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They order these things better in Dorchester…

“They order these things better in Dorchester,” I said.

“And, you have been in Dorchester?”

“Yup, I’ve been in Dorchester.”


In my head, I was off, galloping down Gallivan Boulevard where my name was written in concrete.  To the old toll road of Dorchester Avenue.  Did my parents live there?  Who knows.  Somewhere where some trees grow.  A tree grows in Dorchester with lots and lots of other trees, and people too, are near lots and lots of other people.  Packed in the subway, perhaps, at  seven o’clock.  Body to body in a silent crowd.  Husbands and wives with children between them.  Some guy named Richard Corey going home one night.  Lots to see on the subway train, a platform is provided.

Dreams of Dorchester

Sometimes the streets are paved with water, but not like in Venice, and the boats are all down in Dorchester Bay.  Who ever heard of that?  No blue blood Yankees in our waters.  Just a giant silhouette of Ho on the Gas Tank.  What a rainbow.  They lock out the workers and things explode.  The gas bosses don’t live near the Dorchester tank.  Why would they.

Churches and churches and churches….some in stone, others in brick, and some in storefronts with very long names.  Ebeneezer Baptist Church – I think of Ebeneezer Scrooge.  Is there a Saint Scrooge’s Chapel?  He did come to understand the error of his ways.  The lost sinner returns just like the lost sheep to the flock.  Lots of flocks in Dorchester.

And there are hills, lots of hills in Dorchester.  Riding a bike is a challenge.  One needs good breaks going down hill, and energy and strength to go uphill.  In the olden days there was lots of broken glass on the streets, but the the ‘bottle bill’ put a price on the empty glass bottles and cans and created a cottage industry in Dorchester.  Every nickel counts.

There are a lot of corner stores in Dorchester.  Lots of people to buy lots of things.  Not so many newspapers anymore, but still lots of lottery players.  Usually the poorer the town, the more people play the lottery.  A while back the biggest town for lottery tickets was Massachusetts poorest town Chelsea.  But still, Dorchester has long lines for lottery tickets, especially for a big payout when the odds against winning are seemingly impossible.  Some people pay to dream at the corner store lottery machine.

One might take a year to visit all the fast food and take-out joints in Dorchester.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  One can look out the window and see the people walking and cars driving by and the life of a section of a city.  Things move in Dorchester.

Airplanes fly overhead towards Logan airport.  They were flying over less populated Milton to make noise for the least amount of people, but the wealthy people in Milton complained and pointed out that in a capitalist society the poorer citizens are supposed to suffer for their sins and the flight path was moved over populous Dorchester.  We are many, they are few.

However, when someone in Dorchester wants to go to the airport they can get there easily in a car.  Twenty five minutes to the departure area.  Flying into the airport over Dorchester as one looks down the area is all trees.  A lush forest, when one can see the forest for the trees.

Standing on the corner watching all the people and trucks and school buses and cars and vans and pedestrians go by can make one dizzy in Dorchester.  Lots of things move on the streets of Dorchester.  But, early in the morning, come out at four o’clock, and things are quiet and hardly anything moves.  If you are one acquainted with the night.

When I was a teen I sang in a rock band called The Poor Boys.  One song we covered was an Animals song – “We gotta get out of this place.”

The words:

In this dirty old part of the city,

Where the sun refuse to shine,

People tell me there ain’t no use in trying,

We gotta get out of this place,

If it’s the last thing we ever do,

Girl there’s a better life

For me and you.

At the time lots of long time Dorchester residents were moving out to the suburbs south of the city ino a dreamland called the South Shore.  Now, some long term residents can’t afford to own a house or condo, or rent and apartment in Dorchester because of high prices.  They are forced to go to the suburban wasteland called – The South Shore.


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