Sunday, January 20, 2008

Be Ashamed....



An interesting article on the homeless and local gentrification by David Abel appeared in today's Boston Globe. As usual, some Nouvelle South End residents expressed their displeasure at having to come into contact (well, only visual contact) with, gasp, homeless people!! Can you imagine?! People who have had their parents pay good money so that they could live in a homogenized, white-bread, Pottery Barn inspired community are having to look at filthy homeless people - where they live, where they eat, even where they buy their heirloom tomatoes!! Of course, the Pine Street Inn (a homeless shelter located off of Harrison Avenue in the South End) is to blame for the hordes of homeless causing mayhem in our visual landscape. Check out the article here:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/01/20/as_gentrification_spreads_rich_poor_seek_a_balance/

In recent months, a rumor has been spreading through the city that the Pine Street Inn "is on the cusp of closing." As a result, Lyndia Downie, the president of the Pine Street Inn, has been forced to debunk this rumor, adding that it has been persistently spread by people selling real estate in the area.

It is no secret that I find most (not all, but most) South End realtors repugnant and dishonest. This, however, really takes the prize. Let's just whitewash the South End and make it look like Wellesley. I can hear them saying: Yes, it gets plenty of light and its right near the dog park. Don't worry about the homeless people out there, they'll all be gone when the Pine Street Inn closes down in a few months. I know, they really are a pain to look at, but they'll be gone soon!

The article continues to quote some local business (and in this part of town that generally means "restaurant" or "nail salon") owners who have taken certain measures, like raising prices, to keep the homeless away. And by "away", I don't necessarily mean away from the inside of their businesses, but rather away from the visual field of their yuppie customers. One restaurant owner profiled is quite satisfied with the fact that he's been able to reduce the number of homeless customers.

Apparently, its all about reducing the number of homeless customers, not reducing the number of homeless people. That would certainly be more of a challenge (and a whole lot more beneficial to society as a whole). I guess people in the South End have their priorities.

Another one of the article's subjects describes how she has heard the patrons of her yoga studio exclaim, "I don't want to go out to my car late at night. I don't want to go there," in reference to the throngs of homeless clogging the streets much like the zombies in the recent film "I am Legend."

My response? You don't GET to go there!! As I have mentioned on this blog before, like a mantra, get over yourselves! You live in a CITY, not a suburb! You don't get to choose your neighbors and keep in mind: they were there a long, long time before you and your yoga mat showed up. If you choose to live in a city, there is a trade-off. You GET to walk out your front door in the morning and walk to pick up your soy latte within 50 steps of your condo. You GET to buy your heirloom tomatoes without leaving the garage in your Chevy Suburban. You GET to go shopping at the finest shops and boutiques without having to sit in your Suburban stuck in mall traffic. You GET to go to restaurants that drizzle truffle oil on your pea tendrils without having to valet park the car (and, this being Boston, without having to step into a time machine set to 1991). You GET to meet for Sunday brunch without having to pass an Olive Garden on your way there. If you want to be able to walk to your car safely after your evening yoga class, you need to live in Wellesley or Needham. Cities, for the most part, have homeless people and crime. Upscale suburbs, for the most part, do not. If you go out at night to your car in the city, you need to be alert and aware of the fact that there will be homeless people. Its just a fact of life and it has been that way for a very long time. And this despite your yoga mat, heirloom tomatoes, nannies and Burberry scarf. You know you deserve better (the brochure for your condo even says "you've earned it!"), but that's just the way life goes.

Further into the article, a nouvelle South Ender (an accountant) whose nanny has been propositioned for SEX (I kid you not), bemoans his having to see homeless people every day in the vicinity of his Fay Street condo. "It does sort of grate on you," he adds. Clearly another victim of USS ("Upton Street Syndrome,") a condition affecting certain South Enders who feel that, despite the fact that they have moved onto a street with lower than typical condo prices, they can assert the same privileges as those living in the penthouse unit at the Ritz. (See previous posting entitled "Uppity Street," wherein Upton Street residents complained of a home for homeless in transition moving onto their street). It is well-known in the annals (that's two "n's," I'll do the jokes around here) of South End real estate that The Fay Street development was priced considerably lower than the other phases of that condo development. I guess "beggars can't be choosers," at least when it comes to whining about homeless people.

What grates on me is that such a suburban mindset has creeped into the South End in recent years. In the suburbs, you can create gated communities where you can associate and live with cookie-cutter people only, just like yourself. In the South End, it appears that there is a movement to get rid of (and certainly disparage) anyone not quite like the other luxury-condo inhabitants that have recently arrived. Its bad enough if your neighbor doesn't have a maple, granite and stainless steel kitchen. How offensive it must be when your neighbor has no kitchen at all....

44 Comments:

Blogger Me said...

Love it. Thanks for writing that.

January 21, 2008 at 2:43:00 AM PST  
Blogger John Keith - radically.DiFFerenT said...

Having to watch guys urinate in my front yard should be acceptable?

In what world do you live?

January 21, 2008 at 11:51:00 AM PST  
Blogger thesouthender said...

Look buddy, what you and your friends do in the privacy of your own yard is your business.

I was merely commenting on the fact that homeless people were there before you, and before me, that they are unfortunately part of the fabric of a city, and that the new S.Enders are more concerned with the plight of their property values and just getting the homeless out of view as opposed to doing something to actually address the problem of homelessness in a manner which might contribute to its eradication.

January 21, 2008 at 4:03:00 PM PST  
Blogger David Moisan said...

Thanks for writing this. I live in Salem, another gentrifying city full of people with expensive condos who were told that Nathaniel Hawthorne lives in their building.

As I said in my blog, our condo owners, in Salem and the South End alike, seem to really resent the infrastructure and things in a city that are needed to keep things going. Homeless shelters are infrastructure for sure; the reality without them is not too pleasant to consider.

So far, most of the really rich can fix things so they don't have to live next to infrastructure (Hi, Ted!), but that doesn't apply to the average overleveraged condo resident.

As you say, them that can't deal with city life are better off somewhere else. Based on how the economy is looking, that will happen, not to mention that some of these snobs will be banging on the door at Pine St. themselves. Maybe the taqueria owner will end up catering for them.

January 21, 2008 at 7:46:00 PM PST  
Blogger John Mc said...

Unfortunately, it is a little complex than the articles or your commentary present.

Over the past few years, many of mentally ill citizens have been removed from state institutions due to budget cuts and now live in the streets. I addition, the state has severely cut drug and alcohol programs, which serve many of our homeless.

The result has been an increase in the 'troublesome' homeless around the city. Many of the people pointed out have actually been thrown out of St. Francis and Pine St because they are too violent. Now they're on the street. The safety isn't just "eiww - a homeless guy" the safety is someone mentally ill who you you approach and say 'Are you OK' and they slice you with a knife (yes, that happened to a friend).

We all feel for the troubled person who's gone through hard ties and wants to help themselves. We even don't mind the 'smelly guy' who just sits and reads a book The problems come form finding someone face down drunk on your doorstep at 10am. It's the needles we find lying around the garden. it's the urination and defecation in alleys and dark corners (although they often have no alternative).

So what do we do? Complaining one way or another does nothing. How do we get help to those seeking help? how do we get addicts and mentally ill the services and care they need?

January 21, 2008 at 8:19:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Uppit Yuppity said...

I'm curious, did you ask permission from the homeless person to use his likeness before you posted it on your blog? Did you pay him to use his likeness to make your point?

January 22, 2008 at 7:42:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Oldscool said...

ahh, yuppies. Always thinking about money.

January 22, 2008 at 11:31:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having to watch guys urinate in my front yard should be acceptable?

I've watched the realtors piss all over the neighborhood for the last 3-4 years. I guess nothing phases me anymore.

January 23, 2008 at 7:08:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm curious, did you ask permission from the homeless person to use his likeness before you posted it on your blog? Did you pay him to use his likeness to make your point?

What would really be helpful is if you showed the homeless some GENUINE concern. The Southender is supportive of their cause. You're just creating some bullshit straw man argument to attack him.

January 25, 2008 at 12:13:00 AM PST  
Blogger Suldog said...

Well done.

It's not an easy thing, for anyone. The homeless obviously have the worst part of it, but I can understand the concern for loved ones possibly being in danger due to the unstable among their population.

If a certain amount of condo fees were set aside for the upkeep of places like Pine Street and Rosie's, it might help to keep a few more away from the sight of those who feel threatened; I don't know. Not easy.

January 25, 2008 at 5:25:00 AM PST  
Anonymous only been here seven years... said...

Actually, uppit yuppity's post isn't a straw man argument. A straw man is a rhetorical device by which you distort your opponent's position into something that is tougher to defend. Example: if uppit yuppity said, "I think it's patently ridiculous to suggest you can solve the problem of class tensions in the South End by rounding up all self-centered yuppie douchebags and shooting them", THAT would be a straw man.

Rather, I'd call, uppit yuppity's post simply a stupid red herring. I'm with you, anonymous: he's clearly not interested in addressing the homelessness question at all, just taking a cheap potshot at the blogger, who confronts him with ideas that make him uncomfortable.

January 26, 2008 at 10:22:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, uppit yuppity's post isn't a straw man argument. A straw man is a rhetorical device by which you distort your opponent's position into something that is tougher to defend.

I realized that after I published the comment. I was angry and couldn't come up with the appropriate term. It was then too late to change the post.

January 26, 2008 at 10:52:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love you whoever you are. I have lived in the South End for 17 years and hate the New South End/ers so much it's changing my personality. I've never lived among such disgusting, entitled douchebags in my life. I recently went to an adult cocktail party of a new South Ender where a woman brought her 2 children and black nanny. It's time for me to leave, but I can leave more peacefully knowing someone else sees it too and is telling it for the world to hear.

Lets grab a chai latte at the Buttery after power yoga sometime and compare notes? I know a great place with a good dog menu, it's the only place my french bulldog will eat...

January 27, 2008 at 3:49:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Megan said...

Suldog, I like your idea about setting aside funds for the shelter, but I'm not sure our new neighbors will be up for it. I have a feeling that most of these recent residents are not going to buy into that idea. They appear to have no concept of community or shared responsibility. It's all me, me, me.

I've lived here for nine years and I can't believe how the neighborhood has changed, especially in the last year. The rude, ill-mannered behavior that I've experienced while visiting local establishments, or while walking around on the street has me thinking that it's time to get out.

January 28, 2008 at 12:15:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Toby said...

I live pretty near the Pine Street Inn and have obviously seen lots of homeless people around the neighborhood for the last 15 years that I've lived here. One early morning a few weeks ago a homeless woman was sleeping in the front entryway of our building, in freezing cold weather. She looked like she was having a good sleep and she wasn't frankly bothering anyone, so I simply stepped over her and got my newspaper.

Not long after, she packed up all of her belongings and went on her way. The really funny part is that she left behind not a trace of her visit - in fact I think she left the area where she slept neater than she found it. Which is a lot more than I can say about the "new South Enders" who live in my building, who are complete slobs and wouldn't pick up a piece of litter and put it in the trash if you tried to make them do it a knifepoint.

I was walking down Shawmut Avenue a few weeks ago and two young women came out of Formaggio, laughing and stuffing their faces with overpriced chocolate. As they walked down street one of them dropped a huge chunk, the size of a good-sized rock on the sidewalk, which induced great gales of laughter between them. I picked it up and put it in the nearby trash bin, but I had all I could do not to whip it at her head.

January 28, 2008 at 7:24:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This past Sunday I was at Stella for brunch... Oh My God I have never seen so many babies and strollers there since the place opened in my entire gay life in the South End!

Yes, young straight parents deserve to eat and deserve to enjoy Sunday brunch like everyone else, but when your toddlers run around and yell and scream at strangers, that is simply not right.

I notice a trend which won't surprise anyone, and that is the fact that gay men came to Stella in droves when it first opened, once the words got out and the non-gays came in, the gays disappeared... typical, right?

I can't afford to live in the SE as a renter. I detest the tiny litle 12 by 12 stores selling pricey chocolates and vegetables, come on, seriously?

All the gays are moving to Dorchester, JP, etc... but I don't feel like there are enough gay businesses in those areas to really create a community so that the gays can follow in drove...

big sigh... I guess I might have to pack up and move to NYC and live in a smaller box... hehe

January 28, 2008 at 4:52:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Sam on E.Springfield said...

Has anyone bothered to take a close look at what is at the root of homelessness? What you will likely find is the majority of these folks have encountered a multitude of horrific events in their lives such as emotional, physical, & sexual abuse, mental illness, alcohol & drug abuse, poverty, just to name a few. Many are discarded war veterans with extreme physical disabilities. I like to belive that WE ARE ALL THE SUM OF OUR LIFE EXPERIENCES. When these homeless people were children, do you think they had the same opportunities that priviledged children in Weston and Dover had? There's soccer, ballet, piano, play-dates, etc. - those kids are so over-scheduled I'm surprised they have time to go to the bathroom let alone get into much trouble. (however, it is no surprise that teenage alcohol use is quite high in many of the wealthy suburbs - but that's o.k. because it's the wealthy suburbs, and mom & dad are SO well connected with ALL the right people that it's all "hush-hush"). But in cities like Boston, DOGS have more resources than inner-city youth and homeless people! If I see one more doggie day care or doggie bakery or doggie boutique I think I will puke. And dogs in restaurants? Come on. I love pets, but where are our priorities? People from priviledged backgrounds have endless CHOICES regarding where they live - homeless people do NOT! If you can't handle a diverse city, then don't live here. If your condo fetches $1.9M rather than $2.4M because it's near Pine Street Inn, chances are you are going to do just fine in life nonetheless. Anyone who thinks homeless people are beneath them, and that property values are more important than human life, are of very questional character.

January 29, 2008 at 7:30:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm moving to the South End shortly so I've been reading this blog a lot and getting more and more pissed off. I'm afraid I'm one of the "yuppies" you detest - i.e., I have a high-paying job, I'm young, I'm white and newly married, and we're buying a condo with granite countertops. We intend to have a baby in the next couple of years and will walk around the SE with a stoller. However, I'm also a first generation immigrant who got through college and graduate school entirely on loans and grants, and am taking advantage of a good salary (which I have to work tremendously long hours to earn)to buy this very nice apartment. I give money to the homeless and I hate littering. I'm straight but I was in the LGBLT club in high school to support all my friends. I don't party til 3 AM and make noise that keeps up my neighbors. But I like to buy nice things and nice clothes and go to yoga classes. And I like heirloom tomatoes (which, btw, are organic and "real" and support local farmers! They are much better for the environment than the genetically modified cheaper ones so I don't know why you have this vendetta against them), and I like to go out to a nice dinner or brunch. I appreciate your hatred of rude or ignorant people but to be honest, you come off as an extremely judgmental whiner when you assume everyone who eats at a nice restaurant is a homophobic slob. There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to be safe and raise children in a safe place or to have a nice apartment. There is nothing inherently wrong with burberry scarves (besides them not being attractive.) I don't want to walk down the street in the SE and feel like I'm hated because I have designer jeans on (you'll never catch me in uggs - for aesthetic reasons!) or because I'm a young white woman. Your ignorance and judgment makes you just as bad as the people you accuse of it.

January 31, 2008 at 2:53:00 PM PST  
Anonymous JR said...

I am heartened to hear that the Pine Street Inn is staying open. I moved to the South End from JP, to shack up with my str8 manfriend. (I've posted here before.) In reverse, my artist friends, who grew up in the South End, have evacuated to JP (which is on its way down, too), but lived for years in an *actual* loft on Harrison (it was extremely funky with homemade plumbing and walls and a bathroom inside the pantry). When we'd go visit, there would be a lot of street people hanging around, yes. But no one ever bothered me, little white girl that I am. You kept your eyes open and greeted people respectfully, and all was usually well.

If John Mc is right, that mental health services have been drastically cut (I don't doubt it), the situation has an even sadder and more volatile element than just Ugg-wearing homeless-haters. It is not disingenuous to be both compassionate for mentally ill/addicted people, to want them to get treatment instead of punishment and a life on the street... and at the same time, to be fearful of the increased risk that comes with having them on our streets, in our parks, etc. I am a librarian and urban public libraries are also feeling the brunt of this. They have always served as de facto homeless services, and librarians are generally compassionate and welcome the folks who just want to sit inside and warm up or (gasp) read. But some Boston librarians report that they have had to kick more people out in recent years for belligerent behavior and drug abuse in the library.

That mentally ill residents have been forced onto the streets decreases safety and quality of life - for the mentally ill themselves, for non-homeless residents (like most of us here, I assume), and perhaps saddest of all, for residents of Pine Street and Rosie's whose "safe" havens are already overcrowded and must now take up the slack of institutions by accepting the "troublesome" homeless.

I used to volunteer with Horizons for Homeless Children and the hardest thing was knowing that, with all of the other challenges they faced, the families staying in shelters feared for their few belongings and their children's safety in the place where they bathed and slept. Who knew what the lady on the next cot over might do? Our families' lives were chaotic enough, and there was no haven or rest for them. (I have never seen toddlers sleep so heavily at nap time - they felt safe at our center and often did not sleep through the night at "home.")

There is a better way. A week after the Globe article cited on this blog, the NY Times ran a piece on an inspiring "green" shelter in Oakland, CA. If it's truly as described, it's going to be a place that offers HOPE and peaceful, methodical care.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/28/us/28shelter.html?em&ex=1201669200&en=7137a15fac3b844c&ei=5087%0A

Thesouthender, you have a bully pulpit here. I wonder if it would be possible for you to set up donation links on your site to organizations that you care about.

Just to start, may I suggest people visit:

Community Servings - delivering meals to homeboundpeople with HIV
http://servings.org/

Project Trust - free, fast, anonymous HIV testing and substance abuse help
http://www.bmc.org/HIV-AIDS/Project%20TRUST.htm

Pine Street Inn - homeless shelter & services
http://www.pinestreetinn.org/

Rosie's Place - a sanctuary for homeless women
http://www.rosies.org/

Horizons for Homeless Children
http://www.horizonsforhomelesschildren.org/

The Food Project
http://www.thefoodproject.org/

Project Bread
http://www.projectbread.org/

February 10, 2008 at 7:52:00 AM PST  
Anonymous JR said...

Shoot, my links may not work. Use your cut&paste or Googling skills, gentle readers.

February 10, 2008 at 7:55:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Your ignorance and judgment makes you just as bad as the people you accuse of it."

I would say that you're the ignorant one here. You really believe that his issues are with people's choices in clothing and produce?

It's about rudeness, greed, arrogance, and entitlement. It sounds like you'll be a perfect fit in the new South End.

February 13, 2008 at 7:01:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Pine Street Inn is a great institution. I lived next door to it for a few years, and the homeless people never bothered me. Why would they? They're just trying to get a meal and a roof over their head. None of them ever approached me (unlike the johns who cruised Harrison regularly to try to pick up lone women -- I'm glad they've gone on to different pastures). The South End will remain diverse as long as The Pine Street Inn as open, and as long as the projects stay around (viva Villa Victoria! Long may you prosper!). The people who move here because it's a hip neighborhood will leave after they have kids; the funky people will remain.

February 16, 2008 at 10:10:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I moved into the South End in 1969, knowing that
because the gays were there it would be getting better
all the time. It was also close to my work, so I didn't
have to drive for miles to my job. Down at the end of
the next street over the cross-dressers hung out every
night, and when my mother-in-law came to visit, we
had to step over a sleeping drunk to get in our door.
She was shocked, but we weren't--he didn't cause any
trouble.

Once we were robbed, sort of. My daughter, then
about 12 or 13, was home alone. A guy knocked at the
door the forced his way in. Fortunately, he went away
when she gave him a couple of bucks. But did we
scream and move away? No. In those days the SE was
delightful, full of "characters," and an interesting
place to be. Then they built Copley Place, the real
estate boom get started, and the yuppies started
moving in. The gays began to move out, the
cross-dressers left. A few years ago we went to a
gathering of some sort of some SE organization, and a
woman asked us if we wanted to come to her
wine-tasting. That was it. We started thinking of
moving, and now we live in an apartment in the Back
Bay--not as interesting as the SE used to be, but I
guess those days are gone forever.

As for the homeless, what do you expect when we have
a government more interested in imperialism and oil
than in seeing to it that we have a country that values
people over corporations? I'm a veteran, but I don't
support military ventures that cost billions and
accomplish nothing but make us hated the world over.
We can't be the world's policeman and take care of
ourselves. I'd like to think a Democratic president will
make a difference, but he or she won't if we don't raise
unshirted hell.

Good luck to the guy who runs this blog. At least he
sees that things could--and should--be better.

February 27, 2008 at 7:47:00 PM PST  
Blogger John Keith - radically.DiFFerenT said...

"Cross dressers the next street over ..."

In what fantasy world did you live in? I have been in the South End for twenty years, and have yet to see one cross dresser, in the entire time I have been here. EVER.

Are you talking about the Hat Sisters?

Also, the genius who says he knows all about the South End because he lived here and things were different then ... yeah, you know so much about the South End, then how come you don't even know that Villa Victoria isn't a project? It's a privately-owned corporation, you genius. Yeah, how integrated into the neighborhood were you, that you didn't even know that?

And, here's the big news - according to a writer in this week's South End News, the author of the South End Is Over Blog isn't even a South End resident.

Is that true?

Because if it is, my friend, you lose all credibility.

February 29, 2008 at 10:33:00 PM PST  
Blogger thesouthender said...

If you count Bay Village as the South End, then I think I've seen LOTS of cross-dressers. Sorry the author of that comment didn't use the current terminology - should he have said drag queens instead? Get a life, please.

Also, I am a South End resident, realtor boy. Sorry to have basically let out the secret that the S.E. is over, but someone had to do it. I wonder what you must tell your clients when they bring up this blog or the Boston Mag. article?!! Nevertheless, I'm sure there will always be entitled yuppies willing to pay the price to live in all this "edgy"ness.

March 1, 2008 at 3:56:00 AM PST  
Blogger John Keith - radically.DiFFerenT said...

Thanks for clarifying.

Regarding the exposure ... no one's ever mentioned your blog, even though I give you a hell of a lot of exposure.

March 1, 2008 at 8:22:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Keith is over. Look at his blog. He often posts housing market information by second-rate economists in an attempt to dispute opinions by others like Robert Schiller. On another blog he criticizes his neighbors for not being at all of the South End Landmarks meetings and seems to suggest that their lack of attendance gives them no say in what happens to a local, historical structure. He wants the developer to be given "leeway". As if developer and real estate agent profits are of the utmost importance to the South End community.

March 1, 2008 at 3:09:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read the letter in the South End News which claims this blog is written by "two men that left the South End for Dorchester" who are "heaping criticism at their former neighborhood". It's written by an Upton (Uppity) Street resident. I'm sure his letter was driven by your post about Upton Street Residents' attempt at stopping the Pine Street Inn's transitional housing program.

March 1, 2008 at 8:17:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guy that wrote the letter to the South End news, H. Norman Knickle, is a Director of the Union Park Neighborhood Association, which was a subject of a post on this blog last fall. He didn't mention that in his letter to the South End News.

He was quoted in an August 2007 Boston Globe article which was posted on this blog:

"It's difficult to tell who these people are," says neighbor Norm Knickle, who has lived on Upton for 2 1/2 years, "unlike people like you and me, who have more clear identification."

Knickle and another neighbor, Jerry Frank, both members of the Union Park Neighborhood Association, want to see those buildings turned into condos, filled with affluent folk who pay lots of taxes and are invested in the neighborhood.

"Upton Street is saying we don't need you," says Knickle. "That is no longer the character of the neighborhood."

March 2, 2008 at 11:48:00 AM PST  
Blogger thesouthender said...

Thank you anonymous - I was just about to write the exact same thing and you beat me to the punch. Apparently, the Upton Street reisdent quoted in the Globe must find it very "difficult to tell who these people are" in many arenas of his life. According to his letter to the South End News, I am now two men who have moved to Dorchester because of rising real estate prices.

Just to clarify: I am NOT two men who have moved from the South End to Dorchester (although if I am now looking like two men, I had better hit the gym more often). I am still a South End resident. I am one man. I keep this blog anonymous so that I will not censor myself. If I made my identity known, I would almost certainly over-edit myself and this blog would lose its voice.

In any event, the letter writer seems to use the phrase "moving to Dorchester" as an insult,as if moving to Dorchester from the South End was some sort of fall from grace. Someone who could actually say that "Upton Street is saying we don't need you" inreference to the homeless, would say think that.

And I'd rather live in most parts of Dorchester (where people and businesses are at least interesting) than live on Uppity Street with some snotty Union Park wanna-be's.

More on this in a full posting soon....

March 2, 2008 at 12:34:00 PM PST  
Blogger John Keith - radically.DiFFerenT said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 2, 2008 at 7:08:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude (the realtor), maybe you should be more supportive of the Pine Street Inn. With what's going on with housing market your peops may be needing a place to stay.

March 2, 2008 at 8:19:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the South End still does its part in providing affordable housing and transitional shelter to some of our more disadvantaged neighbors, although the percentage may have been higher in the past.

Compared to neighborhoods such as Back Bay and Beacon Hill, the South End is a welcoming community of affordable housing and halfway houses.

The South End has become more homogenized over the last decade, true, but we are still nowhere near as gentrified and entitled as those other neighborhoods.

Imagine MethUnion Housing, or Villa Victoria, or the Pine Street Inn, or one of the many half-way houses for ex prison inmates and alcoholics, on NEWBURY Street or CHARLES Street, or fronting on the Public Garden.

I enjoy seeing the guys at the halfway house across the street; they always say "hello" and pick up after themselves. I also love getting a cup of coffee at Francesca's and having Steak Frites at The Franklin Cafe. I think ALL these things continue to make the South End pretty diverse compared to the rest of Boston and its suburbs.

Tim

March 3, 2008 at 11:54:00 AM PST  
Blogger Megan said...

but we are still nowhere near as gentrified and entitled as those other neighborhoods.

Tim, this is true, but I think the neighborhood is moving in the direction of the Back Bay and Beacon Hill. There are many members that want it to be exclusive. Look at the comments of Mr. Knickle and Frank as they were quoted in the Globe last fall:

Knickle and another neighbor, Jerry Frank, both members of the Union Park Neighborhood Association, want to see those buildings turned into condos, filled with affluent folk who pay lots of taxes and are invested in the neighborhood.

They're referring to a group of homes on Upton Street that are owned by the Pine Street Inn.

Btw, I agree with you about the diversity. I love the mix of people and small businesses but I fear that will be going away.

March 3, 2008 at 8:21:00 PM PST  
Blogger John Mc said...

it continues

http://www.bostonnow.com/news/local/2008/03/04/homeless-plan-spurs-neighbor-fight

March 5, 2008 at 11:29:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

H Norman Knickle, the guy quoted in the Boston Now article, lives across the street from the planned Pine Street Inn development. He's the same person who wrote the letter to the South End News claiming that this blog is written by two men living in Dorchester.

March 5, 2008 at 7:29:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, very late to the party here. Great piece, but I would go further. What Boston needs is more supportive housing - not an increase in shelter services or god forbid "hospitals for the homeless." Think about it. How on earth is creating a hospital exclusively for one population addressing the underlying issues of homelessness? It creates yet another institution to be supported into perpetuity. Supportive housing works byt combining services and housing - permanent housing. So homeless folks can get services they need for their mental health, medical conditions, addictions, you name it. Boston is WAY behind on this nationally. Homelessness does not need to be institutionalized, it needs to be ended.

March 11, 2008 at 6:24:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I visited last week and, as I usually would, smiled and nodded at people passing by. Every person looked away.
When I lived there (2001-04), I was the one trained to say hello by the formerly friendly community.

I'm in southie now with eight ex-s. enders living on my street alone!

March 14, 2008 at 8:28:00 AM PDT  
Blogger David Moisan said...

Southender, you see this?
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/03/15/south_end_getting_a_lot_younger/?page=full

The yuplets are coming! Salem has new yuplet stores, too!

March 15, 2008 at 6:14:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Megan said...

I loved this quote from the Globe article:

"Alison Ryan, a 31-year-old South End mother of a 1-year-old, said that on a recent winter day she returned from the grocery store. With too many groceries to carry a long distance while also pushing a stroller, she left her car double-parked outside her home, flashers on and her son strapped into his car seat. She dashed inside with the bags, planning to return immediately to park her car. She came back to find a parking officer writing her a $45 ticket.

"That's not family-friendly," she said. She now pays to have groceries delivered"


I guess she's entitled to better treatment than everyone else.

March 15, 2008 at 10:47:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That's not family-friendly," she said. She now pays to have groceries delivered"

When I read this stuff I don't believe it for a second. "Alison Ryan" has to be a fictitious character. No real person could be that clueless and selfish.

March 15, 2008 at 3:39:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I read this stuff I don't believe it for a second. "Alison Ryan" has to be a fictitious character. No real person could be that clueless and selfish.

Believe it, it's true. I live with them. They are like that, and proud of it.

March 25, 2008 at 1:51:00 PM PDT  
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