The Alexandra Hotel Reimagined Again

Alexandra Hotel

Here we go again. I wrote about Boston’s Alexandra Hotel back in January 2019. Then many updates to the post followed, because the situation with this property kept changing. As it has for the decades that I’ve been following it.

As expected, the pandemic didn’t make the proposed development of the property any easier. To me, it feels like this property has a purpose that hasn’t been found yet. With an owner that hasn’t been found yet. Because everything with it has been difficult for such a long time. When the purpose and owner are aligned, I would think things would flow easily.

But who knows? Maybe this next proposal will be it. A virtual public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 7, 2021, 6:30pm – 8:30pm. Also, the public may submit comments through Friday, September 17, 2021.

The last proposal for Alexandra Hotel was for a 150-room boutique hotel. Because the pandemic completely changed the hotel industry, that plan was scrapped. Now the intent envisions 106 residential condos. 71 of those units will be “Compact Units” that are a mix of studios and one bedrooms.

The last meeting I attended in person, so seeing this all play out on Zoom will probably be pretty wild. I’m planning to watch.

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Photo Credit: Nina LaNegra

Free Yoga Boston: Summer 2021

The 9th Annual listing of free yoga classes for Greater Boston and beyond is here!

Getting from the summer of 2019 to now encompasses so much. There’s grief for people lost during the pandemic. But there’s also triumph. We survived.

Virtual classes were the norm for the past year and a half, so this summer list focuses on live in-person outdoor yoga classes. Finally! Classes listed are free or donation based.

Click on the links for more details and to be sure there is class. Sometimes registration is required and also double check in case of bad weather, because classes may be cancelled. Bring your own mat, props, water and anything else you might need.

Make sure to check the Free Yoga Boston Facebook Group in addition to the Free Yoga Boston Facebook page. The group is private, but you can request to join. Members share information and there are additional classes and events listed.

As always, this list is a work in progress that will have changes and updates. Please let me know if you have any questions, corrections and/or tips! Enjoy!

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MONDAY

Boston Parks Fitness Series: Through September 27 (No class September 6)
(Vinyasa Yoga, Lopresti Park, 33 Sumner St., East Boston)
6pm – 7pm

Seaport Sweat: Through October
(Mindful Warrior Yoga, Seaport Common, 85 Northern Ave., Boston)
6:30pm – 7:15pm

Flow Yoga On The Greenway: Through September 27
(Rose Kennedy Greenway Parcel 16-Rowes Wharf Lawn, Atlantic Ave. & India St.,Boston)
6:30pm – 7:15pm

TUESDAY

Boston Parks Fitness Series: Through September 28
(Ashtanga Yoga, Adams Park, 4225 Washington St., Roslindale)
6pm -7pm

WEDNESDAY

Blue Sky Kripalu Yoga: Through the summer
(The Green at Partners Village Store, 865 Main Rd., Westport, MA)
8:30am – 9:30am

Community Yoga Class: Through October
(Thomas Crane Public Library, 40 Washington Street, Quincy)
9:30am – 10:30am

Boston Parks Fitness Series: Through September 29
(Chair Yoga, Symphony Park, 39 Edgerly Rd., Boston)
10am – 11am

NamaStay Flowing: Through the summer
(Revere Beach, Revere)
6pm – 7:30pm

HarborFit: Sunset Yoga at Piers Park: Through September 15
(East Boston Piers Park, 95 Marginal St., Boston)
7:30pm – 8:30pm

THURSDAY

Boston Parks Fitness Series: Through September 30
(Virtual Chair Yoga)
11am -12pm

Seaport Sweat: Through October
(Yoga Sculpt, Seaport Common, 85 Northern Ave., Boston)
5:30pm – 6:15pm

Boston Parks Fitness Series: Through September 30
(Yoga, Brighton Common, 30 Chestnut Hill Ave., Brighton )
6pm – 7pm

Boston Parks Fitness Series: Through September 30
(Yoga @ The Frog Pond, Boston Common, 38 Beacon St., Boston )
6pm – 7pm

Yoga & Movement: Classes may be every other week
(Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston )
6pm – 7pm

Outdoor Yoga: Every other week
(Magoun Park, Medford)
6pm – 7pm

FRIDAY

Seaport Sweat: Through October
(Vinyasa Flow, Seaport Common, 85 Northern Ave., Boston)
12pm – 12:45pm

Boston Parks Fitness Series: Through October 1
(Fusion Fit (HIIT & Yoga), Doherty Playground, 349 Bunker Hill St., Charlestown)
6pm – 7pm

SATURDAY

Blue Sky Kripalu Yoga: Through the summer
(The Green at Partners Village Store, 865 Main Rd., Westport, MA)
8:30am – 9:30am

Yoga @ 3rd Ave Burlington: Through September 25
(3rd Ave Burlington, Third Ave., Burlington, MA)
8:30am – 9:30am

Franklin Park Yoga: Through October 2
(School Master Hill, Franklin Park, Dorchester)
9:15am – 10:30am

Boston Parks Fitness Series: Through October 2
(Restorative Yoga, Marcella Playground, 260 Highland St., Roxbury)
10am -11am

SUNDAY

NamaStay Flowing: Through the summer
(Revere Beach, Revere)
9:30am – 10:30am

Outdoor Yoga:
(Magoun Park, Medford)
10am – 11am

Yoga  @ Jamaica Pond: Through September 26
(Pinebank Promontory, Perkins Street and Jamaicaway, Boston)
11am – 12pm

Lotus Community Outdoor Yoga:
(Magnolia Park, Arlington)
12pm – 1pm

NEY Outside Community Yoga:
(Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, Atlantic Ave., North End)
5pm – 6pm

Boston Parks Fitness Series: Through September 26
(Virtual Yoga)
7pm – 8pm

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BPL Offering Free Gardening Kits

Boston Public Library Gardening Kit

A few years ago, I remember reading about seed libraries and thinking that it was a wonderful idea for those interested in gardening. The idea has taken off and you can probably find one near you or even start your own.

What is a seed library? Pretty much what it sounds like. It’s a place, like a library, that shares seeds with people in the local community. The specific rules may vary from place to place, but you can generally get seeds for free or at a low price.

While you can have seeds for houseplants, flowers and herbs, having seeds for growing fruits and vegetables provides a way to strengthen food security. In other words, being intentional about keeping seeds for growing food allows some independence from the mainstream food system.

Food is delicious and fun. But it’s also a necessity for life and therefore political. There is enough food for everyone, but everyone doesn’t have enough. Systems in place need changing.

As we leave the pandemic, more of us are thinking differently about life and welcoming systemic change. This week I had my second COVID-19 vaccine, so I’m looking forward to normal life again. However, I’m hoping the new normal is better than the old one.

Seed libraries provide the literal seeds to grow our own gardens. Starting on May 5th, gardening kits were available from the Boston Public Library – 850 kits spread out among the branches.

You can choose from two types of gardening kits. Resilient Gardening Kits include everything you need for a veggie garden. For those with a focus on herbal remedies, Herbal Wildflower Kits contain what you’ll need. Take a look at the BPL website for more information on how to pick-up your kit. I’m not sure how long these will last, therefore, it’s probably best to go sooner than later. Happy planting!

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Screenshot: Boston Public Library

Boston History: Mayor Kevin White & My Father

Boston Mayor Kevin White
Left to right: Barbara Christopher (8th grade), Boston Mayor Kevin White, Mrs. Gardner, Dallos Perry (8th grade), Thomas Johnson. (February 4, 1971)

Last week, while looking through photos at my mother’s house, I found this rare gem. A picture from 50 years ago!

Since my father’s passing in 2018, it’s especially nice to find “new to me” old photos of him. And this one is for the history books. He’s with then Boston Mayor Kevin White.

I’m not sure exactly what the occasion was for this photograph, but it must have had something to do with his work as a Boston school teacher. He taught in the Boston Public School system for more than 20 years. Writing found on the back of the picture gives the names and date.

The timing of finding this picture seems especially poignant. Sometimes it feels like overall not much changes in the world. But it does. Step by step.

The week that I found this picture, showing one of Boston’s most influential mayors from last century, Kim Janey made history as the city’s first woman and first Black mayor of Boston. Janey is the 55th mayor and White was the 51st.

And the way it happened was completely unexpected! I remember being so excited when Michelle Wu decided to run for mayor back in September. Then just weeks later, Andrea Campbell put her hat in the mayoral ring. Boston could have a woman of color as mayor!

Then several others decided to run and there’s been speculation about even more. With so many people, it wasn’t as exciting anymore and I was over it. After all, I don’t even live in Boston, so I wouldn’t actually be voting.

But then, out of the blue, President Biden tapped Mayor Walsh for Secretary of Labor. Suddenly, we have a Black woman becoming mayor during Women’s History Month. And the mayoral election had nothing to do with it. Plot twist!

When the time is right, change happens in ways we can never imagine. Like the way the first woman mayor in the United States was elected back in 1887. It was supposed to be a cruel joke — only Susanna Madora Salter won.

My father loved politics and was quite the conversationalist. When a major event happens, I always wonder about conversations we would have had. Which makes me think even more about this picture.

Since the opportunity presented itself, I’m sure my father must have said something to Mayor White. I can only imagine. But on that day back in 1971, Mayor White got the chance to have a conversation with Thomas Johnson. Which is something that I now miss everyday of my life.

An Apple Found Poem

apples inspired a found poem

Last weekend, some friends and I went for a walk around Franklin Park. This park is Boston’s largest open space and the crown jewel of Frederick Law Olmsted‘s Emerald Necklace.

It was a beautiful day and October’s colors were in full effect. One of my friend’s co-workers recently bought a home and was surprised to find that she has an apple orchard. Can you imagine? A surprise apple orchard!

Because now she has too many apples, she’s giving them away to everyone she knows. My friend took some and I was lucky enough to leave our walk with dozens of apples. I stewed some with ground cinnamon, ginger and a touch of honey. I still have about a dozen left and not yet sure what I’ll do with them. Maybe make another Dutch baby? An apple crisp?

In any event, these gorgeous beauties inspired me to write a found poem. Back in 2010, on the first iteration of this blog, I discovered found poetry. I’m forever hooked! I love poetry and writing found poetry is easier than starting from scratch. It’s fun too. Like a word game!

To write a found poem, find some text – a book, magazine article, blog post, etc. As you read it, pull out words to create your poem. Ta da! You wrote a poem.

Below is the found poem I wrote using the article 5 Health Benefits of an Apple from EatingWell.

An Apple Found Poem

Doctor away!

Truth.

Apple-licious ways.

Flesh and skin.

Cooked and baked.

Fresh.

2 apples.

8 weeks.

You benefit.

Reduced risk.

Thanks.

You guessed it – apples.

Slices satisfied people.

Applesauce, apple juice.

Granny Smith, McIntosh, Golden Delicious.

Tops among fruits.

Don’t toss the peel.

Found.