Introducing our members who have pre-purchased or are in the process of pre-purchasing homes in Bay State Commons.
SUSANNAH AND RIV
Susannah: Loves diagrams – Makes really good pie – Cares a lot about accessibility and disability politics – Loves knitting and has ambitions of getting better at sewing – Does NOT like licorice – Likes dancing with Riv – Is so over hippies but is still kind of a hippie – Loves to make things work better, especially if it involves reading the manual – Loves cats & dogs but is allergic to them, excited to live near-but-not-with pets.
Riv: Likes doing complicated knitting projects – Owns a lot of purple things – Has been to Burning Man twice but will not talk your ear off about it unless you ask her to – Likes licorice – Is super into Lithuanian folk singing right now – Is learning how to garden, will probably always be pretty casual about it – Grew up out west in places with lots of trees and few people (including a mountain where she went to a two-room schoolhouse) – Likes going on walks with Susannah – Has helped run both the MIT Mystery Hunt and a Myst fan convention – Misses having a Dungeons & Dragons run with a bunch of people from her dorm.
Rich is an editor and senior communications manager with a non-profit that runs organizations committed to the environment, consumer protection and other causes. He’s a long-time Springsteen fan, a regular on the basketball court, a frequent visitor to the Fells (and a less-frequent visitor to wilder, more remote places), a monthly Trivia Night player at The Kinsale, and dad to a daughter who’s soon to graduate college. He’s looking forward to being part of the team tending to the garden at Bay State Commons.
After earning a couple of degrees, spending a couple of years in California and a couple in Europe, this Boston-area native came home and pursued a couple of careers (first in arts management, later freelancing in computer graphics). Now liberated from such things, Judy gets to spend more time pursuing passions, among them music, arts of most kinds, literature, sea kayaking, travel, yoga, wrangling ancestors, and auditing courses at BU. A few of her favorite things: ice cream, silliness, salty air. A few not: intolerance, asparagus, the color pink. Recently discovered she can dance like nobody’s looking when people are looking.
Peter is a software developer working in biotechnology. An unrepentant New Englander, Peter went to school in Providence and now lives in Cambridge. In addition to cohousing, Peter is excited about classical music, machine learning, dragons, dungeons, and home-made bread.
LYDIA AND NATHAN
Lydia, a data analyst at an insurance company, comes from the distant land of Mason, Michigan. She came to the Boston area in the ’80’s for college, tried to leave, and couldn’t stay away. Lydia may or may not be ten to fifteen years older than she looks, but quickly changes the subject whenever age is discussed. Lydia is a rabid Detroit Tigers fan, and during her idle time (which she used to have 10+ years ago) Lydia is often seen playing solitaire, crocheting, or strumming the banjo. She lives with her son, Nathan.
Nathan, who is in middle school, insists he’s not as cool as his picture makes him seem (he is very humble). An expert in Legos and Minecraft, he will gladly share his vast knowledge of video games with you, whether you want him to or not. He likes to collect rocks, sticks, seashells, books, yo-yos, locks, Lego boxes, bottle caps, and used coffee lids, and will likely star in a future edition of Hoarders. He loves cats, and is deeply suspicious of cheese.
Christine is a motorcyclist and architect with a severe over-volunteering problem. In the trade-off between desirability of location versus square footage, she’s lived in the tiniest condo in the best location—Boston’s North End—since 1998. Except, that is, for various work relocations to Santa Monica, Abu Dhabi, Dallas, and Portland Oregon. Interests include coffee snobbery, finding new recipes to use up a CSA farmshare, extreme energy efficiency in building construction, perfecting her freestyle swim stroke, and watching way too much TV. She is the Almighty Queen of the Excel Spreadsheet.
Kelly knits and crochets and lives with two cats who run the household. She is an engineer and scientist by training and works in agricultural biotechnology. She also likes to ferment things (beer, bread, sauerkraut) and is looking forward to having neighbors and a community kitchen to do that with.
EDDY AND VALERIE
When they met back in 2000 on an AMC Family Outings trip, Eddy and Valerie quickly figured out that they could cook together in a small space AND that they shared a love for group mayhem and an ability to pull things together at the last minute. From those seeds a great team was born! They’ve been leading assorted trips (bike, hike, canoe, sail, ski… you name it), sharing projects, playing in the great outdoors and traveling as much as possible together ever since.
Eddy is a civil engineer, problem solver and master DIY’er. Also a great guide and mentor and amazing with kids. He never seems happier than when he’s teaching a child or sailing or, better yet, BOTH of those.
Valerie is a travel agent specializing in exotic destinations—especially different countries across Africa—and she’s always plotting the next great escape. In between journeys, she volunteers for way too many things: politics, environment, the local farmers market, trail creation, and more.
They are looking forward to downsizing the stuff and upsizing the community in their lives!
Ray is a filmmaker, film production professor, and programmer who is looking forward to returning to his home state of Massachusetts after transplanting to California and then Minnesota. Known to appreciate darkened movie theatres on bright summer days in times past, he hopes to have many late night conversations and promises to make a great eggplant parm to fuel those. A long term member of the LGBTQ+ community, Ray also hopes to engage with Boston advocacy organizations and continue to be open to learn more.
PAUL AND SUSAN
Paul learned everything he knows from Bugs Bunny cartoons, Mad magazine, Marx Brothers movies and pro wrestling heels. He nevertheless managed to get a Masters in American Studies and write the 2008 book Big Screen Boston: From Mystery Street to The Departed and Beyond. He currently works as a paper pusher at a local university.
Susan grew up in a small coastal town in Massachusetts, went to college in southwestern Virginia and lived for two years in rural northern Japan before returning to the Boston area. She spent many years working in a US-Japan cultural exchange organization before her recent move to an area university. Susan dabbles in glass art, flower arranging and pottery. She spends far too much time planning future travel, preferably to snorkeling destinations.
Fifteen years ago their love of neon, diners, and roadside attractions led Susan and Paul to take their honeymoon trip with the Society for Commercial Archeology; they have remained enthusiastic members since. They live in Malden with their pet bears cat, Twirp.
ELLIS AND LISA
Ellis is a retired computer scientist who mostly led R&D groups, intermixed with some stints as a CS professor and a few too many attempts to get startups going—unsuccessfully, or else he’d be living in the mega-million dollar beach house he used to design with his kids when they were young. It’s all a far cry from the gritty Grays Ferry area of Philadelphia where he grew up, selling candy and cigarettes in his parents’ little corner store. Along the way, he helped start the first soup and salad restaurant in Pittsburgh (with t-shirts reading “Eat Slowly, or you’ll Artichoke”), which taught him the value of good recipes when he tested almost every soup in the Moosewood and Vegetarian Epicure cookbooks on his mostly willing communal housemates. Ellis has also had a lifelong interest in counseling, including early stints as a VD counselor for the Pittsburgh Free Clinic, and as a suicide prevention counselor in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England. Post-retirement, he’s been writing a book on How Apologies Go Badly (based on way too many apology fails of his own), and has started For All of Us, an organization focused on helping political activists gain allies instead of demonizing their opponents. He loves jazz, folk & jam band music, and telling odd and funny stories based on his experiences.
Lisa is a practical, down-to-earth woman who brings a quirky sense of humor and a sprinkling of magic. She teaches math and verbal skills to international students, and is a crack proofreader. A year-round bicycle commuter, she still can’t believe that she once rode her bike from Boston to New York in three days, as part of a charity ride. Lisa came to Boston from Michigan for college, and stayed for the cultcha. A veteran of personal growth trainings of all sorts, a former bead store owner, and a weekend hippie, she also loves cooking (especially the eating part), beadwork, calligraphy and other arts/crafts, improvisational music, and exploring new ideas and new places. She recently came out as Bay State Commons’ self-appointed Encourager of Ritual, organizing our first annual Day of the Dead celebration.
Together, Lisa and Ellis have been collaborating on adventures near and far for nearly ten years. Their current living situation, an “unintentional community” of almost a dozen people, sharing three bathrooms and one kitchen, has them anticipating with glee the luxury of having their very own bathroom and kitchen, and of sharing public space with so many interesting people committed to making community living work well.
ELIZABETH AND ALEX
Although her extended family hails from Haverhill, Massachusetts, Elizabeth grew up in Minnesota, so naturally she loves lakes, winter and the virtues of appropriate layering. When she isn’t snowshoeing around town or cooking a novel hot dish, Elizabeth oversees several programs that encourage increased adoption of solar electricity. In her spare time she also enjoys singing, hiking, and trying different craft ciders. She also welcomed a baby boy into her life in December 2019, who is currently the youngest member of the BSC group.
Aside from being photophobic, Patty works afternoons at a local non-profit while easing into retirement. Now in Boston for 12+ years, she feels lucky to have lived her mid-life decades in the (mostly pre-high-tech) San Francisco Bay Area. Her interests include making quilts from scraps, doing 16×16 Sudoku’s, studying Arabic (an Amazing language!), and re-viewing sci-fi movies and TV series with “Star” in the title (and Firefly, of course!).
BECCA, EMERY AND LANA
Becca is a biochemist working in the Longwood Medical Area. Becca has bounced around New England, going to undergrad at Colby College, and then grad school at Boston College. She decided to marry a terribly tall possible viking redhead, with whom she enjoys reading the nerdiest of scifi/fantasy books, cooking delicious food, and—gasp—video games.
Emery is a laid back couch-lounger, who enjoys draping himself across all kinds of padded seating. While draped, he fancies himself an armchair movie critic. He is a voice actor and a musician who masquerades as a computer technician five days a week. He laughs at the strangest things. Lana is a baby. She is small and curious.
MATTY, MI-RANG AND FRANK
A sixth-grader, Matty recently was awarded his Blue Belt in Karate, performed a piano recital at the Winchester Community Music School and played violin at the Medford All City Spring Strings Concert, He attends a weekly 3-hour language class at the N.E. Korean School, so he can better speak to his grandparents.
Mi-Rang practices immigration law, enjoys cooking, hiking, camping and being by and in the water.
Frank is a retired attorney and a stay-at-home Dad who teaches Sunday School at the Paulist Center and enjoys involvement in the Medford Boat Club, where he has served on the executive board for the last six years.
LORRAINE AND VLAD
Lorraine is a singer, a potter, and an aspiring museum professional. She enjoys fuzzy things, improv harmonies, and conversational tangents. As an advocate for social justice without the energy to actually be helpful, she frequently engages in passionate arguments with her friends in which nobody is actually disagreeing with anyone else. Lorraine is also a fan of many forms of media, and collects trivia about her favorite movies, webcomics, and actors.
Vlad is a gamer, writer and social media researcher living and working in the Boston area. He was born in Russia, but has lived in the US for over twenty years, and feels like he belongs to both cultures. Vlad loves the works of H.P. Lovecraft, late night conversations about geeky topics, and snuggling with his partner Lorraine over a bottle of good wine.
PEGGY AND JIM
Peggy is a retired molecular biologist and administrator who is now devoted to making goat cheese. As well she is definitely into making and sharing all kinds of good food and growing some of it, along with lots of flowers. She is committed to taking an active part in larger community affairs, reads an eclectic assortment of books, loves music of all sorts, especially Bach, and loves to hike, canoe, and travel. She and Jim are married and have lived in Charlestown for a very long time.
Jim is an archaeologist and historian with a particular interest in the Native peoples of the Northeast. He has worked in historic preservation, been a museum director, coached lots of students, and is now self-employed, which means writing articles and books. He has a deep commitment to social justice, music in almost any form, and good science fiction. With Peggy, his best friend, wife and editor, he loves to garden, tend bees, canoe or what ever else she cooks up.
Trudy is a recently retired nurse/case-manager. She is also a yoga teacher and has become an avid gardener and volunteers with the Master Gardeners. If not in the garden or on a yoga mat, you will find her cooking, hiking or cross country skiing. She travels regularly to visit her 2 sons and 5 grandchildren in California. She volunteers with the Zero Waste Melrose committee and has been instrumental in banning single use plastics.
TOM AND KATHY
Tom is a retired business computer programmer analyst. He now spends a lot of his time experimenting in early music (1400-1750), where he plays recorders, viola da gambas, and other strange instruments along with his wife Kathy. Retired from paid employment, Kathy pursues art, music and the spiritual development of herself and the children in her UU church. She also enjoys reading (serious fiction, mysteries, and fantasy), playing computer games, and quilting. Walking, swimming, and yoga are her active activities. Her paid employment was mainly computer programming. She graduated from the University of Minnesota (Latin), UMass Amherst (MAT in Latin), and Salem State College (MSW in Social Work).
RICARDO, KATE, FINN, AND NICO
Known amongst his friends as ‘a nobleman born to the people’ and ‘Reverend Ricardo,’ he lives up to his reputation of being a little bit charming and whole a lot respectful and patient. Ricardo loves board games, card games and naps. He grows award-winning dahlias, loves movies and is an amateur filmmaker, himself. Ricardo has had grey hair since high school, was salt and pepper for years, and now he’s all salt but still he’s full of pepper. You can know Ricardo for years and still regularly discover new things about him. Maybe you can join him at tap-dancing class?
Kate and Ricardo have been together for twenty years—so much for the summer fling they were supposed to be. She is of Jewish and Italian heritage, so if she wants to leave the kitchen, she has to apply for a permit. Saying she loves to cook is like saying tomatoes love the sunshine. As elegant as Ricardo is, Kate is equally a peasant: tough, sturdy, resilient, practical, organized and 100% New England.
Come within her periphery reach, Kate will seat you at her table, feed you and tell funny stories all night. The facts? She never lets them get in the way of a good one.
Finn is a teenager and a little bit quirky. He is something of a Renaissance man: loves playing the violin, knitting and risotto. He considers himself ‘serious’ and has no truck with foolishness. Finn looks just like Ricardo, but he’s in disguise—he’s all New England stick-in-the-mud on the inside: solid, strong, hearty, hungry and down to Earth. He’s great company, a good conversationalist and whatever he tells you is straight up with no bull.
When Nico was born, he looked at his brother and decided he would be the opposite. Though Nico looks just like his Maternal Great-Grandfather, he, too, is in disguise. Nico side-stepped all the New England genes during the great recombination and ended up Tropical just like Dad. Nico’s not interested in eating, somehow he grows on a diet of dust and pollen. With his fancy, elegant bone structure, there’s no way this boy is going to clear the field of boulders nor drag the plough across it. He’s going to adjust his cufflinks and lift the heavy thoughts. Where’s the pretty lady? Where’s the party? Who needs to be charmed with a twinkly smile? Bring it all on; Nico has got the situation covered.
JOHN, RANDALL, MEREDITH, AND MARGARET
As BSC’s only three-generation household, John, Randall, their daughter Meredith, and Randall’s mother Margaret have been living in “cohousing” (a two-family house) together for thirty years. So we know what we’re getting into! Margaret is a dedicated quilter who also loves to read. John plays trumpet in a brass quartet and works as a corporate controller by day. He loves to bike and ski. Randall, a college professor in the field of criminal justice, plays recorder in an ensemble and sings in choirs and pick-up choruses wherever she can. Meredith is a sociologist by training, and enjoys reading Discworld novels and hiking in the nearby Fells reservation.
Marcia is a psychiatrist practicing in an outpatient clinic. Before going to medical school, she was a technical writer and manager at Lotus Development Corporation, and also taught fifth grade at an independent school in Baltimore. She is active in the Boston Workmen’s Circle, and sings in the Yiddish chorus, A Besere Velt. She also enjoys reading, playing the violin and viola, and listening to classical and folk music. She is committed to working for social justice, looking for the best way to apply her skills and experience.
DEBORAH AND JOHN
Deborah is a Massachusetts native and chemist turned nurse practitioner. She enjoys reading absurd science fiction books and watching even more absurd cooking shows. John is a data scientist with a special interest in city design, mass transit, and climate change. He enjoys traveling, cooking, and somewhat more realistic science fiction books. They recently welcomed a baby boy, and they fervently hope that he will soon learn to enjoy napping.