Downtown Crossing is a funny place. It is betwixt and between -- it is neither the Financial District nor Chinatown nor the Common. The jewelry stores and the fine Italianate details of the Filene's building remind us of Downtown Crossing's glory days -- when it was the place to shop and be seen -- but the massive hole in the ground nearby reminds us of its economically depressed reality.
I move down Washington Street and across the invisible boundary between Downtown Crossing and the Financial District. Right in front of the soon-to-close Borders, a dance crew has set up. They energize the crowd ("Showtime! Showtime!") with flips and turns. And they're clever too: "Obama wants change... we want dollars!"
I come back the way I came. And there's lots to stop and look at.
|At Sabella Couture|
On West Street, I stop short when I see the carts and bookshelves of books that have taken over a small parking lot. Totally retro psychology and sociology textbooks, political texts, classics and books of poetry in metal carts, against brick walls and a true blue sky.
The book has that old, musty smell and, when I go into Brattle Book Shop to pay the $5 price, the air is thick with the same smell. And, a few pages into the book, there's a photo of Brattle Book Shop in the 50's. I compare: Downtown Crossing then, Downtown Crossing now.
What is its future?