Pizza support

Supporting the Same Old Place

A steady stream of people showed their support for the Same Old Place by buying food at the Centre Street pizza place this afternoon, in a "lunch-in" sponsored by Neighbors for Neighbors. Some people have also come up with other ways to support the restaurant.

Below, Joseph Porcelli of Neighbors for Neighbors talks to a reporter inside the Same Old Place:

Joseph Porcelli of Neighbors for Neighbors at Same Old Place Lunch Meet

Porcelli photo by Steve Garfield. Posted under this Creative Commons license.

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Is it just me, or does

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Is it just me, or does someone really love the drama?

drama & attention

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Certain folks love the drama and all of the attention that comes with it (see above picture). Too bad this much attention isn't given to all of the youth and youth workers who work EVERYDAY to empower young people in our community.

It starts with you

Organize something. Get word out on the internet, print up fliers, recruit volunteers, alert the media, and arrange donated food.

Or is that much too hard compared to just bitching about it in an inappropriate place?

Yes, what would the internet

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Yes, what would the internet be for if not to take shots at well-meaning people who actually try to do anything.

Dear Mothers

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We are REALLY, REALLY, REALLY sorry about what happened to your sons. For two decades you've raised and loved and supported them and we cannot imagine how sad you are now, especially right before Thanksgiving where you will be asking yourselves what you have to be thankful for.

From the people of JP who really couldn't give a flying fuck about a pizza place, compared to three (almost four) human lives lost.

Talk is cheap

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My sympathies go out to the parents and other family members (like Soto's two daughters). I cannot imagine what sort of hell they are going through right now.

But there are two communities here.

And how dare you criticize people for standing up for and sticking by a friend and fellow resident whose workers had to clean up the remains of a bloodbath in his place of business.

The guy who owns the pizza place and the workers on duty that night and the people across the street (especially the woman who got hit) did nothing to deserve this mess caused by people packing deadly weapons and carrying a grudge.

You don't like that people who know him and buy from him want to show their support? You don't like that people find the whole thing shocking? Tough. Deal with it.

Sigh.

Gotta love the anons. Wandering around the internet spewing their mental garbage anywhere and everywhere they please. Cheap therapy for them- disgusting for everyone else.

Two clicks, Adam...

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Two clicks on the back end and the ability to post anonymously goes away. Why not?

I second that.

. . . I think anon posting is grotesque. It allows people to throw out their deepest darkest most uncivil thoughts with total impunity- stuff they would never say with their real names. The internet has hundreds- thousands- of forums all catering to such bile and ugliness. A big part of the reason I come here is many posters choose to use their real names or established screen names. I think getting rid of anon posting would really distinguish this site and it is sorely needed in this town. People talking to real people who care about this town- not anonymous crazy people talking to other anonymous crazy people.

Let the anons wander over to the Globe or Herald where they can spew their therapy session weirdness.

Within a few months this site would build a rep as the place where named or established screen named people would come to have real valuable civil discussions about the issues that face this town- and not a place for bomb throwers and nutcases to work out their own personal demons.

Ad hominem

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Also:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anonymous_post#Legal_...

The supreme court sees the wisdom of anonymous commentary. Shame you don't - or only do when it angers you. Funny how so many Americans don't understand their rights, and the rights of others, do not hinge upon whether they agree with the speaker.

Here's where I point out, nonanonymously...

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That article you cited sez:

First Amendment says that "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press."[3] This protection has been interpreted by the Supreme Court to protect the right to speak anonymously offline.

Did I miss Congress proposing a law about Universal Hub?

There is value in anonymous posting

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There are people out there who have something of value to add who don't trust me with their login info or can't remember their login or whatever.

But, yeah, not all comments necessarily rise to inscribe-in-stone status. Anon comments go into a queue first, where I have to approve them, Maybe sometimes I err too much on the side of, um, the opposite of caution. But I guess I need to do some thinking about this.

No virtual paper trail

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...or "anon" people who post at work and don't want a virtual paper trail...

Totally

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Also "like" buttons.

There is a Digg-like thing

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Imaginatively called Drigg (as in Drupal and, well, you get it). I'll take a look at it; maybe it's changed since the last time I played with it (works fine, but it hooks into and changes lots of stuff in the database, which makes it difficult to just turn off if you run into issues).

But here's a possible reason for not just burying stuff like the comments in this thread:

Back in my early reporting days, I got assigned to cover a small town that happened to have a temple. Turned out that for a couple of years, at least, the local thuglings had repeatedly vandalized the place. You never read about it in the police reports, though, because the leaders of the newish temple successfully pleaded with both police and the weekly paper in town (which had way more circulation than my paper) not to release anything. They were worried about making trouble with their gentile neighbors.

Naturally, the vandalism continued, and escalated, until one fall, the punks tore down the entire sukkah the congregation had put up. They must've spent a couple of hours demolishing the thing.

Finally, the temple leaders wised up. News got out. Turns out the gentile neighbors did everything the could to help. And the problem stopped.

Same basic thing happened a few years later, when I was covering another town. This time it was a Vietnamese immigrant family terrorized by local punks. Got to the point where they came home one day to find their pet canary drowned in their pool - one of the darlings had thrown the bird's cage in, with the bird in it. Somebody at the local court tipped me off, we ran the story on the Fourth of July (the family was here because the father had worked with the US military in Vietnam). There was one more attack on the family and then it, too, stopped as the legal system finally took care of these "soldiers."

So I'm hesitant to just hide the garbage away, either by myself or through some group moderation scheme; seems like all that does is let it fester and grow and get worse. Better to expose it and respond and react to it.

That having been said, yes, I'll take a look at possible alternatives.

Group moderation fails

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Digg is the example used, so I'll use it too. There was a conspiratorial group of conservative users on Digg who had multiple accounts and tons of organization. It allowed them to game the system and ultimately a lot of good progressive and other links deemed too "liberal" were squashed from seeing the light of day. "Burying" comments doesn't work because too many people see it as a way to change the atmosphere and they end up targeting specific content or users to get what *they* want out of the system.

What might be better would be a simple filter for the user to decide "Do I want to see anon comments and/or the replies to them?". If people are tired of the anons, they can filter what gets sent to them from the page rendering. Is there something like that in Drupal?

The anon comments here are sometimes useless, and depraved at worst, but they're far better than half the regional website comment sections and way better than most of the rest of the internet. I think readers just need to know that if you're going to read every anon comment, some of them are going to come from asinine people, whether they're bigoted, wrong-headed, or just trolling you.

Grow a thicker skin. It's the internet. Wear your big boy pants and learn to ignore the noise or respond appropriately.

Oh, yeah, Ignore

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There's a module for that, too. Will look into it.

Bravo

Well said, Chris Dowd. The subject of anonymous posts has come up before, of course, and I know Adam's gone back and forth on it.

I hear the concern that "There are people out there who have something of value to add who don't trust me with their login info or can't remember their login or whatever." I would suggest that, if they want to engage in a worthwhile, adult discussion with the other members of this community, they'll figure it out, like the rest of the universe has.

force the anon's hand

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I post here from once every couple of weeks to a few times a week depending on how busy I am (one post was actually pointed to as a reason to continue to allow anons). Were this site to restrict to registered users only I would probably run into a post or comment that would cause me to register to air my thoughts sooner or later.

A few years ago I was a regular poster on craigslist's bike forum. This argument used to come up and I never thought it was worth it (figured that the many "strangers" would have an easier time getting answers to bike questions if they could just post). Now I almost never go there as the site was overtaken by trolls who destroyed a place that had lots of interesting/funny posts and conversations both on and off topic. Of course those forums aren't moderated, only edited by flagging.

If the unregistered posts here are moderated I'm not sure what the problem is. If the number of posts that need to be approved becomes overwhelming the administrater can easily change that. I think I don't register out of sheer laziness at adding another ID/password to my portfolio, maybe I should just resurrect the craigslist handle here....

Not to mention Same Old Place's customers

both the ones who happened to be in the shop at the time of the murders, and all of the other people who regularly or occasionally eat there. What did they do to deserve this?

What, they got a bad case of White Fright?

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"All of the people who regularly or occasionally eat there" - how were they harmed compared to the people who died?

How amazing that you all basically won't come out and say it directly: you all think they deserved it, and fuck the families, right?

Here's a bright idea, since Adam says talk is cheap. How about all the people that went to support the pizza shop go to the funerals for these 3 guys?

So ...

Witnessing violence doesn't cause any damage. Leaves no scars, etc.

Nor does losing several days of pay when you are on a thin margin to begin with.

Really.

Let's just say that your postings here are NOT about the victims. Your postings are, most clearly, about you and your own pathetic issues.

eyeroll...

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Sorry--I forgot that black and Hispanic people actually don't MIND violence or feeling threatened in their own neighborhood. I mean, they kind of enjoy it, right? They kind of deserve it? So yeah--it's only white people who are really, you know...affected by it or would rather not have shoot-em-ups happening where they walk with their kids and their grandmothers. The non-white folks are just down with it?

You think anyone would feel any differently if this had been Whitey Bulger shooting up a pizzeria? Your assumptions are idiotic.

Yeah really.

I remember the 99's shooting in Charlestown - years ago sometime in the 90's. I used to work very near there and had lunch there all the time. I forget the particulars of that mass shooting- some weird mafia thing- but all involved were white gangster types. People were outraged about it - outraged that such violence was brought into an establishment that often times had families eating in there.

It's . . .

. . . repulsive. Using a local board and local tragedy to spew your own inner turmoil - completely free of normal human empathy or just plain old common decency . . . anon posting is all about THAT person and NO ONE ELSE. Well we don't live in a vacuum- we are not autonomous stray atoms- we live in a society!- as George Costanza was want to say on Seinfeld.

and what has anyone done for the OTHER community?

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Oh, right....nothing. The people who went to the pizza shop to "lunch in" don't live on the east side of Boylston, they don't shop there, they probably never even walk through there. They all live on the *other* side of the Orange Line.

The point is not that a local business shouldn't be supported. The point is that it is disgusting to see all this outpouring of sympathy for the shopowner, and nothing, NOTHING, for the families involved.

Someone had to clean blood off his floor. Three families have to bury their sons. How do you dare compare these burdens?

You know . . .

Your disgusting self righteous assumptions about what people care about and think about those who died is simply out of place here and the fact that you don't get that is the problem. Put your name to your indecency here- basically calling anyone who dares think about the shop owners and their customers lowlife racists or uncaring cretins is YOUR problem- YOUR conclusion.

When did the radioactive spider bite you? The one that gives you super powers to peer into everyone's souls and know there worth?

If any of the three people lived in that part of JP

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And anybody knew them, I am sure there would be an outpouring of support for them, just like there was in Egleston Square when Luis Torres died in this pointless little war.

But let's face it: None of these guys is a Surendra Dangol, a pure innocent murdered for absolutely nothing he ever did (you do remember him, no?). At least one of them is a cold-blooded murderer (the guy with the knife). I bet if the guy with the gun had survived, he'd be facing murder charges.

oh please...

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I hate to think so uncharitably on Thanksgiving, but please. I for one live on the "wrong side" of Washington Street. I am raising my family here. I walk and shop here every single day; i know plenty of my neighbors and I am SICK of this crap. The "families involved?" For one thing we haven't heard anything from the families. All I saw was a Facebook memorial page which not only glorified this pointless gang violence as somehow noble and admirable, it completely ignored the fact that Johnell went into a crowded pizzeria, pulled his hoodie over his face and stabbed a guy to death. There were no innocents here and God forgive me, but I have no sympathy in me right now for any of these guys. Instead I'm remembering Louis Brown, Soheil Turner, Kai Leigh Herriott, the boy shot on his scooter last spring, and the mother of five who was shot in Roxbury a few weeks ago, and countless other innocent victims of this kind of macho, idiot BS. I am furious and I want a change. I want to hear something different from the families and friends than "he was a good kid" or, God forbid, "he was a standup nikka" or "a fallen soldier." How about "I loved him, he was also a violent, hot-headed guy who made a series of stupid and selfish decisions and we are going to start raising our boys differently."

Apologies for the rant, but this is weighing on me heavily. And maybe soon I'll feel more forgiving but right now I'm just angry.

um, whatever dude

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yeah, thanks but i'll hold my sympathy for Freddy and the pizza shop. 3 thugs have a shoot-em-up on Centre street in a total disregard for human life? putting kids and regular folks in mortal danger? EFF OFF.

I hold no sorrow for them.

don't you mean...

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"what your sons did to each other?" This didn't just "happen" and it's only a matter of luck that a bullet didn't happen to someone inside that restaurant or walking by.

well, sorry, sort of...

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I posted above, and came off harsher than i wanted. But I'm angry. To those self-righteous posters above (please, "white fright?" you're gonna go there?), i can't believe you don't hold any anger here. C'mon. And yes, i am from here. I live around the corner on Green. I'm a proud JP'er. My sister lives a couple hundred yards down the road with her husband and three year old. They go to Same Old and JP Licks all the time. You start to shake with anger when you think about what "could" have happened here.

So save your soapbox ramblings. The fact that you'd pick on community organizers for supporting Fred is pretty sad. As the poster just above mentioned, how about you get yourself a reality check and head over to the Facebook pages and myspace pages for these guys. Glorification of guns, money, and thug life. comments like "another soldier down. you died like a soldier." ...no - you died like a dog in the street, over something probably pretty senseless. "God wanted him early with all the angels, he's in a way better place now," No...God didn't take you, reckless violence and a gun took you. And no, you're not in a better place now. You're dead.

I'm sorry for the families on this day.

Intervention and Prevention

We think we all... across the city... have a lot of work to do with intervention and prevention. And some of that takes the form of supporting our shop owners and small businesses.. and some of it takes the form of providing better opportunities and interventions with our young people.

I don't think there's any one answer here... and there shouldn't be. It's going to take a lot of answers to address these multiple issues... but we are one city, and we can all work together.

What?

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I am confused as to the argument here.. The original anonymous post was an homage to the mothers of the victims of this crime, right? Is that what inspired all of this angry ranting?
Everyone involved in this horrible situation deserves support. But I think the possible loss of business for the venue and the scared *$#&-less bystander experience other post-ers mentioned pales in comparison to the loss of a child, which I believe was the anonymous post-er's point. It's easy to dismiss the victims as "thugs" and in doing so, suggest their lives have little value. I don't think it's a valid contribution to an important discussion, however.

-Aqua

There's an issue lost in the anger

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It's something Adam alluded to, but went overlooked in the vitriolic back and forth: "There are two communities here." Neither posting from either side seem to know or care much about the other, but they're both sharing the same space on a daily basis and are almost invisible to one another. The one sees the incident at the same old place as a tragedy in its community because a beloved institution was caught in the crossfire of a gang conflict it didn't invite and innocent bystanders were placed in harm's way in an otherwise safe part of the neighborhood. The other regularly sees innocent bystanders in harm's way and mourns the loss of four people -- criminals though they may have been -- who were family members, friends and people who both failed the community and had the community fail them.

The former will never see how the latter raise their kids, deal with a block-to-block environment that encourages safety via gang membership or scrawl memorials on the wall of Fernandez Spa. The latter will never understand why the former places importance on the safety of institutions like Same Old Place or any other place where members of the public gather frequently, considers the four dead only callous murderers and not complete individuals and can draw a mental map of the exact borders of the "safe" part of JP and tries to adhere to them as often as possible.

This isn't saying that everyone in JP falls into one group or the other, but the commenters seem to. There's a general lack of understanding, and no token kumbaya effort from either side is going to help that. This isn't a question of projects vs. homes or yuppies vs. "real" JP or even rich vs. poor. It's just a question of people whose very different lives don't intersect very often until events like this. It's about not knowing neighbors because you're basically living in very different neighborhoods within blocks of each other. They don't say hi, they don't play with each other's kids, they don't talk poolside at Curtis, they don't shop, eat or drink in the same places.

But they both have a point. The anon picked the most antagonistic way possible to make it, but he's right: Despite what you think of those four boys or think you know from their arrest records, they're going to be mourned by people, especially their mothers. I'm not so sure that they'd be offended by the support for Same Old Place, but I don't think it's a lot to ask to keep the slurring of their sons to a minimum -- as they all paid dearly for their actions. Meanwhile, the other posters are absolutely right: People in the their neighborhood are prone to getting jumpy when something like this happens - I remember the light traffic at Tedeschi after the murder there -- and supporting a place and making sure it stays in business is a great way to show you care. No, they didn't lose anyone, but watching four people kill each other and catching a stray bullet on an evening jog isn't something to take lightly.

The words harmony and understanding tend to get tossed around a lot, but I think the one lesson everyone took away from this incident is one they learned either from living here their whole lives or checking things out shortly after moving in: We really don't know each other, and have little excuse to do so.

I'm not in any position to recommend a course of action or to tell grown adults how to live their lives. I'll just say that the one thing I've learned to do more often since I've moved to JP than in any other place I've lived is just talk. I let a conversation with the clerk at Harvest or Fernandez go about two or three sentences longer than usual. Acknowledge the people who acknowledge you or, for dog walkers out there, your dog. I ask questions: I've learned that Mr. Ferris, besides running the bike shop, also winds the clock at the church in monument square. I've learned from the clerks at Fernandez how to find a good tomatillo and plantain. I've learned from the barbers at Sal's that a soccer player will never succeed if he or she doesn't pass every so often. And I've learned that, if you ask the clerk at JP Variety nicely, you can always find the off-brand version of what you're looking for.

It's not always perfect: There are still double-wide stroller pushers who crowd me off the sidewalk, fixed-gear bikers who try to run me down even when I have the walk signal, dudes in front of the barber shop who take up a whole lot of space filming videos and just shooting the shit and kids at the South Street homes who can sustain a playful summertime scream longer than it seems lung capacity would allow on nights when my windows are all open. But that's a neighborhood. The waitresses at the Galway still throw food plates in front of me, the guys at Burritos pizza still don't know many addresses north of Washington Street (though mine is only a few blocks up Carolina) and kids at the Forest Hills T stop only speak at one ridiculously loud volume when school lets out, but that too is a neighborhood.

I don't think yelling at your neighbors to be more sensitive gets anyone very far -- especially those of you who don't live in the neighborhood -- and I don't think banning anons for rudely introducing facts you're uncomfortable with helps the discussion at all. I'm very glad Adam doesn't seem to be cowing on that issue either, as it only further segregates and isolates people from their community -- which doesn't always agree with them and doesn't feel the need to live up to their ideal. I just think that being a part of this community is a privilege and everyone in it contributes to what unfolds here on a daily basis. There may be two communities living here, but It's all our neighborhood. Perhaps instead of leveling criticism at one another and looking for some token of moral superiority, we could actually listen to each other.

Comment on JPSouth

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Great Post. I've been away from the neighborhoods for many years.

You should copy your post and spread it around JP. I get discouraged when I hear the same clergy people, screaming: "This has to stop", "Someone has to do something".

I don't condemn the leaders. I just don't think their reach is that great. The message has to be felt from top to bottome by those who live there, not just the leaders. They might see the enemy is "us". That "us" is not any one individual or faction, but a collective legitimate reaction to the fears of getting through the perils of daily life. Can fear be replaced with faith and hope, and maybe charity?

We're our own worst enemy, because no one works so hard at it.

Read the thread

Comments 1 and 3, specifically. As well as the accusation that this event was only about "white fright". These all appear to be coming from the same sewer, and are all aimed at divisiveness in the community. Note that comment #6 wasn't really about the families of the victims, either (Mothers? Um, one victim was raised by his father): it was also condemning the event using the phrase "couldn't give a flying fuck about a pizza place". Stay classy!