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This article was in the November 2003 issue of Self Magazine (that I finally read the other night). I'm a sentimental sap so the title caught my eye, and then I found out that the author was from MA. I used to go to Cabots for Ice Cream and my Mom used to buy all of our shoes at The Barn too! I grew up in Waltham right over the West Newton line (pretty close to Newtonville where the author grew up).

As I kid I didn't think much about Waltham, it was just kind of where I lived. For a while it was actually a sore spot, since I went to school in Watertown and most of my friends were from there. When I started at Waltham High School I felt a lot like an outsider since I hadn't grown up in elementary and junior high school with a majority of the kids. It wasn't until I moved to Boston for college (all excited to "get out" and make my own new and exciting life, like this author) that I gained an appreciation for what we had in the city. I know I'll get back there at some point, I just have to hang on.

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Apr. 19th, 2002 10:27 am
dancerjodi: (Default)
What kinds of things to you look for in the community you live in? Does it matter to you? Is your house just a place where you put your body and it doesn't matter exactly where that house is?

I've been thinking a lot about the moving thing - the bottom line is that if we want to live in what would be my ideal community we're either going to continue to rent, buy a condo or pay through the nose for a teeny house. As a result of this we had resigned ourselves to the fact a while ago that of course there would be some compromises. I guess I always expected that, I mean, we aren't rich! But "community" wasn't the thing I thought I'd compromise on - it was the actual house itself.

I think moving away would be good for me as much as it upsets me. I just need a change of scenery, I need to get into another area and learn how to be part of a different community. And I can always visit.

Almost every person that I've told that we're looking at a couple of houses in Framingham has either said "um, what area is it in - I HOPE its not near the town center, its kind of crappy there" or they've said "oh my God, that's SO FAR away". I'd feel safe enough living there and there's definitely lots of stuff around (its just different stuff than I'm used to). And true the commute would be longer . . . its not right on many highways like Waltham is, but its on the Pike and Rt. 9. But there is a commuter rail. I just don't want to end up in this big ole house with a big ole yard and never go anywhere or have anyone come to visit (I think B would be perfectly comfortable with this, most times).

I'm definitely leaning in that direction (if we moved further North we may be closer to Boston and B's work and better T-accessible but we'd have less house and less land for more $, just like of we stayed in Waltham . . . only there wouldn't be the same sense of Community, I think).

Its such an odd decision to make - to choose where you're going to lay down roots and to choose something which will have such a serious effect on your life for years to come.

Odd . . .
dancerjodi: (Default)
Its the first day that "flex time" has actually worked for me. The first time there was a baby shower to run and the second a mandatory meeting at 1:00 PM . . . today after some toasted ravioli at The Chateau I headed home.

It is a daunting task trying to keep a rabbit cool in a stuffy apartment with no air conditioning. I called my Dad again and asked for advice on which kind of AC to buy (i.e. one that fits in the funky wall frame). After cleaning the apartment a bit (ah I'm an anal neat freak) I settled down to read through the last week's worth of newspapers.

The first interesting one included an article on the history of theaters in Waltham. At the hight of the city's entertainment times there were 6 of them (5 on Moody Street and one on Elm Street). One could get a movie and a show for $.15 and watch silent films accompanied by a large organ or see a Vaudeville performance. The building that my old dance studio was in served as a rooming house for the performers at the Waldorf Theater (which is just commercial rental space now though the face looks reminiscent of its original purpose).

Its definitely interesting to watch the growth of a city over time - going from industrial mecca to a center of shopping and entertainment to a poor dirty city to an up-and-coming yuppie town with many restaurants, luxury apartment buildings on the Charles and a neat movie theater. Change is inevitable but I wonder about the people that are being left behind or forced out.

There was another article about a restaurant in Nonantum that has installed bocce courts in the back recently. If there's one thing that reminds me of old summer family cookouts its bocce. We used to live in my Grandmother's back yard in the summer - there was the ugly yellow umbrella with orange flowers and tassels over the picnic table, the tacky coiled metal drink holders (you stuck them down in the dirt and the large coil up at the top would fit a soda can) and there was the old clothes line that the kids would run circles around (you know those ones with a pole in the middle and rows of rope stretched across the top in a square?).

Bocce makes me think of the men, the large and powerful men in brown pants and short sleeve dress shirts (white undershirt underneath, of course). They would play in the space of yard behind the garage after cooking up for the rest of the crew. I never did figure out how to play but we children would play around with the balls in our own way before the "official" games started. And when the sun went down we would lay on my Grandmother's front lawn with the goodies we just got from the ice cream man. We'd discuss things from relatives, to dance lessons, to vacations and to who had the 'cooler' school.

I miss the feeling of community and family that there used to be abound around us. We all live within our little universes each day - going to work or school, home to apartment, condo our house. We are so busy with things that used to be less important. How did this happen?

Do you have any stories about community or any things that bring back clear memories of it?


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