By Brian McGrory
Globe Columnist / June 22, 2011

It was strictly out of pity that I pointed my car toward the South Boston Waterfront Sunday
night to trade a few coins for clams at the massive new Legal Sea Foods complex. Poor
Roger Berkowitz, I figured, had eaten so much mercury-tainted swordfish that he had
completely lost his mind.

I mean, who builds three restaurants with 700 seats under one roof hard by an industrial
park in a corner of Boston where precious few people actually live?

As I pulled up, something unusual caught my eye — people. Everywhere, people, people
walking, people sitting at outdoor cafes, smiling, happy people. Then the nice hostess at
Legal glanced at a computer screen and announced, “It’ll be about a 30- or 40-minute wait.’’

A couple of hours later, after a memorable dinner in an open-air room on the harbor’s edge
that feels like a public market in Sydney or Seattle, the scene suddenly seemed surreal. The
portico of the massive convention center shone from the hill. The modern Institute for
Contemporary Art shone against the harbor.

And one thought kept echoing through my tiny brain: Menino was right.


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