Objectives

:

To engage Boston residents in the streets and inquire whether they enjoy exploring their city. To tell people about the Milton Lower Mills in Dorchester. To see if any Boston residents might be willing to explore the Lower Mills and tell me about their experience.

The Milton Lower Mills:

This Dorchester neighborhood lies at the border of Boston and Milton along the Neponset River. The urban village is known for its distinctive 19th century chocolate mill buildings that rest along and on top of the river. The chocolate company existed there from the 18th century colonial period to 1927. The Mattapan High Speed Line, part of the Red Line, features trolley cars that have been in use since the 1940s.

Why feature the Lower Mills?

Despite the neighborhood’s charm, it remains unknown to many Bostonians. It is easy to access, however, going there for most Bostonians would require overcoming a large mental block. The neighborhood’s relative obscurity makes it an interesting case study. Should any informants write back to me, then it will be clear that they had made an effort at exploring their city.

Next Slide: The Flyer...........

RE ON: N R

DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE SEEN EVERYTHING BOSTON HAS TO OFFER? HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR OWN CITY? RIDE THE RED LINE TO ASHMONT STATION AND TAKE THE MATTAPAN HIGH SPEED LINE TO MILTON STATION. DISCOVER SOME OF BOSTON’S HIDDEN GEMS: THE HISTORIC WALTER BAKER CHOCOLATE FACTORIES, THE BENDS OF THE NEPONSET RIVER, A VIBRANT AND DIVERSE COMMUNITY, AND STYLISH TROLLEY CARS THAT HAVE BEEN IN ACTIVE USE SINCE THE TRIPAND FEEL INSPIRED TO SHARE YOUR ADVENTURE THE MID TWENTIETH CENTURY. IFYOU MAKESTORY, EMAILME: KMADDEN1@GSD.HARVARD.EDU

Potential Informants: People with whom I spoke and who expressed willingness to explore beyond their comfort zones.

Of the forty people I spoke to none had ever been to the Dorchester-Milton Lower Mills and only a few had heard of the neighborhood.

Some areas I explored to meet Bostonians:

Milton-Dorchester Lower Mills

Next Steps:

Await responses from the quotidian urban explorers. Flyer again on Sunday when Bostonians typically go on walks and bike rides throughout the city.

New Ideas:

Create small maps / guides through one or two Boston neighborhoods. These tours will be along connecting routes between urban nodes. Carry a large map of Boston through the city and ask people to mark where they live and where they like to explore. Shift the exploration focus on night life across the city. Where do people go out and how do they get there? “What neighborhood am I from?” photo series? How could such interventions maintain an online component?

City Walks: London

This deck of cards, each featuring a different walk in London, might be a good precedent for helping Bostonians reconceive exploring their city.

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