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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