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The best Boston Globe photos of 2019

A look at the year’s most memorable pictures and the stories behind them.

JANUARY 1 / SOUTH BOSTON — I cover the L Street Brownies Polar Plunge ever year. There’s no better way to start the new year than to have a hundred people charging at you, even if you do get soaked. I’ve gotten smart — I wear chest-high waders. When I snapped this photo, I was up to my elbows in water. Most people run in full speed, hit the water, freak out, and run back. Peter Regan was out further, just hanging out. He went under, but held his hat and noisemaker above his head. I remember laughing, it felt like such a careful thing to do, given the circumstances.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff


A slow shutter speed blurs the flow of traffic over the Zakim Bridge during the evening rush hour. This was taken from the Courtyard by Marriott hotel near North Station. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff


I had photographed Boston’s gay pride parade a month earlier, so it was surreal to do the Straight Pride Parade. The counterprotesters on the side were yelling, “We don’t want you here!” The straight pride people seemed like they were loving it, taking pleasure and laughing at them. There was a stretch without barricades, and people were walking right next to each other. These two had exchanged words. I thought it was over, and then this woman, who was a marcher, yelled in this counterprotester's ear, with just a lot of anger.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff


It was my second month as a Globe intern when I was sent to cover this Trump rally. When I arrived, lines of supporters wrapped around the building. They made a little fenced-off area for the protesters, otherwise it would have been madness. The hands on the right side belong to a pro-Trump biker guy; the guy on left is arguing with him. I probably made 50 photos trying to capture the tension between them. My camera was no more than a foot from the guy’s arms. Getting in close and capturing the peak intensity draws the viewer into the moment.Nic Antaya for The Boston Globe


The 36th annual Allston Brighton Parade was your typical community parade, with marching bands, politicians, dancers, reenactors. It was hot, I had been walking a fair amount, and I was just happy to see the end. The Cycling Murrays were the last entry. They’re a family that has been doing this since 1987. They’re a combination of tandem bikes, unicycles, and the old-time bicycles with the big wheel in front. I got down low and was hoping that I could see through the spokes; the little girl on the tricycle is perfectly sharp and she makes the picture.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff


The last day of racing at Suffolk Downs was the end of an era. There’s something sad about losing that place. People there had strong memories, many grew up around the corner; the racetrack was the fabric of the community. The weather was spotty — you can see the cloudy skies reflected in this woman’s glasses. What drew me to her was her Derby-style hat and pentagram earrings. She looked like she stepped out from another time. I was trying to get low so I wouldn’t wreck their view of the horses. I don’t remember if they won. I’m guessing they didn’t.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff


The Eliot Congregational Church in Roxbury, an anchor in the community, was facing a financial dilemma, and the pastor and congregation were at a standstill. Ultimately, he came up with a solution to bring college students in with ideas that might save this church. Visually, that was challenging to show since the meeting had already happened. I was walking up and down the aisles of a Sunday service in December 2018 and saw this baby being lifted up by his great uncle. It felt like a moment that spoke of generations and family and what this church could mean in people’s lives to come. The photo wound up being used with the story when it was published the following June.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff


A family in Maine had disavowed carbon and was living off the grid. It’s impressive when you see people living up to their ideals. I spent the day with them, fascinated with these kids growing up without screens who were actively using their imaginations. Their lives felt really rich as a result. After dinner, they decided to play a card game by candlelight. It was a romantic notion of what this lovely storybook childhood could be. Spending time with people who live this way makes you rethink your choices; it makes you wonder how much we’re losing.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff


I’ve covered the Patriots so many times in the Super Bowl, they kind of run together in your mind. This was held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The final score was 13 to 3. After the gun sounded, the Patriots stormed the field and celebrated — it descends into pandemonium pretty quickly. I was in one of the end zones, a good 60 yards away, zooming in on the best reactions. I happened to catch these guys: defenseman J.C. Jackson jumping into Dont’a Hightower’s arms. He had his helmet off so you can see his face — that’s what made it.Jim Davis/Globe Staff


I’ve covered every Patriots victory parade. You have to get there early to get a good spot. I got to City Hall Plaza at 6 a.m., hours ahead of time. I brought a 3-foot stepladder because I knew I’d have to shoot over the crowd. When the truck carrying Julian Edelman came through, they had a big burst of confetti. He was holding one of the six Lombardi trophies; he pointed to the cheering crowd and pounded his chest. I knew the light was perfect; it made the confetti look like glittering snow.Barry Chin/Globe Staff


This was a typical Bruins game in January. I was shooting from the sixth floor with a telephoto lens. In the first period, there was a dramatic collision with Rangers player Filip Chytil, who scored a goal, and Tuukka Rask. He did a somersault right into him; it was a hard impact. Rask had his helmet completely knocked off; everybody thought he had hit his head on the goal post. I cropped it tight to show the impact; you can see the sweat on Tuukka’s face. It got very quiet. There was applause when he was helped off by his teammates.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff


Chinatown is under threat from rising rents and development pressure, and it keeps shrinking as a result. If current trends continue, it’ll be a Chinatown in name only. I was looking to document the neighborhood as it is today, so there’d be a record if it disappears. This photograph on Essex Street was almost literally the first frame I shot over a five-month period. I turned the corner, and there was that incredible shaft of light. All I had to do was wait for someone to walk into that little patch. Anything can look dramatic if the right light is falling on it.Lane Turner/Globe Staff


The challenge of this assignment was to photograph something that didn’t exist: the MassArt Art Museum. This was Boston’s newest art museum, opening in several months’ time, so there was nothing to give a flavor of what was to come. The space was a character as much as the executive director, Lisa Tung, so I let the walls and windows do the talking. Bringing this new museum to Boston was an uphill battle, so posing her below the stairs was a symbol of that. In the end, the empty space helped tell the story — she, just like her artists, started with a blank canvas.Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff


This was at a holiday pop-up market inside the Black Market, a space in Roxbury’s Dudley Square [recently renamed Nubian Square]. Eddie Brimage has portrayed Santa for three years. It wasn’t your traditional setting where kids come sit on Santa’s lap and tell what they’d like for Christmas. He was just kind of walking around, waiting for children to come in, and he would do his Santa thing. This adorable young boy, Isaac, would not let him go. He would leave, run back, jump on his lap, grab his arm. He was really taken by him. It was a sweet moment.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff


This is a performer from Circus Smirkus, the only youth traveling circus in the country. There were 60 talented performers, all under the age of 18. Photographing a kids’ circus is a dream assignment. It’s hard to take a bad photo — they wear costumes that are mismatched, colorful, and vibrant. This particular 13-year-old kid was a juggler. Waiting to go on, he reached out and did the classic bow tie adjustment. I composed it without his face, which would have been distracting. I’m always a fan of the simpler, quiet moments that happen behind the tent. Erin Clark for The Boston Globe


Lori Loughlin had to appear for a pretrial hearing at the federal courthouse in the college admissions scandal. It was a real circus. Cameras are not allowed inside, so you have 40 photographers and TV reporters waiting outside. Someone said, “She’s coming out the back door!” I did a 100-yard dash with my cameras and a camera bag and ended up in front of her. She’s giving me this stern look, like, You idiot. I don’t think she was happy. Getting someone coming out of court is one of the most challenging assignments, because they don’t want to be photographed.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff


We were spending the day at the Arthur C. Luf Children’s Burn Camp, the only one of its kind in the Northeast. For some campers, this was the first time they had ever seen anyone like them, and you could feel how potentially transformative that was. I wanted to be careful my presence with the camera didn’t ruin that. As night fell, the boys were in this intense game of tag, giggling and having so much fun. It was this beautiful moment when these kids could just be kids, let their guard down, and run around with their shirts off, like little boys do.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff


Spending the day at South Station was one of my favorite assignments of the year. I met so many great people, some in good places, some in hard places. It’s this melting pot with every walk of life: commuters going to work, people going on vacation, homeless people taking shelter. These two young men had been out to dinner, had a great evening, and were waiting for their train home. This conversation was going on when I arrived; they were all in a great mood. It was nice to end the day with a lighthearted moment that had people getting along.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff


American Repertory Theater’s "The Donkey Show" was closing after 10 years. This assignment was full circle for me — I was there at its birth, covering the opening, and there when it retired. It was like a giant house party, with amazing dancers and singers, described as "A Midsummer’s Night Dream" meets disco. I’d seen this dancer doing high jump moves before the show. I knew he was someone to keep an eye on. The light was incredibly dark. Ten years ago, I would not have been able to make that picture — the quality of the cameras we have now is so improved.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff



The Lupien family was evicted from their home and had to move into a campground. The father had a job in IT, but there was a massive gap between housing costs and his wages. It was a house of cards that crumbled. I was floored by their resilience; they just cared about keeping their family together. The kids slept in the van. This was one of the first nights they slept there. It was an exhausting weekend. They were transfixed, watching "SpongeBob SquarePants" on a DVD player. They didn’t quite understand that they were never going back to their apartment.Erin Clark/For the Boston Globe


There were 250 asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola being sheltered at the Portland Expo Center, where the Maine Red Claws play basketball. My hat is off to the city, which welcomed these people and gave them a chance. I’ve been to refugee camps throughout the years; there’s nothing to do, and conditions are not great, but I was always struck by the great spirit of kids. I darted upstairs to a second-floor landing and shot this kid doing a cartwheel. To me, it shows the spirit of children wins out. Kids are kids, no matter where they are in the world.Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff


It was the Fourth of July and I had to go to the Esplanade for the “Running of the Tarps,” when people race to secure their spaces for the evening performance of the Pops. Then, I had to scramble across the city to catch the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company’s annual July Fourth parade. It stops in front of the Old State House, where the captain commanding recites the Declaration of Independence from the balcony. I was crouched down in front of these volunteers, knowing the confetti would go off. It was a cute moment. The guy didn’t break character, but the woman did.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff



Greg Vendetti lands a right on Michael Anderson during the second round of their boxing match at Encore Boston Harbor. The Stoneham native defeated Anderson by unanimous decision to capture the vacant International Boxing Association junior middleweight title in the first sporting event at the Everett casino topic: reporter: Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff


On her 57th birthday, Cui Li Chen sat on her bed waiting for her husband to come home. The couple were sharing a cramped three-bedroom walkup sublet in Chinatown with five other people. There is just enough room to stand in the tiny bedroom, the only room they have to themselves. They had their own apartment until a landlord forced them out of their home when they were away visiting their son.Lane Turner/Globe Staff


Elizabeth Warren speaking at a town hall event on Dartmouth College's campus in Hanover, New Hampshire. Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff


One of the hardest things to illustrate as a photographer is climate change. I worked all summer, zigzagging the Cape, taking photos of beautiful sunsets and kids on the beach — but it didn’t look like climate change. My editor said, go when it’s ugly and storming. So on a nasty, windswept day, I drove the shoreline. Getting frustrated, I pulled into the parking lot of the Nobska Lighthouse, a beautiful landmark. I looked at my windshield and I could see the lighthouse reflected in all the raindrops, like a galaxy of lighthouses. It was a gift from the photo gods. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff


After driving hundreds of miles along Cape Cod to show the changing climate, I wanted to see it from the air. A pilot took me up in a 1959 Cessna two-seater and, to be honest, I was scared out of my shoes. But the view was gorgeous. The early morning sun was hitting these sandbars in Chatham Harbor. People don’t realize the pattern has changed. In 1960s photos, this was pure blue ocean. Now, fishing boats have to make a long journey out over this obstruction. It’s a good illustration of how the Cape is changing. It’s there but you have to find it. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff


It was the 100th anniversary of Pittsfield’s Wahconah Park. Within 10 minutes of arriving, we were in the locker room, photographing the players — you don’t ever have access like that in Major League baseball. I noticed a kid hanging around, chatting up players, giving them high-fives. I assumed he was the coach’s kid, but no, this little boy, Jaxxon, realized he could hang out with his heroes, so that’s what he did. There’s something so pure about that moment: a boy looking up to one of his baseball heroes. It feels like a bygone era, like what baseball is supposed to be about.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff


Kathleen Barrett brought her dog with her to check out the damage a tornado caused in her Dennisport neighborhood. Barry Chin/Globe Staff


Eva Vasquez gets a drink at the The Festival Betances held in Boston's South End. The annual festival celebrates Latino culture and community. Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff


Fifteen-year-old Sebastian Wright led a group of boys in the art of harvesting honey at Boy Scouts of America Spirit Adventure Council in Milton. Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff


Abby MacCurtain and her family celebrated the renovation of their three-bedroom Plymouth home that will make it easier for Abby to navigate the space. She has Leigh’s syndrome, a severe neurological disorder that limits her speech and mobility. Construction costs were covered by New England Design + Construction and a grant from the Edwin Phillips Foundation, which provides financial assistance to families of children with physical or mental disabilities.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff


A commuter uses an escalator at the MBTA's State Street Station in Boston.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff


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