Townie Tidbits

By Sal Giarratani


I am still talking about One Charlestown here because whatever happens down there will like the Bunker Hill Projects be here for a long time to come. What is built needs to be the right fit for the area up on Bunker Hill Street. I am all for good affordable housing for those who need it but the replacement for the projects must not segregate that area off from the rest of the community as the projects has done for some 70 years and counting.

I was a projects kid growing up over in Roxbury as I have stated many times in the past. The projects was its own entity. The projects I grew up in looked liked alien housing, brick, brown and square shaped  boxes. Cement lawns painted green and a few sad trees here and there. Whenever something bad happened, the neighborhood always said, “Oh that happened over in the projects.” Recently, there was a shooting reported on the TV news in Charlestown. It was at was a pizza parlor on Bunker Hill Street. When I asked a friend where on Bunker Hill Street the place was located, the response was ‘Next to the projects.” Enough said..

I hate sounding harsh but I do believe that projects can bring out the worse in some tenants.

Oh, and I hate that word ‘tenants” too Very few folks outside of the projects are always referred to as tenants. The idea of mixed housing sounds good. I have seen it work and sometimes not work that well. I think it depends upon the architecture of  the place. How it is planned. I am not that sure that tripling the population within 13 blocks of Charlestown will actually work for the betterment of those now living there and of those who might  consider moving in there.

Density could definitely help developers make enough profits to justify their work  but density could also hurt the very concept they are trying to build, which is One Charlestown and community.

I just finished reading the letter to the editor from Clare Bennett who was commenting on an earlier letter from Mimi Tovar concerning the One Charlestown proposal.  To me it is all about better community integration and find solutions that can work for all.

Once again, if you have some ideas that might work for this idea, pass it on to this column. If you have questions that need answering, pass it on too. Remember, [email protected].



The Harvest on Vine Pantry is getting ready to provide Easter dinners to more than 500 Charlestown families. The event to take place on Wednesday, April 12 at noon at the Food Pantry. For more information on how to help, call Tommy MacDonald at 617.990.7314.



Remember last week’s snow storm? The TV News people kept talking about the rush taking place at supermarkets when shoppers were in a panic and bought out all the milk and bread in rthe aisles? Why is it that this panic shopping always happens after one hears about an approaching snow storm?

However, I had a good laugh over at the Bunker Hill Mall on the day preceding the storm. A guy came out of the CVS Pharmacy carrying bundles and bundles of toilet paper. I guess he didn’t want to take any chance going commando, huh?

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