Last week I revisited one of my favorite spots on Northern Avenue, the No Name Restaurant. The no-frills joint serves simple, tasty seafood, is out on a pier overlooking the water, and has its own spacious parking lot. More than anything, though, I love this Boston institution because my parents loved it when they lived here in the '70s. I like to think of them, all idealistic and long-haired, getting away from their two small children for a date (or possibly bringing us along) and treating themselves to a big plate of fried clams.
The next night I went back to Northern Avenue to check out the sleek new Salvatore's. This place is clearly aimed more at the upscale LTK/ICA crowd, not the bus-of-Japanese-tourists crowd we encountered across the street at the No Name. But the pizza is delicious, the bar area is cozy, and the staff is very friendly.
Spending time in these two places got me thinking about all the new businesses and residences popping up on the waterfront, many of which have a homogenous, conference-center feel, and all the old-school Boston icons like No Name and Anthony's Pier 4 and James Hook that have been giving the place its wonderfully salty character for years. Let's hope these longtime waterfront residents don't get pushed out as the development boom continues, because the waterfront's soul just may go with them.
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