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Reflecting on the sunset

Sunset in ice

Jonathan Berk watched the double sunset at the Esplanade lagoon today.

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Nice pic

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Olmstead and his company [sons] and others did a most amazing job of reworking the Charles from a tidal mostly salty creek meandering through mud flats [low tide] which was also a Tidal Pond with muddy shores [high tide]*1 into the Basin we know and love today.*2

However -- its not just their work we should celebrate -- we have to thank the visionary [or not so visionary architects and their clients] who gave us the sources for these great reflections which only add to our visual pleasure.

In particular we need to thank -- Henry Cobb for the building formerly known as John Hancock Tower, and even Charles Luckman for the Pru and don’t forget Henry Cobb again for the 1 Dalton

*1
Both before the filling of the Back Bay and also after the filling

*2
Note: I don't need to be corrected about the timing I know the dam creating Science Park for the MOS was in 1910 -- that's why the sons and others are mentioned -- although it was Olmstead's vision that was key

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I need to get working on a story about how the Charles River Basin came to be (like how you can still see the old seawalls that used to line the Boston side of the river back when it was more of a tidal estuary).

I seem to recall Olmstead wasn't really that concerned with the Charles River - his main issue was to flush all the sewage from Stony Brook that was winding up in his newly done Fens segment of the Emerald Necklace into the Charles, where the tidal flow would take it out to sea, or at least away from the Fens, and so he created a fairly elaborate system to keep the Fens a sort of permanently flooded area (because the sewage only stinks when it's uncovered), via something called Charlesgate that would basically control water flowing into the Charles.

Except it didn't work for very long, because construction of the first Charles River dam changed the Charles from a tidal estuary into a large lake and ruined his tidal-flow solution, so city engineers had to go back and essentially bypass Charlesgate with a new sewage pipe to take all the stuff from the Fens and move it to the other side of the dam, so it could take advantage of outgoing tides (and as we know, that ultimately didn't work so well, either). And that's why there's that ornate, falling apart building that looks like a giant comfort station as you head down from the Fenway onto Storrow Drive - it's where Stony Brook crap was transferred to the new sewer main.

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Technically Olmsted's work didn't include what today we commonly refer to as the "Esplanade" as in Hatch Shell area

However he did work on the strip of land along the Boston bank of the Charles -- specifically Olmsted's work on the Charles itself involved two projects: Charlesbank [near the MOS] and the Charlesgate/Upper Park [extending from the Harvard Bridge west to the Boston
University Bridge].

the following excerpts are taken from a Boston Landmarks Commission
Environment Department
City of Boston study document:

Charles River Esplanade
Study Report
as amended 2009
https://www.cityofboston.gov/Images_Documents/Charles%20River%20Esplanad...

Charlesbank: History
Charlesbank, the first section of the Boston Esplanade to become parkland, was a tidal area that was gradually filled during the late nineteenth century. A seawall was built in the 1880s and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. designed a pioneering park here in the 1880s and 90s that included a promenade along the river as well as landscaped grounds for active and passive recreation.

The area was expanded and modified in 1908 by landscape architect Guy Lowell, but remained a linear park.

In the 1930s Charles Street, which forms the southern boundary of Charlesbank, was widened to accommodate increasing traffic, so fill was added at the western end of the park to create additional parkland. The new land had a sloped edge rather than a seawall and the work largely obliterated what remained of Olmsted’s Charlesbank plan. In the early 1950s additional parkland was taken to create additional ramps associated with the construction of Storrow Drive. More filled land was created in the western part of Charlesbank to compensate. Most recently, construction of the new Charles River dam in 1978 has eliminated the need for an active lock at the old dam and there have been modifications to Leverett Circle as part of the Central Artery/Tunnel project.

Landscape architect Arthur Shurcliff’s 1949 plan for Charlesbank shows the primary elements of the expanded park as open fields with scattered trees around the perimeter and a swimming pool.

While the exact form of these features has changed over time, the activities remain much as Shurcliff envisioned.

Features of Charlesbank that continue to reflect Shurcliff’s design intent
are the continuous path along the water’s edge from the Upper Gatehouse west to the Longfellow Bridge; the grass strip and tree plantings along the road edge; and the use of informally massed deciduous trees around the perimeter of the parkland.

CHARLESGATE/UPPER PARK
Charlesgate/Upper Park: History
Charlesgate/Upper Park is the westernmost segment of the Boston Esplanade. It extends from the Harvard Bridge on the east to the Boston University Bridge on the west. It is bordered on the north by the Charles River and on the south by Storrow Drive. It is roughly 4,000’ long and ranges between 30’ and 230’ wide.

Charlesgate and the Bay State Road area were the last section of the Esplanade to be filled. West of Charlesgate (where the Muddy River enters the Charles) the seawall turns slightly north and follows the alignment of Bay State Road. Some filling was done between the Harvard Bridge and the Muddy River at Charlesgate in the early 1900s as part of the creation of the Charles River Basin, but at that time the narrow strip of parkland extended only as far west as Charlesgate.

Additional filling was done in the 1930s as part of the creation of the Storrow Memorial
Embankment when parkland was extended west from Charlesgate to the Boston University Bridge.

When Storrow Drive was built along the south side of the Charles River in the 1950s, the parkland was widened again to compensate for the taking of land. This time the shoreline was undulating rather than straight. Construction of the Bowker Overpass in the 1960s resulted in further filling at Charlesgate, with much of the new land area dominated by overhead highway ramps.

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mostly ugly and charmless, certainly WR, Roslindale and Hyde Park are. I guess the Back Bay is quaint enough. To each their own of course but I can't imagine why you'd come here as a tourist.

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I mean, no, I wouldn't recommend a tourist visiting Roslindale, Hyde Park or West Roxbury, either, not because they're charmless, but because there isn't all that much touristy to see, beyond the Arboretum and Stony Brook Reservation (although a Civil War buff might be able to find enough in Hyde Park to warrant a visit; ditto for a train buff).

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to tell visitors what to go see in Boston anywhere. The Trinity Church and the Constitution are pretty much the only historical interesting things in this city that aren't just inert tombstones or commercialized homogeny.

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At the Christian Science complex, is certainly one of a kind...

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and maybe also Forest Hills Cemetery. At least parts of these are in Roslindale.

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Just spent the week touring our friends from Japan around Boston. They loved seeing everything. I didn't grow up here but have lived in the city for almost 40 years and I still love being a tourist in my own town.

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Only I've only been in Boston for a mere 22 years (plus 4 more -- earlier -- in Cambridge).

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Boston?
By Parkwayne on Sun, 12/29/2019 - 1:35pm.
mostly ugly and charmless, certainly WR, Roslindale and Hyde Park are. I guess the Back Bay is quaint enough. To each their own of course but I can't imagine why you'd come here as a tourist.

Either you never leave your house [perhaps just your basement where you spend your tedious days typing furiously mad at everything?] -- or you lack any sense of comparison with anywhere else except WR, Rozy and Hyde Park -- a very limited subset of Boston Neighborhoods

I suggest that first you spend some time just taking in your slightly less immediate surroundings

Just a few suggestions -- all for free except for the effort in getting to the venues [either on foot or by vehicle]:

  1. Commonwealth Avenue from the Kenmore Square back to and through The Public Garden
    1. works quite well any time of the year and day or night -- obviously there are the best times
  2. The Esplanade from the Mass Ave Bridge to the Longfellow Bridge
    1. much better when the trees have leaves
  3. The Harbor Walk from the Coast Guard Base [North End] to the Fish Pier
    1. best when the weather is conducive to small boats in the Harbor
  4. The Freedom Trail beginning at Boston Common
    1. you might start at the Founder's Monument though not actually on the Freedom Trail
    2. Yes the Freedom Trail is touristy -- but it also better explains the underpinnings of the American War for Independence than any website
    3. The rest of the Common is good as well for both gentle perambulation and contemplation -- views of buildings, etc. -- obviously most pleasant in good weather
  5. USS Constitution [on the Freedom Trail near to the end]
    1. best considered in the context of the first war which we fought for Defense of our Liberty
  6. Pleasure Bay and Castle Island [obviously best in the Summer]
  7. Take a long Hike along the Emerald Necklace from the Fens all the way to Franklin Park
    1. Return via the Southwest Corridor Park all the way back to Nieman Marcus
  8. Christian Science Plaza starting at Symphony Hall
    1. or start even further down at the MFA T Stop
  9. The North End -- pick your own route
  10. The Greenway from South Station Chinatown Park to the overlook of I-93 next to TD Garden [best when the fountains are alive]
  11. The walk through the new parks on the "Last Half Mile of the Charles"
    1. beginning next to the MOS and continuing over the new Pedestrian Bridge to Paul Revere Landing Park
    2. best when the trees are leafed-out and lots of flowers are in bloom]

  12. The top of Bunker Hill monument [you have to climb there is no elevator]
  13. The top of Dorchester Heights Monument [you have to climb but there are a lot fewer steps than at Bunker Hill
  14. Piers Park in East Boston -- one of the best views of Boston Skyline
  15. Cambridge on the river in front of MIT -- the other best view of the Boston Skyline
  16. Crossing the Mass Ave Bridge from MIT to the Back Bay -- another exceptional view of the Boston Skyline

Now if you still feel the way you've described in your post -- Well??

By the way there are hundreds of places along the above where you can stop and learn or enjoy -- although some of them will cost money -- many of them are un-findable anywhere else*1

*1 Caveat -- while I've been to quite a few places around the world -- I've only really lived for extended periods of time [months] in a handful of them and so my comments are clearly so-influenced

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It's fine for a bunch of tall glass towers where rich people launder their money. I'm truly happy you like it so much - that doesn't negate my opinion any more than mine does yours.

I"m not 'mad about everything', but it's fair that I find Boston slightly tedious and limited in natural beauty compared to many other cities I've visited. Life is full of trade offs, living here is one of mine. After 25 years, I'm very familiar with what the city has to offer including what's on your list. Suffice to say, you find different things interesting than I do and that's fine. Enjoy the city.

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...you gratuitously pissed all over someone's enjoyment, and now you're backpedaling with "to each their own". Maybe you should convert your complaint energy into moving to somewhere you like?

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You guys win, Boston is easily the greatest possible place to live and a shining beacon of beauty renown across the earth. [jumping on my couch Tom Cruise style as I type this.]

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... I sure hope I don't get bored (jaded?) by Boston in the next 3 years -- but I suspect it is unlikely (thankfully).

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Two suns? What is this, Tatooine?

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In four days Europe will be obliterated by climate change according to the Pentagon and science

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2004/feb/22/usnews.theobserver

Posting pictures of our good fortune seems a bit tacky.

In fact, this picture http://hum54-15.omeka.fas.harvard.edu/items/show/650? shows that in the last 80 years, the Esplanade appears immune to scientific consensus. Sad that we cannot move all of Europe to the shores of the Charles.

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Namely "could", "plausible", "may". Not sure why people are so confused about predictions not coming true? There's probably thousands of Pentagon reports predicting a war or major conflict with the US and a foreign power in the last 20 years (and probably many decisions that have been made based on those reports) and yet that never happened - does that mean the USA should just assume that there will never be a major conflict again?

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Not sure why people are so confused about predictions not coming true?

Because left wing newspapers like the Guardian print headlines like:

"Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us"

I never saw a town ban gas stoves because Canada might acquire nukes.

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So. Tired. of. This. Bullshit. Talking. Points. Gotcha. Nonsense.

Learn some science or go preach to your toilet. This isn't about what you believe - it is about the facts revealed by actual research. Your inability to understand how science works does not equate to being "right" about anything.

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it is about the facts revealed by actual research

"Research" says that in three more days, Europe will be underwater and Siberian.

Methinks the trolls you perceive are working for the UK Guardian.

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"Research" says that in three more days, Europe will be underwater and Siberian.

No it doesn’t.

Just go away and let the adults have a conversation, please.

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No it doesn’t.

You obviously have not gone to college and learned what a source is.

I will type slowly so you can understand. When submitting a college-level research paper, students are required to source their statements. Major newspapers are valid sources for many professors (However most professors will not allow students to rely solely on non-scholarly articles). The Guardian wrote "Britain will be 'Siberian' in less than 20 years".

Will be. Not "could be". Not "may be". Not "might be".

Will be.

"A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020"

Will be.

Three more days.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2004/feb/22/usnews.theobserver

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The Guardian wrote "Britain will be 'Siberian' in less than 20 years".

No it didn't.

In the linked article, the Guardian makes no predictions at all. Instead, it reports on a Pentagon report that makes predictions.

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You see a nice picture and your reaction is to grind your stupid pointless lying ax. What's wrong with you?

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I must've said something that was logical and reasonable.

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Not sure why you were blocked... I was viciously attacked by a bunch of right wing trolls last fall so got a little block happy back then. Enjoy :)

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Just noticed that the Old Hancock Tower [the one with the weather beacon] -- [OHTwWB] is reflected in the River [though it is hard to see].

However -- it is easy to see that [the OHTwWB] is also reflected in the 200 Clarendon [formerly the John Hancock Tower] and then again it is as a part of the reflection of 200 Clarendon's reflection in the River

So there are 3 good views of the OHTwWB and one sort of lost in the stuff at the edge of the reflection

Clearly an Only in Boston image

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