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Susan’s Summa-Time Snacks

As the title of this blog post alludes, I’m a big fan of alliterations and pretending I have a Boston accent. I’m also a big fan of food. Given it was an 80 degree day in June and I had to transport my treats to the office, I chose foods that could be served cold, were relatively easy to eat, and something that wouldn’t take too long to prepare in the morning. After gaining some inspiration on Pinterest, I decided to put an aesthetically pleasing spin on some classic combinations. Remember: the presentation of food is just as important as the taste of food for the artist-chef. 

Are you heading to a BBQ or dinner party this summer? Here are three simple recipes that are sure to wow your friends and family. Their eyes will pop, their tastebuds will tingle and it’ll be no sweat off your back!



Prosciutto Melon Bites

Prosciutto and melon are a classic combination! I chose Cantaloupe. Why didn’t the two melons run away to get married? Because they cantaloupe! Pretty standard.. but you could use whichever melon you fancy, really. I paired it with mozzarella, basil and balsamic nectar. I stole that combination from a favorite of mine — Caprese salad. You could also use goat cheese and fig jam for a sweeter alternative. Check Pinterest or use your imagination, the options are endless.

I had no clue how to cut the cantaloupe in a functional way so I just winged it. I used a cookie dough scooper so the melon was slightly rounded, but squares who have done just fine. I layered a large basil leaf on top of the melon, then somehow folded the prosciutto in a way that would hold two mini mozzarella balls. Then I stuck a fork in it! No, seriously I stuck a mini fork in it to hold it all together — plus it looked cool! You could use regular toothpicks and make “skewers” as well. I topped it off with a drizzle of the balsamic glaze.

To be honest there was minimal method to my madness. Sometimes creating is about trial and error.


Cucumber Cups with Soba Noodles

I can’t take any credit for this, except for the actual execution I suppose. I found this on Pinterest and made no apparent alterations to the recipe. All the credit goes here.

I cut the cucumbers, hollowed out the centers to make “cups”, and filled it with chilled Soba noodles that were tossed in a light sauce made of rice vinegar, sesame seed oil, soy sauce and green onions. You can get the actual recipe with measurements by clicking on that link, but it’s really just that easy. It was my first time having Soba noodles, which are buckwheat noodles. I approve! Also fun fact – despite the name, Buckwheat is not related to wheat (Wikipedia), and (as long as you get Soba noodles that are %100 buckwheat — read your labels!) they are gluten free! 


Watermelon Salad

Watermelon, cucumber, mint, lime juice and feta – classic combination! Especially for the summer.

I decided to make my salad bowls edible. Similar to the cucumber cups, I chopped the watermelon into cubes and scooped out the middle. There is some tweaking to be done on the size of these. I could have gone smaller to make them more like finger foods or bite sized, or maybe larger to be eaten with a fork. Also the ratio of watermelon to salad was a little off, so I’ll work on that for next time. Regardless, they were a hit! So juicy and fresh.

I bought all fresh produce from Whole Foods. Cut a whole watermelon myself (they’re juicer that way!) and used the cucumber guts from my cucumber cups, as to not waste precious food. Squeezed some fresh lime juice and chopped up mint. I also bought a block of local feta cheese that I cut into small squares. Shapes and colors were a big part of my presentation.


The Verdict

Overall, I got the thumbs up from my colleagues. Even the President of Blackstone Williams Properties himself approved! Looks like my mailroom days will be over soon…


Susan Macomber is a three and a half month veteran Realtor, winner of the 2015 Bulldog Award, and ready to find you your next home!





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Fenway Favorites

The Fenway neighborhood was already a Boston area favorite as home of the Red Sox, but with the addition of several new apartment complexes, rumors of a Wegman’s supermarket and the East Coast’s first CityTarget (That’s right, a Target that’s actually larger than your typical target!) Fenway continues to climb the chart’s as a desirable neighborhood.

Fenway features the Fens Park, a huge, gorgeous park featuring ball fields, a track, fields, public gardens, and the beautiful Kelleher Rose Garden. The neighborhood is also, of course, home to Fenway Park. 

The schools officially known as the “Colleges of the Fenway” include Emmanuel College, Mass College of Art & Design, MCPHS, Simmons College, Wentworth Institute of Technology and Wheelock College. Other schools that sit on the border of the Fenway and are an easy walk include Berklee College of Music, Northeastern University and Harvard Medical Campus. The Longwood Medical Area, home to world-class hospitals and medical centers also neighbors Fenway.

You can call Fenway your home living in our professionally managed building at 73 Park Drive. We have several beautiful 2 bedroom apartments still available for 9/1/15!

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Best Neighborhoods for NECO 2015

The 2015 NECO Housing Fair is fast approaching! Finding housing in the booming Boston rental market can be a daunting task, but we are here to help!

For September 2015 Apartments, You Can Expect:

Back Bay: Walking distance to NECO!
Many studios in Back Bay are efficiencies, meaning they have a kitchenette, small living area, and are great for one person.
Studios: $1500+
1BR’s: $2200+
2BR’s: $3300+

Fenway/Kenmore: Longer walk, quick bike ride or short train trip to NECO.
Apartments in Fenway are typically larger than in Back Bay. Most have full size kitchens.
Studios: $1500+
1BR’s: $2200+
2BR’s: $2500+
3BR’s: $3200+

Brookline: Easy commute on the C or D line trains. About 20-35 minutes, depending on location. Generally, there are less apartment buildings and more “home-like” multi-families, making studios/1BR’s harder to find, but multi-bedorom apartments much easier to find.
1BR’s: $1800+, few options
2BR’s: $2300+
3BR’s: $2700+
4BR’s: $3600+, few options

Allston: Allston is on the B line. We highly recommend the 57 bus, which also follows Commonwealth Ave, as a faster, less expensive, and more reliable alternative to the B line. The 57 bus takes you straight to Kenmore Square, a short walk from NECO. Commute times around 20-30 minutes.
Studios: $1400+
1BR’s: $1600+
2BR’s: $2000+ near the T
3BR’s: $2500+

NECO Students : Please contact us to schedule showings before, after and during your housing fair on June 5th! We look forward to meeting you there and we are happy to arrange Skype & other apartment tours for those of you who cannot make it that day!

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Open House – 73 Park Drive – SATURDAY 5/16/15

We are hosting an open house style showing at 73 Park Drive, this Saturday, May 16, 2015 between 1-3pm. Join our agents to see some beautiful apartments. Take some time after to tour the Keliher Rose Garden and Back Bay Fens Park directly across from the building! Many of our apartments overlook the gorgeous Rose Garden, which is in full bloom this time of year!

Learn more about the Rose Garden and Back Bay Fens from the Emerald Necklace Conservancy.

See the apartments available at 73 Park Drive here.

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We are Hiring Real Estate Agents NOW!

We are looking for new & experienced agents to join our team on Newbury Street in the midst of the busy spring & summer real estate season!

What WE Offer:

– A high-traffic office on the 1st floor on Newbury Street… ENDLESS walk-in potential!
– Exclusive & self-managed rental listings.
– The benefits of being a REALTOR office (NAR/GBREB member.)
– Access to a large database of rental & sales listings.
– The 1-on-1 attention you can only get working in a small office.
– NO desk or marketing fees.
– MLS & Realtor dues are paid by the agency for producing agents.

This position is commission-based with bonus & base salary opportunities available as we grow.

What YOU Need:

– Real estate license
– Laptop
– Reliable transportation
– A high level of professionalism
– Weekend availability
– A hard-working, goal driven attitude!

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FAQ: Why Do Boston Leases Run on the 9/1 Cycle?

Often times, out-of-towners coming to the city for the very first time are shocked by huge rental availability for September 1, and the severe lack of availability for rentals any other time of year. Over 80% of Boston leases are on the September 1st cycle.

At BWP, all of our leases are on the 9/1 cycle, although a resident may request to break his/her lease early (there is a detailed process behind this, which we won’t examine right now.) Even in cases of lease break, the new lease must end 8/31 of the current or following year to maintain the 9/1 cycle.

So, why the 9/1 cycle?

Based on the great number of schools in the area, one reason is clear: A large student population. Boston is home to many students- undergrads, graduates, medical and law students, you name it! If you are a student starting a normal academic year, the 9/1 cycle is great and gives you lots of options.

However, Boston is home not only to students, but professionals as well. While professionals don’t necessarily need the 9/1 cycle, it gives them and easy time moving between places to be on this cycle because there are always so many options available.

Just remember – a September lease does NOT mean the apartment will be “college-y.” The studios we manage are just about split occupancy 3 ways between undergrads, graduate students including medical, dental & law students, and professionals.

If you need assistance finding housing any other time of year, we also may have options available! Currently, we have several studios available just for summer with leases ending 8/31/14, but can be easily transferred to a 1 year lease for 9/1/14! See our listings & contact us for details!