My Own Boston: Rachel Leiner
My Own Boston: Rachel Leiner
Since arriving at BU as a freshman, photographer Rachel Leiner (COM’20) has explored the city’s many Instagram-worthy neighborhoods. In her wanderings, she’s found both inspiration and a backdrop for her work. Camera in hand, the advertising major loves to stroll Boston’s side streets with no particular route in mind.
“For me, exploring doesn’t have to have a destination,” she says.
But Leiner’s search for new places often winds up with her coming across an interesting or unusual backdrop for her photography business, Rachel Leiner Photography. Discovering a quiet street framed by 19th-century townhouses or a picturesque view of Boston Harbor comes in handy for the wedding, fashion, engagement, and graduation shoots she juggles. And when she’s done shooting for the day, she likes to cap off her adventures with a visit to a local café, where she can relax and soak up the local color while editing her photos.
Here are some of Leiner’s favorites.
One of the city’s most photogenic (and posh) neighborhoods, Beacon Hill is also one of the oldest. The area measures less than one square mile, and its 5,000 residents navigate steep, narrow cobblestone streets lined with stately federal brick townhouses that were once occupied by the likes of author Louisa May Alcott and Supreme Court Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and whose current residents include John Kerry (Hon.’05), a former US senator and secretary of state.
Leiner recommends: “Charles Street. This bustling hub has great restaurants and small boutiques. Rouvalis Flowers is my favorite flower shop on Beacon Hill; the flowers outside are beautiful.”
Spanning from East Boston to the Neponset River in lower Dorchester, the Boston Harborwalk is a near-continuous 43-mile public walkway that follows Boston’s shoreline, connecting eight city neighborhoods and offering access to nine public beaches. The Harborwalk has unparalleled views of Boston Harbor and the city skyline.
Leiner recommends: The stretch of the Harborwalk in the Seaport District near the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse. “The clearing has a beautiful panoramic view of the Boston skyline. I recommend walking along the cobblestone path.”
314 Shawmut Ave., Boston
This bakery, café, restaurant, and takeout market in Boston’s historic South End neighborhood is Leiner’s favorite place to hang out. Opened in 2005, it’s renowned for its welcoming vibe and simple but delicious food (the lunch menu features crowd-pleasers like a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich and a curried chicken salad wrap; the dinner menu has tasty dishes like roasted beet and pecorino Toscano ravioli and a bacon cheeseburger). Also, if you want a great cup of coffee or tea, you’ll find them here.
Leiner recommends: “The South End Buttery is the perfect spot for grabbing a drink and a bite and getting some work done. Personally, I love their scones and chai latte—absolutely delicious!”