ALLSTON RAT CITY: THE INTRODUCTION

(The following is a post that was originally published June 3, 2013 on DigBoston’s website.)

We here at what is colloquially known as “The Allston Tumblr” intend for this to serve as the mission statement — the raison d’etre, if you will — that allston.tumblr.com never got, but truly needed.

In other words, if you don’t already know us, it’s a good time for you to get familiar.

Allston Rat City is a snapshot.

A document of what it is like to live in this specific place at this specific moment. We’re not trying to wax poetic or glorify anything, we just want to do what newspapers are supposed to do. Sometimes I’m buying a newspaper in a strange city and think “I am about to learn what it’s like to live here.” (Excerpt, David Berman, “Self-Portrait at 28.”)

RT @danofthehause: Seeing a guy on a casual 2am unicycle ride. Yea I guess that’s Allston
— Allston Rat City (@allstonratcity) May 31, 2013

Through crowdsourcing and aggregation we’ve really learned a lot about how many different experiences people have in this neighborhood, and through this education it has come to light for many how culturally eclectic Allston really is. Studies like this are often microcosms of the world as a whole, and it’s given me a real sense of being very tiny in the face of just how big everything is.

RT @kikikiaraa: Dear Allston. I love you — Allston Rat City (@allstonratcity) May 26, 2013

We started out being bored, and wanting to make a blog that centered around a single piece of graffiti that kept appearing on the sidewalks:

We’ve heard too many people misinterpret that creed, “Keep Allston Shitty,” and use it to glorify problematic aspects of the neighborhood.

We shouldn’t see it that way. We don’t need it to be shitty as in strewn solo cups and date rape; we just don’t need it to get so nice that we can’t have our friends play music in our basements and low-income families can’t afford to buy their first homes here. So it appears we don’t want to keep this neighborhood shitty. We have no vested interest in persistent vomit puddles and roving herds of undergrads looking to fight. We want to make it a better place for those who call it a home, and help those who call it a stepping stone to adulthood treat it with more respect.

Each week we want to show you something we’ve seen around us: a pattern, a trend, a habit, a location, something that catches our eye. We want to show you things in a context you might not have thought about, and talk about things that we feel need to be talked about.

We want to do all of this while making you laugh at yourself, and us too.

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