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Old 02-16-2010, 03:34 PM   #41
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Re: Boston Adventure

If it ran with rapid-transit frequency, or even every 20 minutes, people would use it. I've seen such frequent-running commuter rail in other cities (Amsterdam, Paris, London, even San Francisco-San Jose)
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:55 PM   #42
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Re: Boston Adventure

Spewing particulates, the elephantine diesel freight locomotive groaned and strained to achieve a half-respectable pace before it was forced to begin the process of braking for the next station.

The few passengers aboard who had been to Europe dreamed of train travel in Amsterdam, Paris and London.
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:58 PM   #43
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Re: Boston Adventure

Ablarc -- There's plenty of adventure to be found on my side of the Callahan Tunnel. Take Eagle Hill: it's as diverse a neighborhood as you'll find in Boston. There are stunning examples of Victorians that in better days, would rival some of the finer homes on the Jamaica Way. But Eagle Hill is in the glide path of Runway 15/33, and is therefore, it's a less-than-desirable address. The result is < 35% owner occupancy, lots of Section 8 housing, and pockets of aggressive criminal enterprise.

The root causes of current ills would make quite a book too. If you make a place undesirable through ill-conceived public policy, you'll create a nest for undesirable activities.
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:15 PM   #44
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Re: Boston Adventure

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Like Colonel Landa?
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:21 PM   #45
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Re: Boston Adventure

alright, alright... I was trying to be poetic. The El doesn't "rumble overhead" but there is a major elevated train line that is so loud it's hard to talk when you're haggling with a street vendor selling frozen steaks from the pack of a pick-up truck while a friend of his looks around for cops.

My point is that ablarc's exactly right and also wrong. The "gritty adventure" has been purged from the city's core. It's gone. But it's very much alive and well, relegated to the fringes.

Much of the descriptions that I read in that first post sound a lot like Upham's Corner or Field's Corner today. Upham's Corner especially is rowdy and fun and has the Strand Theatre, Yaz's Place and a bar that was just shut down for having cocaine taped under the bar stools.

Adventure!
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:25 PM   #46
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Re: Boston Adventure

On the other hand, Charles Circle also has an elevated Red Line, and Winchester Center has an elevated diesel commuter rail line (with higher train frequency than Uphams Corner, and closer to the commercial center too). Doesn't make either one 'adventurous' in the sense being used here.

The other two remaining places with elevated T stations are Malden Center and Beachmont in Revere. I'm not familiar enough with either neighborhood to say how much 'grit' the stations contribute.
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:28 PM   #47
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Re: Boston Adventure

You and Jimmy Breslin just wouldn't have much to talk about (at least with civility ).
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:29 PM   #48
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Re: Boston Adventure

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relegated to the fringes.
This is the problem. It's not the same experience.

Upham's may be interesting but it's not part of a larger urban fabric, really. It's an isolated node. It might as well be downtown Lawrence.
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:57 PM   #49
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Re: Boston Adventure

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Upham's ... not part of a larger urban fabric, really. It's an isolated node. It might as well be downtown Lawrence.
Aha! Like an exurb.

You and I may have discovered a new type of habitat: the exurb-almost-in-the-city.

Would Kotkin be interested? Or what's-his-name ... the guy in Saratoga?
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:12 PM   #50
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Re: Boston Adventure

To step away a moment from the classification of these underserved and misunderstood neighborhoods, who gets the goat-horns for their present state? The City? The Commonwealth? Property owners who let their property fall into ruin? Residents who have become disengaged from the political process? Dick Cheney? The terrorists?
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:20 PM   #51
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Re: Boston Adventure

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To step away a moment from the classification of these underserved and misunderstood neighborhoods, who gets the goat-horns for their present state? The City? The Commonwealth? Property owners who let their property fall into ruin? Residents who have become disengaged from the political process? Dick Cheney? The terrorists?
Satan?
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:32 PM   #52
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Re: Boston Adventure

I'd nominate commercial landlords who prefer to keep property vacant rather than lower rents to the point where they can attract viable retail and restaurant tenants.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:37 PM   #53
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Re: Boston Adventure

Good point, Ron.

Do any of Druker's holdings span into these "fringe" neighborhoods?

Ablarc may be on to something: in a certain light, you can see the horns on Druker's head...
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:29 PM   #54
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Re: Boston Adventure

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Aha! Like an exurb.

You and I may have discovered a new type of habitat: the exurb-almost-in-the-city.

Would Kotkin be interested? Or what's-his-name ... the guy in Saratoga?
I think they would both scream bloody murder about the under/misutilization of resources these neighborhoods represent.

Unfortunately we have a system that encourages that, and too much planning for economic efficiency doesn't seem to work out in the long run, either.

Are we doomed to wasted spaces?
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:32 PM   #55
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Re: Boston Adventure

Kotkin argues that the model of urban development as exemplified by pre-automobile cities such as New York City and Paris is outdated in many cases. Kotkin believes in a "back to basics" approach which stresses nurturing the middle class and families with traditional suburban development. He states that the current trend of growth of suburbs will be the dominant pattern around the world. As a result, he believes rail transit is not always ideal for modern cities and suburbs. --wikipedia
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:15 PM   #56
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Re: Boston Adventure

Kotkin's "Back to the basics" doesn't imply suburban development, per se, just a focus on infrastructure and sustainable jobs over "creative city" philosophy.

Occasionally he's taken to praising the suburbs for maintaining this focus more than cities, and I think his critics have seized on that as a red herring.
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Old 02-17-2010, 07:10 AM   #57
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Re: Boston Adventure

The minute Florida declared that cities had to be cool, however, it was only a matter of time before Joel Kotkin starting writing that cities wouldn?t succeed unless they were un-cool.

Kotkin had long been a fan of what he calls ?nerdistans? ? boring suburbs (he always seems to mention Irvine) that nevertheless house some of the most powerful drivers of the American economy, especially in the tech sectors.

But Florida?s work really revved him up. In a typical article for the Manhattan Institute last year, Kotkin called the cool cities idea ?shtick? and suggested that the creative class ?by the time they get into their 30s, may be more interested in economic opportunity, a single family house and procreation than remaining ?hip and cool? urbanites.?

http://www.cp-dr.com/node/1777
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:56 PM   #58
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Re: Boston Adventure

Again the false dichotomy between urban/cool/meaningless and suburban/uncool/real. He has the right idea attacking Florida but draws the wrong or too bold conclusions from his premises.
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:59 PM   #59
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Re: Boston Adventure

"nerdistan" already exists, and it stretches from the Kendall-Lechmere area through the rest of Cambridge and adjoining parts of Somerville (and a bit of Arlington too).
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:27 AM   #60
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Re: Boston Adventure

^ Are you sure it isn't Newton?
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