Sponsor Us for the 2016 Bikes Not Bombs Bike-A-Thon


On Sunday, June 5,  I will be riding with my 8-year-old son Peter in the Bikes Not Bombs Bike-A-Thon!   The Bike-A-Thon is always a fun event and it raise money for a terrific cause. This will be our fourth time participating. Based in Boston not far from where we live, Bikes Not Bombs serves two great purposes….

JP A to Z: Conclusion #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


April and the Blogging A to Z Challenge are now over.  Thanks for joining me on a journey through 26 things about my neighborhood of Jamaica Plain in Boston, MA.  I hope it was illuminating, although it barely scratches the surface. I could make another A to Z list with completely different topics (except Q,…

JP A to Z: Z is for Zoo #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


Z is for Zoo Franklin Park Zoo is part of the large Frederick Law Olmsted-designed park on the border between Jamaica Plain and Roxbury.  It’s a popular destination for local families. Although it’s not a particularly great zoo compared to others I visited, it does have some strong points.  One is the African Lion exhibit,…

JP A to Z: Y is for Yarn #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


Y is for Yarn Jamaica Plainers like to knit and stitch.  And when they’re not making clothing, tea cosies, and afghan blankets, they sometimes “yarn bomb”  – a colorful way of bringing a little cheer to the neighborhood. With yarn. Sadly, yarn bombing seems to be a seasonal activity so I haven’t found too many…

JP A to Z: X is for eX-JP #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


X is for eX-JP X marks the spot, and today’s JP A to Z post marks things that used to be in JP but are now long gone.  I’m sure longtime JP residents can list many things that used to be in JP (please list in the comments!) but I’m just going to focus on…

JP A to Z: W is for Wake Up the Earth #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


W is for Wake Up the Earth The winters in Jamaica Plain can be very harsh, so each spring the neighborhood explodes in springtime joy at the Wake Up the Earth Festival. The event, sponsored by Spontaneous Celebrations, begins with festive DIY parades that converge on the Southwest Corridor Park near Stony Brook station for…

JP A to Z: V is for Views #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


V is for Views This blog is called Panorama of the Mountains, and although I live on a hill in a place named for a plain, I’m always inspired by a good view. Here are some of my favorite views of Jamaica Plain: If you go to the far side of Jamaica Pond and look…

JP A to Z: U is for Ukraine Way #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


U is for Ukraine Way Today’s JP A to Z is a bit of a mystery.  Ukraine Way is possibly the shortest through street in the city of Boston connecting Hyde Park Avenue to Washington Street just southwest of Forest Hills Station.  No one has a Ukraine Way address, because there are no buildings on…

JP A to Z: S is for Spontaneous Celebrations #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


S is for Spontaneous Celebrations On an otherwise quiet back street near Stony Brook station stands this festive building.  It was built in the 1870s as the clubhouse for the Boylston Schul-Verein, one of the many ethnic social clubs common in Jamaica Plain in the 19th century.  Today it is home to Spontaneous Celebrations, a contemporary…

JP A to Z: Q is for (Latin) Quarter #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


Q is for (Latin) Quarter I’m definitely cheating a bit to get a Q in here.  After all, I could have posted Latin Quarter for L instead of a couple of poets.  And I could’ve posted the poets for P instead of Francis Parkman.  And I could’ve posted Francis Parkman for F instead of the…

JP A to Z: P is for Parkman #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


P is for Parkman If you visit Jamaica Plain, you’ll run into the name “Parkman” in various places. It’s the name of a playground: It’s inscribed on a school building, now home to the BTU K-8 School: It’s the name of a road running past Jamaica Pond: And if you brave the ridiculously high-speed traffic…

JP A to Z: O is for Orange Line #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


O is for Orange Line The Orange Line is the life line for Jamaica Plain, allowing JP residents a direct rapid transit commute to Downtown Boston and connections to other communities beyond.  The Orange Line in Jamaica Plain was originally the Elevated over Washington Street (more on that in a future JP A to Z…

JP A to Z: N is for Nobel Peace Prize #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


N is for Nobel Peace Prize Jamaica Plain is home to a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, although you have to know where to look for any evidence of the fact.  Emily Greene Balch (1867-1961) taught economics at Wellesley College for many years but when she became an outspoken opponent of the United States involvement in…

JP A to Z: M is for Monument #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


M is for Monument At an island at the fork of two of Jamaica Plain’s “main streets” – Centre and South – stands a prominent landmark, the Soldier’s Monument, known to many as just The Monument.  Dedicated in 1871, the Monument is a memorial to the 23 men of West Roxbury (as Jamaica Plain was…

JP A to Z: L is for Ley Line #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


L is for Ley Line Jamaica Plain has connections to not one but two 20th century poets known for the confessional style. Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)  was born on a quiet street in Jamaica Plain.  Her father was a botanist who did research in the nearby Arnold Arboretum.  She moved away around the age of 4,…

JP A to Z: K is for Kuchamakin #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


K is for Kuchamakin If you’ve been reading the Jamaica Plain A to Z series the past couple of weeks, you may be wondering how a neighborhood in Boston ended up getting named Jamaica Plain.   The Plain part is deceptively simple.  The area around Jamaica Pond where the central village is located is flat.  Yet, other…

JP A to Z: J is for Jamaica Pond #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


J is for Jamaica Pond A defining topographical feature of Jamaica Plain is this 68 acre kettle pond that is 53 feet deep at its center.  Jamaica Pond was formed of land scooped out by glaciers and was landscaped by the Frederick Law Olmsted firm to retain a natural beauty.  It’s a popular destination for walking,…