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***Move Into The Box District by April 30th, and get $1000 off!***

Atlas Lofts features loft-style apartments at the base of Gerrish Avenue.
Living here means living in a part of history! With unique brick and beam work details,
polished concrete floors, residents enjoy green living in a
smoke-free, pet-friendly building at Atlas Lofts!

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Festive fare, exuberant atmosphere, at this Mexican-Salvadoran spot in Chelsea

Travel in Spanish-speaking countries has primed us to expect beautifully crafted dishes full of bright, complex flavors. So when it comes to Latin American fare, we’re spoiled and won’t consider going out of our way for a chain-style place serving watered-down Tex-Mex.

We heard about Mi Salvador & Mexicano Restaurant in Chelsea and head out with fingers crossed.

This is the real deal: well-prepared dishes that do both Salvadoran and Mexican cuisines proud. Generous portions served in an exuberant setting are the hallmarks of this mom-and-pop establishment.

Vladimir Chino, originally from Puebla in central Mexico, opened the restaurant and the bakery next door two years ago with his wife, Gloria, who is from Chalatenango, El Salvador. Nowadays, the couple’s family recipes are prepared by head chef Juanita Dablas. When you arrive, you can’t miss how Chino has decorated the place. Serape blankets in vivid pink, black, and green frame windows. Murals of maidens and Aztec warriors cover the walls, painted parrots and terra cotta pottery are set here and there. Every nook feels curated.

Chino’s decorative flair extends to the platters of food. Mexican dishes are garnished with miniature Mexican flags perched on toothpicks; Salvadoran dishes with Salvadoran flags.

But in the midst of this authentic decor, you’ll also find two mounted deer heads, one with a holster of shot glasses draped around its neck. We’re chuckling about this when our server brings out a basket of warm tortilla chips and finely textured fresh, flavorful salsa. A small serving of yucca frita con chicharrones ($5), fried yucca root with fried pork, turns out to be thickly cut wedges of the fluffy, starchy delicacy garnished with lime wedges, cucumber, and tomato. Don’t expect crispy pork rinds. These Salvadoran-style chicharrones are lean, substantial chunks of pork that are well-seasoned and a bit chewy.

Bistek ranchero ($12), a delectable platter of grilled marinated skirt steak topped with a sauce of bell peppers, onion, and tomato, is garnished with a roasted nopal, a cactus pad without prickles, and a whole jalapeno pepper, crinkly from flame-searing. Like most of the entrees, the beef comes with rice, iceberg lettuce salad, sliced avocado, and a side of beans (request them whole or mashed). Camarones al mojo de ajo ($12), whole shrimp sauteed in a sauce made with heavy cream, garlic, and a dash of achiote oil for color, is delicious. We leave laden with a stack of take-out containers and resolve to come back for the weekend specials.

On a Sunday, at tables full of families and couples, we see pozole de puerco ($10), pork and hominy stew, and mondongo ($10.50), beef tripe soup, or menudo. Both are satisfyingly hearty and, like every other dish, these weekend specials are large enough for sharing.

Chino later explains that both dishes get their bright vermillion hue from boiling, blending, and straining guajillo chilies. The table next to us orders the molcajete for two ($20), a feast of sizzling meat, seafood, cheese, and cactus bathed in bubbling red sauce, served in a volcanic stone mortar. Shrimp ceviche ($15), ample for four, features chunks of shrimp, diced tomato, avocado, and cilantro dressed with tart lime juice. We’re enamored with the tamales Salvadoreno ($1.85), a tender savory bundle of corn masa stuffed with potato and chicken, steamed in a dark green banana leaf. Chilies rellenos ($9.50), breaded poblano peppers filled with beef and drenched in sauce, are full of flavor, if a tad oversalted.

Here are some tips for the best experience here: On cold nights, sit away from the drafty entrance. All five television screens are on, but this time of year, the one with the audio on high is a children’s Christmas special. Because the menu doesn’t translate everything into English and the server’s first language is Spanish, be prepared to dive in without a thorough explanation of some dishes. And if you come with a big group, you are in luck. Chino will be opening a private back room this month. It will be filled with beautiful art, he tells us. He’s decorated it himself.

Owners Vladimir Chino and his wife Gloria Chino.
Owners Vladimir Chino and his wife Gloria Chino. (Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff)


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10 Sources for Reclaimed Living

Much like the growing slow food movement, in which people want to know more about where their food comes from, there is an increased interest amongst people buying furniture and building new homes who want to feel connected to the materials used throughout their space. Sourcing reclaimed woods for anything from tabletops to flooring is a good idea for many reasons – not only is it an environmentally friendly approach to design, but salvaged materials contain a rich history in all their notches and nail holes. If you have an interest in living the reclaimed life, then check out these ten stores for bringing natural, handmade furniture into your home.

  • Oldbarn083011 Old Barn Reclaimed Wood Co : A massive retailer of high-quality reclaimed wood products, this company offers recycled flooring, lumber, furniture and wood paneling. With materials pulled from 19th century barns, tobacco warehouses, textile mills and factories, you can bet the pieces made from Old Barn are full of character.
  • Crofthouse083011 Croft House – Modern Reclaimed Wood Furniture : This LA-based company is a great local producer of handmade furniture and home decor. With a focus on sustainable materials, Croft House’s designs are simple, sophisticated and offered at a practical price point.
  • Danielstrack083011 Daniel Strack Furniture : In addition to his use of reclaimed wood for his original furniture designs with eco-friendly finishes, this Chicago-based designer also creates a beautiful line of guitars. Custom work is also an option.
  • Industrywest083011 Industry West : From Jacksonville, FL comes this company with a goal “to help you create a more intriguing environment for your home.” Their inventory includes recreations of 19th and 20th century furniture pieces made from metal, distressed fabrics and reclaimed woods.
  • Cliff083011 Cliff Spencer Furniture Maker : With an aim to evoke warmth and create comfort in the home through each piece, Cliff Spencer offers custom designed furniture and cabinetry while specializing in lesser known hardwoods. All wood is hand sourced in California.
  • Environmentfurniture083011 Environment Furniture : With showrooms in New York, LA and Atlanta, this California-based design house specializes in timeless contemporary collections of furniture that respect the planet. Using unique, sustainably harvested wood like patinaed Brazilian Peroba Rosa wood and salvaged maritime shipping beams, each piece from Environment Furniture is full of rustic elegance.
  • Americanbarn083011 American Barn Company : Started by contractor Jay Wikary, this company has recently relocated to Friendship, Wisconsin, where he continues to source the best local reclaimed materials possible to produce all kinds of home decor products and lumber. American Barn Company also accepts custom order requests.
  • Meyerwells083011 Meyer Wells : Using the grand reclaimed trees of Seattle’s urban areas as the source materials for their line of modern furnishings, Meyer Wells has created a hands-on production process that makes use out of materials that would normally be considered part of the waste stream.
  • Fromthesource083011 From the Source : With their eclectic mix of antique and contemporary pieces made from plantation grown and reclaimed wood, this company offers solely unupholstered pieces, primarily made from teak. With furniture available for all areas of the home, From the Source has a gallery in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood as well as a design house in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
  • Reclaimedmain03083011 The Brooklyn Home Company : This design house is made up of a family-run cooperative of artists and craftsman dedicated to creating quality and classic, well-designed living spaces. Based in Brooklyn, the RISD-trained team at The Brooklyn Home Company is focused on designing homes that will endure.


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Summer Redecorating & Color Inspiration

Summer is a fun time to redecorate!  But how do you choose colors?  How do you even know what colors you like?  Inspiration is all around: from the moment you walk outside in the morning you’re overtaken by visions of beauty, both in nature and in man-made objects. So, sit up and pay attention to that beautiful tulip plant making its splash in a garden or perhaps think about coloring your living room with the hues from that skirt you’ve been coveting in your favorite shop’s window.

Here are a few tips we stumbled upon:

1.) Flower bouquets are a wonderful place to seek compatible color combinations.

2.) If you have a piece of artwork in your home that you absolutely love, you’ll likely want to create a space where it easily hangs to exhibit its inherent beauty. Take the cue from your art and design your room’s color palette around it.

3.) Have you been hanging onto an object, like a beautifully glazed bowl or even magnets, for years? Do you daydream when you think of that object or tack something new onto the refrigerator? If so, consider using its palette for color inspiration!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

-source:, copyright Landis Carey

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186 Solar Panels for Atlas Lofts!

We’ve recently added 186 solar panels to the roof of Atlas Lofts!

Just last week we flipped the switch and in five days we’ve already produced enough energy to offset the equivalent of 1325 lbs of C02 emissions.  That’s the equivalent to 1,446 miles worth of CO2 emissions from the average American car or 32 days worth of electricity for the average American home.  Follow the production levels HERE and visit the “equivalents” tab for some fun stats.

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