Quidditch yer bidditchin': Emerson league ordered off Common until it gets a permit

The Globe reports the city Parks and Recreation Department has ordered the 200-person Emerson quidditch club to quit the Common because it doesn't have a permit.

The move sparked a war of words on Twitter today. Our own John Keith was aghast and blamed City Councilor Mike Ross and Mayor Menino for turning the Common into a carnival, a private carnival - in a reference to the carousel by the Frog Pond and the impending Pink Palace sandwich bar.

Outrageous. The Common is open to everyone. What's happening there is a catastrophe.

Ross replied:

1st, Emerson already has use of field through Boston Parks; 2nd like everyone else apply for use.

Ben Starr took issue with Keith:

Emerson already uses Common like its part of their campus without commensurate contribution.

MaJeStu added:

Huh? You want to have an organized sport season on the common, get a permit like everyone else does.

Keith replied:

they don't pay b/c Boston taxpayers are happy to have them and other npos in the city.


Free tagging: 


So Close, yet so far...

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So Close, yet so far... the difference between having a broomstick between your legs and up your ass. Homeless people can be spectators, resembling working class English in tattered clothes...

Welcome new students, the

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Welcome new students, the city where the right palms have to be greased before you can have fun

Easy fix

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Put up a sign that says:

Emerson Quiddich Grounds at the Boston Common

I feel like the problem would evaporate overnight.

Quidditch is not an entitlement

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Let them get a permit like any other large group. And why aren't they playing in the Emerson entitled field that the City has already provided? I'm with Mike Ross on this one. And let's start seriously thinking about the colleges and universities paying a fixed fee instead of a voluntary one for their use (and abuse) of the city.

Emerson is a good neighbor

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Aside from the gaggle of kids smoking outside the Little / Ansin Buildings (something generally despised even by the student body at large) the school doesn't really have much negative impact on the surrounding community.

It has but three subway stops that existed for a hundred years before it moved to the Common (no Boylston St, Emerson College East, Emerson College Central, Emerson College West, Emerson College, Park St. crawl)

Emerson's plans call for a vertical campus. No sprawling-out across miles of the city. Yet its buildings are sprinkled around the area in such a way that you don't end up with a dead zone of private ground level space for building after building. Something like Piano Row is an island in a sea of commercial storefronts. While on the other hand, you have the Emerson Cafe, Sweetwater, etc. And yes, even the horrid Gypsy Bar.

Emerson has a better track record in developing active ground-level commercial spaces and meaningful pedestrian experiences than the Innovation District / Seaport / South Boston Whatever It Is This Week. No endless blank walls screaming "Go Away" at passersby.

Emerson has purchased and restored numerous blighted buildings and theaters - and opened many of them for public use. You're not confronted with a "Oh yeah, well the public is allowed inside, but this is still a college... interloper." kind of atmosphere. The Paramount and the Cutler Majestic feel like theaters that just happen to have a collegiate landlord. You don't get the impression you should be on your way to class.

While some colleges and universities do take advantage of the city and impose burdens on the population at large, I don't really believe Emerson can be counted in that category. I dare say it gives back as much as it takes.

Emerson quiddich players aren't "good neighbors"

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The rules on that field are NO CLEATS ALLOWED. And good neighbors share field space.

I'm in an Ultimate pickup group that has used that field for years. The little quiddich freaks turned up one day...and when they found the field in use, the next week they thought they were really clever and came slightly earlier than us to try and take over the field space.

So, instead of telling them to find a DIFFERENT TIME to use the field, we negotiated SHARING the field. They got half, we got half.

Except their "freaks on broomsticks" game would routinely end up streaming into ours - 6 foot tall football washouts with sticks between their legs trampling their fellow players would come barreling into our game paying zero attention.

Then they started playing in cleats. And we told them that they couldn't, pointed to the signs that CLEARLY SAY NO CLEATS, and explained why cleats on a grass field during a wet season would destroy the field. They told us to, and I quote, "fuck off, pussies. Go play with your dicks, er, I mean, discs."

End result? The field was destroyed in short order and became a muddy mess...and the next summer the field was a dustbowl.

Emerson brats: if you want to talk about SHARING, how about you stop SHITTING all over the place where you are TEMPORARY VISITORS, not taxpaying residents?

What does

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npos stand for?


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The folks who own over 50% of Boston property? The folks who don't pay property taxes because they're 'Non-Profit'? Those folks? The folks who get to charge outrageous rates for their services because taxpayers heavily subsidize their clients/customers through guaranteed student loans? Those folks?

The old 50% number again. You

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The old 50% number again. You can argue the pros and cons of the institutions but don't base it on the faulty 50% land ownership issue.

According to the City, more than 50% of the land in the city is tax-exempt:
• 26% state property;
• 14% city property;
• 2% higher education & medical;
• 8% other exempts.


Yes, the assessed value of that 2% is certainly high but so is the value of the jobs and services provided on that land.

The city and state should be

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The city and state should be consolidating space vertically and not looking to take prime taxable land for offices.


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Emerson does use Rotch field, but also pays for (at least some of) its maintenance.

I would say that Emerson being nearby is a net gain for the general area of Common, especially as far as safety, but that's just me.

Did John Keith read the Globe

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Did John Keith read the Globe article? It states that the Quidditch league used to get permits every year to play in the Common but then chose not to this season for unstated reasons. And when alerted that they needed to do so by the city, there was "miscommunication" and it never happened. The head of the league admits the error is on their end and not the city's. So where does Mr. Keith get off blasting the city for this? This league has over 200 members, this is not just a couple kids using a small part of the field. I have seen them frequently playing and they take up a lot of space. And that's fine, but follow the policies for big leagues similar to softball or rec baseball leagues. Also, you can't claim this is somehow prejudicing Emerson - the Quidditch league is not even a recognized school club. Give me a break, completely misplaced outrage.

The point is

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...Emerson clearly needs to assign more homework.