Friday, November 28, 2008

FPAC Holiday Sale Next Weekend

FPAC Holiday Art Sale
Friday, 12/5: 12:00-7:00pm
Saturday, 12/6: 11:00am-5:00pm
Saturday, 12/7: 11:00am-5:00pm
12 Farnsworth Street
(off Congress St., next to Flour Bakery)

Participating artists include:

Deena Schnitman: paper arts (her work is pictured above)
Kristen Alexandra: silver jewelry with attitude, fanciful flatware
Bob's Your Uncle: paper products, holiday cards, gift wrap
Jennifer Chin: handmade precious metal jewelry
Maggie Connors: painting, drawing, sculpture
Laura Davidson: artists' books, playing cards
Margaret DeBruin: Baby and children's hats and clothing
Fort Point Studio School: art classes
Lisa Greenfield: small paintings and prints
Julia Groos: jewelry
Mike Hammecker: painting
Jean Hangarter: photography
High Wire Cats: handmade pet toys, holiday cards and gift labels
Jacob Higginbottom: watercolor
Linda Huey: clay pottery and sculpture
Hilary Law: painted textiles: bags, totes, floorcloths, wool and cashmere scarves
MASS Production: small art pieces
Lisa Knox: painting, drawing
Robin Ann Reilly/Blue Egg Studio: baby gifts and accessories
Gabrielle Schaffner: painted functional ceramics, tiles
Lenore Tenenblatt: holiday cards
Bevan Weissman:photography

For more details, see FPAC's Open Studios Page.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Drink in NY Times

Barbara Lynch's Drink is featured in the NY Times:

November 23, 2008
BoƮte - The Cocktail as Theater


In the science of attention-getting, imprecise though it may be, there are two schools of thought: the flashy (blinking neon lights, plunging necklines, Damien Hirst) and the ferociously minimalistic (an “Open” sign, a string of pearls, Jasper Johns).

Drink, a bar recently opened in Fort Point, a longtime sedate, warehouse-lined area of South Boston, embraces the latter. With expansive ceiling beams, vestiges of the building’s late 19th-century construction, exposed brick walls devoid of televisions or art, a back bar without a single liquor bottle, and not a drink list in the house, guests perched around a meandering white oak bar are left to direct their attention to the cocktails themselves.

The drinks are the night’s high-maintenance stars — but that’s not to be confused with prima donnas. At three distinct but connected horseshoe-shape stations, bartenders lunge, pivot, chisel and thwack mallets (more on that later) while others crack ice cubes, juice citrus halves, and pluck stems and leaves from herb plants clustered on a wide prep table in the center bay.

...Read full article.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Herald on FPAC's Negotiations with Archon

Reminder: The BRA's public meeting is this Monday, 6:30 PM at 44 Thompson Place and the BRA will vote on the measure at their meeting on Wednesday - See this post for full details.

Fort Point artists wary of office pact
By Thomas Grillo | Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A plan to turn five vacant Fort Point buildings into offices could face opposition from the neighborhood when it’s unveiled next week.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority is brokering a compromise that would allow 56 artists to keep their leases in the South Boston district until 2010 and give developers approval for 400,000 square feet of office space, city officials confirmed. Artists at two locations face eviction Nov. 30.

Under the terms of the deal, the artists would get a temporary reprieve while Lincoln Property Co. gets a green light to turn a pair of vacant warehouses at 316-322 Summer St. into office space with a rooftop addition. Additionally, Archon Group could proceed with an office project at 49-63 Melcher St.

But some Fort Point residents say the plan falls short of promises for a mix of residential, commercial and park spaces.

“How is that fair?” said one artist who declined to be identified. “The developers get permanent added value for their properties and the artists get a 24-month lease extension.”

Cheryl Forte, a Fort Point Arts Community board member, praised Mayor Thomas M. Menino for negotiating on behalf of the artists. But in an e-mail, she said her group is concerned about the pairing of artist lease extensions with the approval of two developments.

Kairos Shen, the BRA’s chief planner, said the administration is still committed to the 100-acre master plan issued in 1999 that promised “a vibrant 24-hour, mixed-use neighborhood anchored by 11 acres of new open space and 6 million square feet of development, with at least one-third as housing.”

“I understand there are people who feel that residential should be built first, but the market no longer supports housing,” he said.

A BRA hearing on the projects is set for Dec. 1.

Article URL:

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Meetings for Melcher and Summer St. Projects

The BRA is holding a meeting a week from Monday on the Melcher and Summer St. projects which go before the board for approval that Wednesday. These projects caused large numbers of artists and small businesses to be pushed out of the neighborhood and created dead blocks in the neighborhood where there once was a lot of activity and now is empty buildings (I still miss hearing music shows while past Studio Soto on Melcher). FPAC has been talking with city officials about getting spaces for artists who were evicted and is holding a meeting on this Monday evening:

Monday, November 24th
6:30 PM
12 Farnsworth St. (next to Flour)
FPAC community meeting for all interested Fort Point residents to discuss these issues.

Boston Redevelopment Authority will host a public meeting regarding 49/51/63 Melcher St & 316-322 Summer St

Monday, December 1st
44 Thompson Place, First Floor Conference Room

Project Proponent: W2005 BWH II Realty, LLC and Lincoln Summer Street Venture LLC

Project Description: Update on the 49/51/63 Melcher Street Project and the 316-322 Summer Street Project

If you have any questions, please contact:
Kristin Kara
phone: 617.918.4263

Jay Rourke
phone: 617.918.4317

Jazz at the Channel Cafe Tonight

As part of the Channel Cafe's acoustic music Saturdays, the Daniel Bennett Group will performing tonight from from 7-9 PM.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Theatre this weekend at Lucky's

The Time of Your Life
By William Saroyan
Saturday, November 22 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Sunday, November 23 at 3 p.m.
Lucky's Lounge, 355 Congress Street in the Fort Point neighborhood

The Fort Point Theatre Channel production of William Saroyan’s sprawling 1930s masterpiece The Time of Your Life honors the 100th birthday of America’s greatest playwright of Armenian heritage. The play will take place in one of Boston’s favorite neighborhood night spots, Lucky's Lounge in Fort Point.

The Time of Your Life, originally set in a San Francisco waterfront honky-tonk bar, is rarely staged due to its immense scale. Over 20 actors portray the broad swath of life that Saroyan celebrates.

For more inforation, see:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Harbor Trail Launched

The South Bay Harbor Trail was officially launched in a ceremony on Fort Point Channel. Photos from the event, including our own Mike Tyrrell with Mayor Menino:

As many people know, Mike is the founder of the South Bay Harbor Trail Coalition and was the spark that made the trail happen. Many thanks to him, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, Mayor Menino, Gillette/P&G, and everyone else who worked hard to make this project a reality.

The trail is a bike trail marked by recycled, red-and-white buoys which starts at Ruggles Station, goes through the South End, over the Broadway St. bridge, down Fort Point Channel, and out to fan pier (click map to enlarge):

The Globe had coverage of the event:

Work on South Bay Harbor Trail is launched
Bike, pedestrian path intended to open waterfront

By Christina Pazzanese Globe Correspondent / November 8, 2008

City and state officials marked the formal launch of work on a new bicycle and pedestrian pathway yesterday designed to open Boston's waterfront to formerly landlocked neighborhoods.

Organizers say the 3.5-mile South Bay Harbor Trail will link inland areas such as Roxbury, Chinatown, and the South End to the waterways of Fort Point Channel and the Seaport district by Fan Pier. It will also serve as a much-needed recreational connection for cyclists and pedestrians downtown to get from the Rose Kennedy Greenway to the Arnold Arboretum and the Emerald Necklace, they say.

In the planning stages since 2001, the project was led by Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, a nonprofit advocacy group, and was developed in conjunction with the city and state, said Patricia A. Foley, president of Save the Harbor.

Read full article on

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Landmarking Letters

The guidelines for making Fort Point an Historic Landmark District are going to be voted on by the Landmarks Commission. The committee has worked hard to draft guidelines that will protect the historic character of the neighborhood and make sure that new buildings and development projects are able to go forward in a way that respects this.

At the public meeting, there was some pressure by the large landowners to have more control over the committee and process, and you can bet they will make their opinions heard. I encourage all Foint Pointers to write a letter to the Landmarks Commission. They can be mailed or faxed:

Katie McLaughlin
Boston Landmarks Commission
Boston City Hall, Room 895
Boston. MA 02201

Fax: 617-635-3435

The letter should state how you're connected to the neighborhood (resident, owner, business owner, etc.). Some talking points to consider:

1. The Appointment and makeup of the Commission.

-Long-term stakeholders need representation. The Landmarking process was initiated by the advocacy of such existing community organizations (FPAC,
SAND, FPNA, FPCC, etc.) and represents years of work and effort on their part. Each of the Community organizations should have an ex-officio representation on the commission, to ensure long-term neighborhood representation.

-The representation of commercial owners and developers on the district commission needs to be BALANCED to restrict CONFLICT OF INTEREST and to ensure due community process.

-There are recent owners and developers who have allowed buildings to go vacant and deteriorate, while waiting to resell them. This short-term interest has caused blight in the district with numerous vacant buildings that will most likely remain empty during the current economic downturn.

-The City has a precedent where residents are given greater deference on a
commission because they are most impacted, and represent long-term interest.

-The ability or interest of the "OWNER/ Developers" regulating themselves if
made the sole composition of the board, is limited, especially in the
current climate. Many of these individuals/owners already belong to other
organizations with overlapping interests and during the public comment
process have used these organizations as a tool for pushing development
interests and agendas within the landmark process.


- Developers are arguing for a watering down of the proposed Standards and Criteria that were modeled after similar Landmark Districts in the City.

- During the public comment process, much of the language was already revised in response to property owner/ developer concerns for special circumstances and potential economic hardships. For example, in many instances the word 'shall' was replaced with the word 'should,' to address concerns voiced. The Standards and Criteria as written represent a document reached through public process that is comparable to those in place in other districts throughout the City and should be approved as such.

-The Commision's role in interpreting the guidelines painstakingly crafted over a nearly two-year process must be clarified.

-The landmark district regulations must mirror similar successful regulatory practices in other districts in the City (South End, Back Bay, Aberdeen).

3. Specific Regulations being sought to be changed by developers: a. Retail storefronts, b. Additions to Buildings, c. Demolition by Neglect

-Each of these issues (retail storefronts, additions to buildings, and demolition by neglect) have been raised several times in the Study Committee over the course of several meetings each, and as drafted represent a balance between development and conservation interests.

- Last minute representations by paid counsel of a few developers should not override the hundreds of hours of testimony and letters provided by the community.

-The current guidelines are modeled after successful Landmark regulations in Boston and in other Cities, where such relations have resulted in the restoration of historic districts in the context of new mix of commercial, retail and residential redevelopment.

-Study Committee member Mr. Young Park, who is a developer in the district, himself noted in the final public meeting at the Children¹s Museum on October 29, 2008 that these Landmark Guidelines would ensure the preservation of long term value of real estate investments.

-Given the thoroughness of the Landmark study and Drafting process, it would be appropriate for the Commission to approve the Regulations as currently formulated, and revisited after a four year of time for their effectiveness.

-Arguments based upon short-term commercial or financial interests must not be allowed to override the long-term public goal of ensuring the preservation and restoration of this unique historic district.

-As evidenced through real estate values in other historic districts across Boston, guidelines for responsible restoration and adaptive re-use have not limited the financial viability of development, rather they have enhanced property values. As developer and study committee member, Young Park noted in his final presentation that real estate economics are impacted more by the residential market than by guidelines for restoration of historic assets.


-Objective criteria of the Distinctive features of the neighborhood, listed after extensive publicly documented study, must not be allowed to bereplaced by subjective criteria developed by commercial development interests.

-The substance and intent of the guidelines as drafted have been endorsed by the Elected Officials (Councilor Linehan), the City-- (BRA), and the respected Boston Preservation Alliance.

- Owner interests in the district during the process have used their influence to get tenants to speak in their favor (in some cases misrepresenting the goals of the Study and Landmark process). If the owner/ developers are left to manage the District Commission, it would be difficult to ensure the community as a whole that there would be a fair review of projects.

-The objective of these Landmark regulations is to encourage good restoration and rehabilitation of this unique historic resource, and to prevent demolition by neglect and poor design and narrowly defined short-term commercial interests. Even during this process, buildings in the neighborhood sit vacant, and in some cases in deteriorating condition.

-The Landmark study and process has been exemplified by strong and fair Civic engagement, meetings have been open to the public and comment has been carefully considered by the Committee during the more than a year and a half of the process.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Community Meeting for Filming of TV Show War of '04

Dear Resident:

This letter is to inform you that on November10th the Locations Department of The Jersey Production Company will hold a meeting to discuss filming in South Boston. The meeting is taking place at the Patrick Gavin Middle School, 215 Dorchester Street in South Boston at 7 PM. All area residents are encouraged to attend.

War of ’04 is the working title of a pilot for a new show to premiere on cable television. The show features locations in Boston and portrays a fictional world of Irish-American gangsters struggling for underworld control. Filming will take place from November 17 to mid-December in several Boston neighborhoods.

We are aware of the inconvenience caused by our activity and we are working with the Mayor’s Office and the Boston Police to reduce the impact of our activities on your neighborhood. Representatives from the Mayor’s Office and the Boston Police will be invited to the meeting. We hope to address any concerns at the November 10th meeting and will be available after that at the telephone number above.

Your cooperation will help to make this location shoot a success, and help support the
employment of the hundreds of film workers who make their living in this state’s entertainment

Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

Stephen Hartman
War of ‘04
Locations Department

South Bay Harbor Trail Unveiling, Friday

Mayor Thomas M. Menino,
Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation Bernard Cohen,
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay President Patricia A. Foley, and
Gillette Director of Massachusetts Government and Community Relations Brian E. Hodgett
invite you to join them as they unveil the wayfinding system for the South Bay Harbor Trail.

Friday, November 7th, 2008
10 AM
Binford St. Park on Fort Point Channel
(the park on the water, *not* the one on A St.)

For directions and more information, see:

For centuries Boston Harbor has been at the heart of our great waterfront city. Today, with miles of HarborWalk, the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, the 34 islands of the Boston Harbor Islands National Park, five public swimming beaches and some of the cleanest water in urban America, Boston’s Harbor and waterfront are a great place to ride a bike, to take a walk, to swim, to fish, to sail, and to enjoy! The South Bay Harbor Trail will connect Bostonians from across the city with America’s past and our city’s future on Boston Harbor.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Barbara Lynch's Sportello Set to Open

Barbara Lynch's next restaurant, Sportello, is nearing completion and set to open for lunch in the coming days. It's next to her now open lounge Drink on Congress St.


OCTOBER 20, 2008, BOSTON, MA…Sportello, James Beard Award-winning chef Barbara Lynch’s second venture in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood, is expected to open in mid-November. Sportello (Italian for counter service) will offer a menu of simple, market-driven Italian dishes featuring soups, salads, pastas, and desserts. There will also be a small bakery and retail area to purchase house-made Italian breads and sweets including pane al latte and olive oil polenta cake, freshly prepared grab-and-go sandwiches and salads, and coffee & espresso. A thoughtful selection of pantry staples and treats featuring Christine Ferber jams and house-made chocolate bars will also be available.

“I am so excited to open Sportello as I’ve always envisioned it being the heartbeat of our entire project, and hopefully, the neighborhood” said Barbara Lynch. “Sportello will be quick, fun, and casual; a real neighborhood place. When I was growing up I used to go to Brigham’s; I always loved sitting at the counter and admired the efficient design. I guess you could call this my version of a Brigham’s - if Brigham’s served Chicken Vegetable Soup with Caraway Gnocchi and Taglietelle Bolognese!”

A modern interpretation of the classic lunch counter, Sportello was designed by Cheryl and Jeffrey Katz of C&J Katz Studios. Reflecting its name, the space is dominated by one serpentine white corian counter with fixed seating for 33; additional handicap-accessible seating is located by the windows overlooking Congress Street.

Sportello will initially open in November for lunch Monday through Friday, with dinner service Monday through Saturday beginning in December.

Sportello (348 Congress Street) will be located on the first floor of FP3, Berkeley Investments’ Fort Point neighborhood residential project. Sportello follows the October opening of Drink , Chef Lynch’s bar dedicated to the craft of the cocktail, located on the basement level of 348 Congress Street. The third concept to be located in FP3, a fine dining restaurant, is expected to open in spring 2009.

Vote Today!

Please remember to get out and vote today. Local politicians do look at the records of who votes from which neighborhoods, so it's important for all Fort Pointers to vote.

Our polling place is the Condon School, at 200 D St. Hope to see you there!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Achilles' Supper Club, Tuesday Nights

Why no Barack of lamb?
Dining with Democrats
By NEELY STEINBERG | October 28, 2008

Assuming he was indeed born in Honolulu, and barring another hanging-chads debacle, Barack Obama will likely be our next president. If you're looking for a place to fete the Chosen One's ascendancy to the Oval Office, head on over to South Boston restaurant Persephone's "Tuesday Night Supper Club" to eat and drink — family-style — with fellow Democrats at a special "Barack the Vote" Obama bash.

The Fort Point eatery's Supper Club communal repasts is a fairly new concept for higher-end establishments in Boston. Dining takes place at one long table where anyone can reserve spaces. You can fly solo or bring friends. The three-course meals are served family-style, with patrons serving themselves from large platters and bowls. Accompanying wines are served with both entree and dessert. Local, organic, sustainably-raised or harvested ingredients are used whenever possible. Trust me, the food is delicious.

Surely, this sort of seating arrangement works best when you're surrounded by politically like-minded people; typically, though, Supper Club nights are themeless and apolitical, which means you could very well be sitting next to a Rush Limbaugh conservative on any other evening (hey, dissent and debate is what makes the world go round, so don't let that dissuade you!). Head chef Michael Leviton's ultimate goal is for his patrons to "meet a few new people, have a few good conversations, and maybe learn a little bit about the goodness and importance of local, sustainable cuisine."

On election night, in the hopes of "devouring" the Republicans, Leviton has prepared a menu of "elephant-inspired" items including Seared Elephant Trunk Scallops, Turnip & Rutabaga Puree and Cider Vinaigrette; Slow Roasted Northeast Family Farms Pork Shoulder, Braised Red Cabbage and Apples, Sweet and Sour Cider Jus; and for dessert, White Elephant Cupcakes. Persephone will be showing election updates and commentary on their eight flat screen TVs throughout the night, and at 10 pm, a DJ will take over and "Barack" the night away.

Persephone is located at 283 Summer Street. Supper Club seatings are at 6 and 8:30 pm. Prix fixe is $40, ($60 with wines). Call 617.423.2257.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

FBI Puts New HQ on Hold

From Boston Business Journal:

FBI delays search for new HQ, renews current lease

by Michelle Hillman

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is slowing down its hunt for a new, 250,000-square-foot headquarters and is keeping its plans a secret.

Besides pushing the deadline for the second round of proposals back about a month, the government agency has renewed its lease for 100,000 square feet at Center Plaza near Boston’s Government Center, according to sources. The 3 1/2-year lease was renewed with its current landlord, Equity Office Properties Trust, and is meant to be a short-term fix until the agency decides where it will move, said a real estate source with knowledge of the lease.

The FBI previously considered development sites on D Street and at Channel Center in Boston’s Fort Point Channel, but neither of those sites are in the running, according to real estate sources. Calls to the Boston office of the U.S. General Services Administration, which is in charge of the FBI’s search, did not return repeated calls for comment.

“There’s really no discussion going on with the FBI,” said Richard Galvin, president of Commonwealth Ventures LLC, which owns Channel Center. Galvin declined to comment any further.