Some try to forget West Broadway's past and rename the area around the T stop

The Herald reports some people want to call the arriviste area around Broadway station Broadway Village.

"If it sounds pretentious, it’s not intended to be," the Herald reports and then promptly contradicts itself by quoting people who say they're trying to get past the era when "residents were lower on the economic and social scale" and Whitey Bulger had a bar there.

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    Twitter is not amused

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    What's in a name?

    I live here and the location is great. When you look at what is here now - fine new restaurants, the T, Amrheins, two great diners, dry cleaners, Foodies, Subway, Starbucks, ... how can anybody complain that the area has not improved dramatically? When I moved in, the corner behind Broadway station was a gravel lot with an abandoned car in it!

    Broadway Village? Could be much worse.

    Plenty of precedent: see Rozzie, Allston, etc. And since it's a creation of realtors, be grateful they didn't go for WEBR (which one local businessman interviewed in the Herald piece actually preferred), Broadway Estates, or WeSoBo. Maybe once they have a grandiose new name for the area, they can balance it out by renaming West Broadway to Bulger Boulevard. Whitey's contributions to the neighborhood have already been sugarcoated by locals for decades; maybe over time his broader reputation will fade into "lovable, incorrigible scamp" instead of the criminal blight he actually was.

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    Precedent Does Not Quite Fit

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    I am not sure about the history of Roslindale Village but know that it's hardly a new name. I suspect it's been used since the 1800s. The same is true for Allston Village. Remember that before population expansion and being incorporated into Boston, and long ago, those areas really were small farming villages well outside the city.
    It is also a way to differentiate that area of Allston from other neighborhoods of Allston: Lower Allston, Harvard [soon to be synonomous with the prior entry], Dude Bro Car Fires, and Heroin Park.

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    Maybe some of our many Southie historians can weigh in

    I wasn't aware of the historical origins of those other Villages: comments I've seen here tend to cast them as realtor-speak or transparent boosterism by Menino, and generally loathed by old-timers.

    So, Southie scholars, what are the historical names for the neighborhoods of South Boston? I know City Point, aka the East End, is reasonably clearly defined: Farragut to M Street to most, some say to G Street.

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    East End? - Not

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    There is not now, nor has there ever been an area of South Boston called the 'East End' unless it's some imaginary name a yuppie or 2 dreamed up and shares among their clueless acquaintances (they seem not to have any actual real friends). As clever as you think you are MC Slim JB, you really don't know what you're talking about do you?

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    Sorry, "East Side", not "East End"

    It's a realtor's usage, and older neighborhood names versus realtor neologisms is kinda what the thread is about. Not being a realtor, I have always called it City Point, myself. (The neighborhood association defines its western boundary as L Street, by the way.)

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    I can't speak for the 1800's,

    I can't speak for the 1800's, but nobody called the intersection of Brighton & Harvard "Allston Village" when I moved there, and it was a minor media event (causing much mirth among my roommates and I) when the neighborhood association started pushing that name. It was seen as a blatant attempt to class up the neighborhood by associating it implicitly with Brookline village down the road.

    As to the 1800s...

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    The railroad station at Allston was known for years as "Cambridge Crossing". Maps from the era just call the area Allston, if not simply avoiding showing a name at all. An 1888 map shows Union Square labeled as such. Likewise, the horse railroads and electric streetcars all just went to "Allston" and were thus signed. The WWI memorial (erected c. 1920 IIRC) across from Twin Donuts mentions being dedicated to the residents of "Hanoville" for whatever that's worth.

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    Roslindale History -- Village vs. Square

    Just last night, there was a SRO crowd for a presentation on Roslindale history at the Roslindale Library. At the meeting, it was pointed out that "Roslindale Village" was the original designation (and that people who had been around in the 1920s confirmed this). The switch to "Roslindale Square" took place in the 1940s sometime. The return to Village was a revival of the old name.

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    Its the Square to locals

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    If you call it the Village its like wearing a sign around your neck saying "im not from here."

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    Because being from Rozzie or

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    Because being from Rozzie or whatever is such a crown of glory. People are from some place and not from some other place. So what? Just because mama left you the triple decker doesn't make you into a little god in my books. You own your house but you don't own the neighborhood so you can sneer at outsiders calling it the "village" all you like and it doesn't make a damned bit of difference.

    Who cares what happens to that stretch of W. Broadway? As soon as they tore down the Notre Dame convent and school the place is nothing to me. Let the "yuppies" have it.

    Whit

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    Roslindale Village

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    Roslindale Village is the name of the T station in Roslindale, which was originally part of the Boston & Providence Railroad. It wasn't made up by a realtor recently, although when Roslindale was developed from farmland in the 19th century it may have been named by a developer back then.

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    Broadway Village

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    I wonder who suggested the name Broadway Village? Could it possibly be the owner of Broadway Village Real Estate? This "news story" seems more like an ad for the real estate company.

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    Broadway Village

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    I think a name that reflects what the area is most noted for is appropriate.
    I think Real Estate Commision Junction would be a good one! ; )

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    History repeating

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    West Broadway is already a euphemism. They renamed the D St projects to get around their legacy.

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    And the West Broadway housing

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    And the West Broadway housing development used to be called....?
    They changed the name to change the image, which is what they're doing here.
    A stretch, but try.

    W. Broadway

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    We've always called them the D St projects.

    D St

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    They have always been called the D St. Projects, which are in the lower end

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    Imagine for one moment you’re

    Imagine for one moment you’re a South Boston Realtor in the year 2014. The housing market is exploding as young professionals move to the area in droves. Conjure the image if you will of a small congested area of the town, once home to working class families, factories, abandoned buildings, barrooms, a catholic high school, a bus stop, and an entrance to an archaic, dilapidated transit system.

    And then, Wala!! A café opens, then a yoga studio, next comes a LEED Certified Residential building, followed up by trendy bistros, and (drum roll please) a Starbucks!

    Now you tell me, as that Realtor, how would you want to introduce this hot new spot to your young, financially stable, potential buyers? As Broadway Station, or ‘Desirable Broadway Village’? Cha-ching!!

    Where are we talking

    I assume where talking about the triangle formed by Dot Ave, W 2nd, and the haul bypass road/track 61. I'd take Broadway and "triangle" and make "Broadangle." Ironically, there's no obtuse angle in the triangle made by the aforementioned streets. But, hey, it works.

    "No two points in Broadangle are more than a 5-10 minute walk apart, including the subway station."

    I, personally, think a unique name sounds more 'hip' than some lame ass "Broadway Village." It's also much easier to geographically identify and gives you an idea of the sense of place.

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    Agreed that Broadway Village kinda sucks

    Just purely in branding terms. Broadway goes all the way to the Harbor, so it's about as geographically helpful as saying "Mass Ave Village". The word Broadway evokes a jam-packed urban boulevard (like Manhattan's more famous one), while village evokes a sleepy small town; it's an oxymoron. Better suggestions: Gillette Junction, Doughboy Abbey, Cabot Crossing (for the nearby train yard), Amrheinlandia, KO Meat Pie Palisades.

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    Naming rights fee

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    They should go to Gillette and ask them for $$ for upkeep in the area in exchange.

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    Mixed feelings on this one

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    On the one hand, I hate it when realtors decide to rename things for marketing purposes. On the other hand, this is a mighty crossroads that doesn't have a name. Andrew Square has a name. Perkins Square has a name. City Point has a name. Dorchester Heights has a name that notes that Southie was "stolen" from Dorchester in 1803. Washington Village is disappearing as a name, but were something to change with the projects, who knows? Dot Ave and Broadway? Nothing.

    Broadway Village does sound pretty dumb. How about Gilletteville? It pays tribute to the major industry left in the area, and it is close to the spot. Also, kind of sounds like Wrigleyville, which might be appropriate to what is happening to the area.

    Oh, and it will always be Roslindale SQUARE to me. It's what it was when my dad moved to the area in the 50s and the same when he got my mom to move there in the 60s.

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    It's still the Lower End

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    You can't put a shine on a sneaker even though that's what these greedy realtors and developers would have you think. Yeah, call it Broadway Village and all the Village Idiots will be knocking down the doors to buy a "luxury" condo.

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    Isn't it a bit late for that?

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    The contrast between Amrheins on one corner and that craft-beer place on the other is pretty dramatic evidence that horse has already left that barn.

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    Sorry, maybe wrong phrase

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    The liquor store in the fancy new condo building right across A Street, the one that advertises its fancy new beers for sale (as opposed to a bar that sells draft craft beer or whatever).

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    So, are you stating that the

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    So, are you stating that the new store is better than Amrheins? Because it's new? Because it's not Amrheins? Not grasping your point, if you've got one.

    No, this isn't me hating on South Boston, so settle down

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    I was responding to the following:

    "Yeah, call it Broadway Village and all the Village Idiots will be knocking down the doors to buy a "luxury" condo."

    And my reply was that if that's your concern, it's really too late to worry about what to call the area because the yuppies are already there - and basically pushing down Broadway - with A Street seeming to be the boundary at this point, as exemplified by the fact that on one side you've got this brand-new yuppie beer shop and on the other side, you've got old-time Amrheins.

    That's it, really. No hidden agenda, no nothing, just an observation about one particular corner.

    I've been to Amrheins once. Was nice, reminded me a bit of Doyle's in JP, in the sense that it's an old-timey place that's been there forever (but with less creaky floors than Doyle's). Never been to the yuppie beer store, because a) I don't tend to drink beer and b) If I did, I'd probably search for someplace a bit closer to home to buy it than South Boston. You can't really compare the two because one's a store and one's a restaurant. Apples and oranges etc.

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    Craft-Beer Store is actually called

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    Social Wines. And it's much cleaner and easier to shop in than Al's Bottles Liquors at C St. and Broadway, which feels more like a firetrap.

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    Maybe you can't put a shine on a sneaker

    But if you surround the dirty sneaker it with shiny, fancy wingtips, doesn't it mostly disappear? The notion that those condos aren't worth what they're charging for them -- any more than any other property in Greater Boston is overpriced in the current undersupplied real estate market -- strikes me as kind of naive.

    Or maybe you're just pretending that the Invading Yuppie Menace isn't really happening. It has been creeping up on Southie for 15 years now, and looks to be galloping in at the moment.

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    One of the few interesting things about zoning-board notices

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    Is comparing the applications from, say, Roslindale, West Roxbury or Hyde Park with those from South Boston.

    The former consists mainly of people wanting add a dormer here, a deck there. The latter, though, is full of people wanting to turn rundown garages or tiny vacant lots into multi-unit residential buildings.

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    Yeah and then again if you want to

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    live in the "village" so bad and don't want to look like a fool paying such high prices for a luxury condo, why don't you move into the West Broadway Housing Development? Don't know if you realize that most of the condos in the "village" look like a Home Depot or Lowes structure. You get the same project living with a fraction of the cost.

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    Snotty Pretentiousness...

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    I understand that neighborhoods and demographics change. I witnessed it with my own eyes in South Philly, where I grew up. It happens. While it irks me that the working class is getting priced out in many urban neighborhoods all over the country, I accept that it's a fact of life and the pendulum keeps swinging. However, I cannot abide comments like "...residents were lower on the economic and social scale." That is an elitist and disgusting thing to say. LING LIVE THE WORKING STIFF!

    That was pretty painful

    Not everyone who's buying in Southie now is such a pompous, unduly self-entitled ass. What he might have said was, "We'd love to shake the old associations of the immediate neighborhood with murderous, drug-pushing gangsters like Whitey and his hangouts like Triple-O's; maybe renaming it will help." That might be fair. But in truth, I doubt many buyers on that end of Southie know or care much about that stuff at this point. It's about realtors trying to create something new and buzzy.

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    Maybe they don't

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    though I have a feeling that at least some of them enjoy that faint feeling of being one sanitized degree removed from crime and danger, especially if they aren't from Boston.

    Renamimg West Broadway

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    "Broadway Village" makes us seem really cutesie-poo - like Brookline. If we need a nice-souinding name, let's take our cue from the City Point end of South Boston and rename the area around Broadway Station "What's the Point?"
    Rick Winterson

    They should name it

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    "realtors running to the bank, laughing at all the fools who purchased a condo near a rail yard and methadone clinic".

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    Props

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    to John Libonati of Social Wines for speaking out against this realtor's ploy. High-end condos will sell themselves there's absolutely no need for this... also "Village" is a very poor choice of words to describe that area; an area that represents a mixture of blue and white with a modern blend of industrial and residential components.

    My suggestion, "Yuparis", but only if that giant red metal structure in the train yard is also renamed "The Stifle Tower"