Blog Archives

Downtown View:City Life Is a Sharing Life

May 21, 2015
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So many people decide to move into the city—what might they be expecting? Convenient trips to the movies, the opera, the symphony, the theater. Walk-to restaurants, bars, parks and libraries. Shops and supermarkets that make deliveries. All these benefits exist. The most frequent activity, though, may be a surprise to a former suburbanite shedding...

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Old,White and Rich?

May 14, 2015
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The reporting is breathless: Millennium Tower penthouse goes on sale for $37.5 million. A condo in a 19th-century Commonwealth Avenue townhouse sells for $7 million. Luxury apartments, rentable or buyable, going up in the Fenway and in the Seaport. These new projects add expensive housing to the already-pricey neighborhoods in downtown Boston. The buyers...

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Downtown View:Curiouser and Curiouser

May 7, 2015
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In the last three weeks, one vehicle on my block was not towed on street cleaning days. This has never happened in the last decade. The debris under those cars sat there for two weeks. A South End resident said a car on her street last week was not towed. Again, the cigarette butts,...

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Downtown View:Big Question

May 5, 2015
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Do San Diego residents experience joy? I don’t know the answer and I’m not sure I would believe a SanDiegoan if they told me. I’m talking about the sublime feeling, the rush, the pure happiness we Bostonians feel when the sun comes out and the temperature rises to 65 degrees. We take a walk....

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Downtown View: Picture L.A.

April 23, 2015
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Picture the skyline of Los Angeles. How about Minneapolis, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Phoenix, even Chicago? You can’t? Oh, well. Now picture Washington D. C., Seattle, Toronto or New York. You know those skylines, don’t you? There might be a gimmick—Seattle’s Space Needle; Toronto’s CN Tower with the scary glass floor. Or there might be...

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Downtown View:What is Best for Us, not Tsarnaev

April 15, 2015
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We’ve had the trial even though Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers admitted he was guilty on the first day. This trial was important to endure. If we hadn’t had it, the conspiracy theorists would crawl out, accusing the police of cover-ups. The Fox-TV screamers would be concocting stories about how it was all Obama’s fault. The...

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Downtown View: Young Adults Invest in City

April 7, 2015
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This is what older adults think of the newly minted adults—20 to early 30s—living on their block: They have loud parties. They drink too much. They put their trash out at any old time and don’t bag it properly. They have too many dogs, and they don’t pick up the you-know-what. They don’t care...

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Downtown View:Re-envisioning City Hall Plaza

April 1, 2015
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Mayor Walsh has asked for help in remaking City Hall Plaza. He has resorted to Twitter to re-invent, re-imagine, re-envision #CityHallPlaza. In letters, radio commentary and Twitter, Bostonians have chimed in. Art exhibits, a baseball diamond, a roller rink, Yo-Yo Ma’s music garden idea, trees, an inexplicable suggestion for an “enhanced multimodal hub-ness”—all these...

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Downtown View: Saving Space

March 17, 2015
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So far this year, Bostonians have truly weathered the storms. Most people have kept their cool and maintained their good nature. I have also detected a note of pride in our resilience and bravery in the face of unprecedented snowfalls. The T didn’t work. The city’s plows and melters had trouble keeping up. But...

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Downtown View:Optimism or Pessimism

March 4, 2015
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My friend and I recently attended a public meeting convened by the Boston 2024 Olympics Organizing Committee. It was entertaining in so many ways. The cast of characters was impassioned, especially the opponents. One cute girl from Somerville—probably around 20 years old, not yet a woman— was handing out posters rejecting the Olympics and...

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