DTL at Night – The Van Burens at Tatiana’s and a Dream for Market Street
Following the holiday activities in Central Square this Thursday, six guys were getting ready to go on stage. This wasn’t officially a part of Third Thursdays, but a great way to cap it off. Besides, Tatiana’s expansive food and drink offerings were perfect for anyone who missed out on the Chowder Cook-off.
Named after the nation’s eighth president, The Van Burens hail from the South Shore of Massachusetts, forming in high school and re-uniting after college. They’ve toured extensively in the East and played some great places in NYC, including Sullivan Hall, Canal Room, and the famous Bitter End. Closer to home, they’ve played The Middle East, Johnny D’s, Baseball Tavern, and Copperfield’s. They have a national tour lined up in early 2010 to support an upcoming EP.
Tatiana’s has been host to jazz on Thursdays for some time now, so seeing a live band scheduled there was no surprise. But they are also branching out to other types of live music, which has the potential to once again put Lynn on the map as a place to see original acts.
The Van Burens at Tatiana’s on December 3rd:
And now let me digress, which is why this post is also filed under “Opinion.”
Tatiana’s is perfectly positioned right off Route 1A for out-of-town travellers, and they’re a great example of the potential of Market Street. That stretch from 1A to City Hall is ripe with spaces that can be developed into small to medium-sized general admission venues. And as an added bonus, a budding music scene can boost the appeal for bigger acts needed to fill Lynn Auditorium in City Hall.
In encouraging this kind of development on Market Street, we won’t have to endure the issues Salem has been dealing with from developers placing condos and apartments in, amongst and directly above popular night-spots. When that happens, people tend to move in to be a part of the action, or maybe just for the cool-factor, only to complain later about the noise and other inconveniences caused by what tempted them to live there in the first place.
Market Street venues would be just far enough from residential buildings to not annoy the neighbors with late night reveling, but close enough for those of us who live in DTL to walk there in a couple of minutes or quickly retreat to our domiciles for quiet when we’ve had enough. To me, that truly is the best of both worlds and the right way to develop for “Mixed use.”
And for those who travel here, in addition to parking on both sides of the street, an agreement could be drawn up with the Shaw’s lot. The MBTA lot is also a great deal at a mere $4. Compare that with parking in Boston! The Commuter Rail is also an option, with the Central Square stop being right in the middle of things. Walk down the stairs and turn the corner!
As for another advantage, anyone who plays out in Boston, Cambridge or Somerville can tell you that places for original acts are drying up. Sometimes it’s more profitable to have a cover band, or even just an i-Pod plugged into a house system playing un-inspired dreck while serving $14 martinis. Mediocrity reigns in the Boston scene, save for a few gems like Church in the Fenway.
But original live music prefers a place with an edge, like the old Kenmore Square, and boy do I miss the old Kenmore. The place needed work, but the wrong work was done. It was transformed into something completely unremarkable and Kenmore lost its soul. Lynn doesn’t have to lose its soul to make a comeback. (It doesn’t have BU to contend with, for one thing).
And Market Street is also a great place for, dare I say it, more restaurants and bars. Again, they are just a smidge out of range from disturbing the neighbors, and with presumably lower rents, they can also be more affordable.
I’m excited, because we have a rare opportunity to do “Mixed-use” right in DTL, by combining residential development and night-time options so they may co-exist peacefully, but again, as long as we keep the lessons of Salem and other redevelopments in mind (Link to Salem News on Downtown Salem and Marina Bay Quincy).