Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Safe and Sound
My city has once again, for the second year in a row, been named the Safest City in America. You would think this would make me happy, but honestly, I can't believe that they pulled this off two years in a row. Either the data is skewed, someone's lying, or all you other Americans are living in really dangerous situations. I can't figure out which is which, but all I can say is that my city is where the Girl was accosted last year by an attempted kidnapper who followed her from our old house down the street to pick up her pizza slices in a very well-lit part of town. A neighborhood with a Whole Foods, 2 gas stations and a Walgreens on opposing corners, and the pizza place about 40 feet from one of the gas stations.

A city where the police are one step down from SS officers and are well known for being unreasonable. A city where the former police chief made it his business to arrest and prosecute children. Any child who got into any trouble whatsoever, from domestic disputes to petty theft was prosecuted. This was the era of kids and court. Both of my kids ended up going to court during this guy's short but prolific reign of terror.

We have two large malls here with stores like Tiffany's, Barney's, Borders Books, JCrew, Cache, Shreves, and Bloomingdales. Many other smaller specialty stores displaying upscale merchandise and clothing made especially for the size 2 crowd. We don't approve of the overweight here in Richy Rich city. There's plenty of stealing is going on at these malls according to the weekly police blotter that I admit is the first thing I turn to in our free weekly ragsheet. We have a lot of other shopping areas, as our city is made up of 12 distinct villages, most of which have their own little downtown area. My village has unbelievable shopping, the best in the city in my opinion. We have Marshalls, Linens and Things, Filenes Basement, the country's largest bookstore, Newbury Comics, Blockbuster, Lindt Chocolate, and many other stores and restaurants, all in easy walking distance from our home. It's a kids shoplifting paradise out there. They can feast on donuts from Dunkin Donuts, lunch at MickyD's or Papa Ginos, and still have time to pocket jewelery before dark.

We have kids selling drugs in middle schools and kids taking drugs in high schools.

We have one very large and well-known university in our small city. Well known for partying, drinking, and rowdy behavior at football games. We also have several smaller colleges that don't seem to attract a bad crowd, but as with any college town, we have more than our share of drunken apartment dwellers causing havoc. We also host one of the largest (and longest) sporting events in the city, the Boston Marathon, and we are famous for Heartbreak Hill which disects our city in half once a year as exhausted runners by the thousands struggle toclimb that hill.

Not to say that I don't feel safe here, because I do. We rarely lock our doors during the day, and I have forgotten more than once at night. I don't even think of locking my car. Actually I hope somebody will steal the damn thing. But I know people who have been robbed here, and I certainly am aware that we have WAY more than our share of sexual perversion. You see, my city has the distinction of being the home of the Catholic Priest Sex Scandal. Yup, it happened right here in our fair city first. We're so proud! That church is no longer with us, as it was raised a few years ago, but still, this is quite the distinction for the safest city in America. I pray for the rest of you!

Photographs of my city, from top to bottom, right to left:

City Hall
Public Library
Children's Library Sculptures
City Museum
My Local Starbucks and Pizza Place
Boston College
Charles River and Marriot Hotel
The Boston Marathon
Centre "T" (subway) station

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Anonymous pia said...

I went to BU---lived in Cambridge during school desegration days

I was an urban studies major and did my field placement in a housing agency that turned out to be an anti busing front

They thought I was Irish and Polish and I never corrected them, but the things they said made me physically ill

Ran back to New York--this was when both cities were in horrible shape. Figured if I was going to be unsafe might as well be unsafe in a city where people weren't scared of each other just because of race.

21/11/05 12:03 PM  
Blogger Debby said...

I live in a medium-size city in upstate NY and the things they worry about scare me. They suspend our kids from school for what they deem inappropriate shirts, but don't worry about the guns, drugs and other weapons going in!! What this world is coming to I will never understand.

21/11/05 1:57 PM  
Blogger Ditsy Chick said...

WOW, the beginning of the Catholic Church sex scandal, now there is something to build a monument to...I always wonder about these results as well, they are always cities on the East coast. I think the person determing the results, really meant, "don't have to drive for 30 minutes for Starbucks, therefore, people are not caffeine deprived and given to fits of rage." Otherwise, my old town in Idaho should qualify, even the sheep live without of fear of molestation.

21/11/05 2:20 PM  

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