Welcome to the neighborhood
Now get your act together
Written by Heather Foley
Hey South Boston class of 2013, let me be one of the first to welcome you to the neighborhood! Yeah I know you moved here a month ago, but I’m willing to bet I’m still one of the first to welcome you to the neighborhood. Anyhoo, I trust you’re all settled in? Getting the lay of the land? Have you figured out what’s open and until what time on Sundays yet? No worries, I’m still trying to figure it out. So how do you like Southie so far? By the sounds of late night carousing I hear it seems like you like it just fine. It is pretty great here, right? Quick commute to downtown (do us all a favor and check out my blog on bus etiquette if you’re new to the T), plenty of great places to eat and drink, the beach, Castle Island. It’s pretty darn close to paradise here in 02127. Well, now that you’ve had some time to get acclimated, I just have a few quick things to go over with you, maybe you should grab a pencil and paper, I’ll wait.
Good, you’re back, let’s begin.
Parking. In case you haven’t noticed, parking is kinda a big deal here, and there are so many rules! First the big written rule, street cleaning might be the biggest bummer in the modern world. There is no worse feeling than walking to your car only to find an empty street. I’m a pretty level headed, rational human being, but my car getting towed gets me mad enough to kick a puppy. So do yourself a favor and always check the street cleaning signs! Now for some unwritten rules, you can’t stand in a spot and “hold” it for a friend, it’s a really good way to get run over. Double parking is a carefully balanced science that can go horribly wrong in seconds. Mostly you just want to apply some common sense. Can a fire engine or bus still get down the street? If no, then you did it wrong and start over. Also there is a huge difference between double parking on Broadway and double parking on L St. You really shouldn’t be doubling parking at all on L St. unless you’re delivering some chicken fingers, mmmmmm chicken fingers. You may have noticed that Broadway is technically big enough for two lanes of traffic, but that inside “lane” is 100% reserved for double parking, so if you try to actually drive in it don’t get mad at me when you don’t get to go anywhere. And a quick thing about driving around Southie, there’s still a decent number of kids in the hood, we tell them to cross at crosswalks or “wait for the light”. Please don’t drive like a maniac, and if you run a red and yellow light I will absolutely yell at you, flip you off, and possibly throw something at your car. Just a heads up.
Garbage day. Okay, this is my big pet peeve so bear with me. Find out what day garbage pickup is on your street. Google it, ask a neighbor, whatever, I don’t care, just find out and find out now. You can put your garbage out on the curb the night before pickup and the night before pickup only. I think I speak for the whole community when I say we don’t want our streets strewn with trash, and now that you’re a member of the community you shouldn’t want it to look like Calcutta either. I try not to put out bags of trash until the morning of because for some reason the people who go through it make a giant effing mess.
Your neighbors. If you’re my neighbor I’ll probably smile and say, “Hi,” at some point, and if for some reason I don’t, please say, “Hi,” to me first, and I do apologize. Introduce yourself to your neighbors, give them a heads up if you’re going to have a par-tay (maybe even invite them), help out with shoveling, moving heavy stuff, loose dog on the street, etc. Basically just the kind of neighbor you would like to live next door to. And there’s always going to be a grouch who loves to complain, try not to give them too much to complain about. Like don’t fight with your girlfriend in the middle of the street or have your fight club over at 4am, especially on a school night.
You basically only need to remember one thing, you’re living in a neighborhood now, a community, and you’re a member of this community. So take some pride in where you live. Don’t throw your Tasty Burger wrapper or Cranberry Café coffee cup in the street. Don’t act a fool your whole walk home from the Beer Garden, and when you see a Southie kid canning or selling candy bars throw them a couple bucks. There’s no reason you can’t be a vibrant, vital member of the South Boston community, just don’t act like a dope and we should all get along swimmingly…see you at the L St. Tavern.