Townie Tidbits

By Sal Giarratani


The other day while driving along Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester listening to 97.7 FM, Boston’s new R & B, 24/7 radio station, there on the radio was the voice of Smoky Cain from Charlestown touting this new station just on the air. Wasn’t surprised because I know Smoky is into what we all called back in the day as sweet, sweet soul music.

Hey, back in the day, my homey hood was lower Roxbury and I can still Boogarloo down Broadway nor anywhere else and you should’ve seen my do the African Twist at the old Boston Tea Party too.



The other day while walking through Thompson Square, as I passed by the old bank building I now noticed the entire street level is now devoid of  occupants. Bunker Hill Florists moved out a while ago and now Sotheby’s real estate is gone too. What’s going on as Marvin Gaye once sang?

This old bank building is an architectural masterpiece and it looks so old and lonely with two dead storefronts staring at passerbys. Personally, once again, I think a nice restaurant  would be a good match for the square and building. Let’s hope this building can come back to life soon.

I literally moments ago heard that all the construction taking place at the old bank building is due to the reported  arrival of a Starbucks on the first floor with a tentative date of June 3. I always thought that building needed a nice restaurant and now apparently, it is coming. As I learn more about this project, I will pass it on to you.

Hey Townies and toonies out there, what say you?



A few months back while having my latte at Zume’s I ran into someone I had criticized  sometime last year over  opening up his house to Airbnb customers. I expressed my negativity to this idea. We spoke together at the counter and after listening to him, I came to the conclusion my opposition to the idea might have been too hasty.  We all can change out minds when we get to hear more information on a subject I admit now having too little information.

I see nothing wrong with homeowners renting out space in their homes as Airbnbs to make a little extra cash to pay things like water bills or property taxes. However, I do think and I see this happening especially over in East Boston where some developers are gobbling up apartment buildings and turning them into Airbnbs making great profit and lessening the number of housing units available and jacking up housing prices across the community. If the Boston City Council wants to deal with the Airbnb issue, these are the folks who need to be regulated.

Airbnbs just like Uber and Lyft are simply new ways of dealing with age-old issues. It is called progress. We can’t always be afraid of change. We need to do our review of the situation taking up both sides of an issue.

I think Airbnbs is the newest way of short-leases for travelers. Homeowners who rent out Airbnb rooms are not hoteliers and shouldn’t be treated as such. They are not going to hurt Charlestown or Charlestown homeowners. I don’t think this new industry should be over-regulated or over-taxes. However, government officials need to ensure that big developers are taking over the Airbnb economy.

More important, what do you out there reading this think about Airbnbs? Let me know at [email protected].



Local stand-up comic and he is local Steve Sweeney will be debutting his new comedy show “TOWNIE” in a one-night stand on February 16 at 7pm at the Rockwell Theatre on Elm Stet in Somerville. For ticket information, go to ( this is a 21- plus show).


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