I can take you on a tour of some really fun places I used to have great affection for. They were great places to live, hang and chill at. Except they are boring now, gentrified.
Of course, in my day, they had some rough edges. They didn’t exactly receive ovations from the well-to-do regarding the nature of the neighborhoods or the area’s safety.
There was the genuinely nasty rooming house on Beacon Hill. I got a break on the rent because my cat, the Grey Menace, haunted the halls every night, reducing the rodent population by large numbers. The landlord asked for a reduction in the bounty the cat received per mouse because he’d soon be paying us to live there. But Oh, what a bunch of wonderful people lived there; folksingers, artists, a poet, and a weaver. The landlord had been a shipmate of my father and always asked when my dad was coming to Boston for a visit. I assume that visits to some of the more disepitomable bistros would be in order.
In any case, this establishment, like many of the other places I lived on Beacon Hill, is now owned by people with more dollars than sense. They even gentrified the dive bar at the foot of the Hill that we frequented. I am sure that new residents like to note that the neighborhood has a bohemian air, but of course, anything legitimately Bohemian has been exiled beyond the city limits.
Then there are the various lofts and studios I’ve had over the years. All condo’s now. The current residents loved the artsy nature of the area or building so much that they moved in and displaced the artists who could no longer afford the area. Or they were tired of the saws’ noise, the smell of the processes we used, or upset at the hours we worked and gradually harrassed art into leaving. The old loft building by the railroad tracks is now all tarted up, but it lacks a certain vibe, an atmosphere – damn! All the creative juice is gone! Where have those sneaky artists gotten to now?
We decided to get sneaky. Baby step, by Baby step, we moved out to the outlying towns, small cities, and countryside. We are careful not to make too great a showing or concentration. We know they are looking for us – that great crowd that can’t create but wants to take credit by proximity. Their micro-aggressions are slow displacement coupled with dazed stupidity when the vibrant neighborhood they so admired looks exactly like them.
They should get their own life, rather than just horning in on others.