Month: October 2012

Love that Dirty Old Boston

A new Facebook page has been blowing up my Newsfeed lately…Dirty Old Boston.  This community page, which features pictures and images of “Boston before the gentrification of the 1980s,” started just weeks ago on September 22 and has almost 4,000 likes and 8,000 comments.  Last week was its most popular week, with photos of the 1970s stripper Princess Cheyenne (who became a bit of a recurring theme for a moment there), the original Boston Garden, a hit list from WRKO, lots of arson and other historic urban fires…you get the idea.  Many of the images aren’t “dirty,” so much as they are retro: women in vintage swim suits, old nightclubs in Cambridge, dudes in bellbottoms, etc.  These images draw a sense of the city’s bohemian roots. Its rise in interest on Facebook has been rapid, and has been primarily among folks between 35 and 44.  Which means, probably not people who remember a lot of the things in the photos, except as kids and teens. Posted 10/18/12: “There was an arson ring that was burning …

Seeking the Salt of the Earth

Why, hello there.  It’s been awhile!  This summer I took a break from writing in order to build the first season of programming for my new events practice, terroir studio.  I learned a lot about how to (and how not to) put on dinner parties, and I also experienced some changing thinking about the nature of community building and public space — but that’s a topic for another post.  Today, I want to introduce a series of posts I’ll be producing throughout the rest of the fall, which I’m calling “Seeking the Salt of the Earth.” If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m fascinated by the telling of collective origin stories.  Exhibitions, consumption patterns, historic preservation strategies, rituals and practices, and design aesthetics that deal with questions like: Who are we?  What parts of our pasts do we celebrate? How do we deal with the physical reminders, in our environment, of things we’d rather forget? What kind of past do we need in order to become the …