Open Newbury Street Returns for New Season

While the return of Open Newbury Street on July 2, was hampered by rain, more favorable weather on Sunday, July 9, graced the second installment of season of the city-led program, which temporally transforms a stretch of Newbury Street into a pedestrian-friendly and vehicle-free walkway.

Antonia Turilli and Bianca Vaquerano of Kiehl’s at 112 Newbury St., which sells skin care products, as well as offering skin-care consultations and treatments.

Open Newbury Street is being offered for 16 consecutive Sundays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. between July 2 and Oct. 15 this year. Just like every year since 2016 when the program debuted as a pilot (except for 2020 when it was sidelined by the pandemic for the season), the Boston Transportation Department and the city again temporarily prohibits vehicles from entering Newbury Street from Berkeley Street to Massachusetts Avenue. Parking is restricted on Newbury Street and adjacent streets, with enforcement beginning at 5 a.m.

For Miranda Lewis Reagan, a sales associates at Lively, a women’s clothing boutique at 125 Newbury St., Open Newbury Street is a welcome worktime diversion.

“It’s been really fun, since I’m a big people-watching fan,” said Lewis Reagan, who added that it was encouraging to see people walking around and enjoying themselves post-pandemic.

Christine, the Psychic, who offers tarot, palm, and crystal readings, and operates out of Z2 On Newbury Spa and Salon at 173 Newbury St., welcomed the return of Open Newbury Street.

“I’ve had some new customers and also some old customers that always come by,” she said. “It’s a beautiful thing. I like that all the neighbors come out and get together. There’s always a lot of good energy around.”

Christine also commended the city for spearheading such a positive initiative.

Keri Bernstein, a tourist visiting Boston from New York City, was also impressed with the collaboration between the city and Newbury Street businesses, which makes Open Newbury Street possible.

“I think it’s great,” said Bernstein. “It’s nice to be outside. There are good vibes, and everyone seems happy.”

While Johnny Cupcakes, which sells its own signature line of bakery-themed T-shirts and other apparel, was a mainstay of Open Newbury Street in years past at its old location at 279 Newbury St., this is the first time the shop has participated in the event since relocating to 332 Newbury St. last September.

Jennifer Thrasher, the store manager, said despite the rain, even the season’s initial outing of Open Newbury Street on July 2 still managed to draw a respectable crowd.

“Last week was still good,” said Thrasher. “It was rainy of course, but there still a lot of people, so I think rain or shine, people are going to turn out.”

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