22 Replies to “Poll: Who is to Blame for the Noise and Quality of Life Problems in the North End?

  1. Actually, LANDLORDS are to blame for the noise and quality of life problems in the North End. LANDLORDS could easily rent to more mature young professionals, but they would either have to renovate their units or decrease the rents – two things that most LANDLORDS are unwilling to do. Most LANDLORDS, however, are greedy or moved out of the neighborhood long ago, so they do not care!!! If you are a LANDLORD and are collecting $2,000 a month from a college student, then you have absolutely no right to complain.

    1. I should have included landlords in the list. It’s too late to change this poll now that it is in progress, but I encourage folks to choose “Other” for landlords.

    2. once again there is no responsibility on the part of the people actually causing the trouble/noise. i for one will not rent to college students. isn’t this america. if a landlord wants to rent for 2000. a month. good luck to them. why is the landlord responsible for someone else’s actions. i say put a ban on college students in the neighborhood. i would go so far to agree that if a certain building keeps getting complaints something should be done. fine the person/persons causing the trouble and give the landlord the right to evict without notice, and no chance for the trouble tenant to sue. come on people. hold the people who are causing the trouble accountable.

        1. Not all people under 30 cause problems. Punishing an entire group for a few people’s bad behavior is hardly a solution. If you punished entire groups of people based on one member’s bad behavior, no one would be left in the North End.

    3. I Totally Agree, Landlords Are To Blame. The Word Is Greed, They Want Out Ragious Rents And They Dont care about renting to 2-3 students instead of renting to a family who wants to come back to the north end, or not have to move out of the north end. For god sake lower the damn rents, make it affordable like every where else, and we would not be having these problems.
      It is so sad what happened to the north end, where are thier souls and hearts???
      So if they want those rents, then they really have no reason to complain..

  2. We all know what the issues and problems are. Why do we need a poll to determine who’s MORE to blame? It seems at best counter productive and at worst a little mean spirited. How about a poll about “What should be done?” Blaming people does nothing; solutions do.

    1. I’ll plan to do a follow up poll on “What should be done?” in the future. Coming up with solutions generally means addressing the problems, which is where people seem to disagree. Thanks for the suggestion.

      1. Thanks for the follow-up, but I don’t think people disagree on what the problems are. I read your page pretty regularly, and everything’s well documented. Side note: thanks for maintaining it. It’s great.

  3. #1 Students are obviously the ones causing the problem, but students are young, like to party and really don’t care about the neighborhood. Nothing new, can’t really blame these particular ones more than the ones that came before them or the ones that will come after they move out.

    Therefore, that leaves:

    #2 Landlords. Most will happily rent to students who are less likely to demand high quality residences, less likely to complain about small improvements and more likely to pay their rent in full and on time (thanks mom and dad). They can pack in 4 kids in a 2 or 3 bed and jack up the rent each year with regular turnover and line their pockets. Most don’t live in the North End so are impervious to the actual quality of life issues their tenants are causing for the rest of us.

    #3 the BPD. The BPD continues to treat the North End as a quaint little burrow that doesn’t need active policing. You’ll often see just one motorcycle cop walking down Hanover gladhanding and eating cannolis while the real partying and lawbreaking is going on across all the tiny side streets. Continued calls go unanswered and if they are, by the time the police get there the scene has unfolded.

    So, 1) hold the landlords of trouble spots accountable. Charge them fees each time there is a complaint. 2) We need the police to walk the beat more regularly every Thursday to Sunday from 11pm to 4am. Until that happens and there’s a real sense of these kids getting fined or arrested, I don’t see anything changing.

  4. 224 Hanover…the owners of that building, which constantly has trash bags in front of it 24/7, need to be called on the carpet.

    The owners of these properties should be called to stand in front of the neighborhood associations to explain how they are going to rectify the trash problem.

  5. As a long time resident and observer of people in our community, my opinions are the following:
    1- We are not going to get drunks to whisper in the neighborhood. Period. Give that notion up. Awareness of the fact that people live here is a waste of resources.
    2- People are going to return to the neighborhood to either a) get food (Bova’s, Pompeii) or b) Go home.
    3- The best “bang for the buck” will be to not give them a reason to come to the neighborhood unless they live here and they are going home.
    4- The focus should be on ensuring that people returning home are monitored for disgusting behavior like urinating, vomiting, fighting, vandalizing property – This is indeed a Police issue and loud parties (again, a Police issue).
    5- Stop giving people from all over the city a reason to come here, and we will limit the problem to residents and their behavior on their way home and after they get there.
    6- Don’t give “out of the neighborhood” people a reason to come here after the bars close and the problem will be vastly reduced and limited to residents (yes, “yuppies & students” in large part), but we will eliminate the huge external problem element than many overlook in these forums.
    One last thought: If we can’t get these businesses to agree to close down at midnight because they are permitted to stay open (and I would not blame them if they took that position), How about a police sobriety check at the intersection of Hanover and Cross St? After all, what are the odds that anyone DRIVING to come and get pizza at 2:00-4:00AM is sober? (and believe me, I have seen TONS of cars loaded with people come to the neighborhood to get some pizza or “action” at those hours).
    Anyway – those are my thoughts, Thanks for reading!

    1. There’s nothing inherently noising about eating food late at night. It’s not like pizza makes noise. What’s noisy is when tons of people pack into one or two spots. So you can try to shut down every single place or you can spread people out into more spots. Shutting down every single late night place seems pretty hard, costly, and overly restrictive. Opening more places is pretty easy, seeing as how the government/cops/etc would have to do absolutely nothing (except collect the sales tax).

  6. Opening more late night places to spread out the noise is a LOT more difficult than limiting the few places that are open.

    Reminds me of Archie Bunker’s solution to trying to stop hijackings…give all of the passengers guns.

    More places isn’t the issue…Boston isn’t and should not try to be NYC. Clamp down on the places (all two of them in the NE) that are the late night destination problems.

    1. It’s not harder. To limit them, we need regulation and constant enforcement. That takes money, time, labor, manpower, etc (and that’s money, time, labor, manpower, etc that then isn’t going to something else). To open them, we just need to get out of the way.

      There’s absolutely nothing anti-Boston or pro-NYC about it. It’s just simple common sense. Numbers of people cause noise, not the food. 5 people in Ernesto’s sit there eating and talking quietly. 30 people in Ernesto’s start yelling to be heard. Spread people out in more places and they won’t all be together in one place making noise. Again, it’s just common sense, and common sense is (at at least should be) pro-Boston.

      1. I agree. I would go one step further: Remove the 2:00AM curfew. Not only would you be spreading the drunkard load out geographically (by allowing more drink/food places to stay open all over the city), but also over time (by removing that “I need to get drunk by 2:00AM” mentality). The free market system will take care of the rest.
        I had floated this opinion in the past and it was not well received, though 🙂

      2. Yes,,,because many other neighborhoods would welcome places that stay open until 4AM w/ open arms. I’m sure the residents of those neighborhoods would be thrilled to have them.

        1. I’m just saying: you can take the “clamp down” approach (as I suggested above) or the “open it up wide open” approach. Either one would alleviate the problem IMO. I do think that the “clamp down” approach is probably better suited to the conservative Boston mindset.

        2. Maybe you’re right. Maybe they don’t want it. Time and sentiments change though. Eventually we’ll realize we can’t solve our problems by doubling down on the same old thing.

  7. Matt, Thank you so much for starting this poll, great idea.
    God Bless You. I know you forgot the Absentee Landlords, which we know is more than half of the battle
    we have going on down here. I do not agree in opening
    more places and spreading these people over the entire
    neighborhood thinking it is going to correct the problem.
    I think that would be more of a nitemare.
    Many years ago, we had Joe Tecce’s, Stella’s, Giro’s
    the European, Polcari’s, Louie’s on Fleet Street, The
    Cantina, The 108 on Richmond St. and there were plenty
    of people leaving these establishments who had too much
    to drink, but didn’t disrupt our Neighborhood the way it
    is now. We had Movie Stars, City & State Officials and
    alot of Out of Towners who looked forward each weekend
    to dine in the North End. I will never rent to a College
    Kid and have left my apt. opened for over 4 1/2 years
    before renting it. There are plenty of people that would
    relish the thoughts of living down here because it is so
    convenient to everything & you don’t need a car, and
    if there are professionals living in the No. End who are
    conducting themselves like College Kids, let’s get rid of
    them too. The word is getting around how out of hand
    the neighborhood is and alot of people who thought about
    living here with their families changed their minds because
    of the madness. Most of these newcomers have no respect or regard for people or people’s property.
    I do not care who thinks this is a bad idea, I say let the
    Colleges borrow the money from the City of Boston and
    build a great State of The Art Dom where Filenes’s
    Basement was and they can party all night long without
    bothering any residents. Every problem has a solution and
    once the fines are given out, you will see alot of people
    come to attention. Remember, people only get away with
    what you Allow them to get away with.

  8. 1. I’ve lived here for 10 years. I moved in when I was 24 and have always had respect for the neighborhood since it was one of the reasons I wanted to live here. I just want to be clear that not all young folks are party animals. I will also say that upon moving in my Landlord was EXTREMELY clear with what he would tolerate, that it was a family neighborhood and certain behaviors will not be tolerated. In that sense, I do think the LANDLORDS have some responsibility.

    2. On my way home last night (Saturday, around Midnight) I was walking up North Street in the greenway section towards cross street and there were students pounding beers while another one was urinating in the bushes. Its not like this behavior was hidden or discrete. Ultimately it shows a total lack of respect for the community and their surroundings. In this area, I think CAMPUS POLICE should be patrolling anything within at least 1 square mile of Faneuil Hall.

  9. Hi Matt,
    I believe I missed the opportunity to reply to the recent quality of life poll you posted.

    I would like to thank you for posting the poll; it is a great way to gather data from residents of all ages and cultures in the North End, and at least we can be subjected to some form of truth.

    I would have to list “other” for my response to the poll.

    The reason being is that I believe all of the selections on the list and a few that are not on the list make up the sums of the whole of this terrible problem that continues to escalate out of control in our community.

    Matt, this is ultimately a social problem in our country today, which has really plagued the North End.

    Cause: demographics of our city.

    Cause: the media’s onslaught to glorifying alcohol and pharmaceutical products.

    Cause: money!!! greedy landlords and greedy realtors (besides the demographics and society’s dependency to alcohol these are the two main culprits to the deterioration of this community) we can understand some landlords financial burdens, but realtors have no valid excuse, they have sold us out in this community. A small example how the big banks and Wall Street sold out America with mortgage lending. I am a landlord and I take far less rent than the market value for my apartments, you reap what you sow!

    We have always had restaurants and bars down here to accommodate the tourist, but the neighborhood was quiet at midnight, except for a few garbage and delivery trucks.

    I have no sympathy for those landlords who pay these falsely inflated prices for properties, and then have to charge insane rent prices.

    This is now a problem that can only be managed, not rectified.

    The city officials do not want to truly address this problem, there has been no earnest effort by any city official or neighborhood group members to help us manage this madness down here.

    Revenue from business is the only priority the city of Boston has for the North End.

    I find the neighborhood council meetings to be extremely insulting to the residents who attend them in desperation for some help down here.

    Using neighborhood councils to gain your cushy little public official jobs with great pensions and free healthcare would not bother me, if you actually put in any effort to address this very serious problem down here.

    What scares me the most is that the police are telling you every month that they do not have the resources to truly address the problem, which is just another insulting politically scripted answer?

    Hey, don’t do anything, but at least just tell us up front! Stop making elderly people show up at these meetings, have a little decency!
    City officials and the police dept. think quality of life is a foolish complaint.

    Every one of the choices on the list plays a part in the deterioration of this community.
    But let’s call an ace an ace and a spade a spade!

    The true cause of this problem is money! Money! MONEY!

    Those who may be offended by this reply will be the ones who are engaged in exploiting this community.
    There is no reason to be angry you already made your money.
    Richie M.

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