Rallying for a Neighbor (from the Brookline Tab)

Brookline | Retail | Access/Network
Today the Brookline TAB, our weekly town newspaper, published my piece Rallying for a Neighbor as a guest column. This was a vast reworking of the piece on Yang Jianli of several weeks back. I met Dr. Yang’s wife, Christina Fu, in preparing this story, and we had a nice chat about the neighborhood and about activism and such. I rewrote the piece a couple of times, and settled on a theme of zoning. Our neighborhood retails shops are zoned for commerce, and we customers are “zoned” for commerce as well when we do business there. All in all, it was a nice exercise in writing, editing, and cutting.

My Mom asked me what I would do for an encore. I probably will next write a piece rejecting what I just argued– and writing about a few of the neighborhood shops which extend beyond strictly business. Manny’s Barbershop on Harvard Street, for one. Last month, Manny actually promised me that the next haircut (which would be my third with him) would be free– for perhaps the reason that he thinks I’m a nice guy. I’ll have to decline the haircut, but I’ll write more about him.

There’s a candlelight vigil for Yang Jianli this Sunday at the All Saints Parish church, 1883 Beacon St.

May 13th update: Yang Jianli was sentenced to five years of prison today.