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Raina K. Puels

Humor on Allston Streets

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Humor on Allston Streets

By Raina K. Puels

Since moving to Allston, Massachusetts, in September, I’ve been delighted by the use of public space for displays of humor.  When I walk to the bank or the grocery store, I almost always see art or text on the street that makes me laugh.  My amusement causes other passersby to look at what I’ve discovered, and then they start laughing, too.  And that attracts even more people and more giggles and more chuckles.  Community is built through the shared experience of this humor.  Allston is notorious for being an area populated by college students, grad students, and young post-grads, so it’s natural that many people in my neighborhood have a similar cultural framework that begets a communal sense of humor.

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Black Lives Matter to Boston’s Places of Worship

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Black Lives Matter to Boston’s Places of Worship

By Raina K. Puels

In her latest post for our Weaving the Streets project, Raina Puels explores how some religious congregations in Boston are using public space to express support for Black Lives Matter.

My first week in Boston, I went to Newbury Street in Back Bay.  I’d heard from friends it was a destination for those seeking high-end eateries and shopping, or those (like me) who wanted to people watch and laugh at dogs in strollers.  It looked the part of a bougie, trendy place to shop: streets lined with big trees, brownstones, and men in suits opening and closing the doors for retail establishments with huge windows displaying slender mannequins clad in the latest fashions.  In this commercial center, I didn’t expect to find support for Black Lives Matter.  After all, when most people go shopping they’re concerned with finding a new pair of shoes or a suit that fits, not working to end violence against Black people.

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