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Walsh Hopes to Bring Extended Hours and Cosmopolitan Culture to The Hub
It wasn’t too long ago that Mayor Marty Walsh and Governor Deval Patrick announced the MBTA’s plan for late night service. Earlier this month, just weeks before the T’s late night trial period begins, Mayor Walsh surprised Boston’s night owls once again when he announced his goal to extend the hours of some of Boston’s nightlife to 3:30AM.
Why is the Mayor focusing so much attention on keeping Boston open later? The answer is not as straightforward as you may assume. Although keeping bars, restaurants, and the T open later will surely please Boston’s student and young professional populations, they are not the only people Walsh has in mind.
The 21st century has seen a larger desire for city living than ever before which puts America’s cities in constant competition with each other. Boston is located in the northeast where several other cities are located just a short car or train ride away, including New York City, arguably the Country’s most popular city.
In theory Boston has everything needed to become an international world power: a rich history, a great reputation, world-class educational institutions and an international airport located within the city-limits. Mayor Walsh is hoping that Boston’s later hours will boost the city’s international business appeal and will encourage young innovators to headquarter their businesses in the City of Boston rather than somewhere else.
Mayor Walsh emphasized Boston’s dire need for a “cosmopolitan culture” in his March 7th press release. The issue does not seem to be a lack of culture; the City of Boston has plenty of museums, historic sites, and world-class retail and dining locations. The fact that many of these attractions close when the sun sets appears to be what is stopping Boston from evolving into an international center for the arts, entertainment and business.
Along with keeping bar and restaurant doors open until 3:30AM Walsh would also like to see a number of Boston businesses like gyms, libraries, hair salons and food trucks convert to a 24-hour schedule. Among some of the proposed “pilot neighborhoods” that will test out Walsh’s late night plan will be our very own Seaport District.
There is no denying that the world is changing faster than ever before. Boston alone has seen incredible changes in the past ten years with many more changes and projects still in the pipeline. It is a very exciting time to be a Bostonian; Apartment buildings are springing up in every neighborhood, major companies are deciding to build satellite offices in Boston and Cambridge, and now our city will provide its amenities and services to all Bostonians, regardless of their schedules.
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