Thanks to "The Departed," the 2006 Martin Scorsese film where Jack Nicholson resembles Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger, moviegoers around the world now know the thuggish past of South Boston. Times have changed here, especially with the bourgeois influx of pricey hotels and convention centers on the waterfront. But past these props is the heart of this neighborhood, an alphabet soup of street names with a hearty mix of crumbled pavement and blind spots. If it's authentic Boston you're after, this is the right place.
Move that Elvis statue blocking a space on P Street, however, and you'll likely have slashed tires or scratched paint in less than 24 hours - or in the case of Chris Powers on N Street - a torn side-view mirror. The photo of Elvis was snapped by Jon Titone, a reader who responded to the Globe's "parking space saver of the day" feature (e-mail your photo here).
It's all part of the area's charming, medieval justice system. While the city allows parking space savers for up to 48 hours after a snow emergency, the locals have their own codes. Disobey them, and thou shall be punished with personal property destruction (thanks for the correction, astute readers).
For out-of-towners, see this photo gallery of parking space savers (chairs, cones, you name it), and for those that doubt retaliation, comb through the comments on this Globe article from last Saturday. One reader mentioned he'd rather "live in Gaza than Southie."
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About Boston Overdrive
|Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
|Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
|John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
|Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
|Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on About.com. He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
In the garage: Mazda 5, Dodge Neon
|George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
In the garage: Lifted 1999 Jeep Cherokee