Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Things to love about Boston: Part 1

For all the things there might be to complain about in the city of Boston, I've seen some changes in the last few years that I think are really exciting.

I've watched the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway go from a strip of grass that was basically a by-product of the Big Dig to a lively green space that spans the city's waterfront from the North End to Chinatown. During the work day it is filled with downtown workers having lunch, locals enjoying the open space, and tourists seeing what our city has to offer. There are food trucks and carts parked in various locations, one need not walk far to find a line of hungry Bostonians waiting for delicious street foods ranging from grilled cheese to bahn mi, curries, chickpea fritters with rosemary fries, and let's not forget dessert, cupcakes and gourmet Popsicles.

Clover Food Lab

There's a carousel and fountains that draws families and the young at heart, benches and tables with umbrellas that make the area a welcoming place to sit & rest or have lunch with a friend, several different pieces of public art (about 2/3rds of which are by local artists) that will rotate every year and a half or so, a large variety of flowers and plants which are all maintained organically, and several other special features like the Chinatown Gate and the Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion.

Chinatown Gate
And beyond just the physical space the city has begun to host a variety of events along the Greenway. There's the twice a week Boston Public Market at Dewey Square; free fitness programs like yoga, Tai-Chi, walking groups, and bootcamps; a weekly open air artisan market; story hour for young children; live music concerts presented by Berklee College of Music; and al-fresco dinners showcasing our varied food trucks offering  picnics, lawn games, and fun for all.

The Public Market offers fruits, vegetables, breads, meats, eggs, and much more
I often hear people talking about what a waste of space the Greenway is, but I'm guessing those are people who haven't been down there recently to see the new life this city has breathed into that strip of grass. Not only is the Greenway thriving but there's also a growing number of restaurants and bars that have opened along the way making the area a new "destination" within Boston. These hot spots include Jody Adam's Trade, a upscale casual restaurant focused on local ingredients; Jason Santos' Blue Inc, a prime after work spot for inventive cocktails and food; and the newly opened Granary Tavern, an old-timey saloon in a historic granary serving craft cocktails and craft beers alongside New England classic dishes.

I guess what I'm saying is, if you haven't been down to the Greenway in awhile, you should check it out. The Greenway is no longer something for Bostonians to complain about, it's now a real live, thriving part of our city. One that should be visited and celebrated.

Cheers Boston! And cheers to the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway in all her glory!