Last week I biked in to go to the AACA clean up meeting. It was the same day that I chanced upon Tim Lavelle teaching Tai Chi by the Elliot Norton Park and so I was actually late to the Clean Up Committee meeting, but I knew I wouldn't be missing crucial info really.
Basically the CBA (Chinese Business Association... not to be confused with the CCBA though right now it is the same group of people controlling both really) are planning on putting some cigarette Butt dispensers all around Chinatown. They will even pay for it and the businesses who are members and pay a membership fee will get the dispensers as a part of being members of the CBA.
We talked about the pros and cons of the model, whether college kids would steal it.
We talked about how the Tai Tung Park was very clean right now but that the Elliot Norton Park which is new, is so much cleaner than Tai Tung Park and how the new playground by the Gate is right next to all this smoking activity....and why is there such a big difference between that park... and the Elliot Norton park.
I brought up the difference, but I didn't have an answer at the meeting.
Though the fact that people from Bay Village frequent the Elliot Norton Park and would probably know how to complain... more effectively might be part of it.
Basically a lot of Chinatown is being cleaned up... because of gentrification. And as much as people say that word like it is a dirty word... there are actually good parts to it.
I actually brought up at one point (I don't even know why) that Chinatown could totally be gone in ten years and to just look at DC's Chinatown or lack thereof.
Then I was sort of politely shut down by someone who said that you can't make that comparison because DC's Chinatown was so close to the White House it was inevitable and Boston's Chinatown has so much Section 8 housing that it isn't going anywhere and not to be such a doom and gloom prophesier.
But you know what? I don;t think I am crazy to make that comparison. And yes Boston's Chinatown has a lot of Section 8 housing. But having grown up in and forced out of Section 8 housing, I also know that if something is given to you it can always be taken away. And the truth is even if you pay for it, it ca always be taken away. It is the way of the world.
I'm not saying Chinatown WILL be gone in 10 years. I'm saying don't write that possibility off.
Yes.. .maybe even Chinatown could end up being much BIGGER in 10 years. Sure. At any rate, bigger or smaller, it will be cleaner for various reasons outside of my street sweeping and meeting attendance.