BOSTON (CBS) – Two events, in two days on two sides of the Boston Harbor honored Boston Mayor Tom Menino who is leaving office after two decades.
The two events could not have been more different.
On Tuesday for breakfast at the Westin Waterfront Hotel, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce honored the mayor before 500 business leaders in his last final official speech, complete with a teleprompter for his remarks.
On Wednesday afternoon, a couple of hundred East Boston residents and Massport officials gathered in a heated tent for the official topping off ceremony at Portside at Pier One in East Boston, that will be a new residential rental complex with the best views of downtown across the water.
Massport is the major property owner in East Boston and the Seaport District.
At the Massport event, Mayor Menino spoke from notes and posed for pictures with the locals and stayed for almost an hour. Portside is located on the waterfront and is a mile from Logan Airport.
Attending both events, this reporter thought Mayor Menino was more relaxed in a smaller group.
The question was posed as to how many community events the mayor had attended in 20 years? His staff on hand couldn’t come up with the figure. Mayor Menino quickly answered the question put to him.
15,356 events in 20 years is the figure. Incoming Mayor Marty Walsh has some catching up to do.
“Here, change has made an old city new,” said Menino in his remarks to the Chamber. “Change has brought a convention center and then an entire new district to our waterfront. Change erased parking lots and filled empty buildings and brought 5,000 new workers and working styles.”
At the Roseland Development site, the mayor talked about jobs and the importance of the East Boston neighborhood. 176 units of new rental housing are scheduled to open in October of next year.
“Massport is an economic engine in the region and we strive to be a good neighbor and Mayor Menino has made sure we live up to our obligations to the communities in which we operate,” said Thomas Glynn, CEO of Massport.
The Mayor proudly displays his cane made out of a baseball bat with 2013 World Series lettering.
He really gets around. Someone said recently that Menino had personally met 50 percent of the people living in Boston. The figure may be higher.
All Things Travel reports with Bob Weiss can be heard on WBZ News Radio.