Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Priorities of the Overprivileged....

From today's Boston Globe: South End businesses are coming together to celebrate the first officially sanctioned dog park in the city. South Enders have raised over $160,000 so far for the park, which will include amenities such as "doggie water fountains" and a "walk-of-fame dedicated to deceased canines."
Because that's a priority. For overprivileged yuppies. Of course the announcement to convert a South End parking lot into a soccer field for elementary school children (see previous posts) was met with wrath and almost maniacal opposition by some South End residents. However, a playing field for dogs merits praise and fundraising efforts.
$160,000 plus for doggie fountains and a creepy walk of dead-dog fame, within blocks (if not feet) of how many homeless shelters (you know, those icky places behind the new Sushi restaurant)??!! I guess when a homeless person dies in the South End there's no fanfare, but god forbid some yuppie's dog dies....
Too bad the field in question hadn't previously been a parking lot. The privileged doggie crowd vs. the entitled parking spot crowd. I would have paid good money to see that battle!
Apparently, here in the South of End, dogs are more important than children (you know, those things named Brianna and Madison that you had to get a nanny for). I can only hope that someone's Burberry-plaid leash gets yanked a little too tightly around somebody's Uggs, causing some doggie owner to topple over, whacking his or her head on an embedded brass star on the new dead-doggie walk-of-fame pavement thereby hopefully knocking some sense into it.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

i normally am on the same page as you as far as the entitlement issues here in the south end but you seem to be lacking info on the dog park. there was almost as much opposition to peters park as there was to the hurley school parking lot. it just didn't get as much press in the south end news.

March 22, 2007 at 11:42:00 AM PDT  
Blogger thesouthender said...

My apologies - somehow the entire issue flew right by me and the only press I saw was the blurb in the Globe. Thank you for your comment!!

March 22, 2007 at 12:46:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that the Park had to be moved because of the opposition from people on Bradford Street and Wilkes.

There has always been an unofficial dog park at Peters park but with so much opposition and from fear of losing what had been a safe gathering place for dogs, the regulars decided to organize and actually petition for a city permit. You can get more details at friends of peters park.

March 23, 2007 at 10:28:00 AM PDT  
Blogger James Henry Bailey said...

It's FUN to assume that anyone who donated money or helped raise funds for the dog park does nothing to help the homeless, or anything else charitable.

Once again, your narrow, dreary view of the world and other people dislcoses how pitiful you are. Sad, really.

March 24, 2007 at 10:14:00 AM PDT  
Blogger thesouthender said...

A Self-loathing homosexual says what?

All I said was that a dog walk of fame, etc., was ridiculous when people in this very town haven't money to put food on their tables.

A rule of thumb for you, JHB: Go back to photographing yourself. FYI, America's Next Top Model is hosting tryouts in Boston soon. Maybe you should attend.

March 24, 2007 at 8:22:00 PM PDT  
Blogger linda said...

Hi, there-
My name is Linda Rodriguez, I'm the associate editor of the South End News, and I would love to talk to you (anonymously, of course) about the blog. If you're interested, email me at or call me at 617-266-6670 ext. 205.
Your identity will of course remain a secret, but we'd love to find out how you got into blogging and why!
Thanks so much and have a great day,

March 29, 2007 at 11:51:00 AM PDT  
Blogger topher said...

I lived in the South End for 14 years.. my first job in the city at 17 was bussing tables at St. Cloud.. I moved to NYC 2 years ago and miss the South End, but it just was getting to yuppified for my taste. Sothender, what's the point of blogging about this issue? Why not leave. Although, if you moved to NYC, I'm sure you could blog about the gentrification here as well...

April 2, 2007 at 11:32:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Corey said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

April 5, 2007 at 12:29:00 PM PDT  
Blogger shasha said...

I did hear a quote somewhere that we spend more money on pets than children. Not talking about Madeline and Jake here, but about Shaniqua and Lashya, you feel me?
I agree that it's a little on the absurd side... a legitimate dog run is one thing, a dead dog walk of fame? Donate the extra money, please.

April 6, 2007 at 5:53:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, now that you're "Front Page" on the South End News, I can't wait for Natalie and Dickie over at the Atalier to comment on all this. Or any of the other former suburbanites who probably spend their lonely nights trying to figure out how to get rid of the Eagle and that nasty gay adult movie store with magazine covers of half naked (shucks, only half) men in the window. Damn those homosexuals! Don't they know who lives across the street???

April 6, 2007 at 10:09:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, what a dreary, miserable blog. Bitter much? Just saw the article in the South End News.

Of course the creative people are leaving. Duh...they cant afford it, because (drumroll please), they're creative people! They dont make a lot of money. The yuppies earn their money (and pay a hell of a lot more in taxes than the "creative types"), and are able to outbid the creative types.

If you're a creative person, you have 2 choices:
1. move
2. change to a job where you make more money

April 6, 2007 at 12:48:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Lordy, this is sad ... the topic and the inane comments that follow it. We (yes, a gay creative couple) left the South End four years ago. We do make money, but why not sell our condo to someone crazy enough to pay us three times what we paid nine years earlier. We left because the neighborhood of interesting and diverse people in the neighborhood were leaving. It was turning into an over-priced Back Bay and just as blah (lived there, did that, too). Suddenly, when too much money came in, standards (i.e. the ugly new buildings that do not fit the beautiful historic neighborhod) and a sense of community left. Does anybody there know their neighbors any more?

The comment about the gay movie store (we sure miss not having that nearby) makes me think about the people who build a house near a busy runway and then complain loudy that the runway is too noisy and should close. [Read: So why did you move next to the gay movie store and Eagle in the first place?]

Ahhh, the South End was a great place to live in the 90s (and the 40s). We were glad to be there to experience it and oh so glad we are gone now.

That happily settled gay couple in West Roxbury.

April 6, 2007 at 4:26:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I moved to the SE 2 years ago. I chose this nieghborhood over the Back Bay or Beacon b/c those areas were cold and bland...I thought the south end was better in all areas. It was was able to walk down a block and have someone wish me goodmorning. It certainly seems to happen less now. Instead I find myself being run over by the double wide strollers or the latest over sized waxed canvas peices of crap "Louis V's"...
My question is this "Southender". Instead of having the poplulation of individuals that made (and still make) this place unique and beatiful ( sans the new folk)....why not stay , keep the shops, bar resturants that are privately owned , and even build more . Don't pack up and leave , you'll only contribute to the area's decline. Why give in and givethe pretentious what they want...

April 6, 2007 at 7:05:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Celine said...

Hi Southender,
Thanks for the blog! I share your views, but I'm unfortunately Stuck in the South End. Wish there was something we could do, but I think it's time to just get the heck out of here. Wish I wasn't stuck or I'd beat it.

April 7, 2007 at 5:49:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Barcode said...

What a catharsis.

In the 6 years I lived there, I watched the SE slowly enveloped in a Saran Wrap of reproductive heterosexuality, replete with cooing babies, groomed dogs and silver-gray cross-over vehicles. The median age lowered and atmosphere we gays created became lipsticked with the predictable shades of dark red paint in the first floor living rooms of Columbus Ave. condos. The youngish, handsome, bored husbands took the T to the Financial district or the Medical Centers and law offices while their fattening wives met at Starbucks for "playgroup", displacing the discourse of left wing political banter (and seats) with the concerns of the local chapter of La Leche League.

Bitter? Yes, I am. I was tired of the urban indifference shown to a 50+ gay man. I had enough of the privilege of paying an utter fortune to experience crime, panhandlers, rats, unfriendly neighbors and snotty rich condo association members dictating the color of my door. Yes, I live in the suburbs again, but I eat and sleep much better. Thanks for this blog!

April 7, 2007 at 7:56:00 AM PDT  
Blogger thesouthender said...

Wow - did I write these last two comments myself? It makes me happy to know that I'm not the only one who feels this way and it confirms my sense that I have not, in fact, gone insane.

April 7, 2007 at 12:41:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NO, while some can try to label (don't they love to?) you as an unhappy person, mostly you are speaking for a frustraited, "not as rich as your new neighbor" monority that has no where else to voice "the South End over".

I'm with you, looking to move thinking about Columbus,Oh. as the Advocate likes it, Lived in SF for about 3 years- a article speaks of the same kind of hetero gentrification in the over-priced Castro.

My place I bought for cheap 13 years ago will get me a nice place in most cities, I miss the gay ghetto. Reading your blog, I'm reminded I'm the last blue collar person left in my building and all the gay guys have "cashed out" for the burbs.

Oddly I have no problem getting a parking space now in the neighborhood, people left, took their cars, all the newbies, sans BMW's& Landrovers, must take the T or have paid parking>? Hey I had to try to leave my note on a positive.(I wouldn't want a label like grumpy,old,bitter,etc..)

April 8, 2007 at 8:24:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm noticing that this argument has so many factions with overlapping interests. Try not to label all the hetero, dog-owner, stroller-pushers. Some of us are struggling, cool "creative types" driving beat up Hondas with kids enrolled in public school.

April 9, 2007 at 7:52:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BLESS YOU for this Blog - I'm entirely of the same viewpoint...which is why I'm about to sign a P&S on a place I can actually afford in another New England city which shall remain nameless (for fear of the same plague that's overtaken here). For what's worth, I'm a 38 y.o. gay man who has lived continuously in the SE since 1996, but grew up with my pediatrician on Appleton St. and coming here for various things all through my childhood (my parents loved the old Fez, etc., and nearly bought here way back when...they'd be rich now, I'd probably have been killed in the late 80s gang wars...I can remember sitting on roofdecks of a summer night w. friends listening to the gunshots...then again, that's starting again...will be interesting to see what the latte and doublewide-stroller-with-airbags crowd makes of it when one of their windows shatters...) and college, etc. When I first moved (back) here, I used to tell friends elsewhere that it was just like living on Sesame Street: a friendly, diverse neighborhood with all income levels, ages, types of people, who, by and large, smiled at each other on the street and contributed. There were lots of kids actually PLAYING on the stoops and sidewalks, watched by their mothers, not nannies. The complete disappearance of any kind of working middle class here - who can afford it?! - leaving only people on various forms of public assistance and the super-entitled seems like a recipe for disaster to me. Certainly no fun, I'm packing up and leaving like all my buddies who've long since moved to JP or Dorchester...going a little farther afield, as I was stupid enough not to buy back when the buying was good...

In any case - thanks, and keep up the good work!!

April 9, 2007 at 12:10:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there a SOWA or WA fact checker on any condo board association.....seems thatmany Peters Park people amping up for the park don't even have dogs!

And does dogs + dog crap = MORE RATS? Find out when all the new residents watch in fear form their Roof Decks on a Hot Steamy July night 2007-08!

April 14, 2007 at 11:46:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ugh. You sooo missed the boat on the dog recreation space. Did you know that Boston is perhaps the only major city in the US that doesn't have city sponsored dog parks? With the approval of the DRS at Peter's Park we're still on that list as the cost of relocating and currently un-sanctioned park is falling entirely upon the private sector.

Have you ever been to the dog park in question? If you did, you might find some of the diversity in the South End that you claim to be longing for and missing. The dog park is used by the young, old, privledged, struggling, gay, straight - I hope you get the picture. It's not a park full of privledged dog owners and pure breeds. It's a place where 20-something straight college student can make a connection with 40-something gay professionals and 60-something empty nesters.

Look before you leap next time.

April 17, 2007 at 10:40:00 AM PDT  
Blogger thesouthender said...

I'm sure its a great place for overprivileged 20something to mingle with overprivileged empty nesters and overprivileged gay men in their 40's. But the point is that when you are spending an obscene amount of $$ on a dog walk of fame and there are homeless shelters filled to capacity within a block and nowhere for children to play SAFELY, then your priorities are screwed up, despite any alleged diveristy between the granite and stainless steel set.

April 17, 2007 at 12:19:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An obscene amount of money isn't being spent on a "dog walk of fame" - the walk of a fame is merely a means to attract contributions from individuals that use the park. Those contributions will be used for the construction of the dog recreation space.

Having a dog recreation space ensures that the rest of the park is SAFE for children and all other users.

Further, all of Peters Park is being re-constructed with SAFE play areas for children and adults - at the expense of the taxpayers of the City of Boston.

So, the alleged overprivileged are spending their hard earned money to better Peters Park - for the enjoyment of all who choose to use it.

BTW, besides bitching and moaning, what are you doing to help create a safe place for children to play and shelter for the homeless?

April 18, 2007 at 12:14:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Alison said...

My girlfriends and I held a doggie/owner fundraising brunch for this park, and we worked really hard to raise that money! You are lucky that we did not get our husbands involved to raise even more cash (and you know they really know how) so that we could outright buy the park from the city and turn it into our own private club! We could have just walled it off with a gate and a doorman and banned old grouches like you. But no - we care about making the neighborhood better too much. What are we supposed to do - let our dogs run free on our roof decks?!? You should just get a dog and enjoy it with the rest of us.

April 19, 2007 at 8:17:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Jenna said...

Alison and I co-chaired that fundraising brunch. Our husbands could out-fundraise any of you, so watch out. We moved here because my husband Brian liked the diversity - wealthy, really wealthy and really really wealthy. He's out with our dog in that very dog park you complained about right now (midnight). He's been there for almost 2 hours - he says its a really nice place to meet neighbors and stuff. Sparky, stop barking! Wait a minute, he forgot to take the dog again!

April 19, 2007 at 10:08:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alison, having money or the means to get more does not mean that everything is for sale and yours to own.

April 19, 2007 at 10:10:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You who decry the new South End are really hypocritcal!!

Just because I can discern between $26 a pound cheese and the curd they sell at Shaw's - why shouldn't I be free to enjoy myself? I made my own money, and I sense if the cry babies on this page had their own, they won't begrudge me mine. What you're really saying is " I wish the rich, successful people didn't like the same things I like, then I'd be able to enjoy the South End at bargain basement prices!"

Unfortunately, in a free market economy it doesn't work that way. There is zero difference between a South Ender and a Back Bayer or Beacon Hiller. The difference is in the hypocrisy. The Hiller believes he's better than you because of his cash and doesn't try to hide his feelings. The Backbayer openly enjoys his wealth while keeping mum on the issue of entitlement. The south ender is supposed to be a common, wholistic man who is not interested in wealth or it's trappings and is righteous enough to be offended by those who are? Get over it!!!!

May 24, 2007 at 8:12:00 AM PDT  
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