Brockton Named Massachusetts’ Ugliest City; Native Ken Pittman Takes Exception
So, this thing called Alot.com is looking for trouble. The online publication has posted an article entitled "The Ugliest Cities in Each State."
It's a clickbait article designed to draw people in and perhaps to their website, which features articles on health, finance, careers, local, travel, living, education, and auto. That's probably more attention than I should have provided those weasels. I only mention them to give you a better sense of why you shouldn't take what they have to say all that seriously.
As you have probably figured out by now, Alot.com selects one city in each of the 50 states, referring to it as the ugliest. It plays on your morbid curiosity and perhaps appeals to your honor to defend your own grunge hole against outside criticism.
Here's what's ugly in New England.
Alot.com declares Essex Junction the ugliest city in Vermont. Harrisville, Rhode Island, gets whacked, as does Howland, Maine, Somersworth, New Hampshire, and New Haven, Connecticut. Rounding out the ugliest cities in New England, according to Alot.com: Brockton, Massachusetts.
When I mentioned to my editor Tim Weisberg that I was interested in writing about this list of ugly cities, he advised against it.
"Those (stories) are usually what we call 'earned media.' They just make up these lists to get you to link to them," he said.
Tim is right, of course, but I had to defend Brockton's honor since I remember Boston Herald columnist Peter Lucas caused quite a stir years ago by referring to New Bedford as "pit city" and all of the angst it caused.
Alot.com said of Brockton, "The only architecturally interesting part of Brockton, Massachusetts, is City Hall. The rest of the buildings are organized like a budget version of Paris, with all of the straight-edged roads, squished townhouses, and a famous library."
"At least the city is home to a couple of boxing champions; otherwise, it'd be nothing special," the article stated.
WBSM's Ken Pittman, a Brockton native, took exception to Alot.com's characterization.
"Obviously, they didn't drive to DW Field Park or see the view from Court Street Hill overlooking downtown," he said.
Ken suggested the writers for Alot.com should visit west of the Thorny Lea Golf Course to see the "beautiful multimillion dollar homes back there."
Margaret Wolfe Hungerford once said, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." What is ugly to Alot.com may be just ducky to others.