Globe columnist doesn't know first thing about raising kids in 'the city'

Shirley Leung's column about why she and her husband left the South End for the suburbs is actually a decent enough piece about the problems faced by people who live in the South End who decide to have children.

My problem with her column (granted, as the president of the Center for the Easily Annoyed) is that she conflates the South End with the entire city of Boston - she makes it clear she lives in a binary world consisting of "the city" and " the suburbs."

Forgetting for a moment that somehow, people do figure out how to raise kids in the South End, there's a lot more to "the city" than precious third-floor walkups in brownstones down the block from chi-chi little bakeries and boites.

I suspect that for the price of what is now their two-bedroom rental property on Mass. Ave., Leung and her husband could have bought an entire house, or at the least, a spacious condo - within walking distance of restaurants and shops in Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, Dorchester, South Boston or Brighton, to name a few places that are, in fact, also part of the city.

There are entire communities of people raising their kids in the city nowhere near the South End. Our taxes go to City Hall, we go to the same museums, we have the same issues with the school system.

I'm not saying there aren't reasons why somebody might want to live in the South End over, say, Roslindale. But is it really too much to ask for a columnist at the Boston Globe to recognize that "the city" doesn't end at Mass. Ave.?

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Weeeeeel, in case you haven't

Weeeeeel, in case you haven't noticed, I think that many (not all, certainly) urban parents employ a my-experience-is-the-only-experience attitude when it comes to all things parent-y.

I look at parents who have left the city, and parents who have stayed. All I can say is that there are pros and cons to each decision, and every family should make the decision that's best for them.

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Indeed, they should

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We bought our house from a couple with a young kid who were moving to Norwood.

Just to be doubly clear, I'm not at all criticizing the decisions Leung and her husband made - just her making it sound like there's only one kind of "city" life.

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I agree with you, Adam.

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I agree with you, Adam. Unfortunately, I believe there are a number of people who think that Boston is comprised only of the expensive downtown neighborhoods. They seem to be the same ones who think that the "suburbs" consist solely of a few Metrowest towns.

My favorite anecdote is when a friend from law school told another friend of ours to move to West Roxbury when she and her husband had kids and needed a bigger place with a small yard and the friend, horrified by the mere suggestion of moving to Westie said "We would never live on that side is Route 9, we love living in the city"....they lived on Beacon Streeet in Brookline.

We live in Milton, which is great for us, but it was a tough call leaving the city as my wife grew up in Dorchester, we enjoyed living in town, and she had gone to Latin School, as did many people in her family. Our friends who live in West Roxbury, Roslindale and Lower Mills have houses and neighborhoods indistinguishable from ours. Different strokes for different folks, but the city is certainly more than the South End or Back Bay.

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I knew you weren't

I knew you weren't criticizing her family's decision, and I was agreeing with you about that attitude that her experience was the only experience.

On a serious note, perhaps you need to send a letter to the editor. I bet it would be a good one.

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Totally with you, Adam!

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As someone who bought a home in JP and raised 3 BPS kids since 1980, all now college-educated, grown, working and still living in the city, I was disheartened to read this article. What a narrow point of view!

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The short answer would be yes.

But is it really too much to ask for a columnist at the Boston Globe to recognize that "the city" doesn't end at Mass. Ave.?

When you embrace the NYT model of status emulation you start by being a materialistic airhead.

The stink of the NYT era hasn't gassed off quite yet and then there will be the old embedded pre NYT sophomorism below that pungent topsoil.

The ditz cohort has more important things to do than actually understand its surroundings.

The easy solution is to just make up your own status preferences.

There are some interesting options.

Kindness never goes out of style and ethics are a hit in many circles you'd want to traverse. Astuteness gets you through the days clouded by stupidity.

And these are all attributes you have at hand, in abundance.

The idea of 'buying' status in the form of shiny things is something to grow out of, like a stroller for kids who are already inclined to walk.

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Mitigating risk

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Use of strollers in a city setting has a lot more to do with risk mitigation than being a "materialistic airhead" buying "shiny things" for "status." That's some bitter drivel there, and you've apparently got a non-sequitorial axe to grind with the NYT.

If you have to manage multiple toddlers in the midst of mostly lawless automobile drivers and cyclists -- where everyone knows how to raise your children better than you do, starting with shipping your family off to the suburbs with contempt (see nearly every post here) -- you have to control what you can control, and it makes a lot of sense to restrain your children in an appropriate carriage between Points A and B so you keep them safe while keeping your wits about you.

I'd wager the vast majority of the comments in this thread have been made by people who have never -- on their own -- cared for multiple youngsters in a city environment.

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It's more sequential than would appear.

The stroller, on the other hand is the red herring.

The New York Times owned the Globe until it unloaded it.

The main thing both do is extol an affluent demographic they imagine will care about advertisements and subscriptions.

Both occasionally poke their heads out to see what the rest of their likely constituents or readers might care about, but when they do, it usually comes off as tone deaf and clueless in the manner that provided the essential core of Adam's plaint.

There is easy agreement on the need for strollers until a child can walk. Status display strollers involving lots of money as described here are a bit goofy.

And no I haven't been involved in adding to the world's overload of humanzees as I'd be a totally unfit parent anyway and women usually can't stand me for perfectly good reasons.

And that gets us back to the suggestion that there are other ways to a fulfilled life than crass materialism as your basic status totem.

In some corners of the planet, status is attained by being a great provider like a tribal leader who makes sure the people are well fed and led.

Aristotle favored observance of ethics as a way to define status.

The whole screed is intended to comfort those who may feel like crabgrass from the perpetual crass media drumbeat that you somehow suck if you don't have some glitz life that may or may not involve anxiety over a thousand dollar stroller.

It also offers a suggestion as to why newspapers that embrace such nonsense are fading.

Alternate theory

Actually newspapers are fading because the print advertising market has been destroyed, so their entire business model is unsustainable.

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/02/the-collapse-of-prin...

A quick glance at today's Globe Metro section reveals articles about:

dog pandemic
various crime/sentencing stories
guy getting a dream job as a Fenway groundskeeper
Vigil for James Foley
Issues senior citizens have the new Ride system.

Not sure which one of those is promoting a glitz life...

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Well yeah.

Actually newspapers are fading because the print advertising market has been destroyed, so their entire business model is unsustainable

That was news in like 2003 or so. Maybe if you look at general long term trends you'll see a burb lean, as a bigger sample is probably in order.

You could add to that the absurd expense of masticating pulp and running it through a web press in huge runs that then have to be dragged around on trucks at the crack of dawn. One of the stranger things in Cambridge is the near complete disappearance of newspapers from recycling bins.

One of the more common complaints here about the globe is that it sucks up to the burbs at the expense of the city.While it is less common than the various set of opinions regarding bicycle problems and place savers it is still part of the commentariat litany.

The metro section is a dumb place to look anyway. you want the lifestyle sections. Looking in the metro section is like expecting to find the tiara in the garage on the shelf next to the leaf blower with the lawn chemicals and spare oil changes.

Usually, the way you evaluate a newspaper is by looking at page counts, column sizes, article placement, recurring themes and so on.

Its structure tells you what it thinks is important.. it's a form of meta data. Then you have whatever useful or inept stuff its paid scribblers write and editors approve.

I believe...

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...that you're describing modern parents in general. They make the CHOICE to have kids and then the rest of us have to sit and be judged by them and listen to their endless bitching.

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PREACH.

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PREACH.

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There are urban and suburban parts of boston

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I ca see challenges of raising kids in the south end. ( I work there so somewhat familiar with the area). We are giving it a go in Hyde park which is going well so far. Dorchester, roslindale, hyde park , west roxbury, jp and Mattapan seem better suited than boston proper with more single families with yards. But bPs still remains the variable out of families control!

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It looks like the stroller

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It looks like the stroller she has is actually one of the smallest two child strollers you could really have. It's hardly a double-wide. It's an umbrella stroller. It's not a jogging stroller with inflatable wheels.

I get that not everyone likes children or parents or strollers and I'm fine with that. However, the hyperbole that comes with some of the complaints is a little much.

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Relax old man.

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Plenty of room in the neighborhood for all kinds of people. Besides, aren't you spending all your time in Cambridge and Somerville where real food is being made?

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I get around to a lot of neighborhoods

The giant-stroller moms are just more noticeable in the South End, where their sense of self-entitlement shines like a radioactive glow on the narrow sidewalks.

As for real food -- weird term, that -- or good food, it's everywhere: Cambridge and Somerville don't have an exclusive on it, just more than their share at the moment at what used to be called the fine-dining level, for reasons that are obvious to anyone that follows the industry.

Where are you finding "real food" lately, old man?

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Agreed

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Back in The Day (2011), I worked at a place that offered kids' programming that was popular with the South End Moms who I referred to as "The Thousand Dollar Stroller Brigade," as they came in to programs with expensive designer strollers.

They'd fuss, and fuss, and fuss some more over their stroller, parking it in all sorts of places where it was blatantly in the way of foot traffic, "because it might get stolen" in a restricted-access class space. Then, they'd spend so much time ping-ponging back and forth to the stroller to make sure the stroller was OK that they'd leave their toddler completely unsupervised. I'd say, "Excuse me, your child is about to (do something fatally dangerous)" and the answer I'd get back was, "But I need to check on the stroller and make sure it's safe."

TL;DR: These moms cared more about the stroller's well-being than their own child's.

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You're a guest in the South End.

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I find your criticism odd. You go to a neighborhood that is full of young families then complain about strollers? And your lament of double wide, huge strollers is a bit overwrought. Most of the strollers I've seen are smaller than suburban counterparts. Your criticism of young moms seems class based. Entitlement is the new buzzword in the class wars.

Like I wrote, there's plenty of room in the south end for all kinds of people and it works just fine for those that live there.

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Actually, I'm more than a guest

I've lived in the South End for 13 years. I have many friends who are raising kids in the neighborhood, and many who aren't. I'm not saying every stroller is huge, but there is a certain kind of South End mommy who does favor the SUV of strollers, and those ones tend to live in a bubble of self-entitlement, or perhaps deliberate ignorance of how intrusive those things are in the neighborhood's tighter spaces. Good on you if you're not bumping into one in a narrow cafe aisle, or being forced off the sidewalk by one, on a regular basis.

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"Forced off the sidewalk."

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It's called being a gentleman. Why would you force a mom and a baby into the street on a narrow sidewalk?

It sounds like your problem is with rude and inconsiderate people. As you know, that group crosses all socioeconomic/cultural/family status boundaries.

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Bingo: it *is* about rudeness

In other words, undue self-entitlement, the notion that your convenience is more important than that of other people in public spaces, like assuming that your 30"-wide stroller has some divine right of way.

I don't mind stepping aside, holding doors, yielding a seat on the bus. I was raised with some old-fashioned manners. The rub is the default assumption of entitlement to those courtesies without ever lifting a finger to return them, or acknowledge that you are inconveniencing others. In my experience, SUV stroller moms live in that kind of bubble.

It isn't remotely a class issue, and I find it very odd that some posters here keep trying to make it one.

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Well you certainly seemed to

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Well you certainly seemed to characterize this one as huge ("double-wide") and seemingly an SUV-type stroller when it isn't at all, so I tend to think that you just don't like strollers at all and find them all to be intrusive.

Leung tends toward a narrow world view

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She was perfectly competent as a reporter, but Leung is a bit over her head as a columnist. Perhaps she will grow into the job, but so far, she's been disappointingly superficial and facile, especially in her columns on the Market Basket fiasco.

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Brighton - Families & Students

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Thank you for mentioning Brighton! I am born and raised in Brighton (39 years) and understand that sections are know for the college students but there are many beautiful neighborhoods that are great for young families. There are a lot of challenges right now for everyone trying to afford the city but there are still amazing opportunities if people seek them out in Boston. Hopefully more efforts will be made by Boston to focus on keeping families and life long residents here while building on new growth for the city.

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Doesn't know first thing about anything

Except what her sources (i.e. rich guys du jour) tell her to write in her typical business column. Her elitism and tonedeafness would make Marie Antoinette blush. The continued existence of her column, it boggles the mind.

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Marie was a Proto-Ditz.

An early version of the archetype and early evidence of how the wealth cocoon eventually turns one into an idiot in that shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves riff.

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For all I know she's a nice

For all I know she's a nice person, but her columns are mostly uncritical paeans to various business interests in the area, not to mention she's implied the Olympics are actually a good idea here.

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I live in New Hampshire

I eat out in the city regularly. Ive been to most of the places on her must eat list. I live in Southern New Hampshire. Yet this woman can only manage to make it to a sushi place in a Quincy strip mall, where I assume she lives?

Not really trying is she?

I live in Quincy and we have

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I live in Quincy and we have a lot better options just in quincy! haha (oh also and I get into Boston and Cambridge a lot...I get on the dreaded MBTA!!!)

I also live in Quincy and would love to know where she went

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I don't know that much about strip malls in Quincy but I do know that there are half decent sushi places here. Fuji anyone?

We're not a culinary capital of the world but there are plenty of great places to go - La Paloma (in a strip mall), Punjab Cafe (in a strip mall), Tony's on Wollaston Beach are a few cheap and good places that come to mind. Leung's probably too good to go to those places even though the food is excellent.

Go to Marina Bay, Leung.It's not a smorgasbord of earthly delights like Flour and Stella's but Siro's is nice enough and there is plenty of room for your double-wide on a boardwalk that overlooks the Boston skyline.

Maybe you could have ventured over the Neponset River Bridge and - horror! - go eat in Dorchester. The Ashmont Grille is lovely. Just remember to lock your car, but you know already know to do that being a city dweller and all.

Edited: I read further downstream that she lives in Milton. I wonder if she means Ichiro Sushi which is in Milton, not Quincy.

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Brownstones in the South End?

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Dear President of the Center for the Easily Annoyed:

I also made the mistake of thinking the South End is a community of brownstones. It was only when a long-time resident and designer scolded me at a public meeting did I realize that the vast majority of residential property are mid-18th century red brick bow front townhouses. There is only one block along Blackstone Square where brownstones are located.

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That's a huge pet peeve of

That's a huge pet peeve of mine (yes, I'm also a charter member of the CfEA.) "Oh, I live in a brownstone in the South End..." No, you don't. You live in a brick rowhouse with some brownstone trim. How those things got to be known as brownstones is a mystery to me.

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#whitepopleproblems

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Are you kidding me ? you are complaining about people mislabeling the type of stone your luxury manse is made of? Or do you live in the Villa?

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Mid-19th century

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Mid-19th century, I assume. Those mid-18th century South End red brick bow front townhouses would have been underwater.

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Then they'd be

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perfect for you, Fish!

glub glub

Some people use the word to

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Some people use the word to refer to any rowhouse, regardless of whether it's made of brown stone.

If you don't like it, write a letter to the nearest federal Department of English Language Standards and Enforcement office.

I could barely read this

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I could barely read this whiny drivel...my reasons for recently leaving start and almost with BPS. I just can't fathom putting future children in that system.

I miss the city, but...

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BPS -- Don't knock it if you haven't tried it.

If I read correctly, you left because of BPS, but don't even have a school aged kid? BPS actually works quite well for a lot of people. Yes, it is sometimes complex to navigate the options, but thousands of parents manage to do it. And a lot of us have been able to work with BPS to obtain outstanding educational resources for our children.

Your comment strikes me as uninformed. If you do have kids and did give BPS a good look, then I apologize for misconstruing your comment. But far too often, when I see a glib bash of BPS, it comes from somebody whose knowledge is entirely derived from the Globe's pro-suburbs reporting. Many of the schools here are excellent, even nationally recognized. It's something that Boston should embrace with pride.

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I don't have kids yet, but I

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I don't have kids yet, but I'm quite well informed, through reading news outlets, knowing teachers and school administrators both inside and outside BPS, and through research online and in person.

Please don't take my brevity for lack of information.

Yes, BPS has some great schools, but I'm not willing to chance the quality of my future children's education...the possibility of being placed in English High (among others) exists, and for that, alone, the risk is too high. Sure, it removes BLS as a possibility, but I think my wife and I made the right choice for our family.

You shouldn't have to work with your school district/system to get a good education...it should just be a given, particularly in a city that should have no problem finding it's schools.

And

A good education will be a given in your suburb, and you won't have to work with your school district to get it?

Good luck with that.

I won't have to work to find

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I won't have to work to find a school in my district that delivers a good education. I found a home in a district that will offer a good school at every level. I don't have to work to find that in my new district.

Obviously, I'll need to work hard to make sure my kids take advantage of the opportunities they are given by virtue I being in a good school, and make sure their particular needs are met, but I won't have to worry about chance and choice and the possibility that a bad school is where my kids end up.

Bottom line - in BPS, you have the best of the best, but you also have some if the worst...and I wasn't willing to risk that.

One size fits all?

You could find plenty of children in your town whose needs are not met by the school. The difference between the degree to which you "need to work hard to make sure my kids take advantage of the opportunities they are given" in your town and the degree to which a parent must do the same in Boston is not as great as you imagine.

The gap may not be as great

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The gap may not be as great as I think, and given the sheer number of resources, I'm sure Boston can accomodate more special circumstances and needs.

I just couldn't see myself risking a chance at my children ending up in the worst performing schools that are present in BPS.

Wow, someone's annoyed

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I didn't read the article, nor will I, until it comes out in print on Sunday. I'm old school like that.

That said, it's Leung. It was going to be some place in the core neighborhoods. To be honest, I was hoping she would have landed in Dorchester, in some place close to Columbia Road, but I'm a realist.

I read her columns, with a grain of salt. She's the business columnist, and she reflects that section of Boston well.

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The Leung Has Landed

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I believed she landed in Milton - and if that's the case - I would think she would have
at least a passing knowledge of Hyde Park, West Roxbury, Roslindale, and parts of
Dorchester. OTOH, when people mention Boston, my first thought is downtown, not
the outer more suburban neighborhoods.

THANK you.

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Thank you thank you thank you, from aa Dorchester resident who sometimes thinks, hello? I'm here too, having a city experience here in the city of Boston! Hallooooooo!

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If I had to do it over again I would not raise my kids in Boston

If I could afford private school I might do it, but the public schools are structured so that they will disappear before they will change enough to be good.

My kids excell outside of the schools and compete well with kids from other areas. But they don't get that much out of the schools here. I think the kids who do best work hard whether encouraged or not. I used to think that was an admirable quality; now I'm afraid it's a psychological vulnerability.

There are actually a lot of conveniences to living here as far as driving, space, density etc. But I bet you can find that elsewhere with a little research.

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I don't get your beef

So, she wrote about her experience. She used the word "city" when she meant "the dense part of Boston where people live in row houses, in condos".

Her experience is what many parents have who live in "the city". And, few who don't live in Boston realize "the city" is anything but Boston Proper, so what's the problem?

The rest of you, none of whom have ever lived there, just sound like a bunch of jealous old biddies.

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Because she's being published

Because she's being published in the established media and should be accurate. Her editor should have pointed it out to her. The Globe is still the CITY newspaper, as well as the regional paper, and this is slack.

I live in a condo in JP. My street, and most of Hyde Square, have no single families, so I'm not really sure about your condo observation.

I lived in Chinatown, the North End, and Fenway, so I do know what "it's like to live there." It has pluses and minuses. It's not extra special fabulous, and it's not hell.

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You would think

..that a person who has been credentialed and paid to know about the city would actually know about the city.

It is a strange time where 'professionals' dish out formulaic platitude plates while real information comes from an engaging mosaic of dedicated amateurs and sidelined professionals who are somehow sub par in comparison with these credentialed ditzes.

The Globe has devolved to a simulacra, pandering to an imaginary demographic that is deserting it in droves while short changing a real demographic that is still willing to assume it is significant.

It is pretty funny from high atop Mount Indifference.

I lived in several parts of Boston before it was dolled up and inflated going back to the mid 1970s and it has always been a situation of ignorance only exceeded by arrogance with a fine bouquet of nepotistic slovenliness and low grift wafting through.

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"City" ≠ Boston

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Agreed, John. "City" has other meanings besides "City of Boston." I thought maybe the column would be about schools or other actual City of Boston issues, but no, schools are barely mentioned and even the name Boston is used maybe twice.

Sure, plenty of people do probably think Boston ends at Mass Ave, but there's no need to complain every time someone says "city" and doesn't mean "entire City of Boston and not an inch beyond its borders."

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Cut some slack people.

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Cut some slack people.
Maybe she is using "city" when she should be using "downtown."
I am from dorchester but it wasn't until I moved to chinatown that I said I lived in "the city."
When I talk to people in my current location (40 miles south of the City of Boston) "the city" generally refers to the METRO Boston.

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From Rozzie

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I lived in Roszzie for 50 years. My wife is from West Rox. We raised two kids. Holy Name, my daughter went to Latin, my son to Roxbury Latin. Seventeen years later, we had two more. Needed more room. Couldn't afford Westie, so we moved to Walpole. Good town for kids. Now, we want to move back. Younger kids are 17 and 14. They want to move back too (they were 2 1/2 and 1 when we moved here). Walpole is a good town, but it isn't like Roszzie. You have spacious yards, but then no shooting the sh-t over a fence. Everyone is friendly, but it still isn't the same sense of " hey, neighbor!".

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I agree wholeheartedly, Adam,

I agree wholeheartedly, Adam, and I find the idea that the city exists only within a two mile radius of the State House stupid.
Not that the Leung article was guilty of my next complaint, but I also do find that "the REAL city in these 10 blocks" attitude often comes hand in hand with the "I pay more property taxes than anyone else ever therefore City Hall should take orders from me" attitude.
And..
My gran lived in Allston/Brighton for about fifty years without a car. I have never owned a car in Boston. Yes, people, you can live west of Mass Ave and south of Melnea Cass without a car, and not have a nervous breakdown.

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Yes, there is more to the "city" than just the South End..

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and her column reads like one long whine. Yes, there are challenges living in the South End (steps, for one) with two kids. But on the other side, she and her hubby are very lucky and could afford (I assume) living in a very exclusive and expensive area of the "city", which most folks could not afford. Heck, most folks can't afford to even live in Boston town!

I worked for a lawyer who lives in the South End and he and his wife had a child. Never heard a peep of negativity from them - they loved living in the South End.

I guess it is all a matter of perspective but I find people like her tiresome.

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This article is too self-referential

A better title would be, "why I'm not suited to raising kids in the city," or even better still, "why I'm not suited to raising kids." Some of her article dealt with the peculiarities of the 10 block city of Boston, but much of it was really about the challenges of parenting. Oh, you can't control your kids at Strega? No doubt a restaurant in the burbs would make them behave. No, sorry, you have young children, that is going to put a crimp in your fine dining ambitions no matter where you live.

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Sounds like a win for Boston

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Most of the time I'd be very annoyed by her conflating Boston with a few blocks downtown but honestly if her exaggeration encourages more people like her to leave the city limits without considering other neighborhoods I'm OK with that. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

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To be fair, West Roxbury and

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To be fair, West Roxbury and Roslindale feel like the 'burbs: fresher air, slower paced, cute single family homes with driveways, more space, more trees, less yuppies, less crime. I'd consider yourself pretty damn lucky to live in a nice relatively safe Boston neighborhood where you can afford a house with a yard for your kids to play in and have a driveway to park your car in every night! Why complain? Sheesh.

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Yes.

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Yes, and if West Roxbury is "the city" aren't places like Medford and Malden "the city", too even though they are not within the city boundaries?

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Not quite

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West Roxbury is part of the city of Boston. Medford and Malden are both cities.

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7 people who +1'd this

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7 people who +1'd this comment don't yet know that West Roxbury is a Boston neighborhood... sigh.

Hmmmm

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About 20 minutes in, I remembered why we never eat out anymore, except for the sushi place in a Quincy strip mall. The baby was doing his best impression of a Red Sox pitcher, hurling everything from silverware to pasta. The toddler was racing around blowing out candles at every table. This after refusing to eat his dinner. Doesn’t he realize the delicate flatbread is much better than frozen DiGiorno?

Don't you realise allowing your children to act this way is grossly inappropriate? My parents would literally have murdered me or my sister if we pulled anything even close to this. This solidifies the article being about you not understanding how to live or act in a city, not raising kids in the city being that much more challenging than the burbs. I hope you tipped really, really, really well.

Oh yeah, and maybe you wouldn't be having such a difficult time with contemplating grocery shopping if you weren't buying "flats of water". It's not like our tap water is the best in the country or anything; or the production, transportation, and disposal of bottled water one of the most wasteful things ever invented.

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Someone's never had kids

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Look, I love to bash Leung like the best of them, but when you have a kid who is just learning to feed him/herself, food gets flung. There's a gap between starting to try to eat by oneself and understanding that you shouldn't throw food around like you are Jackson Pollack.

If your parents say you never flung food, either they are lying, have selective memory loss, or fed you until you were 2.

That said, junior is getting much better at keeping food off the floor, but the battles, at almost 2, still occur.

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Food flinging

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happens. Babies are babies and most people understand that.

However, Baby does not need silverware. If Baby is flinging silverware, then the adults need to do the responsible thing and place it out of Baby's reach. If Baby is flinging food, then the grown ups dole out the food in small portions to Baby, to improve the amount of it that ends up eaten instead of flung. Or, if Baby's a repeat offender, then Baby gets fed at home so Baby's not hungry at the restaurant and therefore never gets any real quantity of restaurant food.

And there is absolutely, completely, utterly no reason for a toddler to be allowed to run around the restaurant blowing out candles. If the kid's that unable to not disturb others, parents can take turns walking the kid outside or up and down near the bathroom (some places have nice long hallways by the bathroom.) Or parents can get their food packed up to go, and finish it at home.

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True that

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But the Leung family had to learn these lessons somehow. The silverware thing is a bit much, so I am hoping she meant the training forks they brought. As far as candles go, I don't get that.

Anyway, time for sleep for me. I can't wait to fetch my paper from the steps in the morning and finally read the article. These types of pieces in the Real Estate (or whatever they call it) section are fairly fluffy.

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