Arts Today: Fall '17

By Costanza Musetti

The following piece will be an overall summary of what Back Bay area is like, more specifically their art scene. If you want to know a little about some local art galleries, great fashion boutiques, or even a few restaurants, you have come to the right place. There will be critiques and analysis on everything around, even the nature side of Back Bay. The only way to know if you agree with me, is for you to go out and find out for yourself, but for now, here it is-

Being raised in Miami, one is continually being exposed to art whether you like it or not. It’s everywhere you go from Wynwood to Art Basel every year. Art is shoved down your throat to the extent where you are forced to know your essential pop art and realism history, so you don’t sound like a complete caveman when you talk to friends and family about what surrounds you. Moving to Boston was an impactful change in scenery because it looks like the city stayed intact from when it was first built, in the sense that many local areas, including Back Bay, have modern architecture mixed among colonial or Victorian architecture.

Back Bay's famous brownstones on Beacon Street. Photo Courtesy of Trip Advisor.

Back Bay's famous brownstones on Beacon Street. Photo Courtesy of Trip Advisor.

Back Bay has a particular and unique beauty to it mainly because you feel like you are in the movie, Midnight in Paris. This is probably because of Beacon Street, one of Back Bay’s most famous parts was Paris inspired. The way I recommend you tour this part of town would be by foot if you don’t want to miss any of the beauty in it. There are small details that one can miss out when looking at this panorama, and one of the details in this street is the nature part of it.

It’s easy to walk down this street and merely comment on the beauty of the buildings. Not to downgrade the premises, or make them sound any less attractive than what they are, but when looking at the bigger picture, there are smaller and more unique pieces that make Back Bay what it is.

When touring this part of town, it is crucial to notice every single thing that nature provides to this setting. The trees, the scent, and even the music. You must walk for a while to notice the melody of the trees and the smell of the wet cement. You hear people from afar somewhat whispering and murmuring. For a moment you genuinely do start believing you are in some part of Europe and not the eastern United States. We should also take into account that this has to do with peoples wardrobes and the cold weather. It’s almost as if your eye saturation level increases just by walking near this area. Everything seems more colorful, vivid, and brighter. 

After you feel the cold breeze and truly value the nature and architecture around you, it is pivotal to talk about the way you feel when walking down this street. For example, there’s a specific emotion attached when walking down a small neighborhood in contrast to when you walk down an infamous street. When strolling down this area, the first thing that crossed my mind was “I would love to live here.”. But as much as I would love to live here, this is not where I would imagine raising a family. Back Bay is the ideal place where a young or retired couple would live, not a couple with two or three kids. The reason behind this is mainly because when you picture a family, you imagine a bigger home, a place where children have to play or have time outside. Back Bay isn’t it.

Victorian architecture on display on Marlborough Street. Photo Courtesy of Robert Paul Properties.

Victorian architecture on display on Marlborough Street. Photo Courtesy of Robert Paul Properties.

When asking my realtor how much Back Bay apartments cost, she merely answered: “More than you want them to be.”. The average rent is around $4,000 a month, skyrocketing to a staggering $11,000 a month, on certain buildings. So no, it is not cheap.

Back Bay lacks street art. When walking around, you must go out of your way to find local art. There are a handful of galleries, for example, MHMG Recording Studio and Artist Promotions and Copley Society of Art. Even though you see several art locations, there is no street art for say. No wall art, no graffiti, and no floor art. In case you were wondering what I am talking about, when I refer to floor art, right under this will be a picture to help you understand.

Floor Art by Midtown Miami Magazine

Floor Art by Midtown Miami Magazine

The art scenery would be a C- to be generous. Even the art galleries lack creativity. In Copley Society of Art Gallery, the room looks like an artist's worst nightmare. It gives little appreciation to each artwork by setting up each canvas right next to the other one. It does not allow the viewer to swallow and carefully admire every single piece, which to me is disrespectful. I went once and then another time that week after just to make sure I got the correct idea, and I wasn’t just hungry, but once I returned, there was no exhibition for display.

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Patrick Anderson- Copley Society of Art Gallery

By Patrick Anderson-

Now, just because there is no artwork, this does not mean there is nothing artistic in the neighborhood. I had to take three different trips to Back Bay to honestly feel like I know what I am speaking about, and each time, there were various local artists performing. From street mimes to an acapella group, there were plenty of performing live artist that do make your experience that much more enjoyable.

Fashion is something a significant percentage of people would consider art, and in that case, Newbury Street and Prudential Center would be the best place to enjoy that. Newbury and Prudential are filled with designer chains, small boutiques, nail and hair salons, and famous restaurants. Stores vary from Vera Wang, Intermix, and Illisteva to Forever 21 and Urban Outifters. There is something always happening on Newbury, hence the fact why they call it, The Street of The World.

One of the most famous restaurants that lay in this area is in Prudential, called Eataly. The reason this restaurant is so tremendous is that there are only a few located all over the nation. There is one in Los Angeles, NYC Downtown, Chicago, and Boston. This locale doesn't just fall under the category of a restaurant but as a market as well. They sell top-notch wine, pasta, chocolates, merchandise, cooking utensils, and pretty much anything you might need for your cooking experience. This does come at a price though. Like they usually say, things do come with strings attached. Depending on what box of pasta you choose, the price can go as high as $26. This applies to the sauces as well. They have some sauces like Mariangela Prunotto that cost only $4.80, but then they have others like Tartuflanghe, cheese fondue with truffle, which will cost you as much as $28.80. 

I took my father when he came to visit who was born and raised in Italy until the age of thirty-six, and he confirmed this place was almost like walking into a supermarket in Italy, except twenty times fancier. Prudential is one of the most modern buildings in the area, adding a bit of contrast in scenery, which is appreciated. Inside of Prudential center, there are many more shops and restaurants, and even a Flywheel, for those of you who are love working out. 

Eataly - Photo Lenox Hotel properites. 

Eataly - Photo Lenox Hotel properites. 

Walking down this side of Back Bay gives you a completely different vibe. Just by switching streets, you feel like you have traveled from Paris, to New York. Apart from all the luxurious restaurants and shops, there are several Hotels down this street that also give this street the New York City feel. Some of them being The Sheraton Boston Hotel, Copley Square Hotel, and Fairmont Copley Plaza. 

Back Bay is the one place that is a must go when visiting Boston, and if you don't visit Back Bay, then don't say you went to Boston.