Growing up in Boca Raton, Florida exposed me to a lot of shopping plazas, gated communities and sixteen year olds driving BMWs. The oldest house you could buy, which was probably mine, was built in the 1970s. The entrance to my neighborhood was lined with palm trees, which are not indigenous to Florida, by the way, and marble signs ensuring that you knew which community it was. And even though the aesthetics of the area were warm and welcoming, the people certainly were not. Needless to say, moving to Boston was a much needed, yet somewhat shocking, change.
We ended up moving to the town of Dorchester, one of the largest neighborhoods in Boston. Dorchester was founded in 1630 by Puritans who emigrated from Dorchester, England. Moving to such a historic area was completely different from the modern architecture of Boca Raton, and at first I was taken aback by what I considered to be decrepit buildings lining the streets. But after a few weeks, I began to see my little corner of Dorchester, called Lower Mills, as delightfully charming.
Lower Mills takes great pride in it’s history and strives to preserve it even when modernizing. One of the restaurants that exemplifies this vainglory is called Steel & Rye. It’s located within a 7,000-square foot former car showroom and ambulance garage, with exposed air ducts and unfinished wood beams. The restaurant’s name pays homage to Lower Mills’ reputation as an agricultural hub gone industrial during the 1800s. But don’t let the aesthetics fool you, the food is anything but archival.
In my next post, I’ll be discussing my favorite antique’s shop in Lower Mills. Until then, what makes you prideful of your town?