Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A tour through a portion of Boston's urban forest includes the Emerald Necklace; Boston, MA

Brahmins and Beyond | BU Today
Commonwealth Avenue isn’t all rumbling Green Line trains and construction barrels. Its easternmost stretch offers a leafy look into Boston history, urban parkland, and Victorian architecture that blends elegance with surprise.
The real heart of this walk waits beyond elevated Charlesgate Road.
The Muddy River, which sneaks through Boston’s Emerald Necklace, pokes its head up after the overpass, offering a glimpse of river life beneath a concrete balustrade, before dipping back under the asphalt. Across the street is the Comm Ave Mall, not very wide but long enough to encompass eight grassy acres studded with statues and benches, stretching from here to your destination: Boston’s Public Garden.
This is still an urban space, with multiple lanes of high-speed traffic on either side. The edifices of Back Bay loom in the distance, including the Hancock Tower, whose front courtyard is rumored to be one of the coldest places to stand in Boston during the winter. Another contender, City Hall Plaza, also was designed by architect I.M. Pei. But once you enter the Mall, there’s a reduction in scale and noise, a welcome coolness beneath the tree canopy.

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