Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Drink in the Globe

Barbara Lynch's aptly named Fort Point bar highlights the craft of the cocktail perhaps more than any other establishment in town. The concoctions are made with fresh herbs, specialty liqueurs, and hand-chipped ice, and the space feels like a contemporary speak-easy. There's no drink list; all-star mixologists ask what you're in the mood for, then improvise. 348 Congress Street, Boston, 617-695-1806, drinkfortpoint.comhttp://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/magazine/articles/2009/01/25/hotspots_and_hangouts/

Crossroads Meeting Monday, 2/2

The Boston Redevelopment Authority and the City of Boston Public Works Department will host a public meeting regarding the:

Crossroads Initiative: Congress and Summer Streets

Date: Monday, February 2, 2009
Time: 6:30 – 8:00pm

Location: The Artist Building at 300 Summer
Channel Café/Atrium
300 Summer Street (at A Street lower level)
South Boston, MA

The BRA and the City of Boston Public Works Department invite all residents, business owners and interested community members to discuss the redesign of Congress and Summer Streets as part of the Crossroads Initiative.

Please direct your comments and questions to:
Peter Gori, Crossroads Initiative Co-Project Manager
Phone: (617)-918-4451
Email: peter.gori.bra@cityofboston.gov

Jonathon Greeley, Crossroads Initiative Co-Project Manager
Phone: (617)-918-4486
Email: jonathon.greeley.bra@cityofboston.gov

Boston Redevelopment Authority
One City Hall Square, 9th Floor, Boston, MA 02201

Additional information about the Crossroads Initiative can be found at:
www.cityofboston.gov/bra under “Planning Initiatives”

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Opening at Artists Foundation Saturday

There's a reception at the Artists Foundation for a new show by former Fort Pointer Kate Gilbert Miller:

Reception: Saturday, January 24, 3-5pm
Gallery hours: Saturdays 12-5pm
516 East Second Street, South Boston, MA 02127

Kate Gilbert Miller (Chelsea, MA) for her one person show, "Something's Gotta Stick", has created a site specific installation for the Artists Foundation's Office Gallery. For this installation she has combined, sound, painting, sculpture, and drawing to create an environment that is rooted both in our human world and the invisible world that co-exists with it. - kategilbertmiller.blogspot.com

Monday, January 19, 2009

Zoning Hearing for 49-63 Melcher and Russia Wharf, 2/4/2009

There will be a zoning hearing on 2/4/2008 for the 49-63 Melcher St. project. Notes from the last BRA meeting (short version: there were no changes to the plan from the one last Spring which the neighborhood was strongly opposed to, except that $600k was allocated to give 20-40 artists studio space at 319 A St. for two years).

On the same morning will also be a zoning hearing for Russia Wharf.

The Zoning Commission of the City of Boston hereby gives notice, in accordance with Chapter 665 of the Acts of 1956, as amended, that a public hearing will be held on:

February 4, 2009, 9:30 AM
Room 900, Ninth Floor
Boston City Hall

in connection with a petition for approval of the Development Plan for 49, 51 and 63 Melcher Street within Planned Development Area No. 69, The 100 Acres, Boston, filed by the Boston Redevelopment Authority on behalf of W2005 BWH II Realty LLC.

The Development Plan calls for the substantial rehabilitation of the three existing buildings located at 49, 51 and 63 Melcher Street, which are bound by Melcher Street to the north, Necco Court to the south, A Street to the east, and Necco Street to the west, into one, combined office building.

A copy of the petition, the Development Plan and a map of the area involved may be viewed at the office of the Zoning Commission, Room 953C, Boston City Hall, between 9 AM and 5 PM any day except Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.


The Zoning Commission of the City of Boston hereby gives notice, in accordance with Chapter 665 of the Acts of 1956, as amended, that a public hearing will be held on:

February 4, 2009, 9:00 AM
Room 900, Ninth Floor
Boston City Hall

in connection with a petition for approval of the First Amendment to the Development Plan for Planned Development Area No. 66, Russia Wharf Redevelopment Project, filed by the Boston Redevelopment Authority on behalf of BP Russia Wharf, LLC.

The Amendment amends the Development Plan for Planned Development Area No. 66, Russia Wharf Redevelopment Project (the “Original PDA”) to provide for a change of use in floors two through seven of the Graphic Arts/Tufts Building from up to 150 units of residential uses to office uses. The Russia Wharf Redevelopment Project will now include approximately 854,000 square feet of floor area, including approximately 698,000 to 709,500 square feet of office space, approximately 92,000 square feet of residential space, which will include a maximum of 65 residential units, approximately 52,500 to 64,000 square feet of retail/restaurant/civic space, and approximately 5,000 square feet of artist work space.

A copy of the petition, the Development Plan and a map of the area involved may be viewed at the office of the Zoning Commission, Room 953C, Boston City Hall, between 9 AM and 5 PM any day except Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Archon/Goldman Propose 270' Tower

Archon and Goldman Properties are proposing building a 270' tower at 319 A street. In exchange for the new square footage, they're offering to turn 327 Summer St. into housing for displaced artists, though it's unclear exactly how this would work.

Fort Point plan calls for tower
Building would be tallest in area and expand housing

By Casey Ross, Globe Staff | January 15, 2009

A Boston developer is proposing to build what would be the tallest building in the Fort Point Channel neighborhood, a 23-story residential and retail tower on A Street that would help satisfy demands for more housing in the historic waterfront district.

As part of the proposal, developers Archon Group and Goldman Properties are offering to donate an adjacent building to house artists being displaced by rapid redevelopment in the area, according to documents filed with city planners Tuesday.

"Up until now, the developer has not been willing to donate a building, so we believe this is a good start," said Kairos Shen, the city's chief planner, who added the proposal appears to be generally consistent with the city's plan for the neighborhood.

Redevelopment along the Fort Point Channel has been strained by tensions between local artists and property owners who want to turn the district's 19th-century warehouses into new offices, retail shops, and condominiums.

The latest proposal by Archon/Goldman would result in construction of 290 residential units at 319 A St., which is currently the site of a five-story office building filled with artist studios and other small businesses. Construction of the residential tower could not begin for at least two years, when the current lease on the building expires, city officials said.

The displaced tenants would then have the opportunity to move into 327 Summer St., an adjacent building Archon/Goldman agreed to donate to the city to satisfy a requirement that 15 percent of new units be designated as affordable housing. Shen said city planners still must review the proposal to determine whether it complies with those regulations.

But he said Archon/Goldman's proposal helps to satisfy demands from the city and neighbors for more residential development in the mostly commercial neighborhood. The developer's filing with the city does not indicate whether the new units would be for rental or ownership. An executive with Archon/Goldman did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.

The proposed height of the tower will likely receive sharp scrutiny during the city's review. At 269 feet, it would be the tallest building in the neighborhood, which is mostly filled with smaller flat-front warehouses.

However, 319 A St. is one of five parcels in the neighborhood where a master plan envisions significant height. The master plan allows developers of those properties to build higher than 180 feet in exchange for meeting certain obligations, such as development of more housing and civic space favored by neighbors.

One Fort Point resident involved in the planning process said the city has not been aggressive enough in getting developers to build parks and public plazas.

"We support new residential construction, but we also want to see development of the parks and other things, and it's not happening," resident Steve Hollinger said.

Shen said the city is requiring Archon/Goldman and other developers to contribute to a fund to pay for the development of those parks. He said construction has not moved forward because the parks are slated to go on property that has not yet been redeveloped.

Casey Ross can be reached at cross@globe.com.

BRA Meeting on Fort Point Plan

The Boston Redevelopment Authority will host a community meeting to give an
update on the 100 Acres Master Plan Area and the South Boston Municipal Harbor Plan

Monday, January 26th, 2009
6:30 PM
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
Room 101
415 Summer Street, South Boston

A community meeting will be held to discuss the current planning and development projects in the 100 Acres Master Plan Area. The meeting will include an updates on the 100 Acres Master Plan Area, the South Boston Municipal Harbor Plan Amendment (Gillette), design of the Melcher Street project, and proposed redevelopment of Rear 319 A Street.

If you have any questions regarding the meeting, please contact:

Richard McGuinness: 617.918.4323

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wine Expo at Seaport Hotel, Jan 23-25

The Boston Wine Expo is coming up next weekend:

18th Annual
Boston Wine Expo
January 23 - 25, 2009
Seaport World Trade Center and Seaport Hotel

For tickets and more information, see:


Fort Point of View at 119 Gallery

The 119 Gallery in Lowell is having an exhibit of work created by 25 artists living and working in Fort Point:

Fort Point of View
January 13- February 6, 2009
Gallery Hours: Tues-Sat 12-5pm
Reception: Saturday January 17, 3-6pm

119 Gallery
119 Chelmsford Street

Lowell, MA 01851

For a preview of works on view, see:

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Neighborhood Crime Alert

It has been requested by Boston Police sources that this information get out to as many residents as possible as quickly as possible. There has been a BIG spike in housebreaks just over the last 2 weeks in South Boston. Police are asking for your help.

Be aware of the following:

- Unfamiliar people lurking in your area, often carrying duffel bags or gym bags. Police say call 9-1-1
- A common tactic now is to knock on doors, looking for people who do not live at that address - this lets burglars know if there is anyone at home. Police say call 9-1-1 if this happens at your home.
- The housebreaks are taking place mainly in daytime/weekdays. Take extra care to secure doors and windows and keep an eye on your neighbor's homes too.

Some descriptions of suspects: White males, between the ages of 20 and 30, approximately 5'10'' tall, wearing hooded sweatshirts and jeans, one is described as having a "weathered face".

Commonwealth Ventures Put on "Do Not Issue" List

Because of Commonwealth Ventures's loud late-night and weekend noise at their 30 Channel Center St site just before Christmas (see previous post for details), their project has been put on the "do not issue for weekend work after 5PM" list, so they should not be able to get any more permits after 5 PM. A big thanks to Casey at Mayor Menino's office and also ISD for this.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

FPAC Gallery Reception Thursday Night

As posted earlier, Digital-Non-Digital is currently up at the FPAC Gallery. There's a reception tomorrow (Thursday) evening from 5 to 8 PM. For full details, see the exhibit page on FPAC's website.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

11 Injured at Franklin Cafe on Dot Ave

Heavy panels fall on diners, hurting 11
By O’Ryan Johnson and Stuart Cahill | Sunday, January 4, 2009

Eleven diners at a brand new posh South Boston restaurant were hurt last night when several heavy decorative wood panels suspended from the ceiling rained down on them, fire officials said.

The injuries at Franklin Southie, a Dorchester Avenue hot spot, all were considered minor in nature, said Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald. He said eight diners were hospitalized and three were treated at the scene.

There were roughly 70 people inside the eatery, which had been open only a few weeks when last night’s mayhem happened. Franklin Southie also has an acclaimed sister restaurant in the South End, Franklin Cafe.

MacDonald said the heavy decorative panels were 10 feet by 10 feet. Fire department officials said it is unclear what caused the panels to come down and the cause of the collapse is under investigation.

The city building inspector was called to the scene to check the stability of the structure.

When the call initially came in, fire department officials feared diners may have been trapped and called for a technical rescue, MacDonald said. However, that call was canceled, and instead diners were treated at the scene and later taken to Boston Medical Center.

The restaurant is on the ground level of a condominium complex built over the summer near the Fourth Street bridge.
Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1142953

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Globe Article on St Alphonzo's Kitchen

There's a nice article in the Globe on St. Alphonzo's (nee Potbellies Kitchen). If you haven't tried it, it's a great little restaurant with simple, homemade food. They're at 87 A St., just past Artists for Humanity.

Slice of life
By Elizabeth Bomze, Globe Correspondent | December 17, 2008

Taking shelter from the cold at Peter and Natasha Irving's pint-sized, affordable South Boston restaurant feels just as homey as sitting at your own kitchen table. St. Alphonzo's (originally called Potbellies Kitchen) is the kind of place every neighborhood should have, with straightforward, well-executed fare that feeds the need for a quick bite when you don't feel like cooking. As such, you'll find classics like pasta Bolognese, baked scrod, and a seared flatiron steak, not to mention a recipe for meatloaf that Peter Irving adapted from "Fannie Flagg's Original Whistle Stop Cafe Cookbook."

This particular take on an all-beef loaf is probably not the version your mother made. Onion and green pepper go in, a ladle of marinara sauce lends brightness, and milk moistens both bread crumbs and rolled oats, and keeps the loaf light and fork-tender. "If you know what happens when you cook oatmeal - it puffs up - the same thing happens when you add it to meatloaf," Irving explains. "Once the oatmeal's incorporated, you get a fuller, lighter flavor."

Occasionally Irving runs the meatloaf as a special with gravy and a heap of mashed potatoes; a thick slice seared on the grill and served on light rye with red onion and provolone is a staple of the hearty sandwich menu. One Alphonzo regular orders his meatloaf sandwich cold, doused with ketchup, between two pieces of white bread.

St. Alphonzo's Kitchen, 87 A St., South Boston, 617-269-2233.