Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Worcester Block By Block #1: Main St, Front St, Franklin St

Worcester Block by Block is something I have been thinking about for a long time. Basically documenting every block in the urban core on foot and then adding a little of my own commentary about the block to go along with it. As I have said quite often Worcester is an insider's city and I think that since I see so much of urban Worcester on foot that I see the city from a different perspective than a lot of Central Massachusetts residents. It occurred to me it might be fun to share some of this perspective. I figured I would start dead center in the middle of the city and work my way out in rings. Hopefully there will be entire posts along the way about single things on a certain block that deserve more attention. I also hope that my ADD doesn't get the best of me and I can follow this through to the four corners of urban Worcester. I also hope that during this little experiment I can get a new digital camera and take myself some pictures. If you are free during the day and would like to be the official Worcester Block by Block photographer though, let me know.

Let's get started

There are really only two things on this entire block, city hall and the Worcester Common Park. Along with the stretch of Main across from city hall the block also serves as the hub for the WRTA. Rumor has it though that the WRTA is looking to change this and move the hub to Union Station.

Most days during the week the Common is a wash with activity from people waiting for buses to downtown workers on their lunch breaks to people with nothing better to do then just hang out in the park. The Main St side of city hall is usually filled with inner city kids hanging out and always appearing to be up to no good. Who knows what they are really up to though. Most mornings Monday through Friday there is a vendor at the corner of Main and Front selling hot dogs.

The Common Park has always seemed a bit underutilized which may have to do with their not being too many folks living near it. Right now they are building a skating rink in the Common and have half of it dug up and fenced off which pretty much cuts off the main residential building (Bancroft Commons) from the area of downtown north of city hall. I question the wisdom of the build it and they will come thinking of the ice skating rink but am excited about the event pad that will be there during the warm months. I am interested to know how big the rink is going to be and if it will be possible to pay regulation hockey games on it. St. John's versus St Peter Marian anyone?


jacob said...

at first i was bummed that you missed so much in this post, then i realized you're viewing the block as an island, and not crossing the street. still, you can't not mention the turtle boy statue. i think the ice rink is totally dumb, especially because they just spent tons of money and time digging up what was essentially an ice rink (the reflecting pool). city hall is a pretty neat building, all the stairs swoop down in the middle from years of foot dragging and it's kind of hard to walk on them, which is maybe an apt metaphor, i don't know, i don't really read the newspaper anymore. remember when a t&g reporter (?) caught two people having (consensual, adult) sex in the hallway? ok, maybe it was the bathroom, but anyway it was INSIDE city hall, pretty awesome place to have sex in the middle of the day.
also, those teenagers are just hanging out, don't be a grouch!

Gabe said...

Yeah, I totally forgot the Turtle Boy.

I hope as I keep doing the block by block thing though more people chime in with things they have always noticed about the features of the different blocks and point out some things I may miss.

I like what you had to say about the stairs at city hall as I have noticed that too.

Thanks for commenting.

Paulie said...

lets do a pub crawl down my way Gabe sometime..I'll suppply the girls

Gabe said...


A pub crawl in your neighborhood where the girls are supplied.

I don't know whether to take you up on that or not Paulie.

Bill Randell said...


I look forward to it you working up Pleasant