playful city

I subscribed to the online version of the Greenfield paper last week – technically it’s the Franklin County paper and it’s owned by a company in Concord NH, so it covers a LOT of ground. But still, it’s a lot more fun to read than other papers I could mention. Regardless this ONE article encapsulates why I chose Greenfield…and really why it continues to surprise me. Basically they saw a need, the applied for grants, the got the grants, the got the volunteers to get out and make it work – and they DID IT. In 50 years, I can’t recall Methuen EVER completing ONE task on its own. Seriously I am not kidding, i need a LOT of fingers to count UNCOMPLETED tasks. I just have to say the word ‘boat ramp’ and heads hang in shame and conversations stall. 10 years now we have had grant money in the bank to build a boat ramp. But still no boat ramp. And I could go on.

this is just such a joyful little story…but it’s not alone…every few days they publish another story about a progressive act either by the city or the people. It just doesn’t HATE itself like we do. And it doesn’t sound like it hates its neighbors…and i certainly can’t say that here. Methuen LOATHES its neighbors with a fiery passion.


Now i realize that a LOT OF US towns and cities are like Greenfield…but I and most of the native peoples of urbanized areas of eastern mass, southern NH etc… have been taught to believe the opposite…that everywhere is like METHUEN. I just couldn’t swallow that anymore – if you had an entire country like methuen, it would be something out of the Walking Dead with people eating each other. I can only think that our social norms have devolved to a point where we don’t expect much from our elected officials, hired civil servants or each other as citizens. We just want to hide behind our front doors, hoping not to be bothered. We just elect the folks we hope won’t hurt us TOO much.

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