Thursday, April 08, 2010

Don't pity Dot

Some people say Dorchester will take a man and chew him up before the neighborhood spits him out as far as Charlestown or even further: to Somerville or Chelsea or Everett.  Untrue.  Some people say Dorchester will chew a good man up and spit him out the way a junkyard dog devours a tender lamb chop and leaves only shreds of cartilage and bone fragments gnawed free of any marrow scattered willy-nilly on dead pavement.  Also untrue.

Look at Dorchester's outline.  Lower Dot swells like a pregnant belly and the silhouette of Columbia Point could be mistaken for a breast taken out of context from a National Geographic photo.  Dorchester doesn't mutilate.  It builds character.

Can Mr. T serve as a symbol of Dorchester?  Despite the similarities between Mr. T's character and Dorchester's the answer is probably No.  It's hard to have a name like T in Boston and be associated with pride, good service or respectability.  There's no need to pity Dot, indeed, most people who live here would wrinkle their noses at the idea.  People who visit Dorchester don't pity it, they respect it.  Tourists who wander a bit off the Red Line return to wherever they are from with a fresh, independent understanding of what Boston really is: a vibrant, working city rather than a Revolutionary War time capsule.

I think Mr. T's picture above will reappear again and again this month.  He isn't a perfect match for Dot Pride, but there are worse spokespeople we can imagine embodying Dorchester's essence.

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