Friday, February 27, 2009

Channel Cafe, Sat. 7-9 PM - Poverty Line Old Time Band

This Saturday at Channel Cafe for your dinning pleasure 7- 9 - Poverty Line Old Time Band: Train hoppin hobo old timey blugrass folk in a knife fight with punk rock holding a broken moonshine bottle laughing through crooked teeth. "oldtime is the new punk rock more banjo less pants"

As always Dinner: Thursday - Saturday 5 - 10 pm
Happy Hour Special 5-7 pm Burger and a Draft $10!
DJ Manny and Guests spin fabulous tunes on Friday Night.
xoxo, ana

Ana Crowley
Channel Cafe
300 Summer St.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Globe Article on Fort Pointer Doreen Hing

There's a nice article in the Globe on Fort Pointer Doreen Hing of Plank Designs fame.

At Plank, originality is no stretch

By Courtney Hollands, Globe Staff | February 26, 2009

A friend dragged Doreen Hing to her first yoga class seven years ago. And after the beginner jitters subsided, she just couldn't get over the blah yoga accessories and apparel around her.

"All the mats were basically default blue or nasty purple," the British-born Hing, 42, remembered. "The bags were hippie chic, with Chinese symbols or 'om' or 'breathe' on them."

So the former kids shoe designer for Sam & Libby and Mootsies Tootsies put humor where her mat is. She commissioned Christopher Harting to take cheeky photos, which are then screened on recyclable, biodegradable Ecolite material. There's a mat featuring two handprints in dense shag carpeting - very trompe l'oeil - and a mat that looks like an actual plank of wood, referring, of course, to the yoga pose.

Jennifer Garner, Reese Witherspoon, Ellen Pompeo, and other celebrities have all saluted the sun on Hing's Plank mats. The South Boston designer also created a line of functional, roomy canvas totes with straps to attach a yoga mat for the fitness enthusiast on the go, and a line of coordinating, candy-colored pony-hair clutches and bags.

...Read full article on

Monday, February 23, 2009

City Selects Site for New (Indoor) Public Market

Hungry for public market, city plans site

By Casey Ross, Globe Staff | February 21, 2009

After a decade of false starts, Boston officials are moving to open the city's first daily public food market since the 1950s in a building along the Rose Kennedy Greenway, hoping to provide a permanent indoor showcase for the state's farm products and local cuisine.

The market would be opened in a vacant building that occupies a full city block near Haymarket, an area of old cobblestone alleys where city officials want to create an expansive year-round shopping district with dozens of local growers, bakers, seafood merchants, and other businesses.

Two firms have filed proposals to redevelop the Blackstone Street property and both have included ground-floor space for a food market and cafe. Adjacent land near the weekend Haymarket, known for its cheap produce and seafood, is also being con sidered for a second public food building.

"It's a missing piece of the city's fabric," said Don Wiest, the president of the Boston Public Market Association. "The products we have to sell in Massachusetts are second to none, and we have an opportunity to create what should be one of the great public markets of North America."

Boston is one few major US cities without a daily public food market. The last traditional market closed in the 1950s, when buildings in Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market fell so deep into disrepair that the federal government threatened to close them, forcing many vendors to relocate.

Faneuil Hall has since become a successful tourist attraction with dozens of retail stores and restaurants, but the public market has largely disappeared, with only the Haymarket pushcart vendors left along stretches of Blackstone and Hanover streets. But those vendors, known for barking at patrons who linger too long over a cart of apples, operate differently from a true public market because they get their products from wholesalers, not from local farms and fishermen, and they operate on Fridays and Saturdays instead of daily.

A New York consulting firm hired by the city to study possible market locations has recommended the Blackstone Street property, next to the Haymarket MBTA station and across from the Greenway, as the centerpiece of an expanded district for food vendors between City Hall and the North End. "We believe the city ought to develop a public market, and it should be located within this historic sector," said Kairos Shen, chief planner for the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the city's planning arm.

The recommendations for the indoor public market call for the development of a marketplace similar to Pike Place in Seattle or Reading Terminal in Philadelphia, both highly successful attractions that provide a unique window into the culture of those cities. Those markets are open daily and feature dozens of local vendors selling regional produce, wine, seafood, artisanal cheeses, and crafts.

The effort to establish a market in Boston has been tied up in a decadelong debate over the best location in downtown Boston, which has been changing rapidly with the development of the Greenway. Outdoor markets have been opened on the Northern Avenue Bridge, City Hall Plaza, and on land near South Station, but there has never been a successful proposal for a year-round indoor facility.

Local farms and agricultural businesses have long sought a daily market because of the expense and complication of traveling to Boston to participate in weekend farm stands. Massachusetts farms rely on local markets because of the lack of major agricultural distributors in the state to buy and sell their products.

"Until now, we haven't had a mechanism to get farm products directly into Boston," said Nathan L'Etoile, government affairs director for the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation. "But this is a location with a high concentration of consumers with expendable money."

Still, some skeptics of putting the market on the Blackstone property - known as parcel 7 - are concerned the 26,000 square feet on the ground floor is not enough space to accommodate a full-scale market. The size of public markets in US cities varies widely, from 78,000 square feet in Philadelphia, to several city blocks in Seattle, to about 29,000 square feet in Cleveland. Some planners said Boston's market must be on the larger side to attract enough daily business.

"If you've got one or two cheese guys and a couple of produce vendors, how successful is it going to be?" said Samuel "Sy" Mintz, a former city planner and architect of the nearby Millennium Bostonian Hotel.

But Wiest said there is also space to expand the market onto a plaza in front of the building. "Our market's going to have an accordion-like quality," he said. "The plaza is ideally scaled to expand outdoors, especially in the summer."

Otto Gallotto, the president of the Haymarket vendors association, said he is generally supportive of the proposal, but problems could arise if developers eventually seek to expand the market by building a second facility on Blackstone Street, where the pushcart vendors operate on weekends.

"There has to be an alternative for the pushcarts during construction," said Gallotto, who nonetheless added that the combination of the two markets could generate significant foot traffic in the area.

The proposal for the parcel 7 market is being considered by the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, which owns the five-floor office building and parking garage, and solicited bids for its redevelopment last October. The authority also is seeking a developer for the adjacent property near the pushcart vendors on Blackstone Street. Proposals for that property are still being collected and are not yet public.

Meantime, Turnpike officials and city planners are holding a meeting next week to consider plans for parcel 7 filed by WinnDevelopment of Boston and Hersha Development Corp. of Philadelphia. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday.

WinnDevelopment, owned by Arthur Winn, is proposing to move his firm's offices into the building from Faneuil Hall. The firm, which is developing Columbus Center, wants to build the food market, a restaurant, and cafe on the ground floor. About 50 local vendors would be allowed to rent space in the market, and the adjoining restaurant would feature their products on its menu. A spokeswoman for the firm said it would like to start construction this summer.

Hersha Development, a national hotel developer, wants to build a 100-room boutique hotel in the building, along with the public market, and an Italian cafe, according to its proposal. A representative of Hersha, Mike Barrett, said the firm would seek to build about 23 stalls for vendors and begin construction in 2010. He estimated renovations to the building would cost about $37 million.

The Turnpike Authority must select one firm to redevelop the building, and the BRA would then approve a final proposal. It would likely be two to three years before the market could open.

Casey Ross can be reached at

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sportello Now Open Mornings, Mon-Sat


Chef Barbara Lynch Serves Up Coffee, Espresso, and Morning Pastries at Fort Point’s Sportello

February 13, 2009, Boston, MA…. Beginning Tuesday, February 17th Sportello will be open at 7am Monday through Friday and will offer a selection of freshly baked pastries along with coffee, espresso, and tea. Breakfast items from Sportello’s bakery counter will include croissants and scones, yogurt and fresh fruit parfaits, and bombolini, Italian-style donuts.

“I’m excited about mornings at Sportello”, said chef/owner Barbara Lynch. “In addition to the incredible pastas, soups, and salads, we have a fantastic bakery program thanks to a very talented pastry chef. I set out to create a real neighborhood spot with Sportello and I think having it open early and providing really great coffee and amazing morning pastries will provide another option for residents and businesses in this growing neighborhood!”

Sportello, which opened in November 2008, is located in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood and serves a menu of Chef Barbara Lynch’s trattoria-inspired dishes in a fun and stylish counter setting for lunch and dinner. Freshly baked breads, pastries, chocolates, sandwiches, and more are available from the bakery counter and retail area throughout the day.

Sportello is open Monday through Saturday for lunch from 11:30am-2:30pm and for dinner from 5:30pm-10:00pm. The bakery is open Monday through Friday 7:00am-7:00pm and from 11:30am-7:00pm on Saturday. For more information, please visit

348 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02210

FBI Eyeing Fort Point Again

The Banker and Tradesman is reporting that the FBI is looking at building a complex in Fort Point:

Developer, FBI Reportedly Want 5-Acre Post Office Parcel
By Paul McMorrow
Banker & Tradesman Staff Writer

Two development sources have said that Commonwealth Ventures president Dick Galvin and mayoral confidante Bob Walsh are preparing to make a play for the U.S. Postal Service's parking lot on A Street in South Boston - a move that would enable them to build a new home for one of the region's most coveted tenants, the FBI.

The sources say that Galvin and Walsh took a run at the site last spring, when the Postal Service first put the 5-acre A Street lot on the market. They were unable to come to an agreement on price, but since that time, the Postal Service's finances have been seriously tested, and they may be more willing to compromise, the sources speculated.

USPS parking lot on A Street in South BostonGalvin, who developed neighboring Channel Center and whose firm has offices in the A Street complex, would be well-positioned to leverage the Postal Service plot into significant new construction. Channel Center Holdings, a firm he controls, owns the two vacant lots between the Postal Service lot and Channel Center.

Boston Mayor Tom Menino has long sought to keep the FBI's regional offices in the city. That search has centered on the Seaport. The agency reportedly took a long, hard look at Joe Fallon's Fan Pier before deciding that price and security concerns made the development unacceptable. The FBI, said to be eyeing 270,000 square feet, would have been Fan Pier's anchor tenant. Instead, Fallon's first office tower is now rising without one. And now it appears that it'll be another friend of the mayor's - Walsh, not Fallon - who brings the feds to the neighborhood.

USPS parking lot on A Street in South BostonCB Richard Ellis is marketing the lot for the Postal Service. CBRE declined comment.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

BRA Greenway Planning Mtg, Tues 2/17

Organic CSA Delivers to Fort Point

Enterprise Farms in Whately, MA now has a drop off point for their CSA at 300 Summer:

Join Enterprise Farm's year-round CSA and receive a small or large box of
Massachusetts and regional produce delivered to you in the Boston area. Fresh, organic and local, each week the CSA box comes with a rotating mix of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Find sign-up information atL
or contact:

Saturday, February 07, 2009

ICA's Foster Prize Awarded: Music Event Sunday

The ICA recently awarded the Foster Prize to Boston artist Andrew Wiktin ( He's having the final in a series of music performances as part of his installation at the ICA this Sunday (2/8) and a lecture this Wednesday (2/11) at the LaMontagne Gallery on East 2nd St:

February 8, Sunday, 3:30 PM
Concert by Lucky Dragons
ICA Boston

100 Northern Avenue, South Boston

February 11, Wednesday, 7 PM
Lecture by Andrew Witkin
LaMontagne Gallery

555 East 2nd St., South Boston

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Sportello and Drink Open House!

Sportello and Drink Open House
Tuesday, February 10th
4:30pm - 7:30 pm

Please join Chef Barbara Lynch and her team at an open house to celebrate the opening of her two new concepts in Fort Point and to thank the community for its continued support and enthusiasm.

Wine will be poured and hors d'oeuvres passed so please stop by to say hello and meet new friends!

Please r.s.v.p. by email to Jamie Nickerson, jnickerson @

348 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02210 ~

Monday, February 02, 2009

Fort Point Landmark District Approved

Boston City Council voted Wednesday afternoon to accept the amended guidelines from the Landmark Study Committee. This means that the Fort Point Landmark District is now official. You can read the guidelines and more information about the process on this page on the City's website: