Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Boston Neighborhood Project: Fort Point

In case you were wondering what happened to my Boston Neighborhood Project, I covered Davis Square in January and hit Fort Point at the end of February. On a Sunday afternoon, I decided to go for a run along the new Harborwalk. The blue signs have been up for months, but I hadn’t yet investigated. I began at the Broadway T stop and proceeded along in front of Gillette (World Shaving Headquarters!), and continued along the canal.

I found the path to be a bit confusing, and signs like these didn’t help me much.

It also seems like the Harborwalk is not finished yet, because I encountered a lot of blank placards:

At the end of the path, I was in Fort Point, surrounded by giant brick buildings. The area was completely devoid of other life forms, except for a few seagulls. I have heard that there is another section of the Harborwalk that goes along the oceanfront near the courthouse, but either it doesn’t connect to the part I took, or I couldn’t figure it out. Overall, it was a bust. Too short for a good run, and it was creepy to be the sole pedestrian with the canal on one side and vast, empty parking lots on the other. I know Fort Point is being touted as an up-and-coming area in terms of real estate, but it still looks deserted to me, at least on the weekend. I poked around some of the condo complexes and didn’t find them very appealing- sure, they’re nice, but they seem pretty lonely and isolated. I hunted around for a coffee shop or a place to grab a snack, to no avail. Maybe the Harborwalk would be a nice spot to get out at lunchtime for people who work in the area, but if you want to get some fresh air along the waterfront on the weekend, I recommend Castle Island.

Last Thursday, my mom and I went to the new Institute for Contemporary Art. All of the good things I’ve heard about the architecture of the building are true, and I enjoyed the exhibits as well. I tried not to cringe when my mom repeatedly asked the security personnel to explain the exhibits to her. “I don’t get it- is it supposed to do something?” Apparently she doesn’t know that when it comes to modern art, you are supposed to feign understanding by staring at it pensively and quietly. The downside is that, despite the building being four stories tall, there isn’t much space devoted to the art galleries themselves. Also, it isn’t all that accessible via public transportation, and we ended up parking in one of the $7 lots. The good news? Most of the exibits we saw were wonderful, and Thursday nights admission is free. Yay!

After the museum, we went to dinner at Anthony’s Pier 4. Generally, the photos on the wall of all of the stars, politicians, and bigwigs that frequented the establishment in its heyday depress me. I mean, this place was once the hottest spot in the city, and now it’s frequented by high schoolers on their way to prom night in Revere. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the dining room was hopping, with what seemed like mostly business travelers. We even saw a table full of priests- something about a group of priests, all in their priestly garb, having dinner at a fancy restaurant, is comical. My mom embarrassed me once again by asking the waiter “What’s the cheapest wine you have?” (apparently she doesn’t know that you’re supposed to ask for the wine list, scan it quickly, then select the cheapest one). My mortification disappeared when he admitted that it was his first night working and that he had no idea, and then proceeded to pull a crumpled up wine list out of his pocket to show us the options. The food was excellent, and we had a table right next to the big bay window facing the ocean, so overall, it was a good night at Anthony’s. And I already feel guilty for making fun of my mom.


maria said...

I went to the ICA last night with Jamie and I thought it was fantastic. Jamie, who has never been exposed to contemporary art, said he thinks he's going to have nightmares after the experience.

Mike said...

That link will take you to an extensive map of the harbor walk. You were clearly in a light blue area. Remember, there is no loading or unloading in the light blue area. The light blue area is for loading and unloading only.

eileen said...

I totally was in the light blue! No wonder why it looked unfinished. Oh well.