Worcester politicians have bragged about the “renaissance” the city has been undergoing for the last 5-10 years, which mainly involved building half empty apartment buildings and luring the Red Sox Triple A team out of the thriving metropolis of Pawtucket. After they built Polar Park they had to completely redo the most functional clusterf*** of an intersection – Kelley Square. Being a suburban townie I now rarely go there, but sometimes I’m craving Wings over Worcester, so it’s unavoidable. But every time I go there I’m reminded why I don’t miss living in Worcester at all, and how laughable the idea of a “renaissance” is if you don’t do something about your junkie infestation. First of all, there is trash EVERYWHERE.
Not just bottles and cigarette buts either. If you come on a good day you might find some soiled linen or discarded needles.
Like I said, the chicken is phenomonal at Wings over Worcester, but part of the price of admission means you are GUARANTEED to be hit up by whatever slugpump is on Wings over Worcester duty that day. And yesterday this troglodyte was standing outside guarding the entrance:
Everyone who goes in there feels pressured to come up with a reason to give this fentanyl vulture for why they can’t help feed his habit. The first thing he obviously asked me is if I had any change, at which point I did what Jesus would’ve done and told him to get a job. He didn’t like that and started eyeing up my car like he was gonna do something to it, but the joke’s on him because someone already carved “F*** YOU” into the hood of my Honda CRV with 155K miles on it.
Is this the end of the world? No. But at this point it’s slightly factoring into my decision on how badly I wanna eat the most amazing buffalo chicken wrap ever made. It would be swell if just ONCE I could go there and not have to go through a junkie gauntlet to get my food. I’m told this “canal district” is the heart of the renaissance, but I feel like I need a shower every time I walk from my car to the front door of Wings. You can’t have a “renaissance” when you’re gentrifying the place but the only thing you’re not tearing down is the check cashing place.
Until you do that you’re always gonna have the Hotel Vernon dance team parading through Kelley Square with their Coors Light suitcase in tow.
Look, I’m sympathetic to the reality of addiction. I know that lots of normal, well raised people end up getting hooked on pills and throw their lives away for drugs. I realize that there’s not much you can do about these people and that they have to go somewhere. But if you’re trying to make your city an attractive place for outsiders to visit then you have to do something to clean up the area that’s supposed to be the primary catalyst for economic development. If property owners allow trash to pile up on the sidewalks abutting their property then you fine them. If you own a business and you know that junkies stand outside harassing your customers then call the cops. Create a culture where people like this know they are un-welcomed. Put them on a bus to some wealthy liberal town where people pretend to care about them. Do whatever it takes to make it hard for these people to ask for money and they’ll go back to Webster where they belong. Just don’t let them stay here.