Boston Shines

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This is basically what 200 bottles of nips looks like.

Ok. 200 bottles of nips, a few dozen Dunkies cups, more than a two bottles of formula and at least one condom. Unused.

The dollar I found went right into my back pocket.

I took part in the annual Boston Shines today. It’s a day or two in spring, organized by the City of Boston, where volunteers across the city clean up everything that’s been collecting under the snow and leaves since last October. I’ve never taken part in it before, but we moved into a neighborhood back in December that tends to get covered in litter. Largely I think because it’s right across the street from the Amtrak/MBTA tracks and trash gets stuck in weeds and fences rather than in someone’s yard where they’re more likely to pick it up.

It was kind of an amazing time.

Not because I’m way into trash or litter. But because I’m just way into how amazing the people in this city are.

Our street had four people taking part in the clean-up. One of them was going to be away this weekend, so she pre-cleaned a good quarter mile of trash yesterday. Because. Sure.

Another lady got up super early and not only cleared her section of the street, but also began plotting out a community garden with the City’s help. And by “city’s help” I mean… I’m fairly certain she strong-armed the City into sending out a back-hoe and dump truck and clearing a spot.

In the middle of cleaning, a gentleman from an elder housing complex on the street came out on his cane to thank us and bring us bottled water.

The third guy? He started in the morning cleaning Roslindale Village, and then came by my house at around 1. Zipped up in his car with rakes and buckets and brooms and gloves and safety cones!

In the middle of picking up nips, wiping off sweat and generally just trying to keep up with Tom who is probably 25+ years my senior, he and I had a solid conversation about the urban sociologist William Whyte (because why not), the progressive policies of the new mayor of New York City and whether or not wildflowers would grow against the Amtrak fence.

I did a good solid two and half hours worth of work, but I’m fairly certain Tom was out there for close to five hours.

Cleaning up the city.

Happy spring, Boston.

You get more and more beautiful the more of you I get to meet.

About Kristie Helms

Boston-based #digital marketing guru, inadvertent community organizer, life-long voracious reader, ENFJ & former NYC tour guide. I really am from Possum Trot, Kentucky.
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