Tag Archives: modern development

The South End: Why I Call It Home

As I was walking through the South End on my way to work, I was thinking, “Why do I love this neighborhood?” I walked past groups enjoying coffee on the stoop of their brownstone, I saw people out walking their dogs, moms pushing strollers stopping to say hi, and there was a warmth in the air that has been missing for months. Spring is finally here and the South End seems to shine brighter to me.

So why do I love the South End?

Food and Entertainment: The South End has some of the best restaurants I have ever been to and diverse variety of flavors. Within a 10 minute radius, I can have tapas at Toro, sushi at Oishii Boston, French at Aquitane, Indian at Mela, charcuterie at The Butcher Shop, Ethiopian at Addis Red Sea, and Asian Fusion at Myers and Chang to name a few. The South End also offers restaurants with great bars to have a cocktail and grab a small bite such as The Gallows, Tremont 647, and Franklin Cafe. For live music, food, and drinks, I can go to The Beehive.

Events: The South End holds countless events throughout the year all over the neighborhood. From large fundraisers like the Chefs for Obama and Taste of the South End at the Boston Center for the Arts to local fundraisers at the smaller parks like those thrown by the Friends of Peter’s Park. The first Friday of every month the artists open their galleries late for everyone to enjoy a night of art. On Sundays, the SOWA Open Market is open to everyone to enjoy vendors selling locally made crafts, artwork, jewelry, and baked goods. Another big draw for the SOWA Open Market is the assortment of food trucks preparing all kinds of goodies such as Vietnamese noodle salads at Bon Me, gourmet grilled cheese at Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, and vegetarian/vegan delights at Clover.

Convenience: The South End neighborhood is filled with boutique shops, art galleries, and yoga/dance studios. Along with larger grocers such as Foodies and Ming’s, the South End has smaller specialty food shops like Fromaggio and Siena Farms that focus on local sustainable produce. And if I can’t find what I need in the South End, I can walk 10 minutes or less and be at Shaw’s or Whole Foods in Back Bay. As far as public transportation, I can take the Silver Line that goes along Washington Avenue, the Orange Line at Tufts, Back Bay, or Mass Ave T-Stops, or walk to the Green Line at Copley Square. If I have a long trip, I am minutes from commuter rails at Back Bay Station, the Mass Pike, Interstate 93, or the express route to Logan Airport.


South End brownstoneReal Estate
: The South End is on the National Register of Historic Places as “the largest urban Victorian neighborhood” in the United States, but it is far from being a neighborhood perserved in time. Along with newly constructed luxury buildings, many of these Victorian single family brownstones have been renovated into condos, some of which are available to rent. Some of the brownstone row houses are built around beautiful parks, also called  squares, which are only accessible to owners of the homes around each park. Former industrial warehouses nearby have been converted into modern lofts as well as newly constructed condo buildings that offer amenities such as a concierge, parking garage, and gym available to both owners and renters.

Apart from everything the South End has to offer, I knew that this neighborhood was special the night I moved here. My boyfriend and I took a break from moving to walk our dog and grab some food on Tremont Street. On the way to the store we noticed everyone was smiling and praising our dog on how sweet she is. It had the neighborhood vibe we had been looking for and it felt great to be a part of it. 

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Lights, Camera, Action! Filming in Boston

Boston has been captured on film for decades and as a Realtor and film junky, I find it fascinating to see how the city has changed over the years. In fact, one thing I like to do on a rainy day is watch movies filmed in Boston over time. First I watch a film from the 1960’s such as Boston Strangler with Tony Curtis or The Thomas Crown Affair with Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. Then I watch a movie filmed in Boston from the last few years like Knight & Day with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz or What’s Your Number? with Anna Faris. It’s amazing to see how much the city has changed, particularly Back Bay and Downtown, or how little Beacon Hill has changed. Many other movies filmed in Boston have the same effect, but I can watch the movies I mentioned and pay attention to the city instead of the plot.

Filming Knight & Day in South End BostonBoston has been the backdrop to Oscar-winning movies, blockbuster classics, Emmy-winning T.V. shows, and reality television such as MTV’s The Real World. Boston has a variety of architectural styles that make it a great location for filming any time period. For example, Boston’s well preserved historic architecture offers ideal locations for historic period pieces like Glory or Amistad. Boston’s continuous modern development also makes this city an ideal setting for films set in the future like Surrogates.

Along with it’s blend of historic and modern architecture Massachusetts lures filmmakers with tax incentives packages including a 25% production credit, a 25% payroll credit, and a sales tax exemption. To qualify for the payroll credit and sales tax exemption a project must spend $50,000 in Massachusetts. Spending over half of total budget or filming at least half of the principal photography days in Massachusetts makes a project eligible for the production credit. The program requirements are straightforward, have no annual or project caps, no residency requirements, and no extended schedule of credit payouts. Judging by the number of films shot in Boston over the last few years, it is safe to say Boston offers a favorable tax break.

From the architecture to the tax breaks, it’s no wonder Shonda Rhimes, creator of Grey’s Anatomy, chose Boston as the location to film the pilot of her new project “Gilded Lily’s.” The show will be a romantic period drama set in 1895 about the opening of the first luxury hotel in New York City. Filming in Boston will begin March 2012. According to the announcement made by the Patrick-Murray Administration’s Massachusetts Film Office (MFO) many people in Boston are very excited about the project, even though the show’s setting will be New York.

“This is a very exciting project for the Commonwealth. Massachusetts is the perfect place to set a story from the Gilded Age, an impressive and well-preserved period in the Commonwealth’s history,” said Lisa Strout, the Director of the Massachusetts Film Office.

“This is a great opportunity to showcase Massachusetts’ historical richness and the incredibly talented workforce that exists in the Commonwealth,” said Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “Our competitive tax credit program continues to bring top industry producers and filmmakers to the Bay State, creating significant job opportunities.”

To learn more about historic or modern real estate for sale in Boston, contact the Realtors of Matthew and Alisa Group Real Estate.

For more information about the Patrick-Murray Administration’s Massachusetts Film Office and it’s tax incentives, visit www.mafilm.org.

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