Nondescript in the eyes reporter

“Nondescript” is a classic journalese adjective applied to something the reporter doesn’t like. Merriam-Webster defines nondescript as “lacking distinctive or interesting qualities: dull, drab.” What brings this up is a Boston Sunday Globe page one article on Boston’s Faneuil Hall marketplace’s future, with the news peg being the closure of the 192-year-old Durgin-Park restaurant. The Globe describes the market: “Its collection of chain stores ….can be found in any mall in America, and its nondescript food stands cater largely to the tastes of tourists.”

Well, the “nondescript” food stands — there are about 35 of them, not counting restaurants — offer a variety to satisfy just about any taste, and at prices a tourist or local family can afford. Here are some of what some of the stands feature: barbecue, Thai, chowder, seafood, pretzel, sausage, enchilada, Indian, organic, gelateria, Mac ‘n cheese, New York deli, Philly steak, panini, prime rib, pizza, oysters, ice cream, Greek, sushi, West End strollers, cupcakes, fried chicken, and a dozen or so more. One funky feature is that prices are in a wide range of cents, such as $4.32 or $5.65 or $7.78. The dull 99-cents is rare. They food stands are in Quincy Market, built as a wholesale market in 1826, and the public dining area is under a dome featuring signs of former shops and markets. It’s a great place for tourists and locals, as evidenced by the crowds, even if the Globe says it’s nondescript.

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File under: Opinion in the guise of reporting.

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