Last night around 10 pm and again at 2 am I heard all kinds of crashing around and horrible violent yelling upstairs in my apartment. I don't know what the heck was going on. The first time I called the cops but the second time I just let it go.
When I picked my place here in Lynn, Massachusetts, I thought the fact that it was only three blocks from the ocean and the historic downtown would mean it was in a nice neighborhood. Unfortunately it seems the cutesy seaside neighborhoods of Lynn are a just thin veneer around the crowded, old, dirty, urban center, and I'm about two blocks over the line, which is demarcated by one of those skeezy liquor stores where the clerk has to buzz you in the door. Oh, well. The price is right, at least.
Reading about my town on wikipedia I found this charming poem, which originated in Lynn's early industrial era and has continued to ring true through the years, apparently...
Lynn, Lynn, city of sin
You never come out the way you went in.
Ask for water they give you a gin
the girls say no but always give in
As a nicer contrast, I also offer this old poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, in which the poet reflects on the sound of churchbells in Lynn as he hears them from the beautiful semi-island of Nahant, current location of the Northeastern University Marine Science Center where I work...
HEARD AT NAHANT
O curfew of the setting sun! O Bells of Lynn!
O requiem of the dying day! O Bells of Lynn!
From the dark belfries of yon cloud-cathedral wafted,
Your sounds aerial seem to float, O Bells of Lynn!
Borne on the evening wind across the crimson twilight,
O'er land and sea they rise and fall, O Bells of Lynn!
The fisherman in his boat, far out beyond the headland,
Listens, and leisurely rows ashore, O Bells of Lynn!
Over the shining sands the wandering cattle homeward
Follow each other at your call, O Bells of Lynn!
The distant lighthouse hears, and with his flaming signal
Answers you, passing the watchword on, O Bells of Lynn!
And down the darkening coast run the tumultuous surges,
And clap their hands, and shout to you, O Bells of Lynn!
Till from the shuddering sea, with your wild incantations,
Ye summon up the spectral moon, O Bells of Lynn!
And startled at the sight like the weird woman of Endor,
Ye cry aloud, and then are still, O Bells of Lynn!