Egleston Square: A state of mindset

According to recent headlines in many local print and online media outlets, Egleston Square gets bigger every day. Violence on Boylston Street, near the Brewery Complex and all those wonderful businesses and non-profits, is now said to be in Egleston Square. I have not seen nor felt the outrage from the people who patronize those wonderful resources, nor from the people who live just a block away. I’m sure many of us would rather pretend the violence doesn’t affect us.

If ongoing crime of the most extreme nature were to occur a mere stone’s throw from the scene of last weekend’s murder—in dog-walker’s paradise on the Corridor Park, at the Stony Brook T or at a business on just the other side of Boylston Street—things would be different.
If the shooting occurred there—far closer to the Boylston Street hotspot than Egleston Pizza or Star Fish or the Peace Garden actually in Egleston Square—I can guarantee there were would be a cry for help heard across the city. We would organize from both sides of the tracks like we do for new Parks and Tennis Courts and Monuments and Bike Lanes and More and Better Bus Stops.

It is easy to tell ourselves that such things as drug dealing and shootings don’t happen in JP. They happen in Egleston Square. It’s different, and not really ours, even though many of us who receive and read the JP Gazette live there. No doubt there are Egleston Square community groups organizing a response for us right now. Perhaps a community-wide vigil, another Peace Walk. Will we all be there? And will we be there at the follow-up meetings?

And next time something fun happens at the Brewery Complex, can we please say it happened in Egleston Square?

Anne Morton Smith
Jamaica Plain

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