We have been staying once again in the middle of the city. As some of you know, I went to school here in Boston many, many moons ago. The transformation of the waterfront between then and now is dramatic. Some of the changes are good. Some… well… less so.
The big catalyst for changes here was the project known as the “Big Dig”. The old elevated highway called the “Southeast Expressway” was buried under ground at an incredible cost ($24 BILLION dollars–the most expensive highway project in US history).
The removal of the elevated highway opened up the waterfront to development and tourism in ways that were never possible before. The character of the neighborhoods has significantly gentrified. The old North End, which was in my memory an Italian immigrant enclave, is now home only to very expensive condos. Some of the old flavor is retained in restaurants, but it is really is not the same. More Disneyland, less “real”.
It used to be I would come down to Haymarket on Friday for a real farmer’s market. The same market is here, but it is now just a craft and trinket sale. Tourism is now the central business of the waterfront. Ferries, whale watching boats, and daysailing schooners dominate the harbor.
We have been here getting some travel and logistical projects complete, and we will continue our migration south in a few days. In the mean time, here are some views of Boston from the water: