Opinion » Letters

Thank you, Trinity Financial

Thursday Oct 12, 2017

I saw the front page news story on the Trinity Financial Open House celebration in last week's South End News. As someone who grew up in the 50s and 60s in the St. Philip's Parish/ Lower Roxbury neighborhood, there was no way I could pass up getting their that morning. After-all Harrison and Northampton was the gateway to a great Italian American neighborhood that ceased to exist over 40 years ago. I know because I grew up in this patch of real estate known as both Lower Roxbury and St. Philip's Parish.

As a kid growing up here it was a tight knit kind of gritty and yet great neighborhood to be raised into adulthood. Today, if I travel over there up Harrison Avenue, I can only imagine the past because except for here and there, a building or two, everything is sadly a memory. My old stomping grounds went the way of the New York Streets South End neighborhood and the old West End.

St. Philip's Church long gone and replaced by Rosie's Place. My old St. Rita's Grammar School a piece of empty land. The Emmanuel House still stands but it is a dead and decaying building. If I go past Melnea Cass Boulevard. I arrive at Orchard Gardens but to me it will always be Orchard Park.Where all the Irish kids lived. I call myself today an OG from OP because I am an old guy well, somewhat and I did live on Bataan Court.

I want to thank Trinity Financial for putting life back into my old neighborhood with its housing at the corner of Harrison and Northampton which once was the old South Department of Boston City Hospital reserved for TB patients. This area is also the site of Boston's first Irish Shantytown for Irish immigrants on the banks of Fort Point Channel and what we as kids called the "Stinky River.

There was also a black community in Lower Roxbury too on the other side of the Washington Street elevated structure down Lenox Street to Shawmut Avenue. We called ourselves a mixed neighborhood but mixed was a relative term. We were a trinity of neighborhoods and it is only right that Trinity Financial should be in the business of bringing life back to a once lively community. Their housing 35@Eight Sixty has 347 units 100 percent affordable. I am glad to see live people coming back to my old hood because with life there is always hope.

Sometimes you can't go home again but it nice to be able to take a quick visit home to see things positively happening there today.

Sal Giarratani, East Boston