Last night I was fortunate enough to have my good friends Ken and Irene visiting from Indiana. Thanks to them, I spent the afternoon seeing my familiar places–my house, Harvard Square, Boston College, Coolidge Corner–through their eyes, a fresh perspective that made me appreciate where I am for this phase of life, however long or short that may be.
When we took the train down to the North End last night, I saw another familar place with fresh eyes–this time because it had actually changed in a dramatic way. After walking through Quincy Market, I was explaining to Ken and Irene where I-93 used to be and how it’s now underground, but when I turned around to view downtown, I was shocked that I could actually see it rather than having my view obstructed by Boston’s other "green monster." Standing on the island between lanes of traffic, I was struck with wonder at the newness of the space. The park that eventually will cover it has not been built yet, but was apparent that the tear in the fabric of the city caused by the Central Artery was nearly repaired. A kind of healing has taken place through creating this new public space in the heart of an already rich urban landscape.