3.18.2006

My Newton: Why I've Never Been to Echo Bridge

I have a confession to make. I have never been to Echo Bridge.

Yes, I grew up in Newton, and live less than five miles away from Echo Bridge now. I have been on Rte. 9 a million times and even riden my bicycle partyway up Quinobeqin Road a few times, the southern end of which comes pretty close to the bridge and the gorge it overlooks. But I never stopped at Echo Bridge.

And here's why: My Newton is the Northern and Central parts of Newton. The further south a place is in town, the less likely I am to have visited it or even know about it.

I am most familiar with the villages and places North of the pike. South of the Pike, parts of Newton Corner, Newtonville, and Auburndale are quite familiar to me, mostly because of Newton North and the friends I made through North, and activities I did when I was a kid. I used to work in Newton Center and go to Crystal Lake, so I am familiar with that area as well.

But other than regular shopping trips to Needham Street over the decades, I am not really familiar with the southern part of Newton. Mt. Ida, Upper Falls, those neighborhoods south of Needham Street and Rte. 9, and the areas bordering West Roxbury and Dedham -- practically Terra Incognito.

So that's why I have never been to Echo Bridge. It seems like a great place, judging by all the news coverage about its temporary closure. Yeah, it's my loss, but that's the way it is. I think it's the same for a lot of other people from Newton, not to mention other big cities and towns with strong neighborhood affiliations.

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