Outdoor Seating for Sugar & Spice
Janeuri Wong presented a plan for 30 outdoor seats in a configuration like the one in front of Christopher’s. (For the record, Christopher’s can seat 25 people, 5 of whom would be squeezed in between a table and a planter.) The sidewalk in front of Sugar & Spice is considerably wider, and the plan indicates a 5-foot pedestrian passageway.
The discussion of the plan quickly turned to the enforcement, or lack thereof, of existing rules with respect to encroachments of outdoor seating on the pedestrian passageway. Christopher’s was offered as the example. The groups of smokers outside the restaurant and/or queuing for Toad create obstacles, as do the waiters when they serve from the sidewalk over the planters instead of from the area bounded by the planters, which some felt were positioned so as to favor the diners’ comfort over a functioning passageway.
The hearing on this request is on May 28, and a decision expected on June 6. If the proposal is approved, the seats will be set up about a week later.
Dennis Carlone, who is plans to run for city council, discussed his concerns about the absence of a comprehensive approach to planning evident in the city’s decision-making process for new development projects and rezoning initiatives which have prompted him to enter the race.
Arts along the Avenue
Ruth Ryals brought information about two projects. First, she distributed the request for qualifications for public artists for a $20,000 commission for a project to be installed on Mass Ave. between Shepard and Garfield. This commission is part of the neighbor-initiated pilot program for Mass Ave development.
The second project is street pianos. The Celebrity Series of Boston will distribute 75 pianos to artists who are willing to paint/decorate them and then move to them to public spaces throughout Greater Boston, they will be available to the public for impromptu concerts, sing-a-longs, jam sessions, or other performances. This will all happen for 2-3 weeks in September/October. If you are an artist interested in decorating a piano, contact Margo Saulnier (email@example.com), who is running this for the Celebrity Series, for more information.
Also, here’s some info about how this project (“Play Me, I’m Yours”) has been done elsewhere: http://www.streetpianos.com/