When you walk, or worse, drive through Boston’s Seaport area you see an explosive leap to the sky (capped by height restrictions from nearby Logan Airport). At the same time every inch of available real estate is being gobbled up in a feeding frenzy of leveraged transactions. All this construction encroaches on the roads, closing sidewalks and lanes, wiping out parking lots and small businesses. What grows is beautiful and modern, if challenging to navigate in the short term.
The seaport used to be desolate 30 years ago. Cross over Fort Point Channel and…. not much. An active seaport to be sure, and fishing piers, a seldom-used Hynes Convention Center, a few restaurants but not much else. Talk of the Red Sox and Patriots opening a shared sports complex blew up in political opposition. But then the Federal Courthouse opened up, with prime water views. A larger Massachusetts Convention Center opened along with an outdoor concert venue popped up. Then Legal Seafoods opened a large restaurant and there was wind in the sails. And suddenly the floodgates opened up.
Today the Seaport is madness, thriving and accelerating in growth. High end steakhouses, trendy beer gardens, hotels and mixed-use buildings everywhere. The only thing they neglected was open public space and the infrastructure to support the crush of people commuting in and out. Surely there’s a grand plan for that, but honestly it seems the city is just winging it on mass transit and the roads.
I finish this post still in the Seaport, but now at Trillium Brewing Company. An IPA and a pause before driving home. Wait out the traffic and get out of dodge. But [please] don’t do it under the influence of an IPA. There’s plenty of business in the Seaport, but New Hampshire and home calls. But perhaps a 4-pack to bring home with me… call it a souvenir if you will.