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Starbucks Debate [Letter to the Editor]

I am a former North Ender born and raised there.  My entire family is either still living there or in the surrounding suburbs (and none of them are opposing anything).  My grandparents came to the North End 100 years ago and quickly bought their own building where they lived all their lives.  Luckily, I was smart enough to leave the North End when I was very young.  Seeing the video of the opposition to a Starbucks opening seems so closed minded and childish.  The people who spoke out against are people I know and/or grew up with and it’s sad to see that although the years have been physically kind to them, they have not accepted the reality that all places and things evolve. It’s called GROWTH.

This country was built on every type of freedom imaginable and now some people want to force their close minded biases on someone trying to open a business?  Only when you are out of the narrow tunnel vision of the North End and see how other communities all over this country thrive on diverse businesses can you see the folly of trying to deny someone else the opportunity to open a business in a neighborhood because you claim some false narrative or moral righteousness.

Let’s face it, the North End is NOT what it was when I was growing up (99% Italian).  What I see now on your site would have never been allowed during those years.  But 2018 is a different time in evolution.  Today, it’s only the “Italian” section of Boston in name only.  So what’s the beef with all these people against a coffee shop wanting to open?  We talk about discrimination, etc. every day in this country.  How is what these people opposing Starbucks are doing NOT a form of discrimination either economic discrimination or a federal violation of someone’s civil rights?  Isn’t this opposition a form of discrimination in any shape? Of course it is.  None of these people opposing “own” the North End and for the life of me cannot figure out where they have the right to oppose anything especially when a lot of them go home at the end of the day to other parts of Boston.

Looking in from the outside really let’s you see how petty and ridiculous these antiquated positions are.  Time stands still for no one or no place, even for the North End.  Times have changed and trying to hold the North End to what it formerly was is like trying to hold back the tide during a hurricane.  It’s just sad to see this folly go on.

If I were someone who was denied permission to open a business in the North End because of a non valid reason and one based on discrimination, every one of them would be hit with a federal discrimination lawsuit. Maybe that’s what someone with courage should do instead of letting other people claim some false moral indignation or trying to preserve the unpreserveable. Instead, all parties opposed should be grateful for the buckets of money they made and continue to make and should not worry about a coffee shop opening down the street.

I’m sure not one person opposing Starbucks is on welfare, SSI or living in Section 8 housing, thank God, so what’s the problem, they will make $1 or $2 less?  Will they lose their homes or their business and be on the street panhandling if Starbucks opens?  Come one, think about it people.


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57 Replies to “Starbucks Debate [Letter to the Editor]

  1. Steve Rossi: Refreshing comment. The NEnders are in a ‘holding pattern’ regarding the life of their neighborhood. The more we close ourselves to any growth and try to hold on to the past, the more tense we become and tension narrows our thinking. It produces tunnel vision. We can’t see anything other than the North End of the past. The NE has changed….very difficult for us to accept.

    1. The funny thing is, the people opposing Starbucks really have no legitimate reason to do so. From what I saw in the video, they are mostly business owners that have milked the North End for their own business for decades, and that’s fine. So I guess they think they “own” the NE by some type of osmosis. But is seems to me they want to be the only ones to sit at the banquet table and eat. Apparently, no one else has the right to sit at the same table.

      As I said, this is a different time and just as “disco” died a long time ago and people moved on, they did not protest the next music trend. The NE in it’s former times has been in transition for the last 30 years or so. Italians are NOT the majority any longer in the NE. These people opposing had what’s called in a legal sense, PRIOR NOTIFICATION that the NE was a-changing! If they did not like what they were seeing, they should have packed their wagons and sought out greener pastures. But there were no greener pastures for them and they stayed and now want to throw up walls to other people. That’s an “acceptance” by these people of what changes were coming and therefore they have no legit right to now moan and groan about this. This transition was not an ambush on anyone.

      In the 19th century there were successive waves of immigrants that came to Boston and settled in the North End, beginning with the Irish and continuing with Eastern European Jews and Italians. At that time, Boston and the NE were prosperous. The Italians did NOT force any non-Italian out of the neighborhood.

      Was there any protesting from our great grandparents, grandparents, parents or from some of those now opposing Starbucks about some of the few non-Italian business owners over the earlier NE years? NO. I can tell you, I knew the parents of those opposing now and can tell you they were quiet people and would not dream of what their children are doing now.

      There is a saying that someone was lucky that their parents were born before they were. Meaning, their parents paved the way for them to inherit the buildings they own or the business they own. The cure for these people is having federal lawsuits filed against each of them. A finding of discrimination by a business owner for a first offense is $250,000. This in my opinion is malicious persecution, interference with commerce and actionable under current federal law.

      DISCLOSURE: I have personally met with CEO Howard Shultz of Starbucks many years ago in Seattle about a possible joint venture in Hong Kong. However, I would feel the same way about any other business and I don’t even patronize Starbucks anywhere in the world.

      1. In your case Gary I would define “growth” as that thing above your shoulders. You should get it removed.

      2. Technically speaking Gary because you clearly don’t know what it means, it is used in my letter to the editor to mean, PROGRESSIVE DEVELOPMENT.” It does NOT mean regressive development as some of you would like. By your way of thinking, everyone should keep their old underwear no matter how worn or tattered they may be. Things change, things move, nothing strays stagnant and the sun rises and shines every day and the earth revolves 24/7. Of course, none of these things exist in the NE because the NE is exempt from the laws of physics and commerce.

      3. I notice that not ONE of you responders actually address the issue that I raised in the letter, namely, the right of anyone opening a legitimate business in the NE.

        When you are going to respond to something you read, you should address the issue it raised, None of you have done that, you’ve only become defensive and I guess the truth to some of you is hurtful. Be that as it may, the truth shall set you free.

    2. Heather:

      Congrats to you! You so far are the only one with a working and fully functioning brain stem! As you can see from these other responses of denial, your reply was directly on point and I commend you for the courage to call it like it is. It’s called living in REALITY! Good for you!

  2. I am a north ender born and raised and still live here. I personally don’t have a strong opinion either way about Starbucks

    However, I find your “letter to the editor” to be stuck up and extremely pretentious.

    In one sentence you claim to be raised here and the next you say you left very young. It is very misleading. It can only be one or the other. I’m assuming you were not truly raised here because you seem to have a strong disconnect to the neighborhood. Also, for a neighborhood where everyone is known your name is very unrecognizable. Not many people around remember you or your family. I know I don’t.

    I truly don’t care about Starbucks. To be honest I Will probably buy coffee at their new location if it opens. But to dismiss the RESIDENTS concerns about corporate America as petty and ridiculous is truly ignorant.

    “Luckily I was smart enough to move out of the north end at a young age” I think this quote truly summarizes your thought process and shows how you really feel about this neighborhood and it’s people. For some odd reason you think you are smarter and better than the families who stayed here. You are not. You missed out on a great culture and experience only this neighborhood has to offer. However, this neighborhood and its families do not miss you.

    1. Sal:

      You are very misguided and also stuck in a time warp. I stated that I was born in the NE and raised there yet you say it’s “very misleading” and it has to be one or the other. Let me posit this to you then, what is the cutoff age of being raised ANYWHERE? Is it 5, 10, 15, 18, 21+ years old? You don’t know at what age I left the NE do you? Therefore, your statement is specious and self-serving and without a basis in fact.

      As for me being lucky enough to move out when I did allowed me to travel all over the world for my business, meet some of the most influential business people in the world and become successful that it allowed me to retire a lot younger than 65 and live in a place where I don’t have to worry about finding a parking space (I have a three car garage) nor do I have neighbors gossiping about me. So yes, I was smart and lucky enough to see there was more to life than the place I was born. If not, then I would be just another robot with blinders on. Time for you to take your’s off.

      You say I missed out on a great culture and experience. My genes from my family’s heritage was already in my DNA. I did not need the culture of the NE to teach me anything. The culture I saw in the NE was racial discrimination, beatings of innocent people who did not know that the NE of those days was a CLOSED SOCIETY, ETC. So what Sal of the great culture or experience did I miss? The intolerance, the prejudice, the gossip, the jealousy, the fighting, the loan sharks, the very same people who thought like you and who preyed on other Italians, the murders, framing innocent people, or the unfortunate people who never left the Nightlife or Coliseum alive and all the druggies in the Prado, Gassy, St. Anthony’s playground, etc. Tell me what I missed? I don’t think I missed anything Sal.

      You’ve further made a false assumption that I’m smarter or better than those families that stayed in the NE. I never said that, I only gave my opinion and experience AFTER leaving the NE. Surely, you have something bad to say then about ALL the Italian families that left for Medford, Malden, Stoneham, etc. after they made their money, right Sal? Let me tell you that 99% of the families that moved out did so because there was a better life for them in the suburbs or so they thought. The ones left behind most likely have stayed because of their own economic situation so you can blow smoke at others, but I’m two steps ahead of you and can’t be fooled with your hyperbole.

      Regarding the RESIDENTS concerns about corporate America, did anyone protest Prince Macaroni, Brinks, Gillette, Filenes or Jordan Marsh that were so close to the NE? Has anyone from the NE boycotted any corporate business or refused to buy from Amazon, ebay, Microsoft, etc.? Are any people from the NE boycotting the new casino opening up there and refusing to go there because it’s a corporate entity? Of course not, so why Sal is it ok for corporate entities open EVERYWHERE except the hallowed grounds of the NE. Is it because you and others like you say so? If so, go to your elected officials and have them make it OFFICIAL, the NE is a restricted business area, if you are not socially acceptable, go somewhere else is what the new law should read, but I don’t see that law on the statutes yet.

      Sal, you need to wake up and smell the Starbucks coffee beans. Your own words speak of your own failure to move on with your life and I sense a jealously in the tone of your response.

      Lastly, your last line is a real winner. You said that “this neighborhood and its families do not miss you.” The truth is Sal is that I quit the NE before the NE “fired” me metaphorically speaking and you want to say I got fired by the NE before I quit the NE. Therefore, your last statement is truly non-sensical and again, shows your lack of any semblance of rational thought or replying in a cogent manner.

        1. Gary:
          That is not the case and not the issue. The reference to the garage was the ease of not having to put out a cone to hold a parking spot like you had to do in the NE. Sorry if you could NOT read between the lines and understand the whole response in it’s proper context.

      1. Maybe it’s me but I had to move out of the north end because I got pregnant with my second child and because of a family screwing I couldn’t afford a big rent in the early 80s,, if the rent was affordable I would of never left the north end, life and living in the north end is what you make of it,, my father paid to park his car up the brinks or as it was called the roof,,he couldn’t be bothered looking for a parking space when he went to medford and shopping,, I moved out and to be honest with you I made a life for myself my kids did well,, I got the American dream the house the drive way more room,, but now that I’m in retirement years and I retired at 59 ,, and my husband retired at 58,, so we didn’t wait till we were past our mid 60s,,if anything ever happens to my husband I’d try to be back in the north end in a heart beat,, maybe I’m a people person and I loved walking down Salem st saying hi to people,, loved going to a coffee at night for pastry and a cappachuno,, buying fresh fruit and produce,, no old supermarket stuff,, getting a Polaris slush on a hot day like today on my way home from work and smelling everyone’s dinner as I walked home from work,, life in the north end is what you make of it,, if you live by the sword you die by the sword,, you mind your business about certain things,, as for gossiping ,,it’s every we’re feel flattered if someone’s talking about you cause they are giving some one else a break,,and many north end people went on to successful lives but most of all many who didn’t become so successful are still happy people,, see personally I’d rather live in a small home than a big house,, there’s a difference with a home and house,, as for Starbucks bring them on,,how long will they last? Coffee is horrible,, for. Over 30 years theirs a Chinese restraunts on Hanover st so no one complained,, good luck with your retirement ,,3 car garage,, sounds to me you hated the north end from the beggin8ng,, were many didn’t , I’m sure if a cooperation was coming to the north end that was useful to the neighborhood was going there like a mini Loews ,,Home Depot,,ace hardware there be no complaining,, but is another shop needed,,

        1. Never have so many words amounted to saying nothing! Did what you wrote, was that in English because I couldn’t make heads or tails out of it. I read something about a CAPPACHUNO” which I don’t know what that is. I know what a cappuccino is at the Cafe Vittoria. I read about some Polaris slush and the only Polaris I know of was a car and a missile. As for all the other food stuffs you mentioned, that is found in EVERY community in the USA. They have neighborhoods in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, LA, San Diego, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Houston, Dallas, Miami, South Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, NYC, NJ, etc. I did not know the ONLY place you can experience the NE was in the NE. From what I read on the NE Waterfront website, there are rats there, late night parties, fights, armed robberies, etc. Anything I’ve just said or read on the NE Waterfront website NOT true? Let me know and I will correct it.

          1. Oh your a spelling police also,, well at least I give it a try with my dyslexia unlike you ,, who just bashes the north end,, oh I’ve experienced vacationing in Italy I’ve been all over there have you? Maybe go to your grand parents home town like I did and get humbled,, go to Aruba look at the pretty ocean,, I’m not going to get in a war of words with you ,, you seem to getting into a war of words on your own and doing a good job,,happy Fourth of July,, ok before I hit post I better make sure it’s perfect like you

            1. Yes JoAnn, I have been to Italy many times, I’ve been all over Europe for business as well as most of Southeast Asia. It’s not bragging but you raised the question essentially if I’ve traveled and I responded so now you’ll accuse me of bragging!!!

              I’ll ask any of you one last time, what EXACTLY did I say that was not FACTUALLY correct? Just point it out to me. That’s not hard to do even for a dyslexic, right, oops I forget your dyslexic, I mean left.

    2. I notice that not ONE of you responders actually address the issue that I raised in the letter, namely, the right of anyone opening a legitimate business in the NE.

      When you are going to respond to something you read, you should address the issue it raised, None of you have done that, you’ve only become defensive and I guess the truth to some of you is hurtful. Be that as it may, the truth shall set you free.

  3. I feel this whole thing is overblown and despite all the protestations, if Starbucks wants the spot, they will have the spot. Charter Realty, I’m guessing, is a REIT. Their job us to rent the property and pay dividends to the partners. Starbucks will pay the rent. Taking emotion out of the arguement, the issue that is biggest for North End businesses is rising rents. As large operations move in with seeming endless access to liquidity, small businesses fear getting caught in the rent inflation.

  4. Steve, a wild guess your an Atty right? After you indicted the reputation of the NE “that you knew”and indicted the entire population time to chill out.

    1. Again I ask, was anything I said not true? That only requires a simple yes or no. If it’s yes, I rest my case. If it’s no, then kindly point out what I stated as not being true.

    2. I notice that not ONE of you responders actually address the issue that I raised in the letter, namely, the right of anyone opening a legitimate business in the NE.

      When you are going to respond to something you read, you should address the issue it raised, None of you have done that, you’ve only become defensive and I guess the truth to some of you is hurtful. Be that as it may, the truth shall set you free.

  5. Steven,
    I myself am a lifelong North Ender and personally can care less whether Starbucks is allowed to open another store in the North End or not as I don’t believe it will take away business from the local coffee shops where the tourists come to the North End for the whole experience of our great neighborhood known as “Little Italy”.
    However, your comments are “extremely demeaning” implying that those of us who have “made a choice” to stay in this neighborhood are beneath you, which again based on your comments would lead me to believe “when you did live here it was not a good experience for you”.
    I can certainly get into a “war of words with you” and use “big” words, however it is not worth my time, and don’t need to.
    As for your 3 car garage, make no mistake, “we who continue to choose to live here” probably paid more than you did for a one bedroom condominium than you did for your home “because we choose to stay here”.
    In addition, we’ve all met, know people who are in a “greater financial status/highly recognized “who cares”!
    Having an opinion on an issue is totally different than using an issue to work out your own insecurities.

    1. Once again, ignorance rears it’s ugly head. Please tell me what part of what I said was either factually or mistakenly said by me? Does any bona fide person or company have a right to do business in the NE? Did the NE have all the issues I stated to Sal in my response to him? Were there drugs overflowing the streets of the NE during the 60s, 70s and 80s? Were the locals (not all) terrorizing the community? Were there stabbings, murders, arson committed by the local kids of the community during those times? If those things I said are true, then that renders your argument moot.

      If you paid more than $2M for a one bedroom condo then yes you are correct, you paid more than I did for my home. BTW, I bought my home in 1990 in Rancho Palos Verde and it’s 4225 sq. ft. I don’t have to tell you what it’s valuation is now being that I’m two blocks from the Trump International Golf Course on Pacific Coast Highway. They say it’s better to remain silent and let people think you are a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. You just opened your mouth.

      PS. I knew you when you were just a baby, your siblings and your dad and uncle and his kids. If I recall you had a sister who went to live in Italy, a brother who went to live in Florida and cousins who went to live in NJ and NV. Poor Richie went to the Lindeman Center. Don’t preach to me about staying in the NE when all around you LEFT there as well at some point. That’s really hypocritical and you are no match to be in a “war of words with me.”

    2. Janine:
      If you had read my post carefully instead of assuming something that does not exist, you would have seen that I said “The ones left behind most likely have stayed because of their own economic situation.” Focus on the use of the term MOST LIKELY. It does not mean ALL who stayed behind. Of course there were some families for various reasons who remained in the NE, but the premise of my statement is factually correct. Most of the ones who left wanted something better in their minds and had the money to buy the American dream of a house with a white picket fence in the suburbs. It stands to reason that there were many people, but not all, who could NOT move out even though they wanted to. The fact that you remained is of no moment in this conversation and does not change the fact that most of your family went other places. Am I right or wrong?

    3. I notice that not ONE of you responders actually address the issue that I raised in the letter, namely, the right of anyone opening a legitimate business in the NE.

      When you are going to respond to something you read, you should address the issue it raised, None of you have done that, you’ve only become defensive and I guess the truth to some of you is hurtful. Be that as it may, the truth shall set you free.

    4. Janine well spoken but don’t waste anymore time on this person he never really was a true North Ender glad he moved away.

    1. I see Gary you’re a man of many words. Can put more than a few words together. But what did I expect, that someone blind all their lives could suddenly see? Shame on me for thinking people as they get older, they get wiser. You know Gary, nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Luckily, you have attained both.

    2. I notice that not ONE of you responders actually address the issue that I raised in the letter, namely, the right of anyone opening a legitimate business in the NE.

      When you are going to respond to something you read, you should address the issue it raised, None of you have done that, you’ve only become defensive and I guess the truth to some of you is hurtful. Be that as it may, the truth shall set you free.

  6. Steven,
    I never said I had a problem with Starbucks coming to the North End.

    After this response I will no longer continue.. it’s not worth my time, you seem to be extremely angry toward the neighborhood itself and feel like you have something to prove.

    First of all, again, you are saying people you don’t even know are ignorant, which again only exemplifies “your own ignorance”.
    Once again, to speak to your ignorance, drugs, murder, arson happens everywhere it’s not specific to the North End.

    I can care less what you paid for your condo, when you bought it, the valuation etc .. again speaks volumes of your own insecurities..
    PS – you are not responding to who you think, so you’re not so smart and I would hate to tell you “I wouldn’t waste my time with sparring with you in a war of words…”ignorance is bliss you should bathe in it” .

    As said earlier, I have said what I needed to and will no longer participate in this conversation.

    Take care..

    1. Janine:

      I know who you are, I don’t have a condo, I have a house and you raised the subject. So then you ADMIT that what I said was true. Yes crime is everywhere, but you want to make it sound like the NE was crime free. You can’t pick and chose only the good parts, you need to tell the whole story. If you had been honest, i would not have responded in the way I did. But I can’t let you have a discourse that is dishonesty and using sophistry to make your invalid and pretextual excuses. I’m not angry at anyone, I just raised the issue of why some of you think you have the right to deny a legitimate business to operate and not one of you made your case in that regard. Say hello to Carmel and Boris.

  7. LOL…wrong…as in you’ve got the wrong JANINE! But I do agree with the other Janine. You really are a Buffoon…

    1. Why don’t you respond on point to what I’ve said instead of name calling? As Trump called Maxine Waters a low IQ person, I guess if the show fits, you should wear it.

      1. Name calling???? You are lame. My comment was directed to your “presentation style.” I hope that you’re strapped in when you fall off your high horse. Very poor excuse for humanity. What show are you referring to?

    1. I don’t mind being criticized, because I am not that easy to knock down, and no-one can destroy me. But I am bothered by the stupid people who can’t carry an intelligent conversation about the subject matter. So far not one of you has defended against what I’ve said in the original letter. That shows the collectively thought processes of some very low IQ people. By the way, did you think of your reply all by yourself or did some other lame-brain help you compose it?

  8. Mr. Rossi, you have clearly mastered the art of arrogance, bullying and being completely boorish. You have been on attack mode. Smell the flowers, blow out the candle….

  9. No Maryanne, it’s called telling the truth and you should open your eyes as well. To defend one’s position is NOT bullying or boorish. On the other hand it shows a complete domination over the one making statements out of thin air instead of responding directly about the issue. I think the candles have been blown out for you a long time ago. And this goes exactly to the point I was making, that you people have tunnel vision and can’t see the forest for the trees. You are blinded by immaturity and lack any social skills nor can you even make an erudite response. After you heal from your lobotomy, respond on point to my original letter and tell me why a business has to be at the mercy of the whims of a clique of people who want to deny someone of their federally protected rights. It’s really pretty simple to make your case. But so far, none of you have responded to the gist of the original letter. Again, low IQ people is what we have here folks!!!!!

  10. CAN’T ANY OF YOU RESPOND DIRECTLY ON THE SUBJECT MATTER? TYPICAL NE ATTITUDE TO BE LIKE MOB WIVES, MOB GIRLFRIENDS, DEEZ, THEMS AND DOZZ. SAD TO SEE NOTHING HAS CHANGED WITH THE FEW REMNANTS FROM LONG AGO.

    NONE OF YOU SHOULD BE AFRAID OF GROWING AND EVOLVING WITH THE TIMES; YOU SHOULD ALL BE AFRAID OF STANDING STILL. ALL I SEE RIGHT NOW FROM YOUR “UNRESPONSIVE” RESPONSES IS A LOT OF PEOPLE STANDING STILL. WAKE UP!

    1. You have tarnished the memory of the hard working law abiding citizens who respected and cherished this neighborhood I for one do not appreciate it.

  11. Now I believe you’re all right. He’s from some other End, not the North End. TOUCHY! I do remember some guy that used to hang around the waterfront and yell at the boats. I didn’t know his name, I used to call him The Professor. Next time I will just say Hi Steve.

  12. Everyone with an opinion has the “right” to be heard regardless of their position. This has never been an issue with me. The result is a different ballgame. Too much anger and hate.

  13. Just one item to comment on here – (and apologies in advance for typos, I’m on a phone)

    Steven comments that none of the individuals opposing Starbucks “owns” the north end; this is not entirely true. In fact, neighborhoods are “owned” by their collective residents. As we are a democratic society, our citizenry defines how we want to shape our surroundings, and the rules we want to impose. Our governing documents (federal and state constitutions) set ground rules to enforce fair play and non-discrimination, but beyond that citizens are left to guide their governance

    Two notable elements beneath this –
    1) part of what makes the north end (and New England communities in general) great is their civic engagement. The fact that the neighborhood organizes is a good sign. Regardless of what side of the debate you fall on – you should admire the energy

    2) The north end has a distinctive vibe; I’d personally like to preserve that. I have no real opposition to Starbucks as a principle (I go to the shop by the wharf frequently), but can understand the arguments of the community who don’t want the ‘gateway to the north end’ to be defined by a generic brand.

    1. Hello Greg:

      While I do not disagree with your overall premise of your comment, please allow me to make one fundamental correction to it. You hit the nail on the head when you said we are a “Democratic” society and the citizenry decide how to shape the surroundings. However, it must be predicated on long held US Supreme Court legal rulings that they must be fair, equal, without prejudice or ulterior motives and must serve a legitimate purpose. Technically, the government can take that space by eminent domain and all the opposers can pound sand at Revere Beach till the cows come home. So technically, the neighborhood is not “owned by anyone.

      A democracy by definition is a government through elected representatives. It is a form of society which favors EQUAL RIGHTS to all. The whole premise of my letter was that “some” in the NE sought to abridge someones equal rights to do business based on what I believe to be for reasons less than fair and equal. I base my opinion from the arguments propounded by the opposition speakers. Surely, when the onion skin is peeled away, we all know in our heart of hearts the reasons for such vociferous opposition and 99% of it is without legitimate merit. That’s all it was about.

      While I certainly can understand you would like “to preserve the NE’s distinctive vibe” you also have to realize like I’ve said numerous times in this post to other uninformed responders that nothing stands still. The NE is NOT a stationary object. Change is constant and is inevitable and someone’s right to open a business should not be abridged for invalid and pretextual reasons.

      Starbucks is hardly a “generic” brand with 17,000 units in 40 countries and sales of over 12 billion while employing hundreds of thousands of people. I don’t know about the Boston area but throughout the rest of the country and Asia, Starbucks are full and serve the communities they are in with free wifi, etc. They have become social hubs in many places. The Starbucks in in Hong Kong is six stories high with thousands of customers a day. Why is Starbucks wrong for the NE? By that logic, every person who oppose this Starbucks should have prevented every Italian family from moving away so as to PRESERVE the neighborhood if they were that concerned and of pure heart. But they did not. Do you see my point that change is unstoppable?

      In the old days the proposed Starbucks location was considered “out” of the mainstream of the NE proper. Everything revolved around Hanover Street from end to end and to some extent, Salem Street.. Cross Street for all intents and purpose was almost another neighborhood. Sure there were 2-3 businesses there, but it was not the heart of the NE in the 70’s and beyond. All of a sudden it’s the Gateway to the NE? Is that the only entrance to the NE? I don’t think so. There is a main entrance to San Francisco’s Chinatown but there are many entrances to it as well. Many people enter from many ingress locations there. All of a sudden, this Cross Street location seems to be sacred like the Vatican.

      Throughout this country there are intersections with four corners and on each one there may be four different hamburg operators and no one complains. Competition drives business and the ones who have a better product will do the bulk of the business. All I’m saying is if you are feeding your family, paying for their education and making a living, be happy and let other people open their business and let the consumer decide where they want to spend their time and money. As long as the building is harmonious with the the surrounding area it should be allowed. Now if they want to put up a pink building, that’s another story. It’s almost like a cabal of business owners conspiring to stifle business and having a monopoly. That I hope you admit is NOT democratic.

      Let me preface this, I’m not a customer of Starbucks. I may have had five cups of coffee at a Starbucks since they first opened 40 years ago. So I have no allegiance to them other than standing up for anyone’s right to open a legitimate business where they want unless the products are unsafe and socially unacceptable. To me, knowing and seeing the opposition and having the knowledge of the mindset of the old timers of the NE I see through their opposition. I was born and raised there, I know how the game is played. There is a certain “street smart” you learned growing up in the NE that gives you an advantage over other people because it’s easy to see the motives of some people a lot quicker than someone who was born and raised in the suburbs and was not subjected to having to use their wits to survive in the NE. In that sense, we who were born and raised in the NE have an advantage much like a psychic, we have that sixth sense and I see through every layer of the onion that reveals it’s core.

      Thank you for being civil.

  14. The North End business owners are NOT opposing the addition of a coffee business in the North End. Wake up. They are opposing it being located at the gateway to the North End. When tourists visit from out of town they go to the North End because they are looking for the Italian experience/Italian food/Italian hospitality. They can get Starbucks anywhere in the country. We are wholeheartedly supporting the ongoing opposition….and we don’t live there either!

    1. Hey Mary:

      I never heard anyone saying that the burlesque and vaudeville theaters should not have closed down from the downtown area and Scollay Sq. By your thought processes, they should have remained open for the people who wanted that EXPERIENCE. Did anyone protest the few Jewish merchants who operated in the NE? NO. See how foolish you sound? Using your idiotic thinking, nothing would change and no progress would be made. Let the consumer make or break a business, not people without legitimate reasons.

      1. You thanked someone for being civil yet you lambaste Mary for NO apparent reason other than she gave her opinion. Really? If nothing else, you are amusing.

  15. Mary Smith:

    Tourist are coming for the ITALIAN EXPERIENCE? Then they should have come there during the time it was close to 100% Italian. From what I know, the NE is so DIVERSIFIED now, there are only a handful of the original Italians there. Wake up and stop dreaming. People can get Italian food ANYWHERE in the country as well as cannoli’s and anything else. Open your mind and eyes and realize there is more to life than worrying about the GATEWAY to the NE.

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