The annual World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) is one month from today and for those who would like to participate, check out the World Naked Bike Ride Boston Facebook page and the official event website, wnbrboston.com. For those of you unfamiliar with this annual ride, the WNBR is a clothing optional global protest to call for more bike-friendly streets.
The starting location of this year’s ride won’t be announced until Thursday, July 19th. A pre-party (date TBA) will begin at 6PM and the ride will start at 8PM on Saturday, July 21. Let me know if you plan on participating in this year’s ride. I’d love to hear more about this year’s ride.
Boston Gay Pride 1971 Source Spencer Grant || Getty Images
This June, The History Project will host tours that follow the route of Boston’s first pride march which was first held on June 26, 1971. The march focused on four oppressive institutions at the time: the police, the government, hostile bars and religious institutions. The walking tour provided by The History Project will tell the stories of services, community organizations, issues and people related to the route and Boston’s LGBTQ history.
Tours will meet on Saturday, June 2 and 16 at Jacques Cabaret (at 79 Broadway in Bay Village) at 1PM and will take approximately 90-minutes with the tour concluding on the Boston Common. To join the tour, you will need to reserve your spot in advance.
In 2012, the first Japan Festival Boston was hosted, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the friendship gift of cherry blossom trees from Kyoto (the sister city of Boston) to Washington D.C. This year marks the seventh annual Japan Festival in Boston on the Boston Common (April 28-29).
For those of you who enjoy Japanese food note that Saturday (1PM – 6PM) there will be nearly a dozen vendors selling some of the best ramen noodle you can find in Boston. On Sunday (11AM – 5PM), additional booths will be open, workshops will be ongoing as well as stage performances, a cosplay contest and more. For more information about this year’s festival, visit their website, www.japanfestivalboston.org, and if you are fascinated by Japanese culture be sure to check out The Japan Society of Boston.
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) recently released a report to help the region and surrounding communities plan for the future, but since the future cannot be predicted with certainty they have two different scenarios based on different assumptions. One projection, called the “Status Quo” assumes a continuation of current trends and a second projection called “Stronger Region” explores how changing trends could result in a higher population growth, more demand for housing and a substantially larger workforce. The projections provide a window into what the region’s future might look like.
Click on maps to enlarge || Source: MAPC Analysis
Above is a side-by-side comparison of projected population changes under both scenarios. However, Boston’s population has increased by nearly 50,000 people (in 2010 the city’s population was 618,000 and in 2016 it increased to approximately 667,137) so perhaps their projections need to be revised. Under the “Stronger Region” projection it suggests the area could gain 90k+ by 2030 but the current trajectory suggests that could be achieved by 2023; although this doesn’t take into account a general population drain that may be happening in surrounding communities. Key findings include the following:
- Slow growth is in store if the region keeps losing population to other states. Therefore attracting more young people is critical to growing the region’s
- New housing demand will outpace population growth due to declining household size. Many signs point to the resurgence of urban
- Under either scenario, the number of school-age children in the region and most municipalities peaked in 2000 and is likely to decline over the coming decades.
According to US Census data, the city of Boston had a population of 618,000 people in 2010, that increased to approximately 667,137 in 2016. The Greater Boston area is home to an estimated 4.7 million, making it the 10th largest metropolitan area in the United States.
If you’d like to read the executive summary or full report shared by MAPC visit their website, www.mapc.org/learn/projections.
The Appeal to the Great Spirit dominates the MFA Boston entrance and is one of my favorite pieces of public art in Boston
WBUR recently published The 50 Best Works of Public Art in Greater Boston, ranked. WBUR Arts reporter, Greg Cook, opens the article pointing to past criticisms by other Boston art critics who complain of a lack of imagination and a history of having too many sculptures of sports heroes and old white politicians.
Boston’s public art isn’t what is stodgy as much as it might be those whining art critics who must only walk around Beacon Hill, The Back Bay and Government Center. If they ever visited other neighborhoods they might be surprised by what they see. While I agree that Boston has a ton of art dedicated to athletes and politicians let’s remember this is a sports town of the first order and there was this little thing called the American Revolution which started here so we should have a lot of those statues – it’s what the tourists come here to see.
Brazilian street artists, Os Gemeos’s, 70′ x 70′ mural in Dewey Square was the first temporary art installation on the Greenway, Aug 1 – Nov 25, 2012
I have to compliment Cook on his list of public art, but in this blog post I’ve added a few favorites of mine which didn’t make his list. Notably I’d like to also share a 2015 article from Boston Magazine, which was dedicated to the amazing street art that dominates much of Allston, Neighborhood Public Art: Allston.
I would also like to give a shout out to the Underground Ink Block park, which opened last year and I think was overlooked. It shares more creative graffiti street art under the I-93 expressway along the South End / Southie border. Below are some examples of what you’ll find in this new park.
Earlier this week The Boston Globe shared a story about how traffic in metro Boston has gotten worse. According to the article, a study by INRIX Global Traffic cited that the average Boston-area driver will spend 60 hours a year in traffic, that ranks Boston as the 7th worst in the nation. If you don’t live in Boston but are curious to see how your city ranks visit: inrix.com/scorecard
Fortunately, Sergio and I remain largely unaffected by this since we both live and work in the city and on most days both of us are working from home. I found the study surprising because it seems like today there is more flexibility for people to work from home a couple times a week and/or commute during off hours, but clearly I am wrong or it isn’t enough of a trend.
Source: Boston Globe
For those of you who will be packing up soon to face the traffic, which was the impetus for the article in the Globe, you can read the full article here, Boston drivers are spending more time in traffic.
I was recently approached by a reader of this blog who let me know that the Chandler Inn, a 50+ room, boutique hotel in the South End, has been sold. I did a little nosing around and it appears the friend of this blog was correct. From what I’ve learned, last week the staff was made aware of the sale which is either pending or just happened.
The Chandler Inn has some significance to Boston’s gay community because many LGBTQ travelers stay there, the ground level bar and restaurant, Trophy Room, is one of a very few gay bars that remain in Boston and each year after the Pride parade finishes a large outdoor block party virtually surrounds the hotel.
Details of the sale are a bit sketchy but it sounds like it was purchased by Pineapple Hospitality Company, a Seattle-based boutique hotel chain with properties on the west coast and in Chicago. At this time it doesn’t appear as if any changes are imminent. If anyone has any details to share about the sale, feel free to reach out to me directly.