About Aline Kaplan

Aline Kaplan is a published author, a blogger, and a tour guide in Boston. She formerly had a career as a high-tech marketing and communications director. Aline writes and edits The Next Phase Blog, a social commentary blog that appears multiple times a week at aknextphase.com. She has published over 1,000 posts on a variety of subjects, from Boston history to science fiction movies, astronomical events to art museums. Under the name Aline Boucher Kaplan, she has had two science fiction novels (Khyren and World Spirits) published by Baen Books. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies published in the United States, Ireland, and Australia. Aline’s articles have also appeared on the Atlas Obscura website. She has been an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America since 1988 and is a long-term member of the Spacecrafts science/fantasy writers’ group. As a tour guide, Aline leads architectural and historical walking tours of the city for Boston By Foot, ghost tours for Haunted Boston and historical bus tours of the city. She lectures on Boston history and has appeared in the Boston Globe, as well as on TV for Chronicle, an award-winning television program that broadcasts stories of New England. As a lecturer, Aline has spoken at Brandeis and Tufts universities for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She has also addressed as service organizations and local meetings. She is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston and lives in Hudson, MA.

Photo Ops in the Seaport: Part 2

Today I would like to complete my posts about photo opportunities at the eastern end of the Seaport District. With only my trusty IPhone, I can’t claim to be a real photographer but someone with better equipment can certainly take advantage of these photo ops.

The Photo Ops Continue 

Raymond Flynn Cruiseport, Skyways, Boston, Black Falcon Terminal, photo ops, The weather has chilled, the cruise ships have departed for warmer climates—or started their repositioning trips. The Seaport has turned its attention to the Christmas market known as the Snowport. But business still goes on at the eastern end and photo opportunities abound.

In my previous post, I talked about the northern side from Boston Harbor to the Boston Ship Repair drydock and Coastal Cement. Today I’ll turn to the Reserved Channel and the Innovation Design Building.

The Conley Container Terminal

Evergreen, container ship, Paul W. Conley Container Terminal, photo ops, Boston, SeaportIf you have ever wondered how a container port works and how those huge cranes handle fully loaded shipping containers, you can watch for yourself. In most places you would have to be in a boat to observe a container port at work but Boston gives you a safe front-row seat—and the opportunity for some interesting photos.

South Boston’s Paul W. Conley Container Terminal opens onto the Reserved Channel that stretches from the harbor under the Summer Street Bridge to approximately East First Street. The Black Falcon Terminal runs along the other side. That means you can watch from the open space to the east of the Black Falcon Terminal. This is best done on the weekend when there’s lots of parking.

Container Ship, Paul W. Conley Container Terminal, Reserved Channel, South Boston, photo opsBring a folding chair, a Thermos of coffee, and your camera. If a ship is in port, you can sit and watch the loading or unloading. The stacks of shipping containers provide cubist compositions in brown, white, green, yellow, and blue. The cranes make interesting designs against the sky.

You can find the Terminal Vessel Schedule on the Massport website. Some of the vessels that come in are sister ships to the Ever Given, the ship that blocked the Suez Canal for six days and tied up shipping schedules around the world.

The Innovation Design Building

Innovation Design Building, pipes, photo opsI’ve written about the Innovation Design Building before but from an historic perspective. The structure also offers industrial motifs for the motivated photographer. Check out:

  • The pedestrian bridges that run from the IDB to the Black Falcon Terminal, some of which have faded “ghost advertising” signs.
  • The shining pipes that run up the south side of the building on Black Falcon Avenue. I keep trying to get a good shot of these but don’t have the right kind of camera.
  • The horizontal perspective offered by the two long, low buildings. This is best captured over the weekend in the off-season when there’s little traffic.

The South Boston Power Station

South Boston Power Station, Reserved Channel, photo opsLike the container terminal, the demolition of the decommissioned South Boston Edison Power Station is best observed from the opposite side of the channel.

The decommissioned electrical plant will eventually be replaced with a mixed-use project that will include the adaptive reuse of four historic Turbine Halls. It will create 860,000 square feet of commercial space, 636 units of housing, a 240-room hotel, and over five acres of new public open space.

In the meantime, you can watch the demolition and subsequent construction in progress without needing a hard hat or getting anywhere near cranes and wrecking balls. No chain-link fence will spoil your photo, although a good lens will get you the best shots. Take your time, no one will roust you on weekends. Come back again to check on progress.

Eating and Drinking Ops

The area is not just dedicated to industrial use. After all, working men and women need sustenance, too. Unfortunately, that means doors often close on weekends. Check out:

  • Scola’s Café:
    Breakfast and Lunch
    Closed weekends
    88 Black Falcon Avenue
    (617) 478-0408
    Menu
  • The Drydock Café:
    Breakfast and Lunch, Dinner on Friday
    Closed weekends
    7 Drydock Avenue
    (617) 951-2999
    Menu
  • Pete’s Dockside:
    Breakfast and Lunch
    Closed weekends
    12 Channel St Ste 104
    (617) 423-1110
  • Dunking Donuts:
    Coffee and . . .
    Closed weekends
    1 Harbor Street
    (617) 737-1860
  • Yankee Lobster:
    Lunch and Dinner
    Open weekends
    300 Northern Avenue

Innovation Design Building, promenade, lunchDuring the week, you can also take advantage of restaurants and sandwich containers along the promenade of the Innovation Design Center. I like the turkey sub at Al’s.

If you go on a photo safari to the eastern end of the Seaport, please send me a couple of pictures. I’d love to promote them in an another blog post.