Thursday, July 13, 2017

Going mobile

Allston and Brighton present such a wildly eclectic hodgepodge of buildings modeled on places with well-established architectural identities—the New York of Commonwealth Avenue, the Oxford of Brighton High School, the Cambridge of Harvard Business School, the Rome of Harvard Stadium, to name a few—that these Boston neighborhoods lack central defining elements, the way brick rowhouses signify Beacon Hill and bay-windowed brownstones characterize the Back Bay. That was why, in my ramblings through Allston and Brighton's architectural admixture as a resident there, well-landscaped mobile homes like this stood out for me. For they capture the core characteristic that has defined these villages for years: transience with potential for permanence.
"Movin' in, movin' out" typifies Allston-Brighton across the generations, as graduate students and greenhorn professionals land pro tem digs there and move on up and out in a few years (as shown by the mountains of couches and whatnot usurping the sidewalks come September). 

Yet this blue dwelling shows how one can homestead with a mobile home: place it on a sizable plot of land and landscape it imaginatively. Thus an ordinary prefab house truly becomes home, giving incentive to stay put, unlike The Who's ideal of the peripatetic "home on wheels" vagabonding hither and yon in their 1971 song "Going Mobile."

Homesteading, indeed—this mobile is a ranch with all the dressing: a rail fence gives the garden a western twang, and topiary balances the ranch-rough with French finesse. Home, home on the range and le jardin de délices—reasons enough not to go mobile from Allston-Brighton.

Thank you for visiting. I welcome your comments!

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