Not Organizing Events

When I lived in NYC I organized and ran events for computer geeks like me. It was a lot of fun, and a great way to meet new people. Then I moved to Salem, Mass, a suburb of Boston, and again I organized and ran events in Salem and Boston. And again it was a lot of fun and a great way to meet new people.

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Whale Watching Tour

Here are some pictures from our recent whale watching tour out of Gloucester, MA.

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Salem The Bike City

Salem Mass is often known as The Witch City, but it’s also trying hard to become a bike city. One example of this comes from today’s announcement about a free bike sharing program here in Salem. The city has also made improvements to off-road bike paths and recently completed the striping of on-street bike lanes. The problem, however, I have with biking in Salem is with the North Shore drivers.

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Halloween Pictures

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Pictures from Dave, Lexi, and Lucy's Visit

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Salem Bloggers Unite

The fine folks at The Salem Insider are compiling a list of Salem-based bloggers. If you live in Salem Mass and have a blog, you should add your blog site to the list. And no, your blog site doesn’t have to be about Salem. They just ask that you be a Salem resident. It’s a neat way to see what others in Salem are writing about.

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Update on New House #3

We’re finally in the new house. Woohoo!! Work on all the rooms is basically complete with one exception, the upstairs half bathroom, which can wait a couple of weeks. We’re slowly settling in with a little more than half the boxes already unpacked. And we’re planning a shopping trip for later this week to purchase new furniture for the baby’s room.

I’m so glad to be done with the majority of the renovation work. Overall I’m happy with the end results, but there are areas on some walls I would like to redo someday. But I can’t complain. After all, this was my first time doing home renovating work like this. I definitely learned a lot and will do much better work faster in the future.

I would like to send out a special thank you to my mom and brother for helping prepare the house. Without their help on the final days leading up to the move, we might have had to postpone the move in date a second time. Thanks for the help mom and Andy.

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Home Improvement Before and After

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Update on New House #2

Work on the house is nearing completion. 4 rooms are now ready to go and I hope to have 2 more rooms completed by Saturday night. This leaves 1 room left to complete before we move in, which is now scheduled for Thursday, January 24. If I stay on track, I’ll have the final room completed on Monday. New carpet on the stairs will be installed on Tuesday. And we clean, clean, clean on Wednesday to get up all the dust and dirt from the floors.

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The Cavalry is Here

My very good buddy Darren has come up from TampaSt. Pete to help with work on the new house for 3 days. I can’t begin to say how grateful I am having Darren here to help. Work on the house is progressing nicely now and we’re hoping to have most of the rooms completed by the end of the weekend.

Thanks for the help Darren. I owe you big time!

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Update on New House

I can honestly say I have bitten off more than I can chew when it comes to prepping the new house for our move in. I have developed a new hatred for wallpaper. Pulling down wallpaper and prepping the walls for priming is a very time consuming process. But with luck I should be ready to start priming walls by Thursday.

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Explosion in Danvers MA

Early this morning, around 2:45 AM, my wife and I were woken up by a thunderous boom that shook the house. We both jumped out of bed, looked out the window, but all was quiet. I thought maybe the explosion was downstairs in the basement so I went down to check it out. My wife turned on the TV and tuned in to local Boston news channels but there was nothing about an explosion. No breaking news. Nothing. Finally I went outside to see if I could tell what happened. Still not luck.

We were up for almost an hour worried that something bad had happened. It was hard to go back to sleep. For us, being from New York City, it was strange how quiet the streets were. It seems the explosion did not wake any of our neighbors. And there was nothing on the local news. As a matter of fact the local news was nothing more than a re-broadcast of an early news broadcast. Boy, we miss NY1 at times like this.

Well, the mystery of what happened was uncovered this morning when I checked Seems there was a major chemical explosion in near by Danvers.

We live a few miles from Danvers and we felt the affects of the explosion, so it must have been one heck of an explosion. As I said it woke up from our sleep and shook the house. And we live a few miles away. It’s amazing no one was seriously hurt.

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Essex County Tops Most Overpriced List

I lived in the West Village, Manhattan for just over 6 years. Earlier this year my wife and I moved to Salem, Massachusetts. We have a number of reasons for moving such as a change in life style, wanting to be closer to the mountains of New England, etc. Cost is definitely one of the reasons. We were spending more and more time outside of NYC making it hard to justify paying high rent for an apartment we didn’t see much, especially in the winter time.

I was surprise to learn that Essex County, Massachusetts, which is where Salem is located, is ranked at the top of the recent Forbes most overprice places in the United States. (New York is ranked number 6.) Granted we don’t live in one of the awesomely big water front homes mentioned in the article. I wish we did. But homes at a million and more is beyond what we can afford. I will say, though, that $1.4 million for a 4,000 square foot water front home does seem like a better deal to me than a $1.4 million, 2 bedroom, 900 square foot condo in downtown Manhattan.

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First Visit to Fenway

My wife and I went to Fenway the other night to see the Redsox play. It was our first visit to Fenway. I like the stadium despite the small size. As a matter of fact, I said to me wife I felt like we were at a minor league game because of the stadium size. Plus, the stadium seems to be very family friendly with a kid throwing the first pitch and a kid making the standard “Play ball!” announcement. The vibe and stadium size reminded me of the two minor league teams in New York. However, that opinion changed once the game got started. The crowd definitely fills the stadium with cheers and you definitely feel like you are at a major league game once the first pitch is thrown.

Boston fans are definitely loyal fans. But unlike St. Louis where just about every wears red, Boston fans have no one color. Sure the Redsox fans are wearing some type of Redsox shirt but some shirts are blue, some are white, some are red…I even saw a green Redsox shirt. Go figure. One of the things I like about going to a Cardinals game in Busch stadium is seeing the sea of red.

Contrary to popular belief, I thought the ticket prices were reasonable and definitely cheaper than a Yankees game. Granted I paid for my tickets through the normal channel and I didn’t get ripped off by some scalper selling a $40 ticket for $150. The food is also cheaper at Fenway compared to Yankee Stadium. The only thing that was more expensive is the beer.

Fenway charges way too much for beer. Yes, a beer at Yankee stadium will run you something like $8 but it is twice the size of the wimpy $6 beer at Fenway. So by the end of the game we spent as much as we would at Yankee stadium but that was only because we had to buy more beers at Fenway than we typically do at Yankee Stadium.

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Do you miss New York?

A common question I get since moving to Salem is “Do you miss New York?” I was thinking about that question this morning as I was standing on the 4-5-6 platform at Grand Central Station. For those who don’t know, that’s in New York, and the answer is “No”. I haven’t spent enough time in Salem or enough time away from New York to miss it yet. It will probably hit me some time this summer but for now I haven’t missed the Big Apple. Heck, Melanie is still based out of JFK and sees the city more than I do. I wonder if she misses it yet.

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It's Surreal

My wife and I have actually moved from New York City to Salem, Massachusetts. It’s still a bit surreal for us. As we were driving out of the city yesterday, it didn’t feel like we were really leaving. It felt more like we were making a quick trip and will be returning in a few days. I think it will hit me in a few days that we’re not returning to the city to live. Then again it might take longer for that to happen since I will be returning to New York next week for a meeting.

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Farewell New York, Hello Salem

Today is our last full day in New York. The movers arrive tomorrow at 8 AM. We have almost everything packed. We ran out of boxes last night so we couldn’t finish.

I’m not sure how soon we will have Internet access from the new home. That’s one of my projects today…to schedule cable TV and Internet hook up. So don’t expect a quick reply to emails and forum postings for the next few days.

So how will we spend our final day in New York? We have a few more things to pack, and the DVR/cable boxes need to be returned to Time Warner. I’m meeting a good friend this afternoon for a quick happy hour drink followed by date night with my wife. We are going to dinner at the place of our first date. Unfortunately it won’t be a late night because the movers are coming early tomorrow but I’m sure it will still be a special time for us.

I thought leaving New York was going to be hard, but as it turns out I’m ready to go. The fact we spent our last weekend up in Vermont is probably a sign that we need to move. We just don’t enjoy the city the way we use too, and there are so many other things we want out of life that are hard to obtain from here unless you have lots of money. So it’s farewell to New York, hello Salem.

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