Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Worcester Negamonger Challenge

I have a challenge for the citizens of Worcester. This is what I would like you to do.

The next time you are out and about in the city and you see something you don't approve of or something bad happens to you personally or whatever happens that makes you swear under your breath, "F*cking Worcester" I want you to ask yourself how you got the perception that whatever you are complaining about shouldn't be the way it is. See if you can think of an example where whatever is bothering you isn't that way somewhere else. Then I would like you to think about whether that comparison is fair. I will give an example and this was also the inspiration for this.

Over at Wormtown Taxi on Thursday, Jeff posted a thought about city hall and whether our citizens lack of participation in their city's government might have something to do with the fact that there isn't much parking at city hall. At that point I tried to think of different city halls that I have had to go to over the course of my life.

The one I have had to go to the most is Worcester. There's plenty of parking, expensive and cheap, within a very very short walk of the building. I don't know if us common folk are allowed to park in the garage underneath the building. This is a big secret to me. Worcester has about 175,000 people living in it.

I have had to go to Government Center in Boston quite a few times. I always take the T there though. Never have I even had to think about parking my car there. I did alot of walking those days though. Boston has a population of about 597,000 people.

When I was living in Baltimore I had to go to City Hall once. I took a bus to the Light Rail and then took the Light Rail the rest of the way into downtown. Again, quite a bit of walking. Bringing a car into downtown Baltimore is ridiculous to me. I mean there is no where to park! There actually probably was but I didn't know enough about the city to know where that parking was. Baltimore has a population of about 641,000 people.

I lived in Oxford MA for quite a bit of my life. I had to go to the town hall often to pay for this or register for that. There is a parking lot in the back plus a lot at the Cumby's nextdoor. Really easy to get in and out. Oxford has a population of about 13,000 people.

I mostly grew up in Shrewsbury MA. I never had any business at the Town Hall in Shrewsbury but my parents often did and I accompanied them alot. Huge parking lot on site. Never a problem. There really isn't anywhere off site to park and walk to the town hall. Also of note, the town hall in Shrewsbury sits on a pretty large parcel of land that is so big that there is about 2 acres of just lawn. Shrewsbury has a population of about 32,000 people.

One time I had to go to Meriden CT to get a copy of my birth certificate. They had a parking lot out in back of the city hall. It was a little hard to find city hall through their maze of a downtown but I finally found it. There also seemed to be ample metered street parking too. I did my business but downtown was kind of a pain. Meriden has a population of about 60,000 people.

So this is my history of going to City and Town Halls. Two large cities where I did much walking and took much public transportation, one mid sized city where I parked and walked a couple of blocks to city hall, a small city where there was free parking behind city hall, a large town where there was plenty parking in the emence civic complex known as the town offices, and a mid sized town where there was a large public parking lot on site.

But of course what do I know. The only mid sized city hall I have been to is Worcester's so I don't think much of having to walk a couple blocks to get to city hall because it's all I know. Everyone who complains about not being able to park right at city hall must have been to mid sized city halls all over this country where you can park for free right on site to make Worcester stand out as this freak exception. This could be the case. It could also be the case that they might feel more at home in Boston, Baltimore, Meriden, Shrewsbury or Oxford.

So this is all I ask. When you have an idea of how something should or shouldn't be here in Worcester ask yourself where you got that idea from before you start condemning the city and make sure that your expectations are realistic. I mean let's face it, I think we would all love an NBA franchise here, and we all know Worcester sucks because we can't get one.

That last bit was sarcasm folks.


Joe said...

I have nothing to complain about but would like to thank the DPW. My leaves were removed in a timely fashion.
This may be the opposite of the point you were looking for.

I'm not complaining about something that isn't but praising something that should be.

FIRE_BAD said...

when i mutter "this place sucks", it is specifically because worcester's laziness and/or stupidity has interrupted me from doing things that i was able to do or enjoy in other cities where i lived or visited.

this weekend on shooby street, i had a parking valet, standing next to a parking valet sign, tell me to "just park anywhere".

FIRE_BAD said...

on the subject of leaf collection, i moved both of our cars when the leaf collector came through. unfortunately, the car in front of mine was not moved. the sweeper did his best, but it is impossible to get at those leaves without hitting that car.

because my neighbor couldn't be bothered, and plantation street gets one pass, my car is now parked in a swamp.

FIRE_BAD said...

also, when i post on my friends' blogs in other cities, the post goes right up, but here the censorship board needs top be sure there are no phrases in my posts like, hey gabe, i'm coming over and kick your ass now. and i am!

Gabe said...

In response to Fire Bad's comments:

Comment #1
You are a fancy pants for going to all those restaurants with valet parking all over the country to sample such a large amount that you can confidently say that the majority of valets aren't lazy assholes.

Someone who is less of a fancy pants may have been so angry as to not settle for that type of service and gone and talked to management instead of having the expectation that every time they go out things are going to be just so. Or I guess you could just not go there again and publicly state the restaurant you were at so others don't deal with the same thing. Or even better you can just complain about it. F*cking Worcester complacency.

Comment #2
It's intresting that they weren't yanking cars off your street like it was the end of the world. I know on the street I used to live on the tow trucks traveled in a little convoy with the street sweeper and a parking officer. Those cars, much to my chagrin sometimes, were towed toot sweet.

I wonder why that doesn't happen on your street. That would make me want to call the DPW and get some answers on that. Or I could just sit in my house and stew about it.

comment #3
When I firt started the blog I got a couple of spam comments. I don't want spam anywhere near this thing so I made it so I have to approve all comments first.

FIRE_BAD said...

1. actually i really dislike the valet service. i'd like to just park anywhere like a normal human being, and i had been avoiding this particular place because i am put off by the valet service. my lady likes the place, and when ladies like places it benefits men to take them there. and what's more foolish is that the place itself is not so fancy pants, but has nonetheless decided that it merits valet service.

2. they usually do tow, but it was done in an extremely halfassed manner this time. in fact, they do an interesting tow over here. the towtruck accompanies the street sweeper, and tows cars backward, 30 feet back, just out of the way of the sweeper.

the swamp is gone now, it was not easy to shovel after yesterday's snow.

3. i get the spam too. and it sucks when you dont catch it right away. ok, you win this time, fuckface.

cascadingwaters said...

FYI: yes, even common citizens can park in the garage under City Hall; there are a number of parking spaces along the left wall marked "Visitor Parking-30 minutes."
They do enforce the 30 minute part (except during meetings, when they give up), but if you're just running in to pay a bill or drop off a letter, you can use one of those spots.
And I entirely agree with you on the parking thing. It's an urban downtown. We should walk.