Townie Tidbits

March 17, 2017
By

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY TO ALL

Townie Tidbits wishes everyone a great St. Patrick’s Day! By the time you’re reading this I will have already had three corned beef and cabbage dinners and would at least have one more to go. So please pray for me.

Growing up my mother always said her two boys were Irish like her. We would have to wear green to school  near the holiday and my father always had to wear a green tie to work. I never knew if he kept it on or not, he took the fifth on that question from me.

I have been to Ireland for a vacation but never to Cork where my maternal grandparents were born on Bere Island in West Cork. I also have been known to put Irish music CDs on in my car while driving around here and there.

Actually, in the Giarratani Family, I was the first Gaelic-Garlic member to be born. I had one Irish aunt who always called me her Italian nephew which (blanked) my mother off. Once again, Happy St. Patrick’s Day. See you in the parade over in Southie on Sunday.

 

  1. PATRICK’S DAY EARLY IN CHARLESTOWN

Once again the Knights of Columbus held a packed house of party-goers for the Annual Event.

Sal O’DiDomenico’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Fundraiser in support of the DiDomenico Foundation which offers scholarships to deserving high school seniors.

Shown in photo are Chuck and Liz Levin who moved to Charlestown 10 years ago after having lived for 37 years in Boston’s South End.

 

A LITTRLE MORE ON ONE CHARLESTOWN

I found that story on page one last week in the Patriot quite interesting. I would like to see his alternative become part of this discussion long before ground is broken or steel beams brought up Bunker Hill Street.

Everyone seems to be in agreement here in Charlestown that the density of One Charlestown is a definite liability. It is good to see someone with Sy Mintz’s  architectural background throwing himself into One Charlestown seeking a better solution  creating  a viable mixed housing complex that works for all in the community and can work for the developer too.

 

No one speaking out with their concerns is anti-project or anti-project people. Housing is growing more scarce for people of limited means and we need more of it but to question the details of One Charlestown is not a negative thing to do. There are many questions about density and height that need to be answered.

 

I saw where Mintz was involved with Harbor Towers which replaced the old Columbia Point Housing Project. I think Harbor Point was both good and bad. It created better housing but it also seems just as isolated as the old project it replaced. It is still a city unto itself. People say they live in Dorchester and others say they live in Dorchester.

 

I also remember my younger days working for the state Mental Health department over in Mission Hill on Fenwood Rd. When I first began there, behind it was a one piece of open space with one building and one Maple tree. An order of Catholic nuns owned it all. They were bought out and when the dust settled, viola there was Mission Park Housing. A mixed development right in the Longwood Medical Area. There were several high rise apartments and many more three story townhouses. It looked like Manhattan had come to Mission Hill. To this day like over at Harbor Point, there is Mission Hill and Mission Park, two entities divorced from each other from the get-go.  Building walls or gates are never a good idea whether visible or invisible.

 

Will One Charlestown turn into “two Charlestowns” like Mission Park did? If the name is One Charlestown, the emphasis needs to be on “One.”

 

What happens down at the projects could be a one of a kind great thing for Charlestown or it could turn into a nightmare. We need to learn from the past and not repeat errors once made before. This is a $1 billion, 13 blocks of Charlestown real estate that will change the status quo. No one wants to look back in a few years and say, ‘What the (blank) did we do here?”

 

This discussion needs to be open to all and I want to hear from you. Drop me a line at sal.giarratani@gmail.com.

 

More on One Charlestown next week. Let me know your thoughts because  working together is the best idea.