Once again, Globe chooses non-Bostonians as 'Bostonians of the Year'

This year, the Globe named Olympians Aly Raisman of Needham and Kayla Harrison of Marblehead as its "Bostonians of the Year." Both are outstanding athletes and, no doubt, role models for us all, but Raisman lives in Needham and Harrison comes from Marblehead.

Past winners have included US Attorney Carmen Ortiz, who at least works in Boston; Scott Brown, who, granted, famously campaigned in South Boston; Elizabeth Warren, whom I once saw in Roslindale; Paul Pierce, who plays basketball in Boston; and Bruce Marks, who helped build low-income housing in Boston.

Ed. note: After I tweeted about this, Doug Most at the Globe replied: "Just to be clear. Under your premise, as "The Boston Globe," we should only cover Boston's 21 neighborhoods. Not an inch more." No, there's a wider world out there, but just to be clear, Marblehead is not Boston. How about "Globe Person of the Year"?



Free tagging: 


And I Quote

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"Just to be clear. Under your premise, as "The Boston Globe," we should only cover Boston's 21 neighborhoods. Not an inch more."

If that means less, but higher quality content than most of the half-assed stuff the Globe and Boston.com churns out, then I'm all for it.

Boston Coverage

I'm surprised anybody at the Globe even knows there are 21 neighborhoods, so I guess that's progress, but no, we don't expect them to cover the neighborhoods and "not an inch more." But it is frustrating that the Globe often seems to instead cover the suburbs and not an inch more.

Your Town

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The Globe's "Your Town" has sections for each of Boston's 21 neighborhoods. It's their tagline. $50 says this guy is that site's editor.

Technically it has sections

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Technically it has sections for each of Boston's 17 neighborhoods, since it uses a slightly different definition of neighborhood from wherever that 21 number came from. There's not a whole lot of value in giving the tiny neighborhoods like Bay Village their own section though, so whatever.

I would have said "Hey, Mr. Most?!"

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Seeing how I'm the only outlet in this city reporting on the violence tearing apart the wrong neighborhoods that you can't seem to find space for because you're too busy featuring the latest hipster watering hole and the Bill Brett pictures to go with it, why don't you go fuck yourself?

That's just me, though.

Hey now, go easy on the guy

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He just found out he won't be named editor, surprising only himself.

I'm sure he'll be back to doing cutting-edge work on suburban shopping mall-related "news" items soon enough.

Let's not forget

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the bi-weekly appearances of "Boston's best pizza places" and "Boston's best burger joints".

Have you checked out their

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Have you checked out their installments on the Genevea/Bowdoing Street area? Pretty good stuff. I didn't think they ever reported EVERY SINGLE crime in the city, but maybe thats just me.

Globe view of Bowdoin/Geneva

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I think that the Globe series on the Bowdoin/Geneva neigbhorhood was another not-so-helpful series on the deficits of a neighborhood. Like a lot of similar feature stories, the series focused on the problems of a few selected people, portraying social service and church ministry people who are trying to help and neighborhood residents who are not responding to the help. For example, there was a young man who said he wanted a job but didn't follow through with attempts to help him find one. Not that the stories weren't true.... but the writer could have balanced these by chosing other neighborhood residents who would better represent the assets and strengths of the neighborhood.

I would have said "Hey, Mr.

I would have said "Hey, Mr. Most?!

Seeing how I'm the only outlet in this city reporting on the violence tearing apart the wrong neighborhoods that you can't seem to find space for because you're too busy featuring the latest hipster watering hole and the Bill Brett pictures to go with it, why don't you go fuck yourself

Best writing that I've read all week! Its writing like this (along with Adam's wonderful headlines) that keeps me coming back to UHub.

Perfectly sums up how a once great paper that now has some intermittent good writing now buried in loads of fluffy, crap (trying to think of new word that combines fluff and crap - flap? frap?).

Get a World

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I can't think of any other city where this would be anything anybody would care about.

We live in metro areas, not small towns that just happen to be packed in together to form a million plus person region.

Get over it.

Thank you! I've lived in

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Thank you! I've lived in this area my whole life and I've never seen such city vs suburban competition. Really now, the Boston Globe was and is to this day, a regional newspaper. I've delivered quite a few in my time, didn't they have a morning and evening paper? I may be thinking of the Patriot Ledger..

PS. If you're ever out in suburbia, check out those old rock walls, they are works of art that have stood the test of time.

Call it The Suburban Globe

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The Globe is useless. It once was a great (or good) paper, but its not a city paper, its like the Newton, Wellesley, Needham, etc. Tabs joined together with some national AP content thrown in for good measure.
The fact that Brian McGregor (from Weymouth) is the new editor is not good news for anyone who hoped the Globe might remember they are a city paper. This is a guy whose columns range from rants about other suburbs no one cares about and cute animal stories to how cities are for cars not bicyclists or pedestrians.

Can someone start a real Boston paper please?

No way

I see stories about Milton and Dedham here all the time. THAT'S NOT THE HUB!!

When was Boston Globe ever

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When was Boston Globe ever considered a city newspaper? Never, in my lifetime (and that's saying something).


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Amy Derjue suggests:

Why don't we split the difference and call this person Masshole of the Year?

Oh please, this is silly.

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Oh please, this is silly. I'd be curious how many posters here are transplants, vs those who've lived in the area their whole life. I ask only because where does all this come from? Now we're arguing about this stuff? Really?

Redheadedjen, it's amazing

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Redheadedjen, it's amazing that you still then deign to grace us with your presence. Columbus, OH is breathlessly awaiting your highness' arrival, I'm sure!


In most cities, the inner ring suburbs were annexed, which is why Boston is comparable in look and feel to cities that are much larger. The urban area based around Boston has closer to 2 million people, and that's something that can't be said of a place like Columbus, OH.

It's not the size of the boat

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It's the motion of the ocean - and Columbus got no Ocean - along with alot of other things we have that they don't.


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is your point that the metro area is super and makes Boston what it is, but that no one needs to know this, so it's okay that we call Marblehead "Boston?"

I kind of feel like you actually agree with Adam: these places (suburbs) should not just be glossed over and/or forgotten when describing a region. I think that calling wherever you live Boston does your town a large disservice. I think that my local government works really hard, and would hate for others to simply think that it worked because of Menino. As such, I am happy to distinguish my town from "Boston," and I imagine that you feel similar.

And when

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you're travelling in Sweden or South Africa, or San Francisco for that matter, and you meet someone and they ask where you're from, you, of course, say "Marblehead, a small, wealthy, seaside town north of Boston," right? No, you say "Boston."

Depends on what you mean by metro, though.

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Yeah, but it depends on what you mean by "metro area." There's a big difference between Brookline and Marblehead. Cities are porous things and Boston as a sociocultural entity shouldn't depend solely on the legal boundaries of the municipality itself, but you do have to draw the line somewhere and Marblehead might be pushing it. When you define Greater Boston in the broadest sense, you're including a bunch of cities which are relatively independent.

On the other hand, I guess Marblehead is still within 128, so I guess that counts for something.

For what it's worth,

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For what it's worth, Marblehead was 617 before the 781 split.

Not a good comparison

redheadedjen, Boston was founded in 1630 on a little spit of an island. Columbus was designed to be a state capital in 1816. They had more land to work with. Population density of Boston: 13000 or so per square mile. Columbus: 3500 per square mile. So Boston is a little dense city surrounded by slightly less dense suburbs. Columbus is a big less dense city surrounded by cows. Metro area populations: Boston: 4.5 million. Columbus: 1.8 million.

Boston land area: 48 square miles. Columbus land area: 212 square miles.

And the Las Vegas Strip is not in Las Vegas

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Boston and surrounding towns sure seem to get more nitpicky and bent out of shape over names than other places do. Speaking as a geographer type, it's fascinating how insular the cities and towns try to be, pretending that we don't all basically live in one big city. Borders are arbitrary, using the main city's name to describe a metro area is convenient and usually apt, and in most other places life goes on.

Exactly BECAUSE they're insular

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Yeah, Boston is geographically tiny, but the nitpicky insular borders matter because, well, so many people live their lives as if they matter. In a city where people don't care about borders, I'd think it would be fine to call someone "from [city]" if they're from somewhere in the metro area, but we live in a city where there are people who live in Brookline who've never been to Roxbury a mile away. This city is notable in the degree to which people stay inside a tiny tiny radius around their house (or only go to places approved by their neighborhood, like some people in Dorchester and Southie who frequently shop in Braintree but would never go to most others Boston neighborhoods), so since that's the case, I think it makes sense to say that, no, most people from suburbs have no idea what the hell goes in Boston outside of tourist destinations.


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Holiday shopping decisions...the 'Plaza' or Mattapan Square?

Doug Most...

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And the rest of the folks at the Globe really need to get over themselves.


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Adam just appreciates accuracy. Which is what newspapers are supposed to provide. Might seem like nitpicking but it's the crux of what they do (or should be doing).


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I have no problems with the Globe naming people of the year. And I realize how fluid borders are around here (for many years, we lived in a part of Brighton that used Brookline's Zip code and one of its phone exchanges, which used to lead to fun things happening when you dialed 911, such as people dying in the confusion with Brookline).

But Marblehead is NOT Boston. Neither is Needham (nor, for that matter, are Wrentham and Cambridge, where a couple of other past "Bostonians" live).

If the Globe is unwilling to name a "Globe Person of the Year," maybe we need something like Chicago, where they have Chicago (the city) and Chicagoland (the metro area).

Fortunately, this is not a problem that really demands a formal solution short of people tuning me out when I complain about this every December.

This is where you lose me,

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This is where you lose me, boss.

Chicago's municipal boundaries encompass 234 sq mi, and include every inch of what could rationally be considered the urban center and core suburbs. Every part of Chicagoland beyond the official city limits is a distant suburb or an exurb.

The Boston metro area is (by population) about half the size of Chicagoland, and yet Boston's municipal area (48 sq mi on land) is only about 1/5 of Chicago's.

Purely through accidents of history, municipal Boston omits areas that are indisputably part of the urban core, like Chelsea, Everett, the northern half of Brookline and most of Cambridge and Somerville.

I was not a suburbanite when I lived in Central Sq.

Conversely, municipal Boston includes areas that are indisputably suburban. I would have a lot more trouble crowning someone from Readville "Bostonian of the Year" than I would someone from Harvard Sq.

That said, I agree that Marblehead is a stretch.

And before somebody from

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And before somebody from Chicago spanks me, there actually are some places you could call core Chicago suburbs that are not inside the city limits, notably Cicero and Oak Park.

Faux Boston

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Meet a new person somewhere and someone asks where they are from and they say "Boston" and you ask what part and they say Norwood or Medford or Dedham or Quincy or Milton. That is not Boston. Claim your place durnit. Don't be claiming Boston if you don't live in Boston. You pay the price then you get to be from Boston.
And another rant: ask where a Globe reporter lives. "Newton." "Brookline." "Cambridge." I'd like to see the stats.

Funny thing is....

...if the Bostonian of the year were from say Rozzie, all the city people would do what they always do and say "Rozzie???? That's not the city, that's the burbs!". :-)

FWIW, I agree. If you're going to name someone as Bostonian of the year, they should be from, well, Boston. If the Hopkinton Independent named someone from Holliston as Hopkintonite(??) of the year, it would be a little weird.

We use

Hopkintonin Hop/kin/tony/in As any Hopkintonin will tell you since you can walk from Hopkinton to Boston, we consider our selves a part of the Greater Boston area.

I was born in Everett, move to Hopkinton, spent many years as an expat in Yankee territory, moved to Brighton, now I live in Revere. When I go past 91 or down 84 I tell people I'm from Boston.

I also disagree with the Globs choice of Bostonian of the year. Not because none of them live in the 617 area code; but because as exciting as the Olympics were, they had no effect on any one in the area. The ladies have shinny medals, I don't see how that did anything to the majority of people who read The Boston Globe.

isn't this what the internet is for?

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to me, this whole thing clarifies what modern media IS.
the Globe is what it is.
a for-profit giant. it does a lot of great work but doesn't have the
resources to do it everywhere. it's an overview.
that most recent "summer in the city" thing or whatever it's called was great!

but iti s what it is.
so it's up to citizens to report the rest. what's important in neighborhoods, on blocks, in towns
that get overlooked, sometimes.

so great sites like this come in. detail work.
great conversations, great information.

as for the story, anyone in Greater Boston is fair, IMO.
but you can't expect the Globe to be everything to every community in new england.