Blogging from A to Z Challenge: I is for Instructions #atozchallenge


I’m participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge through all of April 2017. Every day (except Sundays), I will be posting a new, original photograph (or photographs) related to the letter of the alphabet.

The letter “I” is for “Instructions:”

 

I did.

How does this photo make you feel? Does it tell a story? What technical suggestions would you offer for improving the photograph?

Let me know in the comments!

Boston By Foot Jamaica Plain Walking Tour 7/21 @ 6 PM


Next week, Thursday July 21 at 6 pm, I will be one of the guides leading the Boston By Foot walking tour of Jamaica Plain. Yes, two of my favorite things – historic walking tours of Boston and my home neighborhood – will come together for ONE NIGHT ONLY!

Regular readers of this blog will remember the Jamaica Plain A to Z experiment, and many sites mentioned in the A to Z will be on the tour.  Here is the full description of the tour.

Jamaica Plain is one of the smaller neighborhoods of Boston, with an unusually big history. JP (as it usually called by locals) encompasses only 3.07 square miles but offers a tremendously rich and varied narrative.

Settled by Puritans in the 1630s and attracting wealthy Bostonians to build summer estates on the Jamaica Pond in the 18th century, JP was transformed in the 19th century by transportation. It became a “streetcar suburb” and earned the nickname “The Eden of America.”

Come along to see one of the oldest houses in Jamaica Plain used as a military hospital at the start of the American Revolution, a selection of very impressive Victorian houses, and part of the Emerald Necklace park system.

On this walking tour you will discover why Jamaica Plain is so well-loved by its residents.

Here is the remainder of my 2016 schedule.  I don’t expect to be adding any other tours this year, so if you want to see me, make sure to come out for one of these tours!

July 14: The Dark Side of Boston – 6pm

July 15:  Heart of the Freedom Trail – 11am

July 15:  Road to Revolution – 1pm

July 21:  Jamaica Plain – 6pm

July 28: The Dark Side of Boston – 6pm

August 4: The Dark Side of Boston  – 6pm

August 5: Boston by Little Feet – 10 am

August 11: The Dark Side of Boston – 6pm

August 18: The Dark Side of Boston – 6pm

August 25: The Dark Side of Boston – 6pm

August 26:  Heart of the Freedom Trail – 11am

August 26:  Road to Revolution – 1pm

September 9: The Dark Side of Boston – 6pm

September 26: Heart of the Freedom Trail – 11am

September 27: Heart of the Freedom Trail – 11am

September 28: Heart of the Freedom Trail – 11am

September 30: The Dark Side of Boston – 6pm

October 14: The Dark Side of Boston – 6pm

October 28:  The Dark Side of Boston – 6pm

November 11: The Dark Side of Boston – 6pm

2016 Bikes Not Bombs Bike-A-Thon is Sunday, June 19th!


So, the Bikes Not Bombs Bike-A-Thon was rained out on June 5th so we’ll be riding on the rain date of June 19th instead.  This means I have one more chance to encourage you to sign up and ride or to support the ride of me and my son Peter.  So far we’ve received $463 in donations for Bikes Not Bombs.  It would be awesome if we could get to $500 or more!

Here’s my original appeal:

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.

Peter with his 2015 Bike-A-Thon finisher’s medal.

Based in Boston not far from where we live, Bikes Not Bombs serves two great purposes. First they collect and renovate bicycles to ship to developing communities in Central America, the Carribean and Africa. These bicycles help people meet crucial transportation needs with an easily maintained and environmentally friendly vehicle. Secondly, they help youth right here in Boston learn skills such as urban bike riding and bicycle repair that contributes to building their confidence and leadership skills. Please help us in our efforts by making a generous donation!

Here’s how you can help:

Read about our previous Bike-A-Thons in 2011, 2013, and 2015.

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


Hey!  Just want to share this again since the Bikes Not Bombs Bike-A-Thon is this Sunday!  You still have time to sponsor us and/or sign up to ride yourself!

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 o…

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

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.

Peter with his 2015 Bike-A-Thon finisher’s medal.

Based in Boston not far from where we live, Bikes Not Bombs serves two great purposes. First they collect and renovate bicycles to ship to developing communities in Central America, the Carribean and Africa. These bicycles help people meet crucial transportation needs with an easily maintained and environmentally friendly vehicle. Secondly, they help youth right here in Boston learn skills such as urban bike riding and bicycle repair that contributes to building their confidence and leadership skills. Please help us in our efforts by making a generous donation!

Here’s how you can help:

Read about our previous Bike-A-Thons in 2011, 2013, and 2015.

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, I have no idea to do with Q).

If you started reading this blog for the A to Z Challenge, I hope you stick around.  My About page lists the typical topics you will see covered in this blog as well as other ways to connect with me.

Below are links to all 27 posts for JP A to Z:

JPAtoZ-logo
Click to see more “Blogging A to Z” posts.

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, once home to the late & lamented Christopher whose roars echoed through the city, and now home to the brothers Dinari and Kamaia. The premier exhibit is the Tropical Forest which is home to a troop of gorillas including the baby Azize born last May.  The Franklin Farm contains a petting zoo, and we’re eagerly awaiting the opening of the new children’s zoo Nature’s Neighborhoods.

 

Post for “Z” in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

Click to see more “Blogging A to Z” posts.

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 examples out in the wild this April.

Yarn-1
You probably can’t make a call anymore, but at least the phone booth is warm.

 

Yarn-2
Yarn decoration in the chain link fence by the English High playing fields.
For many yarn bombers, this is home base.
For many yarn bombers, this is home base.

JP Knit & Stitch routinely yarn bomb a post outside the store, but it never seems to be there when I have my camera.  Here’s a photo on Instagram.

Post for “Y” in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

Click to see more “Blogging A to Z” posts.

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 a few major ones.

Boston Children’s Museum

I visited Boston for the first time as a child in 1980 and a highlight of that vacation was going to the Boston Children’s Museum at Fort Point Channel.  I’ve been back many times taking my kids.  It’s a terrific museum and I’m sure its current location makes it easy from families all over Boston and out-of-town to get there, but how cool is it that the museum actually got its start in Jamaica Plain?  And how convenient would it be if it were still there?

The Children’s Museum opened in Pinebank Mansion overlooking Jamaica Pond in 1913 (the mansion was demolished in 2007).  In 1936 the museum opened in a new location on Burroughs Street where it remained until moving to Fort Point in 1979.  That location is still there betraying very little of its hands-on museum past.

X-Things-2

Green Line Arborway Branch

The Green Line E Branch or Arborway Branch once ran along S. Huntington Street to Centre Street to South Street to Forest Hills Station.  In 1985, service on this line was “temporarily” suspended, but it has not been restored in 31 years despites lawsuits and debates (and the fact the slow, overcrowded 39 bus is not an adequate replacement).  A few years back the tracks on the street were paved over and the trolley shelters at Forest Hills were removed as part of construction for Casey Arborway.

X-things-3
Ironically, this shelter was built in 1987 when the new station opened and was never used by a green line trolley.

There are still signs of the trolley if you know where to look.

X-Things-6
One of the many trolley poles still lining South & Centre Streets

 

X-Things-4
The door to the Galway Pub remembers the Arborway Trolley

The Elevated

From 1909 to 1987, elevated rapid transit trains rumbled over Washington Street in Jamaica Plain (roughly parallel to where the Orange Line now runs in the Southwest Corridor) making stops at Egleston Square, Green Street, and Forest Hills. It was a popular route and its existence certainly changed Jamaica Plain making it place where working people could live and commute into the city.  On the downside, it was noisy and blocked out sunlight on Washington Street, so many people were probably relieved when it came down.  Still, it would’ve been kind of cool if it had been renovated and maintained as an elevated walking/biking path akin to the High Line in New York.

X-Things-5
A brand-new mural in Egleston Square remembers the Elevated.

Post for “X” in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

Click to see more “Blogging A to Z” posts.