r Letter From Eastie: February 2005
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Collaged view of Boston, from East Boston

Letter From Eastie

News and other items from East Boston, Massachusetts.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Tanker Blogging.

I saw this tanker coming through on Saturday morning, coming out of the Chelsea Creek and being turned around by the tugboats, so I thought I'd snap pictures. I'm not sure if it's an LNG (liquified natural gas) tanker, but I did notice the big painted sign on the bridge saying "NO SMOKING."







Related story: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the LNG.

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Friday, February 25, 2005

The Politics of Dating

originally uploaded by marilora.

This country has become so partisan we can't even sleep with each other any more:

First I heard about the Democratic Singles Network.
Your politics say a lot about you! We are a robustly featured dating site where democrats and progressives can find single people who share forward-thinking world views! It's free to join and initiate contact with thousands of liberal members. . .
Check our "Testimonials" link and see what our members are saying! Democratic Singles Network is totally non-corporate, democratically owned, and has donated $2000 this month to environmental causes! Our sign-up process is easy ~ join us!
That was bad enough, but then I heard about Hannidate 2005, Sean Hannity's own Conservative matchmaking service. That's right. You heard me. I said Sean Hannity. In the dating world he's known as Dr. Conservative Love. The truly horrible part is that somehow Sean Hannity has suckered these poor people into posting their actual email addresses on a public web page. Can you imagine the kind of mail these people will get? Think Progress has collected some of the best and the brightest of these Conservative singles on their web site.

Do you remember the good old days under the Clinton administration when Democrats and Republicans, could not only have sex with eachother, but they could even get married? Neither, do I. That was 150 years ago, right?

--Hannidate 2005 info via Wonkette

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Put on yer thinkin' caps boys. . .

I saw a headline on someone else's Financial Times this morning while riding the Blue Line that almost made me laugh out loud. It said "President Bush to 'think about' Europe's Iran Plan." All I could think was, geez, I hope he doesn't hurt himself. I tried to find the article on the FT web site. I think it's this article, but the headline has been changed to "Bush to look again at European Stand on Iran." They must have realized how silly the other one sounded.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Too Cool for School. . .

Originally uploaded by marilora.
It seems the kiddies at Eastie High have been up to no good. The Boston Police had to break up a "skip day" party. According to the Boston Herald:

As many as 100 teens who should have been cramming for tests Friday at East Boston High were crammed instead into a two-room apartment, where police fought their way though a stampede over bottles of booze and burning candles.
Fearing the panicked youth would trample each other or be burned alive, Boston police juvenile officer Detective Don Stone reported he ``repeatedly screamed for the students to calm down,'' even as they tried to jump out first-floor bedroom windows to evade arrest. . .

The pre-school vacation ``skip party'' was hosted in the 204 Bennington St. home of Gregory Salinas, 18, who students slapped on the back and praised, ``Best party yet, Greg,'' even as cops were herding them out the door.
It was unclear if Salinas attends the high school, but police who arrested him said he tried to warn his guests to flee by hollering, ``Five-O!'' - street slang for cop - when they showed up at 11 a.m. thanks to calls from parents and neighbors.

First of all, "Five-O?" Do people still say that? I know I'm not up on the all the new fangled language that the kids are using, today, but that sounds pretty old-school to me. Did the cops say "book'em, Dano?" [Insert Hawaii 5-0 theme music as necessary] And I love that the Herald felt the need to explain to its readers that "Five-0" is "street slang" for "cop." So basically what the Herald is saying is that it's street slang for street slang since the last time I checked "cop" is also a slang term.

Second of all, since when is there such thing as "pre-vacation skip?" When I was a young lassie, there was only one skip day and that was "Senior Skip Day." You can't just be having skip days willy-nilly. That is a recipe for anarchy. Which would explain why:
Officers described the scene as ``complete chaos ... screaming, fighting, things breaking, loud music.'

[On a side note, because I pathetically needed to look up how to spell "willy-nilly" I inadvertantly came across a short blurb about the origins of the phrase. You can find it here. Just remember to thank me if that is ever your question on final Jeopardy.]

Monday, February 21, 2005

You can live on a tugboat!!

Originally uploaded by marilora.
For a mere $150,000 you can buy a tugboat. According to the Boston Globe:
A waterfront property with sweeping views of the city, loads of charm, and easy access to the airport for $150,000? Yes, if you want to buy David Rockwood's 85-foot-long tugboat, the Nauset, built in 1945 by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
''I'm still amazed by the view. I tell people that if you're in the wheelhouse and you're looking at the city's skyline you feel that if the buildings fell over it would fall on top of you. That's how close you are," said Rockwood, who along with his wife, Wendy Saver, have called the tugboat docked at the Boston Harbor Shipyard & Marina in East Boston home for about five years. But Rockwood insists that selling the tug has nothing to do with inconvenience or living in tight quarters.

''It's just time for a change and I already miss it," said Rockwood. The couple recently sold their famed Emma's Pizza in Cambridge and decided to put the tug on the market. Besides dock fees, which at Boston Harbor marinas can run about $14,000 a year, Rockwood says the only other expense is electricity.

Man how awesome would that be? Inviting people to your "house" for the first time must be so much fun. Picture the scene:
Hypothetical You: Hey, are you coming over on Friday?

Hypothetical Friend: Yah, probably.

Hypothetical You: Do you get seasick?

Hypothetical Friend: Umm. . . Sometimes. . . why?

Hypothetical You: Because I live on a tugboat.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Eastie on Film

According to the City of Boston's web site all of these films were filmed in East Boston:

Blown Away, 1993
Jimmy Dove works for the bomb squad in Boston and he is always the one who is on the tough jobs. One day he decides to quit the force and to become a teacher for the rookies of the squad. A few days later his successor is killed by a bomb and Jimmy becomes suspicious that maybe this bomb could have been built by a former friend of himself. He begins to investigate and finds out that his worst nightmare has returned from his past.--IMDB
I remember when they filmed this movie. They blew up an old ship down on the Eastie waterfront and they didn't calculate the force of the explosion quite right, so they inadvertently took out a whole bunch of people's windows in the neighborhood. The movie studio ended up having to pay to replace all the windows.

The Spanish Prisoner, 1996 (Filmed scenes at Logan Airport, so technically in Eastie.)
Joe Ross is a rising star. He's designed a process that will make his company millions. He wants a bonus for this work, but fears his boss will stiff him. He meets a wealthy stranger, Jimmy Dell, and they strike up an off-kilter friendship. When the boss seems to set Ross up to get nothing, he seeks Dell's help. Then he learns Dell is not what he seems, so he contacts an FBI agent through his tightly-wound assistant, Susan Ricci. The FBI asks him to help entrap Dell. He accepts, a sting is arranged, but suddenly it's he who's been conned out of the process and framed for murder. Bewildered and desperate, he enlists Susan's aid to prove his innocence.--IMDB
Next Stop Wonderland, 1996
Erin is a nurse and her longtime boyfriend has dumped her. Her mother Piper places a personal ad for her. Meanwhile the film follows the life of Alan, an employee at a local aquarium who dreams of becoming a marine biologist. Will their paths cross?--IMDB
The think that cracked me up about this movie is that there is a scene shot under one of the pavillions at Revere Beach. Anyone who has ever been to Revere Beach, will immediately recognize that they obviously cleaned up the pigeon poop for the scene. I kept thinking to myself, I wonder whose job it was to clean the bird poop. My guess would be that it was an intern. Also, this movie has a fabulous soundtrack if you enjoy Bossa Nova and Samba

Monument Ave., 1998
Bobby O'Grady is a low range member of Boston Irish gang run by Jackie O'Hara. Jackie demands absolute, total loyalty for him. When Jackie kills one of Bobby's buddies, Teddy, Bobby and others have to keep it an absolute secret, even from their and Teddy's relatives.--IMDB
Mystic River, 2003
Childhood friends Jimmy Marcus (Penn), Sean Devine (Bacon) and Dave Boyle (Robbins) reunite following the death of Jimmy's oldest daughter, Katie (Rossum). Sean's a police detective on the case, gathering difficult and disturbing evidence; he's also tasked with handling Jimmy's rage and need for retribution.--IMDB
A good portion of this movie was filmed right on my block. What more is there to say! I just wish I had lived here then.

Friday, February 18, 2005


Treason: Hurting America's Feelings from Fafblog
Q: Which of the following is treason?

1. Not wishing the President a happy birthday even when he is clearly wearing a party hat and a "Kiss The Birthday Boy" shirt

2. Questioning the progress, purpose, or justification of the Iraq war

3. Providing material aid to a hostile enemy of the United States

4. Telling America "Hey America yo mama's so fat by the time she bends over it's Daylight

Savings Time."Answer: All of them are treason but number four is the worst treason of all on account of America is real sensitive about the fatness of its mama.

--via Eschaton

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Does anyone else besides me. . .

uploaded by marilora.
remember The Stompers?

The answer is yes!
The Stompers story begins in the fall of 1977 when boyhood friends Sal Baglio and Mark Cuccinello decide to start a band. Steven Gilligan and Dave Friedman, the only people to respond to the index card posted on a music store bulletin board seeking musicians, arrive a short time later, on November 7th, 1977, the musical neophytes their first gig. More. .
Also, more here, where I found out this bit of info:
As early as 1978, a rapid breakout for the Boston-based locals seemed virtually assured. Their naive excitement and their fresh interpretations of rock's fundamental roots became contagious. One scorched summer day, the boys dragged all their equipment. up to the second floor of an apartment building converted to a recording studio. The primitive space had no air conditioning and mattresses were tacked up on the walls for sound proofing. From this sweaty initial session, the show stopper "Coast to Coast"' (backed with "I'm in Trouble") was recorded and pressed as a vinyl single. The band received instant gratification when film-meister John Sayles, included the track in his classic film, "Return of the Secaucus Seven"

The "band's" (actually, from what I can tell, Sal Baglio's) official web site can be found here.

Now for some funtastic music clips from Live Scrapbook:


Love is a Stranger

You're the One

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Never a dull moment. . .

I arrived home from work this evening to find a car burning in front of my house. The whole street was out taking part in Eastie's official pastime--disaster watching. Witnesses told your intrepid blogger that the gentleman in the car noticed his car smoking and pulled over to the curb as the car burst into flames. Just before I arrived one of the tires exploded from the heat. The firefighters had to use the metal saw in order to get the hood open to put out fire inside. I tried to get the camera in time to catch the sparks flying from the saw but, alas, I was too slow. That would be reason number 651 why I need a camera phone.Posted by Hello

Friday, February 11, 2005

Are you kidding me?

How does a container of nuclear material go missing for 4 months? As if the LNG is not enough:

Boston.com / News / Local / Shipment of radioactive equipment brings rebuke for nuclear agency
There is no indication the public was ever in danger, but Representative Edward J. Markey, a Malden Democrat and member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said the incident underscores a weakness in NRC rules for tracking radioactive material.

''The NRC still hasn't beefed up its rules to the point where we can be sure these materials can be kept out of terrorists' hands," Markey said in a statement. ''Instead, we have a nuclear 'lost and found' system where materials may go missing for months."

An NRC spokeswoman said about 300 radioactive industrial items go missing each year and only about half are recovered. [Wha haa????!!!!!]

NRC records indicate that the 185-pound container was registered as having arrived in Newark on Oct. 9. On Tuesday, Halliburton told the NRC it was missing. The FBI helped locate the container the next day at a Chelsea facility of Tennessee-based freight company Forward Air.

''After Halliburton notified the NRC that it believed the package was missing, federal and state authorities were notified, and the FBI helped locate the source," NRC regional spokeswoman Diane Screnci said. ''NRC rules require immediate notification once a source is determined to be missing, and we're in contact with Halliburton to determine why the notification was made when it was."

Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall said the company was conducting an investigation into the matter, but blamed the shipping company, identified by a federal official as Diversified Freight Logistics Inc. based in Texas. Halliburton contacted the shipper several times during those four months, and each time was told the container -- labeled as containing radioactive material -- was in transit to Houston, she said.

Tuesday ''is when the shipping company confirmed to the company the mistake," Hall said. ''We reported it immediately."

A subsequent review of surveillance tapes showed the container had been mislabeled by the shipping company Dec. 30 and sent to Chelsea, she said. A woman who answered the phone at Diversified Freight Logistics yesterday said no one was available to comment.

Matt Jewell, general counsel for Forward Air, said yesterday that the company had possession of the shipment since Dec. 30 but did not know it was missing until Wednesday. ''At all times that Forward Air has had possession of this cargo, it has been stored in a safe and secure location," he said.

Gail Marcinkiewicz, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Boston, said the FBI is not investigating the matter further.

--Boston Globe

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Thursday, February 10, 2005

Clearly this is the gayest crime in history. . .

originally uploaded by marilora.
Sometimes I wonder if I would even have a blog if it weren't for those wonderful police blotters. From today's Boston Herald:
The Border Street apartment of a gay hair stylist has never been cleaner, much to his misery. His crazy ex-boyfriend allegedly broke in Tuesday and poured Tide with Bleach on everything from plants to bedding. Then, he stole two hair dryers.
What got me about this story was that it was so specific. Not just any laundry detergent. Oh no! Tide with Bleach. It's like an extra F.U.
It's Tide. . .with Bleach, Beyatch!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Parents can rest easy. Sponge Bob is not gay! He's only a demon.

originally uploaded by slit.

This is kind of an old story from the Boston Herald Police Log of January 19th:
Beware of the little green men, and yellow demons.
A 51-year-old man walked into District 7 around 2 p.m. Monday telling cops that there was something wrong in his apartment, namely a ``one-inch yellow demon hiding in the heating grate'' of his Border Street bathroom.
To make matters worse, the demon looked like ``SpongeBob SquarePants'' and when the man tried to ``melt him on the heater,'' the monster laughed, then responded, ``Eat me!''
The whole time, the demon was humming the theme song to ``Jaws'', the terrified and disheveled man told police.
Cops tried to cajole him into an ambulance to be evaluated by doctors, but the man refused to go unless police ``exorcised the demon from his home.''
Police convinced him that they had blessed all of Border Street, then transported him to Massachusetts General Hospital for evaluation.
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