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.)

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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:



Today’s Stupid Idea…


Pop Up Espresso Dave pays us a visit…

Pop up Espresso  Dave paid a surprise visit to the Ritz-Carlton South Tower lobby early  this morning.

Treating residents to delicious coffee concoctions as they made their way thru the lobby to work or other adventures. Here Dave steams up a treat for Laura while a few other residents check out the special offerings.

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I went for the double shot  cappuccino .

From the MCDRA- Mark Your Calendar…

Dear Members,

A friendly reminder that our next monthly meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 19th at 7:00PM (please note change in date due to Columbus Day):

Monday, October 19, 2015 at 7:00PM
Modern Theatre at Suffolk University
525 Washington Street

(Handicap Accessible)

We will begin by hearing from a neighborhood business. Next, we want to hear from YOU! Please come ready to share ideas about what you would like to discuss at future meetings and what you would like the Association to become in the future. We need your input to ensure that the Association is focused on what matters to you.

Mark your calendars: Julie Burros, the Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston, will be speaking at our November 9th meeting.

* * * * * *

Please join us for a MCDRA tour of Chinatown on Sunday, October 18th at 11:30AM.

Two high school students from the Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC) will take us on a “See-Town” tour focusing on the development of Chinatown – starting with early immigration in the 1870’s, the effects of urban renewal in the 1960’s, and finally Chinatown now and in the future. The tour will also explore more of the cultural and commercial areas of Chinatown, such as bakeries, the grocery store, and herbal medicine shop. The tour will last approximately 90 minutes.

The students will incorporate stories of community struggle, advocacy, and triumph into the history that they have learned while working with ACDC’s youth program A-VOYCE (Asian Voices of Organized Youth for Community Empowerment). The mission of See-Town, one of A-VOYCE’s projects, is to leverage the entrepreneurial spirit and voices of youth to not only support the local economy but to also advocate for Chinatown through story-telling and dialogue.

Tour participants also have the option of dim sum at Hei La Moon after the tour.

Fee: 13-20 participants, $14/pp for the tour. Dim sum lunch is an additional fee.

All profits made from walking tours are used to support the ACDC youth and youth programs.

Schedule: Sunday, October 18th
11:30am – 1:00pm – Chinatown Walking Tour (meet at Chinatown Gate at 11:30am)
1:00pm – 2:00pm – Dim Sum Meal
We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on 10/19 and hope that you’ll be able to join us for the Chinatown tour as well on 10/18.


Rishi Shukla, George Coorssen, Deva Hirsch
Executive Committee

Meeting Notes from MCDRA September 2015 Meeting

*MCDRA: We took a few minutes to celebrate the Association’s one-year anniversary, highlighting key milestones and accomplishments.

*Safety Update: Capt. Ken Fong, Boston Police Department, and Lt. Michael Rae delivered a safety update.

*Business Spotlight: Lauren Sheerr, Boston General Manager, Luxe Valet, introduced the company’s on-demand valet service and offered MCDRA members $30 in parking credits (download the application, set-up your profile, and enter promo code “MCDRA”).

David Gordon, Owner of Gordon’s Fine Wines & Liquors, presented his family’s proposed plans to purchase the Wine Cellar at 37 Temple Place and replace it with a higher-end establishment.

*City Council President, Bill Linehan, and Downtown Boston BID President, Rosemarie Sansone, lead a discussion around the continuing progress of our neighborhood and took questions from members. We would like to thank the BID for presenting MCDRA with a new map that indexes all of the residential buildings in our neighborhood – we will post a copy of it to the website shortly.

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. To learn more, please visit us at


New Listing Opportunity…



image image imageP
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Inside view of the DOR’s New Digs….

We took a tour of the new office space where our Director of Residences  runs the command center and hangs his hat to keep our building running as smoothly as possible.

Well, not actually a tour as you couldn’t swing a cat in the space ( an old Irish saying). No worries, no actual cats were used here to make that determination.

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Located on the 18 the floor of the South Building, the long and narrow office was creatively carved out of space adjacent to the elevator room. Complete with a marble foyer and windows that actually open!

I was impressed.

Perhaps James will be offering office hours soon.



A Fragrance Dinner Invitation…


A Fragrance Dinner – All Residents are invited to attend “A Fragrance Dinner” on Thursday, Octomber 8 th from 6-9pm at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. This event has been designed by the House of Creed Fragrances, Neiman Marcus, and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Residents will enjoy a four course meal designed around the House of Creed fragrance line by The Ritz-Carlton Hotel’s Chef, Frank Kassner. Representatives from the House of Creed will be flying over from the United Kingdom to discuss how the menu items pair with each of their fragrances.



A signature cocktail and wine pairings will also be included with this event. Tickets are $225 per person and are extremely limited due to the structure of the event. Please email to RSVP and purchase tickets as they are going fast!

Smoking Now Snuffed Out…

After several failed  attempts over the past few years to implement a no smoking policy for the South Tower Residential units at 2 Avery Street of the Ritz-Carlton Residences, owners have voted to do just that.


Back in June earlier this year, the Board of Managers decided to continue the annual meeting to leave the voting open  on a no smoking amendment . That vote ended officially on September 15 th . The results were announced at the September 21 st  meeting.

Sometime later this fall, the policy will go into effect with a “grandfather” clause for those current residents who register as smokers.


How Do You Like Them Apples?

Enjoy The Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common
Pop-Up Urban Apple Orchard


For the next three Saturdays (Sept. 26th, Oct. 3rd and 10th), The Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common (10 Avery St.) is hosting a pop-up urban apple orchard that is open to guests and the public.

The urban apple orchard will feature apple galettes, caramel apples, cider donuts and spiced apple cider. Farm-picked apples from Russell Orchards in Ipswich will be available for purchase. Fresh-picked apples, homemade vinegar and pressed apple cider will also be available for purchase. It is free to visit the urban apple orchard. For more info please call 617-574-7100.

South Tower Residents’ Meeting 9/21


The Board of Directors for he Ritz-Carlton South Tower Residences (2 Avery Street ) has scheduled the Annual Meeting Continuation for Monday, September 21 st at 7:00pm in the Boylston Room at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel. The primary goal of this meeting continuation will be to announce the final vote on the proposed non-smoking amendment.

At the annual meeting back in June, the Board voted to keep the meeting open to allow for all residents who had not yet voted , additional time to weigh in on issue.

Following this meeting will be a brief Town Hall Meeting that will discuss building updates, changes in the community and a status update on the proposed 171-172 Tremont development.

She Did it Again…

“Congratulations to Kathleen Cook of Atlantic Associates Real Estate-Boston Top 20 Again!”

Congratulations to Kathleen who continues to be listed on this coveted Boston Top 20 brokers list. Coming in at #19 with $5,280,000 in sales for the month of July.

Kathleen is an upstanding member of the Massachusetts Board of Realtors, MLS, and National Association of Realtors, and we congratulate  her on her continued success.

To view her entire profile for Boston Top 20 please view the link below:

Kathleen Cook #19 Boston Top 20


Smack down! BRA meets the Skinny Building…

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Public Meeting hosted by BRA
171 Tremont Street Public Meeting
Description: Public meeting to discuss 171 Tremont Steert, LLC’s proposal to replace the existing building with a new boutique luxury residential condominium building, containing 19 residential units with off-street parking for 28 vehicles.

Time: 9/09/2015 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: 1 City Hall Square, BRA Board Room, 9th Floor, Boston, MA 02201


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