A great way to kick off the new year!

January 10, 2015 at 9:08 pm 1 comment

[You’ll find links to many websites in this blog. You can click on them or copy and paste into your browser. Lots of interesting information]

It all began last summer . . .

when I visited my neighbors’ new venture in East Boston. It’s called Corner Stalk (www.cornerstalk.com). cornerstalkAccording to the website, it’s a “Controlled Environment Agriculture farm that offers Boston area consumers fresh, locally grown leafy greens. We grow all of the produce in recycled shipping containers which create an extremely energy and water efficient environment. A year round growing season and dense planting allows maximum productivity from a dense urban footprint.”

I was so impressed and pleased that my neighbors were involved in such an earth-friendly project. The visit introduced me to East Boston—an area I’ve barely visited before. The Blue Line, part of Boston’s subway system, runs through East Boston and up the North Shore to Revere. When I go to Boston, I can take the bus to Revere and then the T (as the subway is known) to Boston.

My next trip . . .

to East Boston happened because I wanted to visit the newest library in Massachusetts which happens to be locate in East Boston. According to the library’s website (http://www.bpl.org/branches/eastboston.htm), it was established in 1869, and was the first municipally supported branch library in the United States. Now they have a new library that opened in November 2013.east_boston

I loved its open design and friendly feel. It’s located at the end of a new park and a community garden is right in front of the building. I understand it is high on the list to win some design awards soon.

A few days later back home…

a little voice said to me: “Judy, why don’t you move to East Boston?” “What,” I replied disbelievingly. “And leave my beloved and beautiful Marblehead? Are you crazy?” Now, don’t get excited. As of yet, I have no plans to leave town. I still love this community where I’ve lived since 1965. I love the ocean view from my home, my friends and neighbors, and I have long been active in the community in one way or another.

But maybe the time has come to consider a change. So, I decided to explore the idea. I went on Airbnb and found a little place in East Boston near the waterfront and signed up for three nights..  www.airbnb.com

I arrived on Tuesday afternoon, January 5. . .


in the heart of East Boston at Maverick T stop on the Blue Line. Five minutes walk to my Airbnb where my hostess was waiting. She was very friendly and the place was charming. After I settled in, I took a walk around the neighborhood. (Why did I have to choose the coldest week of the winter so far? But as a seasoned Mongolian RPCV, I could handle that. )


The park nearby, Piers Park. . .


is beautiful and very new, right on the waterfront with views across the harbor of Boston’s skyline. Plenty of benches and open areas—great place to hang out in warmer weather and watch the water activity or rent a little sailboat at the sailing center adjacent to the park. Find Piers Park on www.bostonharborwalk.com



East Boston has a long history of ship building. Did you know that some of the world’s fastest clipper ships were built there, including the Flying Cloud that set the world’s sailing record for the fastest passage between New York and San Francisco, 89 days 8 hours? She held this record for over 100 years, from 1854-1989. And she’s known for something else: she had a woman navigator, Ellenor Prentis-Creesy, wife of Josiah Perkins Creesy, the captain. And guess what? Ellenor was from Marblehead where she learned her nautical skills.

 As I walked around the neighorhood, I discovered lots of little ethnic restaurants and shops reflecting a community that is home to people from many different countries.


That first afternoon,


I noticed an old brick building located at 154 Maverick St. with the words “Overseers of the Public Welfare” carved in big letters twice on its front. It’s just a block from Maverick Square and it’s been turned into a small business incubator. (www.154maverick.com). The coffee shop in the building is called Boston Brewin Coffee. It was closed.

The next morning I walked over to Boston Brewin and met Albert.   Friendly service, good coffee and great breakfast sandwiches made by Albert himself. We struck up a conversation and he introduced me to some of the regulars. I love the place, the people, and what it’s doing for the community—read about it on the website: (http://www.realbostonian.com/)

IMG_1654 IMG_1652


I made the most of my three days in East Boston

Tuesday, I took the T into Boston and stopped by The Boston Athenaeum (http://www.bostonathenaeum.org/) where I’m a member and then on to Old South Meeting House where I heard a noontime violin concert.  IMG_1659IMG_1657

After that, up to the MFA (www.mfa.org) with my niece for my second visit to the Goya exhibit (fabulous)—now I want to read everything about him. Had dinner with an old friend from my Putnam days.   On Wednesday, after breakfast at Boston Brewin, I took the T to Cambridge and visited the Harvard Museum of Natural History (www.hmnh.harvard.edu/). Saw again (after many years) the amazing glass flowers and, in the Dinosaur exhibit, Gallery Guide Fred found me some Mongolian dinosaur bones and then let me hold a dinosaur bone fossil and compare its weight to a more modern bone. Guess which is heavier?

IMG_1683 IMG_1681

Finally, on Thursday,

after one more breakfast prepared by Albert and one more tour of Piers Parks, I headed home, happy about my visit and my new friends.


Will I move there?

I don’t know. But I don’t have to decide today. I do know I loved being there and I hope my words inspire you to come and visit there too. I’d be delighted to be your guide!





Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

This is not your normal Christmas blog Greece for three

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Ginny Stopfel  |  January 11, 2015 at 3:14 am

    Judy, this is so fascinatingly descriptive from beginning to end — did all the links — I feel I was there with you. Thanks for taking the time to share. Ginny


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