#WalkingBoston – A Marathon in Every Boston Neighborhood: Jamaica Plain Part 1

By: Patrick Maguire

Book Chapter: Human-to-Human Service

Posted: 10/25/2022

Welcome to #WalkingBoston. To learn about the inspiration, mission, goals, and ongoing updates, please see the #WalkingBoston launch blog post.

Total miles walked on the first 5 Boston walks to date in Eastie and Hyde Park = 66.89

The #WalkingBoston journey continues on Friday, 10/28. ‘Jamaica Plain Part 1’ leaves from the Jamaica Pond Boat House at 8am sharp. Early bird stretching and map/course review at 7:40. All are welcome to join.

[Please Note: A post-walk summary, reflections, and pics/videos from this walk will be included at the end of this post.]

Friday’s walk (13.1+ miles) will begin with a lap around Jamaica Pond, then down Green Street to Franklin Park. The route will then cover territory south of Green Street, including Forest Hills Cemetary and the Arboretum. As always, please send me ‘must see’ sights along the way, including ‘hidden gems,’ art, nature, murals, history, architecture, Mom & Pop #SmallBiz, etc. I love getting suggestions in advance to include them while mapping out the walks. The course will be finalized on Thursday, 10/27. Please email patrick@servernotservant.com or comment at the end of this post.

The second JP walk is scheduled for Friday, November 11 leaving the JP Boat House at 8am (weather permitting).

If inspired by #WalkingBoston, please consider a donation of any size to the following:

#1- Make-A-Wish MA & RI is the primary beneficiary of #WalkingBoston. As most of you know, the mission of Make-A-Wish is to create life‐changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. I love the work that they do and am honored to partner with them. Thanks to Hillary Muntz, Kara Walker & team for their professionalism and attention to detail. Donations inspired by #WalkingBoston can be made by clicking on this link.

#2- Stride for Stride is also a beneficiary of #WalkingBoston. Stride for Stride is a non-profit running organization that buys race bibs for immigrant, BIPOC, and low-income runners – the goal is to make races more accessible, inclusive, and diverse for everyone. Stride for Stride founder, Tom OKeefe, aka @BostonTweet, “Our logo signifies equality. It’s simple, bold, and shows that you support running for all. Our goal is a simple concept too, but one that changes lives. Having a race to strive for keeps you focused and healthy, while crossing the finish line is pure joy and empowering in both sport and life – it proves that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Never give up!” Donations inspired by #WalkingBoston can be made to Stride for Stride by clicking here.

Now that I have a completed 2+ marathons (Eastie + Hyde Park), I’m in the process of negotiating sponsorships and collaborations with local companies and individuals, and wide open to all of your ideas to raise money. Donations to Make-A-Wish and Stride for Stride are tax deductible.

#3- Lastly, several folks have reached out asking how they could sponsor/support my #WalkingBoston mission and expedite the publication of my #ServerNotServant book advocating for service industry workers. A grassroots fundraiser of small donations has been set up to keep me walking and writing. Donations can be made here.

From the City of Boston website:

Jamaican Plain – At a Glance: Originally a summertime resort destination for Bostonians, Jamaica Plain (JP) is a classic streetcar suburb of Boston. Located southwest of Downtown Boston, JP was annexed by the City in 1874. Jamaica Plain has consistently been an important center for residential life, arts, and commerce for the City of Boston. 

JP’s residential streets, filled with iconic triple-decker houses in imaginative colors, are home to Latinos, young families, a growing gay community, and young professionals. A real jewel of JP is 68-acre Jamaica Pond. It is popular with local residents for fishing, sailing, and running along its 1.5 mile shore path.  The 265-acre Arnold Arboretum, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, offers a botanical oasis in the heart of the city. 

Jamaica Plain is easily accessible by the Southwest Corridor, MBTA trains, and buses. The main transit hub for the area is Forest Hill Station. Since the eighteenth century, Centre Street has been a major retail street for the community in Jamaica Plain. JP’s diversity of residents is reflected in the businesses with a range of ethnic restaurants and stores animating Centre Street. Egleston Square Main Street, Hyde Jackson Square Main Street Program, and JP Centre/South Main Streets support local business owners.

 Updated 11/7/22: Post-walk summary, observations, and reflections:

  • Total distance ‘Jamaica Plain Part 1’ = 15 miles in 9 hours. Map and verification via MapMyWalk
  • Total #WalkingBoston miles covered in first 6 walks = 81.89
  • Link to Google Photo Album with pics and videos in chronological order of ‘JP Part 1.’
  • It was 39 degrees when I left the house. It’s always a challenge deciding what to wear, a balance between being warm enough in the morning and not too hot when it warms up during the day.
  • I ‘cheated’ and took a Lyft to the start of this walk. Too much time (an hour and a half) commuting to my last walk. Lyft driver was a very interesting gentleman from Ethiopia. He taught me that there are 84 tribes and languages there, and that the 3 primaries are Amharic, Oroma, and Tigrinya.
  • Jamaica Pond attracts lots of humans and animals early in the morning. While stretching, I’m always wondering if anyone near me has come to join me. No one did until after a few strides into the walk…
  • It was wonderful to lap the pond with David Doyle, co-owner of Tres Gatos, Casa Verde, and Tonino restaurants in JP. David was great company and has a very good eye for photography. I felt like we could have walked and talked all day.
  • Here is the map of the territory covered on ‘JP Part 1.’ I love having the large maps in my back pocket (literally) and pull them out when I need ‘big picture’ orientation…

  • I spent a portion of the walk in Roslindale and need to do a better job of researching neighborhood boundaries when plotting the courses.
  • Walking Jamaica Pond is a GREAT way to start the day. Now that it’s dark early, I see many more days beginning with an early morning walk here:

  • Franklin Park is a beautiful walk in the woods…

  • Forrest Hills Cemetery is incredible. It’s ironic to be in the midst of so much death and beauty. The history, stonework, etchings, structures, and grounds are amazing. And being there peak fall punctuated the experience I could have spent an entire day wandering around and admiring everything. One of the highlights of all of my walks so far was standing in the middle of the cemetery at 10am and capturing the bells ringing on video. Check it out in the photo album.

  • There’s always something new and magnificent to discover at the Arboretum. On this walk it was the Chinese Path in the Explorer’s Garden…

  • So many magnificent, old homes if JP. The Victorians are gorgeous. Here is just a small sampling:

  • And I love the murals and motivation at Murphy Playground:

Thank you for following, supporting, and sharing the mission of #WalkingBoston. Please subscribe to this blog and follow @PatrickMBoston on Twitter and IG for updates. I hope to see some of you #ontheroad in the heart of Boston’s neighborhoods on #roadslesstraveled.


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