Dorchester students ask French government to stop warning against travel in the neighborhood

WBUR reports on a letter by students at Codman Academy asking la Republique to take Dorchester off its list of places best avoided by French visitors to America.



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      My two cents...

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      I understand crime and shit can happen anywhere, but as a long time resident of Dorchester (Codman Square area), I can understand why they would advise tourists to stay away, or at least be more cautious, of Dorchester. Unfortunately, shit happens here. This year a person was shot at on my street, and I had to nearly fight a guy trying to steal my car. It happens, oh well, but no tourist wants to deal with that shit, and I don't blame them. I mean, yeah, it's a city, so anything can happen anywhere. Shit, Adam just posted that shots were fired in West Roxbury of all places, but y'all can't deny that there are places where crime is more frequent, and tourists wouldn't want to be around it.

      Dorchester is a big place.

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      Dorchester is a big place. The idea that tourists should get waved off from going to the JFK Library, UMass Boston, Neponset River parks, et al because there's some rough patches elsewhere in a neighborhood of 100k-plus people is silly.

      Not quite

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      It's actually the other way around, for the most part - some nice patches in a rough neighborhood of 100k-plus people.

      Dear Anon

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      Please don't anonymously comment on my neighborhood due to stereotypes that outsiders love to believe. Please go back to the trolling on the Herald and living in New Hampshire.

      Dear William

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      I actually live in your neighborhood, but that is beside the point. Now, will you please name all the good parts west of dot av, where a tourist would be safe at night? I'm talking about nice big chunks similar to east of dot, not small one or two block patches. Take your time, I'll wait.

      Yours truly,


      Dot Locations for Anon

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      Technically no one is safe in the city at night. But to appease your desire to learn about your own neighborhood I will define a "good part" as at least 5 blocks with Dot ave serving as the Eastern boundary: 1. Andrew Square south to Columbia Road with Boston St as a loose border over to Dot Ave 2. Area of Columbia Road on the North and West heading around to Stoughton St on the South, crossing over Pleasant and then East to Dot Ave. 3. Park St south to Melville and continuing south down to Shawmut/Centre Ave/ St.Marks Church 4. Ashmont St (western side) south with Washington on the West down Adams & River Sts. Sorry for the delay though, another exciting powerpoint needed completion.

      And with half of Dorchester being east of Dorchester Ave, your boundary not mine, and then add in the above spots, it might actually qualify as most of the neighborhood. Therefore, making a nice neighborhood with some rough patches like tenean said. But I am sure you will find fault with how I define "good" and the fact that you continue to be anonymous is kind of sad, so this is my last post. I hope everyone on Uhub has a great Thanksgiving.

      P.S. Good on your neighbors & students at Codman Academy for sticking up for our neighborhood.


      From a tourist perspective, concerns must be voiced, no?

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      Given that the U.S. state department routinely warns travelers off of entire countries of substantial historic and academic interest, it seems not unusual that French tourists are urged to avoid certain neighborhoods, without concern for certain attractions. Moreover, there is a French consulate in town, and should there be a French scholar who is urged specifically to use the J.F.K. library, I am certain that they can be advised by the local staff upon presentation of a letter of introduction to the library.

      "First Time"?

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      Is there a list?
      Life on the edge.

      Roxbury and Mattapan too

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      I wonder if Northeastern, Longwood Medical Area institutions, NCAAA, Franklin Park, the MoFA, etc. appreciate people being told to stay away.

      I live near franklin park

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      and I'd avoid going into "the wilderness" during the day, unless I was with a large group of people and/or a police officer. It's ONLY because the Shattuck is right there. Why is there a hospital for drug addicts and inmates/criminals right in the middle of a major urban park?

      I go there all the time

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      and rarely see anyone besides dog walkers, joggers and walkers and other harmless types. I have never had an issue in the park during the ten years I've lived nearby and as I remember reading last year after that woman was attacked, crime in the park is almost nonexistent.

      One of my favorite running places

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      And I will brave the cold and wind for their 5K tomorrow. Franklin Park is one of the nicest places in the city. I would go so far as to say that one is safer on the circuit road than they are at other parts of the Emerald Necklace (namely the one part that is completely surrounded by trees)

      True enough, I cannot point to that part of "Dorchester" (yes, it is completely in the old Town of West Roxbury, but the grand entrance is by Dorchester) and say that I would be safe walking around there at night, but I cannot think of any park that big that I would consider safe at night.

      Talbot ave ? Are u crazy did

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      Talbot ave ? Are u crazy did u really just say there's no crime u must must not be from around here believe it or not there are many gangs in the area a lot of it goes unheard of u know why bcz its just another number they would rather bitch on the news about nuth in when we have a lot more serious issues..I have lost my cousin due to violence in the city and I'm sure I'm not the only one to say that..if your not from around here ppl stay away I guess do what the media says right fuckin herbs

      Safety and lack of crime not exclusive

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      I commented earlier about running in Franklin Park, but to get there, starting from France approved Roslindale, I run by the site of an unsolved double homicide. Sometimes, on one of my runs through Hyde Park, I pass the site of a thankfully solved double homicide, a stabbing, and an inadvertent shooting up of a house. Save the last incident, all of the crimes had an element of victim knowing the perp, and in the last incident the intended target knew the shooter (if not by name, by sight.). Still, I feel safe in these areas at all hours.

      Is Franklin Park safe? It's no less safe than any other park in the city. The reality is, murders in Boston are far less random than people think. Yes, there are innocent victims, like that mobile phone kid, the girl in Southie, and the kid whose recently convicted killers acted based solely on the street their victim lived, but those are exceptions enough to make me feel relatively safe.

      As for your street call out, my college roommate grew up on Talbot in the 1980s, on the bad side of the post office, but he has 2 masters degrees and a nice life now. And yes, I have walked it. Peabody Square to Codman, and it seemed no less safe than Rozzie.

      so - I take it you haven't seen the drug dealing

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      I'm fine in other parts of the park, but the past couple times I went to that tunnel under jewish war vets, there were people there who clearly did not want me to be there.

      Um... Northeastern already

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      Um... Northeastern already warns its students about dangers on and near its campuses. It's nothing to be offended by. Communicating risk is a good thing: reminds people to take precaution. I'd rather be warned rather than not for fear of offending someone.


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      There is nothing wrong with colleges doing a little PSA that, hey, we're in a city, and you should watch your things. They have students from rural areas and suburbs and whatnot, and this is only common sense.

      From what I've heard, Northeastern oversteps this and some of the people doing their safety lectures actually tell students they'll be disciplined for setting foot in local public housing, as if that's a remotely constitutional policy for them to have. No word on what the policy is for students who live in said public housing, have relatives there, havevbabysitting job there, or just want to go for a damn walk because it's a free damn country.

      Let me help the French Tourists.....

      Dear French Tourists,

      There isn't really much to see in Dorchester anyway, so you really shouldn't be thinking about going there. But if you really wanted to, I would go to:

      1. The Banshee (especially if there is a soccer game going on)
      2. From the Banshee, go to the Dublin House.
      3. From the Dublin House, go back into Boston.

      You have a better chance of getting harmed/mugged in other parts of Boston, including Downtown, so don't worry about the crime in Dorchester, especially if you stay around the above places.


      Pete Nice.

      Dublin House?

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      Great idea, those unlocked European iPhones would be much easier to sell at CeX once they're "donated" to support the local economy. Send them to Merengue instead, they might lose their phone if they're unlucky but at least they'll eat some good food.

      Dublin House!

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      Pete, are you serious? That has got to be one of THE most dangerous corners in the country after dark. You do mean Uphams Corner, no? I have been there myself--in fact I lived two doors down from the place years ago, and I can tell you it is not a place I would suggest tourists go. I would, however, suggest that they check out the graveyard across the street during the daylight hours. That is one of the coolest things to see in all of Boston if you make an appointment to be let in.

      why would someone do this?

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      im writing an open letter urging french people to stay out of my neighborhood

      Guidebooks say the same thing

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      Really, it is no different than any other safety warning for any city. It is for tourists, not residents (who are very familiar with their surroundings,) and is supposed to give a general overview. They aren't going to start listing street by street what is safe for tourists and what isn't. Visitors that want to see more than just the typical tourist sites, or have specific interests, usually know enough to search for more info.

      I find that when traveling, the best thing to do is read travel websites for an overview of the area, then look for forums frequented by locals.