Upham's Corner Online

Vandalism Mars the Holidays at Paraiso

Posted: December 2, 2011     Nancy J Conrad

The vandalism on early Friday morning at Paraiso Restaurant hurt not only the newest restaurant in Upham's Corner but reeinforced the image that Upham's Corner is a dangerous and crime-ridden community.

The players in this story are Marinella and Gregorio, chef and manager at Paraiso, three women walking the streets at 1 o'clock in the morning and the Dublin House restaurant and bar (maybe). 

While we do not know who these women were, there is speculation about where they came from and why they were in Upham's Corner.  This is an opportunity for Upham's Corner residents to reflect on our quality of life and how to improve it.

So you walk by the restaurant at 750 Dudley Street.  What you notice is how beautifully the restaurant has been decorated for the holidays -   lights along the outside of the plaza and a Christmas creche set up on a stage at the back of the plaza.

Christmas Creche at Paraiso Restaurant Christmas Creche at Paraiso Restaurant
Christmas Creche at Paraiso Restaurant

You might notice their sign is torn but even then, you probaly won't pay it much mind.  The wind? The rain?  Old sign? Just more of the same in Upham's Corner.  No thoughts of vandalism.  After all, it's just a sign.

But it wasn't an act of nature or normal deterioration that brought Marinella (chef at Paraiso) to tears on Friday morning (Dec 2).  "You know the sign we have at the front of the property? It's been destroyed." 

Vandalism mars the holidays at Paraiso Restaurant

This is her story. 

On Thursday night (1am Friday) Marinella and Gregorio were about to leave the restaurant.  Gregorio was setting the alarm and Marinella was waiting at the front door when she saw three women walking together down Dudley Street.  They crossed Belden and approached the front of the restaurant property where the sign is.  In what appeared to be a random act of vandalism (violence), one of the women reached up, grabbed a hold of the top of the paper sign, ripped and tore it down. 

Marinella ran up to them, asking them what they were doing.  The reply?  "We don't know," and they walked on.

Gregorio saw a police car driving east on Dudley Street, stopped the car and explained what happened.  The police car turned around slowly, according to Gregorio, and with no headlights on traveled in the direction the women were walking. Gregorio said he also saw trash cans from in front of Brothers Market and Amado Enterprises thrown onto Dudley Street with the trash strewn everywhere.

Question Why would three women be walking down Dudley Street, completely out of control, at one o'clock in the morning?
Answer We have no idea (at least not at first).

From the perspective of any normal resident of Upham's Corner, this whole story doesn't make any sense. 
  • We sleep here at night
  • We come home from work to our homes
  • We go out for emergency purposes
  • We go out to visit friends and family
But walking down Dudley Street and destroying property - at one o'clock in the morning?  Do we do that here in Upham's Corner?

These are NOT normal Upham's Corner residents!  And if they are outsiders, they are not people we want walking through our community and destroying it.
A police officer parked in front of Camilo's Liquors who listened to the story answered a question we posed to him: 

"If you had to guess about where these women might have been coming from at 1 o'clock in the morning, what would you say?"

No surprise:  His answer was identical to what some Upham's Corner residents had been thinking: 

The Dubin House Restaurant and Bar.
Dublin House

"The captain, the police officers, the Community Services officer, all of us are well aware of the problems that Dublin House draws to Upham's Corner.  But without a 'nexus' (his words), there isn't any proof, and there isn't anything we can do."

Of course there is NO PROOF.  Guilt by association is NOT proof and it is not fair or right or even lawful to "assume" or associate without the presence of any facts. 

Let's get creative and try to figure out why three women were walking down Dudley Street at 1o'clock in the morning.
  • They had just come from a prayer service at a nearby church
  • They just got off the bus
  • Their mothers threw them out of the house
  • They were lost
  • They weren't real - ghosts from the Dorchester North Burying Ground
Now let's turn to the Dublin House (just for the heck of it).  What kind of neighbor is the Dublin House?  Take this as an example:

On July 29, there was a near fatal shooting at the Dublin House.  The victim managed to drive down Dudley Street to Belden (hmm - same location as the Paraiso Restaurant) where police found him and transported him to the hospital.

Article on Shooting at the Dublin House

The challenge: 

What steps can we as residents of Upham's Corner take to improve our community?

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