yuletide yuppification

Page Seventy

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Oh-so-tasteful (whose taste) in Turners….   (and yet another interruption in the copying of older posts)

Ich sehne nach die alte Beleuchtung.

So it’s very, very early in the morning of the first day of December. Everywhere around Massachusetts, over at least two decades, the conformity and uniformity of design dictated by the gentry who pay for the gentrification of each and every little town, has turned the towns into little replicas of each other and eliminated to a great degree their individuality.

I will say for Turners that it held out against this trend, at least on the question of Christmas lights, for a long time. I believe that in 2003, there was still the traditional Turners lighting. Maybe even 2004.

But at last the purveyors of conformity and ennui won out. We are reduced now to one short string of white lights on only the tops of certain light poles down Avenue A. Sometimes every third pole, sometimes every fourth. We are reduced to an upper-middle-class cliché.

And what did there used to be, from the time I came here in 1985 until six or seven years ago? There used to be this: The central section of Avenue A is lined with trees on either side. Crabapples, maples, oaks, and even a couple of ginsengs. It’s quite lovely when the crabapples are blooming in early spring. At Yuletide, however, these trees were festooned, and I mean festooned in the most positive and cheerful sense of that word, with COLORED lights. And please don’t picture a strand of multi-colored lights on each tree. That would be to imagine entirely the wrong effect. No, each tree had single-colored strings of lights, so that one tree would be yellow, the one beside it red, the next one blue, etc. And when you stood at either end of the decorated section of the avenue, the effect was like bursts of fireworks, all in a long row, and each burst sprayed out its own particular color. It was like a winter carnival; it was warm and inviting and festive (the only thing I ever knew about Turners that was warm and inviting). It was a Christmas revel for every single citizen to enjoy: rich, poor and in between. And kids LOVED it, including my own. Even when she was a teenager, she loved those lights on Avenue A.

                                                                     

 

What have we got now? Boring. Cold. Dictated by big-pocket buyers of property and influencers of the select board. Nothing warm, or inviting, or festive, or individual. Christmas on Avenue A is now as much of a visual drag as it is in many other towns that have fallen under the boot of the controlling yuppies.

POSTSCRIPT:   ……  Well now it’s nearly 12 hours since I wrote this post. Just popped over to the bakery for something really fattening, and what do I see at the restaurant right before the bridge? MANY COLORFUL LIGHTS. On the shrubbery, around the edges of the roof. And yes I got a lump in my throat to see a carnival of color on Avenue A again, even if it’s a very small piece of Avenue A.

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2008-2011 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

 

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