Marmo Overpass to Constitution Beach

Before I explored Orient Heights’ business district, I checked out Constitution Beach.

Getting there required crossing the Blue Line MBTA tracks via this suitably blue-lined overpass.

Walking up the overpass, I felt as if I was on a footbridge rollercoaster.

According to this, the overpass was opened and named for Anthony and Dee Dee Marmo in September 2001 (no conspiracy theories, please!)

One but can’t help but notice its electric blue curves.

And on the other side of Marmo Overpass, it’s the beach!

It was pretty deserted on an unseasonably chilly Friday in early May.

Although I would’ve liked to have seen more activity, I have to admit I appreciated the solitude.

At the beach’s south end sits a residential neighborhood that juts out east towards the coastal suburb of Winthrop.

I must have arrived at or near low tide.

According to a municipal sign (not pictured), the beach is officially open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, so I was only weeks away from enjoying a hot dog from Selma’s Kitchen or a cup of Richie’s Italian Ice.

Looking south towards Porrazzo Skating Rink and beyond that, the familiar sight of Logan Airport Tower. In my last post, I mentioned I haven’t had a reason to return to Orient Heights (I live on practically the opposite end of Boston), but if I ever find myself out that way again, I’ll revisit Constitution Beach (that is, if it’s not too cold and windy.)

Orient Heights

On a Friday afternoon in May 2016, I took a Blue Line MBTA train out to Orient Heights (according to Wikipedia, Boston’s northernmost and northeasternmost neighborhood) simply because I could. Having previously taken the line all the way to its terminus at Wonderland station in Revere Beach, I had never stopped anywhere along the way between it and Logan Airport.

If Orient Heights has a landmark, it’s the Madonna Queen of the Universe Shrine, the front of which is visible (albeit from a distance) from Route 1A; its back (the tall, narrow structure above) faces most of the actual neighborhood.

Otherwise, this is another average residential neighborhood accessible by T but not much of a magnet for tourists or visitors. (As of 2021, the tire shop with the vintage signage above is now a cell phone store.)

It’s an enclave mostly stuck in various past eras.

This antiquated siding is something you rarely see in Boston’s hipper neighborhoods (as well as business names with curiously placed periods.)

Of course there’s a Chinese-American restaurant with stereotypical signage and lots of red.

No name, just billiards, presumably.

As of 2023, the Beverly Richard Dance Center is still in business (I wonder if there’s much crossover with the billiards place?), as is Oxigen.J and Great Chef.

A look at Google Maps confirms Peter J. Martino, Jr. is still practicing (along with fellow Martino’s Nicholas and Justin) but the storefront to the right has been refurbished into the much brighter (if still Japanese) Sunny’s Cafe. Victory Pub is now called Renegade’s Pub and doesn’t appear to have changed much (at least on the outside.)

The intersection of Bennington and Saratoga Streets where Route 145 curves right from the former onto the latter with Orient Heights MBTA station in the distance. I haven’t had a reason to return to Orient Heights, although on that one visit I also came across an interesting piece of municipal architecture that I’ll post about next week.