Revere Beach is America’s first public beach, established in 1896 as a place for ordinary people to escape the city and relax, a tradition that continues today. My commute has me traveling down and up Revere Beach Boulevard’s 2½ miles daily. The drive is easiest in winter, when snowdrifts blow through the lovely pavilions, the sunny beach is barren, the road nearly empty. But summer is when Revere Beach screams to traffic-clogging life. As they have for generations, sun seekers flock, by subway and car, to the area’s most accessible beach. They come from Boston and its urban fringe — places like Chelsea, Everett, Malden, and Lynn — as well as Revere proper. If you look into the faces, though, and listen to the languages, it can feel as if they’ve come from every corner of the world. The ocean and the fried food at Kelly’s Roast Beef are only part of the attraction. As important, Revere Beach is and always has been a scene. One arrives to both observe and partake in the human spectacle. This summer, I strolled up and down the boulevard almost daily, setting out to capture in photos the personality of the place, to depict Revere Beach’s messy, unapologetic, kaleidoscopic charm.
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