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Old 02-14-2012, 12:44 PM   #121
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When I lived in Boston, Adde, we were on the "wrong" side of Beacon Hill. That was before they moved the Haymarket Square market (which they would kill to have back, I'm sure), and we used to shop there, and in many of the North End places.

You wanna talk about sticker shock, try shopping like that for several years, and then walk into a regular supermarket for the first time. OMG!
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:08 PM   #122
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When I lived in Boston, Adde, we were on the "wrong" side of Beacon Hill. That was before they moved the Haymarket Square market (which they would kill to have back, I'm sure), and we used to shop there, and in many of the North End places.

You wanna talk about sticker shock, try shopping like that for several years, and then walk into a regular supermarket for the first time. OMG!
Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the Haymarket pushcarts are now open around the corner from Fanuiel Hall and Quincy Market. I always think of shopping in the North End as stepping back onto the cobble stones of Italy. And the stores that were there when you shopped there, are now run by third and fourth generation Italian families. And the next generation is running around the store "helping" to get stuff for the customer. They learn to read the can labels before they ever learn about Dick and Jane. They are in training just as their parents were.

They still have bins where you buy your pasta, beans, etc.in bulk. And there is still the Cafe where the walls and floor are done in the tiles of the thirties. It looks like it was taken right off the walls and floor of some ancient Roman building.

Those brick tenements that are four and five stories with walk-up stairs were built by the immigrating Italians. They brought not only their foods with them, but their skills. They built today's Boston. That is why so many of the buildings are brick.

Boston's North End is very much the "Pre-war Italy". And it works. As the saying goes, "Dont fix it if it ain't broken."
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:08 PM   #123
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So they were smart enough to bring it back? That's really great! They had moved it when they'd renovated Fanuiel Hall and Qunicy market because they were afraid it would interfere with the tourist trade they were trying to establish in that area.

Did you know that until they moved it, Haymarket was the oldest continuously operated market in America?

Most of us felt that a little brick, when they built Government Center, would have been more appropriate than that uber-modern crap. It was bad enough they destroyed one of the great skid rows of this country to build it. Some brick would have at least tied it into the surrounding neighborhoods.
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Old 02-14-2012, 04:12 PM   #124
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So they were smart enough to bring it back? That's really great! They had moved it when they'd renovated Fanuiel Hall and Quincy market because they were afraid it would interfere with the tourist trade they were trying to establish in that area.

Did you know that until they moved it, Haymarket was the oldest continuously operated market in America?

Most of us felt that a little brick, when they built Government Center, would have been more appropriate than that uber-modern crap. It was bad enough they destroyed one of the great skid rows of this country to build it. Some brick would have at least tied it into the surrounding neighborhoods.
Scollay Square is no more. And the whole of the West End, except for one lone house, is completely gone. Government Center Plaza is all brick. They hold concerts there all summer long. Faneuil Hall and QM are the destination for tourists. They removed all the original cobble stones and then replaced them so that the tourists could walk on them. I used to love and sit there and watch the women tourists try to walk on them in heels. There are brick walkway for the less hardy. There are trendy food and other touristy shops inside QM. And there is a Comedy Club upstairs. A lot of the old signs from the old Haymarket are hanging around the building. The spaces downstairs in the cellar are now restaurants and tourists shop.

The "new" City Hall is going to be torn down. It was designed by I.M. Pei. It is all cement and doesn't represent the brick character of Boston. Ever since it was built, the residents have complained about how cold it feels. Even the inside is all cement. Outside on the walkway at FH and QM are pushcarts selling post cards, small snacks, baked potaotes, pretzels, etc.

The green monster called the Expressway is GONE. No more overhead traffic. I93 is all underground. The Big Dig made some major changes in Boston that you wouldn't believe. Too many to mention. Some old streets are gone, and therer are a lot of new ones. And due to the Big Dig, a lot of the rats are gone also. A lot of new buildings have and are going up. It is changing the skyline of downtown Boston. But the North End will never change.

When I was a child, the Custom House was the tallest building.
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:42 PM   #125
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I sort of kept up with some of those changes through Robert Parker's later works. But, like every other urban environment nowdays, if you go away for a few years you don't recognize it when you return.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:01 PM   #126
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I sort of kept up with some of those changes through Robert Parker's later works. But, like every other urban environment nowdays, if you go away for a few years you don't recognize it when you return.
When I lived in Texas and Hawaii, so many servicemen from WWII would ask me about Scollay Square. It broke their heart when I told them it was gone and there was no more Old Howard.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:28 AM   #127
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Kind of interesting to hear. I thought most people only knew of it because of the Kingston Trio song.

Perhaps the biggest change, though, is the gentrification of the waterfront. I had a friend who lived on a boat, down there, when it was still a run-down industrial area. He literally paid no rent. Now, from what I understand, it's all condos and upscale shopping.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:10 AM   #128
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Kind of interesting to hear. I thought most people only knew of it because of the Kingston Trio song.

Perhaps the biggest change, though, is the gentrification of the waterfront. I had a friend who lived on a boat, down there, when it was still a run-down industrial area. He literally paid no rent. Now, from what I understand, it's all condos and upscale shopping.
You wouldn't believe how much expansion there has been on the T. Several new subway station, The Red Line runs all the way down to Braintree and way past Porter square into Arlington and Cambridge near the Alewife River. The Blue Line goes to Wonderland in Revere and will be expanded to Lynn. Now they have a Purple Line that is the commuter line. It goes all the way to Providence and to Portland Maine. The Orange Line go to Melrose on one end and out to Brookline on the other. The El that ran through to Roxbury is gone and the subway stations run on street levels. There are no more change booths in any station. You have to buy a "Charlie Card" (Kingston Trio) at vending machines.

As for the waterfront, there are parks, tall condos, green places where the xpressway was, even a beautiful Rose Garden named after Rose Kennedy in the middle of the street. We also have a beautiful aquarium down at Rowes Wharf along with a beautiful all brick hotel. There are hourly ferry trips through Boston Harbor and the T provides commuter boats from different cities and towns to downtown Boston and back at night. Down by South Station, there is a 42 story building. And South Station is only half the size it used to be. The other half has a humongous postal distribution center and a 14 story office building. I remember as a kid, freight trains used to run along past South station and would pick up cargo at the different wharfs. Now it has a boat where tourists can throw tea into the harbor, and a floating wharf that is a seafood restaurant. There is also two museums, a children's and a transportation one. There is also a Federal Reserve 20 story building. You can't even approach the building unless you have your ID out where it can be seen about 25 feet in front of the door. the biggest change in Boston is the security. Since one of the planes took off from Boston on 9/11 any time there is a security problem, Boston almost goes on lock-down. All subways stop running and you have to use surface transportation. And you have to go through the same security as you do at any airport to see and board Old Ironsides.

Are you enjoying your trip down memory lane?
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:42 AM   #129
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Ahhh, progress.
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