My family has been living in the Fenway since 1997. In the last 10 years, what was once a quaint and slightly shambolic part of Boston has become a hotbed of development. The entire dynamic of the area has completely changed, rents have gone way up, traffic congestion is out of control, green space has been reduced, construction noise is a grinding constant, and, worst of all, whatever community there once was has been slowly pushed out (as far as we know, we are the only family who has a kid who was actually born and raised in the Fenway). The even bigger problem is that without an organized community in the East Fenway, there has been little push back against the developers, so they get away with anything and everything, including getting the city to allow them to perform overnight construction. I have been on several committees to try to slow down the developers, but in the end they just buy everyone off and go full-steam ahead. They actually think they have done wonderful things to this neighborhood. But most of the mom-and-pop businesses are gone and the area has essentially become a theme park for tourists, wealthy students, and even wealthier “internationals.” It’s like waking up one day and discovering you live in Disneyland. Was this what Olmsted had in mind?
A marathon finish. A first kiss. Winter sledding. Summer concert. Protest, picnic, celebration, self-care. Parks and public places are made of common purpose and private moments. Share yours.
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