MEET ALICE BROWN.
Hi, I’m Alice, a Boston transplant with an affinity for learning about its history (often by taking or giving walking tours) and planning for its future (officially, I’m a professional urban planner with a growing number of transportation plans under my belt).
Favorite T station: I’m intrigued by the Downtown Crossing/Park Street maze because you can tap into the system in Boston Common and just by walking, you can go as far south as Washington and Tremont, as far east as Chauncy, and as far north as Franklin. This is really good to know on a rainy day. (State as a single station also stretches an impressive distance underground.)
You’ve got one hour in Boston. You go to: The Boston Public Library, where you can use the hour to take an art and architecture tour (you might even get me as a docent making snarky comments about the “chemistry” mural) and learn a lot about the history of the city in two adjoining beautiful buildings. It’s also a lovely place to relax in the courtyard or elsewhere if you need a relaxed and inspiring hour within a busier trip.
Best cheap eats: Go explore some wonderfully authentic little spots that make you feel like you’ve flown to a new country. I particularly like the Somali food at Tawakal Halal Café in East Boston, the Ethiopian food at Habesha in Malden, and most of the Vietnamese places in Fields Corner in Dorchester.
Thing that makes you think, dang Boston is cool: The Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park! I’m biased, my job requires me to spend a lot of time there (and promoting the islands). Yet everyone who experiences it seems to agree that travelling out to a park by boat is magical. Peddocks is my favorite island, but the best views of Boston are on Spectacle Island (particularly at dusk).
Thing that makes you think, dang Boston really needs to change: I am continuously impressed by how many bike lanes (and now bus lanes) have popped up in Boston since I moved here and started thinking about how streets work, but I’m still impatient for more. And I really want to get to a place where Boston charges some nominal fee for resident parking permits.
You can follow Alice on twitter @ferryfaerie where she channels her Boston Harbor Now role as a water transportation expert and waterfront advocate then blends in her enthusiasm for public art, bicycles, and third spaces like libraries. She may also be involved in @halfdrunkdunks on Instagram where photos of the city’s partially consumed abandoned beverage containers are posted.