Boston blog postings

Boston Postings

Earliest: March 16, 2003Latest: October 18, 2018Total: 244

October 18, 2018

Five Napkin Burger Closes in Boston

Last month 5 Napkin Burger at the Prudential Center closed it doors. It was a favorite location for my daughter as she loved the gluten free rolls. (Read the Blog post from October 4, 2016.)

While some people might be surprised that the restaurant closed, it really didn't come a surprise to me because it was never busy. When the wait time for the Cheesecake Factory would be 45-minutes, there would be no wait at 5-Napkin and they are just doors apart.

The last time I ate there was at lunch time - just days before closing. I was very surprised of the number of tables during a busy lunch hour.

When I started working the Back Bay, it was the place to go to after work. I can remember going and sitting at the busy bar and ordering one of their famous burger. It was a busy happening place.

Five Napkin Boston

Five Things I Learned about 5 Napkin in Boston

  • Opened at 105 Huntington Ave on April 9, 2011
  • Previous Tenant was Daily Grill, before that it was Applebee's
  • When it opened, there were nine burgers were on the menu. They were priced from $7.95-$12.95 (Last year I got a Five Napkin Burger for $14!)
  • Officially Closed on September 14, 2018
  • There are current 4 other locations - which are all in New York City. (Closest one is 209 Miles away)

October 11, 2018

Land Parcel on Scotia St

Open land space in the Back Bay is getting very scarce - with the red-hot economy, developers are trying to grab as much open space as they can for building high rise luxury apartment.s

Just off of busy Boylston Street, there is a piece of open land that will soon have high rise development. This will be the new location for 1000 Boylston Street apartments.

1000 Boylston Street
This open Parcel land will soon be gone.

Ten Things I Learned about the Open Space Parcel

Official address of the land is Scotia St Boston Ma 02115. The City of Boston Parcel ID is 0401345000

The lot size is 11,109 sq ft.

The land was previously owned by the St. Cecilia Roman Catholic Church. In May 2008, the Archdiocese of Boston sold the land to ADG Scotia LLC for $13.85 million. ADG Scotia LLC is sometimes known as "Scotia Parcel."

ADG Scotia is a joint venture between John Fish's Suffolk Ventures and Weiner's Weiner Ventures.

While it was owned by St. Cecilia Roman Catholic Church the land was tax exempt. Since 2009, the City of Boston has collected $41,000 each year in additional tax revenue. The land is currently assessed at $3,301,600.

The St. Cecilia Roman Catholic Church used the funds from the sale to do a major interior renovation - new floors, pews, painting and a redesigned entrance.

ADG Scotia LLC has plans to build a new tower in the space. Ideas of the Hotel/Retail/Parking complex first came out in 2008 but was shelved because of the "great recession."

In January, ADG Scotia LLC paid $30,000 to Travaglini Eisenberg Kiley LLC to lobby so the Massachusetts General Laws 6C could be changed to allow air rights by sale or by lease.

The original Plans for 1000 Boylston Street have been changed a lot since 2008. Original plans had 2 towers - One 566 feet and 39 stories, the other 283 feet, and 24 stories. The new plan has a single high rise - 484 feet and 27 floors. The new tower would be just as high as the State Street Bank. It will be the 21st tallest building in Boston.

Plans for building 1000 Boylston Street are underway. Trees in the parcel have been taken down.

October 4, 2018

MillStone by Haymarket

As you walk along the backside of the Boston Public Market, you may encounter a strange stone wheel and a cement path heading towards Faneuil Hall.

While it might look like an artistic display, it's actually a piece of Boston's history that is more than 300 years old. It's an original Millstone that helps colonial Bostonians grind up grain.

Mill Stone

Six Things I learned about the Mill Creek Millstone

  • On November 16, 1999, During the construction of the "Big Dig," two Millstones were found near the Dock Square Parking Garage. (Which is next to the Hard Rock Cafe)
  • According to one archeologist, the discovery of the millstones and colonial trash nearby is the "finest such artifacts ever found from Colonial Boston - the true treasure is encased in the creek bottom"
  • The Millstones each weighed 2,200 pounds and are believed to be dated from the 1700s.
  • In Colonial Boston, there was a large pond near the area near Faneuil Hall. The millstones were found in an area where a creek was created from the pond to the ocean.
  • The rise in tide would how the the grist mills were powered.
  • There use to be a sign next to the Millstone, but it's been removed for many years - leaving the history and story of the Millstone a mystery to those that walk by.

Colonial Boston Map

Shawmut- Peninsula
A map of Boston that shows the location of Millpond.

You can learn more about the Millstone on the Massachusetts Historical Commission page.

Source: Information was gathered from various sources including the Boston Globe which covered the story in 1999.

September 27, 2018

North Square

North Square is one of the most popular squares in Boston, about four million visitors visit the square annually. Most people visit the square as part of the stopover to the Paul Revere House.

On October 11, 2017, a groundbreaking ceremony was done to launch a major reconstruction project. The project will transform the square to be more of friendly space for gatherings. In addition there will be new statues to commemorate several story sculptures from the North End.

North Square Park in October 2015

North Square2015_1

North Square Park in September 26, 2018

North Square2018_1

Six Things I learned about North Square Park

North Square in the North End, Boston of Boston, Massachusetts sits at the intersection of Moon, Prince, North, Garden Court, and Sun Court Streets. Paul Revere lived here, as did other notables in the 17th and 18th centuries. Prior to July 4, 1788, the area was known as Clark's Square.

The 2018 restoration project will cost $2.5 million. The work will be replacing all the original cobblestones that align the street - making the area more accessible to wheelchairs. The work should be completed by the end of the year.

The AJ Art Design is working on the bronze sculptures.

The square is part of the Freedom Trail, this small historic square offers benches next to the Paul Revere House.

Most people look at the Paul Revere House, but at 29 North Square, next door is the Moses Pierce-Hichbom House. It is one of the two 18th-century buildings still standing in the North End.

In 1907, there was an attempt to change the name of the square to Scigliano Park. The City Aldermen turned down a request to name it after George Scigliano. He did a lot for the Italian Americans which made up the North End. He founded the Italian Protective League - an Italian labor union.

September 20, 2018

200 Clarendon Artwork

On the afternoon on September 22nd, 2015 a strange art appeared on the side of .200 Clarendon (formerly the Hancock Tower), a few days later, Boston Properties, the property owner, revealed on Twitter that it's a piece by French street artist JR

200 Clariton Art Work_sm

Six Things About the Art Work

  • This was s translucent painting on glass of the 200 Clarendon Tower spanning from the 44th to the 50th floors.
  • The art was 150 feet wide and 86 feet tall
  • It took 3 days to successfully put up the artwork with the help of Pedro Alonzo, a Cambridge-based independent curator.
  • The painting is based off a picture that JR took on his worldwide travels.
  • According to the Press Release at the time, the reason for the art: "JR prefers for the artwork to emerge quietly, for the city to respond to the imagery."
  • The painting was temporary and came down on April 20, 2016 - two days after the 120th running of the Boston Marathon.

Hand Distance
View of the Artwork from the Southwest Corridor Park
October 19, 2015

Four things about the artist named JR

September 13, 2018

William Ellery Channing Statue

At the corner of Bolyston and Arlington Street in Boston is a statue that has overlooked Arlington Street for the past 115 years, it's a statue of William Ellery Channing.

William Ellery Channing (April 7, 1780 - October 2, 1842) was a popular Unitarian preacher in the early nineteenth century.

Description of the Monument

A portrait of William Ellery Channing, standing holding the Bible in his proper left hand and clutching the folds of his ecclesiastical robes to his chest with his proper right hand. The sculpture rests atop a granite base that is installed in a marble niche beneath a marble canopy. The monument is approached by two granite steps.

The Channing Picture

Nine things I learned about the William Ellery Channing Statue

Statue was paid for by John Foster, a former attendant at the Arlington Street Church. He left $30,000 in his Will for the purposes of a new statue for his mentor William Channing. ($30,000 in 1903 is equivalent in purchasing power to $835,636.36 in 2017)

John Foster, was a notable Boston Merchant who died on April 9, 1897. He was part of a successful wholesale grocery store - Foster & Taylor. His Will also contributed funds to the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Town of Hudson, NH, Warner, NH, Perkins Institution for the Blind, MIT and many others.

Mr. Foster directed that the William Channing statue be placed in the Garden across from the church because Channing was once pastor of the Federal Street Church, the predecessor of the Arlington Street Church.

The statue was designed by Vincent C. Griffith and created by Herbert Adams. The design was approved by Boston Art Commission.

The foundation for the statue was put in place on September 11, 1902.

Statue was dedicated on June 1st, 1903 ( 60 years and 8 months after William Channing passing ) The day was chosen because it was the 100th anniversary of the ordination an installation of Channing into the Christian ministry.

There were about a thousand people in attendance when the statue was unveiled, including William Ellery Channing Eustis the niece of William Channing.

The William Ellery Channing statue is the first statue in Boston of a clergyman. The next clergyman statue was placed only seven year later - the Phillips Brook Statue down the street at the Trinity Church.

If you walk up to the statue and look at the foot of the statue on both sides, you can see the signature of the developer - Herbert Adams

Two Inscriptions that are next to the statue

He breathed into theology a humane spirit and proclaimed a new divinity of man.

He preached with spiritual power and led a great dance toward Christian ideals.

Back Side of the Statue

Many people may not know, but on the backside of the statue, the part you can see in the Public Gardens, is the following quote:

I see the marks of God in the heavens and the earth, but how much more in a liberal intellect, in magnanimity, in unconquerable rectitude, in a philanthropy which forgives every wrong, and which never despairs of the cause of Christ and human virtue. I do and I must reverence human nature... I thank God that my own lot is bound up with that of the human race.

Fun Facts

To get an idea of how long the statue has been there, when it was dedicated in 1903, the Boston Red Sox were on their way to a championship season by winning their first World Series over at the Huntington Grounds. Just days after the statue was dedicated, June 1903, the State of Massachusetts had begun to issue the first driver's licenses and registration plates.

September 6, 2018

Fenway Farms

If you ever been to Fenway Park, no doubt you seen the Fenway park sign on the building:

Fenway Park Sign
Sign on the Building on Jersey Street

Did you know that on the otherside of the famous sign is a vegetable garden?

Fenway Farms View

Five Things I learned about the Fenway Garden

  • The Garden was first put in during the 2015 Red Sox season. Prior to that the area was just an unoccupied roof top that wasn't much value to fans because there's no views of the field.
  • Food grown in the garden are distributed throughout the park - mostly for the EMC Club seats and the Vineyard Vines Club.
  • You can reserve space at the Vineyard Vines Club and request some food from the Garden.
  • The Farm is maintained by the Green City Growers.
  • You can view the farm during the game or during tours of the park. When you do tour the park, they will stop at the farm and tell you all about it.
  • By the end of the season, 6,000 pounds of produce harvested from the farm,, not bad from a place that wasn't usable.

Farm Crops

This is a very active farm, and things get moved as quickly during the season. The exact plants that are grown are up to the farmers and the Chefs:

In the Spring you'll probably see:

arugula, broccoli, broccoli raab, carrots, chard, chives, cilantro, collards, greens mix, head lettuce, kale, lettuce mix, mint, oregano, parsley, pea shoots, radish, rosemary, scallions, snap peas, spinach, strawberries and thyme, violas.

In the Summer:

basil, beans, broccoli, chard, chives, collards, cucumbers, eggplant, flowers, hot peppers, kale, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, scallions, strawberries, sweet peppers, sweet potatoes, thyme, tomatoes and zucchini.

Learn More about Green City Growers

You can learn more about Green City Growers and how they are changing empty spaces all over the city to practical farms.

August 30, 2018

Boston Skyline from Fenway Park

Boston?s Fenway Park has been a local photographer?s favorite spot since it opened. Photographer?s not only like to take pictures of the game in action, but they also like the view of the city from the stands.

Skyline Changes over the Years

When Fenway Park first opened in 1912, the tallest building was the Christian Science Center Church. In the 1960's skyscrapers went up and now you can see the Prudential and the 200 Clariton Street Building. Boston's newest skyscraper, 1 Dalton Street, is still in progress and will be open next year.

Fenway Park Skyline

Eight Tips on Taking Pictures from Fenway Park

  • If you never been to Fenway, take the $20 tour so you can walk around the park and see the different views.
  • Tours start at 10 am, the only way to get a picture of the morning sunrise from Fenway Park is to arrange a private tour. (or to be a registered press member)
  • Sunset shots are easy to get during a game, best seats are the Bleacher seats.
  • The Right Field Pavilion Box seats have the best view of the Citgo Sign and the Green Monster.
  • The Left Field Pavilion Box seats have the best view of the Boston Skyline.
  • If you're looking for views of the field, try Field Box 60. These seats are closest to the field. In addition, with the proper lens, you can look at the Red Sox dugout. If your not a Red Sox fan, then try Field Box 30, which gives you views of the visitor dugout.
  • In general, ticket holders don?t have full stadium access. That is, you can?t access the Green Monster unless you have Green Monster seats. You might have the opportunity to see views from the Green Monster from your Fenway Park Tour.
  • Fenway Park has a lot of vintage signs around the park, keep your eye out for them.

August 23, 2018

Views of Boston From a Distance

There are a many places where you can get good views of Boston. Two places to consider for photo opportunities are the Blue Hills Observatory and Thompson Island.

Blue Hills

Blue Hills Mountain

Six Things I learned About the Blue Hills Observatory

  • This is a great spot to catch the sun rise over the city.
  • There is no public transportation to the Blue Hills, you will need a car to get to this location.
  • You can watch the Boston Fireworks from this location, tickets are needed in advance - and they do sell out!
  • Blue Hills Observatory tours are available weekends from 10 to 4. Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for students.
  • You can take a Mountain Bike or hike the Blue Hills Reservations trails. Stay on the trails! There's no cost to hike or bike the trails.
  • The Skyline Loop is the best hike to get great views of the city, it takes about 2 hours to do the hike which covers a total of 3 mile.

Thompson Island

Thompson Island Chairs

Five Things I Learned About the Thompson Island

  • This is a great spot to see the sunset over the city!
  • The Public may visit Thompson Island via public access on Saturdays and Sundays, from May 28, 2018, through September 3, 2018.
  • Year round boat access is available for private events or school groups.
  • Summer Connection program on Thompson Island is run by Outward Bound. The 5-week program is free for middle schoolers.
  • You can read more about Thompson Island in the early blog post.

August 16, 2018

Fall Pictures Opportunities

The Boston Public Gardens and Commons are a great location for fall foliage. You don't need to head to the Berkshires to see some great colors. You can find great color right in the city.

Boston Fall Opportunity

Four Tips on Taking Pictures in the Boston Public Gardens

  • The best time to take pictures of the fall foliage in Boston is the first week of October. You'll get some great bright colors and some trees will still be very green.
  • The spot over by the Parkman Bandstand is a great spot for pictures. The trees along Charles Street turn bright orange early.
  • In the Public Gardens, the trees near the Ether Monument have great early colors. Also, the trees near the flagpole are great.
  • The swan boats are taken out on the third Sunday in September. There is a slight chance that some trees may change before then. (Makes for a great backdrop photo.)