Welcome To On Bunker Hill

Bunker Hill is a ghost, and though you may today walk streets named Grand and Hope and imagine that you stand where once were grand Victorian homes turned flophouses, you are in fact one hundred feet beneath the old roads, which the city shaved away to make a wider footprint for the high rise tenants that replaced them.

Look up, ten stories up, and if you’re a dreamer you can almost see the big houses bobbing there between the towers, old men and women toddling out onto the porches and down the avenues, exchanging gossip, feeding the cats, collapsing under some junkie’s fists, boarding Sinai or Olivet for the ride down to Grand Central Market, pruning the roses, taking a nickel every time someone parks on their lawn, a taxi dancer and her mother hearing angels dictate a mystic book, pretty girl children rolling hoops, raucous longhaired boys sledding downhill and crashing into the side of Hazard’s Pavilion, John Fante dreaming of girls who won’t date him, carrier pigeons conveying messages from Avalon, phony mediums and real ones spewing ectoplasm in shadowy parlors, Kay Martin and Leo Politi painting the old houses just ahead of the wreckers, The Crockers and the Bradburys spinning in their ballrooms, landladies, bankers, writers and bums, all the possibilities of a great neighborhood as it is born, flourishes, fades and is demolished.