfrey Hotel which has been under construction for over 2 years. But it looks like the end of that mess is in sight.



Apparently they are waiting on and expecting a liquor license from a defunct Lonehorn Steakhouse out in the Brookline area.   They have , however,  already taken room reservations for mid-January . I would say that the end of construction is near!






 Prediction for 2016….

Well, we certainally hope so!

The Greater Boston real estate market will be one of the best in the country in 2016, according to a new analysis by

In the site’s “Top Real Estate Markets to Watch in 2016,” Boston came in at No. 10, with predicting a 10 percent increase in existing-home sales and a 6.09 percent increase in median sales price.

Here is the complete ranking

2. St. Louis
3.San Diego
6.New Orleans
9.Virginia Beach



                     Residences at the Ritz-Carlton in Boston


All of the housing markets in the top 10, noted, see 60 percent more listing page views on its website than average, and homes in the markets sell 16 days faster. The main factors contributing to that demand include growing household formations, a strong job market, low unemployment and large populations for the Millennial, Gen X and Silent generations.


Merry Christmas from the Mayor…


The City of Boston announced that two hours of free parking will be provided at the city’s 8,000 metered spaces on select days this holiday season. Parking meters are conveniently located throughout Boston’s Downtown, as well as in several of the city’s residential neighborhoods that also host thriving commercial districts.

“The winter holidays are a great time to experience Boston,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “People visit from around the world to dine, shop, visit our arts and cultural attractions, attend sporting events, or just take a stroll and soak up the holiday spirit. Offering free, curbside parking is one way that we are welcoming people to our city this holiday season.”

Two hours of free parking at metered spaces will be offered in Boston on the following days.

1) Friday, November 28
2) Saturday, November 29
3) Saturday, December 6
4) Saturday, December 13
5) Saturday, December 20

While payment at meters will not be required on these five days, the time limit on the meters will be in effect. The purpose of this is to allow as many drivers as possible a chance to take advantage of this opportunity.

“We are pleased to provide this incentive to Boston’s residents and visitors,” said James E. Gillooly, Interim Commissioner of the Boston Transportation Department. “Boston’s meters are located in some of the liveliest, most popular areas of the city, and free parking at them on weekends during the busy holiday season is a bonus that I encourage drivers to enjoy.”

The standard maximum time limit at the vast majority of Boston’s meters is two hours. However, at a limited number of meters, it is indicated on the meter that parking is regularly allowed for a maximum of four hours. At these meters, four hours of free parking will be provided on these five days. Parking at meters in Boston is always free on Sundays and no maximum time limit is enforced.

Makes One Think…

An avid blog reader sent me this. I hope it is accurate but I don’t know how to verify it. Either way, it probably is a good idea to think about where your good intentions really go…


There are so many organizations competing for our “giving” dollar that it is good to know the following.


The American Red Cross
President and CEO Marsha J. Evans’
Salary for the year was $651,957
Plus expenses


It is called the March of
Dimes because
Only a dime for
Every 1 dollar is given to the

The United Way
President Brian
Receives a $375,000 base salary
Along with numerous expense benefits.


CEO Caryl M. Stern
$1,200,000 per year (100k
Per month) plus all expenses including a ROLLS
Less than 5
Cents of your donated dollar goes to the




CEO and owner Mark Curran
Profits $2.3 million a year.
Goodwill is a
Very catchy name for his business.
You donate to his business
And then he sells the items for
He pays nothing
For his products and pays his workers minimum wage!
Nice Guy.
$0.00 goes to Help anyone!

Instead, consider giving to any of the following:
The Salvation Army
Commissioner, Todd Bassett
Receives a small salary of only
$13,000 per year(plus housing) for
Managing this $2 billion dollar Organization.
96 percent of donated dollars go To the cause.

The American Legion
National Commander receives
A $0.00 zero Salary.
Your donations go to help
Veterans and their families and youth!

The Veterans of Foreign Wars

National Commander receives
A $0.00 zero Salary.
Your donations go To help
Veterans and their families and youth!

The Disabled American Veterans
National Commander receives
A $0.00 zero Salary.
Your donations go To help
Veterans and their families and youth!

The Military Order of Purple Hearts
National Commander receives a
$0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go To help
Veterans and their families and youth!

The Vietnam Veterans Association

National Commander receives
A $0.00 zero Salary.
Your donations go To help
Veterans and their families and youth!

Make a Wish:
For children’s last Wishes.
100% goes to funding trips or
Special wishes for a dying child.

St. Jude Research Hospital
100% goes towards funding and
Helping Children with Cancer who have no insurance and
Cannot afford to pay.

Ronald McDonald Houses
All monies go to running
The houses for parents who have critically ill
Children in the hospital.
100% goes to housing, and feeding The families.

Lions Club International
(ONLY $1.00 PER SHOT).

Merry Christmas!


Don’t Forget…

In the rush of the holiday season, it is easy to forget:

Just a friendly reminder that the December monthly meeting of the MCDRA will be held at the Modern Theatre at 7PM on Monday, 12/14


Local business matter – Godfrey Hotel liquor license application

Safety update from BPD and MBTA Police Officers

Imagine Boston 2030, John Fitzgerald, Deputy Director

See you there!

What We Could Use a Little More of…

image imageI guess the Christmas Spirit is still alive.


Another Loss for the Ritz Family…

imageVery sad to hear the news of the recent passing of friend and North Tower Board member Jim Marshall of Boston.

It was a privilege to work with Jim over the past few years on a number of projects at the Ritz-Carlton Residences . We had some laughs working together on the parking committee, he could make a mundane topic more interesting during our meetings.

Will miss you Jim.




The Fate of the Colonial Theatre…

Emerson College has floated the idea out there that they wish to possibly convert the Colonial Theatre on Boylston Street to a student union for the college.



Today on WGBH Radio there was an interesting show on Boston arts:
The Show Must Go On. But In Boston, Where? | WGBH News

Take  a look and tell me if you hear anything from the College President Lee Pelton or  Jared Bowen that  would indicate any input from the residential neighborhood would come into play.

Open Studio with Jared Bowen, WGBH Boston.

Open Studio with Jared Bowen, WGBH Boston.

From left to right: Boston Lyric Opera General and Artistic Director Esther Nelson, Emerson College President Lee Pelton, WGBH Arts Editor Jared Bowen, Boston Chief of Arts and Culture Julie Burros, and Huntington Theatre Company Managing Director Michael Maso.
Credit Meredith Nierman / WGBH


Now Equal Time for the Guys…

Great Male Singers of the 1940s and 50s

After his successful fall seminar on female singers of the 1940s and 1950s, (which attracted over 95 registrants,) David Maister is offering a new seminar on male singers of the same period.

The 8-session weekly seminar will be held on Sunday evenings, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, beginning on January 31. Due to the generosity of ArtsEmerson, which is donating the space, the seminar will be held in the Bright Family Screening Room inside the Emerson/Paramount Center at 559 Washington Street, Boston.

Since this facility is a fully equipped cinema, the audio-visual experience will be superb. (Two of the fall seminar classes were held there, to the delight of the participants.)

image image
The seminar will cover not only those singers who had the greatest chart success, such as Bing Crosby, Perry Como and Frank Sinatra, but also Hollywood singing stars such as Howard Keel, Mario Lanza, Fred Astaire, Harry Belafonte and Danny Kaye. Also included will be Broadway’s greatest stars of the period, such as Alfred Drake, John Raitt, Stubby Kaye and Ray Bolger.
Popular singing groups like the Ink Spots, the Mills Brothers, and the Ames Brothers will also be introduced, as well as master musicians such as Hoagy Carmichael and Mel Tormé. Finally, we’ll look at those who were big on the R&B and Country music charts, such as Louis Jordan, Billy Eckstine, Gene Autry and Eddy Arnold.

For each singer examined in class, 4 or 5 performance videos will be shown, along with biographical and career information. In addition, David will send out an email each and every day for the whole period of the seminar, providing a video and biographical facts about a new, different singer each day. In this way, we will examine more than 80 singers by the time the seminar is over.

To cover the costs of staffing the Bright Family Screening Room, there will be a fee of $30 for the whole 8-class series. David is donating his services free of charge, and any profit or surplus cash will be donated to ArtsEmerson to support their programming.

Discounted parking (approximately $7 for the evening) will be available

To register, send a check (no cash, please) for $30 per person, together with your email(s) (essential) to:

David Maister
1 Avery Street, Unit 32A
Boston, Ma 02111


We’re Number….5?

A new study from Bloomberg Business has rated Boston as the fifth-richest city in the U.S.

The gross metropolitan product per resident in Boston, according to Bloomberg, was $74,746. Boston’s biotech industry has greatly impacted the city’s gross metropolitan product, or GMP. Since 2008, Boston raised two places on Bloomberg’s list and Portland, Oregon raised six spots. The survey compared statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis on 100 of the largest metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S.

The GMP rising numbers is attributed to the increase in the number of educated workers. In the Silicon Valley, the GMP was double of the national average with $105,482. Bridgeport, Connecticut came in second with $94,349. Other prosperous tech areas outside of the Bay affected by the industry boom have been helped by the success of websites such as Amazon and Zulily. Since 2009, Seattle’s GMP per capita grew by a cumulative 7.9 percent. Below is a chart of Bloomberg’s full rankings:



© Copyright  2011 Atlantic Associates Real Estate   ~   All rights Reserved   ~   Website by Middlesex Design