Nouveau Riche Mayor Strikes Again
Boston’s widespread conversion from city to Lifestyle Center continues apace with the news that the mayor is looking to redevelop the triangle between Park Drive and Yawkey Way by Fenway Park. As we have all learned by now, “redevelop” can only mean one thing: Luxury condos and the elusive “high-end retail.” Because, Lord, there’s certainly a dangerous shortage of that sort of thing these days.
Tom Menino, according to the Globe report, is envisioning a new neighborhood, “where Fenway sausage vendors would intermingle with high-end boutiques.”
At least, that’s the initial plan. That’s likely to change once Gucci’s landlord, sick of the distastefully attired peanut vendor with his downmarket accent, starts leaning on the city to zone him out—or, I’m sorry, “redevelop him.”
“Now all you see is auto repair shops and sub shops,” sniffs the mayor. “That’s not the future, that’s the past.” When historians try to pinpoint the moment when old Mayor Pothole turned fully into a status-chasing Nouveau Riche suburbanite, it might be that statement right there. Though it may also be when he tried to ban those noisy black kids from dancing near his office.
In any case, one can only imagine the memories the next generation has of their first times at Fenway:
“We parked the car ($90) and my dad and I strode past all the great landmarks that until now, I had only read about. There was the eight-story Banana Republic, the Gucci flagship store, the Prada flagship store (not to be confused with the city’s other four Prada flagship stores), the 19 restaurants with monosyllabic names, the 12 Verizon Wireless boutiques.
“As we walked, we gazed up at the noiseless glass condo towers and admired the lack of dancing. We stopped at one of the famous carts and got two foie gras ‘dogs’ ($28 apiece), but when I dropped a few crumbs on the ground a guy in a $200 t-shirt and $300 jeans jumped out of a black Infinity SUV and started jabbing at me with his walking stick.
“‘You filthy whelp,’ he snapped. ‘Where do you think you are?!’ I asked my dad who he was, and he said he was Tom Menino, and he had been mayor for 37 years…”
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2008/09/19/nouveau-riche-mayor-strikes-again/