It’s Twelfth Night: the ending of the Yuletide season, the last day before we return to work as usual after a season of celebration. I’m ready to go back. You’ll be hearing more from me. Some of the themes I’ll be following in 2014 emerged, it turns out, from what I found last year. Here’s a collection of the paths I followed, the portals I discovered, and the familar friends who joined me on my journey. Click on the portal below.
This week I’ve been participating in MIT CoLab’s Storytelling for Planners course. I must admit that it’s felt since the first moment like it was where I’ve always belonged. As you know, I’m committed to helping planners, neighbors, kids and grownups learn and get excited about the world in their own backyards, whether it’s history, personal relationships, architecture, or…local wildlife. So when I started thinking about what the perfect story would be to embody that sense of noticing, of wonder, of finding mystery in the everyday, I naturally thought about my neighborhood turkeys. I’ve written before about these charismatic urbanfauna and how they can be understood by planners as an example of how surprising interventions can facilitate building social capital. But here, I was thinking about them differently, as local “characters of interest,” subjects of community mythmaking. That’s all I’ll say. Except: this is my first podcast. And, I hope, it’s a preview of coming attractions. Since so much of this blog is about walking, and pretty much all I do as I’m walking around …
mr. moneybags! (do you think this is social commentary?)
This lovely installation, part fish weir and part holiday decoration, was installed by members of Old South Church on Boylston Street. Old South Church is a beautiful old building with a very new vibe – they are GLBT friendly and host lots of community events, a jazz worship service, and more. In the summer they have a beautiful garden that grows heirloom flowers and vegetables, and in the winter they now have this. What a great piece of service for a congregation to offer to its community, during color-starved winter.
Last weekend my friend Molly and I braved the February cold in search of tortillas, urban revitalization, and harbor views. Not necessarily in that order (we never found the tortillas). East Boston is home to one of the largest Latino communities in the Boston area, and it used to be a primarily Italian-American neighborhood. So there are lots of fantastic smells, Catholic churches, and restaurants on every street. Eastie also has part of the Boston HarborWalk, a local resource which is absolutely gorgeous though admittedly more pleasant in the summer than in the bitter cold of midwinter. Anyhow, feast your eyes on some of these great shots of old waterfront piers and warehouses, the New Urbanist fantasia of Maverick Landing (which I could have sworn was a Hope VI property…), and more. Picture the smell of plantains, chicharron, and some freshly cooked pasta wafting down the street, Latin music playing through the windows of passing cars, and a gorgeous winter sun glinting off the Boston Harbor, and you’re as good as there.
these showed up after an unexpected winter storm.