The Greening of Boston
America's most European city is also one of the most welcoming to gays and lesbians. Boston is the capital of Massachusetts, the first state to allow marriage for same-sex couples. It's also an incredibly beautiful city with an efficient, modern subway system and interesting neighborhoods begging to be discovered on foot.
I visited this weekend to explore the new Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. Officially opened in October 2008, this series of parks is an elegant green open space stretching one mile from the North End, traditionally home to Boston's Italian population, to Chinatown. When Boston's 'Big Dig' project (moving an elevated highway below ground) was completed, the city in effect was able to reclaim this broad swath of land creating an inviting pedestrian space.
Photos along the Greenway. Top: mid-way along the park looking north towards the old Custom House Tower. In the foreground, an interesting, colorful and interactive sculpture mimicking the sound of water as you pass by. Right: looking north with tower sculptures (that light up at night). Left: Looking woards Banknorth Garden and in the distance Boston's striking Zakim Bridge.
To make my research easier, I stayed nearby at the Langham Hotel, which occupies the space of the former Federal Reserve, a gorgeous historic landmark building. The hotel's location is really perfect for explorations of downtown and for business travelers. Impeccable service meets elegant, traditional décor and there's also a very popular new lounge restaurant called Bond, pictured right. It's quite the hot spot (primarily straight, but very friendly) with a dress code (beware: no sneakers, even Prada!).
Perhaps the most exciting culinary discovery of my visit, I was introduced to an innovative new restaurant called Persephone part of the Achilles Project, an intriguing concept that marries a unique retail environment (very cool, affordable and unique designers for men and women) with a restaurant focusing on sustainability and local fresh ingredients. It's located across the new and developing Fort Point Channel just south of South Station, a quick walk or cab ride from downtown.
The hidden high-tech aspect of this posting is that I created it while on my favorite method of transportation between Boston and New York City: The LimoLiner. This luxurious bus seats fewer than 30 passengers in plush, reclinable leather chairs; offers free onboard wireless Internet access, satellite TV, the services of a friendly 'bus attendant,' snacks, beverages and lunch. The trip is usually between four and five hours depending on traffic and weather, including a stop in Framingham, Massachusetts.