Annie

In Defense of Allston

In Allston, Boston on August 22, 2008 at 4:59 pm

I keep forgetting to address this article. Now I am going to. In summation, Jennifer Schwartz hated Allston, had to move there for convenience’s sake, grew to love it, is now moving to the South End [can a journalist’s salary cover that, Jennifer?], is going to miss it. Even though it’s positive, it still feeds into generalized perceptions of Allston, which even I’ll admit are not all untrue. But, for example, she balks about Allston’s crime rate. As Bostonist pointed out, Rock City’s crime rates are lower than those of the schwanky South End, and are more on the petty theft spectrum than the, you know, rape and aggravated assault side. I find many a Boston ‘hood endearing, but I really like living here and I’ve expressed that before [commenters didn’t seem to get it].

The thing is, I think a lot of people hate Allston because it’s dirty and loud. I have any number of friends and acquaintances who just can’t understand why I live here.

Guess what, guys. Do you know where I spent the bulk of my developmental years? CAIRO, EGYPT. Maybe you have heard of it? It is REALLY FUCKING DIRTY. NO MATTER WHAT WHEN YOU COME HOME FROM WORK YOUR FEET ARE GOING TO BE BLACK. YOU CAN’T WEAR WHITE, EVER. IN THE SPAN OF SEVEN YEARS I BREATHED IN ENOUGH SECOND-HAND SMOKE AND SMOG TO CONSTITUTE A LIFETIME OF HEAVY SMOKING.

Do you think I actually care that sometimes there is vomit and trash on the streets here?

Also? The various bottle collectors’ informal economy is magnificent to behold, and reminds me of the various micro-enterprise projects in place in Garbage City.

I know the economy is really bad for travel right now but if it improves, can everyone please just resolve to go somewhere that is Not Europe so they can see what ‘dirty’ actually is and maybe- MAYBE- try to appreciate it a little bit? Take the stick out of your ass so you can realize that there’s actually shit up there.

[/End self-righteous rant; Carry on.]

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  1. For some reason, this post reminds me of a conversation I had today with an old friend who now lives in Austin. I asked her what her recommendations were for potential housing locations. Of course anywhere downtown is considered pricey-about the same as a one-bedroom in D.C. It all depends on if I don’t mind living in “the ghetto,” she said. Apparently the ghetto is defined as “homeless people” and “mostly Hispanic.” HM. I grew up in a neighborhood that was predominantly Mexican, woke up to ranchera music booming out of car speakers Saturday mornings, and have had my fair share of homeless people encounters (and conversations), I told her. Yes, not to sound self-righteous but come on.

    If you ever get the urge to come to the Philippines, we’re hitting up Tondo, Manila. My whole family is there. It’s fucking dirty and noisy and loud and smelly as hell but it’s great and should be appreciated for what it is. On the other hand, being there has also made me appreciate how fucking good we have it here.

  2. I have to agree with you – she’s a moron.

    The piece just made my blood boil – she just sounds like a typical 22 year old fresh out of school and thinks she knows everything. Is it wrong to hope she gets a rude awakening?

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