Merry Allston Christmas!

Santa Clause

It’s September 1 and you know what that means: it’s Christmas! At least in Allston, Mass, one of the many cute little Boston neighborhoods  and home to a million zillion college students and young professionals.

More than anywhere else I have lived (i.e. DC), Boston is a September 1 move-in date kinda place. Check out Craigslist at any point between March and July, and 90% of the postings will be for a September 1 start. Contrast this to DC, where most of the CL posts are for either RIGHT THEN or the first of the month immediately coming up, and you’ve got a move-in date where half the city is out of the streets hauling boxes in and out. I’m not exaggerating when I say 10,000 people move on that day in this little area. It’s been described to me as “rats coming up from the sewers and taking over the streets.” I’ve heard that the population of Boston area grows 3/4 of a million after September 1. Someone is making a WEBSERIES about it. Needless to say, there’s a whole lot going on.

Enter Allston Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year when so many people are moving that the sidewalks are overflowing with free, discarded stuff. An excerpt from a marvelous poem on

They warn that from the refuse trouble could fly,
When that nuisance makes a new home, it may multiply.
So bright orange stickers warn residents to avoid the debris,
The rubbish could be full of bedbugs, even a flea.

But still there are those who ignore what crews advise,
For they are desperately in need of cheap, new supplies.
They’ll poke their head in whatever’s around,
Down the streets and alleys they will abound.

They’ll be drenched all in sweat, from head to foot,
And their clothes will be tarnished with stains and soot.
A sofa or mattress flung over their back,
They might look like a sad sight, but misery they lack.

Their eyes — how they’ll twinkle! Their dimples how merry!
For each has just become a proud beneficiary.
A new table, TV, even a guitar,
They’ll have saved some bucks to spend at the bar.

I tried my best to avoid the worst parts of Allston Christmas – i.e. moving – by moving my stuff into my apartment a few days early. So come this September 1, you’ll see me scavenging on the street for the next great piece of apartment furniture. As long as it’s not upholstered, because that’s gross. Buy new.