A month's worth of Steve Bailey
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Love thy neighbor
WAYLAND -- Jordan's Furniture's Barry and Eliot Tatelman are rich and famous, savvy brothers who built a business and a fortune on two decades of goofy yet memorable ads with one simple message: We're regular guys who sell good stuff at a fair price. One guy who is definitely not buying is Barry Tatelman's Wayland neighbor, Tom Manter, who has a simple message of his own: No matter how rich and how famous you are, you are not going to push me around. Manter, a high-tech marketing manager, doesn't have an ad budget, but his message is impossible to miss: In July he threw up an ugly chain-link fence that ruins Tatelman's handsome yard and comes within a few feet of his million-dollar house. For good measure, Manter took out his power saw and cut down 10 trees Tatelman had planted 23 years ago. Ten freshly cut stumps tell the tale.
Metros - or Metro knockoffs - are breaking out all over, and they have a distinctly Boston feel.
The perils of power
Thomas H. Lee is a very powerful man. He is Boston's undisputed buyout king, whose most famous deal, the $900 million profit he and his investors made in the purchase and sale of Snapple Beverage Co. in just 2 1/2 years, is probably not even his best deal. He has expensive homes in Lincoln, the Hamptons, and Manhattan, where he now spends much of his time. He has his own Gulfstream jet. He runs with the A-crowd in business, politics, and the arts. He and his wife, Ann G. Tenenbaum, who is from a wealthy Savannah, Ga., family, are big givers to the arts. The latest Forbes magazine listing estimates his wealth at $900 million.
The agony of Victory
As long as there are family businesses, there will be family feuds to write about. Like the great rivalries in the ring -- Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Robinson and Jake LaMotta -- the fights over family businesses are the stuff of New England legend. The battling Berkowitzes. Those hostile hoteliers, Saunders v. Saunders. And, of course, the mother of all local family feuds, the loving Demoulas clan, whose motto should be ''We'll see you in court, cuz.''
Beacon Hill scorecard
The Massachusetts Legislature closed up shop for the summer yesterday -- not a moment too soon, the cynics will say.
Save a park
It is a hidden garden in the middle of a concrete jungle.
One in an occasional series. Roger Berkowitz is furious with me. The chief executive of Legal Sea Foods is angry about a column I wrote last week that recounts the story of a local artist, Jon McIntosh, who says he was paid $20 in 1972 for an early ad he drew in a little theater publication for the Berkowitz family's restaurant. Legal quickly adopted the centerpiece of that ad, a smiling fish with the silverware not quite in the right place, as its corporate logo, plastering it on everything from the napkins to its trucks. McIntosh says that several years later he asked Berkowitz for some additional compensation considering all that his little fish had come to mean to Legal. But he says he was told to buzz off.
A family divided
They were Boston's leading architectural couple, Ben and Jane Thompson. She was the urban planner; he was the architect whose vision turned Faneuil Hall Marketplace into a Boston icon that helped revive the city and launch a string of downtown ''festival marketplaces'' around the country. Food, like cities, was a passion for them both, and together they ran several very good restaurants, including Harvest, not far from their elegant Cambridge home. And along the way they raised seven children -- his five and her two.
Legal and its ethics
Since 1968, when George and Harriet Berkowitz opened a tiny restaurant next to their fish market in Inman Square, people have been going to Legal Sea Foods for some of New England's best chowder. And for almost as long they have been greeted by the Legal logo of a smiling fish with the silverware not quite in the right place. The man who did that whimsical drawing all those years ago is New England artist Jon McIntosh. And he is more than a little amused at Legal's lastest legal scuffle with developer Ken Himmel and with chief executive Roger Berkowitz's vow to fund an ethics program at Brandeis University if he wins his defamation lawsuit against Himmel. A good first case study for the Brandeis ethics program: ''The case of the Legal logo: Whose smiling fish is it, anyway?''
Taxachusetts no more
We have been here before. A regional recession takes a big bite out of state tax receipts; government services get slashed; and the search is on for new revenue. One question that always gets asked: Is business paying its fair share?