Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ummm...News Flash... We have highways in Lynn!

It's getting the people to take our exit that's the trick. A friend who lives in Ward One-.... (oh, I wish that person hadn't yelled at me. It's so hard not to do it) just emailed me about the Mayor's speech on Monday night. She thought the comment about us not being near a major highway could be memory loss from when we were all campaigning for her in Goodwin Circle. Rt 1 and Rt 128/95 are right there.

My friend's comment also struck a light bulb for me on the whole Lynnway problem. The Lynnway is basically the continuation of the Mass Pike. There are plenty of cars going through our city every single day. City of Lynn Concepts blog has a wonderful idea on how to get that traffic flow into the heart of our city while improving the look and usage of Lynn Beach. We should really think about getting more people behind this idea.  We have a highway, but we refuse to use it correctly.  There's nothing on it, and it doesn't bring us anyone to stop in our downtown. We have a bunch of run-down retail on our highway with a few nice places.  Take a look at's dream for a Super Walmart. I say, bring it on!! I also love her idea of a Lowe's. Trader Joes or Whole Foods would definitely get people to stop on their way home to Swampscott and Marblehead as well as satisfy many Lynners. 

Let's stop saying we're too far from the highways. We just need people to want to get off them when they enter Lynn.



  1. lynn is a highway. wish it wasn't

    & salem

    just cut through

  2. Exactly. So that's the 1A story. We also have several passing by on 128/95 to head to Salem, Danvers, Beverly, and further up 128.

    So, what do we need to get more of them to stop on their way through. So far, the Blue Ox has had the most success in getting folks from those communities into the downtown area. What else would work? Is food the only draw?

  3. we need to make the roads as annoying as possible when passing through. less convenient.

    we drive traffic away from downtown lynn on rt 1a. it is more convenient to go straight towards the beach and nahant than to turn into lynn....

    this was my next draw up.

  4. Trador Joe's needs to come to Lynn! that would be great!

  5. Lynn is the best with it's Rt 1 & Rt !a...

    any other city in the US have both?

    didn't think so.

    although rt1 never touches Lynn. we have an exit!
    oops...sorry Lynnfield we pass through.


    there. i should be drawing for something else now. :)

  7. I agree with Mayor Kennedy that we need to make Lynn a destination, but I do not agree that it's terribly difficult to get to otherwise. Of course I'm biased, because I leave Lynn and come back by car on a daily basis and don't see the problem with it. Others are deterred by attitude and the psychological barrier of having to sit at a light. Aikaterini has a great proposal on her blog to deal with that.

    We need more than a seasonal concert venue, however. We need a cutting-edge museum in Downtown that'll bring people out of Boston/Cambridge/Somerville. We need a unique art-film theatre like the Cable Car in Providence. A museum will help lure those things.

    Maybe then, people won't think of Lynn as being hard to get to.

  8. Don't forget the Bike to the Sea/Northern Strand Community Trail that will eventually make it's way from Everett, through Malden, Revere and Saugus, to Lynn ...

  9. Bike to the Sea is an inspiring concept! Interesting points along the path.

    I know of another path north west of Lynn, where most Salem bikers cross through Spring pond to Lynn woods. And they were recently devastated with Salem's new residential development in their woods which broke their paths. I'm not sure how to get in touch with that group now to let them know about the Bike to the Sea trails.

    This reminds me of the Emerald Necklace in Boston. Green spaces and trails which connect different communities together.

  10. The Blue Ox is sucessful since they are creative in what they offer and how they market themselves. They are in a niche market. Put a few more Blue Ox type businesses in and someone will go under.

    Supply and demand...

    Tacos Lupito does an amazing business.
    Pho Lynn too....
    The New Karate Studio appeals to everyone as well...

    LynnArts is a niche too. Put too many places similiar together and it will hurt the current ones.

    Lynn's population is not going to change anytime soon. Any businesses that come in need to target its current population to become successful.

    Look at all the places that have moved or went under that did not target the current population. Survival of the fitest.
    Tons of businesses are thriving in Lynn.

    It never hurts to dream.
    I have to get back to marketing my Worlds Largest Walmart/Lowes/Trader Joes and fried dough stands! ;)

  11. Stacey,
    I have to disagree.

    When there are several shops in one place, you go there to shop. Malls, shopping centers, strip malls, thriving downtowns.

    When you and your friends want to go get something to eat, you head towards areas that have places to go. You make your decision on the way there sometimes. Even if you do make the decision before you leave, your brain does not start with "Well, what's in Downtown Lynn?"

    A friend of mine is in marketing for the 99 Restaurant. They want their restaurants to be right next to a Chili's and a Friday's. People flock to where there are groups of things when they want something.

    Even the owners of the Blue Ox want another restaurant to open. This is how you become a destination.


  12. Stacey is right... It's not so much the lack of 5-star restaurants that keep yuppies from going to Lynn for dinner and drinks on Friday night... It's the neighborhood!

    Many people just don't feel comfortable in DTL, particularly after hours. That goes double for families with kids.

    You're right that if you've got an untapped market, clustering of similar venues can work, but is there really an untapped market?

    Hmm... Maybe a wine bar that gives free mace with a 3-drink minimum...

  13. Brian,
    Have you been downtown recently? I was just in The Blue Ox. Packed to the brim all night from 7:30 when we got there until 9:00 when we left.

    Those people don't seem frightened and yes I walked there without mace.


  14. Brian Brian. I guess your an old former lynner, with a grudge on why the city back then didn't do much for anyone.
    but i have to tell you...
    Lynn is the most interesting place to be.

    its true most ppl don't want 'interesting'. just a place that feels as quiet as a cemetery.

  15. Ah yes, the safety of the suburbs, where there are no sidewalks, thus no where to go.

    I'd rather carry mace.

  16. I'm with Corey. If I wanted a quiet suburb, I would have moved to one. I chose DTL to live in a building with active storefronts, a community with an arts scene and a living room away from my living room (cafes, etc). What excites me still about DTL is the fact that it's being re-invented and we can be a part of it from the ground-up.
    I wouldn't worry too much about DTL at night. I can't speak for all of my neighbors there, but I can assure you that I'm mostly harmless.

  17. haha Seth...
    I a tiny little lady, used to work in a quite dead town. The boss would be afraid for me walking to the car at night. I used to say...'this town should be afraid of me' (being from Lynn) haha... lol

  18. LOL Ya I am just an old lynner, a 32y-o postgraduate engineer from Brooklyn. So I though what about New Years Eve in Lynn (from the Lynn PD):

    34 Noise complaints, 22 Disturbing the peace. Not so bad in a big town.

    Then there was the 16 larcenys, 9 domestic violence calls, 8vandalisms, 6 hit and runs, 6 arrests, 4 B&E's, 3 gunshots...

    That was from 12/31 through dawn on 1/1.

    Before the dog fountains and Nobu-north, before the road construction, there is a reality that needs to be dealt with.

    We might as well spend our money on an asteroid defense shield. I used to live in Lynn and I saw those that wanted to be in the next Davis Square before it became cool... It's just probably not going to be in Lynn.

    Salem has revitalized its downtown and has moved a lot of those non-Blue Ox regulars to the Point. Unless Lynn can do something similar it's just not gonna happen.

    Remember when Giuliani cleaned up NYC? It started with making people feel safe walking around at night. If you really do stroll around DTL you are not paying attention to the homeless problem or methadone patrons.

    Hey, if it's such a slam dunk that DTL needs another cool restaurant why not invest your own $$ in one? Maybe you'll be a millionaire!

    The elephant is big and pink, and it's taking up the whole room. Fix the neigborhood first. The hardworking people that don't know where there next meal is coming from or whether they'll have heat tonight need to get on their feet before the socialites can roam freely in DTL.

    You've done a good job with your blog, and I salute your spirit. You seem a little more grounded in reality that the lady. I hope I'm wrong, and my property values in Lynn are above water again someday. LOL keep up the good work!

  19. I agree with you.

    The issue and disconnect I think people that talk like me have with people who talk like you is the truth is somewhere in the middle.

    My biggest issue is your point of view ignores the progress we've made over the past 5 years.

    You can harp on the crime statistics, but we're the 9th largest city in the state and we're going to have numbers like that. I just recently voted for a Mayor who actually talks about our crime problem. I'm convinced she'll work with us to make it better.

    Look at the recent success. Lynn built a new Police Station downtown. Before then, drugs and prostitution were obvious down here. I see "Zero" now. ZERO. I'm sure it happens (as it would in any big city) but it happens up union, down washington, behind closed doors, away from me.

    We have a great Police Chief and Mayor to handle the problems you outline in your post. It's our job to remain vigilant and call them in when we see anything.

    A lot of people that do not live here, mention the methodone patients and homeless and AA meetings. Those of us who live here, never speak of these things. We don't see it!!! I am in favor of these resources being close to where people need them. Move them out of here, and we're back to these people having nowhere to go. I'd rather them be getting the services they need, then on my front stoop or hiding in my basement.

    I moved in to 7 Central Square 4 years ago. I was resident Number 2 in this empty building. It is now full to the brim. That is true of several loft buildings down here.

    We're not the yuppies everyone thinks we are. Most of my neighbors struggle to afford our Blue Ox habit and some don't go out at all. We spend a lot of time hanging out at each other's places. It's a real community starting to build down here. I think that's also evidenced by the strength of the blogs lately.

    I don't want to be the next Davis Square. I want to be the next Downtown Lynn.


  20. old-timer- shame shame... Thats not right to knock on people who are trying to get help from substance abuse & get back to normal life.
    Methadone clinics are everywhere and attract patients from EVERYWHERE. if the clinics didn't exist.. people even in quiet little towns would be crawling out of their skin to find their next fix.

    there is no methadone clinic in dtl.
    they are in several communities...

    i agree with the homeless issue. i heard the city wishes to move the shelter out of dtl. possibly to the lynnway where they have a building there. their lease is up in 1 year. ??? so i heard.
    I know they are people too, but some (not all) of them have real mental problems and have been known to act rough. I was almost squashed between a wall and the serving counter when volunteering at my brother's table once. It takes a lot of love to understand them. and i don't think society can handle it or treat them fairly.

    ooh but the arguement for keeping the shelter where it is makes sense if it keeps them off peoples door steps.

    I don't know why we all live in new england with this weather... how do they? wouldn't they rather live in the warmer south? that's where i would be.

  21. The real problem is that sheltering is a band aid. We're not really solving anything by providing meals and temporary shelter. We are simply allowing it to continue along the same path.

    People need housing and decent jobs at above poverty hourly wages. People need an address and help with a resume. People need real assistance in transitioning from homelessness.

    I wouldn't shut down a service like this in Downtown Lynn, I would expand it with affordable housing opportunities and real services to get these people back on their feet.

  22. Old-Time-Lynner,
    the reality that needs to be dealt with is the example that you have shown us. We need to end the negativity and anger that you and others keep. It's not minds like these that help move a city forward.

    but it doesn't matter, cause minds like that don't hold a city back either if others are doing a good job at bringing it forward.

    is it the drinking water?
    why so negative?


    not smart.
    wtf is RAW teaching?

    we need POSITIVE people to lead this city

  24. What is offensive to you? Let's talk about it.

    I doubt it's what they're teaching and more a reflection of what some of our youth are thinking.

    RAW Arts is an amazing organization doing amazing things for kids both in and outside of the Downtown area.

    Let's appreciate the fact that this is art and has been placed to elicit response.

    Let's respond with actual specific thoughts.


  25. I believe RAW is a great org. i feel the display does not show this. it makes me feel that the youth cannot exit their own box and grow.

    i do interpret it as a reflection of inner thought. it makes me feel weak like a counseling session I never been too.

    Its selfish art.
    Instead of using it to create art for the public, its only for the owners eyes.

    Art. ok. but justifiably gloomy. if that's how they really feel.

  26. Raw Arts is for at risk youth.
    Art always tips scales.
    Better they be busy than out in trouble. Let them have at whatever they want.

    Your right Corey there has been improvements--it all goes in phases..

    Nurse...feel bad for the meth heads?
    and tell the homeless to move to the South.

    Most chronic homeless are there because they are mentally ill.
    It's sad people don't feel more empathy for the true homeless. Dogs get more respect.

    Personally I wish you all the best. I have a vested interest in the community as I lease space in DTL and own several properties in Lynn. Its annoying though when people complain and do nothing and even more when people spout out these totally silly ideas. I am not sure whether their grounded in reality or pure fantasy.

  27. It is very easy to become homeless. For a single mom with 4 kids living in ma, she needs to make 20+ per hour to afford housing and provide basic essentials.

    I am on the board of citizens for adequate housing, an organization on the north shore that gets people back into situations where they can be self-sufficient. It's not easy and sometimes takes years. Http://

    I love the example our executive director uses to drive it home. Have you ever known someone who has moved back in with family? What if that family wasn't there?


  28. The homeless have respect, and do not confuse this with people caring about their own family. I would not bring my child near dtl because of them. The fact is they are mentally ill. They do need care, and they should receive that in a proper facility, not in the face of risking public safety.

    That is what the others are trying to say.

  29. Corey,
    I admire your trying to find the solution to things.

    `your fan

  30. RAW is granted money to help at risk youth through art.

    Wonder if this type of art really does help?

    suppose it does

  31. I'm going to reach out to them and see if the kids or teachers have any comments they want to share on this. I'll post as a new topic.


  32. I'm not embarressed of Lynn.

    Just embarressed of the way the old-lynners think.

  33. I think RAW does a fantastic job and should be used as a model program for other cities. Can a non-profit franchise? :)

    I also did not get a negative impression from the art in that window. Self-expression is a positive act.

    I was passing the display on the way to my car to run some errands, changed my mind immediately and ran back to get my camera to make it one of the first posts on the new LH. I'd like to see more works of art popping up like that.

    As for the shelter, they do important work and their presence isn't hurting the neighborhood, in my opinion. We're placing undue focus on the shelter and clinics, while missing the more important factors in enhancing DTL.

    We need to keep it clean. We need to clean unsightly tags (graffiti bombs) while encouraging real street art. We need to fix broken windows, repair unsightly storefronts, and do more to promote the active community we've already built.

    My outsider perspective is that New Englanders take a long time to change their opinion of a neighborhood, even in the face of reality, for whatever reasons.

    Places like Jamaica Plain were revived by a lot of people coming in from elsewhere, and by young adults with open minds. How do we get them here? And when we do revive DTL, we can finally point at laugh at the silly folks a few towns away still afraid to set foot here, because we'll be well enough off not to need their presence. :)

  34. The concept of RAW is great! Do you think an architectural program would be interesting to the children. I'ld love to help volunteer with that. Boston communities have this aswell. open to all the youth. Lynn has so much to show.

  35. I think they are always looking to expand. They have a lecture series starting up. First speaker is a photographer. I bet they would welcome an architecture conversation.

  36. RAWS ARTS is famous all over.
    Did you see their display at IKEA a year or so back?? Really neat!
    These are kids who are at risk and talented.(amazingly so) I like their display..its makes you stop and look.
    My father in law recently stopped by to see them recently. He told me the program is known all over New England. In the past some of former patients have been in the program and its been great for them.
    Raw Arts been around for a while too.
    A great new program brought on by LEO in Lynn is "Ready, Willing and Able"--a temp agency. I have used them and they have sent me good workers! They employ workers who are sane and just need a job. I have used them for yard work etc with success.

  37. there is no disrespect meant for RAW, the teachers or the children. It is a great program.
    They are children, and it is not there fault. This is not a direction a child should be encouraged to. They shouldn't think it is ok to display art expressing disrespect to the public. They are children.

    Its art adults enjoy. I would have a hard time explaining it to another child, when we spend so much time telling them and ourselves how to respect one another. It's especially confusing when we shout at one another to stay positive and welcoming, and then be encouraging when children in our community make signs like this.

  38. Doubt you'll get your answer. This thread is 7 months old :-) If you'd like to see a Walmart/Lowe's stand, just wait a few months and drive down 107....


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