Around The Town

Living the Sweet Life in Lincoln

What is more quintessentially New England than maple sugaring? It is underway right now in Lincoln, Massachusetts as the unseasonably warm weather in January and February has caused the sap to run early in the town's sugar maples.

I live in Lincoln and this first sign of spring has become a cherished family tradition. Our introduction to maple sugaring came when we first moved to town and cut down a large pine tree that was towering over our house. We immediately got a call from our neighbor: "Unlike many, we love pine trees," he began. My husband and I panicked. Uh-oh, we'd probably offended our new neighbor by cutting down the tree. But then the neighbor continued,

"We use pinewood to power our maple sugar boiler. Can we come by and cut up the tree and take the logs?"

The next day, the neighbor was sawing and removing the huge tree, saving us disposal costs and making us happy to see it go to such a good use. Soon we noticed his homemade sugar boiler smoking away. Coming from the Back Bay we found this amazingly quaint. I thanked him by baking some cookies; what a great community we had just joined.

The tradition of maple sugaring continued as another neighbor with three children set up an organized maple-sugaring operation on our road. I admired this father who took the time to embrace this long-standing New England activity even though he commuted into Boston on the train with me each day. After work he would change into some New England farmer duds and he and his wife would set the buckets out to tap the maple trees. All of the neighbors with maple trees "loaned" their trees to the effort. For added charm, the taps and buckets were the traditional tin type, not the plastic milk cartons that I had seen used in New Hampshire.

The sap only runs for a couple of weeks, and it is a window that cannot be missed. Our neighbors gathered all the kids in the area and piled them into the back of their pickup. They would drive slowly from one tree to the next on the quiet country road and we would all pick a tree and empty its sap bucket into a bigger drum. Then we returned to the truck to bounce and slosh back to their house and transfer the thin, sticky sap into the boiler. A month or so later, we all received some delicious Grade A maple syrup. Not a bad lifestyle in a town 20 minutes from downtown Boston!

Note: A great introduction to maple sugaring is found at a Sap-to-Syrup Farmer's Breakfast at Lincoln's Drumlin Farm March 17-18, 2012. They offer a pancake and maple syrup breakfast and activities and presentations outlining methods of maple syrup production.

One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure

Renovation of Lincoln Mass. Town Offices

So I had just finished my Insanity® exercise workout at 8 o'clock on a recent Saturday morning. I popped out the dvd and the Channel 8 local access station came on. A notice appeared telling interested Lincoln, Massachusetts residents that they could come to the Lincoln Town Offices building (which is about to be seriously renovated) and salvage anything from the building. I wished that I hadn't just finished a workout because my work for the day was about to begin.

I gathered up the family and we all drove over to the building that was originally built in 1909 as Lincoln's Center School. Over the years it was repurposed into the Town Offices, but it still retained its "old-school" flavor, including blackboards, old oak doors, and boys' and girls' matching staircases.

The notice about the Lincoln town offices renovation said that the first-come, first-served giveaway would last from 8:00 a.m. until noon and items had to be taken away during that time. When we arrived, the junker dash was well underway. People had already stuck claim stickers on many items, including a great 1940's Steelcase desk, almost all the blackboards, most window air conditioners, a safe, and even the brass handles on windows.

It must be noted that this really was leftover stuff -- the town was not giving away all its office furniture and equipment, by any means - but it brought out people's acquisitive nature. A town worker had volunteered to help people unscrew hardware and move items. The rule was "no private toolboxes." The poor man bit off more than he could chew with this crowd. People tagged doors, wanted shelving pried off walls, and asked for Venetian blinds to be removed from 15-foot high windows. (That last one was my request!)

My daughter came out with a 6x6 foot map of the Town of Lincoln that shows every bit of conservation land and every lot in town. She wants to redecorate her room around this piece. So if anyone wants to know how much land Parcel #XXXXX has, you can call her! We ultimately came away with a birch slab door to replace one of ours, a metal chair, and the town map.

I commend the town that these things did not just end up in the landfill. But I think they underestimated how dearly Lincoln residents embrace the values of recycling and reusing!

Minuteman Bikeway: Bedford to Cambridge

Fall is almost officially upon us with the month of September ushering in familiar crisp and cool mornings and the school year in full swing. And with this we all come to the realization that NOW is the time to get out and enjoy the last few warm afternoons that are left. Living in the Greater Boston area, there are lots of places and great activities to do just that. One such activity, suitable for all, is the Minuteman Bikeway.

Minuteman Bikeway

Stretching from Bedford to Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Minuteman Bikeway, named the 6th best urban bike path in the U.S. by USA Today, makes for the perfect afternoon getaway, whether it's a quick walk or bike ride or traveling the full 10 miles from end-to-end, there's plenty to see and do on the way. One great stop is the center of Historic Lexington. With numerous shops and restaurants, it can prove to be a great stop for lunch or a just quick snack or to walk around and take in the historic sites.

Another great spot to stop and take a quick break or to have a nice picnic is Arlington's Great Meadow. Located right off the path, with multiple entry points, the views and wildlife offer a serene and calm setting. From the meadow, it's only a few miles to Arlington Center, which is located right near the corner of Mystic Avenue and Mass Ave. From shops to restaurants to the Arlington Center for the Arts, there is plenty to do.

Arlingtons Great Meadow

From there, the last stretch of the bike trail leads into Cambridge's Alewife Station. However, before getting to Alewife there is another small park just after heading out of the center of Arlington. Spy Pond Park is yet another place to stop for a little rest with a fantastic view. Overlooking Spy Pond, onlookers can sit on a park bench and just watch the breaking waves juxtaposed with the fast paced traffic on Route 2 off in the distance. Once getting into Alewife Station, one can either turn back and head whence they came or continue their travel into the city of Boston either by the "T" or another bike trail. Either way, even a small trip on the bike trail can make for a great day.

Barrett SIR Wins MAR Social Media Award

MAR Social Media Award 2013

Barrett Sotheby's International Realty is pleased to announce the addition of another Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR) award to their portfolio. Awarded during MAR's 2013 Realtor of the Year dinner, Barrett Sotheby's International Realty took home the newest award "Technology Contest: Social Media All-Star."

Barrett SIR owner and CEO, Laurie Cadigan joyfully exclaimed, "We are very proud of the notoriety our Social Media Team has received. Our clients certainly benefit from all of the amazing on-line exposure that we provide locally and that Sotheby's International Realty® provides globally."

Understanding the rapid pace of technology, especially in real estate, MAR decided that having awards for "Best Agent and Broker Websites" as well as "Best Blog" just wasn't enough. Consumers, as technology progresses, are looking to interact more and more with the prospective companies they want to do business with. This year the MAR technology committee decided it was time to honor the top "Social Media All-Stars." The merit for the award was based on which individual Realtor and Brokerage best demonstrated how the use of Social Media is changing their business. The criterion used by the judges examined the effectiveness, total followers, originality, creativity and a demonstrated commitment to engaging and keeping in touch with their consumers.

To see Barrett Sotheby's International Realty in action when it comes to Social Media, like us on Facebook, add us to your circle on Google+, follow us on twitter, pin with us on Pinterest, and watch our channel on YouTube.

Barret SIR Named One of Top 100 Women-Led Businesses

commonwealth-institte-top-100Barrett Sotheby's International Realty is pleased to announce that the company has been named to the 12th annual list of Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts by The Commonwealth Institute, a Boston-based nonprofit devoted to aiding women in business. Since 2002, the institute has compiled an annual list of for-profit women-led companies, based on revenues. This year for the first time, the Globe Magazine partnered with the institute to publish the list. There are nearly 200,000 women-owned companies in Massachusetts, employing more than 175,000 people, according to The Boston Globe.

"Each of the women on our Top 100 list," says The Commonwealth Institute's executive director, Aileen Gorman, "has made a significant impact on the Commonwealth's economy and has established herself as a visionary leader of a successful company."

Laurie Cadigan, CEO and Owner of Barrett Sotheby's International Realty, purchased the company in 2007 from Jane Barrett, who started J.M. Barrett & Co. in 1977.

Barrett SIR Installs Interactive Real Estate Storefront

imageSurge Barrett Concord Always striving to maintain an edge when it comes to deploying technology in the office for real estate agents or for consumers, Barrett Sotheby's International Realty is pleased to announce the presence of a virtual office located at 45 Commonwealth Avenue in West Concord, Massachusetts, right next to Forever Tile. Barrett SIR can now showcase properties for sale in an innovative way with an Interactive Real Estate Storefront from imageSurge Inc., with its sleek and visually appealing, award-winning unit that allows consumers to search through an ordinary office window, and view listings updated with real-time Multiple Listing Service (MLS) connectivity. An individual can specify search parameters tailored to their needs and consumers are able to view by the types of listings (like single-family house, condominium or rental), surrounding towns, price range, and the amount of bedrooms, all literally at the tip of a finger.

Using patent-pending, through glass technology, consumers use the touchscreen to select how to browse, as well as navigate through the search parameters and listings once presented, via small circular buttons located on the inside of the glass. All of which is then displayed on a sun-readable, non-blacking display that is properly backlit with LCD heat-resistant technology, to deliver outstanding quality, even under direct sunlight.

If this sounds like something you need to see to believe, we're going to agree with you. So what are you waiting for? Get up and get out to West Concord to see it for yourself!!!

Around the Town: Hollywood Comes to Concord

Filming in Concord

As Concordians may have noticed, downtown Concord, Massachusetts was recently buzzing with much activity. Walden Street from Hubbard Street to Main Street and from Keyes Road to Monument Circle was closed down on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 for the shooting of a movie scene. Tumbledown, starring Jason Sudeikis and Rebecca Hall is a comedy-romance slated to come out in late 2014 about a wife who loses her husband, a famous folk singer, and a New York writer who makes her confront, not just her loss, but the uncertain circumstances surrounding his death.

The company responsible for the production of the movie is based out of Devens, Massachusetts and they have been using several towns in Massachusetts, such as Princeton and Concord, to shoot scenes for the movie. Rumor has it many of the cast and crew were spotted getting a delicious treat from Haute Coffee, shopping at local establishments and taking in the quintessential sights Concord has to offer.

10 Places to Celebrate the 4th of July 2014 in Greater Boston

July 4th 2014 Greater Boston

Here's a list of places in and around Greater Boston to celebrate the 4th of July in 2014. Ten spots (listed alphabetically) to choose from...some of them have *fireworks*, all of them include *fun*...like parades, live music, food, games and much, much more. Enjoy!!

  • Acton Mass. July 4th Celebration at NARA Park, Acton MA, July 4, 2014 from 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm with family fun activities, live music and *fireworks* beginning at 9:30 pm.
  • Arlington Independence Day Celebration at Robbins Farm Park, Arlington MA, July 4, 2014 with musical entertainment provided by the "The Reminisants", refreshments, and of course, the Boston Pops Orchestra and Fireworks on the giant screen (fireworks start at 10:30pm). The event is free and open to all.
  • Boston Harborfest is favorite yearly destination for 4th of July festivities, running from July 2nd - July 6th 2014. Activities include Scavenger Hunts, Harbor Cruises and the annual USS Constitution Turn-Around. The Boston Pops *Fireworks* Spectacular with this year's performers: The Beach Boys, Megan Hilty, The Phantom of the Opera and The Boston Children's Chorus. And don't forget, you can see the concert on July 3rd but there won't be any fireworks.
  • Chelmsford 4th of July Parade and Country Fair, Chelmsford, MA The fair will be held on Thursday, July 3, 2014 from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm and on Friday, July 4, 2014 from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. The parade starts at 10:00 am on Friday, July 4, 2014.
  • Concord Picnic in the Park, Concord MA at Emerson Field, on July 4, 2014 from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm Scheduled to have tethered balloon rides, a bicycle parade, live music, and family activities.
  • Harvard Mass. 4th of July Events at Fruitlands Museum and Harvard Center, Harvard MA, July 2 - July 4, 2014 featuring a parade, live music, field events and *fireworks* on the 2nd beginning at 9:15 pm.
  • Lincoln Independence Day Activities, Lincoln, MA July 4, 2014 Activities include a 2.5 or 4 mile road race, parade, Boy Scout BBQ, concert and *fireworks*. The day's events begin at 7:45 am and continue through the evening
  • Newton July 4th Celebration, Newton, MA July 4, 2014 Scheduled events include children's activities, Open Air Market, amusements rides, live music and *fireworks*.
  • Waltham 4th of July Celebration, Prospect Hill Park and Leary Field Waltham, MA On Friday, July 4, 2014 at Prospect Hill Park from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm there will be a family event featuring children's inflatables, pony rides, animal shows, music, and much more! That evening at Leary Field, Back in Time will be performing at 5:30pm followed by *fireworks* at 9:30pm.

For lots more ideas for places in Massachusetts to celebrate Independence Day, check out massvacation.com.

Photo credit: Beverly & Pack / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

2014 Scarecrow Classic 5K

sponsor

Barrett Sotheby's International Realty sponsored the 2014 Scarecrow Classic 5K held Sunday, October 19th. This popular run winds through scenic roads, fields and trails in Lincoln MA. The proceeds benefit the Lincoln Land Conservation Trust which manages over 2000 acres of land and 80 miles of public trails; and is one of the oldest land trusts in the country.

Time for Good Wine

sotheby's auction wine

Recently the Sotheby's auction houses in New York and Hong Kong sold some of the best wines from the renowned cellar of Silicon Valley entrepreneur James H Clark. It's hard not to imagine the delight one of these wines would bring to a group of friends and family members gathered around an elegant table for a holiday meal. Well, maybe we cannot taste it for ourselves, but we can dream . . .

http://www.sothebys.com/en/news-video/blogs/all-blogs/sothebys-at-auction/2014/11/tech-stock-clark-wine.html