Greg went home for a friend’s wedding last week, and I practically cried every time I talked to him on the phone. “I just ate at Blues City Deli,” he’d tell me. Or, “We went to the City Museum, and now we’re at Food Truck Friday.” (Admittedly, most of the times I wanted to cry revolved around food.) “I’m sitting in traffic and I have nothing to eat at home and I hate it here!” I’d wail. (Because I’m a whiner.) There are some things I don’t like here (the food, the cost of living, the traffic), but there’s plenty that I do like. I love riding the bus or the train instead of driving. I love the museums and the Public Garden and the duckling statues. I love eating cheesy eggplant pasta and fresh-baked cannoli at my favorite restaurants in the North End. I love watching the sunrise on Peters Hill, where I run. I love driving over the Charles River. I love looking at the brownstones downtown. I love going to the mountains. And I love my old blue house in my little Roslindale Village neighborhood.
Technically, Roslindale is a part of Boston, but no one actually knows where it is. I always describe it as the armpit of Boston, because that’s how people perceive it. True, it’s not close enough to a train stop and there is a total of one bar within walking distance. But it’s also quiet and far away from traffic and, unlike my friends who live downtown, I have never had to circle around for 20 minutes looking for parking. It’s also what allows me to pay dirt cheap rent for a huge house. It’s full of a friendly and multicultural population. I can walk to the post office, the library, several restaurants, and gift stores. I can spend hours upon hours in the Arboretum and almost block out the sound of cars rushing by.
These are important things to me, and it’s important for me to defend my little neighborhood, especially because we are looking for roommates. Stacie and Peter are moving out at the end of June, and we are rushing to fill their spot. Unfortunately, no one is actively doing a Craigslist search for houses in Roslindale, because unlike its neighbor Jamaica Plain, Rozzie is not yet an up-and-coming area to move to. We got so, so close to having roommates, until our management company demanded a ridiculous amount of money from the people moving in called a broker fee, and they declined. (The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.) I keep reminding myself that I had nowhere to stay until literally a day before I moved to Boston last year, and everything worked out then, but it’s getting a little nerve-wracking. We’ve only gotten three replies to our ad so far, after nearly two months of posting it. Have I mentioned that no one wants to move to Roslindale?
In a way, the way Rozzie is perceived by Bostonians is the way St. Louis is perceived by the rest of the country. St. Louis has bragging rights to the “most dangerous city” title and a failing economy. But we’re also the city of cheapskates and have the most square footage of parks per capita than any other American city. Roslindale is often described as having nothing going on or as being the “bad part of town” (laughable). They’re both scrappy little fish in a big pond. But I consider myself lucky to know them and see their worth. I will continue to fight for them and tell people to move there (but only people who respect a good thing when they see it). So if you know someone who wants to live in a hidden gem of a place, send them my way, will ya?
In keeping with my civic pride, I’ve been playing songs from St. Louis and Boston musicians all day. Now playing: