Shape the Future of the Innovation District on South Boston’s Waterfront

The shimmering skyline of the South Boston Waterfront reflects years of planning and development, but the eventual transformation of the area has only just begun. Home to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center, Institute of Contemporary Art and a number of highly desirable commercial and residential properties, the Waterfront is a self-contained neighborhood where people can live and work, surrounded by world-class amenities and dramatic views of Boston Harbor.

A forum on Boston’s Innovation District is taking place this Thursday, offering business leaders, designers, city planners and interested citizens an opportunity to help envision the future of a huge parcel of undeveloped land on the Waterfront. The Boston Innovation District is a 1000-acre area designated last year by Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino for creating mixed-use developments to help attract innovative companies. The project provides a wonderfully exciting set of development challenges, including opportunities to break new ground on important fronts such human factors engineering and inspiring, sustainable design.

Organized by Common Boston and the Urban Neighborhood Design Alliance (UNDA), the forum will feature a discussion panel representing a diverse range of disciplines and areas of expertise. Members of the audience will be encouraged to participate in the discussion. If you wish to attend, please see details below.

Thursday June 23, 2011

Optional boat tour 5:00-6:30 p.m.
Reception 6:30-7:00 p.m.
Forum discussion 7:00-8:30 p.m.

The boat tour will leave from Atlantic Wharf and return to the World Trade Center. The reception and forum discussion will be held at the offices of Shepley Bulfinch, 2 Seaport Lane.

This event is free and open to the public. Donations for the boat tour are welcome. Advance registration is recommended. To get more info and sign up to attend, register online or call 617-855-8272.


Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

Help Dad Recharge in South Boston on Father’s Day

Fun with Dad in South Boston

As we celebrate Father’s Day this Sunday, let’s take a moment to reflect on the stresses that are part and parcel of fatherhood these days. The challenges of balancing work and family life have never been greater. More often than not, the virtual workplace has all but eliminated downtime, with a never-ending stream of incoming calls and email alerts chirping and bleeping from Dad’s multiple digital devices.

For dads living in and near South Boston, there’s no shortage of ways to de-stress and enjoy quality family time, both indoors and out. South Boston is known for being a family-oriented community, with parks and beaches, neighborhood eateries and other fun things to do that can help Dad relax and enjoy his special day.

But no matter where you live, there are always ways to help Dad de-stress. When this Sunday rolls around, consider celebrating with activities you know Dad would find relaxing. It might be playing golf, for example. Or depending on his temperament, it might be NOT playing golf. Try turning off all electronic devices, maybe serving an old-fashioned, home-cooked Sunday dinner. Whatever you decide to do (or not do) on Father’s Day, try coming up with a way to help Dad unwind and kick back. Every once in a while, every dad needs a chance to chill and recharge his batteries.

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

Unleashing Your Pooch’s Better Self at Dog Parks in Greater South Boston

Dog Parks South Boston MA

As soon as the warm weather arrives, the dogs of South Boston and their owners make a beeline for the area’s abundant parks and beaches. But the favorite destination for many is one of several dog parks located in or near South Boston. Examples include South Boston Bark Park (intersection of Columbia Road and Day Blvd.), Ronan Park (Dorchester) and Peter’s Park (South End).

Dog parks are fenced-off areas where dogs can frolic and play off-leash under the supervision of their owners. It’s a great way for your dog to get exercise and have fun, provided that the other dogs playing there are similarly well taken care of, trained and socialized.

The best way to ensure an enjoyable time for all at the dog park is to exercise common sense and observe basic etiquette. Some key considerations:

  • Be aware of your dog’s behavioral idiosyncrasies.
  • Scope out the scene before entering the dog park and avoid situations that might become unpleasant or dangerous.
  • Keep in mind that you and the other pet owners are responsible for your dogs and be prepared to intervene at the first sign of aggressive behavior.
  • Stay attentive to the dynamics of the situation as they change with the arrival of new animals.

For a quick primer on the subject, see The Skinny on Dog Park Etiquette, published online in Tails Magazine.
Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

South Boston’s Spring Open Studios Offers a Holistic Art Experience

South Boston Open Studios at the Distillery and King Terminal

The Spring Open Studios at the Distillery & King Terminal event lets you take in a richly varied display of new, original artwork and learn first-hand about the process of creation. It’s a rare opportunity to meet talented artists and artisans – many of them nationally and internationally recognized – in the personal environment of their homes and studios, where you can view their works in the context of their creation; discuss their ideas, approaches, techniques and sources of inspiration; and get some fantastic bargains too.

Spring Open Studios is free, open to the public and takes place this year on Sunday, June 5, 2011 from noon until 6 p.m. It’s one of the Boston area’s most anticipated annual open studio events, well attended and known for the quality and diversity of artwork, which encompasses a wide range of media and styles, from traditional to avant-garde.

Besides giving you an outstanding art experience that provides you with a personal connection with South Boston’s thriving art community, Spring Open Studios offers a fascinating glimpse into the past as you explore the nooks and crannies of two of the area’s most historic industrial structures. In addition to dozens of traditional art studios, you’ll find lofts that combine work and living space, creative small businesses, two galleries, and artwork that spills out into the hallway, lining the corridor walls.

Spring Open Studios has a reputation for being a superbly well organized event, which makes your self-guided meanderings all the more fun and enjoyable. For more information, visit the The Distillery website. For general inquiries, contact Scott Chasse. Click the Google map below for interactive directions to The Distillery:








Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

South Boston Celebrates 50 Years of Youth Hockey

South Boston Youth Hockey Association

South Boston has undergone massive changes in recent years, but a number of its best traditions live on. Established in 1961, the South Boston Youth Hockey Association remains a vital local resource. Community leaders and generations of hockey enthusiasts, many with fond youthful memories of playing in the Association’s leagues, will come together Saturday May 21st at the Boston Convention Center to celebrate the organization’s 50th Anniversary.

The Association began in 1961 with just 48 players and four teams consisting of thirteen- and fourteen-year-old boys. When the popularity of hockey was at its height following the Boston Bruins Stanley Cup victory led by hockey legend Bobby Orr in 1970, the league grew to 1,500 players. Interest in the sport and participation in the Association’s programs have waxed and waned during the years since. The program has expanded with teams for different age groups and skill levels, as well as a league for girls.

According to an article in the Boston Herald, alumni include the late John Cunniff, who played for the Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins and Quebec Nordiques; Boston College hall of famer Bill O’Dwyer, who was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 1980 and later played for the Bruins; and Brian Noonan, who was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in 1983 and won a Stanley Cup with New York Rangers in 1994.

Tickets to the dinner celebration on Saturday are $40. Tables are also available. The event begins with cocktails at 6 p.m and dinner at 7 p.m. To purchase tickets, contact Tommy McGrath at 857-204-5825. For more information, visit the South Boston Youth Hockey Association’s website.

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

Come Celebrate Community, Art and Opportunity for South Boston Youths

Artists for Humanity (AFH)

One of the most anticipated events in South Boston is the 6th Annual “Greatest Party on Earth,” a benefit hosted by the non-profit Artists for Humanity (AFH) at the organization’s phenomenal EpiCenter at 100 West 2nd Street. Starting at 8 p.m. on Saturday May 21st and ending at 1 a.m. on Sunday, the party features an exciting array of live entertainment, fine cuisine from Boston’s gourmet eateries and affordable art for sale.

The popular success of the event should be no surprise to anyone familiar with the organization. Since it was founded in 1991, AFH has delivered a highly innovative youth apprenticeship program that brings cultural enrichment and economic development to South Boston. The facility provides underserved youths with a safe environment for developing the skills they need to generate income and pursue successful careers in the creative arts. AFH apprenticeships include the following media:

  • Digital Media/Video
  • Graphic Design/Motion Graphics
  • Painting/Murals
  • Photography/Web Design
  • Screen Printing
  • Sculpture/Industrial Design
  • Web Design

One of the chief strengths of he AFH program its close ties with the Boston’s largest corporations. Much of the work created at the EpiCenter is the result of collaboration between the urban teens who participate in the program and their mentors, resulting in lucrative commissions, with half of proceeds going directly to the artists. Despite the economic downturn, the program generated over $800,000 is sales last year.

CBS video about Artists for Humanity (AFH)To purchase tickets and get details about the event, or to get more info about the organization, visit the AFH’s public website. You can also view an illuminating CBS News feature that profiles the AFH.


Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

Join the Sunset Walk at Castle Island and Help Give Women a Hand Up

If you want to help empower disadvantaged women seeking employment, health and self-sufficiency, you’ve got to “walk the walk.” That is, to make a difference you’ve got to take action. And it’s easy to get involved. Just pledge your support for the 2011 Power Walk for Dress for Success.

Boston is celebrating this important annual event with a 5K sunset walk on Saturday May 7 at South Boston’s scenic Castle Island. By participating, you can play a vital role in the efforts of Dress for Success, an international organization that gives women the tools they need to advance themselves economically and achieve well being. The 2011 Power Walk will take place in more than 30 cities across the U.S. and around the globe to help raise funds to meet these ambitious goals. Since 1997, Dress for Success has served more than 550,000 women in over 100 cities around the world.

You don’t need to walk to support the cause. Just sponsor a walker or make a donation online. But if you enjoy exercise, magnificent views and the camaraderie of like-minded supporters, come join the walkers. Or if you’d prefer, simply show up to cheer them on. Registration begins at 4 pm and the walk starts at 5 pm, rain or shine. To sign up, make a pledge or get more info, click here. You can also find out more about the event by sending email Email me or by visiting the organization’s public website.

PS – If you come to the event in person, don’t forget to bring your camera. With the city and Boston Harbor in the background, there’s no place like Castle Island to view the sunset! And you can get to Castle Island easily by car or public transportation. Here are directions.

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

South Boston’s History and the Origin of Mother’s Day

The colorful past of South Boston is ever present. The area is a virtual treasure trove for history buffs and anyone curious about previous inhabitants and the events that shaped their lives.

One of South Boston’s most illustrious residents of the 19th Century was poet and social activist Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910). An influential leader in the women’s rights movement, she lived in South Boston with her husband and children during the 1840s. Author of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” she is also credited for having spawned the idea behind the event we now celebrate as “Mother’s Day.” In her “Mother’s Day Proclamation,” written in 1870, she made an impassioned plea for women to band together to help end war.

An interesting aside is that Julia Ward Howe’s husband, Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe (1801-1876), was among the founders and served for many decades as director of the Perkin’s School for the Blind, where famed author Helen Keller (1880-1968) later received her education. From 1833 to 1912, the school was located in a large building that had once been a hotel, near Perkins Square and East Broadway. (Sammarco, Anthony Mitchell; Rosenberg, Charlie. Images of America Series, “South Boston.” Dover, New Hampshire: Arcadia Publishing, 1996.)

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

Support for Animal Welfare Alive and Well in South Boston

The suffering of animals through mistreatment, abandonment and neglect is a heartbreaking reality in every urban community. But in South Boston, compassionate care is always nearby. Since 1988, the Alliance for Animals (AfA) has been helping to prevent animal suffering. Based in South Boston, AfA runs a no-kill shelter, adoption center and clinic for spaying, neutering and providing other medical services to animals in conjunction with the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine.

The AfA is at the forefront of a community-based model for promoting animal welfare, delivering knowledge where it’s most needed, among disadvantaged inner-city pet-owners. The staff and volunteers go out into the community and work directly with pet-owners to help them understand their responsibilities and take advantage of all the resources available to them. The focus of the organization is on the long-term, showing people how they can help eliminate animal suffering by working with their neighbors to take control of the situation.

Joyce Lebedew Real Estate (JLRE) supports the efforts of the AfA with donations and active participation in organization’s outreach efforts. In addition, JLRE offers leasing and purchasing incentives for clients who adopt animals through the AfA. For more details, contact JLRE at 617-269-6400. For more information about the AfA, visit the organization’s website or call 617-268-7800.

Living with Pets in South Boston – Tips for Renters and Landlords

Living with Pets in South Boston

For many pet owners, renting an apartment is more of a hassle than it should be. A range of factors come into play, for example, the overall availability of rental units in a community at any given point in time, the past experiences of landlords and the ability of prospective renters who own pets to represent themselves as responsible tenants.

Owner of one of the most successful independent real estate agencies in Boston, Joyce Lebedew attributes a large part of her success to specializing exclusively in pet-friendly properties in South Boston. Through her extensive experience in this robust market niche, Joyce offers useful tips for landlords and pet owners alike.

Joyce’s primary tip for landlords is to recognize the advantages to renting to people with pets. “Your willingness to accommodate pets widens the pool of potential renters. Moreover, studies show that pet owners are likely to remain tenants for a longer period of time. I believe the commitment that goes with pet ownership tends to indicate a broader commitment to responsibility in caring for property and contributing to community life.”

For pet owners, Joyce’s main piece of advice is to allow sufficient time to find an apartment and put together all available pet documentation beforehand. “These include veterinary records, behavior certification if needed and any other information you can provide to demonstrate responsible pet guardianship. For example, it can be extremely helpful to obtain references and letters of recommendation from past landlords. Consider also that while pet fees are prohibited in Massachusetts, it can be advantageous to offer the full, legally allowed security deposit to assure against damage.” Adds Joyce, “Of course the best way to win over a prospective landlord is to introduce yourself and your pet in person.”

Last but not least, Joyce recommends working with a realtor who specializes in pet friendly real estate. “The doors of our offices at 507 East Broadway are always open to residents of South Boston and their beloved pets. When you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to stop by our office on your daily walk. We always have water bowls outside and cookies from the Polka Dog Bakery!”

For more useful tips for both landlords and renters, visit the website for The Massachusetts Animal Coalition (MAC), This resource provides model guidelines and agreements, checklists and other valuable tools.

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team.