I'm tired of seeing all the posts on the MCG supporting the override from apparently the only people who truly love Melrose. I have 3 children, 3 loving, caring, smart children ages 20-27, two at home who would be mortified if I posted on the CG so I have to do it anonymously.
My husband and I are in our 50's. We married and bought our home in Melrose when we were 26 years old. We both grew up in Revere, and we loved it. Kids playing in the street all day. Everyone knew their neighbors and we all watched out for one another. When it was our time to have children, times had changed, traffic increased, familiar neighbors were leaving town. No longer could you play ball in the street or walk to the park alone. We wanted more green space for our children. A yard they could play in without worry. A school they could walk to with their friends. We didn't want to stray to far from family. Melrose seemed like the perfect choice. My husband is a soon to retire union guy. I was a preschool teacher. We had been married 3 years, had one child, were renting the second floor of his parents home (for going rental rate) and saved enough for a down payment on a nice home for $169,000, a home worth approximately $700000 today. We loved Melrose for the same reason as everyone else. Great location, nice downtown, sense of community, and so on. Spent many years in the school system. Not much has changed except for now teachers don't have freedom to teach how they wish, and the fun has been taken out of it (no parties, birthdays etc). We always had to buy our own supplies. My children have had good teachers and bad, and there has always been good and bad students. 800 kids can go to the same school, have the same classes and not all will come out knowing the same things, not all will be successful. You get what you put into it no matter how good or bad the system is.
We were the younger family on the street when we moved in. We are now seeing a turnover. Young families are moving in. Meanwhile my oldest child's friends are in that demographic. They are all getting settled in their careers and getting married. They are teachers, nurses, accountants, police officers, work in marketing, etc. They grew up here and would love to settle here but unlike us at that age,(with lesser careers) not a single one of them can afford to. They are being outbid on the very few affordable houses by people who want to but can't live in Cambridge, Somerville, and Arlington because they are the cool hotspots full of sjw's, trendy cafes and small plate restaurants that serve the coolest craft beers. Like I said we are the "old" people on the block. If we're lucky, the newcomers might say hello as the pass by after their landscapers arrive and they strap baby into new latest and greatest jogging stroller on the way to the park to protect the little one's ears from the noise the leaf blower. Her husband might stroll by in his graphic tee (it must be Saturday) telling me we're crazy to pay for cable when there is Sling TV. Or an au pair may pass and look at you quizzically. Wondering how you got all that equipment there without a landscaping truck in sight (not even bothering to say hi) as I grudgingly long for the old days. There are more kids on the street than when mine were little buy you wouldn't know it. They are never outside playing together.
Yes, the newcomers want to associate with people like them. Unless you have small children, a Hate has no Home Here sign, the latest and greatest tech options and speak Starbucks (extra grande double shot latte espresso) they can't be bothered. My husband proudly walks the neighborhood in his dad jeans and Patriots sweatshirt. It's his neighbor repellent.
I'll take the old Melrose and a regular coffee. The Melrose where everyone knew someone. One degree of separation. If you didn't know a family, The next person you asked did. You always found out what your kids were up to. We didn't need trendy. We had a quaint downtown that seemed a lot more familiar. There were snobs but now home prices are so high everyone moving in is a snob.
For these reasons and more, I am voting no.The schools aren't going to change. The people in charge never change. I want my children's friends to be able to live in their hometown if the choose without the additional burden of higher taxes on top of the outrageous water bills. I want my husband and I to be able to retire soon without worrying about additional taxes (and water bill). I truly want Melrose to be open (and affordable) to all who work hard to make it happen.
Letter, your letter could have been written by quite a few families here and you are 100% correct.
You didn't say this but there are some bossy demanding uptight snobs moving here.
That was a pretty cool letter. Nice job. You are 100% correct in your assessments as I have the same opinions.
I'm quite sure they're not "snobs" (I don't really know them well, yet) but as an example of how "times have changed", when a new family recently moved into my neighborhood, I bought/brought over a box of cupcakes, essentially to say welcome to the neighborhood (having been taught that long ago, by my parents). They were very polite, although I have to say they were looking at me like I had two heads! I'm sorry to say it wouldn't surprise me if the cupcakes found the wastebasket with a "Who the hell was that and what was that all about?" I hope I'm wrong (The Sweet Spot is delish, but not cheap!), but I don't know, times have indeed changed!
It's certainly not true that everything was better in the "good ole days"!! Can't argue with that.
So true! Cholera and Tuberculosis are "old timey" things that are best left in the past too!
I do agree however, that people were more 'neighborly' in the past. There's not a week that goes by that doesn't find one of my neighbors' dogs depositing their back end business on the strip of grass in front of my house.
This would be funny if it weren't so freakin true!
My kid is a teenager now, but when he was born, I started going to one of those mom and infant groups in Melrose, and found myself regularly getting together for "play dates" with the snobbiest group of women. So judgy in their "I'm not judging you, but..." way. "I had a water birth- it's really the best for the baby." "I only feed my kid organic, homemade baby food." "We only let her listen to classical music in the car." "I only use cloth diapers- better for the environment." "If you host the group play date, you really need to make sure everything is nut free, and that there are gluten free options for kids and moms." "Did you use food coloring in the icing for these cupcakes?" "My son LOVES these kale chips that I make every week." Never mind the competitiveness- Is he crawling yet? My daughter already can read a book. Spell words. Play the piano. Count to 100. Sing all the verses to Frosty the Snowman. Ride a bike. Holy cow, was that a rough group, and that was 12 years ago. Can't imagine what the young parents are like now. To be fair, I was a new mom, and I needed places to go and adults to talk to, and there were some nice moms in the group. However, I also connected with some new moms in Wakefield, and I have to say that they were the most down-to-earth, non- judgy, supportive people. I still hang out with them, and our kids are still friends. I see that a bunch of those Melrose moms are now front and center in the Vote Yes crew and in the MEF (or whatever it's called now). Their behavior still hasn't changed. I don't know what it is about the people who have chosen to move here, but it seems to me that many of them really do want Melrose to be something it's not.