For real. Even though developers in Boston and the surrounding areas keep knocking down all the fun things, real estate prices and rental rates keep going up. This makes no sense. Who wants to live somewhere there’s nothing interesting to do?
Take, for instance, a travesty that has befallen Cambridge’s Porter Square neighborhood. The Gourmet Express, a 24-hour pizza and various etcs. restaurant and convenience store, has been demolished to make way for a 27-unit residential building. This is a debilitating body blow to the neighborhood that should have resulted in the collapse of the area’s real estate market.
For one thing, now there’s nowhere to get pizza at three in the morning. For real. There is essentially a pizza curfew enforced in Porter Square. Combine this with the recent conversion of Central Square’s Hi Fi Pizza to a fucking Clover and it’s not hard to imagine a dystopian Cantabrigian future where there is no pizza, only overpriced flatbread that’s a poor facsimile of our beloved pies of old. Herman Cain tried to warn us about this horror. Please tell me I’m not the only one who listened.
Gourmet Express was also frequented by quite the gang of misfits. Stoners, drunks, losers, bums…the place was full of the supposed dregs of society. Personally, I’d redefine that term so it includes investment bankers and people who enjoy the Big Bang Theory, but I digress. You’re probably wondering what the problem is. After all, the place in which those dregs congregated is now gone. Isn’t that a good thing? No, you fucking dope! Answer me this: do you know where the dregs are now? You don’t, do you. That used to be a really easy question to answer: they were in the Gourmet Express! Now the dregs could be anywhere. They could be in your bushes. They could be breaking into your house while you sleep looking for pizza that’s now become much more difficult to acquire. There could even be one behind you RIGHT THE FUCK NOW. You looked, didn’t you? Ha ha! Loser.
Similar scenes are playing out across the Boston area. Prices along Route 1 have failed to fall despite the loss of the Hilltop Steakhouse and the pending removal of the big orange T-Rex. Rent in the Seaport is sky high even though the closure of Anthony’s Pier 4 means there’s nowhere to get Ritz crackers with cheese from a chain-smoking waitress while enjoying an array of seascapes. This makes no sense.
Real estate is stupid.