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October 03, 2011


In your usual tired tirade against Salem, you failed to mention Wandering Aengus Ciderworks opening up in the fairview industrial area.

LoveSalem, thanks for your concern, but I'm not tired of making tirades against Salem. Still got plenty of energy left to critique Salem's lameness.

But you're correct: there's some good things going on in the Fairview Industrial Park. Recently I met the woman who runs Fresh Fingers -- a great company. They had a grand opening of their new location today.

I wanted to attend, but got distracted when my iPhone 4 got thrashed by an iOS 5 update. Is there life without an iPhone? I'm finding out today.

I have been thinking about this post off and on since I first saw it, trying to come up with a reply that somehow gets past the sarcasm of my gut reaction which is: "God forbid that "valuable" property, with a river view no less, should be developed for poor people and children." It seems to me that in this economy in which poverty is increasing, people are being foreclosed out of their homes right and left and unemployment and underemployment are rampant and "Salem can't fill any of the 'upscale' units that already exist" anyway, that housing for low income people is not such a bad idea.

And why not house low income people in a desirable location. New York Times columnist Charles Blow recently wrote about a low income housing project in Harlem with an attached early childhood education center in which the residents, many elderly or disabled, and children in the center, many from the nearby neighborhood, were treated with dignity and provided with a building that "is not only beautiful, but it also pulses with pride and hope and happiness."

I agree, Salem does not need a lot more parking. But in these times it does not need gentrification either. Whatever comes of this site, I hope it maintains open space along the river with a walking/jogging/bike path and connection between Riverfront Park and Minto-Brown Island Park. That would be something for all of us. I hope I don't become insufferable comparing salem to Boston, but in the Boston area, from which I just moved to Salem, the Charles river is the urban back yard with miles of recreational paths on both sides of the river. There is almost no commercial development along the river banks. There is a concession stand at the Hatch Shell where Boston Pops concerts and other concerts and festivals and events are held. There are ball fields and tennis courts, picnic areas, playgrounds and boat houses for university and community rowing and sailing programs but no kitschy boutiques or restaurants yet the river banks are thronged with people strolling, biking, playing, enjoying the urban back yard.

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