My Love/Hate Relationship with Allston
I lived in Allston. Who hasn’t? It’s a rite of passage around these parts, especially if you go to Boston University or Boston College and need somewhere to live during the summer that’s cheap and easy to find on Craigslist.
I rarely venture back to the old neighborhood (it takes about 35 minutes to drive there from Somerville and feels worlds away), but if I do pass through, I feign shock and horror and regale friends with my tales of living on Ashford Street. We had bars on our windows. Someone spray-painted [insert dirty word here] on our front door. A rat ran across my flip-flopped foot as I sat on the porch, chatting on the phone. And it was as big as a cat.
Still, I can’t help feeling a little twinge of nostalgia for Allston once in a while. (The music scene was, is, and will always be awesome. And, yum, Bagel Rising bagels.) And, when it strikes, I smartly skip the trip across the river and get my fix on Allston Rat City — a Tumblr aggregating all the sordid, vermin-related, student-y, and somewhat awesome things about the beleaguered borough. Anyone can submit a story, a news tip, whatever. (I should mention that the language in some posts is NSFW.)
You’ll find graffiti, rants about the MBTA, and other assorted tales of the city. The first post I ever saw was a photo of a deer head tossed out with the trash bags on garbage day. There might be a peaceful scene of a leaf-strewn street — with the caption, “Fall. The good part. In a few months it’ll start raining and everything will go to hell. I’ll enjoy it for now.” — next to a shot of a sweaty underground show.
It’s a little bit chaotic, and tinged with gritty beauty; just the way I remember it.