NYC: Focus On Chelsea For Accessibility And Less Stress


The High Line Hotel, NYC

Central Park, the Top of the Rock, Times Square, Museum Mile, a Broadway show, St. Patrick’s Cathedral:  a quintessential New York City trip to some.   I offer you here an itinerary for a slightly less touristy – but no less iconic – NYC experience that is much friendlier to the slow walker or wheelchair user.

Consider booking a room at The High Line Hotel;  a fairly new hotel built on the site of the former dormitory for the General Theological Seminary in Chelsea, New York City.  The developers retained the feel of the Gothic Revival structure and to me, it’s just beautiful. The price can be right too, from the low $300’s per night (up to mid $500’s).



Intelligentsia runs a fantastic espresso bar in the lobby of the hotel with really, really nice baristas, and there’s plenty of indoor and outdoor seating (if you don’t mind rubbing shoulders with a preponderance of small dogs). The good news is that you too can bring your dog (even if it’s not a service dog) for a sleepover if you so desire. There are a few downsides:

– There is only one ADA room, and the back outside courtyard (which beckons invitingly, were it warm outside) is not accessible. (There is another courtyard with cafe tables in the front of the building, and this one is accessible.)

-The bed in our room was tucked into an alcove in the room, and there isn’t enough room for a transfer. I didn’t see the ADA room, but you’d want to make sure there is clearance around the bed.IMG_3617

– The lighting in the room is too dim, especially in the bathroom. The manager responded to my trip advisor review saying that the lights are on dimmers;  I knew that and still think the lighting is poor.  The bathroom sink area has very little counter space;  I’d check to find out what the ADA bathroom looks like.


Chelsea, NYC


The Morgan Library and Museum, NYC

Something I love about the Chelsea neighborhood:  the sidewalks in this part of midtown are wide, great for walkers and wheelchairs.  I walked for hours both in this neighborhood and then uptown to The Morgan Library and Museum (an accessible museum) on Madison Avenue, and every street I hit had clear curb cuts and pedestrian walk lights.  You could theoretically walk or roll as far as the theater district from here (but probably not much further unless you had many hours and good weather).

Need some other ideas to while away your weekend?  Let’s start with food:  Across the street from The High Line Hotel  is a great breakfast (and more) place, the Tenth Avenue Cookshop, which is nicely accessible from the street.  Wide aisles and good spacing between some tables, as well as an ADA bathroom.


Chelsea Market, NYC

Nearby is the Chelsea Market, a restored factory, chock-a-block with accessible stores and eateries. The biggest problem here is that some of the stores (the bookstore) and diners (Friedman’s) have squeezed too much into their space.  It’s also all a little precious, but I can be convinced to overlook that for a small price (like those free samples the Fat Witch Bakery doles out).   Droobing (a 3D photo booth) alone would be a reason to go to the Chelsea Market (and the Droob stall is accessible!) – that and some people-watching from tables scattered through the main area. It’s all indoors and there is a big public bathroom area (with an ADA stall).


Clement Clark Moore Park, NYC

And then you could walk or roll around for hours to work up your next appetite.  Right next door to our hotel, The High Line Hotel, is an accessible park, the Clement Clark Moore Park (he of “Twas The Night Before Christmas” fame);  the grounds of the seminary and the hotel once belonged to the Moore apple orchard estate.  Photos show a big swath of land and a grand country house;  hard to imagine that here, now, in the midst of the all the concrete, storefronts and traffic.  I hear that there is a reading of “Twas The Night Before Christmas” in the park on the last Sunday of Advent each year.


View from the High Line, NYC

The Hudson River Park is a great outdoor destination, with about 500 acres of space along the west side of Manhattan.  The piers in the Chelsea neighborhoods are all accessible according to this site.  Another place for views is along the High Line, a converted freight line that now serves as public space, runs overhead. See this map for accessible entrances to the High Line.  The park is 1.45 miles long and runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street.

The Hotel Chelsea, on West 23rd Street, is being renovated and will open in 2015.  Built around 1883, it’s a landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places.  Dylan Thomas died here, Sid Vicious’ girlfriend was found stabbed to death here, and it’s been home to Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Brendan Behan, Mark Twain and others.  This iconic hotel is worth a sidewalk viewing, at least it’s open to the public.

Since the mid 1990’s, many art galleries have re-located to Chelsea (many from Soho).  There are several performance venues (Irish Repertory Theater, Joyce Theater and The Kitchen), although, interestingly, none of these performance venues listed any kind of information for the wheelchair-user.  The Irish Repertory Theater is accessible but needs advance notice (call the box office) to put out a ramp at the front door.  The Kitchen is completely accessible. The Joyce Theater is also accessible.


Greenwich, NYC

History lovers take note: Chelsea features prominently in the Manhattan Project and WWII.  “In the early 1940s, tons of uranium for the Manhattan Project were stored in the Baker & Williams Warehouse at 513-519 West 20th St.  The uranium was removed and decontaminated only in the late 1980s or early 1990s…” (Wikipedia).  For more info on the development of the atomic bomb and uranium stored in Manhattan, see this New York Times article.

And do check out a copy from the library of Up In The Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell, that veteran New Yorker, if you plan on staying midtown and venturing downtown.  Mitchell wrote for The New Yorker from 1938 to 1996, and his book chronicles (mainly eccentric) people in a place (on the margins) that is rapidly vanishing to gentrification.  His characters and the streets they frequent will inform your downtown trip for sure.


Downtown Manhattan

One Tip For A Stress-Free Halloween This Year

For years, the prelude to Halloween filled me with a quietly rising desperation.  As my neighbors gleefully decorated – and then decorated some more – for The Big Night, my kids began the litany of “when will we decorate, mom?” and “when will we put our costumes together?” and then again, “can we get cool decorations like them, mom?”

To be clear, I love Halloween.  I just never quite felt up to the task of meeting three kids’ excitement levels, which rose exponentially from the time they got home from school at 3 pm until the moment we began our sojourn of begging at just-before-sunset.  The rigors of trick or treating in a wheelchair, on barely-lit streets and root-churned sidewalks, are left to your imagination, but I will say that it was tricky (pun intended).

Even now, when I have no excuse for slacking off in preparation for The Night Kids Love, here is what my front door looks like the day before Halloween:  DSC03610

My neighbors, on the other hand, have been hard at work for weeks:



DSC03615My husband will be home at 9 pm tonight, just in time to throw together something festive. Thankfully, my kids no longer need my costume help or a chaperone.  I am free to relax at home on Halloween, greeting the slightly tense but oh-so-brave witches and monsters who ring my doorbell.

Even better?  Halloween is on a Friday night this year, so I stocked up on some pumpkin-flavored beer at our local Craft Beer Cellar – because it’s about time the adults around here took back Halloween (and take note, Keene, NH Pumpkin Festive Ruiners, we will do so responsibly!).


Craft Beer Cellar, Centre Street, Newton MA


Our local Craft Beer Cellar is fully wheelchair-accessible, with great ADA parking right out the back door.  They’ll even put together a selection for you and deliver to your house!  Plus, the sales guys are really into their beer and actually seemed to want to know what we thought of their selections, once they’ve all been tried out.

And don’t worry kids, I might have lame Halloween decorations, but I buy good candy.


A Little Ottolenghi


Za-atar, saffron threads, harissa and sumac are definitely not ingredients that featured prominently in my childhood meals.  Meat and potatos (and the smelly canned green peas which pleased only my father) graced our dinner table.

I am still surprised that I, a most famously picky eater as a child, would yearn for the foods that Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi present in their gorgeous cookbooks, Plenty and Jerusalem, which feature a riotous, delicious fusion of Syrian, Turkish, Lebanese, Iranian, Israeli and Armenian foods.   In search of ingredients, I found Sofra Bakery and Eastern Lamejun Bakery, in the nearby Belmont/Cambridge area.  A half mile separates the two food stores, and both carry many of the same staples one needs for Middle Eastern cooking, but Eastern Lamejun is by far the more accessible.

IMG_3229It’s too bad, because Sofra has the added benefit of serving delicious breakfasts, lunches and take-out food, including their home-made sauces and baked desserts.  Although technically wheelchair-accessible (there is a ramp, the door is wide enough for electric chair entry and there is an accessible bathroom), the owners have placed bars in the middle of the room (the better to display wares and for stand-up dining) so that there is no true wheelchair access.  The path to the bathroom is further blocked by a long couch and low tables and chairs, so you would inconvenience about 1/2 dozen diners if you were to seek passage.  There is one table that is of the right height for a wheelchair, but it is wedged into a corner…and so, not truly accessible.

The interior is inviting, rich colors and hand-painted menus draw your eye, as do the stacks and piles of exotic looking prepared foods, spice packages and jarred delicacies, daily mezze plates… but you’re better off making a phone call and seeing if they’ll deliver to your car (there is a handicap spot directly out in front of the store).

IMG_3230Eastern Lamejun, an Armenian bakery, makes their own pita bread and hummus (the Arev brand), which are both exceptional.  My friends and I make special pilgrimages there monthly for sfeeha (Lebanese meat pies) and other Middle Eastern staples on the prepared food shelves.  All the spices, nuts, beans and grains you require to work magic in your kitchen are here.  In contrast to Sofra’s studied atmosphere, this bakery is all business.  The food is every bit as enticing, but there are no attempts to lure you in;  I imagine the shoppers here know what they want, how much it should cost, and seek to transact their business efficiently (maybe exchanging courtesies with the lovely Arabic-speaking ladies behind the counter).

Two very different places.  Both alluring, both stocked with most of your Middle Eastern cooking needs.  Only one is truly open to the wheelchair-traveller.

IMG_3214TBW has to ask:  Is Sofra’s ramp just for show? Why bother inviting a wheelchair traveller in to your store, only to place significant barriers at every turn?  I think I prefer no accessibility at all to faux accessibility.


Anchorage, Alaska Is Surprisingly Accessible

IMG_2887Alaska is the home of the grizzly bear, avid fisher-folk, cruise-ship mavens, hipsters and artists, and the highly-caffeinated. It is not, in general, an easy state for a wheelchair-user to navigate, but Anchorage stands out as an oasis.  (In the summer, that is.)

I prefer big hotel chains for accessibility, because they tend to be more predictable. The downtown Hilton Anchorage was bleh and expensive but accessible. (I do, however, thoroughly applaud the usefulness of their website for wheelchair travelers.  If only all hotel websites were this descriptive!)

I would suggest staying downtown, as the sidewalks are wide, wheelchair-friendly, and there are many well-timed pedestrian walk lights (meaning that you can actually get across the street before a rented Jeep or truck with mounted gun-rack mows you down).

You can easily spend a day or two in Anchorage.  Here’s what I’d suggest:

– drink espresso (Kaladi Brothers is accessible and excellent) but skip Side Street Espresso (terrible latte and so-so egg burritos)
– eat the salted caramel ice cream at Fat Ptarmigan (their pizza establishment next door gets great reviews, and they’ve got locally brewed beer too) IMG_2911
– visit the Anchorage Museum (couldn’t peel my 13-year-old from the interactive science displays, had a fantastic meal at Muse in the museum, appreciated the multi-faceted display on Alaskan culture, was transfixed by the earthquake monitor and tsunami display on the second floor; GREAT exhibit on ocean trash, photo below)IMG_2899
– go on Saturday to the Anchorage Market and Festival (it’s accessible and you can find art, jewelry, crafts, clothing, food and more food).  Loved Octopus Ink‘s clothing and crafts (they have a shop and are represented at the Saturday market too — or you can buy online)
– motor or wheel on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail (11 miles of views, although check on the status of the bridge before you go; if it’s still out, your trip on pavement will be considerably shorter)IMG_2916
– indulge your inner outdoor-enthusiast and go shopping at 6th Avenue Outfitters

From Anchorage, drive the Seward Highway for some breath-taking views and wheelchair-friendly pull-outs (some even have ADA port-a-potties).  National Geographic published a piece with suggested places to stop on the highway.

DSC_0088Anchorage and its surrounds provide an adventurous day or two (maybe three) if you’re a slow walker or wheelchair-user. Those long daylight hours of summer give you even more time to get around, and the abundance of espresso shops can only help keep you motoring along.


Allandale Farm is Boston’s “Green Acres”

Those of us within a certain age bracket will remember Green Acres, the TV sitcom wherein Lisa (Eva Gabor), a glamorous Hungarian socialite, unwillingly relocates from the NY society she loves to a run-down old farm in the country.  Her husband Oliver (Eddie Albert), a successful lawyer, has idealistic dreams of farm life.  Comedy ensues over the attempts of the two to fit into their new surroundings.

I know how Eddie feels.  Sometimes I long for the idyll I am certain exists on the farm.  When I — a life-long city girl — start dreaming out loud about moving to Maine and raising goats, my husband smirks and hums the lyrics to “Green Acres,” insinuating that I am more Eva than Eddie.  “Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue!”  IMG_5436

Hmmph.  I do go once a week to pick up my CSA (community supported agriculture) and egg shares at Allandale Farm.  I wander for a while among the brightly-colored potted flowers and breathe in the dusty, earthy vegetables in the farm stand.IMG_5441  I imagine myself pottering about the farm:  digging up loamy carrots with their full green heads, arranging orange and red cut zinnias in an old glass spaghetti jar, filling CSA boxes with enticing/alarming (what to do with all that bokchoy!) vegetables.  The pond out back gives voice to throaty bullfrogs;  giant dragonflies skim and buzz across the surface of the water.  It’s usually hot, but I don’t mind the warmth and closeness of the old farm stand.  At least for a little while….

IMG_5445Allandale Farm, the last working farm in Boston, consists of 130 acres of land on the border of Boston and Brookline, and is the last working farm in Boston.  It has been managed by the Weld family (ancestors of Massachusetts’ former governor, William Weld) for about 200 years. I’m thankful for their careful stewardship of this precious land.   Some of the acreage is leased to the Boston Police Department’s K-9 unit, and the rest is managed by Allandale Farm.

Quick facts:

-IMG_5433 There are two ADA parking spaces and the stand is wheelchair-accessible, although the path into the stand is gravel and stone (and therefore bumpy and potentially muddy).  The farm stand itself has a level entrance and wide doors for entrance and egress, but the aisles are too narrow to allow a wheelchair-user to pass someone or even to turn around without knocking something off a shelf.

IMG_5449The farm uses organic and sustainable farming methods, and the CSA, egg and flower shares can be signed up for on-line (although 2014 CSA shares are now closed).  Prices for 20-week shares in 2014 are:  full share at $670; half share at $390; egg share at $120 and cut flower share at $110.  It’d be hard to get the shares from the garage out back to your ADA-parking space, but I bet they’d make it work if you told them your challenges.

- Allandale’s farmstand sells its own produce as well as other locally-produced goods (Salty Oats cookies; Humble Pie; Clear Flour Bakery breads and fresh Valicenti Organico pasta are some of my favorites).  You get a discount on items purchased in the store on the day you go to pick up your CSA shares.IMG_5451

– The stand is open from the end of March through Christmas Eve (think last-minute Christmas tree purchase).

– Weekdays hours are 9am – 6:30pm and weekends, 8am-6pm.

– The farm manages a blog with some pretty good recipes.  I also like the recipes on the website for 101 Cookbooks.

–  Allandale Farm runs a fantastic outdoor camp in the summer for kids aged 4-12.  Two of my kids were campers there for years.  I could never imagine my daughter Marianne navigating the camp with her wheelchair, but I think they’d willing work to make the camp manageable for kids with other developmental disabilities.

IMG_5453It’s easy to romanticize farm life.  Allandale Farm makes it easy to support a great community farm…and in the meantime, you get some of that farm fresh air and “land spreadin’ out so far and wide”  (Green Acre lyrics) — without leaving your city behind.  It’s not often you can have your cake and eat it too.




Roslindale Village for accessible holiday shopping? Bah Humbug

Thought we’d do a little Christmas shopping in one of our old haunts, Roslindale Village.  It’s November 30:   Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Day in the Village. (Here’s my first peeve in what turned out to be a bust of a day.  Really, a “Holiday” tree? It is a CHRISTMAS TREE.)

Santa Claus showed up on Engine 16 (although he blew past the kid in a wheelchair with the barest of sideways-glances) to pose for pictures with able-bodied kids.  The Christmas Tree was lit.  There were Christmas songs.  Ho hum.  Well, okay, we’ll go shopping then.

Roslindale’s Main Street, an organization dedicated to promoting small business in the area, boasts on its web site that their mission is to promote Roslindale Village as an appealing destination (um, not if you’re in a wheelchair, it’s not) and furthermore states that they are pedestrian-friendly.  They are decidedly not.IMG_2331

IMG_2326We were off to a good start with an accessible parking lot off the main street, which had plenty of ADA spaces and a ramp down to the village area.  Things went quickly downhill from there.  We couldn’t access any of the enticing stores full of Christmas cheer:

– the Pop-Up Shop, featuring locally made retailers and some very yummy looking cupcakes  =  not accessible

- Birch Street House & Garden, had lots of interesting Christmas items but…. not accessible

-Joanne Rossman’s, another intriguing boutique = not accessible

– Really excited to try my sister-in-law’s favorite wine and cheese store, the Boston Cheese Cellar but…. not accessible

IMG_2335The “shop small and hot chocolate tasting” sign next-door at Kitchen Central (no website) beckoned.  Alas, they were NOT ACCESSIBLE either.

Ironically, most of these stores have a rear entrance in a charming patio area which looks fairly new and as if it could have been ramped without much fuss.IMG_2345

So I’d say pretty much all you can do if you’re in a wheelchair is buy food at the Village Market (an accessible food market) or buy dinner at either Delfino’s, Sophia’s Grotto or Birch Street Bistro (the entrances were accessible but I didn’t check out any of the restrooms – I’d call to check before I went if I were you).

IMG_2356My biggest disappointment was how far downhill Fornax Bakery has gone.  You can kinda, sorta get in (the ramp is definitely not to code, it’s a tight fit for a wheelchair through the door, and there’s not really space for a wheelchair at any of the tables) but don’t bother: the hot chocolate was not hot and it was lumpy, and the muffins were stale.

IMG_2358 Oh, and if you have a tacky-dress emergency, you can park here and just wheel right into the garish boutique on the corner.  That store looks like a real gem, and it’s accessible!


Quick, enjoy these Boston trails before we’re snowed in for the winter!

Seamus and friend along the banks of the Neponset River, Dorchester

Seamus and friend along the banks of the Neponset River, Dorchester

Last week, my faithful companion (Seamus the dog), his beautiful Berner companion Poppy (named after Boston’s own Big Papi), and I walked the section of Boston’s HarborWalk that comprises Dorchester’s Pope John Paul Pius II Park.  The 65-acre park is on the banks of the Neponset River.

Pope John Paul Pius II Park in Dorchester

Pope John Paul Pius II Park in Dorchester

The park has been reclaimed from its prior use as a landfill and now has over a mile of paved trails (wheelchairs work well here), a playground, parking lot complete with ADA spaces and a couple of port-a-potties (including a wheelchair-accessible one).

Neponset River Trail

Neponset River Trail

In either direction, the Neponset River Trail extends (for a total of 2.5 miles) along the Neponset River, its salt marshes, and the Boston Harbor.  The trail consists of both gravel and paved trails, and although I didn’t explore the entire trail, according the the website, it’s “consistently flat.”  Also known as the Neponset River Greenway, the trail will be 10 miles long upon completion.  It will eventually connect the Blue Hills Reservation with Boston Harbor;  see The Boston Globe‘s June article on the state’s commitment of capital funding to finish the project.

Since you’ll be in the area, don’t miss a chance to stock up on delicious meats, a traditional Irish breakfast, or Barry’s tea at the Butcher Shop Market on Adams Street in Dorchester.  The shop is wheelchair-accessible, although the doors are not electric.  Important note:  there is a big parking lot behind the store but it has been undergoing renovation for a while now.  If you need to park in ADA spaces, you might want to call the market to find out the status on the parking lot.

And Ginger Betty’s Bakery in Quincy is close enough for a detour!

Gingerbread work of art featuring Boston

Gingerbread work of art featuring Boston

One weekend, two museums…what kid wouldn’t love THAT?

Years of parenting have taught me that my kids will tolerate a short stint in a museum if they are promised:   a) candy  b) ice cream or c) decaf coffee (if the kid in question is Marianne).

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Recently, Marianne and I checked out two Boston museums, the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) and the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA).  The MFA is wondrously, marvellously accessible.  I could spend all day there (Marianne, not so much, and promises of decaf coffee only go so far).

MFA, Boston

MFA, Boston

Many of the interior doors are outfitted with accessible door openers, as are the exterior doors.  There is plenty of clear signage to direct you.  Docents are everywhere, and in our experience, they are extremely helpful;  one even took a picture for me of the two of us!  Bathrooms and water fountains are on every floor, with excellent wheelchair access.  There is an accessible Green Line T stop across the street, and there is decent parking in an outside lot (two caveats:  it is expensive at $10, and that is with the membership discount, and there seem to be only about five ADA parking spaces).  There are multiple venues to have a bite to eat, ranging from the expensive restaurant Bravo on Floor 2 to the serve-yourself cafeteria on the lower level.  There is also a glorified coffee shop on the first floor (Taste cafe) and a more upscale cafe (The New American Cafe) near the Chihuly glass in the museum’s indoor courtyard.  We had a terrible but inexpensive latte at Taste;  I think I’d schedule a little more time and budget for The New American Cafe next time around.

Photograph from "She Who Tells A Story" at the MFA, Boston

Photograph from “She Who Tells A Story” at the MFA, Boston

"She Who Tells A Story" exhibit at the MFA

“She Who Tells A Story” exhibit at the MFA

If John Singer Sargent is your cup of tea, there is an exhibit running at the MFA until January 24, 2014.  Marianne and I skipped it in favor of “She Who Tells A Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World.”  The title describes it, but you really have to see it for yourself (showing through January 12, 2014).  I can’t recommend this exhibit enough;  it’s thought-provoking, mesmerizing, disturbing, and more.   (Note:  there is a curator talk on Thursday, December 19th from 6:30 to 7:30 pm in Remis Auditorium; tickets on sale as of November 21st)

Hippie Chic exhibit at MFA, Boston

Hippie Chic exhibit at MFA, Boston

We also visited the Hippie Chic exhibit (all clothes from the 70’s) and Think Pink (small exhibit that explores the significance of the color pink throughout history).  Interesting, but I’d skip these two exhibits next time and spend all my time with the photographers in “She Who Tells A Story.”

I used to be able to get guest passes for the MFA at our local library;  if that doesn’t work, single admission is $25 (7-17 are free after 3 pm on weekdays and on weekends).  I bought a membership at the supporter level for $75 which gives me and my children (17 and under) free admission for the year, plus a discount on parking and at the gift shop. That’s two more visits, kids!

Chihuly sculpture and The New American Cafe space at the MFA, Boston

Chihuly sculpture and The New American Cafe space at the MFA, Boston

In my experience, weekends are crazy busy at the MFA.  If you can get there late afternoon, say an hour and a half before closing on a weekday, it’s quiet.  Wednesday through Friday night they are open until 9:45 pm, which might also be a promising time to visit.  And if you’re over 21, you can enjoy a glass of wine at either The New American Cafe or Taste, the coffee shop on Floor One that doubles as a wine bar!

The Harborwalk, Boston, near the Institute for Contemporary Art

The Harborwalk, Boston, near the Institute for Contemporary Art

The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) has beautiful, industrial space and has the advantage of sitting on the Boston harbor, with the Harborwalk running alongside and beyond.  The Harborwalk will remain a separate adventure – and blog post.  Suffice it to say, for now, that there are almost 40 miles of pathway and many segments are ADA-compliant.  Of course, the big question is: which sections aren’t?!  I’ll let you know.

Amy Sillman's exhibit, "one lump or two" at the ICA, Boston

Amy Sillman’s exhibit, “one lump or two” at the ICA, Boston

Amy Sillman’s exhibit “one lump or two” is on exhibit now through January 5, 2014.  I appreciate her use of color in the abstract pieces, but it’s the faces she creates that I love.  That alone is worth the price of admission to me ($15 for an adult, kids 17 and under are free; Thursday nights all are free from 5 to 9 pm).  The other space I appreciate at the ICA is the media lab, which looks out over the harbor as though through a camera viewfinder, and which has computer resources for researching contemporary art, artists or exhibits at the ICA.  The top level is accessible, and has two accessible computers, but the other three or four levels in the lab are not.  There is a kid-friendly (and teenager/wheelchair-friendly) art space on the first floor with ongoing projects for kids and teens.

The downside to the ICA:  the only parking, really, is at a public lot that charges $15/day.  The parking lot is in rough shape, and the wheelchair access through a gate doubles as a parking spot….so you have to hope that the car parked in the spot has left enough room not only for a thin person but also for a wheelchair or carriage.  Seems wrong to put the spot there, somehow.

The Bee's Knees Supply Company, Farnsworth Street, Boston

The Bee’s Knees Supply Company, Farnsworth Street, Boston

We walked and motored to the Bee’s Knees Supply Company for an early dinner.  The Bee’s Knees has a little bit of everything:  deli, sit-down cafe with great pizza and salad, wine story, charcuterie – in short, a gourmet grocery store, with in-store light dining.  The real reason we braved the sidewalks (see photos – ARGHH!):  the salted caramel ice cream.  Oh joy!  Oh rapture!  We’d brave these sidewalks again for that ice cream.  Our friend thought the pumpkin latte (seasonal, I am sure) was also de-lish.

Teeny tiny sidewalk space near Sleeper Street, Boston

Teeny tiny sidewalk space near Sleeper Street, Boston

But don’t wheel there, as we did, from the ICA.  Yikes.  The whole area around the ICA is still very much a work-in-progress, and the sidewalks are in terrible shape with potholes and sporadic curb cuts.  There are not enough crosswalks either.  The side streets around Sleeper Street, where the Bee’s Knees Supply Company is, are even worse.  The sidewalks are not always wide enough and there are holes galore.  Go there for sure, but not on foot or wheelchair from the ICA!