Sam Blackmon has a new site call The Jamaica Pond Project. Heres how he describes it:
Life on a Smaller Scale
We live in Jamaica Plain
, a neighborhood on the south side of Boston. One of the best parts of JP is, undoubtedly, Jamaica Pond
, a small, spring-fed, kettle pond.
The pond covers about 60 acres and is 90 feet deep at its center, making it the largest body of fresh water in Boston. It’s ringed by a walking path that is rarely empty.
Every time I walk around the path I try to find something different, or beautiful, or sad, or silly. This is what I’ve seen.
A few days ago, this photo was what I saw riding by Jamaica Pond. Hard not to miss.
Last night we had friends over to JP for the Lantern Parade around Jamaica Pond (a few pictures here), a community event featuring lanterns made by kids in the neighborhood to raise money for charity. It was blustery and cold, but it didn’t keep the faithful away, and as usual there was no shortage of super-cute costumed kids.
After our stroll around the pond, we walked back to the apartment for an autumn-themed dinner:
- Carrot Ginger Soup, served in baby pumpkin bowls
- Butternut Squash Pizza with Rosemary
- Pumpkin Cheesecake from Trader Joes, with baked pumpkin seeds on top
- Hot Mulled cider
- Red wine
The pizza was particularly tasty, so I would recommend trying it if you’re looking for a twist on the standard fall fare.
We bought the pumpkins a couple of weeks ago at the Allendale Farm, which is only a couple miles from here just on the other side of the Arnold Arboretum and is the last working farm in Boston/Brookline.
Yesterday we took a pleasant bike ride around the Eastern Point area of Gloucester, a peninsula that sticks out into Gloucester Harbor. I’ve driven around the loop any times, but it was only as we began exploring some of the side roads that we discovered entire areas that we didn’t realize existed. Following one such road took us back among the summer houses of the absurdly rich, one of which was the Beauport, former home of interior designer Henry Davis Sleeper. Eventually we ended up at the Eastern Point Lighthouse and the Gloucester Tidebreak. Walking out to the end afforded us fine views of both the lighthouse and downtown Gloucester.
On our way home we swung through the Rocky Neck Art Colony, which the oldest active art colony in the country. Unfortunately, most of the galleries were closed for the day, and most everything else seemed to closed for the season.
Yesterday evening I biked by this tree in Eliott Street Park and couldn’t help but stop and take a photo. There wasn’t anything subtle about it–just brilliant setting sun on brilliant yellow leaves. It was my first birthday present of the day, and things only go better as I went from there to meet Cathy for a picnic next to Jamaica Pond.
The Chestnut Hill Reservoir is the final body of water that I reach just before arriving at BC, about 20-25 minutes after I leave home. After I cross a footbridge spanning the D Line tracks and ride down a small hill, the street opens up to a expansive view of the Reservoir just before I left onto Beacon. This photo offers a glimpse of downtown Boston at dusk.
The Brookline Reservoir, at the corner of Lee St. and Boylston (Rt. 9), is the second body of water I pass on my way to work. This feels like about the half-way point, and I always try to remember to glance to my right to catch the view of Boston over the water.
Earlier this week as I was coming down Centre Street back to my apartment, I was shocked to see that Pondside Reality, where Yorgos helped us found our place on Rockview, had been reduced to a charred shell. I soon learned that this was the fourth incidence of arson involving JP businesses in little over a year. My sympathies go out to Yorgos and the rest of the employees there, and I hope they can get to the bottom of this despicable string of crimes.
Fire hits Jamaica Plain again
Jamaica Plain fire called arson
Last year on my 30th, I wrote about spending the morning at Mt. Auburn Cemetery; this year I revisited birthday leaves by returning the Consecration Dell to see if the leaves and the water had composed a similar scene. This time around, the pond was less uniformly green, but the leaves still embedded themselves on its surface to great effect.
Blue Heron at Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Easter Morning
Today as I made my lunch, I began craving French fries and, giving into temptation, I made my first visit to the Burger King about a block a way, the first time in my five years living in the neighborhood. I also took advantage of the whole in the parking lot fence for the first time, cutting across the adjacent parking lot to Allston Street. As walked the block toward Burger King, I was reminded of the mooring stone that resides on the edge of the parking lot. I took a picture of it a couple years ago while running the Roots program and I’ve been meaning to include it in the WhereProject for some time.
I made a mental note of it, but it wasn’t until I got back home that I realized that I didn’t remember actually looking at as I walked by–literally within feet of it. It could have been moved or painted pink, for all I know. So my perception of that stone today was entirely mediated by a digitized photograph I took two years ago and by the impulse to add it to this current website. Somewhere along the way, I forgot to actually see what was in front of me. I’ve seen also seen mooring stones these up at Halibut
Point State Park. Historian
Catherine A. Corman comments on these same stones in a Common-Place article:
The site was home to crusty New Englanders who employed
increasingly mechanized machinery to wrest granite–grainy,
hardened, molten magma made of quartz, feldspar, and hornblende–from
the ground. As early as the late seventeenth century, farmers and fisher
folk using iron hand tools crudely cut wheels of the stuff to serve as
mooring stones, slabs of rock combined with sturdy tree trunks that they
sunk in harbors to tie up boats.
But why is this thing in a Burger King parking lot and how did it get there? How would I even
research this? Perhaps this would be a good excuse to go to the Brighton Historical Society.