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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wonder What The Crystal Ball Says About Magoun?


The fortune teller that spent a few weeks on the agenda of the License & Permits Committee is preparing to open up shop in Magoun Square despite opposition from Alderman at Large Jack Connolly.

Questioning the benefit that such a service would offer to Somerville, Connolly opposed the approval of legislative item #192148: New Fortune Teller License, Stacey Mitchell dba Astrology by Nina, 511Medford Street. Alderman Sean O’Donovan took the opportunity to comment that what businesses decide to open up in Magoun is not the issue that needs to be focused on and that the economic state of the square is really what needs to change if elected/city officials and resident/patrons want to see better establishments.

The fortune teller will occupy the space once held by Copacabana-a Brazilian clothing store that turned out to be one of many “fly by night” businesses that has long plagued the business district as they open up and, just a few months later, are emptied and closed overnight with a For Rent sign visible by sun-up. This is very different from the Magoun Square of yesterday who boasted an amazing bakery, meat shop, and hardware store for years before closing down and starting a long trend of unnecessary storefronts not frequented by residents. This past year, two stakeholders in the square, Basil Tree and Lil’ Vinny’s Ristorante, announced their departure with only one of them (Lil’ Vinny’s) being replaced by another business.

Conversations will continue throughout 2012 regarding the economic state of Magoun and I encourage all genuinely interested parties to participate in these conversations and offer their insight and suggestions!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I disagree with calling the Brazilian businesses "fly by night" and a "plague" - they are legitimate businesses that appeal to a demographic different than your own (Copacabana was there for much longer than a "few months"). The majority of small businesses in the US do not succeed, and theirs are no different.

I also disagree with the inference that "there used to be a great bakery in Magoun Square." There currently *is* a great bakery: Panificadora Modelo. If you go in, they make it a point to speak English to those who aren't Brazilian. Their menu is in English too. And their food is good! The owner owns numerous businesses in the area, has lived in Mass for 30+ years, and is a US citizen.

I think it's very exclusive to suggest that the "right" businesses are not opening in Magoun Square. Immigrant-oriented business open there because the rents are cheap - these aren't "unncessary storefronts". If they are pursuing their version of the American dream by starting their own business, more power to them!

Anonymous said...

The "fly by night" businesses that open (and eventually close)in Magoun do not appeal to a demographic that actually frequents the square-hence the reason why they close so quickly. No one is trying to prevent anyone from living their american dream, but the writer is stating facts. The businesses come and they go.

Comparing Panificadora Modelo to Cara Donna's is comparing apples to organges. Cara Donna was far superior to Panificadora Modelo. Yes, the owner of Panificadora Modelo does own businesses, but he is also allowing the old Cara Donna building go to waste.

Anonymous said...

Don't turn this into a fight about brazilian businesses or immigration. The right businesses ARE NOT opening in magoun because they have not had a successful one open in years. I think modelo was the last one. This is about residents wanting better businesses there and not about anything else!

Anonymous said...

Fortune Tellers have been in existence from time immemorial.
So long as people are willing to pay for their services, fortune tellers are not doing anything illegal.

As far as setting up "shop" in Magoun Square and their not doing anything illegal; neither Jack Connolly, nor the Board of Alderman, nor the License and Permits Committee chaired by Alderman Sullivan, nor the Police Department, etc, etc, can stop them from setting up in the square.

The problem for the naysayers---
To keep fortune tellers/psychics out, whoever wants to stop them, has to be supported by written legislation that doesn't currently exist barring fortune tellers in the city.

And then you have the A.C.L.U---who would certainly get involved.