sometimes i don't quite know why, but i really do love dorchester. after growing up in the boonies, living in australia for 3 years, trekking all over the world, and wandering from apartment to apartment in a few other parts of boston & surrounds (somerville, hyde park, bridgewater, hull), it's the place we settled on when it was time to buy and stay put for a while.
for reasons i've yet to understand, i completely forgive (and often enjoy) so many of the local quirks that you might be tempted to label 'shortcomings.' it's a transitional part of the city- not the greenest, prettiest, most manicured. 93 runs through parts of it, many houses have the requisite couch on the front porch year round, everyone drags a tv to the curb on trash night, it rivals paris in sidewalk dog poo, cars get broken into, houses get broken into, the media loves to remind us every time someone is shot or stabbed it probably happened in dorchester. it's a regular thing to see/smell drugs. music is often loud. as in 'just turn off the TV since we can't hear it anyways' loud. sometimes the ghettophone is ringing hot, as the 'ladies' of neighborhood yell to each other from their front porches.
but it's also truly diverse. in dot there's at least one of everyone. all kinds of people, from all kinds of places, speaking all kinds of languages. and no one bothers john and i as our street's token gays. hard working, kind people are in the majority- the best kind of neighbors you could ask for. and that's just the start of the good stuff- we've got a beach or two, UMass is around the corner. it's a quick trek to work thanks to the neighborhood t stop. a few years ago, we could actually *afford* to buy a place in a city that was pretty unforgiving as far as home prices went.
and it's a good thing it has got these redeeming qualities because of run-in's like this-
friday afternoon after work i walked out the front door to take frankahs on his afternoon walk. all was well, we were happily moseying along until we ran into the yellow police tape, blocked off streets, and the scene that was this law enforcement extravaganza:
fire trucks, police cars, ambulances, several blocks crawling with SWAT guys, and of course a small army of curious onlookers. it was hard to tell if it was a hostage situation or another methlab discovery (there have been several). either way, i didn't want to stick around to find out, so we trotted home at a brisker than usual pace. turns out this is what happened (from the Boston Police News Website)
Armed Suspect Barricades Self after Robbery
Yesterday, August 1, 2008 around 3:49PM, officers from District C-11 (Dorchester) responded to 1365 Dorchester Ave./Maxim Pharmacy for an armed robbery.
While numerous units were en route to the store, a detective unit observed an unknown white male running frantically from the direction of the armed robbery. The officer observed this individual run behind a store and then come back out having removed a t-shirt that he was wearing before he ran behind the store. At about this same time, officers received a matching description of the individual that had just run behind the store and it matched that of the suspect that just robbed the pharmacy. Officers also learned that the suspect had passed a note indicating that he was armed with a handgun, and had stolen several bottles of the prescription drug, oxycontin.
Officers, based on the above information, officers followed the suspect but lost sight of him as he turned onto Bay St. from Auckland Street. As officers attempted to determine where the suspect had fled, a concerned citizen flagged down officers and pointed them in the direction that the suspect had last been seen, running down Savin Hill Ave. toward the MBTA station. As officers continued to go in the direction that the suspect had last been seen running, officers were once again flagged down by another concerned citizen who told officers that he had just observed a person fitting a description of the suspect run into the front entrance of 15 Saxton Street.
Officers attempted to gain access to the 15 Saxton St. and discovered that the door, which is usually unlocked, according to the owner, was locked. Officers, now believing that a possibly armed suspect may be barricaded inside, set up a perimeter around the house and awaited the arrival of the Boston Police SWAT team and hostage negotiators. Officers again were approached by another witness, concerned citizen while clearing nearby residences of occupants that a male matching the suspect had been seen inside 11 Saxton Street.
After attempting to negotiate and getting no response from 15 Saxton St., the SWAT gained entrance and found no suspect. The process was repeated at 11 Saxton St. where the suspect was located hiding on a second floor apartment closet hiding in a plastic container covered with clothes.
The suspect, Gerald T. Comerford, 20, of Whitman was arrested and charged with Armed Robbery, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Class B, and Breaking and Entering in the Day Time, Resisting Arrest, and Trespassing. During a subsequent search of the apartment, officers found several containers of oxycontin that had been stolen by the suspect, as well as the shirt worn by the suspect during the robbery. The note passed by the suspect to the store clerk indicating that he had a gun was also recovered from the store.
The suspect will be arraigned at Dorchester District Court on the above charges on Monday, August 4, 2008.
i love that he was hiding in a plastic container. so all is well that ends well, right? i can smile and say 'see, it's not soooo bad here.'
well yeah- except that when i came home i had to reassemble the brick wall j.mo and i painstakingly put together a few months back. we've been having an ongoing issue with the neighborhood kids sitting/climbing on the wall and knocking it all to pieces. and crushing plants in the meantime. no amount of asking them not to seems to have worked. i know it has gotta be hard sometimes to grow up in the city and not have a lots of places to hang out/play, so i'm more than sympathetic, but c'mon- show a little respect. i was sweeping inside when i heard the upstairs neighbor leave the house and ask the kids sitting on the wall to clean up before they left (empty soda cans, empty chip bags etc). when i went outside to water the plants they all started to take off (we've had words before), leaving all of their crap behind. i completely snapped. for the next 5 mins i turned into some kind of crazy cat food eating old man yelling at the kids.
'hey you shits, get back here and clean up!!'
two of them came back, and my most detested nemesis took off (when he came back later, the neighbor grabbed him by the t-shirt and bitched him out for a good 10mins for being a disrespectful little pig). with two of them standing there with their mouths hanging open i asked them what their problem was, why they insisted on making a mess in front of our house all the time? no good answer. i told them to clean up and piss off.
they opted for pissing off without the cleaning up part. so, now in a complete rage, i picked up every piece of trash i could find, loading up my arms- most of it wasn't even from them. i walked right past them as they headed to their home across the street- when i got to their front stairs, the two of them lagging behind me i simply said 'since you didn't want to clean up, i thought i would help you out' and tossed it all on to their front porch. the best part was the sound of all the empty bottles and cans hitting the stairs. second best part- watching their mom standing in the doorway completely confused.
despite the neighborhood fugitives and pain in the ass kids, i-do-indeed-heart-dot.