I have been part of Boston for nearly sixty years. Debbie and I met on Beacon Hill. Today, however, we spend far more time in Paris than in Boston. And after a number of unpleasant experiences will not be returning to the Seaport District. The following explanation from Matthew Robare, a freelance journalist based in Boston writing for The American Conservative, hits the nail on the head. He writes (abridged):
Across the Fort Point Channel from Downtown Boston is the city’s newest neighborhood, the Seaport District. Most of its buildings were constructed in the last 20 years and as such typify contemporary modernist architecture and urban design. Glass and steel towers soar skywards from the waterfront in a variety of angles and curves made possible by computer-aided design. The Seaport’s buildings do not form a street wall but are surrounded by “green space.” Burnished chrome and milled aluminum, bright LED lights, and the signage of international corporation’s reward developers with high rents—and developers can even afford to build on expensive sites, create landfill, and endure Boston’s lengthy bureaucratic delays. Still, the combined approach makes the Seaport pedestrian feel that he is akin to an ant wandering through the Apple Store.
The ants can work there; they can rent apartments or buy condos there; they can go to the movies; they can get expensive drinks in outrageously loud restaurants; they can visit a contemporary art museum or enjoy sponsored programming in assorted civic and cultural venues. However, they cannot send their children to school there and until this year they couldn’t go grocery shopping there. Getting around is also difficult, since the neighborhood largely lacks transit and the wide streets encourage fast driving.
Read more here.
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