Category Archives: Green Island Grrrl

Web-zilla!!!!! (or:The Big “Mack” Attack!)

Mack Fairbanks
Mack Fairbanks

My dear readers, if there’s anything you’ve learned about InCity Times these past seven-plus years, is that we are ambitious – and a wee-bit technophobic, which makes for really interesting newspapering. Yes, yes, we have heard it all before: Rose, all the newspapers have websites!; Rose, ICT needs to be in cyberspace; Rose, think how great this will be for your writers and advertisers! So for four or so years, we’ve been on the fence about an ICT website – vascilating like crazy! To build an InCity Times website – or not to build an InCity Times website? That was the question!

Continue reading Web-zilla!!!!! (or:The Big “Mack” Attack!)

Worcester Magazine’s Allen Fletcher finds a new toy!

By Rosalie Tirella

Allen Fletcher has quit Worcester Magazine – sold it to some out of towners. He says he wants to move on to the next “phase” of his life. He’s had enough of newspaper-ing. He’s had enough of … . What exactly? The stress of writing all night? The stress of wondering where he was going to get the money to pay the bills? The stress of wanting a Paris vacation with only a Lake Quinsigamond vacation fund? The stress of starting a business from scratch and trying to grow it when the revenue isn’t yet flowing?

Truth be told, Allen Fletcher hasn’t experienced any of the stresses of owning a small business. His extreme wealth has insulated him from all the pain and woe – from every kind of financial disaster you can imagine – while he was at the helm of Worcester Magazine. That’s why he managed to own it for 15 years! The lucky (and pathetic) bastard! You can do anything with millions of dollars at the ready – play with any kind of toy you want! Own a newspaper, for instance. Save face, especially!

Continue reading Worcester Magazine’s Allen Fletcher finds a new toy!

Golden Oldies

By Rosalie Tirella

Yea, we went to the ZZ Top concert and it was great!” I told one of my gal pals last summer. “I love ZZ Top!” “ZZ Top?” my gal pal asked, giggling. Where the hell were my ZZ Top records, she wanted to know? Which of their songs could I sing?

Actually, none before I met my boyfriend “Joe.” Lucinda Williams, Aimee Mann, Elvis Costello – these are – or were – the artists I listened to on my “hi-fi” stereo. All literate and sometimes snarky singer songwriter types who rocked my world. And they COULD rock out! Warren Zevon is still a personal hero. But ZZ Top? And their delicate, exquisitely sensitive songs such as, “Cheap Sun Glasses” or “She’s Got Legs” – you know, those lovely ballads that reduce all women to hookers? Well, let’s just say they weren’t my thing.

Continue reading Golden Oldies

InCity Times is seven! Now, the important stuff …

By Rose Tirella

Happy seventh birthday to us! That’s right! InCity Times is seven years old, and we’re proud to be here. But we’ve no time to rest on our hot little laurels because the city that InCity Times loves is under siege and we have to write it about it. So here goes:

We don’t know what’s happening with the Worcester City Council this term, but this group of politicians seems to be in dire need of an enema. We don’t know how they feel about anything! They need to emote, pour out their feelings! We don’t know what they want to do – really do – about anything! They say one thing – City Manager Mike O’Brien proposes another. They demurely agree with O’Brien and the tail wags the dog!

Continue reading InCity Times is seven! Now, the important stuff …

Sex and the City rules!

By Rosalie Tirella

You live in Worcester and are a middle-aged, single woman. You didn’t watch the Sex and the City television show when it ran on cable TV from 1998 to 2004 because 1. you didn’t have cable, 2. you didn’t have a TV and 3. you didn’t believe all that cultural icon hyperbole that had been heaped upon … a freakin’ TV show! You had your own life to live – to hell with Carrie Bradshaw’s!

But when Sex and the City went off the air four years ago, and you read all the accolades written by some very smart people in some very smart magazines and newspapers (hello, New York Times), you figured, what the hell, you’d take a peek and see what all the fuss was about. You now owned (were given) a 20-year-old television set that wasn’t hooked up for cable but was hooked up to a 10-year-old VCR (also a handy-me-down), and you knew the public library had all six seasons of Sex and the City on videocassette. So you borrowed some SATC videos, asking the librarian at the check-out desk (a bit cynically): “Did you watch the show? Is it any good?”

Continue reading Sex and the City rules!

A letter to City Manager Mike O’Brien: What the hell were you thinking?! (or:A lobotomy for Mikey)

By Rosalie Tirella

Dear Mr. O’Brien,

You have been the City Manager of Worcester for quite some time now, after the Worcester City Council, during their now infamous St. Valentine’s Day massacre, threw former City Manager Tom Hoover to the wolves, pushed him over the cliff, flushed him down the crapper. You pick your metaphor. That is, then Mayor Tim Murray and city council allies decided Hoover was no good for Worcester (mostly because they couldn’t boss him around and probably because he was from Ohio) and forced him to resign (or they would fire him). Hoover left Worcester after more than a decade of service to Wormtown (basically living and breathing Worcester for years), landed himself another city/town manager job in another part of the country and promptly had double or triple (we can’t remember) by-pass heart surgery.

Continue reading A letter to City Manager Mike O’Brien: What the hell were you thinking?! (or:A lobotomy for Mikey)

The Telegram and Gazette’s Dianne Williamson trolls for readers!

By Rosalie Tirella

You know the spaghetti’s hit the fan at the Telegram & Gazette when T & G columnist Dianne Williamson writes a column begging T & G readers to … keep reading the T & G!

In a recent column, Williamson manages to be more creepy than funny when she 1. calls her readers stupid. She writes: “As most of you know – or maybe you don’t because you’re watching ‘American Idol’ rather than reading this newspaper …, ” and 2. not-so subtly threatens them as she grovels: “… we’re so desperate to hang on to our readers,” she writes, “that we may soon resort to blackmailing anyone who cancels his subscription.”

We suspect she’s only half-kidding.

Continue reading The Telegram and Gazette’s Dianne Williamson trolls for readers!

Do the right thing, Worcester!

By Rosalie Tirella

When I was a little girl, my mom took me to see a traveling circus. I don’t know in which parking lot/hall the circus had tamped down its stakes and put up its tents, but I do recall it was in Worcester. I remember walking into the saw-dusty smelling circus tent. I remember running over to see a camel – excited about seeing an exotic animal I had read about in school. But low and behold! The camel was chained – his head in shackles – close to the ground. Blame it on my sweet mom, who once freed a “flying” grasshopper I had caught and tied a red string to (with her new manicure scissors she gingerly cut the thread I had wrapped around its skinny brown body and up it “flew” over our third-floor porch railing, back into our yard). Or blame it on the Old World Catholicism that seemed to envelop the Green Island apartment I grew up in – a household run by my Polish immigrant grandmother, “Babci,” who (to me) seemed as formidable as Moses. Whatever the reason, killing, tormenting, even chaining animals was definitely forbidden in my world.

So, it should have come as no surprise to my sweet mom that her little girl would burst into tears and run straight out of the circus tent, screaming her head off at the sight of the distressed camel. My mother never took my two sisters or me to see a live animal act again.

Continue reading Do the right thing, Worcester!

A tale of two cities (or: I’ve got the sucky sidewalk blues)

By Rosalie Tirella

Years ago, I lived on Dewey Street. It wasn’t a great time in my life, and my environment seemed to echo my dire straits – down to the beat-up street and sidewalk. Bumpty, bumpety, bumpety … bump. I got minor whiplash driving down Dewey Street back then.With all its potholes and patch-jobs and tornup sidewalk – especially the stretch from Oberlin Street to Chandler Street – I wondered how kids in the neighborhood safely walked to school (you had to spend a good deal of your trek on the street that lies behind Park Ave and skirts through Main South/Piedmont).To make matters worse, the dumpy street seemed to be an open invitation to slobs of every stripe. People threw away lots of trash on Dewey Street. One Christmas morning I awoke to a dumped sofa and soiled pampers on the sidewalk in front of the three-decker next door. Ho. Ho. Ho.

Well, here it is decades later and a drive down the same stretch of Dewey Street – no doubt named after Worcester’s famous Dewey’s – is still a depressing experience. Look at the photos I took! The street is still busted up, the sidewalk is still torn up and trash is king.

Continue reading A tale of two cities (or: I’ve got the sucky sidewalk blues)

I love a parade!

By Rosalie Tirella

So there I was at Worcester’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, with the boyfriend and trusty dog, Bailey, when it hit me: this is the real Worcester, the Worcester I love. Worcester, the place where I was born; Worcester the place where I will most likely die. Home, sweet home! Home to me and the people I’ve met and known throughout the years. People who will pass before my mind’s eye when I am 85 years old and sweetly reminiscing in my Lazy Boy, somewhere in one of the Webster Square “tower” apartments: my neighbors, my friends’ children, former colleagues at old jobs, community volunteers, even a nemesis or two. They are all part of my life – part of me! To honor, love, respect (and sometimes diss). To have and to hold (sometimes a tad too tightly). ‘Till death do us part!

My life felt perfect on that brittle sunny day, the day we Worcesterites choose to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day (always a week before the real date, in deference to Worcester politicians who want to schmooze in/be a part of the Boston celebration). There was a melding of my heart and aluminumsided three-deckers. Because on parade were a city’s – my city’s! – aspirations and history. All decked out in Kelley green boas, bow ties, beads and baubles!

Continue reading I love a parade!