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The biggest block party in the Back Bay

Hula hooping on Newbury Street in the Back Bay

Ron Newman meandered down Newbury Street, from which cars are banned today.

Extended patio on Newbury Street

Adam Castiglioni also went for a walk:

No cars on Newbury Street
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Comments

Would love to see this on Broadway in SoBo every Saturday and Sunday.

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SO BO????? Please no, no.

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SOBO ? Hahahahaha!!!

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It will never happen. Lol. SoBo...funny.

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from Dudley Street to Grove Hall. The event was called "Circle the City". People enjoyed it there, so why not try it in Southie next? (Just stop calling it SoBo, please.)

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BLU-HI?

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So many ideas, not enough capital.

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caprice classics.

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Give it a rest,guy.
You're not gonna make it happen and you just look like a kook when you keep saying it.

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I am sorry that this post resulted in a debate of a neighborhood name.

Anyway, can we please stay on topic and talk about how this initiative should be expanded to other neighborhoods?

- The Original SoBo Yuppie

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..now, do it every weekend.

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Just got back from hanging out on Newbury, what a fun time! Restaurants were packed, everyone was smiling and laughing, all around a great event. I hope that retailers got a nice bump today and will support making this a regular thing.

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I'm happy to hear that it was fun! I really wanted to go but my body has been protesting something fierce since Friday. Selfishly, I hope Open Newbury can happen again. I think this would work perfectly as a winter market setup.

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I was told this would be a horrible failure and every business would go bankrupt immediately

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By whom?

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As a former retailer, I look for bags to judge the success of a retail event. I have not seen many shopping bags in the photos. How much did those of you who attended spend, aside from food and incidentals like bottled water?

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Especially the picture of the hula-hoopers (and saw another throwing a frisbee), just walk to the Public Garden and do that.

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Yes, they can bring bagged lunches, too.

Do either of you have any idea what businesses line Newbury St.? Hint: many of them serve food.

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Sure, great. Let me sit and sip on my coffee, but I need to hold on to my cup/cover my food plate at all times in case the hipsters' frisbee sails on my table.

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Restaurants were packed

Or were you too busy rolling out your Jump to Conclusions map on the street?

Oh, wait - nobody is wearing PFDs, either. They might fall in the river and drown - Safety First!

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Get rid of all the cars all the time! Prevents people from being killed by drivers!

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Best to walk another block with the frisbees and hula hoops and enjoy them on the Common (or in Copley Square)

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It seemed as if the purpose of the event was that people could walk and ride bikes on Newbury Street without cars, not to promote local businesses. Newbury is always packed with people on the weekends, especially the restaurants, so really this was no different then any other typical beautiful weekend day in August, with the exception that more people were in the middle of the street. I think it's nice once per summer, but no more than that. Newbury is also closed for the Marathon and for a few other events throughout the year. Comm. Ave. in the Back Bay is also closed several times per year for charity races. It's really not that much of a novelty.

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It largely was to promote the businesses and to entice more people to come and shop. Of course, it was nice for taking a walk, but the locals often tend to avoid Newbury St on the weekend because the sidewalks get so packed. I certainly saw lots of people eating and shopping, including more locals than I normally would on a Sunday.

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Really? I didn't see any business promotions. I just saw car-free zone type of promotion, which is fine and great for moms and little kids playing in the streets and cyclists as seen in the photos. I don't think little 3yr olds are shopping at anything but that trendy frozen yogurt shop however. On the other hand, Fashion Night Out was heavily promoted as a pedestrian-only Newbury St. event AND as a 'support your local businesses' type of event. Lots of stores advertised special sales, incentives to buy, local musicians were playing, some stores had dj's spinning cool music, free wine and apps. It was fantastic. Locals, including myself, came out for that and we supported local businesses. It was well-organized and a great success. I'm not sure why they stopped doing it. If I hadn't already had plans out of town, I would have wandered over to Newbury St. for the no-cars event, however, I wouldn't necessarily have purchased anything because I would have waited till it was less crowded with tourists and families hanging out in the street. Nothing against this sort of event, it's just that there are huge crowds on that street regularly on weekdns and I typically shop to buy when it's less crowded.

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cden4, please see more recent anti-business post on universalhub. This was NOT to promote Newbury St. businesses. This was a whimsical car-free day for darling little children to play hula hoop in the streets with their nannies (see photo).

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Benefiting the businesses was certainly a big part of the plan. From the Mayor himself:

"Open Newbury Street is an opportunity for our residents and visitors to enjoy everything Newbury Street has to offer without worrying about cars," said Mayor Walsh. "We've received a large amount of positive feedback from the community, and have worked closely with businesses and residents to ensure the pedestrian-only street closure will positively impact the neighborhood's residents and businesses."

https://www.boston.gov/news/mayor-walsh-announces-open-newbury-street

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Way too many pedestrians in the street for this to be a good place to ride a bike. I parked mine at the Mass. Ave. end and walked.

They should do this every Sunday (and maybe Saturdays too) during warm-weather months.

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Seriously? You see 2 pictures captured from a certain point and time and your complaint is not enough people have bags in their hands?

We went and it was great. It was packed. The stores were packed as were the restaurants and we were there early. I can't imagine what it was like around lunch time.

We not only had coffee but also had a lovely breakfast. I also went into several stores but didn't buy anything b/c I didn't see anything that I liked. I do the same thing when I walk down Newbury at lunch time. I go into stores and don't always come out with a bag. Please explain how cars would have helped the retailers yesterday.

I hope they do it every Sunday FOREVER. I hope they start doing this in other parts of the city.

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I purchased a nice thermos from the kitchen store. The clerk there said business is double what it usually is on a Sunday.

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Well, you're basing that off a couple photos for starters. Additionally, the measurement of a successful 'Open Streets' initiative like this isn't solely based on retail sales. It's as much if not more about reclaiming streets as public spaces for people and not just cars, it's the civic component. But research shows that doing this does increase retail sales in adjacent businesses anyway so they're a win-win.

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My mall-hating teen and his GF made a raid and enjoyed the Euro-ness of it all.

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One of the best initiatives of Mayor Walsh's tenure. Hopefully this can be rapidly expanded in frequency and also to other areas including outside downtown.

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One on Huntington Avenue, another on Blue Hill Ave. between Grove Hall and Dudley Street. These were called "Circle the City" and were modeled on successful experiments in Los Angeles and elsewhere. I hope we'll see more of these.

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I'd like them to ban obnoxiously loud sport motorcycles from Newbury Street every night. Except they're already illegal -- they just need to enforce it.

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I'd rather see DTX go permanently car-free. It's more designed for people strolling and shopping and for cyclists passing through -- there's a vibrancy given the layout of the streets near Macy's and the old Filene's building that Newbury St. just doesn't have.

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