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Posts Tagged ‘seaport’

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I liked the Crabby Lager poster outside the Barking Crab today. The popular restaurant is as rough-hewn as ever, but its Seaport neighborhood has gone upscale. The Barking Crab now shares a spanking new sidewalk with a boutique hotel called the Envoy. (The lettering for the hotel’s name is too esoteric for words. Took me 10 minutes to figure it out.)

In other photos, I couldn’t resist beautiful weeds in grungy corners. I don’t know the name of the purple bells, but the other flower is bindweed. Or maybe Morning Glory.

The old warehouse (I can’t resist old warehouses) is in Fort Point, a part of South Boston that the artist in the last photo is painting from the other side of the channel.

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Public transit in Greater Boston didn’t run today as MBTA staff tried to dig out tracks, switches, and signals. We were told to work at home for the 5th time in two weeks. I went for a walk at lunch. Where sidewalks were plowed, the snow was often piled shoulder high on either side. I like walking in recently plowed snow because boots have more traction. The texture is like pie dough that’s a little too dry. Once the snow gets packed down, it makes for slippery walking. In the town, where merchants went bananas with salt, the sidewalk and crosswalks were unpleasantly soupy.

The first photo is from today. It’s Concord Academy. The others were taken in the past week and include a tree on Congress Street in Boston, a snowbank that the plow cut through as if slicing cake, snowy fire escapes near the TD Garden, a view of the Boston Seaport District from a roof garden, and my ice lantern (still going after more than a week of evening lighting).

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Last year my Wisconsin brother told me how he makes ice lanterns. (See post.) I really wanted to try my hand at this, but my first two attempts failed. Finally, yesterday, after 52 hours in the cold, my balloon produced a successful lantern. Psyched!

Among today’s other pictures is the Japanese Maple at my workplace, glorious in every season. The reflection photo was taken at Fort Point Channel in Boston. That ice is made of saltwater. If you live inland, you may not know that for saltwater to freeze, it has to be extra cold for an extra long time.

The construction scene is from the nearby Seaport area, which as everybody knows, is being recklessly overbuilt, given that it’s low-lying area exposed to hurricanes.

The gingerbread houses were at the Boston Society of Architects and featured Boston buildings, including the state house with its gold dome. The giant geometric snowballs in Dewey Square are courtesy of New American Public Art, about which, more anon.

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On mornings when I don’t walk in my neighborhood or in the Greenway near work, I’m more likely to walk around the emerging waterfront district than the Public Garden, the approach to which involves too much waiting at street lights.

The area near Seaport Boulevard and the harbor, though booming with construction today, still wears the remnants of its formerly neglected status: vistas of pitted parking lots, streets that end ­­­­­­in chain-link fences, highway underpasses filled with brown grass and fast-food wrappers. Then there is the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Voyage.

Unlocked, empty, and trusting, the tiny chapel has a basket for donations to the food pantry. Under a statue of Mary holding her infant in one hand and a ship in the other are votary candles. Someone in charge must think – or know – that no traveler seeking blessings will steal alms for the poor in front of Mary unless desperate. In which case, perhaps he will be welcome to it.

I picture Ishmael coming to a place like this (different denomination and in New Bedford) to hear the sermon on Jonah and the Whale before his ill-fated voyage with the obsessed Captain Ahab.

I wonder if sailors really go to the chapel nowadays and what will happen to it as the area develops at its rapid pace. Along the water, the mayor’s prized Innovation District is gathering steam. In the other direction, the Fort Point Channel area is bursting with restaurants, arts, and artists.

Less than 20 years ago, I visited one artist, the son of friends, who was squatting with other artists in the abandoned Fort Point warehouses where doors had no locks, broken boards and pipes littered the floors, and loose wires hung from the ceilings.

The chapel is part of that earlier world, when lighting a votary candle might have seemed like one’s best chance for making it until tomorrow.

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John is quite a rich source of blog ideas. Here’s a story he knew I’d like. It’s about a symphony for ship horns.

“The Harbour Symphony is original music written for the horns of the ships in the St. John’s harbour [Newfoundland, Canada]. This signature fanfare of the Sound Symposium transforms the ships in the harbour into an orchestra on water. Each Harbour Symphony begins with a radio countdown transmitted to the bridge of the ships by the Coast Guard where players stand at the helms of tugboats, trawlers, and ocean-going freighters.

“At the signal, a giant, floating horn section reverberates off the Southside Hills and through the streets of old St. John’s, echoing the soul of this 500 year old seaport.

“The acoustic characteristics of the bowl-shaped St. John’s Harbour encourage the sound to resonate and carry for up to 12 miles. The best place to listen is up on Signal Hill, on the Southside Hills, or in the Outer Battery. These locations give a sweeping view of the Harbour and the city. You can hear the delay of the horns as the sound travels over a mile across the water, and hear the sounds resonate against the surrounding hills.” Read more.

I wonder if Cousin Claire in Gabarus, Cape Breton, knows about this. Of course, I don’t know my geography very well. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, is probably nowhere near Newfoundland. If you are better at geography, please give me an idea how far apart these places are.

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