I live in Sackville, and I'm damn proud of it | Opinion | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

I live in Sackville, and I'm damn proud of it

The ‘Sack gets an undeserved bad rap; in reality it’s an interesting and caring community.

People love ripping on Sackville. Even a lot of people from Sackville love ripping on Sackville. Over the last year or so, I would bet that nobody has read more articles about and tweets from people from Sackville than I have. I've noticed unfair comments that pop up whenever an incident takes place in this community. We get reports of a car thief or vandalism or worse and all I see on Twitter is "Only in Sackville" or "Stay Classy Sackville." And that is a crock. Almost daily, we see news reports from the rest of HRM of stabbings, gun violence, attempted dirty needle pokings...and I never read "Only in Dartmouth" or "Only in Halifax." Where did this rep come from? Is it The Trailer Park Boys Effect? The show did start out in Sackville...and I won't lie, I have seen some of the goings-ons from that show take place here in real life. Let's call that a highly exaggerated version of some aspects of Sackville. Is it because we have no super expensive neighbourhoods like Eaglewood in Bedford or Schwarzwald in Fall River?

Is it because of decades of shenanigans on our infamous bus route, the Shady 80, which has long been called The Party Bus, supposedly filled with "mouthy Sackville kids." Hey, the 80 did not get a bullethole last week!

I know that we have our share of D-Bags and punks. I have lived in Sackville for about 90 percent of my life and I certainly was no angel myself when I was a bored young whippersnapper. Was I out partying in the woods making a racket with buddies? Sure. Did my buddies and I get in the odd scrap now and again? Of course we did. But I don't think we have an unusual number of rabble-rousers living around here.

Mostly, Sackville is quirky, kinda boring and filled with a lot of houses filled with hard-working people. We are a bit different than a lot of places because there is an interesting mix of hickishness, hip-hoppiness and everyday run-of-the-mill suburbanites.

I acknowledge that some of us embrace our rough rep---note "Sackvillans," which I find catchy and hilarious---but our rough reputation is more myth than reality.

Listen, nobody enjoys poking fun of Sackville (and myself) more than I do, but the outright hostility, "ghetto" and "you are all poor" comments that I read and hear are totally unfair.

Roughly a year ago, I started my blog and Twitter account as a joke/experiment. I quickly found out that many Sackvillans were pleased to see someone writing about Sackville and joking around about it as well. We were feeling a little ignored and left out. The response has been a bit overwhelming at times. I receive many pictures, news tips and questions daily, and I love it.

Since I have started my blog sack-vegas.com and tweeting as @sack_vegas I have beenreally looking around my town. I have talked to artists, rappers, a circus performer, amazing singers, volunteers--- you name it, we have it here in the 'Sack. I am more proud to live in Sackville now, having met so many caring, down-to-earth and hilarious people of all ages. There is a growing online and "real life" community around here that is sharing info, helping solve problems and watching each others' back when needed. This group also includes many school age residents who are often the target of outside criticism with the "dummies and trashy girls" comments which infuriate me.

I see a lot of growing Sackville pride out there and many people who are proud Sackvillans, but are shy to admit it! Make no mistake, we don't lose any sleep over our unfair rep.

So, to the rest of HRM and anywhere else that likes to trash the 'Sack, I suggest they take a peek in their own back yards before judging us. Don't make us Go Sackville on you. Oops, did I just write that out loud?

Jeff Nielsen is a husband, dad and online clown. His blog is sack-vegas.com and he tweets as @sack_vegas.

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