Currently doing this and *really* enjoying it.

Hence follows an urban hike thread for Boston.

1/ ImageImageImage
Starting the Emerald Necklace traverse at the western edge of Franklin Park. Estimated journey to Boston Common will be roughly 9 miles. I’m not keeping track of mileage in real time but I am taking plenty of photos and trying to remember to hydrate just as often.

2/ ImageImageImage
Arborway Part 1. The first half was nice and shaded, but the rest will be a lot more pleasant to stroll when the saplings planted along the walkway get bigger. I’m not loving the car centric nature of this section, but good things lie ahead...

3/ ImageImageImage
Arnold Arboretum, baby. The Las Vegas of Boston green spaces. Everyone is here to chase their most bucolic weekend dreams. Even the Willow Path, typically quieter, is bustling today. The pebbly streams are looking really fine. 😍

4/ ImageImageImage
Arborway Part 2. More cars, unfortunately, but the arbors here are much more prominent. Plus, some of the most opulent houses in JP round out the landscape here. I almost want to ring a doorbell, just to see who lives in these things.

5/ ImageImageImage
Jamaica Pond. Closest thing I have to a house of worship. (I live pretty close to here.) Walking through here on a Saturday reminds me of the park sequence in Mary Poppins, or the Altamont documentary Gimme Shelter. Sometimes both. It varies.

6/ ImageImageImage
I really love this nameless (?) section of woodland between Jamaica Pond and Olmsted Park. Lots of stone stairs, bridges, and streams. It feels like a piece of the Middlesex Fells transplanted on the nexus of JP and Brookline.

7/ ImageImageImage
Chilling by the water in Olmsted Park for awhile, as goslings run about nearby. You don’t have to embellish these things when you’re on the Emerald Necklace.

8/ ImageImageImage
I like that the Emerald Necklace isn’t *just* greenery. There are stretches that remind you that you’re deep in a city, and this little connector between Olmsted Park and the Riverway is a nice example.

9/ ImageImageImage
The long corridor of trees and bridges along the Riverway. The way it’s sandwiched between the Longwood medical area and the Riverside Green Line tracks makes the abundance of arbors feel unlikely and special. I barely even noticed the sound of cars on the Jamaicaway nearby.

10/ ImageImageImage
A cyclist’s memorial at the Fenway intersection. A grim reminder that the walkable and bikeable nature of the Emerald Necklace, while a treasure, is not the norm in Boston and most US cities. We could have it so much better, for the good of our health, happiness, and safety.

11/ ImageImageImage
The Fenway is truly a trove of curiosities, from all the intramural leagues at Clemente Field to the maze of community gardens. These days, I come up here for this stuff more than Fenway Fenway.

12/ ImageImageImage
Easily the least Emerald-y part of the Emerald Necklace: connecting from the Fenway to the Comm Ave Mall. When you force pedestrians and cyclists to jockey for tight space like this, bad things can happen.

13/ ImageImageImage
Off to a lovely magic hour start on the Comm Ave Mall, but I couldn’t find a way to negotiate the underpass while staying on the greenway. Nor was there an obvious crosswalk for getting to the neighboring sidewalks. Weird. Seems like something that’s easily fixable.

14/ ImageImageImage
The Comm Ave Mall gets greener. Boston Common gets closer. My feet are starting to get tender. Emerald Necklace traverse is almost over.

15/ ImageImageImage
Another tricky spot along the Comm Ave Mall. Twin crosswalks but no walk signals, plus heavy and constant car traffic that you don’t really want to play chicken with.

16/ ImageImageImage
Technically the Boston Public Gardens and the Boston Common are two things, so...some garden scenes to celebrate the penultimate yards of the Emerald Necklace.

17/ ImageImageImage
Emerald Necklace traverse: done. 8.85 miles. 10.5 if you count getting to Franklin Park from my house and getting back after taking the T back to JP. Sitting atop the hill at Boston Common at dusk and gulping down water is a nice reward.

But why be a Puritan and stop there?

18/ ImageImageImage
County roads
Take me home
To the place
I belooong

19/ ImageImageImage
So, Emerald Necklace traverse. Highly recommend it! Great walk, great workout, and scenery so varied and interesting that you don’t even feel like you’re working. We’re very lucky to have these parks in Boston. We should build more of them and connect them via foot/bike path


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More from @MilesPerHoward

8 May
And here we go! Walking the missing final section of the Emerald Necklace, from Franklin Park to Castle Island (and maybe a little extra, if my feet are up for it.) It’s about an 8-9 mile walk, so...a pretty big missing piece of Olmsted’s grand design!

This is the part of Franklin Park where I began my Emerald Necklace traverse two weeks ago. It’s on the west edge, near Shattuck hospital. Today, we go east through the park, and on to Dorchester and Southie.

2/ ImageImageImage
So technically, I’m still on the Emerald Necklace proper, weaving eastward through woods and hollows in the leafy realm of Franklin Park. However, there’s something of an obstacle to clear before you get to the other side, if you’re a pedestrian.

3/ ImageImageImage
Read 31 tweets
9 Oct 20
If you live in Massachusetts, this thread is for you:

Our eviction moratorium expires in 1 week. There's a bill in the House that would stop the resultant homelessness crisis. In this thread, I'll cover why that bill is crucial, why it hasn't been passed, and what we can do.

Back in spring, Massachusetts passed one of the nation's strongest eviction bans. It allowed people to stay in their homes during the pandemic. But there's a problem: renters and small landlords are accruing debt (back rent or missed mortgage payments)

This summer, the Mass. legislators who came up with the eviction ban introduced the Housing Stability Act (H.4878) which not only extends the moratorium well into 2021 but provides several mechanisms of financial support for renters and small landlords…

Read 16 tweets
31 Jul 20
Folks: I am a travel writer by trade, and after a summer of nervously hitting the road for a couple of socially distanced work trips (within my region of America)...I am asking you, begging you to not travel until our political leaders have committed to containing Covid-19...

I live in Massachusetts and back in March, when we went into lockdown, the idea of leisure travel before a vaccine struck me as ludicrous. Hundreds of people were dying each week. So instead of extolling the virtues of travel, I began writing articles that discouraged travel.

This story, which I wrote for @NationalGeoraphic, took a hard look at the risks posed to mountain communities by seasonal hordes of summer tourists during a pandemic. And let me tell you, I got some PISSED OFF emails from readers about this story...

Read 16 tweets
8 Feb 20
This piece by @MilesKlee succinctly cuts to the bone of why Mayor Pete is a nightmare for many young people. As someone who wrote a book about today's young voters and the forces that shaped our politics, I'd like to offer some additional words on this. 1/…
Back in 2013, I began taking dirt cheap bus trips across the U.S. to interview young adults about how they were coping in a post-recession economy. It began as a curiosity (inspired by my own shitty recession job market experience.) Slowly, the conversations became political. 2/
The more young people I spoke with, the more politics took over the conversations. We talked about why so many youth voters don't vote. The short answer: many young folks don't trust typical politicians. And given what young people have put up with, can you really blame them? 3/
Read 12 tweets
9 Sep 19
I'm very "glad" to see more people writing and talking about the resurgence of ecofascism as climate change becomes worse. As a former backcountry resident, I've seen how this ideology can take root in people of all political leanings. It indulges a deeply territorial paranoia 1/
Ecofascism emerged from the concept of Aryan fatherhood, which stipulated that bloodlines are intertwined to the land like roots. So, any effort to preserve racial bloodlines must be accompanied by environmental protectionism. This is how the basic ideology of ecofascism goes. 2/
As Alexandra Minna Stern recently wrote for Fast Company, we've witnessed the ideology of ecofascism in the writings of mass shooters who murdered people of color and wrote about the deterioration of the environment and how we need to protect "the land" from non-white invaders 3/
Read 15 tweets
12 Sep 18
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley have convincingly made the argument that in the Trump era, blue states need to go bigger and bolder when it comes to progressive policy-making—which makes it really weird that Charlie Baker is still so popular in Massachusetts. #mapoli
I would love to know what kind of logic allows someone in Massachusetts to simultaneously vote for Ayanna Pressley and Charlie Baker—for a woman whose campaign slogan is #changecantwait and a guy who chains progressive policy-making to the Trump/GOP agenda. I don't get it #mapoli
It's not like there's a shortage of qualified challengers to Charlie Baker. We've got Jay Gonzalez (@jay4ma) running on a progressive and ambitious platform that includes many of the same policies that Pressley and her colleagues have rightly championed. We have a choice. #mapoli
Read 15 tweets

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