Monday, January 14, 2008

But I've lived here my whole life!

I like to start off the week with a laugh, and Kevin Cullen's column in the Boston Globe today was just the trick. It's about a Charlestown native smart enough to buy a four-story brick house near Bunker Hill for a pittance ($16,500!) in 1963. Her tragedy? Someone is building another house next door:

She is 74 now, and still works as a flight attendant. She expected to enjoy her later years in the house at Monument Square. Instead she is locked in the latest battle of Bunker Hill. When she looks out the back window that for 45 years afforded a view of the city skyline, she sees the house Bill Pizzurro is building.

Doesn't that SOB realize that paying $16,500 for a house entitles you to keep the same view from each window for 50 years? If you don't think so, wait until the poor woman brings out the ultimate Boston argument:

"I've lived in this town my whole life," Pat Ward said. "I've seen them all come and go. When I was a kid, it was the absentee landlords. Then the BRA. Then it was the condo flippers. Now it's these guys filling in every open space. They make money but they don't have to live with what they do."

I've lived in this town my whole life. If only I had the foresight never to move a mile from my parents' house, I'd be on the right side of every debate over development in my neighborhood. Sadly, I made the mistake of seeing a little bit more of the world (well, a little bit more of the East Coast), which makes me an interloper anywhere I choose to live in Massachusetts.

According to Cullen's column, the builder of the new house has told Pat Ward to buzz off, and she doesn't seem to have legal grounds to prevent him from going ahead with construction. I guess we're supposed to feel sorry for her, but how many of us expect to live in the same house, in an unchanging neighborhood, for a half-century? Hey Pat: Just sell your house, take the money, and run!

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Anonymous Dave Daniels said...

Great post. My question is, when the property was up for sale, why didn't she snatch it up to secure her view? Some people are just crazy. (Be careful, she has Crisco in her holster...)

1/15/2008 12:26:00 PM  

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