Having worked in newspapers and magazines for 18 rollicking years, roughly half the time I’ve been alive, I have penned enough “welcome back to school and Boston” articles and columns to fill one of those advice books that you buy at Urban Outfitters knowing damn well that it will rot on your coffee table and only occasionally get used to roll weed on. I’m half-kidding, of course, since many of the service pieces written by reporters on such fronts are infinitely useful; take, for example, the time I wrote a tip sheet titled “How To Grow Pot In Your Dorm Room” for my former employer, effectively compromising campus distribution opportunities for years to come. Nevertheless, you get my point. This isn’t my first welcome wagon rodeo.
You won’t find red carpet pandering in this week’s DigBoston. We do have some critical guides and compendiums—kudos to Associate Music Editor Nina Corcoran for tapping local heroes to help guide both new and old Bostonians alike through the music gauntlet, and to our ace food writer Marc Hurwitz for channeling his other passion, hiking, for awesome recommendations on places to roam and unwind. Overall, though, our approach was just to make an even bigger attempt than usual to inform across issues—from local politics, to cannabis, to business and development, and on through nightlife, film, and the arts. For all those latter topics, we are proud to be one of the last shows left in town for the 85-and-under set.
In closing, while I am sure that I have said this many times before, I’d be a fool to miss an opportunity to at least try passing some positive vibes to those who really are showing up here for the first time. Please take seriously that this is an amazing city because of the eclectic and kaleidoscopic mix of people who contribute to their neighborhoods and assist their communities. As the great Boston MC Exposition (RIP) once rhymed, this place is home to everyone from “businessmen, skate kids, and punk rockers,” to “construction workers, politicians, and doctors,” to “bums on the corner shaking cans looking for dollars.” We’re an ecosystem, and the actions we all take have consequences. Certain individuals or factions may not always get along, and there’s a lot more love needed across the board, but what I know for sure is that the Hub needs people who are aware of and care about others. If you’re simply here to treat people like shit and take as much as you can without giving back, then I’m pretty sure you’re going to have little use for this newspaper, and the feeling is mutual.
P.S. While you’re feeling civic-minded, come check out the Allston-Brighton District 9 Candidate Forum at 404 Washington St. in Brighton this Thursday, Sept 14, at 7 pm. I will be moderating, and it’s an excellent opportunity to meet your candidates for City Council if you live in the area.
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.