Thursday, June 25, 2009


I was pedalling down Dot Ave from Fort Point Channel as storm clouds loomed to the south. Headed back to Dorchester, I was naturally whistling a happy tune while my legs did their happy work. Between Gillette's World Shaving Headquarters and Andrew Square, Dot Ave isn't the prettiest boulevard in this fair city. South of Andrew, its still not the prettiest compared to Commonwealth Avenue but it's whole sight better, more neighborly and less industrial, especially if you live along it.

Do the people of Southie really have tails? That's the rumor I've heard around Dorchester tap rooms. Without meaning to cause any offense I was examining the backsides of women as I passed, looking for a telltale bulge under their skirts. I didn't see anything out of the ordinary or, more honestly, if I saw something extraordinary I turned my eyes back to the road and diligently thought about the traffic around me.

Moving south of South Boston into Dorchester proper, I started to whistle the true Song of the South, at least as far as Bostonia is concerned: "Zip-a-dee-Dot-da! Zip-a-dee-tone! What a wonderful day to be so close to home!" Storm clouds passesd overhead without leaking a raindrop and soon enough the sun shined down again,on Dorchester, unobstructed, as it usually does. I looked to see the Prudential Building as I crossed Mass. Ave and its top was still shrouded in low lying fog.

I passed Ryan Playground where a mixed gaggle of bluebirds and blackbirds were pecking at bread crumbs left for them by an old woman who lives on Sudan Street. No one in the park seemed to pay them much mind except for a distanced glance while they were waiting their turn at mah-jong. A little girl ran over from the swing set and chased the birds, laughing the whole time. She was probably four years old. The blackbirds headed north toward Southie. The bluebirds winged their way south to Field's Corner and Codman and Ashmont and Lower Mills and maybe as far as Mattapan. Maybe even over the border into Roxbury.

When will some visionary make a movie so light-hearted about the place where all hearts are light? Dorchester, Mass, compadres and fellow travellers...Dorchester, Mass. has a bushel of stories that lend themselves to happy lyrical interpretation accompanied by lush, technicolor animation.

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