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In today’s episode of Wonders of the Woo, Turtleboy Investigates went to a small crevice of the city that few have ventured towards. There is a little hidden gem located at the end of Washington Street, where it meets the CSX railroad tracks and McGrath Boulevard. To get there you have to drive by one of Worcester’s biggest eyesores – this random parking lot:
It will bring you to a magical place that the locals call “Worcide.”
So the only time you would’ve ever stumbled upon this place is if you went down to the Canal District and couldn’t find a place to park. It’s basically right behind the Union Tavern on Green Street, and it connects to Green Street via Plymouth Street, which empties out to the Lucky Dog Cafe. Worcester Magazine did a good expose on this place last year. Scratch that – it was actually great article and very informative. Awesome job by Josh Lyford.
For years it’s been a junkie haven. I mean, if you were looking for a place to shoot up with your hobo friends, you can’t find a much better spot. But local skateboarders have been trying to turn it into a skatepark, because apparently Worcester is lacking in that department. Thus it seemingly has become a battleground between Tracy Novick’s finest and local skaters.
Here’s what we know about the history of this place:
- It was founded in 2007 by a couple local skaters who saw potential in a pile of trash and a bunch of junkies.
- Local skaters began the work themselves by laying down concrete and putting up jersey barriers.
- A local skater named Jamie Dube became the de facto organizer, helping to finance it by holding punk shows, art shows, and soliciting donations from local businesses.
- Local businesses are happy about it because it helped to drive the junkie express away from their areas.
- It’s been a constant battle between the skaters and the junkies, with Tracy Novick’s finest often stealing scrap metal used as part of the creation of the park, in addition to dropping their needles and trash everywhere. More than likely they poop there too.
- The city doesn’t sanction this officially, but they kind of do. The Worcester Regional Environmental Council has helped provide resources for the clean up.
- The cops are unofficially OK with it, since it means they don’t have to shoo away the junkies as much.
- Who owns the land? Well, it’s kind of bizarre. The city claims that CSX owns it (it is abutted by train tracks), and CSX claims the city owns it. Consequently no one is responsible for cleaning it up. CSX could have easily taken over the land as they did with a lot of the land near Franklin Street, but they almost seem to encourage the unofficial skate park. They only have an easement on the land – they own the land above it, but the city owns the land below it.
The bottom line is, it has to belong to someone, and it’s ridiculous that they can’t figure out who. I mean, wars have been fought over land this small. We should be able to figure this out, or we could just say “fuck it.” Apparently the city has chosen the latter.
So who is winning the battle between the junkies and skaters? Let’s explore.
The first thing you’ll be greeted by as you enter Worcide are the rules:
No rapers allowed. Well that’s a relief!!
While there are some ramps, it’s pretty clear that the skaters are fighting an uphill battle:
“Kill cops.” I guess we found where RBG’s been sleeping.
As you can see there is a lot of artwork down at Worcide:
But the artists works seems to be going to waste. That’s because the junkies like to add their own artwork to Worcide. For instance:
Yea, sure. It’s the city that’s killing you. Not the shit you’re putting into your body. Definitely.
They also have some great life advice:
“Make sure to jerk yourself off before AND after tagging.” That’s the junkie’s creed right there. Apparently these guys have been stockpiling 4 Lokos since before it became illegal too:
We spoke with Jamie Dube today, and he tells us that it is in fact still a functioning, unofficial skate park. He says that he skated there earlier this week. But he admits that it is an uphill battle. Every time they go there they have to break down hobo encampments and clean up the needles. But it’s not like they go there every day. And this is what happens when it’s left alone for a few days. First they start boozing and pounding pills:
Then they make their beds:
Then they have their dinner time meal of 4 Lokos and rat poop, before settling in for some Bible study:
When they wake up in the morning that’s when the fun starts!!! Typically they head over to Kelley Square for some early morning panhandling. Luckily they can continue to fuel their habits because School Committee member Tracy Novick filed a lawsuit against the city over its panhandling ordinance, and won in federal court. After they get enough money from dumbasses who think they’re fixing poverty and have alleviated themselves of their white privilege guilt, they go downtown and find Martinez, because everyone knows Martinez’ shit is the bomb!!
After that they lace up and get the day started. But they always remember to pick up their needles. LOL. Just kidding:
If they have enough time in the day and they’re still functioning and able to stand, they might get down for some hot hobo love making. Be warned though:
You are? I figured the crackhead under the railroad tracks would be clean as a whistle!! Boy was I wrong:
The bottom line is that it’s clear that this land belongs to the city and they just don’t wanna deal with it. Sure, they could take the initiative, clean this crap up, and fence it off, but then they wouldn’t be able to give $300,000 a year to Mosaic for non-existent hypertension treatment. So this is what we get instead:
Speaking with Jamie Dube, they’d love nothing more than to take this off of the city’s hands. The city already owns a skatepark at Green Hill, but from what we are told it’s poorly designed and rather craptacular. It seems like a simple solution – sell it to these skaters for dirt cheap and allow them to continue to finance it privately. Then the city can collect the minimum amount of property taxes annually that they would owe, which would still be more than Tracy Novick has ever paid in property taxes while living in Worcester. Local businesses win, the skaters get a cool park, the junkies will move to Webster, and Tracy Novick will lose reelection. Everyone’s a winner.
Of course we know this ain’t gonna happen as long as Joe Petty and Ed Augusts are running the show. They’ve had their chance and they let this issue persist. Vote for change in November. Vote the Turtleboy Ticket…
Mayor: Michael Gaffney
City Council: Gaffney, Rob Sargent, Konnie Lukes
District 1: Cindy Nguyen
District 4: Jackie Kostas
District 5: Gary Rosen
School Committee: Nicola D’Andrea, Donna Colorio, Brian O’Connell
We urge you to support the Turtleboy Sponsors by doing business with them. Without them none of this is possible. Click on any of them to check out their sites or Facebook pages.