On Thanksgiving, my son and I took one of my favorite walks. We ambled from Ashmont Street down Carruth Street. What lovely Victorian houses – painted ladies – with deep porches and all sorts of fancy architectural embellishments we passed. (When son’s ship comes in, he’s going to get his mama one of those grand houses.)
We crossed Gallivan Boulevard to Adams Street, pass the Cedar Grove Gardens (I resisted the temptation to stop here because there is always something to buy and yes, they were open), pass the Cedar Grove Cemetery (another great place to walk – in the summer they sell plants in their greenhouse), up to Lower Mills and the condos at the former Walter Baker Chocolate Factory.
There we paused to look at the waterfall formed at the Baker Dam. It is one of the most quaint and beautiful settings in Boston. Then we walked into Milton, pass the post office and down by the Milton Yacht Club. Son wanted coffee and stopped in the Dunkin Donuts on Dorchester and Adams. Mom resisted the donuts and muffins (but don’t give me kudos ‘cause I “had at” the apple pie and sweet potato pies I’d made as always with homemade crust). Then back to Dorchester Ave., pass the Common Ground Café* (one of the most charming spots to dine on a limited menu of fresh and healthy foods especially in the winter when one can enjoy the warmth of the fireplaces at the hand-hewn tables, chairs and booths some of which are in their own whimsical enclosures).
We made our way pass Ashmont Station and the new Carruth Building with its recently opened Flat Black Coffee Shop and Tavolo restaurant (where it was my great pleasure to watch the Presidential election returns at a party sponsored by Reps Linda Dorcena-Forry and Martin Walsh).
It was such a great walk on a crisp, sunny morning in a perfect New England setting, so perfect that it should be featured in Yankee magazine.. My son used to walk with me sometimes in Franklin Park (another great place to walk surrounded by the neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester,Jamaica Plain, and Roslindale). This is the Dorchester that is virtually only discussed in the local Dorchester Reporter and rarely makes the nightly news programs on television or into the large daily papers.
Other walks I love in Dorchester are: Pope’s Hill, Savin Hill, U. Mass campus, the walk from the JFK Library to Southie, Pope John Paul Park, the path by the Milton Trolley, Tenean Beach, Port Norfolk, etc. Many of these walks include water and abundant foliage. How lucky and blessed am I to be in this neighborhood even if my house is modest and my street a bit funkier than many of the other streets I’ve discovered on these walks. On my walks, I’ve discovered so many lovely neighborhoods replete with unique and beautiful homes. (Of course, other walks by the water can be had by hopping in the car or grabbing a bike and going to Wollaston Beach or Marina Bay. which are close by.)
I am gearing up to walk Dot Ave. from Ashmont across Columbia Road into South Boston. I plan to stop along the way and eat at one of the Vietnamese restaurants along the avenue and visit the Stitch House and the antique store (whose new name I don’t know) that’s near it.
Sometimes I walk with one or two other Dorchester friends, sometimes alone. We’ve walked in several other Boston neighborhoods and beyond, but I find Dorchester has the most satisfying walks to me. Walking near the water, going to the falls, it’s good for whatever is ailing you. I recommend it highly.
(*Common Ground Cafe is run by a religious cult – the Twelve Tribes. It and they have been a fixture in Dorchester for years.)