As I've written before, we miss Charley's, a casual neighborhood restaurant at Newbury and Gloucester Streets, which is turning into a Frye boot store:
The best thing about Charley's, besides its tall, perfect wedges of Boston Creme Pie, was the brick patio facing Newbury Street. On warm spring and summer nights, one could sit under the kousa dogwoods, and their blossoms glowed in the lights strung on the trees. No matter how the food was — and it was always fine, at least, beginning with the round loaf of hot, soft bread and a pot of butter —the atmosphere was charming, with some of the best people-watching in Boston. We liked to go after 9:30, to just order dessert — that Boston Creme Pie. The crowd on the patio would have thinned by that hour and the lighted trees seemed even more romantic.Tonight we were horrified to see that all EIGHT TREES have been chopped down around the patio, leaving none standing. Besides the kousa dogwoods there was a white birch, and other trees. It's a grim scene and a great loss to our neighborhood:
Four stumps of mature trees are visible in this view.
This looks like a crime scene to me.
I emailed Margaret Pokorny, a neighbor who is Boston's greatest champion of trees and a fellow member of the Garden Club of the Back Bay. She told me that the Garden Club had tried to save the trees by doing all they could — providing Frye with an assessment of the trees and recommendations — and Frye was not persuaded. She said they will plant four little trees along the curb and one bigger tree on the property. Then she gently reminded me that it is not a perfect world...
No, it's not. But there must be some little something I can do. Since I love boots and live in them, I was looking forward to buying some Fryes from the new store. I know they make spectacular bags, too. Now I think — no, I know — I can never own a pair of Fryes or a bag. At least not until there are twinkling lights on some tall kousa dogwood trees on that corner again. I will miss the trees far more than I will miss the boots or the bag. I'll bet I'm not the only customer they lose over this.
But Newbury Street lost one of its treasures. Farewell, wonderful trees.