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A Guest Post by David Warner, Owner of City Feed

First off I want to say that I love Jamaica Plain.  I have lived here for almost 20 years—most of my adult life.  It is where I have chosen to make my home as an adult.  I met my wife here.  Our son was born here.

Some of the things that definitely drew me to this neighborhood and kept me here are its history of community activism, its spirit of service, its spirit of creativity and the neighborliness that abounds.

The closing of the Hi Lo has kicked up a lot of impassioned discussion about the past, present, and future of this neighborhood. It is precisely the fact that so many folks are feeling moved to speak that deepens my appreciation for this neighborhood. We may not all agree on every aspect of these discussions, but I think we can all agree that we have a deep appreciation for this place we call home and we are all willing to be pro-active in its evolution.

Beyond the obvious fact that I am the co-founder and co-owner of a business in the neighborhood already competing for and sharing customers with Whole Foods, I want to primarily address my personal feelings about this potential change in the landscape of Jamaica Plain.

For me, there are three great ways to appreciate the character of this neighborhood. First and foremost are the people. It takes all kinds to make the kind of neighborhood I want to live in, and we got that. Many different ethnicities, same sex couples, families and singles, hippies, Yuppies, blue collar, white collar, artists, activists, students of all kinds, hipsters, slackers, gardeners, and bikers. Some work here and live elsewhere, others live here and work elsewhere, but we are all neighbors to each other. And we have chosen to be neighbors.

Secondly there are the hills and the trees, the parks and the ponds, the shaded backyards and puddingstone outcrops, the triple deckers, brick projects and pondside mansions, in short, the physical landscape of our neighborhood.

And thirdly there are the businesses that are a manifestation of the people of this neighborhood. From Meatland to Harvest Co-op, from Doyle’s to Ten Tables, from the Farmers Markets to the Latin Markets, From Yely’s Coffee Shop to Ula Café, from Star Fish to JP Seafood. We may not all shop in all of these businesses all of the time, but they all contribute to the character of this neighborhood and are manifestations of its uniqueness and its diversity

There will always be flux and evolution in every aspect of this neighborhood. People come and go for all sorts of reasons. Businesses fail and succeed. Buildings are replaced and remodeled.

I accept that change happens and it may not always be to my liking. But I also feel strongly that we all share an appreciation for the uniqueness of this neighborhood and that one of the most effective ways we can work to keep it unique is to support the businesses we see as a manifestation of that uniqueness. Big Business does many things very effectively. Contributing to the uniqueness of a neighborhood is not one of them. Big Business is very responsive to how you vote.  Please vote with your heart and your feet and your dollars to keep JP unique.

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