Lois Harvey’s Back Bay

September 20, 2011

In 1993, Lois Harvey was living in Harvard Square and began to crave a more adult environment. Her search for a new home brought her to the Back Bay.

“I had never spent very much time in Back Bay, even though I was only a subway stop or two away. But, I just fell in love with it,” Lois said. “I loved the trees and the greenspace. Everybody walking on the streets seemed comfortable. And, I decided this is the place for me at this point in my life.”

Joining the Community

Lois has just retired from her position as office administrator for the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay (NABB). Her relationship with that organization began soon after she moved here. She was looking for ways to become a part of her new community when someone suggested she join NAAB and get on a committee. She did that and moved on to be a committee chair, a board member, and stepped in when the group needed an administrator.

She’s a member of the Old South Church, and a subscriber to the Boston Ballet and Boston Symphony Orchestra. “Becoming a participant is very important,” Lois emphasized. “Belonging is something that’s up to you. I think the best thing I did was joint NABB, when I first came.”

She highly recommends that newcomers attend some of the small events held by organizations like NABB. It might be a reception at a restaurant or for the opening of a new neighborhood business. She also suggests volunteering to be a helper for an organization or event as a way to get to know people.

Cafe Connections

Lois takes great pleasure in savoring a good book over coffee, in a congenial atmosphere. She has a collection of favorite coffee shops and cafes around the neighborhood.

“I’ve been known to leave one cafe go directly to another one- if my book still has a few pages left to be read,” she confessed. “I love to sit at counters.” She enjoys meeting people of all ages and chatting with visitors to Boston. “It’s life, and I like to watch life happen.”

She’s a counter seat regular at Trident Bookstore Cafe. “For a person who lives alone, cafes fill a real psychological need,” Lois said. She looks forward to visiting with the cafe’s friendly staff, gets a kick out of the young customers, and enjoys the food.

In addition to Trident, she has other favorite spots for a reasonably priced meal. Steve’s restaurant on Newbury Street is among her favorites. “I love my vegetarian mousaka!”

Out and About

You often see Lois strolling around the neighborhood. She says that the ability to walk to so many places and events is, “…what’s really special about this city.” She’s been known to walk from Newbury Street to Dartmouth by way of the Esplanade, adding a park loop to her journey.

“I feel healthier now, as a 70-year-old woman, than I did when I was commuting by car to schools in my early 20s to be a teacher. I just think it’s a healthy environment.”

Retiring to Cape Cod

Newly retired, Lois is preparing to move again to fulfill another of her life’s dreams- living near the ocean, where she can spend more time outdoors. “Walking on the beach appeals to me,” she smiled. But, even before she leaves, Lois Harvey has plans to come back to visit friends and to take part in some of her favorite events.

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