Beyond being a way to alert city officials to potholes and broken streetlights, Boston's Citizens Connect has proven a good way to tap into the local zeitgeist and see what's really getting under Bostonians' skins:
In 2012, Bostonians proved themselves a picky, prickly lot, chosing to complain about everything from a No Busses sign on the Paul Dudley White Bicycle Path (whadaya mean, no kissing?) to the fact that a light pole near Jamaica Pond was brown instead of black like all the other light poles there. On Sept. 7, an aggreived citizen filed a complaint about the level of play he was witnessing at Fenway Park. One citizen complained Faneuil Hall had too many damn living statues.
Some people proved persistent with their complaints, such as the citizen who has been complaining for two years about double parked postal workers on Talbot Avenue in Dorchester. But for sheer persnickitness, nobody tops the Font Kvetcher of the South End, who just would not let city officials rest until they finally replaced an Appleton Street sign that had offended his finely tuned font sense:
Filth was, as always, a major source of complaints, from dirty thongs in East Boston to a river of grease on Beacon Hill and mountains of trash in the South End. Somebody filed a complaint about one homeless woman's trash convoy outside the BPL in Copley Square. Another citizen complained Gordon Ramsay (yes, the celebrichef) was slobbing up the North End.
Where is this landlord?!! This is ridiculous for the last 24 hours these people have been partying on the common porch, screaming yelling blaring music and throwing their bottles and limes over the side. I just moved in and I can't handle this!!
Rats weren't the only animals on people's minds. A Roxbury citizen complained about a pack of racoons that acted like honey badgers; somebody else alerted the city to a slavering giant rat-like creature with a raccoon-like body wandering around North Station. Also by North Station, somebody demanded the city do something about the woman putting out entire bagels for birds, along with:
Deli salads such as tuna and chicken with mayonnaise, whole prepared sandwiches, vegetable salads, cookies, raw slices of meat and bone, two whole raw turkeys, and loaves of bread.
Complainers got results: When Masco, the people who run the medical area, planted Rte. 9 directional signs right in the middle of a Tremont Street sidewalk, a complaint to Citizen Connect led to Masco removing the signs a day later.
One Dorchester citizen wanted something done about the phallus inscribed in the new sidewalk outside his or her house:
As much as I love penis - drawing it in the cement in front of my house isn't how I want to come home.
Several residents noted the annoying habit of their neighbors to extend winter-parking space saving to the summer, from Dorchester to Roslindale. In the North End, somebody went the extra mile and saved a space with a pink toilet.
A fuming-on-the-inside Dorchester citizen pointed to an overgrown mini-park that he bet would never be tolerated in the mayor's home territory of Readville (turns out he was right):
A resident of Jones Hill in Dorchester reported going slowly insane thanks to an incessant beeping every 30 seconds for roughly a year. Another Dorchester citizen complained about the neighborhood bitchmobile.
Finally, one citizen submitted a meta-complaint: People are complaining too much.
the real plight on Boston is the number of whiny, entitled, superficial humans pleading with the city to do something about some overgrown shrubbery, trash on the ground, or graffiti (which literally causes no real harm to anyone or anything besides the perceived harm of having to momentarily glance at something that you personally don't find aesthetically pleasing). think about what's really important next time you reach for your iPhone hoping to waste some more of the city's resources.