Greenpoint, October, 2015

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Two Turntables and a Musakhan

The image of the city of Watertown, Mass., for many, is likely to be a covered boat in the backyard of a suburban house or perhaps residents in Red Sox gear and shorts thronging the streets to cheer the cops, firefighters, and other law enforcement and emergency personnel returning from the capture of the surviving suspect in the Marathon bombing. I maintain two images of my own from days working in Cambridge and commuting to Rhode Island.

Every now and then I would forgo my usual route to the Mass Pike, 128, and 95 to drive out through Watertown and pick up a falafel from Sepal, a little restaurant just off Mt. Auburn Street. I still remember the fragrant moment of opening up the tin foil for a behind the wheel falafel-fest. (I'm sure the musakhan and other dishes were equally fine, but I could never resist the simple pleasure of a perfect falafel.)

Adios, Jack
The second image is the basement of Russ's house, which I believe he shared with his mother. Russ repaired and resold old turntables. I got his number from a tear-off sheet posted at Stereo Jack's record store on Mass. Ave in Cambridge. I bought two turntables from Russ over the years, and was happy with both of them. Russ also had stacks and stacks of unsorted records, which he sold for $1 each. (He charged the Massachusetts sales tax but then encouraged you to take a couple records to make up for it.)

Watertown is famous, Sepal's has moved to an MIT food court in Cambridge, Stereo Jack's has closed but--good news!--Russ is still selling reconditioned turntables and $1 records in Watertown. At least he was four months ago.

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