Monday, November 09, 2015

Thank You and Good Night Dorchester!

We started the Lower Dot blog back in July 2008 to write about our neighborhood and all the things we love about it (we even had for a time a second blog called the Dorchester Think Tank that looked at community activism). When we started our blog few people were blogging (and no one seemed to be blogging about Dot).

So much has changed about Dorchester since 2008, yet the reasons we love our neighborhood remain the same. Dot is still home to amazing racial and economic diversity, neighbors who care and look out for each other, a growing number of artists and musicians, and people who take their politics seriously. Some of our favorite moments included being first to find something new coming to the neighborhood, making people think differently about Dorchester (even if they didn't understand our use of irony), and when other people used our endearing nickname to describe the area.

During that same time, there have been many changes in our lives, including new jobs and, most importantly, the birth of our two daughters. As working parents, we simply don't have the time to keep up this blog. We hope that someone else will start a new Dorchester social blog and pick up where we left off...

So today, we bid farewell to the Lower Dot blog in this final post. It has been a great seven years of blogging. While Dorchester is and will always be our home, as for this blog, thank you and good night!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

On the Dot Books & More

There is a new bookstore in town and it is actually located in the middle of a farmer's market. At the beginning of the summer, Yooree Losordo launched a new "pop-up" book store called "On the Dot Books," which is located every Friday at one of the Ashmont/Peabody Square Farmer's Market booths. On the Dot currently carries primarily food-related texts to match the fresh produce of the farmer's market. Losordo's goal is to have a "brick and mortar" bookstore with a wide array of titles open in Dorchester sometime in 2015. As Losordo works toward launching a permanent location, she is currently planning an author's night, as well as an educators night to begin connecting to area book-lovers. We are hoping On the Dot Books is a success and would love to see down the road a independent bookstore in our neighborhood.

Monday, April 14, 2014


This past weekend we stopped in and had dinner at ester, which recently replaced Ledge Kitchen and Drinks in Lower Mills. The interior has had some changes since it was Ledge, but overall it looks familiar. Erin ordered the salmon and Chris had the steak frites. Both were cooked well and the portions were as hoped. The best part of the visit was the very friendly staff. Since they just opened, there is still a limited menu and some kinks are being worked out, but we look forward to future evenings dining at ester. It will also be nice to have that patio back (once it opens for the season).
2261 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester
Located on Dorchester Ave. Just north of the Milton T stop (Ashmont-Mattapan Trolley).

Have you been to ester? Rate it below.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

ester... Coming soon!

It has been a few months since our last blog post (this winter has been a slow one for Dorchester)... A few months ago, the Dorchester Reporter told us that Ledge was closing and being replaced by a new restaurant called "ester" (think Dorchester, minus the "Dorch"). The new restaurant is the brainchild of Eleanor Arpino (former manager of Davio's) and will have a "neighborhood feel" while not sticking to one type of fare. As we drove by tonight, it was exciting to see the temporary sign outside the soon-to-be restaurant. Additionally, we noticed on the sign that "ester" has adopted our nickname for the neighborhood (see above). We look forward to its opening in the coming weeks and will report back soon.

(Photo courtesy of the Dorchester Reporter

Friday, September 20, 2013

Is Dorchester the New Brooklyn?

Lower Dot is officially calling it. Dorchester is the new Brooklyn. As most people know, Brooklyn is the hippest American 'hood of this last decade. It has become a cultural hub and commonly associated with being urban cool, edgy, and fresh. Perhaps they are migrating from Allston or J.P., but in the past year, we have noticed more of our neighbors looking like this these days...

Why has there been this influx of cooler younger folks? To show that DOT is the new BKLN, we first offer a comparison of the two neighborhoods followed by a visual quiz.

1. In population terms, Brooklyn is the largest borough of New York; Dorchester is the largest neighborhood of Boston.

2. Brooklyn and Dorchester both transitioned from farmland to streetcar suburb to urban cityscape roughly around the same periods over the past 150 years. Both experienced their darkest days in the 1970s and 80s. In movies about New York, the accent you hear is usually Brooklyn; in movies about Boston, the accent you usually hear is Dorchester. Both neighborhoods are known for the politicians they breed.

3. Crown Heights Brooklyn and Dorchester were both named in the top 10 hottest neighborhoods of 2013 (Dorchester was also named one of the 10 best neighborhoods in Boston this year). 

4. Brooklyn and Dorchester both share diverse and multicultural populations.
Brooklyn: 37% White, 33% Black, 20% Latino, 10% Asian
Dorchester: 37% Black, 28% White, 14% Latino, 12% Asian

5. Brooklyn and Dorchester have seen a steady migration of artists and musicians since the 1970s, fostered by artists lofts being built in former warehouses. Brooklyn and Dorchester are the heart of hip hop in their respective cities.

6. Brooklyn and Dorchester have become home to hip restaurants that take culinary risks featured on nationally televised cuisine programs (For example, in Dorchester, we have Ashmont Grill and dbar).

7. Brooklyn and Dorchester are both a mix of dense urban apartment buildings and leafy residential side streets and both Brooklyn and Dorchester are served by partially elevated and partially underground subway lines.

8. Both Brooklyn and Dorchester have become centers for urban farming, bicycle culture, and public art. Both Brooklyn and Dorchester offer their own breweries (For example, Dorchester has the new Percival Beer Company).

9. Brooklyn and Dorchester are often strongly associated with both their Irish and African American communities. Both are traditional hubs for immigrants and they are places where many Caribbean Americans, Latinos, and eastern Europeans call home. Both Brooklyn and Dorchester have growing gay communities.

10. Brooklyn and Dorchester are both relatively affordable for housing, attracting a new wave of younger residents.

The below visual quiz highlights how difficult it is to separate Brooklyn from Dorchester...

A.) Is the above image of Dorchester or Brooklyn? Answer at the bottom of the post.

B.) Is the above image of Dorchester or Brooklyn? Answer at the bottom of the post.

C.) Is the above image of Dorchester or Brooklyn? Answer at the bottom of the post.

D.) Is the above image of Dorchester or Brooklyn? Answer at the bottom of the post.

E.) Is the above image of Dorchester or Brooklyn? Answer at the bottom of the post.

F.) Is the above image of Dorchester or Brooklyn? Answer at the bottom of the post.

G.) Is the above image of Dorchester or Brooklyn? Answer at the bottom of the post.

H.) Is the above image of Dorchester or Brooklyn? Answer at the bottom of the post.

Answer: A. Brooklyn. B. Dorchester. C. Brooklyn. D. Dorchester. E. Brooklyn. F. Dorchester G. Brooklyn. H. Dorchester.

Food Trucks Return to Ashmont

After a hiatus, Dot has its food trucks back. Makin' Jamaican will be near Ashmont Station on Dorchester Ave. from 3-7 pm every Friday. St. Mark's Main Streets reports that the owner, who normally parks his truck in Malden, will be a regular in the city designated food truck space outside Flat Black Coffee. We dropped by this afternoon and enjoyed the beef and vegetable patties, as well as the curry chicken with rice, beans, and plantains. Luckily, we stopped by early (food trucks have a tradition of selling out quickly in Dorchester), and good thing we did, because when we walked by later in the evening there was a long line. It is delicious food and we are happy to have this addition to the 'hood.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Kapow Thai Cuisine

Welcome the new and improved Kapow Thai Cuisine (formerly Taste of Thailand). With a new bright décor and quality Thai food at reasonable prices, Kapow offers all of your Thai favorites. Although seating exists, it is fairly limited, but Kapow is a perfect take out place (and they also provide delivery). We enjoyed the green curry with Jasmine rice and pad thai. To top it off, we enjoyed two Thai ice teas. Delicious.
Kapow Thai Cuisine
2257 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester
Located in Lower Mills just south of the intersection of Dorchester Ave, and Richmond St. Just north of the Milton T stop (Ashmont-Mattapan Trolley).

Have you been to Kapow Thai Cuisine? Rate it below.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon Tragedy

Our hearts go out to all the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy... It is a very sad day in Boston.

UPDATE: The Governor and Mayor have announced the establishment of a fund to help the people most affected by the tragic events that occurred on April 15, 2013. For more information or to donate, click here:

UPDATE: The Richard family of Dorchester was watching the Boston Marathon when bombs exploded nearby. Their young son Martin was killed. His younger sister and his mother remain seriously injured. Many people have asked how they can help the Richards. This campaign has been created to provide an avenue of assistance by friends at St Mark's Area Main Street and the Center for Civic Media:

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Taco Party

Although there has been an officially designated food truck spot near Ashmont Station for some time, there has been little food truck parking in the 'hood. Wait no longer! Taco Party now brings tasty vegetarian tacos to the masses every Friday evening for dinner. Sadly, we didn't have a chance to sample the food, since it sold out after about an hour on their inaugural day. We hope to report back soon, if we can make it there in time to enjoy what others have described as an "intense vegetarian taco."
Taco Party
Ashmont Station, Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester
Located at Ashmont Station on Dorchester Ave. Just west of the Ashmont T stop.

Have you been to Taco Party? Rate it below.

Rating Stars Back!

The Internet company that hosts our rating stars folded. After some searching, we have finally found an acceptable replacement. Sadly, we lost all of the ratings that blog readers left over the past 7 years. We encourage everyone to sift through the Lower Dot blog's posts and re-rate all of your favorite (or not so favorite) spots.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Steel & Rye

A new restaurant has opened over the river in Milton to rival the high end cuisine of Dorchester. Steel & Rye is in a California-esque deconstructed space. They offer creative contemporary American cuisine. We started with the delicious picked quail eggs and beets, along with their wonderful cheese plate. Erin then had the Atlantic salmon served with black eyed peas and onion relish, while Chris chose the Maine lobster risotto. Both dishes were well-prepared and included an amazing match of flavors. The bar offers a range of unique cocktails. Steel & Rye is a wonderful addition to the greater Dorchester area and will certainly lure us just outside the 'hood again.
Steel & Rye 
95 Eliot Street, Milton 
Located in Milton Village (Across the river from Dorchester) on Eliot Street. Just east of the Central Avenue T Stop (Ashmont-Mattapan Trolley). 

Have you been to Steel & Rye? Rate it below.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dot Stop Blog

If you want to know more about Dorchester past and present, take a journey over to the new Dot Stop blog:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Peabody Square Tree Lighting 2012

Here is a photo from this year's Peabody Square Tree Lighting! Like a "Where's Waldo" book, see if you can find Santa. Happy holidays!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ashmont Hill Chamber Orchestra

The Ashmont Hill Chamber Music opens their 27th season on Sunday, December 9th at 3 pm with a free concert at Peabody Hall in Ashmont’s historic All Saints Church. They will be performing Beethoven, Schulhoff, Sibelius, and Schumann. For more information:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Peabody Square Tree Lighting: This Saturday!

This Saturday is the annual Peabody Square tree lighting. Head on down to the square (near the north end of Ashmont Station) at 7:00 on Saturday (11/24) to enjoy the treats and Santa in a trolley...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

New Historical Mural in Lower Dot

We were lucky enough to catch this art be created today in Lower Mills, as local artist Gregg Bernstein paints his new mural of what Pierce Square looked like over 100 years ago. Commissioned by the new Sweet Life Café, the artist drew his inspiration from an old postcard, which shows the trolley line that use to travel down Dot Ave.

The Dorchester Reporter has an excellent story about it: Lower Mills Mural to Depict Bygone Village

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dorchester Open Studios This Weekend!

Every year Dorchester Open Studios showcases the best artists in our neighborhood. This year it runs from noon to 5 on Saturday 10/20 and Sunday 10/21. Check out our first blog entry about Open Studios from 2006 for a longer description: Dot Open Studios 2006

For the program and complete list of sites:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sweet Life Bakery and Café

After months of waiting, Lower Dot finally has a new bakery! Located in the heart of Lower Mills (in the old Common Ground location), Sweet Life Bakery and Café offers an array of wonderful baked goods and cakes, while also offering a full breakfast and lunch menu. Their hours span from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm, which means you can fulfill your latte and muffin fix at any point during the day.

We had lunch there recently. Chris had the chicken salad sandwich on brioche, while Erin decided on the turkey Florentine panini and orzo pasta salad. We both thoroughly enjoyed an assortment of cookies for dessert. Sweet Life has a daily sandwich special and offers many wonderful breakfast treats, such as brioche french toast, omelets, and on certain days waffles or croque-monsieurs.

Sweet Life Bakery and Café @ Facebook
2243 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester
Located on Dorchester Ave. Just north of the Milton T stop (Ashmont-Mattapan Trolley).

Have you been to Sweet Life Bakery and Café? Rate it below.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Eye and Eye Optics

Do you need some new styling spectacles? Eye and Eye Optics is the place to get that great pair of glasses or sunglasses, at a reasonable price, while supporting local business. Plus, your new pair will be ready in about a day. Recently, Erin got a new pair of vintage glasses (see below) that she is quite pleased with. The owner Bobin Nicholson is a native of Jamaica, who has lived in Boston since he was young. He will surely welcome you into his shop and help you find that perfect pair of eye wear.
2271 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester
Located on Dorchester Ave. Just north of the Milton T stop (Ashmont-Mattapan Trolley).

Have you been to Eye and Eye Optics? Rate it below.

(Photo of Bobin Nicholson courtesy of Eye and Eye Optics)

Sweet Life Bakery and Café Opening Soon!

From the look of the new awning on Dot Ave. in Lower Mills, Sweet Life Bakery and Café is about to open. The word on the street (from a kind Dorchesterite sitting on the bench out front) is that they will be open in three weeks. Let's hope!

UPDATE: The Lower Mills Branch of the Boston Public Library is reporting that Sweet Life is now open. We hope to drop by soon and let you know what we think!

Art or a Misplaced Toy?

Recently, while wondering around Lower Dot, we came across this figurine... Is it a permanent art installment or a misplaced child's toy?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ashmont/Peabody Square Farmers' Market

It is July, so that means it is farmers' market time again in Dorchester. Why buy produce that was picked prematurely weeks ago in far away places, when you can buy the freshest locally grown fruits and vegetables at the farmers' market? We frequent the Ashmont/Peabody Square Farmers' Market and argue this is one of the best in the city. It has an amazing selection of local fruits, vegetables, and fresh flowers. This year they raised the stakes with two new additions! There is now a fishmonger from Red's Best, who deals the freshest locally caught fish, and Tavolo has a booth with all sorts of Italian products, including pizza dough, fresh pasta, olives, sausages, meatballs, and sauces.

Have you been to the Ashmont/Peabody Square Farmers' Market? Rate it below.

Here is the schedule for all of Dorchester farmer's markets:
Dorchester House Farmers' Market: Tuesdays 11-1:30
Grove Hall Farmers' Market: Tuesdays from 3-7
Codman Square Farmers' Market: Thursdays from 1-6
Bowdoin Geneva Farmers' Market: Thursdays from 3-6:30
Milton Lower Mills Wharf Farmers' Market: Thursdays 1-6
Ashmont/Peabody Square Farmers' Market: Fridays 3-7
Fields Corner Farmers' Market: Saturdays from 9-12