Mason Rice bike rack #1

I took this photograph with my cell phone while tooling through Newton Centre Playground in early June. This is but one of three bike racks surrounding Mason Rice Elementary School. Let’s suppose that upward of thirty students, perhaps more, biked to school that day. Then imagine how many more might have also done so if the roads leading there felt safer to those students and their parents. My own eyes tell me that the number of cyclists on Newton’s roads increased exponentially during the Pandemic, and I have seen little evidence of the number diminishing in recent days. Isn’t it time that Newton’s city government increase its commitment to improving its cycling infrastructure? Despite good intentions, progress seems too slow.

Speaking of biking, Bike Newton has resumed leading group rides as we enter the Post-Pandemic world. Here is a blurb about a ride tomorrow afternoon:

Group Ride – Auburndale Cove

To learn more about Bike Newton, our leading local advocate for cyclists of all abilities and ages, go to the website:

On another note, I am glad that Crystal Lake is finally operating full time starting tomorrow. The daily schedule will be 10AM to dusk from June 28 through August 27. Too bad that the season didn’t begin earlier and doesn’t run all the way to Labor Day as it  once did. Hundreds of people, maybe more, started swimming at the lake in early June at Cronin and Levingston Coves. Freelance swimming makes me nervous, and the absence of porta-potties at those sites raises health concerns as well. The city, in its wisdom, has permitted both residents and many from other communities to take matters into their own hands and swim as they will. So far, nothing untoward has happened that I know of. But I will buy a membership at the ancient boat house and swim in the supervised area as I always have.

One of the great events of Newton’s annual cultural calendar is Open Studios. Dozens of artist around the Garden City display their arts and crafts at their homes, mostly, but sometimes at city centers, and most items are for sale. This past weekend the resident artists displayed their wares on their lawns, in their yards, or in their garages. My wife and I always bike to several sites and usually buy something . Here is the watercolor that we purchased this year from Nancy Alimansky, who lives on Randolph Street in Newton Highlands:

| Newton MA News and Politics Blog

Many of you probably recognize this famous building, which sits at the corner of Beacon Street and Windsor Road in Waban Square. Fittingly, at this moment the watercolor is being framed at Frame It in Waban, a half-block away. I purchased it for my daughter, who loves her more affordable North Reading home but waxes nostalgic about her old neighborhood!