the most important building in a generation

The M.A.S. has enlightened me to architecture as an intellectual pursuit.  It’s way down on the list behind urbanism, feminism and Grey’s Anatomy, but it’s like I’ve got a whole new set of eyes on our walks together.  The following article captures this new interest couched in one of my favorite urban contexts:

“BOSTON — This is not a friendly place for architecture. Four decades ago the completion of a City Hall in Brutalist concrete sent the city’s cultural guardians into a panic. Since then, with a few exceptions like the John Hancock Tower, the city’s architectural aspirations could generally be summed up in one word: brick.”

Thank you NY Times architecture critic, for opening with the Brutal reminder to your worldwide audience that we don’t take kindly to change up here. 

Here’s hoping this latest installation doesn’t sink into the harbor like some of its younger South Boston neighbors, the tech companies perched so precariously on elderly wooden piers. 

Slowly slowly slowly but surely, it’s a whole new Boston. Now if only we could do something about the ethnic eats up here.  When you come to see us, stick to authentic Irish bars for hearty sandwiches and hand cut fries.  Unless you’ve got a truly reliable referral (and then please share it with me), don’t venture out on a culinary limb up here.  You’re bound to come away disappointed. 

Fried clams and lobster, though, we got those for you.

And beer, plenty of that too. 


3 Responses to “the most important building in a generation”

  1. December 8, 2006 at 9:28 am

    On the food front, that’s not entirely true – you and I have enjoyed a number of things (Sorrellina comes immediately to mind) that were not traditional seafood and beer fare (although that trip to the clam shack the day we went to the beach is a cherished memory). I also lioke the other restaurants in the Sorrellina family – The Federalist and Mistral, as well as Stella in the South End. I, for one, am always on the lookout (I have to be – or Jennifer will kill me).

    As for the architecture, for some reason we have a weird double life – there’s the “let’s do everything like it’s been done” crowd, which gives us buildings so identical here in the South End I find myself looking twice to decide if something’s new or not; and then there’s the cubist stuff in South Boston (that new convention center, the Westin next to it, and the World Trade Center over there, which are big and square and heinous and flanked by these acre wide plazas that remind me of my trip to East Germany (after the fall). I don’t see a lot of other approaches to cuilding or design, certainly nothing Gehry-like or those other things I read about in NYC or other trendy places. And maybe I kind of like it that way too – except for those big ugly boxes.

  2. 2 Leigh
    December 8, 2006 at 10:05 am

    Let me amend my statement: affordable good food.

    All the places Weboy points out are expensive and good – a combination not that difficult to achieve. It’s finding yummy food at inexpensive prices that’s IMPOSSIBLE in this town outside of the authentic Irish pub experience.

  3. December 8, 2006 at 11:50 am

    Well, it’s true I would sell my Mother for a good cheap Chinese joint.

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