Channels, Forts, and Points: An Exit Blog

(photo credit: Ian Strickland)

The perception of how time passes is a remarkable thing. Vacations and hangouts with friends seem to pass by all too quickly. Meetings and waiting in line at the RMV somehow has time regress to a slow crawl, with each second feeling like an eternity. At the time of this post, I’ve been with the Friends for over 7 months now. Yet there are still instances where I catch myself questioning just how long I’ve been here. In some ways I feel like a grizzled veteran who’s sat on the same exact bench by the Harborwalk for years. In other ways it all still feels very new. Life is funny that way. You could speak English fluently for 22 years of your life, but all it takes is someone asking what shape your tongue makes when you say the letter R to trip you up.

I stumbled upon the listing for the Friends of Fort Point Channel by chance. At the time I was applying to positions so I could do more than just work during the summer. Although I had absolutely no idea where the Fort Point neighborhood was (the first listing on Google when you search for Fort Point is a national park in San Francisco), the details of the internship piqued my interest, and I applied. Soon after, I passed my interview and got offered the chance to work with the Friends. But as excited as I was to start my internship, I did have some doubts and reservations. What if I’m under-qualified for the role? What if Fort Point is boring? I kept those thoughts and others tucked away as I went through my first few days. After all, there are far worse things than interning at a nonprofit in a quiet, nondescript part of the city.

(post credit: Brandon Mei)

As my time with the Friends comes to a close, I can proudly say Fort Point never lived up to my idea of being dull and uneventful. Fort Point is multilayered, like sheets of bedrock or a delicious cake. It’s a neighborhood with a strong artistic backbone- home to various art installations, galleries, and artists. Fort Point is busy and bustling, too. Here, established companies and new startups sit side by side as they work on the next big thing. The area is poised for even more activity- incoming residents include General Electric, Red Hat, and Reebok. Fort Point is also a foodie hotspot, with Drink, Menton, Oak + Rowan, Row 34, and Tavern Road to name a few all within a few blocks. If anything, Fort Point surprised me with how many different hats it wears.

(post credit: Brandon Mei)

The internship itself was a surprise. It was different from previous internships in the best possible way. Sure, there were days when I spent most of my time in the office. But there were also days when it was very different. Those were days I got to attend CityAwake’s Our Convention, take a rowboat out on the channel, and help organize and volunteer at the very first Fort Point Festival. If I had to choose one word to sum up my time with the Friends, it would be ‘exciting’. I got the chance to try my hand at a variety of tasks for the first time, which gave me opportunity after opportunity to learn what I’m capable of doing.

(post credit: Brandon Mei) 

There was never a shortage of interesting things to do with the Friends, something I’m beyond grateful for. I’m also thankful to have Rachel as a supervisor and as a mentor. She helped me elevate this internship into something of its own, and always had something insightful or funny to say. Not all bosses make good mentors, and not all mentors make good bosses. I’m happy I met someone who could be both.

I can’t wait to see what’s next for Fort Point and the Friends of Fort Point Channel. The times are a changin’, and so is the neighborhood. As we all take steps into a distant and uncertain future, I hope that the Friends continue to play a role in helping the community and neighborhood shine bright. It’s been a pleasure getting to meet the wonderful folks and organizations of Fort Point. I’m going to miss walking down Congress Street and sitting outside by the Harborwalk. I’ll even miss admiring the perpetual question mark that is the Northern Avenue Bridge’s existence and the secret stairs by A Street too- although I won’t miss almost tripping and breaking my face going up and down the stairs. Anyways, it’s been real Fort Point- stay pointy.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. What are your favorite memories or sights of Fort Point? E-mail us at info@friendsfpc.org. Or if you want to learn more about what’s going on in Fort Point you can sign up for our newsletter here.

Brandon has been the Digital Content Coordinator for the Friends of Fort Point Channel since August 2016 and has been with the Friends since May 2016. He is a current senior at Boston College.