Blog

Lexington Kicks Off Summer Events!

The heat of the summer is here. On its tail, the social scene for the summer is heating up as well! 

This summer we’ll be noting events in our local towns as they come up. There is so much to enjoy here, we can’t miss out!

This weekend Lexington kicks off the festivities with The Eighth Annual Lexington Battle Green BBQ Festival. This event begin on Friday, June 1st and runs until Sunday, June 3rd. General admission costs $5, proceeds of which will benefit LABBB Collaborative.

Gate Hours, per the event website:

Friday, June 1st | 4 – 7:30 pm

Saturday, June 2nd | 11 am – 7 pm

Sunday, June 3rd | 12 – 4 pm

Who will be cookin’ up a good time? The line-up is as follows: Messy Mike’s BBQ, Chicken on the Road, Meat @ Slim’s, The Smoke Shop, and Boston BBQ.

Of course, there will be more fun than just the food! Music and local breweries will also be participating… but don’t take our word for it. We’re just sharing the plans. Check out the full event details on the event website here.

Close Up Series: The Inn at Hastings Park

In our most recent episode of the Close Up Series, Realtor® Jacqueline Potdevin visited the Inn at Hastings Park in Lexington, MA.

Owner Trisha Pérez Kennealy described her fascination with the history of Lexington, sparked by her long-term experience as a resident here. She purchased the property in 2010 and brings all things American into the space. From American craftsmanship in furniture throughout the rooms to local Summer Farm Dinners in the restaurant, American history is at the heart of the Inn.

To learn more about the Inn at Hastings Park visit in-person at 2027 Massachusetts Avenue or on social media at:

Facebook: Inn at Hastings Park
Twitter: @InnHastingsPark
Instagram: @innhastingspark

Check out this episode and all of the archives on our Close Up Series page!

Follow along as we release new episodes on our social media pages:

Facebook: Barrett SIR
Twitter: @barrett_sir
Instagram: @barrettsothebys

Seller Spotlight: Michio Ihara


Image of Ihara's home studio in his Concord, MA home (above).

Michio Ihara’s brass and stainless sculptures are on display the world over. The metal geometric shapes have a lightness and movement that belie the materials from which they are created. The sculptures take many forms from wall-mounted or suspended to those incorporating wind and kinetic elements. 

Barrett | Sotheby's International Realty is fortunate to be listing his incredible 4,383 sq. ft. studio and 3,255 sq. ft. home in Concord, MA where he has worked since 1981. To see this amazing property; visit our website here

His visually exciting sculptures can be found in corporate parks while others are displayed in hospitals, places of worship, and natural outdoor spaces. Highlights of his breadth of work with photographs of wall, suspended, wind and kinetic sculptures in situ may be seen on Ihara’s website.

Check out the most recent article about him in Huffington Post. His work allows viewers and observers a moment of peace in their day while providing visual stimulation that changes and engages the viewer anytime they have the pleasure to see it. 

Close Up In Our Community Series

When you think of Real Estate, what do you think of? The search for the perfect property? The right number of beds and baths?An updated kitchen and a fenced in yard?  It’s always great to find that place that you can see yourself in, but that’s not all there is to it.

We know your search is about more than finding a house; it’s about finding a community. At Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty, our mission is to help you find both, the perfect home in the ideal community.

We have always showcased properties to help you find your house, now we are exposing you to some of the local businesses in our vibrant area, so you can get a flavor for what makes our towns so special and how committed the local businesses are to serving their communities.

Through the Close Up In Our Community video series, our agents take you with them to visit some of their favorite local places. Check out our Close Up Series page, you may find a new favorite place right in your neighborhood!

Toys for Tots Generous Donations!

 

Anna Travias and Rosina Harlem, Realtors® at Barrett | Sotheby's International Realty have been collecting donations for Toys for Tots for years. Travias and Harlem have collected donations for the past two years at Barrett | Sotheby's International Realty, but both have histories of collecting prior to joining together, here! They have worked together on the effort together for four years total.

Travias collected in her previous career for over fifteen years. The same is true for Harlem.

When asked why she was drawn to the cause, Travias said, "I think it's a great cause. I don't think any child should not have anything to open on Christmas."

Harlem shared similar sentiments stating, "All children should have a good holiday," and "I'm just really into the giving of the season!"

Toys can be donated at any of the Barrett | Sotheby's International Realty locations until December 15th. 

Prior to becoming part of the team here, Harlem worked with a colleague at another firm to collect toys. Each year, the same family contributed a generous load of gifts. The deliveries, Harlem says, have continued.

Last year, we highlighted the family on the blog. As their family grows, so do their donations, and so does the legacy of this wonderful story and tradition. Below is the story of Sylvester (Ziggy) Barbato, and his family! 

 

Sylvester (Ziggy) Barbato grew up in Stoughton, Massachusetts, as a member of a first-generation Italian American family. One of nine children, he grew up knowing that Christmas mornings would be sparse, with no presents to open, and certainly no toys.

When he started a family of his own, he was determined to make Christmas merry for his kids. With five children to provide for, Mr. Barbato had to work multiple jobs to support his family and make sure they had toys to play with on Christmas morning. He shared his story with his children of a Christmas without the gifts, and taught them that there are always families in need "especially around the holidays."

His children heard his message and hoped to continue the same tradition and merriment that their father provided for them. Each year, the whole family gathers together to share their Christmas cheer with others. Mr. Barbato gives his children money to bring their children to the toy store where they all pick out gifts for Toys For Tots. On Christmas Day, the family shares in the happiness of knowing that kids, who otherwise may not have been able to open gifts on Christmas morning, are sharing in their joy, just as Mr. Barbato has always hoped.

On behalf of Barrett | Sotheby's International Realty, thank you to the Barbato family, for your generous donations.

To donate to Toys for Tots this holiday season, visit any of the five Barrett | Sotheby's International Realty locations by December, 15th, or visit Toys For Tots online.

New Story Sponsorship

At the 2017 GNE, September 25th – 27th, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates heard about “New Story,” a non-profit that works to build homes and communities around the globe. With the goal of 100 homes for a new community in Mexico, they left the GNE with more than 140 pledged!

Laurie Cadigan, the owner and CEO of Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty purchased a home at the GNE.

The goal of New Story is to build homes that provide safety and consistency for families. These lead to improved health, income and opportunity, and education. The homes are built to withstand time and potential disaster, as a long-term solution to enable a place for generations to grow and thrive.

Each home is built by local workers, creating not only a new home, but economic opportunity for community members. The homes are also built with local materials. The to-be home owners are part of the conversation and building process, with their long-term goals in mind.

Once the homes are built, donors receive a video of the family they have sponsored!

To read about families who have been sponsored, or are looking for sponsorship, click here.

Tips for a Brighter Winter

Settled in New England, we are no strangers to the winter months! As autumn begins and fades, so do the hours of light that we experience. While there are countless things to look forward to in the winter, there are also symptoms of fatigue and dreariness that many Massachusetts natives, and transplants, experience.

We can enjoy the crisp air, apple cider, snow days, added exercise, layered clothing, and holidays, but when the excitement settles, some New England residents are left feeling less than joyous about the season change.

This leaves us to wonder… how do we combat the wintertime blues? With the end of daylight saving, we thought we’d look into some ways to brighten our days.

Along with the recommend daily exercise, time outdoors (even in the snow and cold!), and maintaining your typical routine, there are also things you can do in your home to bring more light and energy in the darker months.

Of course, if you’re experiencing more than just a bit of wintertime dreariness, you may also want to seek a doctor’s professional opinion. But, if you’re just looking to brighten up your home, or try some natural remedies first, look no further! We’ve broken down our tips into three main categories. You will find one main theme: visual and sensory cues.

 

Windows:

  • Clean your windows.
    • This task may even have the added bonus of an upper-body work-out depending on how many windows you have. Once you’ve finished, you’ll feel like you’ve achieved something and your home will be full of bright, uplifting light.
  • Remove the mesh screens. This added layer obstructs the view to the outside.
  • Maximize the daylight in your home, especially in the morning, by opening the blinds.
  • Make the windows of a room the focal point during the winter months.
  • While we’re on the topic of blinds, change out your heavy drapes with light colored window treatments.
    • By mounting treatments outside of the window frame, you can also create a visual cue that the windows are larger. As a bonus, when open, this will allow for the maximum amount of sunlight to come through.
  • Trim any shrubbery near the windows that would obstruct your view of the daylight. This is another chore that will add some exercise and an outdoor experience.
  • Open the windows.
    • It may seem counter-intuitive in the colder months, but even twenty minutes of fresh air and sunlight in your home can do wonders for your moods. Not to mention the fresh feeling and renewed scent your space will have once they’re closed.

 

Interior Design:

  • Remove dark rugs and textiles.
  • Add bright, light, and textured designs to your floor coverings, slips, and pillows.
  • Add reflective surfaces to your home.
    • Even a simple statement mirror can add a tremendous amount of light when placed mindfully.
  • Add full-spectrum or daylight toned bulbs to your home.
  • Light boxes, dawn simulators, and circadian rhythm simulators are all added light elements, as well – but you may want to discuss with a doctor if this is a good choice, first.
  • Add new pieces to your home.
    • Even small changes like one added piece of art, or a few bright photos, can add excitement to a space. This is especially helpful to make your home feel new, and get you excited to spend some quality time there.
  • Plants! Adding natural elements to your home helps to bring the outside in, adding natural air filtration, another indoor task, and a nurturing sensibility during months where self-care is especially important.
  • Aromatherapy is another added piece of interior design that we often overlook.
    • Having a signature scent for your home is something lots of designers recommend, but adding natural essential oils like lavender for calming, or orange for invigorating the senses, to your home can help various ailments. 

Schedule:

  • Maintain your typical routine.
    • See the people you normally would. Participate in a winter activity that you enjoy, or find a new one to try, adding enthusiasm to the time of year.
  • Make your bed daily.
    • This indicates your day is starting and you’re ready for what is ahead. The simple shift, if not already implemented, helps to prepare you for a good day.
  • Exercise.
    • Walking outside helps to get you light, air, and endorphins. If you are able, hiking also brings you into a new atmosphere that is said to help brighten your moods, as well.

 

Atwood Millet House Tour with Westford Historical Society

Nine years ago, the Atwood/Millet House at 4 Graniteville Road in Westford was vacant and in need of much care. It was purchased by Anson and Marie James, a young couple with energy and expertise in high end home restoration. This fall, the Jameses are re-opening their home to the public for one afternoon only.

The Westford Historical Society will be hosting a house tour at the historic Atwood/Millett/James house at 4 Graniteville Road in Westford on Sunday, November 5th, from noon to 4 p.m. Come see the transformation. Marie and Anson will be on site to share their stories and hear yours.

Tickets will be available at the door, cash or check only. $6 for Westford Historical Society members, $8 for non-members. $1 discount for students and seniors. Parking is across the street on Randolph Circle. For more information, the Facebook Event can be found here.

Originally built in 1878, this 3,475 square foot home is set on .57 acres and offers a great space for anyone looking for modern amenities with historic charm. Not only is it on tour with the Westford Historical Society, but it is for sale with Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty. For more information, take a look at the listing on our site, here.

Loving Local Life: Carlisle

Once described by Thoreau as the “city of the woods,” Carlisle, Massachusetts is next on tour for our Loving Local Life series. Our second-to-last stop, Carlisle continues to be a natural community, with over 30% of land remaining under a conservation effort.

Great Brook Farm is a large destination for those around the town, open each day 11 am to dark (dependent on weather) from April to October. A modern dairy farm, Great Brook has 61 flavors of ice cream for visitors to enjoy after exploration of the trails. Perfect for biking, hiking, or a picnic, it is great for family and friends alike.

The Malcom Preserve is another outdoor adventure for those seeking one in Carlisle. This 11 acre reservation includes trails that suggest a minimum of one half hour to explore, with one wheelchair accessible trail spanning one half mile long, lined with crushed stone. The Malcom Preserve also leads to a larger protected landscape of 1,300 acres in surrounding towns.

The Carlisle Cranberry Bog continues the theme of natural enjoyment and agriculture that is prevalent in Carlisle. Cranberries have been grown here since 1904, currently with 19 acres of active production. The bog provides another outdoor experience, especially grand in autumn.

With local companies such as Kimball Farm to stop at for more ice cream, and Ferns Country Store for any of your other needs, Carlisle is a great trip to make, for all!