Reader Submission

Cambridge, November 2014, Reader Submission


window shopping in harvard square  (diane yang)

window shopping in harvard square  (diane yang)

Curated by Liz Williams

Although always an odd sight, it’s not uncommon to see wild turkeys roaming around Harvard Square. According to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, wild turkeys were found across all parts of the state when Colonial settlers first arrived. But by 1851, the turkey population fell to such low numbers that they were believed to have disappeared entirely. In 1972, MassWildlife caught 37 turkeys in New York State and re-released them in Berkshire County, and in 1978 officials caught some of the re-established rafter and brought them to 10 other counties in the state. Today, 18-20,000 wild turkeys are believed to be living in most of Massachusetts except for Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and Suffolk counties.

Wild turkeys are a particular nuisance in Brookline and Newton. Meetings have been held in both towns to discuss issues associated with the turkeys, including instances of the fowl violently attacking people, destroying property, and disrupting traffic. Earlier this year, Brookline Police distributed a list of tips to help homeowners deal with the turkeys.

November 2014, Reader Submission, Charlestown, Landmark


bunker hill monument (jenna mead)

bunker hill monument (jenna mead)

Today's photo comes from Jenna Mead, an MIT student living in Charlestown. Jenna has this to say about Boston:

"What I like most about Boston -- specifically Charlestown-- is its ability to be dynamic. My boyfriend is in the Coast Guard and our favorite activity in the city is running along the Charles. My boyfriend likes to observe people along the Esplanade marching to their own drum, and I enjoy the city's four seasons. Boston keeps me on my toes."

Prospect Hill Monument, in Union Square, Somerville, commemorates the supposed raising of the first American flag of the thirteen colonies, by George Washington, on January 1, 1776. Because of its panoramic views of Boston, Prospect Hill, was strategically important during both the Revolutionary and Civil War. Originally named, San Pit Square, and then, Liberty Pole Square, Union Square was re-named after it was used as a recruitment center for Union soldiers during the Civil War.

For those still in the Halloween spirit, Paranormal Hood, a paranormal group from Boston, investigated Prospect Hill Monument to see if there were any spirits left over from the Revolutionary War.

If that's not your thing, you can check out photos from last year's Raising of the Great Union Flag re-enactment ceremony.

October 2014, Reader Submission, sports


the truth and the big ticket* (jfceltics)

the truth and the big ticket* (jfceltics)

Today's photo comes from Jenny from the North End. Jenny is an HR professional and an avid Celtics fan. She has this to say about Boston:

"I love how much heart and pride our residents have. From our amazing sports, to community/neighborhood pride, to top universities, top hospitals, musicians/bands, and even movie filming locations - Bostonians are incredibly proud of what we have and come together to show our love and strength of our city. Bostonians think the most of Boston and believe that they can't be broken."

Today is the first game of the 2014-2015 regular season for the Boston Celtics as they play the Brooklyn Nets. This may be a rebuilding year but the Celtics have a long history of winning. Having formed in 1946, they've won more championships (17) than any other team in NBA history. In the 1960's they won the championship every year except 1967.

The two most celebrate players in Celtics history are Bill Russell and Larry Bird. Bill Russell was a 6 feet 10 inch center who played from 1956-1969. He was best known for his defensive abilities especially rebounding, and for leading the team to 11 championships in his 13 year career. Russell was also the first black NBA coach when he was both player and coach from 1966-1969. Larry Bird, a forward, was best known for his court vision, drive, leadership, and clutch performances. He played from 1979-1992 and won 3 championships. Both players had notable NBA rivalries. Bill Russell's was with Wilt Chamberlain and Larry Bird's was with Magic Johnson.

Another Celtics legend was coach Red Aurbach, who managed the Celtics from 1950-1966. He won 9 championships as a coach and then won another 7 championships as general manager and team president. He helped modernize basketball with emphasis on team play and defense and was said to have invented the fast break. He drafted Chuck Cooper, the first black basketball player in 1950, and had the NBA's first all black starting five in 1964. His brother Zang was also involved with the Celtics - he designed the Celtics Logo in the 1950's. The logo is a drawing of a leprechaun with a bowler hat, smoking a pipe, and holding a shillelagh (a wooden club). 

*Number 34, Paul Pierce (The Truth), played 15 seasons for the Celtics and now plays for the Washington Wizards. Number 5, Kevin Garnett (The Big Ticket/KG), played 6 seasons for the Celtics and now plays for the Brooklyn Nets. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen were part of the "Big 3" that helped Boston win a championship in 2008 - the first championship since 1986.

Watch a 1956 video of Bill Russell jumping over a guy before making a layup. 

October 2014, Nature, Reader Submission, Roxbury


best bees (noah-wilson rich)

best bees (noah-wilson rich)

Curated by Noah-Wilson Rich

General honey bee facts:

Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are of tremendous economic and ecological importance. As pollinators of over 100 crops (including almonds, blueberries, avocados, broccoli, lemons, limes, and cucumbers), honey bees contribute an estimated $14.6 billion per year to the American economy.
Research using honey bees as an experimental study system has contributed to our understanding of an interdisciplinary range of subjects, including animal communication, genomics, evolution, immunology, agriculture, aging, economics, and even mathematical modeling.
Honey bees are dying. The number of honey bee colonies not surviving winters is increasing annually.

Boston honey bee facts:

Honey bees in Boston and Cambridge are more productive and have better survival rates than bees outside the cities.
Bees can fly for miles, so one beehive in Boston can cover reach nearly all the city’s community gardens to pollinate them.
It only takes about a 2 x 3 foot space for a beehive, and they’re in many of the city's rooftops, decks, and gardens.
Restaurants and hotels in the city with beehives and fresh, hyperlocal honey production include: The Gallows, The Beehive, Beat Hôtel, Miel, Four Season Boston, Taj Boston, The Liberty Hotel, Fairmont Copley Plaza, Fairmont Battery Wharf, American Provisions, and more.

To learn more about honey bees and urban beekeeping watch this talk.

Interested in a honey bee hive for yourself or for your business? Go here.

South End, Reader Submission, October 2014

south end

west canton street (holly ann paisa)

west canton street (holly ann paisa)

Today's photo comes from Holly from the Back Bay. Holly works in research administration and has this to say about Boston:

"I love that Boston is a "small' big city. You get the best of both worlds. The fun events, great nightlife, and professional/educational opportunities that you'd expect in a large city but with Boston being so walkable, everything is easily accessible and with all the small shops and local restaurants, you get a real sense of community in the different neighborhoods."

The story of the South End neighborhood is the story of Boston's socio, political, cultural, environmental, and economic transitions, starting in the 19th century. In the early 1800's, the prominent federalist era architect, Charles Bulfinch, envisioned a new residential community in Boston that was modeled after the 18th century English style; brick bay-window townhouses, iron fences, individual, gardens, and public parks and fountains. In 1849 there was an urgent need for a residential neighborhood to alleviate the populous downtown and Beacon Hill neighborhoods and the tidal marsh, where the South End sits, was filled.

The South End was designed for wealthy middle class people, and excluded a commercial center and instead created numerous squares filled with parks. Boston put restrictions on the type of buildings that could be built so the architecture stayed mainly consistent with townhouses that included the architectural styles of the Greek Revival Style, Second Empire Style, Renaissance Revival Style, Mansard Italianate Style, High Victorian Gothic.

In the 1870's, thanks to the  economic panic of 1873, and the back bay being filled, the wealthy middle class fled the area and the South End became a tenement district for immigrants including Germans, Irish, French Canadians Russian Jews and later Syrians, Lebanese, Greeks, Armenians, Italians, and Lithuanians. It also became a popular place for businesses and industries (including the Chickering Piano Factory). After WWI, blacks from the south joined the small but established community of middle class blacks and the corner of Mass Ave and Columbus Ave became the center of jazz. After WWII, there was a need for post war housing and in the 40's the LGBT community began moving into the area. In the 1960's, the Puerto Rican community helped create the Villa Victoria. After the 60's the South End was abandoned once again after immigrants and working class people moved to the suburbs but recently, in the past few decades, the South End has become a trendy and expensive place to live again.

The 1950's urban renewal of the West End neighborhood created the desire to preserve the South End instead of destroy it. Years later, in 1973, the South End was listed on the National Register of Historic places as the largest remaining Victorian urban residential neighborhood in the United States and in 1983, was named a Boston Landmark District.

Interested to see what historical South End buildings look from the inside? The South End Historical Society is hosting their 46th annual South End House Tour where you can visit 6 Private Homes and 4 Public Spaces.

Fenway, September 2014, Reader Submission


restaurant row, fenway (derek mcleod)

restaurant row, fenway (derek mcleod)

curated by Derek McLeod

Known as Restaurant Row, the intersection of Peterborough and Kilmanrock streets in Fenway, is home to seven distinct and unique restaurants. In less than 100 yards, one can experience food styles from Japan, Greece, Iran, Thaliand, France, and the USA. Restaurant Row is also home to El Pelon, rated one of the best burritos in the country. After a fire in January 2009 destroyed most of the restaurants on Restaurant Row it took almost three years of rebuilding but the restaurants re-opened and have resumed their importance and place in the neighborhood.

The diversity and abundance of food styles on Restaurant Row is truly representative of the restaurant scene in Boston as a whole. Within the 89.6 square miles of Boston’s city limits, there are few countries that remain unrepresented. With a T-Pass and a large appetite, in one day one could try fare from Germany, Iran, Thailand, France, Ethiopia, Mexico, Malaysia, Jamaica, Canada, China, India, Afghanistan, Spain, France, Senegal and of course, Italy.

Boston based company, inquisEATive, organizes tasting events with restaurants around the city. For one flat price, you can try several of a restaurant’s favorite options. The next event is tonight between 6:00pm and 8:00 pm at Jacob Wirth in the Theater District. The theme is Oktoberfest! Enter the code "bostonology" and you'll get 5% off the cost of any inquisEATive event. Cheers.

September 2014, Reader Submission


ideas worth spreading, TEDxBoston (sheryl lanzel)  

ideas worth spreading, TEDxBoston (sheryl lanzel)

Today's e-mail is bostonology's first curated e-mail and comes from Danielle D. Duplin, cofounder and curator of TEDxBoston. She would like to thank Katherine Panayotov, the team's Northeastern co-op, for introducing the team to Bostonology.

Tell us your story! Curated emails are a way for Boston's most interesting people to tell their stories: photo, story, link, and all. If you would like to curate an e-mail, contact us at We would love to hear from you!

"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.”

–John Adams, Bostonian and President of the United States (1735 – 1826)

Bostonians have been brimming with ideas for centuries.  The inventions sparked by our forward thinkers and accomplished doers have fundamentally shaped education, medicine, science, technology, government, social entrepreneurship and culture.

After rigorous debate on the ideas and ideals of a new democratic nation, John Adams authored the Massachusetts Constitution. It was ratified during a Town Meeting in 1780 and has remained the longest working constitution in the world as well as a model for the U.S. Constitution.   In fact, the American Town Meeting itself, a forum for citizens to have a voice in their shared destinies, was invented in Boston on October 8th, 1633 when an order was passed for all the inhabitants of Dorchester to peacefully assemble in front of the local courthouse.

For the past six years, TEDxBoston, an independently organized TED event, has featured Bostonians who have ‘ideas worth spreading’.

Next Thursday, October 2nd, TEDxBoston will meet at the Great Hall at historic Faneuil Hall, where people have convened since 1742 to discuss ideas that have shaped our collective future. Gather with friends to watch the live stream online  to hear thirty local innovators share stories of hard work and unexpected outcomes, of probing deeper into complex issues, and of the joy that comes from turning ideas into reality.

Downtown, August 2014, Reader Submission


old state house  ( @samihagan10 )

old state house (@samihagan10)

"We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

— The final passage of the Declaration of Independence, which was read aloud from the Old State House's balcony on July 18, 1776.

As a part of the celebration, the crowd tore down the building's lion and unicorn statues (which are symbols of the British crown) and burned them in a bonfire on King Street.

(The statues were replaced in 1882 by the Bostonian Society, along with a statue of an Eagle on the opposite side.)

Here's a Bostonology-approved event: trivia for a cause. (Hint: this email might even help your team score a few points...)

July 2014, Reader Submission, Charles River


kayaking the charles  (sam lemansky)  *

kayaking the charles (sam lemansky)*

Massachusetts' official website ( lists 61 different places to go kayaking and canoeing in the state, including (but not limited to) 25 state parks, 16 state forests, the Boston Harbor Islands, the Charles River, and Pope John Paul II Park in Dorchester.

("Pope Park" was founded in 2001 and is appropriately named — Pope John Paul II was an avid outdoorsman. As a priest in Poland, he often took paddling trips and held mass outdoors. During these trips, he would occasionally use an overturned kayak as the altar, and the oars as a makeshift cross.)

Just north of Boston, in Newburyport, you can go kayaking with seals.

Back Bay, July 2014, Reader Submission

reading room

bates hall, boston public library  ( @rachelsandler )

bates hall, boston public library (@rachelsandler)

Bates Hall is the heart of Boston Public Library in Copley Square. The library's website describes the 218-foot-long reading room as "architecturally one of the most important rooms in the world."

The hall was named after the financier Joshua Bates, who was raised in Weymouth and Boston in the late 18th century. As a boy, Bates did not have enough money to buy books, so he spent his evenings in bookstores reading whatever they would permit. In his late 20s, he received a job offer at the international bank Baring Bros., and his self-education paid off — he eventually worked his way up to become a senior partner.

As an adult, Bates wanted to make books more available to the general public. In 1852, he helped found the Boston Public Library with its first donation — in the amount of $50,000. In today's currency, Bates's donation would be equivalent to several million.

Not much has changed in Bates Hall since its original construction — you can still see the same 27 busts of historical figures placed throughout. Additionally, the original plan for murals by famed painter James McNeil Whistler fell through, so the hall's walls remain completely bare.