Tuesday, March 16, 2010


It is a bit crazy reading all the comments over at the Telegram regarding the CSX expansion and the Grafton Hill Business Associations opposition towards it. A few commenting there see it but what the majority is failing to see is that this is a rare opportunity to do it right. Now when I say right I mean really right. Not right for economic development, not right for gentrification (a concept that I fully support in Worcester by the way), and not right for aesthetics, but right... as in really right... worldly right …everything is right with the cosmos right.

Here is an opportunity to usher in jobs, not just any jobs, but jobs for people that need them. People who may not have the good fortune to own a car that is going to take them east to professional jobs. People who may not even have the college education needed to get those jobs. People that for whatever their lot in life may contribute greatly to the make up, appearance and bad rep that our city has.

Let's face it, Grafton Hill ain't no great shakes. You drive down any of those side streets between 290 and Billings Sq and the conditions are very similar to those you see in Main South, Piedmont Village and neighboring Vernon Hill. These folks need work and they need blue collar work. How nice might it be for these folks to have well paying jobs that they can walk to. I am guessing that if the people who live in Grafton Hill that oppose the expansion want to leave the neighborhood folks with new found CSX jobs would love to take their place.

Now, as far as the businesses go, you operate your business in a city. A city that NEEDS to change. I would ask yourself these questions: Does the neighborhood you do business in need help? Does it have a plan? Are you part of that plan? Does your existing business fit in with that plan? If there isn't a plan are you prepared to be there when one is drawn up? If you have never asked these questions you need to get with the damn program because when shit changes it is on YOU not the city, and not CSX. You think the Kenmore is poo pooing over this? You think Choo Choo Charlies is? You own a garage? Get a diesel mechanic! Adapt. There are going to be 100 more trucks a day. These guys need STUFF. When they come asking for it, HAVE IT!

The face of Grafton Hill is going to change. The change is that it's daytime population is going to go way way way up with people with money in their pockets. Now you can continue to whine and carry on about it or you can step up, adapt, and make money along with everyone else.

As far as The Canal District, Washington Sq, and Shrewsbury St go, the negative impact will be minimal and if and when we get those 20 extra trains, the positive impact will far far far outweigh the negative.

So in short, have a little faith and STFU for a change Worcester. This is a good thing, the rare good thing that is a good thing for EVERYBODY.



pete said...

I thought the same thing when I read the comments this morning, but I usually marvel at the ignorance and hate on the Telegram's message board. You're right, this is a concrete proposal that will have a real, positive and lasting impact on the city. Let's get on with it.

Bill Randell said...

Perhaps one of the worst areas in the city is lower Grafton Street. The Shaws when it was open at the highest theft that they had ever experienced.

Paulie's Point of View said...

telling folks who have a vested interest to shut the fuck up about their neighborhood is what this city has been telling folks for years...I am glad you are not negotiating for the city Gabriel or else we may give what is left away under the guise of it being good for it..."just lay back and enjoy it lady" aint the kind of city I want to live in mate!

Gabe said...

Read what I said. I said if they have not been involved in the planning of the neighborhood they need to STFU. For instance, I would never tell you the same thing because I know you are involved every step of the way with your neighborhood.

I don't believe the same thing about the Grafton Hill Business Association and the neighborhood that surrounds it. I of course could be wrong, but I am betting that I'm not. Paulie look around. There are some PISS POOR business folk in this city, who have no clue marketing, advertising, networking, customer service, or quality of product and experience. A few of them are over there on Grafton St.
There are plenty of reasons to use the city as a scapegoat for a business's lack of success, but there are plenty of business's who should be looking in the mirror.

I stand by my statement that the Grafton Hill business's shouldn't be looking at this as a problem but as an opportunity. And so should you.

If you have a better solution to bring blue collar jobs to our city to put some real money in the pockets of past, present, and future pajama people I am all ears because they are not going to be working at Gateway Park, but they very well might be pushing freight on a loading dock.

I admit to being armchair about many things on this blog but I can promise you I know this industry. I have been around it since I took my first breath and I have worked in it for the past ten years and will most likely be in it for the rest of my life. The potential spin off of this deal for the city and the region is astronomical. I have no sympathy for these selfish NIMBY assholes on Grafton St who are looking this gift horse in the mouth.

This is real change, real progress, blue collar jobs for people who need them. Real money, to do things like maybe buy property in YOUR hood Paulie.

Worcester will be the Northern terminus of the CSX line. How is all that freight going to get elsewhere? TRUCKS! Not just CSX trucks but others too. You could see UPS expand. Fed Ex expand. JB Hunt build a large facility here. Snyder build a large facility here.

Is any of this my personal vision of Worcester? No. Is it tremendous for the people of Worcester and Central Massachusetts? Yep.

Now granted, I don't have any investment in the city, but if I did, and I felt like these people do I would still be wrong when it comes to the greater good of the city and the region that surrounds it.

If this deal goes trough Worcester will become a transportation hub, which is probably the best thing for the majority that can happen.

If you could give a shit about the majority, well, I guess that is your call.

And dude, vehemently disagreeing with everything I say, is getting old fast when not too long ago you wanted me to run a major part of your festival. I am still the same guy. The same guy who knows that your disagreements are personal more than anything else.

Good luck.