Here we are, finishing the first week in November, readying for Thanksgiving, which means Christmas isn’t too far away.
The year 2011 is soaring to a finish.
It is amazing how fast this year seemed to fly by, how little we have accomplished, as a nation to fix our broken economy and how little interest there seems to be in bringing back leadership to our government.
Unemployment remains very high, over 10% in East Boston, with thousands who are collecting unemployment and many thousands more who cannot find a job, whose benefits expired long ago.
Yet on its face, the local economy does not look to be without vibrancy.
Local restaurants and shops are busy throughout the week. Real estate continues to sell and to be bought, though at a much slower rate and in smaller numbers and at significantly lower prices.
However, the look and feel of the East Boston neighborhood remains vibrant. There is growth all around – not in the abundance of the great days during the wild upswing during the first decade of the new Century, but there is growth never the less.
Maverick Square, we believe, is a bell-weather for the neighborhood.
The new East Boston Neighborhood Health Center rising in the square is about to give a giant boost to the neighborhood and frankly already has with construction jobs and purchases of goods and services.
The square is vibrant. Its many businesses are doing well. There is a very positive feeling alive in the square.
In the Heights, on Jeffries Point, on the many streets in between and on Eagle Hill, there is the feeling of stability, of neighborhoods that are solid, mixed, safe and for the most part decent places to live.
As we approach Thanksgiving with the year flying by us, if we take stock of whether or not we are better off than we were the year before, we believe we are.
The worst of the recession appears to be over.
It is the remainder of the recession we worry about – that – and how to change direction.
With 2012 staring us in the face, we should all get to work on changing the future.
If we don’t, there is no future.