Thursday, September 06, 2007

Wisteria Lane Comes to The South End....

Finally there's another chapter in the yuppies vs. kids controversy regarding the soccer field at the Hurley School. As you will recall from previous posts, neighborhood yups were having

a communal hissy fit over the prospect that their free overnight parking spaces would be taken away by the Hurley School in order to provide a soccer field for Hurley schoolchildren (i.e, the children of those people - over there!!).

Despite the fact that the yups had absolutely no claim to the parking lot property, they tried to come up with any argument to avoid the loss of their parking spaces. They argued about safety, late-night noise and crime, and aesthetic appeal (apparently the preservation of an asphalt lot strewn with broken glass, condoms and needles was appealing enough).

Well, apparently the South End Landmarks Commission has approved the final plan for the soccer field. Of course certain yuppidents voiced outrage that the soccer field would incorporate astro-turf as its primary surface material -- this in an historic neighborhood, of all places!! Of course the broken down glass-shard and condom covered asphalt parking lot was precisely what the 19th century planners of the South End neighborhood had in mind. Apparently that was ok, but astro-turf somehow will clash with those Pottery Barn-Inspired pieces your decorator picked out with you at Homegoods.

Apparently, the Commission denied the proposal to use a chainlink fence around the soccer field because it did not fit in with the character of the neighborhood. which begs the question: What exactly is the character of the neighborhood? Last time I checked, it was a city. Complete with cafes and check-cashing businesses, bistros and laundromats, heirloom tomato purveyors and sub shops.

I have read one blogger's report from the Commission's meeting in which it was allegedly decided that a "ribbon picket fence" would be approved. That frightens me. The suburban mindset responsible for thinking that a soccer field in the heart of a city should be surrounded by a white picket fence instead of chainlink is the same mindset that a) has too much time on its hands, and b) offends me with its pre-conceived and dictatorial notions of bland suburban taste.

This is probably the same group of people who tried to prohibit the new-ish 7-11 from opening on Washington Street back in 2003. Apparently, these Wonder-bread eating Wellesley transplants felt that a 7-11 would ruin the integrity of their empty-nester suburban dreams. (Translation: It might attract poor people and we really don't need to be running into those people when we are walking our dogs ). Of course I looked at it as a welcome opportunity to buy toilet paper and a pint of Haagen Dazs at 11 p.m. Did their maple granite and stainless steel kitchens come with the option to magically replenish their cupboards at any given time? Why didn't my decorator give me that option when I was choosing granite colors?

Here's the deal: You live in a city. Get over yourselves. As long as there's not a crack house operating next door, you should consider yourself lucky.

One more thing: Funny how the soccer field for inner city children (of the human species) had a lower budget than the hallowed dog park/dog fountain/doggie walk of fame at nearby Peter's Park. Where are our priorities????


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's wrong with the crack house?

Sounds like NIMBYism to me.

September 6, 2007 at 4:34:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait a minute...

The white picket fence was approved? Are you kidding me? Tell me that it wasn't. They can't cough up the cash for a more appropriate iron fence?

September 7, 2007 at 1:56:00 PM PDT  
Blogger evilganome said...

A white picket fence! Isn't that precious? That ought to have the life expectancy of a mayfly. You have to wonder what goes through these little pin heads.

September 10, 2007 at 3:52:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know when this will be coming before the Commission? Meaning the white fence proposal. I would like to attend the meeting it possible.

September 13, 2007 at 6:06:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did white picket fence come from? The fence they are talking about is the standard black metal fence with vertical 'pickets', like you see everywhere in the South End. Something like

September 14, 2007 at 7:44:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhhh I love it! Your blog makes me laugh out loud. South End is over, let's all move to Roxbury.

September 15, 2007 at 3:27:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw your Blog mentioned in the Globe. You're a fellow after my own heart. Only thing is, my ties to the South End go back to 1910 when my grandfather and his 5 brothers lived on Oneida St. in the New York St. section (present site of Herald Building). This family went on to pretty much 'run' the South End for decades. Nothing was more entertaining for me than sitting around with the 'grown ups' and listening to their crazy stories of growing up in the SE from the 30's-60's. I have vivid memories of hanging on my grandmother's stoop at 16 Union Park St (next to a button fastener factory which is now Aunt Sadies.) I remember being scared out of my wits one early evening when all of a sudden teenagers out of everywhere starting running down the streets yelling "the clock is dead!" I thought it was the end of the world. Instead, it was the arrival of the Beatles to Boston ( I still can't find what that phrase meant.)
One of my grandfather's brothers went on to become a pretty prominent person in the Boston Gay community during the 50's and 60's , with a night club called 12 Carver (behind present site of Four Seasons) and a bigger venue in P Town called Wuthering Heights. He is featured in the book Improper Bostonians.
I'm presently looking for ideas as to harness all this cool information on the second wave of people to occupy the SE (first being Beacon Hill transplants who later fled to Back Bay.) I have old family photos including outside shots, video, some memorabilia from Uncle's nightclub days as well as many family tales (which need to be recorded before the last of the old timers are gone.)
All I can say is if you thought the South End was great in the 80's, you would have really loved it way back when.
I appreciate any ideas.

September 15, 2007 at 4:39:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you've attended any of the neighborhood or school run meetings regarding this issue... you'd see the pro-soccer field crowd are equally, if not more, yuppified as the neighbors calling it into question, who are mainly compromised of long-time South Enders. I understand it makes your case easier to defend, but you don't have all the facts...

September 29, 2007 at 5:42:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares who is involved with asking the BPS to pay attention to a long under appreciated school?

The bottom line is that this is a school, the principal and BPS have an obligation to use all of the school's assets and property for the benefit of the kids who attend the Hurley.

Further, the new principal and many active parents have worked hard to improve the curriculum, lower student/teacher ratios, improve after school opportunities and raise money via grants, community outreach, individual small donations etc. to help make the school a better place.

Instead of being so self interested, the local whiners should be expressing their gratitude to anybody who steps up to the plate to help make it a better place and a stronger, more successful part of our neighborhood.

And finally, a thought about the last post... If you are white and have a kid, are you a yuppie?

If you are not white and don't have a kid, are you not a yuppie?

If you have lived in the SE for 15 years and are trying to stay in the neighborhood and MA, despite the small, not family sized apartments, and the dramatic increase in the cost of living, should you not work to improve your local public school and expect that the school property should be used for the school children?

Actually, who cares who you are, it isn't about you, it is about the school and the kids.

September 30, 2007 at 9:19:00 PM PDT  
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July 6, 2010 at 3:29:00 PM PDT  

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