An 8-year-old transformed this empty lot into a complete town for elves and dinosaurs

Welcome to Elfland, the hottest new neighbor in Somerville, Massachusetts. You can even find it on Google Maps! Luckily, it's so far safe from the real estate inflation affecting the rest of the area, because Elfland is only home to elves and dinosaurs. From The Boston Globe:

From the imagination of an 8-year-old boy sprung "Elfland," a miniature makeshift village for the diminutive creatures to call their own. What began as a modest display at the corner of School and Summer streets has become a whimsical community project that's brought a bit of childlike wonder to weary residents facing asecond pandemic winter.

In August, the boy and his parents started building Elfland from the ground up, giving new life to a vacant dirt lot filled with chunks of rock and overgrown weeds. But a month later, as word of the fairytale village spread, neighbors who discovered the secret realm started quietly making additions of their own.

Now Elfland is perhaps the city's most talked-about new neighborhood, an enchanted place its creator says is filled with "flying cookies" and "spiky green hats and green clothes," and where the average height is 1 inch.

The founder of Elfland (who has chosen to remain anonymous, because he's 8 years old, and/or an elf) says that the elves who live there keep crickets as pets, and that each family consists of about 22 elves, none of whom age. He also explained that the elves, who have lived in Elfland since 1382, were previously unable to build their own structures due to an ancient troll curse.

It also a library:

And a dinosaur farm:

And of course, a community garden full of magical herbs:

They even have some of those outdoor dining igloos (though it's not clear if elves can catch COVID-19?)

The land on which Elfland resides used to be a gas station and auto repair shop, that were empty for years before finally being torn down earlier in 2021. However, the Somerville Planning Board has a meeting scheduled for December 16 of this year to discuss a new potential development on the property. If you want to help fight elf gentrification, you can screenprint your very own "Defend Elfland" t-shirt, courtesy of Jef Czekaj, a Somerville resident of creator of such books as Little Ghoul Goes to School.

Welcome to 'Elfland': An 8-year-old Somerville boy started building a miniature village on a vacant lot — then strangers secretly pitched in [Steve Annear / Boston Globe]