So the Allston location of Marty’s Liquors is closing this weekend. Don’t worry, I’m not going to wax nostalgic about the closing of a liquor store. I have no memorable stories about the time I bought a six-pack or a keg or anything there, or of a great wine discovery. But Marty’s does hold a sort of special place in my heart, I guess, because when I first moved to Boston 12 years ago, I thought it was cool that a store right down the street was named Marty’s. (Yeah, I’m that much of a dork.) And yes, I made a few purchases there over the years, but whatever … my alcohol tastes were never of the Allston variety. Besides, I learned pretty quickly to stay as far away from the corner of Harvard Ave. and Comm. Ave. as possible.
But anyway, even though I shed no tear over the closing of Marty’s Liquors, I will come to its defense in one way: The reason this store is closing is because it couldn’t come to terms over a rent increase by its landlord, the Hamilton Company. Sound familiar? That’s because Hamilton was my old nemesis when I lived at 110 Babcock. I have nothing but sympathy for Marty’s if they’re being pushed out because of those greedy bastards, who raised my rent $200 when they bought the building and then never did anything to improve the quality of life there. Hamilton is the reason I bought a condo when I did (though it must be said, the whole condo-buying thing worked out pretty well for me). This situation kind of makes me want to go buy a bottle of wine at Marty’s just for old times sake. At the very least, I’ll raise a glass in its honor.
The more things change … I returned to my old second home, Star Market/Shaw’s on Comm Ave., last week and was shocked to learn that the whole place had been remodeled! It was only in April that I moved, and while I now do my weekly grocery shopping in other Star Market locations, I find it hard to believe that I haven’t been back to this one in a long enough time that it gave the store a chance to totally change and look completely different. And don’t get me wrong: It looks great! I really enjoyed walking up and down the aisles discovering where all the foods had moved to. Yes, I know it’s totally lame to be excited about a supermarket’s new look, but I spent a lot of time here during the first 11 years of my Boston residency, so I considered this a big deal.
The more they stay the same … Alright, I finally have to post something about this: My new next-door neighbor plays an instrument. A guitar. Or at least I think it’s a guitar. It sort of sounds more like a banjo. But it’s an instrument nevertheless. And he plays it a lot. Like, every night. However, things are different now. For one thing, a guitar (even one that sounds sort of like a banjo) is not nearly as bad as a violin. Or a flute, for that matter. Secondly, it’s not like it’s soooo loud that it interferes with my TV-watching like the playing did in my old place. And finally — also most importantly — I’ve met my neighbor and he’s a nice guy. So if I was ever that annoyed by his playing, I’m sure he’d stop, even though I know he doesn’t have somewhere else to go. So I’m going to keep a positive, tolerant, flexible attitude about this. Still, it’s totally amusing to me that I’ve moved next to another instrument player. What luck I have.
Ah well. As the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
If there’s one thing I learned this weekend during the move, it’s that I, Martin Lieberman, am quite good with the spatial relations.
You see, all was going pretty well Saturday morning. Other than some early-morning mist, the rain mostly held off. The elevator in my building was on the fritz, but somehow it worked until the last load had been brought down, and then it died.
The movers got to me a little bit later than expected, but it gave me some extra time to take care of some last-minute packing I didn’t do the night before. So it was all good.
But when we got to my new place and started to unload the truck, my couch wouldn’t fit through the apartment door. The movers tried multiple ways of fitting it through the door, but none worked because the doorway was too thin, the stairway was in the way, and the sprinkler system was inches too low from the ceiling.
They were giving up, and the couch was going to have to go down in my storage unit; I would have to buy a new one. Continue reading
One last post before I pack up my computer here at 110 Babcock — or simply “The ‘Cock,” as someone called it last night. The apartment is pretty empty; other than furniture and books, most everything else has been moved to my new place. As expected, packing has been a fun experience; I’ve found all kinds of stuff I hadn’t seen since I moved in (old photos, a bag full of Louis, etc.) and taking a week to move in gradually before the actual movers came has turned out to be a great idea.
After more than six years in one place, it’ll be a real adjustment to have my life centered elsewhere, but I’ll be fine (of course). There’s a lot I’ll miss about this building (the location, mostly), but in the end, I’m very happy to be moving on (thank you, violin players and noisy, insensitive neighbors and price-gouging management company). In fact, it gives me immense pleasure to know that I’ll be going out with a bang — my movers are scheduled to arrive at 8 a.m. tomorrow. Now, you know how I feel about noise on Saturday mornings when I’m trying to sleep late. But after all these months of tolerating the violins and the flutes and the pianos and the loud talking and smoking outside my window and the late-night phone calls next door and the smelly cooking and all the shoes left in the hallway and the rude neighbors who don’t hold the door open when you’re right behind them and the heavy-footed upstairs neighbors and the folks who park their minivan next to me and don’t know how to open doors without hitting my car and the side doors being propped open, etc. etc. etc., it only seems right that I disturb my neighbors for a change. So, goodbye 110. I’ll miss you. (But not too much.)
Awwwww … how sweet. On my last day in the apartment, as I’m packing up and throwing stuff out, feeling happy and relaxed and having fun, I’ve been blessed by my neighbor with yet another flute recital. How did she know that’s exactly what I wanted? I guess since it’s 4:45 in the afternoon I don’t have a very good reason to make her stop (other than my perpetual annoyance and her seemingly uncurable lack of courtesy and the fact that I can hear it even when I go outside — and the fact that the building managers have asked her and her roommate to stop practicing their instruments in the building not once but twice), so I guess I’ll just let her play. And I’ll even join in the fun by blasting my music really loud and seeing how she likes it. Everybody gets something! Hooray!
I’m just a few short days away from officially being a homeowner, and less than two weeks from moving into my new condo, so I figure it’s high time I made a real dent in my packing.
But first, some purging.
Lots and lots of purging.
It’ll definitely help the cause if I have less to pack. Continue reading
Great news! After an extended absence, the flute playing next door has returned. So clearly, even though my neighbors were spoken to not once but twice by my building management company about their incessant, annoying violin playing, the message didn’t get through about how they should be practicing at their school and not in the building. As if I needed another reason to be happy that I’m moving in less than two weeks. I really hope these two girls in apartment 28 get a new neighbor who is less patient than I have been.