In order to really understand and appreciate all that Boston is and has to offer FBA has decided to take field trips to the different neighborhoods around the city. A few weeks ago we visited Dudley Square in Roxbury, home to Malcolm X and many other very cool people and places.
I had never been to Roxbury before and all I had really heard about it was that it was not the safest neighborhood. After spending an afternoon there my opinion of Roxbury and Dudley Square has been changed- I really enjoyed my time spent there. We began the voyage by taking the silver line to Dudley Square. I’ve been living in Boston for a while now and this is the first time that I’ve taken the bus. The bus was, as you would have expected: noisy, crowded and a little smelly. But it was a nice change from being underground on the T. I got the opportunity to actually see the different neighborhoods of Boston as we traveled through them instead of being underground staring out the window at a cement wall. Later in the excursion I learned that people refer to the Silver Line as the “Silver Lie” because it was supposed to be a train and once they got all of their funding they revealed it as a bussing system and people were very upset. These buses also contributed to making Roxbury the most polluted neighborhood in the city of Boston with many of the residents developing asthma as a result of the pollution.
We got off the bus right next to Tropical Foods and saw an amazing mural painted on the side of the building. We walked up the street to the Hailey House for lunch. Hailey House is a bakery/café in Dudley Square that gives people coming out of prison a job and a chance to stay out of trouble. The Hailey House isn’t just a place to eat, it’s a place for people around the neighborhood to come and hang out. As soon as we got there there was a huge line of people waiting to order. The line snaked past a large bulletin board packed with flyers advertising community events. The Hailey House give these people jobs growing, harvesting and cooking the food that is served. All of the ingredients are grown locally and the food was amazing!
After we finished eating, our resident Roxbury experts, Michael and Malia, gave us a personal tour of Dudley Square and part of Blue Hill Ave. They not only gave us a tour of their favorite places to hang out back in the day but the tour included many interesting historical sites. For example, we went into Nubian Notion, saw the Ferdinand Building (home to one of the very first furniture stores in the country), and saw a bunch of gypsy cabs that give the people of Roxbury a lift to where they want to go because cabs rarely make it to this part of Boston. We then were able to see an amazing mural painted on a building that really seemed to embody the culture and feel of Dudley Square. I learned so much about Roxbury and how rich its culture and history is. There are so many neighborhoods in Boston that share the same about of history that are often overlooked or not visited as much but have so much to offer. I’m so glad that I got the opportunity to learn about this awesome part of Boston.
Written by Alex Corrado