“This is really a love story. ’Cause on the low, most of my haters got love for me.”
I love that line by Cali rapper Crooked I. Not because I think the right-wing radicals who write horrendous messages and emails to the Dig secretly want to brunch with us, but rather because it reminds me that there is another side to all the hating that I personally do.
You see, I’m a lover, too.
As an editor of one of the few publications around here that still strives to hold powerful people and their abusive institutions accountable, I tend to sound like a curmudgeon extraordinaire on the regular. If I’m not complaining about the state of our public transit, for example, I am probably railing against lawmakers who strapped a seemingly bottomless debt to the MBTA.
But I don’t exactly hate these things. Every line I enter into my computer about the Hub is also part of a love story, because like a parent in the 1950s (or today, I guess) attempting to rationalize smacking their kids, I truly love the objects of my animosity. Oftentimes, it hurts me more than it hurts Boston to level such relentless criticism.
With a week of chocolate and plush toys coming up, I thought it might be nice to prove that I have a heart by revealing some of the things that tend to make it flutter.
I love the way that lots of people around here think and react to our reporting; rather than simply agreeing with us like some cornball Fox News sycophants, even lefties who tend to agree with us throw darts when we err.
I love the history surrounding us, even if lots of the pricks who live here for a couple years right after college could care less about what happened before Boston was transformed into a playground for them.
I love the people around here. You’re by and large intelligent across all educational and economic groups, and that’s something you can’t say for a lot of other cities.
I absolutely love how casual this city is, and how you can more or less walk into the nicest restaurants downtown in sweatpants. That just ain’t the case in New York.
I love how we are an inviting tourist city, but not for anyone from out of town who wants to drive a car. On that note, I kind of even love the J-way, and how in Allston, you need to already know that you essentially have to be in the parking lane all the way to the right if you want to drive west onto Brighton Ave through Packard’s Corner, or else you run the risk of getting stuck hanging that confusing left and continuing on Comm Ave over the tracks.
I even love our subway system, prehistoric as it is. My beloved red and orange lines get me home and to work way more than they don’t, even if they’re full of farts, perfume, and assholes playing shitty music out loud on their phones instead of using earbuds.
I love how Mass has legal weed, an excellent draft and craft beer culture, and countless smaller restaurants and food trucks that serve affordable and excellent grub.
And of course I love the local independent media around here, along with everybody who contributes to and consumes newspapers like ours, the Bay State Banner, and the Dorchester Reporter.
After all, there’s a lot of awesome stuff to write and read about in Boston. Sometimes it may not seem like we’re coming at it with a lot of heart, but I promise you that every keystroke comes from a place of real love; a lot of the time, it just happens to be the tough kind.
CHRIS FARAONE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
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.