Voices of Discontent Must Be Understood

Another very contentious neighborhood meeting last week brought out a gathering of residents, many of them angry and frustrated by noise, drunkenness, unruliness and all forms of behavior that impose upon the quality of life that most residents living in the North End deserve and demand.

There were a number of very unhappy residents describing their trials and tribulations at bar closing time. Some who live close to the action on Hanover Street and other streets where bars exist, described ruined lives, almost.

We know how they feel.

No one should have to put up with a crush of intoxicated patrons being pushed out onto our streets at closing time.

For those living next to bars or on top of them or a few feet away, it is understandable that frustration can build.

It is the duty and the responsibility of bar owners and restaurateurs to take a special interest in their immediate neighbors – their problems, their complaints, their anger and their predicament.

For better or worse, everyone living in this congested neighborhood must learn to live with everyone else coming here.

Obviously, the modern North End is a far different place from the rather sleepy neighborhood that existed here 50 years ago.

The North End rocks and bustles with business and life and a changing residential demographic. Everything about the place has changed or is in a state of change today.

There is no turning back the clock. There is no back to yesterday. There is no possibility of fencing the neighborhood in and keeping out tourists, shoppers and college students.

Everyone must learn to coexist and to live in peace with one another.

If drunkenness is a pervasive problem we are being overrun by – and we don’t think it is – then it must be dealt with to assuage those claiming to be most impacted by it.

However, we understand human nature.

Those who complain the loudest about their lives being ruined by the modern North End are only a tiny fraction of those living here, working here and enjoying life here.

For the most part, we believe, most North End residents enjoy a very positive, quiet, safe and unobstructed quality of life existence. Crime statistics prove this. The general consensus about life here held among the residents proves this.

The vast majority of men, women and children living here are untouched by anger, fits of frustration and exhortations of despair such as those heard at last week’s neighborhood meeting.

People want to move here and to live their lives here because living here is a privilege and these days, you have to pay a lot to have your own living space in the North End.

Forget about a parking space – but that’s another issue for another editorial.

Last week’s meeting proved more than anything else, that there are some very unhappy residents living close to the action in this neighborhood.

Their voices must be heard. Their narratives must be paid attention to.

Their plaintive pleas for relief from others who ruin their quality of life must somehow be solved or achieved or this neighborhood will remain a house divided.

In the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln: “A house divided cannot stand.”