Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blog Post No. 2011-13: Food trucks as a temporary piece of urban fabric...

...not a bad idea at all

Photo 1: Three food trucks, looking toward Dock Square.
Photo 2: Looking over the trucks toward Faneuil Hall.
Photo 3: Down the stairs toward Dock Square.
Photo 4: Informal outdoor seating and dining.

The Location: Boston City Hall Plaza, above Dock Square.

Year of Urban Fabric Restoration: 2011.

The Story: A short post, here at the end of August and a VERY fine week of weather following the arrival and rapid departure of former Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene. The food trucks have been located here since the spring, but your faithful correspondent only had the inclination and opportunity to visit earlier this month. I had a late lunch at the Clover truck, which was one of the first food trucks to hit the streets here in Boston and has been parked at various locations around the Greenway over the last year. How to animate City Hall Plaza has been a problem for the City since it was first bestowed up on the populace 40 years ago, a topic on which this blogger has commented in the past (See Post No. 2011-6). Relatively isolated portions of the plaza, such as this, have been the most difficult to animate, cut off as they are. That the Mayor's administration has found a way to bring them some life, even on only a seasonal basis, is testament to the level of sustained attention that is now being paid here. There is a part of me that hopes that structural accretion may someday transform these temporary visitors into permanent occupants. Who can say what the future holds? But even if we have activity only for certain months, it is unquestionably an improvement.

RTUF Sketch of the Restored Urban Fabric: You can file this one under changes at the margins (and much more is needed). RTUF stipulates that 3 food trucks tucked away in what amounts to a corner doesn't make this the Piazza San Marco, but it is decidedly better.