The transplant effect…
I closed out today’s show with a passionate rant directed at the “new residents” in South Boston who are attempting to turn our sacred Street Hockey Court into another tennis court.
That’s right….the “new residents” are trying to demolish the hockey rink that for generations has meant so much to so many in South Boston. While you will never hear me come straight out and renounce investment within any of the neighborhoods of Boston. One thing you will see me defend to my dying breath is the destruction of Bostonian culture. With gentrification comes a dilution of the local traditions that make up the fabric of the neighborhood in which it takes place. It’s ok to have people from other parts of the state or the country settle in Boston and rub elbows with the locals. In a perfect world “new residents” bring their traditions to the table while locals share theirs. Traditions on both sides are to be respected and embraced but never infringed upon….therefore creating balance.
Don’t listen to my Boston accent and assume it’s an oddity. Listen to it and assume it’s derived from the way a Bostonian spoke before we started the American Revolution. When was the last time you heard someone from Britain pronounce their R’s?
This rink represents one of those South Boston traditions and should be respected as such. Whether it was just a matter of climate or Bobby Orr, hockey has been embedded in our Bostonian DNA. I know the outsiders really think it’s all about Fenway, pink hats, and Sweet Caroline but we truly are a hockey town. The Bruins are an original six team for good reason.
Long before there was interest in Southie as a trendy place to live, neighborhood kids found refuge in places like the Farragut rink. To some it’s a place to socialize, to others a place that helps foster a career in hockey and to parents it’s served as a place for kids to focus and stay out of trouble. When those kids grow to have families of their own, they return to Farragut with their sons and daughters….and the tradition is passed on. Much like playing Tennis may be a tradition in an affluent Connecticut suburb.
Now why does a Dot Rat have so much passion about a rink in Southie?
Along with many families of Irish decent around Boston, our American story began in South Boston roughly 140 years ago on West 2nd street. Aside from the roots, I feel a kinship with residents of Southie. Many of us traveled the same paths, went to the same schools and had intertwined families. I always got the sense our core principals were in line, and that we are cut from the same cloth.
Most of all, if someone was pulling this sh*t in one of our parks I would expect South Boston to have our backs.
One thing we can brag about in Boston is preservation of history and tradition. I don’t want Southie to become the next Brighton. Do you know anybody born and raised in Brighton? How about Allston? Exactly….
The folks at city hall should listen up….