Showing posts with label Boston. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Boston. Show all posts

Monday, May 28, 2018

Flag garden on Boston Common for Memorial Day

I worked in Boston on Wednesday and stopped by the Boston Common on the way to the MBTA at South Station to catch this view of the annual flag garden put up that day. 

It will remain through Memorial Day to honor the 37,000+ Massachusetts residents who gave it all for our country.

"Our signature community building event!  We and hundreds of volunteers create a majestic garden of flags on Boston Common for Memorial Day weekend.  Each of the 37,000+ flags we plant at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument will represent every brave Massachusetts service member who gave his or her life defending our country since the Revolutionary War. The completed garden is a breathtaking tribute to the true meaning of Memorial Day and a powerful message of community support to the families of these fallen heroes that their sacrifices will never be forgotten. 
We rely on donors and volunteers to create this display and to stand watch over them throughout Memorial Day weekend.  More information about these opportunities can be found here: Volunteer flyer 2018."
And by way of disclosure, I do work for John Hancock, one of the sponsors of this event.
Flag garden on Boston Common for Memorial Day
Flag garden on Boston Common for Memorial Day

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Franklin 2018 Boston Marathon Results

A search of the BAA Marathon Results for Franklin residents returns the following two screen shots. Congratulations to all who persevered in the weather on Monday.

You can use this link to find additional results or more information about the race:

Franklin 2018 Boston Marathon Results - page 1
Franklin residents 2018 Boston Marathon Results - page 1

Franklin 2018 Boston Marathon Results - page 2
Franklin residents 2018 Boston Marathon Results - page 2

Sunday, April 1, 2018

April vacation destination in our backyard: The Brown Sisters photos

As we enter April, a school vacation is coming up and perhaps you're looking for something to do. If you have ever been caught by the Brown Sisters photos, you can see them at the ICA in Boston through Apr 22. 

Nicholas Nixon is the photographer for the 40+ year series of the photos of his wife and her three sisters. More about Nicholas and his work follows:

"As an exhibition title, “Nicholas Nixon: Persistence of Vision” is almost self-explanatory. The show runs at the Institute of Contemporary Art through April 22. 
Nixon needs no introduction around here. For many years, he’s been one of the starriest names in what has long been a very starry photography faculty at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. And since his inclusion in the ground-breaking 1975 exhibition “New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape,” Nixon has had a national, and eventually international, reputation for decades. 
So the Nicholas Nixon part of the title is clear enough. Ditto “persistence.” Nixon turned 70 in October, and the show’s 112 black-and-white images start in 1974 and extend to this year. In fact, there are two or three photographs for each year. The sole exception is 2017, which has just one image: the latest iteration of Nixon’s most famous body of work, “The Brown Sisters.” The series consists of an annual group portrait of Nixon’s wife and three sisters-in-law."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

April vacation destination in our backyard: The Brown Sisters photos
April vacation destination in our backyard: The Brown Sisters photos

The ICA Exhibit

MOMA online contains 190+ of Nixon's photos

New Yorker link to Brown Sisters Photos

Saturday, September 30, 2017

North South Rail Link Meeting in Franklin, MA - Oct 4

The North South Rail Link (NSRL) Working Group Chairman, former Governor Michael S. Dukakis along with State Representative Jeffrey N. Roy, will host a NSRL meeting on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 7:00pm at the Franklin Historical Museum, 80 W. Central Street, Franklin, MA.

The public is welcome to attend this free event to learn more about the proposed NSRL project and ask important questions about this innovative rail initiative.

Former Governor Michael S. Dukakis will discuss the 21st century transportation solution for our area. The North/South Rail Link (NSRL) is a proposed 2.8-mile-long tunnel connecting Boston’s North and South Stations.

“The NSRL is one of the single most important investments in public transportation in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” said former Governor Michael S. Dukakis. “It is critically important that we connect those two stations to dramatically improve not only the commuter rail but regional rail channeling. I look forward to working with Representative Roy and his colleagues to make this happen.”

“The NSRL will close a major hole in the core of our state’s public and private transportation systems and improve efficiency, mobility, and capacity throughout Massachusetts, New England, and the Northeast Corridor,” said Rep. Jeffrey N. Roy (D-Franklin). “It will make commuting more convenient and accessible to all, and reduce the associated environmental impacts. It would also expand economic development for Franklin area residents through improved access to skilled workers, jobs, affordable housing, and new opportunities for much needed transit-oriented development.”

Led by Gov. Dukakis, the NSRL Working Group has been meeting for the past two years to promote this critically important and worthwhile rail infrastructure project that would be a tremendous benefit for all those who live, work, visit and do business in our area which hosts two commuter rail stations. At the Franklin meeting, he will lead a town hall discussion of the project with a panel of experts.

The construction of the NSRL would result in a reduction in commute times, consequently attracting public transit riders; it would improve air quality by eliminating approximately 55,000 cars off local and regional roadways daily alleviating highway congestion and decreasing carbon emissions; and it would also expand economic development.
North South Rail Link (NSRL)
North South Rail Link (NSRL)

You can learn more about the project at view a short video of the plan at

DATE: Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 7:00pm (Free and Open to the Public)
LOCATION: Franklin Historical Museum, 80 W. Central Street, Franklin, MA 02038
HOSTED BY: Former Governor Michael S. Dukakis and State Representative Jeffrey N. Roy
MORE INFO: Please visit, and view a short video of the plan at to learn more about this project.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Boston school starting times

In the Saturday edition of the Boston Globe:
"Boston school officials have decided against changing the start times for elementary, middle, and K-8 schools for next fall, saying they need more time to conduct an analysis and consult with the community, officials announced Friday night. 
“There are no plans at this time to make changes to start and end times for the upcoming school year as it’s important that we take the time to work with the entire school community through this process,” the School Department said."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

This is a follow up to an earlier story

Boston has three times for bus routes; 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30. They were looking to save money by switch some of the school star times so that more busses could run the three time slots. More planning and communication is needed before making any change.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Boston may follow Franklin on plastic bags

The Boston City Council meets today to take up a measure to reduce plastic bags for retail use. This is similar to the efforts in Franklin and other communities in MA.

  • Boston City Council full agenda

The proposed ordinance regarding the reduction of plastic bags in Boston

Coincidentally, the Franklin proposed bylaw is up for discussion at the Economic Development Committee meeting on Wednesday at 5:30 PM

cover page of presentation to Town Council on reducing plastic bags for retail
cover page of presentation to Town Council on reducing plastic bags for retail

Monday, May 30, 2016

Boston Common flag garden - 2016

If you got to the Boston Common this weekend, you might have seen the flag garden.
"Each of the 37,000 flags we plant at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument will represent every brave Massachusetts service member who gave his or her life defending our country since the Revolutionary War."
plaque noting the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund and acknowledging John Hancock as a sponsor
plaque noting the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund and acknowledging John Hancock as a sponsor 

a view of the flag garden
a view of the flag garden

another view of the flag garden
another view of the flag garden

Video I captured on Thursday during my lunch break:

Follow the link for a time lapse video of putting the flags in the garden

Note: I am employed by John Hancock, one of the prime sponsors of the flag garden

Thursday, March 31, 2016

"will revitalize an underutilized urban site" - Back Bay Station to be renovated

"It looks like Back Bay Station, the dingy and outdated transit hub of the MBTA at the corner of Dartmouth and Stuart streets, is getting an aesthetic overhaul, inside and out. So much so you might not even recognize the new structure. 
Boston Properties Inc. put forth plans Tuesday for the project, which would entail not just revamping the station itself, but the entire block surrounding it. Retail outposts would line the street level of a new glass office tower – 26 stories of twisting glass akin to several giant boxes stacked on top of each other at odd and seemingly random angles. 
The MBTA building itself, which sees some 30,000 commuters each day, would be redone to reflect a more modern transit station. Department stores and a supermarket could be in the picture as well, and the finished product will also offer "a variety of high-quality housing opportunities," which will reportedly include the creation of affordable housing."

Continue reading the article and view other renditions of the renovation

The full 242 page PDF of the project proposal can be found here

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Honor Massachusetts Veterans This Memorial Day

There are more than 40 parades around MA this Memorial Day. Oddly, the Franklin parade is not listed so there may be well more than the 40 listed. 
There are more than 40 Memorial Day parades scheduled this year in cities and towns across Massachusetts. Check with your municipality or the sponsor that organizes the parade in your area for start times and routes.

If you make your way to Boston, there is a flag garden set up on the Boston Common. 37,000 flags are set up to commemorate the more than 37,000 who have died defending us from the Revoluntionary War though the present conflicts.

I work in downtown Boston now so I managed to have lunch at the Public Garden and include a stop by the Common to take these photos on Friday.

The flag garden is supposed to remain up through the weekend. I expect they would take it down no earlier than Tuesday.

flag garden - view 1
flag garden - view 1

flag garden - view 2
flag garden - view 2

flag garden - view 3
flag garden - view 3

flag garden - view 4
flag garden - view 4

flag garden - view 5
flag garden - view 5

The MA Gov blog posting provides listing of other Memorial Day events

Sunday, April 19, 2015

2015 Boston Marathon - Spectator Guidelines

From the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA):

The 119th running of the Boston Marathon will be held on Patriot’s Day, Monday, April 20, 2015. This year, 30,000 registered participants will run the 26.2-mile course, which starts in Hopkinton and passes through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, and Brookline before culminating at the finish line on Boylston Street in Boston. An estimated 1 million spectators will line the streets to watch this year’s marathon. 
Local, regional, state, and federal public safety partners have collaborated to develop a comprehensive, layered safety and security plan that maintains the traditional family-oriented character and environment of this historic event. 
Public safety officials ask spectators to follow reasonable and commonsense guidelines when traveling to the area and cheering on the runners along the marathon course. These guidelines will help ensure a safe and secure day:

2015 Boston Marathon - Spectator Guidelines
2015 Boston Marathon - Spectator Guidelines

Follow the link to read all the guidelines

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The story of Post Office Square Park

Neal Sanders writes:
This post originally appeared on November 17, 2012.  I reprint it today because I learned that the Norman B. Leventhal Park at Post Office Square, the subject of this essay, was just chosen as the 2014 national winner of the Landmark Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects.  The prize is given for "a distinguished landscape architecture project completed between 15 and 50 years ago that retains its original design integrity and contributes significantly to the public realm of the community."  In my humble opinion, no park I have ever visited so perfectly matches that description as does this one.
Post Office Square Trellis
Post Office Square Trellis (photo from Neal Sanders)

I spent many years working in downtown Boston and one of my favorite places to have lunch during the summer was Post Office Square Park. 

If you did not know the full story behind the park (and I did not), Neal shares it all here:

How does this apply to Franklin?
I am sure that there are others who if they have not worked in Boston, at least have visited and found the park to be a unique and enjoyable space. Given the discussions in Franklin around our downtown, what could/should be the 'gateway', our own renovations of Main St, our own treasured green space (the Town Common), and that Neal had spoken here recently, his posting popped up on my radar as worthy of sharing. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Consumer affairs and Boston Harbor islands

Two quick links to share from the blogs.

1 - Top consumer affairs complaints

The MA Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations published a listing of the top complaints they receive and resources to help resolve them.

Last month, the Consumer Federation of America published a list of their top ten consumer complaints. In it, they named many of the issues that the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations keeps consumers informed about, ranging from auto complaints to fraud and scams. 
The Office of Consumer Affairs also releases an annual list of the Top 5 Massachusetts Consumer Issues. In 2013, our top five issues were related to insurance, auto, telephone service, cable service, and home improvement contractors.
Chances Are, You’ve Had to Deal with One of These 5 Consumer Issues

Chances Are, You’ve Had to Deal with One of These 5 Consumer Issues

Continue reading the article here

2 - Plan a day trip to one of the islands in Boston Harbor

Looking for a fun day trip for you and possibly your family? Look no further, the Boston Harbor Islands are the place to be. Lots of events take place on these islands during the summer months, so enjoy these festivities while they are here! 
Spectacle Island has five miles of beautiful hiking, a café, a visitor center with exhibits and a sandy swimming beach. It is also home to the highest point in the harbor with spectacular views. To get there, hop on the ferry at Long Wharf-North in Boston. While you are at Spectacle Island, enjoy a swim at a lifeguarded beach. If swimming isn’t your thing, Spectacle Island has a marina with day and overnight slips to tie your boat up. So, boat on over to the island and enjoy the serenity.
Plan a Day Trip – Right in Boston Harbor!

Plan a Day Trip – Right in Boston Harbor!

Continue reading the article here

You can also go direct to the Boston Harbor Islands webpage here

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Love lobster? Visit Boston today

The Mass Great Outdoors blog has an article on lobsters in advance of the Boston Seafood Festival being held today, July 27.

Did you know:
And while some lobsters might be as old as time (or close to it) they have not always been a delicacy. According to National Geographic, in the 17th and 18th centuries, lobsters were so abundant that they were used as food for the poor—and not even good food. Feeding your servant too much lobster was considered inhumane. There were laws forbidding people from giving servants lobster more than twice a week. Most surprising, lobsters were so cheap that they were even used as fertilizer!
Mass Great Outdoors blog
Mass Great Outdoors blog

Read more about lobsters on the Mass Great Outdoors blog here

Boston Seafood Festival
Boston Seafood Festival

More about the Boston Seafood Festival can be found on their webpage

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Driving to Boston: Prudential Tunnel Ceiling Removal Project

MassDOT has planned 3 significant weekend lane restrictions on Interstate 90 (Massachusetts Turnpike) in Boston to remove the Prudential Tunnel ceiling over the roadway. The ceiling remains safe and secure, but has deteriorated beyond the point of repair and must be removed. The tunnel ceiling is owned and maintained by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA).
Mass Dept of Transportation
Mass Dept of Transportation

The restrictions will reduce traffic to one lane eastbound and one lane westbound inside the Prudential Center Tunnel on the following weekends:

March 28-30
April 4-6
April 25-27

MassDOT and MCCA strongly encourage motorists planning travel along the Massachusetts Turnpike through Boston to consider using public transportation, seeking alternate routes and allowing additional time to travel through the work zone during these weekends.

For more information about this project and to view printable detour maps and directions, please visit

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Poem-A-Day: A Dream Within a Dream by Edgar Allan Poe

The Academy of American Poets publishes a daily email 'Poem-A-Day'. Today is Edgar Allen Poe's birthday.
Edgar Allan Poe was born 205 years ago today, in Boston, Massachusetts. Poe's work as an editor, poet, and critic had a profound impact on American and international literature, and his short stories mark him as one of the originators of both horror and detective fiction. Poe died on October 7, 1849.

A Dream Within a Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow:
You are not wrong who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.  
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand--
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep--while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream? 

Today's poem is in the public domain.

You can find the webpage version of this 'Poem-A-Day' here. Follow the link if you would also like to subscribe to receive your own copy of the daily email.

For more about Edgar Allen Poe you can read his entry on wikipedia here or on here

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Boston: Fun After Dark

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Summer Arts Weekend After Dark
Everyone knows that the real fun starts after dark.

After the sun sets on Copley Square on Friday and Saturday, join me and some of my closest friends for After Dark. It's all part of the Boston Globe WGBH Summer Arts Weekend, presented by Citizens Bank.

Buy tickets now for the exclusive After Dark performances.

Dr John;Angelique Kidjo
Spend Friday evening jamming with Dr. John and Della Mae. Come back Saturday night for a toast with Angelique Kidjo and Red Baraat.

Get tickets right now, and use the member discount code (WGBH20) to save 20 percent.

After Dark is the only place to see the biggest acts from BSAW's big stage playing together at a cocktail party for an intimate audience. And I hope that audience includes you.

Brian O'Donovan
Artistic Director, Boston Summer Arts Weekend
Host, A Celtic Sojourn on 89.7 WGBH Boston Public Radio

PS – After two late nights, don't forget about the Baroque Brunch on Sunday, July 28. Tickets are on sale. WGBH members save 20% on tickets for a limited time (use code WGBH20).

Buy tickets

WGBH | One Guest Street | Boston, MA 02135 | 617-300-5400Privacy Policy | Pledge & Renew

Saturday, June 29, 2013

One Run for Boston

A cross-country relay intended to raise money for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings will cross through Mendon and Upton this Sunday.

This relay will also run through Hopkinton, Framingham, Wellesley, Newtown and finish in Boston. Most of these are group stages, so runner can still sign up to run in the group. Additional information can be found on the MA sections here

Explore the website here

Follow them on Twitter

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"it's almost like the innocence is gone”

Local runners shared their experiences of the Marathon on Monday with the Milford Daily News:
Kimberly Austin, 39, of Franklin, was on Hereford Street heading toward Boylston Street when she heard the first explosion. 
“As I ran down Boylston, I made it to the 26 mile marker when I heard and saw the second explosion, and there was still the smoke from the first,” Austin wrote in an e-mail. “The police ran in and made all of the runners stop and everyone, including spectators on Boylston, turned around and moved out.” 
Austin is still rattled from Monday, but said that her family and running teammates are all fine. 
“It was a horrific and chaotic scene - the worst experience I have ever witnessed,” she said.  

Read more:

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

"the day was scary, and reminded her about priorities"

Some Franklin runners were able to finish the Marathon on Monday, some were among those stopped.
Jamie Tighe, of Franklin, was another one of thousands of runners who never made it across the Boylston Street finish line. 
After Tighe and her Dana Farber charity teammate had passed mile 21 but before they reached mile 22, police received word of the finish line bombings and immediately ordered runners off the road. 
“The police were just in the middle of the roads saying ‘You cannot be on the roads,’” she said.
Tighe said at first, she was disappointed when police stopped the race. She said her training went very well and she had been running faster than she expected as she approached the 35-kilometer mark. 
“Then when I heard what happened to other people and what serious it was, that takes a back seat,” she said.

“I finished about an hour before the blasts and I was two blocks away,” said Katie Rizzolo of Franklin. “Some people started screaming and running, but for the most part, everyone whipped out their phones, called their loved ones and got out.”

Read more: