Friday, April 22, 2016

The Wait Is Over

Most people, if asked to imagine a sidewalk situated between some busy train tracks and a nuclear power plant, would picture something pretty unappealing. Those who have been to Niantic recently, however, might conjure up something like this.

The mile-long Niantic Bay Boardwalk, having been under construction for seemingly forever (it was damaged by hurricanes Irene and Sandy) is now finally fully open. That means walkers can access the boardwalk from both Hole-in-the-Wall Beach and Cini Park, and stroll the length of it uninterrupted by orange cones, warning signs, or wire fences.

As you walk along the boardwalk, seagulls strutting below and Acela trains speeding by above, there are signs explaining various facets of Niantic's past and the ecology of the region. There are steps down to the beach, as well, if you want to get off the concrete and onto the sand.

The new boardwalk was built to withstand harsh coastal storms, and there is something inherently New England about the way it encourages visitors to appreciate this area's subtly astonishing beauty - even as commuters whoosh past to more exciting destinations and industry lurks in the distance - while we can, before we're all swept away.

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