Monday, March 03, 2003

This is why they're called "yuppie scum." Meet Jay Kuhlow. According to a piece by Donovan Slack in this morning's Boston Globe, Kuhlow, 27, grew up in the suburbs of Florida and works at a technology company in Woburn. And, oh yes, he's found a delightful little place to live in the North End. Slack is hazy on the details, but I'd be willing to bet that it's a high-priced condo carved out of the remains of what used to be an affordable apartment building.

Somehow Kuhlow got named to the North End's neighborhood council. And would you like to know what cause he has embraced? Denying his neighbors the right to buy their groceries at a supermarket! Kuhlow's battle cry: No chains. "We don't need it," he told Slack. "We need our pastas, our sauces, a couple of items here and there. We need the historic character of our neighborhood."

Kuhlow's crusade is being opposed by a lot of elderly neighbors, many of them no doubt lifelong residents of the North End, who want the convenience and savings of being able to shop at a supermarket. But, damn it, Kuhlow wants to preserve the character of his neighborhood. "It feels like I've found my own environment," Kuhlow said. Isn't that special.

Of course, there are several large supermarkets within a 10-minute drive of Woburn, any one of which Kuhlow could easily stop at on his way home. Maybe he doesn't, but he's got the choice. His elderly neighbors, many of them living on the sort of fixed incomes that would make Kuhlow's head spin, deserve the same choice, don't you think?

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