Boston’s Waterfront on Labor Day Weekend

The unofficial mark of the end of summer is upon us. Transitioning from summertime to fall brings with it both stress about new beginnings at school or other endeavors, and excitement about what is to come.

The Boston Harbor Association and Mayor Martin J. Walsh invite all to celebrate this moment with an incredible fireworks display at the Harbor. Position yourself along the HarborWalk – at Christopher Columbus Park, Fan Pier and Piers Park – for a spectacular view.

This third annual Labor Day weekend fireworks show will take place on Saturday, September 5, 2015 at 9:00 pm.

If you want to start the party early, check out the Mass Brewers Fest on Friday, September 4, from 6:00 – 9:30 pm. Sample over 100 local craft beers from more than 40 Massachusetts breweries while listening to live music. The Fest, open to those 21 and older, will be held at the World Trade Center Head House Concourse, 200 Seaport Blvd, along South Boston’s Waterfront. Tickets are $40, with food (curry coconut shrimp or hot dogs steamed in Harpoon beer, for example) available at additional cost.

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

Photography credit:

Finding Your Way- South Boston’s Waterfront

South Boston Waterfront Wayfinding Sign

Exploring South Boston’s amazing Waterfront – on foot — is a treat. There’s so much to excite the senses: the water, museums, restaurants, artist studios, and much much more. Some have noted, though, that navigating through the area can be a challenge. So, to the rescue came leaders from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the City of Boston, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority and A Better City. They designed a plan that includes a pedestrian way-finding pilot program. That plan, involving the use of signs to guide the way, has been implemented this month.

Temporary signs along several paths to and from the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center are now up. Transit stations, restaurants and other points of interest are easier than ever to locate. The current signs will be up through October. Aiming, ultimately, to improve the experience of pedestrians throughout the South Boston Waterfront district, the team who created this pilot initiative hopes to get a clear sense of what permanent signage is needed. That team needs your feedback in order to plan appropriately.

To that end, they’re asking that we all let them know how those signs help (or don’t), and if there’s other signage they should try. They’ll track feedback with the hashtag #WalkSBW.

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

Photography credit: Boston Redevelopment Authority


Restaurant Week/Dine Out in South Boston

Restaurant Week South Boston

It’s August so that means it is time for Restaurant Week! Actually, for two weeks – August 16th  – 21st and 23rd  – 28th — not just one, we’ll have a chance to explore the awesome range of cuisines in our midst with special menus at select establishments around town. Let’s begin with the “B”s:

  • Barlow’s , 241 A Street, South Boston.  Offering a two-course lunch plus non-alcoholic beverage for $15 and a three-course dinner for $33. Menu highlights include rock shrimp gazpacho, Korean two-shell taco, bourbon BBQ chicken, blueberry peach cobbler, and so much more.
  • Bastille Kitchen , 49 Melcher Street, Seaport District.  The three-course dinner is $38. And what a dinner: Appetizers (grilled watermelon is just one of them), entrées (an escargot omelette anyone, or salmon, or steak?), and desserts (among the choices, a mélange of all-things-strawberry — muscadet mousse, strawberry tarragon granita, strawberry rhubarb jam).
  • Blue Dragon , 324 A Street, South Boston. Presenting a five-course dinner menu for $38. Snacks you won’t find elsewhere (Japanese sweet potato chips with charred scallion and meat jus dip; whipped edamame hummus with spiced pita chips; etc.), tapas galore (for example, tamarind-glazed lamb lollipops with glass noodle salad and teriyaki bison burgers with smoked gouda, caramelized onions & shiitakes) and a deep-dish chocolate cookie await.

We’ll throw in a couple from the rest of the alphabet as well. All are excellent.

  • M.C. Spiedo , 606 Congress Street, Seaport District. Lunch is available at $20 for a three-course menu. A three-course dinner is $38. From summer vegetable soup and gnocchi sardi/herb pesto to veal saltimbocca and marinated shrimp pizza to sweet corn panna cotta and summer berry sorbet, this Italian spot covers all the bases.
  • Tamo, 1 Seaport Lane Boston, Seaport District. The two-course lunch is $20. The three-course dinner is $33. Contemporary American cuisine with a flair: Grilled avocado with mango salsa; fisherman’s stew (chef’s choice of fish with mussels in fennel and bell pepper stew with a roasted red pepper rouille), Nepalese dal bhat (lentil stew served with wild and red Himalayan rice), flat iron steak and even “s’mores in a crock.”

Check out these and other local “restaurant week” specials this month, and be sure to make a reservation. Tables go quickly. The Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau and American Express bring us Restaurant Week/Dine Out Boston twice a year. For the August 2015 event, all participating restaurants will donate a $100 certificate to be auctioned off at Proceeds from this auction go directly to the charitable partner, The Rose Kennedy Greenway.

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

Photography credit:


Gaelic Day Spa and Salon

Gaelic day Spa and Salon

On a recent Saturday, an excited group of women settled into the chairs at Gaelic Day Spa and Salon on West Broadway in South Boston. They were there for a day of primping and pampering: they were all members of a wedding party! Whether it’s a bunch of friends preparing for a special occasion, or an individual simply needing some sort of touch-up, a trip to a nail salon can hit the spot. It feels so good to be taken care of, and so wonderful to walk out transformed in just the ways you had imagined.

Le Phan, owner of Gaelic Day Spa and Salon, says that she took ownership of the salon two years ago, looking forward to establishing a place where people leave happy – a place where people know their nails will be treated as works of art, beautiful in both shape and color. Le notes how customer tastes reflect the shift in seasons. While during the late fall and winter months, women might tend to prefer muted or darker colors, spring and summer bring requests for bright, playful hues. Plus, this summer, gel manicures are all the rage. And Gaelic meets the demand: Their gel manicures last two weeks or longer. Plus, as a great customer-friendly follow-up, if, by chance, a nail breaks or chips, the salon will fix it – for free!

Le says she’s delighted to be working in South Boston, “with so many young people and professionals to meet and help make happy.” She’s at the salon much of the time, developing services (including waxing, facials and tanning) that keep delighting clients, both established and new. When she isn’t at Gaelic, she can be found playing with her husband and two toddlers, and cooking up a storm.

Check out Gaelic Day Spa and Salon on Facebook and in person at 389 W. Broadway. Tel: 617-268-8860.

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

Boston Seafood Festival

Seafood Festival

For four years in a row, Bostonians have been treated to a festival that both promotes sustainable seafood and offers unlimited opportunities for fun. Organized by the non-profit Boston Fisheries Foundation, the Boston Seafood Festival includes entertainment, demonstrations by renowned chefs, vendors galore and contests. The 2015 edition of the Festival is set for Sunday, August 2nd, from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm at the Boston Fish Pier, 212 Northern Avenue, Boston 02210. The opening ceremony will include a Lion Dance performance by the Gund Kwok Dance Troupe – the only Asian women’s Lion Dance ensemble in the U.S. Chef cooking demonstrations take place all day, while a fish-cutting contest is on the schedule from 1:30 – 3:30. Be sure to check out the “Blessing of the Fleet” at 2:00 pm.

What else will you find at the Festival?

* Acrobats, jugglers, dancers and balloon twisters.

* Face painting, origami making and sidewalk chalk mural drawing.

The Boston Fisheries Foundation educates the public and the media about the critical role that fishermen play in preserving wild ocean stocks, and about the enormous benefits of sustainably harvested seafood – to our bodies and our planet. New England’s economy is tightly tied to fisheries, and supporting and expanding sustainable fisheries is at the center of the Foundation’s work. Come out and enjoy the Festival, and learn a bit about fisherfolk and the sustenance they bring us.

Get your tickets before they sell out: General admission tickets are $15.00, Children 6 – 12 get in for $5.00, and younger kids enter free of charge. There are also special Lobster Bake and VIP tickets available.

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

Photography credit:


S & F Autobody

Autobody Repair Shop

An auto body shop offers repairs to damage from everyday-type vehicle crashes and fender-benders. When the shop repairers work their magic, on minor scratches and dents or major issues (for example, destruction of an entire door panel), they make cars and trucks look like new.

But going to an auto body shop can be intimidating. It’s already upsetting to have a problem with your vehicle. Add onto that the fact that you might not know exactly what’s needed to rescue your car or truck, and it is easy to become overwhelmed.

The folks at S & F Autobody  at 503 East Second Street in South Boston prioritize putting customer needs first. They aim to personalize each repair service, making sure that everyone understands all options. They help with insurance claim management and appraisals. They guarantee their repairs for as long as the customer owns the vehicle.

Another special thing about S & F – a shop that’s been around for more than three decades – is their eco-friendliness. They choose to use environmentally friendly products. They use energy efficient lighting. They recycle post-repair leftover plastic as well as ordinary office supplies. And you know what else? They literally plant flowers, one way of helping to remove pollutants from our air.

Connect with S & F through Facebook or phone: 617-268-1185.

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

Photography credit:

Outdoor Concerts and Movies in South Boston

Outdoor Concert in South Boston

A movie, perhaps some music, maybe even a bit of dancing – all can add some spice to the already pleasant evenings of summer. Listed below are a few summer series that bring the old and the new, the classic and the edgy, right to our neighborhood.

Summer in the City” at the Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf: Enjoy live concerts, al fresco dining and classic movies on the big screen four nights a week from now through the first week of September. Tuesday evenings feature Soul music; Wednesdays showcase Rat Pack tunes; Thursdays it’s the Blues; and on Fridays, cinema (including, for example, The African Queen on July 17th and Young Frankenstein the next week)! The bands play from 6:00 – 10:00 pm, and movies start at dusk.

Wavelengths” at the Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Avenue: A wonderful selection of waterfront concerts and D.J. nights awaits. Doors open at 6:30 pm for the ICA’s new Friday music series. They are giving the stage over to both well-established and newly-blossoming acts whose music spans an exciting style spectrum.

“Lunch Breaks, Dance Parties and DJs” at Lawn on D, 420 D Street: Take a lunch break between noon and 2:00 pm any (or every) Friday through October 9th, and head over to hear concerts presented by the prestigious Berklee College of Music’s Summer in the City program. Until the end of July, Friday nights feature D Street Dance Parties, where everyone, regardless of age or dance experience, comes together for fun. Amazing DJs play a range of tunes from 6:00 – 9:00 pm to get people in the groove. And on Saturdays, check out the local DJs, musicians and music industry luminaries sharing rock, r&b, punk and more. Beer and wine is available for purchase, as is food from Lincoln Tavern. There are even food trucks set to stop by. Saturday evening events begin at 6:30 or 7:00. Look at the calendar for updated information.

Mayor Walsh’s Movie Nights” at Moakley Park, 1005 Columbia Road: The Boxtrolls will be shown under the stars in one of South Boston’s lovely parks on Monday, August 10th. Presented by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department and Northeastern University, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Tourism, Sports and Entertainment, all movies in this family-friendly series – held in a different park each week — begin at dusk.

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

Photography credit:

Best of Boston Winners in Southie!

Dew Luxe South Boston Store

The “Best of Boston” winners for 2015 have been announced. And many of them are right here in Southie. We knew we were surrounded by greatness! Let’s congratulate our neighbors who were recognized for the pizzazz, fun and deliciousness they bring to our community:

Best Fine Women’s Clothing: Dew Luxe : 36 A Street

A visit to this luxury consignment shop, whose motto is “luxury for less,” is a treat. Not only are the products special, and often gorgeous (think Stella McCartney, Gucci and Tom Ford, for example), they are also displayed beautifully.

Best Birthday Party Location: Boston Fire Museum: 344 Congress Street

Set in an old firehouse, the Boston Fire Museum preserves and displays fire-fighting memorabilia from the Boston area, and educates the general public about fire safety. Birthday parties here are legendary.

Best Fried Clams: Yankee Lobster Co. : 300 Northern Avenue

This iconic New England food is served up right: Yum! Yankee Lobster Company has a huge menu of other appetizers, plus seafood platters, stews, chowders, and so on, too.

And here are the other local winners:

Best Wine Shop: Social Wines; 52 W. Broadway

Best Brewery: Trillium Brewing Company; 369 Congress Street

Best Beer Program: Row 34; 383 Congress Boston

Best Lobster Roll: James Hook & Co.; 15-17 Northern Avenue

Best Chowder: The Daily Catch Seaport; 2 Northern Avenue

Best Kids’ Lunch: Pastorlal; 345 Congress Street

Best Eyebrow Shaping: Lauren Genatossio at Sarra; 840 Summer Street

Best Women’s Haircut: Kara Hurston at Shag; 840 Summer Street

Best Health Gym: The Club by George Foreman III; 15 Channel Center Street

There’s also a special ”Best of” section specifically focused on South Boston:

Best Neighborhood Restaurant: Cafe Porto Bello

Best Neighborhood Bar: Local 149

Best Neighborhood Shopping: Neatly Nested

Best Neighborhood Diversion: Thomas Park

Congratulations to all the winners!

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team.

Photography credit: The Dew Luxe Team.


A Profile of Michael O’Brien, Real Estate Sales Associate

Michael O'Brien

A real estate agent helps people buy, rent or sell a home, office, building, or land. To do that well, an agent needs extraordinary people skills. Nurturing relationships that are often critical to the making of major life decisions, including where exactly to put down roots, what kind of space to settle into, and so on, is central to the real estate business. Assisting with both the staging of houses and other properties (making them attractive to prospective buyers) and the imagining of what one might be able to do with a given place, are also key. So having a realtor in the neighborhood who is at once keen on people and community and also keen on aesthetics, is a decided plus: Meet Michael O’Brien!

Michael has been a real estate sales associate– and working at Joyce Lebedew Real Estate – since 2008. Because houses had always been a passion of his, including home décor, renovation, gardening, etc., moving into real estate was a natural next step. He brings to this passion a talent for design: For close to two decades he owned his own floral design and event design business in Newton.

But even before joining Joyce Lebedew Real Estate, Michael joined our community. He moved to South Boston in 2006, “because I was attracted to the beach, the friendliness of the people and the openness of the community,” he explains. “South Boston has a small-town feel in a city setting. I love watching the changes all around us – young professionals moving in; lots of construction. I love the energy.” He also “truly enjoy[s] helping people find their new home.”

Since the fall of 2010, Michael has also been working as a special events designer with Winston Flowers, the premiere floral design company in the Boston area. When he’s not following up on a hot property, or delving deep into design options, he can be found soaking up the sun at the beach, practicing yoga or working out at the gym.

Michael O’Brien, Sales Associate


Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

Celebrating July 4th in South Boston

USS Constitution Departs in South Boston

History and summer fun meet next weekend, when the entire country celebrates the birth of our independent nation. Some towns will be hosting parades with floats, marching bands and local heroes like firefighters and police officers taking in the applause from onlookers. Some will put on spectacular fireworks displays. Let’s see what South Boston has up its sleeve for July 4th:

Boston Harborfest 2015 is a renowned festival that brings the history of the American Revolution into focus through reenactments, concerts, and walking tours. Presented by the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Harborfest begins with an opening ceremony on Wednesday, July 1st, and continues through Sunday, July 5th. Check out the Boston Harbor Sunset Tall Ship Cruise, setting sail daily at both 6:00 and 6:30 pm.

Castle Island, at 2010 William J. Day Blvd., boasts a wealth of activities from which to choose. There’s Pleasure Bay, with a lovely beach and spectacular views of the city; there’s the Harborwalk, plus a fenced-in playground for little kids, and Sullivan’s, a restaurant famous for its fried clams and ice cream. And then there’s Fort Independence. The fort overlooks Boston Harbor’s islands. On July 4th, the USS Constitution – the world’s oldest commissioned naval vessel still afloat — will come to rest at the fort, just as it does every year. Upon reaching Fort Independence, a 21-gun salute will be fired from the great ship in commemoration of the struggle for independence. You can even watch the July 4th fireworks from Castle Island, as they light up behind the city skyline. Fort Independence and Castle Island are on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, and charge no admission fees.

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

Photography credit: U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 1st Class Dave Kaylor, via Wikimedia Commons