Thursday, May 26, 2011

First Impressions: Restaurants, Fish, and a Ship from Mexico

The first thing that hits you when you enter Fisherman’s Pier is the smell of salt-water, fresh fish, and diesel that is only found on a city waterfront.
My first impressions of Fisherman’s Pier, home to the offices of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, are ones of admiration and warm familiarity. Having grown up on waterfronts, both in New Haven, Connecticut and Portland, Maine, the smell and scenery are ones I enjoy. The admiration, however, comes from the impressive buildings along the wharf and modern landscaping on the close city blocks. It almost looks like a movie set; the sun shining off of the clean building windows as well-dressed businessmen and women go off to lunch at the contemporary restaurants and markets. A few tourists blend into the walks along the docks and admire the variety of ferries, sailboats, touring boats, the well-known Nantucket Lightship, and tall ships.
Impressive in itself, the bright white and green, varnished, three-masted Mexican naval ship Cuauhtemoc is docked at the World Trade Center Seaport, sitting under the many flags and flying a variety herself, adding to the secular feel the international seaport gives off. Sailors in uniform and crewmen bask in the Boston sun, listening to festive Mexican music playing loudly on the ship.

Moving down the pier, the industriousness of the place comes into full effect. Though the fisherman are long gone, having dropped their catches off early in the morning, workmen tend to boats docked on the pier cleaning and tossing pallets back and forth. Tourists take pictures in front of the famous No Name Seafood Restaurant, and MassPort policemen patrol. By the time you get to the end of pier, you’re tripping over tangled nets and buoys and have a full view across the harbor, full of recreational, industry, and tour boats. Planes from Logan Airport are loud and close by. Pick up trucks litter the back parking lot with various equipment tossed in the back. The environment leaves me with no doubt that this will be a fun and beautiful, as well as educational and interesting, place to work for the summer.

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