The following message was left on the DigBoston voicemail at 12:04 am on Memorial Day morning:
Hi, I’m calling from a Back Bay restaurant. Um, tonight we had a gentleman with a handful of your magazines come in and try to speak with our customers. Didn’t ask for any money, he just dropped off the magazines. I would just like to ask you guys to report to your employees: Do not come in after hours! We close at 9:30 and he came in at a quarter to midnight. Do not do that. It was not well-received by our clientele or management, and it’s very disrespectful. Thank you.
It’s painful to imagine the absolute horror faced by these people, clientele and management alike, still we must do our best if there is to be any sense of sanity restored to the downtown area. Just for a second, let’s pretend that we’ve been partying in Back Bay all day, nonstop from brunch and bloody marys through last call. Nothing but beautiful faces, with finance studs and incredibly chic women living it up. But right before your perfect evening comes to a close, one of Boston’s far less fortunate residents slips into the bar where you’re enjoying a last cocktail—and tries to get you to read. And it’s an alternative newspaper! The inhumanity!!!
Since the dick who left the voicemail didn’t answer his cell when I rang him back, I’m left to assume what happened is that late last Sunday night, one of the many homeless people who reside in Back Bay grabbed a handful of DigBoston issues from a street box. For whatever reason, perhaps hoping that someone who was lucky enough to be inside a restaurant might give them some spare change in exchange for a copy, they then walked into a place where heads were still up drinking. It wouldn’t be the first time.
I don’t want to overthink this too much, but it’s pretty odd that the complainant and their colleagues really thought we were distributing our paper in that way at that hour. Or not, considering their apparent disdain for this outlet and lack of knowledge about media in general.
Worst of all though, since they didn’t say where they were calling from, we may never know which shameful and elitist inevitable Yelp casualty frowns at the mere sight of a Dig after dark.
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.