Hey, South Boston class of 2017, let me be one of the first to welcome you to the neighborhood! Are you settling in ok? Getting the lay of the land aka all the one ways? You must be pretty psyched to be living in Southie! 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. And the people! We also have the best people in the world here in South Boston – whether they have lived here their whole lives or had the good sense to move here as an adult. And guess what? The best people make the best neighbors! And you too can join the ranks of best neighbors, it’s easy, I swear. I want you to succeed as neighbors, new residents of Southie, so I made a handy-dandy cheat it, read it, learn it, live it.
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, for the love of God pull up the bumper! Lots of cars need t park on any given street, so park in a way that will allow the maximum number of cars to fit. 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, don’t be the turd who double parks on L. 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. Keep the double parking all on the same side of the street, no car should have to snake its way down the street. 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 an egg 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’m sorry if you have trash you want to put out on the curb a few days before pickup but you can’t and DEAL WITH IT. 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. Speaking of a giant effing mess, your trash should be neat and contained when you put it out. Like in a barrel with a lid that snaps. Gross people have gross trash, don’t be gross people.
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, heck even if you’re not my neighbor feel free to say hi! 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. And if your my new neighbors who have lived here for five minutes and have already been so drunk one of them tried to go into the wrong house at 2 am on one night and decided to play football in the middle of the street after they came home from da club the next night, lock it up or I will be calling the cops and telling them you’re selling drugs to children.
Ok, back to talking to everyone now, whether you’ve lived here your whole life or for a week, you basically only need to remember one thing, you’re living in a neighborhood, a community, and you’re a member of this community. Take some pride in where you live. Don’t throw your sub wrapper or Fireball nip in the street. Don’t act a fool your whole walk home from whatever bar you’re boozing at, 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 around.