Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'd Like to Introduce A Theory

It's a pretty obvious theory, but it's a theory inspired by listening to a 508 podcast from a couple weeks ago. Mike, Brendan and Bruce talk at length about the proposterous perception that downtown Worcester is a scary and dangerous place. Unfortunately, while I do believe this perception to be completely unfounded, I do talk to more people who believe this than don't believe it.

I noticed while spending time in Central Sq in Cambridge a couple weeks ago that there are way way way more scary individuals on Mass Ave then any centralized location in Worcester. This however is where my theory comes in. While there were way more thugs, junkies, homeless, and overall shifty looking people in Central Sq there were also many other different types of people walking around. No matter what type of person you might consider yourself, chances are there were enough of your kind walking around in Central Sq so that you won't feel out of place. Of course there were people who wouldn't be able to take certain aspects of the Sq at all, but chances are these are people who just really don't like cities to begin with.

The theory is that for every upstanding person walking around the common and the general neighborhood of downtown Worcester there are nine shifty looking folks walking around. Now the reality is that these ten people may very well be the only people in the common at any given time, and there in lies the problem.

The city can do what they want to combat this, they can have foot patrols, they can take the benches out of Federal Sq (I am eating a bit of crow on this one I admit), and they can try and shew this population away. Guess what? We live in a city of almost 200,000 people. These people are here to stay. What the city needs to do is get creative and figure out ways to draw a broader range of people downtown so that folks feel comfortable in their own skin. We can criticize Central Massachusetts' citizens all we want for their unjust fear of Downtown, but I think it's only human nature for people to not feel quite right about being a minority, no matter what type of minority you are.

Frickin' Lowell

I am usually not totally ashamed to be from Worcester.


When Lowell is kicking your ass culturally it is time to seriously reevaluate. I think the best we can come up with is Orleans on Shrewsbury St maybe five years ago? Go to that link. There are some serious names on there.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Priorities People!

Every once in a while something comes to my attention that makes me realize how messed up the cities priorities are and how time and time again they fail to see the big picture. This memo was left in my door the other day. Check this ridiculousness out.

Attention: Residents of 50, 76, and 82 Franklin Street

Dear Resident,

I am sad to report that the City of Worcester's Director of Parks and Recreation called this morning to inform me that because some of our residents who own dogs do not clean up after their pets, dogs are no longer allowed in the Worcester Commons park, behind City Hall.

Unfortunately, it s necessary to remind our residents that responsible pet ownership includes consideration for others, and cleaning up your pet's waste matter.

Now that dogs are no longer permitted in Worcester Commons, if you are found walking your dog there, you will be fined $200, and your pet confisacted. Any questions concerning this matter may be directed to management at the leasing office located on the 1st floor of 50 Franklin St.

Now I fully understand that folks need to pick up and dispose of their dogs doggy doo doo. And I also agree that if you don't you are kind of an asshole, but this seems a bit extreme doesn't it? There are quite a few dog owners in the building who are probably here because they have found a building where they can live right in the middle of the city and still have a dog and have a nice place to walk the dog. Has the city thought about putting up bags to dispose of the waste? Maybe they need to conduct a million dollar research study on this that will take 3 years to complete that they will just ignore anyways. Of course we all know that the biggest problem with the lack of attractiveness of the Common is dog shit. What we really really don't need is responsible dog owners who already live here moving the hell out of downtown when their lease is up over something so harmless as compared to the bigger picture of the things that ail our downtown.

I have a memo to send too. It goes something like this.

Attention: Residents of Worcester Massachusetts and surrounding municipalities

Dear Resident,

I am sad to report that the people of Worcester called this morning to inform me that because some of our residents who own human bodies do not clean up after themselves, drunks and junkies are no longer allowed in the Worcester Commons park, behind City Hall.

Unfortunately, it is necessary to remind our residents that being a responsible member of society includes consideration for others and cleaning up after yourself and not being intrusive and intimidating to other people who are trying to use the park.

Now that drunks and junkies are no longer permitted in Worcester Commons, if you are found walking there, and you are a vagrant, you will be fined $200, and your freedom confiscated for 24 hours. Any questions concerning the matter may be directed to the Worcester Police Department, Lincoln Square.

Thank you for your consideration, and cooperation in this matter.


The Citizens of Worcester, Massachusetts

Friday, May 2, 2008

Little Big Wheel, Mike MacDonald and the Widowmakers, and Necktie Party tonight in Worcester!

For a New England state that for the most part is free of tumbleweeds, cowboys, and the wide open range, Massachusetts is developing one hell of an alt country/Americana community. Come see three of it's best as Little Big Wheel and Necktie Party join forces with Boston's Mike MacDonald and the Widowmakers for a night of music any self respecting Uncle Tupelo/Graham Parsons/Wilco fan should not miss.

The Hotel Vernon
1 Millbury Street in Kelley Square
Worcester MA
21+, $5 Cover