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Posts Tagged ‘park’

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Photos: Bo Zhao
Boston has put a colorful park under Interstate 93. Bright lights, art, 24-hour security, and an ever changing array of events are expected to connect communities that the highway long divided.

When I had a chunk of free time at my last job, I’d take a walk over to an artsy part of Boston called SoWa, for “South of Washington Street.” It was a place of antique dealers, a homeless shelter, art galleries, and farmers markets.

As interesting as SoWa was, it abutted a bleak wasteland under Interstate 93. People had to walk under there — I walked under there — because the highway divided the neighborhood. But it was creepy.

Saturday saw the opening of an unusual park under the highway. I wasn’t there, but a former colleague who manages to see everything of interest in the city got a kick out of it, commenting that he was surprised to find the park is so near Boston’s public Harbor Walk. He shared his photos here.

at the Daily Free Press provided the background. “National Development, the developer of Ink Block, is partnering with Reebok to make the project a reality. The park, which was originally an 8-acre underpass between South Boston and the South End, will feature a pedestrian and bicycle boardwalk, 175 parking spaces for local businesses and a mural wall, according to the release.

“Ted Tye, the managing partner at National Development, said the park was originally supposed to be a plain, normal park when the Massachusetts Department of Transportation started on the project across the street from where their Ink Block brand is located. Once National Development gained access to the project; however, the idea changed. …

“Tye said the idea behind incorporating the murals, which was curated by Street Theory, artistic duo Victor ‘Marka27’ Quiñonez and Liza Quiñonez, was to appeal to companies and younger generations looking to find their start in Boston. …

“Tye said, ‘It makes it really an exciting, new destination, a new playground in the city, and we’ll be extending that not just with our opening event [September 9] but looking into next year with some really great programming.’

“Another reason for opening the park, Tye said, is to connect the neighboring communities of South Boston and the South End and to make the area surrounding the Broadway Bridge safer to walk.

“ ‘By filling in this area with a place that’s well-lit, with a place that will have 24-hour security, with a place that will have lots of people, and activity, and music and art — it makes that gap a lot shorter,’ Tye said. ‘The people that are moving into the Ink Block area are now feeling really good about walking to South Boston, about using the Broadway T station, and it just really connects the two communities.’

“Sneha ‘IMAGINE876’ Shrestha, a Boston-based artist who is contributing to the mural wall described her style as ‘mindful mantras in [her] native language where [she meshes] the aesthetics of Sanskrit scriptures with graffiti influences.’

“Shrestha wrote in an email she wanted to give back to the Boston community as it was the first place she was exposed to the art of graffiti.

“ ‘As a kid from Nepal, I didn’t grow up seeing graffiti or much of any sort of art,’ Shrestha said. …

“Shrestha wrote the location of Underground at Ink Block excited her because it was near her first employer Artists for Humanity, a nonprofit which works to employ under-resourced urban youth interested in art and design, according to their website.

“ ‘My first job out of college was at Artists for Humanity and this is where I realized the effect of art on young people and how I can contribute to being an agent of positive change through art,’ Shrestha said. ‘It feels full circle in a lot of ways to have a mural here as my token of gratitude to this place.’ ”

Tim Logan at the Boston Globe, wondered whether getting to the park will be too challenging for people who are not going between the neighborhoods anyway.

He writes, “Drawing people to a place like this takes work, said Bob Uhlig, president of the Boston landscape architecture firm Halvorson Design. Color will help, he said; so will good lighting. Filling the place with popular, consistent programming will go a long way toward making it a destination, much as the Lawn on D has become, he added.

“ ‘That really adds another level of vibrancy, having something programmed on a regular basis,’ Uhlig said. ‘You want to get people to come back, repeatedly.’

“And, he said, you want the locals to use it. There’s a row of big buildings going up just a block away along Harrison Avenue, which will add thousands of residents to a corner of the city with relatively little park space. This is a chance to create some, even if it’s below a highway.”

More at the Free Press, here, and at the Globe, here.

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I thought I’d collect some early-winter images, but an out-of-season iris decided to redefine early winter for me. The iris loves that Dunkin Donuts brick wall so much it decided to bloom. Then the temperatures went down into the teens.

The USS Concord (1923-1947) had a bell that the town acquired and put on display in a public ceremony shortly after Veterans Day this year. I enjoyed watching the evolution of the pocket park that hosts the bell and was amazed by what a deep hole had to be dug for the pedestal support.

The unusual “Lost & Found for the People” is beside the path that runs down the middle of Blackstone Boulevard in Providence. (I hope that “the people” will find what they lost soon.)

The next picture is of the daily dog-walker gathering at Emerson Field, where I was delighted by a message nestled in the roots of a tree: “Just do right.”

The veggie colors spoke to me of Christmas.

The gingerbread house competition is at the Colonial Inn and will be up until January 1. The last gingerbread house is in the library. It all makes a person want to try her hand at some decorative baking.

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https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30992410-such-mad-fun

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30992410-such-mad-fun

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30992410-such-mad-fun

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30992410-such-mad-fun

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30992410-such-mad-fun

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30992410-such-mad-fun

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From time to time I hear about a growing interest in play areas that focus less on safety and more on creativity and fending for yourself. Safety has always been important to me, but maybe children (grownups, too) get in more trouble when they leave the safety issues to authorities. Maybe there’s something to be said for learning to handle tricky situations by being in tricky situations.

In any case, woodland nursery schools, wild parks, and junky playgrounds are getting attention.

Amy Fusselman, adapting her book Savage Park for the Atlantic, describes her family’s reaction to a wild park in Japan.

“As the eight of us walked, first up a slight dirt hill, then past a gaggle of unlocked bicycles, we smelled it: smoke. The smell became stronger as we went ahead. We followed it until at last we were all standing beside a traditional Japanese hut that was perched atop a downward-sloping one-acre patch of dirt and trees.

“The hut’s front porch was completely overflowing with crap, including a pink-painted piano at which a girl, five, was sitting and playing a John Cage-ian ditty. It was a strangely radiant sound to be hearing as we stood there looking down through the smoke—we could see it as well as smell it now—to the smoke’s source: open fires.

“There were three of them. At one, a boy about eight years old was kneeling, poking at the flames with paper fans; at another, a father was sitting and roasting marshmallows with his toddler son. A third fire seemed to be unattended. …

“We stood there, dumbfounded, staring at the dirt and trees and the structures that were woven around and between them, structures that were clearly not made in any place where safety surfacing had ever been a subject of serious discussion. These were structures that looked like what remained when my sons decided to build an airport out of Legos and then abandoned the project halfway through, only these half-made baggage carts and control towers were much larger and crafted not from nicely interlocking plastic rectangles but from scraps of wood and nails. …

“At one point, I looked up at the trees. I was astonished to see that there were children in them. The more I looked, the more children I saw. There were children 15 feet high in the air. …

“I sat on a log, eating warm, white gooey marshmallows. The park was around us, and the trees were around us, and the dirt was around us, and the smoke, and the music. The children were in the trees, and were flying in the air. We stayed there as long as we could.”

More here.

Photo: Associated Press

 

 

 

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This was posted at an Arlington blog last May, but I just saw the sculpture it refers to.

“You are invited to watch the ladybugs for the Waldo Park Tree Sculpture being made right before your eyes … Work by artists has already begun to transform a tall tree stump on the hill in Waldo Park … into multimedia sculpture that features local birds, animals and insects. The Friends of Waldo Park are holding two community participation days as this work is created. …

“Watch the metal-smiths at work as they cast aluminum ladybugs to be bolted onto the tree sculpture. Stop by for however long you’d like to see how metal-casting is done!” More.

Note the metal ladybugs crawling up the trunk, the bunnies peeking out from inside, and the hawk on top.

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The Rose Kennedy Greenway just gets better and better. Not only is the new carousel a wonder, but little signs have begun to appear identifying the plantings, many of them quite exotic.

Now, if they would just decide to create bike paths or else enforce the rules about “no wheels,” we walkers would at least know where it was safe to walk while daydreaming.

What do you think of these sea creatures?

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At some point in my childhood, family friends raised goats. It seemed exotic. The Gordon children drank goat’s milk. And we learned that goats will eat anything when my brother tried to pat a goat and lost his mitten.

In addition to mittens, goats eat weeds, and increasing numbers of individuals and groups are deciding to use goats instead of herbicides to control weeds.

Evan Allen writes in the Boston Globe, “According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the use of goats to control invasive species, already common out West, is becoming more common across the East Coast.

“Goats love woody shrubs and vines, making them ideal weed-whackers. Using goats cuts down on the need for herbicides, and, unlike tractors, goats don’t require diesel fuel to do their job. And nimble goats can easily maneuver across rocky or marshy surfaces that humans and machines can’t safely reach.

“ ‘Folks are looking for long-term means of control,’ said Eric Schrading, private lands coordinator at the Fish and Wildlife Service. ‘As the last 30-plus years have gone by, we’ve started to, maybe not abandon chemical control, but use that as only one tool in the toolbox.’ …

“In Wellesley, the goats were shuttled out to the Boulder Brook Reservation in a bright pink truck driven by a crew from the Goat Girls: Hope Crolius, owner of the Amherst-based business, and two of her goatherds.” Read more here.

For a video about goat weed control, check out this clip from Bear Creek Park in Colorado.

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More curiosities seen on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston: Waves. The first wave pictured below has a sign saying, “From the Greenway.” The second says, “From the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.”

This website helps to explain that an urban collaboration led by artists Susan Hoffman Fishman and Elena Kalman is behind this project, “The Wave: An Interactive Public Art Installation Fostering Global H20 Awareness.” I love it, but it didn’t raise my water awareness immediately because I had trouble figuring out what it was. Thank goodness for Google.

A couple weeks ago, I wrote to the Greenway people (and to the city of Boston) about bikers who were using the Greenway paths despite signs saying not to use “bicycles, skateboards, personal transportation, i.e. Segway.” I like that people bike instead of use cars, but not on footpaths. The signs cause walkers to lower their guard. I’ve seen near misses.

The city wrote me: “Thank you so much for your email. It is illegal to ride on the Greenway. We at the City of Boston are aware of this issue. We will be installing a bike lane on the road for the cyclists this season. Research shows that that bike lanes dramatically reduce sidewalk riding.”

The Greenway people wrote: ” For the safety and enjoyment of all Greenway visitors, biking is not permitted anywhere in the parks. When our horticultural and maintenance staffs witness a cyclist, they will ask them to dismount; City of Boston Police Department handles enforcement.  … The City of Boston installed five new Hubway stations along the Greenway.  This fall, the City will be installing painted bike lanes onto the street which will help alleviate the problem in the parks.”

(At the moment the Boston police are more preoccupied with Occupy Boston. They arrested 141 Occupiers early Tuesday because they had spread into the Greenway from Dewey Square. Funny how a few days can change one’s perspective. Today the concerns of the Occupiers and the concerns of the police both seem more serious than bikes on footpaths.)



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