South End under attack by rich white people having babies

The Globe today really puts the news in context. A front page story declaring the worst recession since World War II sits right atop crack investigative reporter Sarah Schweitzer's expose on rich white parents in the South End: South End getting (a lot) younger.

Yes, shocking: Rich white people are taking time out from accumulating wealth to pop out babies!

What has changed, residents say, is that affluent young professionals who once moved away when they planned to have children began about five years ago to stay. Some now are upgrading from smaller, couple-size condos to four-bedroom units that can cost $2 million.

So, hold on, all you yuppies moving to the Natick Mall: Ms. Schweitzer now declares there is life in the old city yet.

However, the story really only continues Schweitzer's - and the Globe's - odd compulsion to turn every little anecdote-based story into some sweeping declaration of a "trend." Is the South End really getting younger? The most recent demographic data on the neighborhood is from the 2000 federal census - in other words, from two years before her alleged trend started.

As Adam Reilly of the Phoenix points out (in e-mail to me, since he can't post to his blog for some reason), there could be another explanation for Schweitzer's anecdotes: Rich white parents (and the stores that cater to them) are displacing poor brown parents in the neighborhood:

In other words, she can't conclusively state that there are more kids than there used to be. But because there are a lot of new upscale options catering to parents with disposable income...QED?

What Schweitzer ignores, obviously, is the possibility that, with the flight of lower- and middle-income families, the neighborhood may have no more kids than it used to, or even less.

Icky poor people? Please. They're Herald readers; we'll have none of that in the New Globe.



Free tagging: 


Attica! Attica! Attica!

By on

Young families have always lived in the South End, drawn by spacious townhouses and brownstones or the neighborhood's public housing that offers subsidized apartments.

Sarah makes a reasonably strong case that the number of kids outside of taxpayer-subsidized dwellings in the South End has increased. Unless the Adams of the Hub are able to make an equally strong case that the number of kids in taxpayer-subsidized dwellings has decreased her conclusion stands.

Sarah's article suggests that it's mainly childless whites who have been displaced by the possible baby boomlet.

And why are you putting "trend" in quotes. Sarah doesn't use that word so who are you quoting? And she's not saying the seeming baby boomlet is sweeping, she only writes about it in the context of South End.

The headline

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South End getting (a lot) younger.

Sounds like a declaration of a trend to me.

As is often the case with her stories, I actually found it interesting. Yuppie babies! Gotta love 'em. Stories about people moving into Boston and staying are still interesting (to me, anyway). And the photo was cool.

The fingers-on-chalkboard thing for me, however (besides the emphasis on rich white parents) is the Globe's tendency to declare a trend without any real evidence to back it up. Is the South End really getting a lot younger? She fails to make the case, since, as she acknowledges, the most recent data is from two years before her baby boom started. Hmm, maybe that's really more a Globe issue than a Schweitzer issue (since reporters don't write headlines). It's just like she failed to make the case that Back Bay stockbrokers were abandoning Boston in droves to move to Vermont to become cheesemakers, unless you count on numbers provided by a single cheesemaking teacher.

An interesting followup would be: If there are all these rich white people popping out babies in the South End, are they all clamoring for more, better public schools?

I concede that the headline

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I concede that the headline is an overreach, probably written by an editor who understandably couldn't be bothered to read the whole thing or think too much about it. But you can't hold the headline against Sarah.

I think the charge of making sweeping claims had been accurate if she had used observations from South End to make a baby boomlet case for Back Bay and Fenway, but she doesn't. She sticks to South End.

Waiting for confirmation from the 2010 Census is a bit cowardly. The cafe owner who banned strollers didn't sit around waiting for 2012, when meaningful numbers will be released, she acted on what she observed. Maybe Sarah is a kick-ass reporter who's scooping the Census. Another possibility is that baby boomlet does exist but will turn out to be a fad rather than a trend and dissipate by 2010.

As a poor "brown baby" who

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As a poor "brown baby" who grew up in the South End in the 90's and went off to college, the change in the South End is disgusting. We use to have neighborhood wide hide and seek games, us poor browns from every subsidized housing complex in the neighborhood. We'd have water fights and go to Hurley Park and swing on the swings. We'd have a slice at South End House of Pizza and then hang out with the dogs at the dog park on Washington Street. Ice cream trucks and corner stores. 25 cents bag of chips. That was the good life.

Now i go to South End and there's upper middle class MIT students walking around with there uggs and sloppy ponytails on their Blackberry's and 30-somethings eating at Toro's, which hilariously isn't owned by a Latino, instead by the Ken Oringer, because you yuppies know how to fry fritas like no other! Furthermore, when did there become a line at Mike's Diner, I ate there on the weekends with no wait.

It's really sad. Its obvious racism, and at its least classism and elitism. The subsidized apartments next door were bought out, remodeled and sold for 1.5 million a piece. The rent in our tiny 3 bedroom apartment went up 500 dollars in attempts to get "their full money's worth". It's sadd, you'd think the state would do something for its "poor brown babies". And this new "trend" of yuppies pushing out their dark skinned counterparts wouldn't be welcomed in. But I suppose that the thought about history being progressive was a misnomer and in fact it is repetitive, ala 70s bus riots? Its only a matter of time before they start donating money to Boston schools in droves and push us out of schools, homeless and uneducated. Yea that's how they'd like to demean the pigmentally challenged.

Umm.. white people are the pigmentally challenged ones...

I, on the other hand, am pigmentally enriched.

Anywho, anyone who complains that times have changed need to just kill themselves right now and then they don't have to concern themselves with change anymore. Nothing stays the same forever and if you can't understand that then you have seriously more important things to worry about...


By on

I didn't come out feeling particularily sympathetic for the new neighbors. Two examples:

* "You can leave Cheerios under the table and the wait staff never seems to mind."

* … she left her car double-parked outside her home, flashers on and her son strapped into his car seat. … She came back to find a parking officer writing her a $45 ticket. "That's not family-friendly," she said.

Restaurants love cleaning up messes made by non-paying guests who eat outside food (the babies that is). And we all know about the "mommy exemption" made in Boston parking rules for minivans and Range Rovers.

And, of course, everyone adores a crying baby.


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Restaurants love cleaning up messes made by non-paying guests who eat outside food (the babies that is). And we all know about the "mommy exemption" made in Boston parking rules for minivans and Range Rovers.

And, of course, everyone adores a crying baby.

Yes. Self-absorption of some of these people seems to be the actual trend, because I know that it is usually not a byproduct of having children. I think that these particular birds-of-feather have just flocked together and the rest of the South End is their victim. Somehow I wouldn't be surprised if among these were the same people I saw who brought their toddler to brunch at Stella last year and proceeded to walk it around the restaurant and bar as it wailed at the top of its lungs. It was if they thought that everyone else in the restaurant was perfectly fine to have their meal ruined by their boorish behavior.

It's not family friendly to

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It's not family friendly to leave your son alone in the car in a city. Or a suburb. Or anywhere really. (I reason that the kid must be pretty young to still be in a carseat.)

I'm surprised that the officer didn't call DCYF about a kid left alone in a car.

On a related note, maybe the South End has a Starbucks with a diaper changing station? (

Thank you! My thoughts

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Thank you! My thoughts exactly. How obnoxious. It's folks like her that are causing the (well-deserved, IMO) backlash.

South End Mommies

By on

Sarah Schweitzer writes these "lifestyle" stories and they are just a complete waste of time. For whatever reason, the Glob is kissing the Natick Malls ass these days, they must be that desperate for advertisers, and Ms. Schweitzer did an article on the condos at the Natick Mall, and it was on the front page!?! What is up with that??
Check NPR for a great story, David Boeri's about the state of Boston newspapers today, and you'll understand why this story was on the front page!
Boo to the Glob, Big Boo to Sarah Schweitzer!!!

Incorrect Title

The article should have been "The South End now getting a lot less gay" and no, that isn't meant to offend anyone.

The poor people were already pushed out (or further into Roxbury dpending on how you look at it) starting in the early 90s when the well off gay population moved from Fenway into the South End (and bay village) fixing up the dumpy browstones and restoring them. Then, the little trendy places began to enter; some gay owned, some more chic, akin to what happened in Chelsea in New York City. The well off straight people of course would move into the area as well, because they would be sending their kids to private schools, and still enjoy living in a hip area close to good food and coffee shops.

A few well off gay friends of mine have moved out of the south end over the last two years due to the proliferation of 'suvs and high end strollers' that slowly are taking the place of the tight leather panted lethario outside of the Boston Eagle, and the soon to be soccer moms enjoying a cosmo at Jacques.

Now, to be blunt, the anecdotal of it not being family friendly is just some dumbass who has too much money and not enough sense. Is the south end maybe not the most practical for someone with a small baby, a big car and an arm load of groceries? Yes. Having a driveway or space right near your front door would be ideal. I don't drive, I have a young son, so I have to wait for when my wife is around to go to the market for heavy duty shopping, but I can still do things like grab takout, do some light shopping, pick up the kid and run some errands; the biggest boundry is the weather at times.

South End, much like the Rear End - can be quite an enjoyable area , despite the slight discomforts it may bring to some people with incorrect or impractical expectations. ;)

you're clearly a douche

By on

your post smacks of extreme douchebag-ism.

three things:

1. the homos were moving in to the south end in the late 70s and early 80s. the early 90s was a second wave.

2. the eagle hasnt been a 'leather' bar in about 20 years. its a neighborhood bar that caters to the few homos left in the south end.

3. you're a fucking douche.

Oh come on

By on

Counter his arguments without throwing in extraneous 8th-grade insults.

I know you are...

But what am I?

Sorry, couldn't resist. And oh yeah,
nahhny nahhny boo boo!


let's get that "registration required to post" thing going, please.


By on

Not all Anon's are alike. Let the anti-gay people post anonymously. Everyone can see it for what it is: ignorant.

Wait: There was a recession during World War II?

By on

Speaking of that recession story, SmallTownGuy wonders when the Globe changed its motto to "Owned by moguls, written by interns," because there was no recession during World War II - wartime expansion and all that. However, we do know what occurred before World War II, and it was no recession.

History? That's the past!

What's important to Globe readers is the next
mega-trend. Forget this history stuff. When's
the next Psychic Chat with Joanne Gerber?

Beagles, Cheese making, condo's at the Natick
Collection, or baby strollers in the South End?
What's next?

Only Joanne Gerber knows for sure:

Sarah Schweitzer, please be sure to attend.
The rest of us have plans to be sorting our
socks that day.

Oh, hey, Joanne

By on

They've posted the transcript of her most recent chat, in which she talks to the dead mother of a chatter, and advises another one that recent advances in telecommunications technology means you can now talk to dead people right on the phone - at least, in a conference call with a medium such as herself. However, she is unable to tell somebody the significance of "1243."


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File this under weird, but true. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research -- generally considered the authority on measuring economic cycles -- there actually was a recession from February 1945 through October 1945. World War II ended with the Japanese surrender on Sept. 2, 1945.

You can look it up here:

Because what's more fun than economic research on a Saturday night?

I read it differently

Like one of the Blue Mass Group commenters, I read it to mean simply "the worst recession in the interval 1939-present".

South End Diaspora

I'm willing to wager that the clown who heaved the brick into the restaurant was a displaced queen that tripped over one too many strollers on her way to Fritz.

Thanks for playing

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The two people arrested were 15 and 16. But don't let that stop your generalizations.

What's it to you?

By John K on

I am not sure what the complaint is. That people with children are moving into the neighborhood? Or is it that the reporter didn't provide enough data to support her story? Or that the people who are moving into the neighborhood have different skin color than the other people? Or that people who are moving out of the neighborhood have different skin color than the other people?

I really don't get what you are criticizing.

Also, what is a "brown" person?

Before I attack your conclusions with the data it took me all of three minutes to find on the Internets, I'd like to at least know what you are complaining about.

Let me just start, though, by saying. There are many ways of collecting data, as we all know from Marketing 101. One of the easiest? Observation.

Why are you criticizing a story that someone else has written? Have you done your own analysis? Have you done your own research?

Oh, wait, you are a "blogger" so you don't have to.

It's easy to criticize and tear down, not so easy to make a positive contribution.


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It's easy to criticize and tear down, not so easy to make a positive contribution.

Pot, meet kettle. WTF are you contributing to this discussion?

(And so continues the cycle...)

My complaints with the story

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Let me try again:

1) No, the story did not supply the data to back up the headline's contention that the South End is getting younger - just that there are well-off white women in the neighborhood who are having babies. Since you talk to Globe reporters, maybe you can educate them on how to use Google to find the stats to back up their declarations. That would be a positive contribution.

2) The Globe of late seems compelled to label every story about some rich people doing something in the Boston area a trend, even if it may not be (see the cheesemaker story). They even have a rich-white-people beat reporter (Schweitzer). Her stories are actually pretty interesting, from a how-the-other-half-lives fin-de-siecle perspective, but three people moving to Vermont to make cheese does not a trend make.

What is a "brown" person? Please. People of color. Minorities. Black people. Hispanics. Etc. But you know that. Let's not forget the Globe is the paper that published a magazine article last year that declared the South End now extended to Dudley Square.

Couple of amendments

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1) Not everything Schweitzer writes is declared a trend by Globe headline writers.

2) Other "lifestyle" stories are declared trends if they are on the front page. A few weeks back the Globe declared - without much evidence in the story - that ice fishing was sweeping New England.

Not an amendment, but an observation on the South End story. If, as the story claims, the neighborhood baby boom started five years ago, that means schooling is now an issue. Yet it wasn't mentioned - probably because the Globe only had enough room for one pressing issue and a shortage of parking spaces is, obviously, more important than where these people will send their kids to school. But as the parent of a Boston public-school student, it's something I would have been very interested in reading about.

Mea Culpa

By John K on


Adam, you always write great stuff. And you point out a lot of stuff that would get lost in the daily clutter of online life.

I realized this after reading some of this post's comments. Dear Lord.

Anyway, yes, the Globe could do a much better job, I agree. Actually, I criticized one of the Globe's reporter's today, on my blog. And, I'm sure it will bring vitriolic responses, as well.

Regarding the article, itself, a couple things. The data I found was dated, comparing 1990 - 2000, so it may not be accurate, currently, but during that time, the South End actually gained brown people (if by brown you mean Hispanic) and gained yellow people (if by yellow you mean Asian). And, it gained white people (if by white you mean Caucasian). It did lose black people (if by black you mean Black).

The neighborhood had a slight gain in overall population, no doubt due to several large condo projects going up. So, some of the new arrivals moved into new housing, thereby not displacing those already here.

The neighborhood looks good on paper, when it comes to diversity, but of course, the reality is quite different. The majority of Hispanics, I would guess, live in Villa Victoria. The majority of Blacks, I would guess, live in the Cathedral housing project (and on West Newton Street as well as a couple of other blocks). The majority of Asian, I would guess, live in the Castle Square mixed-income housing development.

Regarding the schooling of the children, the Globe didn't report on it, but other newspapers have. The South End News, specifically. It has covered the issue, over the past couple of years.

To answer your question, many parents have enrolled their young children in the public school system. Many children attend the Hurley School, which I think is K-8.

I would imagine that most of these parents will not keep their kids in the public school system, past sixth grade. I think they'll either move to the suburbs or place their children in private or parochial schools.

My neighborhood does a lot of things right. I feel like it's necessary to defend it. I'm sorry for being so sensitive on the subject.


By on

Not many will blame you for defending your neighborhood. However, the best defense is not always a good offense. Some people here seem not to have learned that attacking someone else's neighborhood is a good way to piss people off.

As for the South End, if I had more money, I might be a member of the Bugaboo brigade in the South End. Being of more modest means, I'm only a member of the Britax brigade in Roslindale.

The problem people (including myself) see with this story is not that it's about the South End, it's that it's trivial. Perhaps it's entirely true. But on the front page? First it's the blessed cheesemakers. Then the Natick Mall-Mavens. Then the South End Strollers.

Today's front-page lifestyle trivia article is about disappearing pubs on Dot Ave. Maybe they're trying to expand their offerings from the tribulations of Boston's wacky wealthy, to be more inclusive of other populations.

And how do they start this article, From Guinness to Green Teas?

Local practitioners used to call it the crawl, a slow trek from pub to pub.

Right, the pub crawl, that thing that never happens anymore...

In the lifestyle section, an article like that might be worth a read. But the front page? The Glob is trying a new model for journalism: pick up on some trivia, don't waste time with research, take a pretty picture, and spin out a couple thousand words of suppositions. I guess it's cheaper to send one kid out to talk to an old man at a bar than it is to actually investigate something.

You nailed it

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The Glob is trying a new model for journalism: pick up on some trivia, don't waste time with research, take a pretty picture, and spin out a couple thousand words of suppositions.

Thanks for saying in one succinct sentence what I kept trying to say in vast reams of pixels!

That isn't right.

Saying brown is like calling asian people yellow, or Jewish people green. Cut the PC crap - and last time I checked 'brown' people weren't the minority in all parts of Boston. Have you looked outside lately?

I need to go now, my mocha colored best friend is coming over so we can meet our canary coloured friend for some sort of authentic cuisine in some area of the city where some trendy place is between check cashing joints but they make a tasty brunch. My chautruese tinted children will not be joining us, however as they will be frolicking with alabaster children.

Lets cut the crap people; the only minority in the south end is straight people. I have a kid and I'm not too thrilled with self entitled idiots, despite their color. The only difference is, poor people are less entitled and don't spend money on jogging strollers and diaper genies.

Get a clue folks. Get off that bleeding heart soapbox and stop making everything a race issue.

I agrree!

Yes, bloggers aren't journalists, they're just people with too much time and too many opinions. Also, there is a certain type of person who has latent guilt about being white, so they move into crappy areas of the city like Rozzie or Mattapan and get uber excited because of the 'authentic' and 'ethnic' food...folks there is a reason why real estate is so cheap there, but I suppose that paying $150K for a triple decker and a few thousand for the alarm system beats living somewhere more expensive, right?

The attitudes of liberals in the north are as bad as the racists in the south. Tons of generalizations - then again, most of those folks think Slumerville is up and coming. You just have to take it all in stride; blogging is the next bad social behavior, like smoking and cell phones. Community journalism works as well as community bathrooms. ;)

I love living here, one just has to learn not to be bothered by the overly PC people. Not every man in prison is Nelson Mandella, folks!

Hey, it could be worse, we might live in the midwest. ;)

Bloggers aren't journalists

No, they are not. Some journalists are bloggers, though (raise your hand, Adam), but the expectations are different.

Which is why this article shouldn't have been given as prominent a placement as it was - it is more bloggish speculation than actual fact-finding journalism. There are census updates that can help pick up trends and they are easy to find at It wouldn't have taken much to look at school enrollments, either.

My bet, having extensively used census data and updates for the region in my dissertation, is that young singles and couples who bought in the South End ten years ago are simply mating and breeding. Either that or they are moving from other areas of the city, like the Back Bay, to get extra space for more people. Either way, census 2K10 data with the demographic files should be out in 2K11 (if the 2k timeline holds for this go around).

You have your own blog, one man - you can put what you like there.

Remember When

The nattering nabobs were complaining that blogging wasn't like journalism and how you really had to go to a big news outlet to get the quality of news?

Can someone explain why the Big News outlets have started reprinting blog entries as content then?

Census Data

The Decennial Census is constitutionally required, but the US Census releases periodic updates.

These are not as comprehensive as the decennial census data are, but they are interesting. Sometimes they reflect responses to congressional inquiry, sometimes they are "experiments" - testing methods for the next 10 year run. You have to go to and shop around.

Censuses do not run on neighborhoods. They run on blocks - small enclosed areas that make up block groups which in turn make up tracts. These may or may not match local government and customary divisions. Block groups are usually 1,000 to 4,000 people, so they can be little areas in a city like Boston or areas the size of Middlesex County in the rural west. Block groups generally carry the most additional data with them. With a good map you can figure out which ones make up a neighborhood and add them up yourself.

There are also Zip Code Tabulation Areas, which are approximations of zip codes (which are not enclosed areas). I used these and some official neighborhood = zipcode definitions to set up a demographic map of NYC.

All the same, any reporter worth her sodium chloride would have at least searched the site for updates and estimates, and compared these to the now rather stale Y2K data, and commented that her assumptions were valid or were not testable. Lacking those skills, she could have talked to These Guys and asked for assistance on all census things Boston.

That's weak, Swirly. You

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That's weak, Swirly. You know the Census doesn't update any of those data buckets.


Then how did I graduate from MIT?

But I guess there must be some confusion here about what defines "logic". Hint: it isn't "commonly believed things". Whether the census data exists or not isn't a matter of "logic" - it is a matter of what the census has been asked to do with their time between decades and if the data is available.

Clark Kent was a journalist, and none of you are from Krypton!

So what is your point again? People in the South End had babies? or are you claiming to be some sort of journalist because you have a web site?

Bloggers aren't journalists. Neither are people who do a bit of HTML or use some hack software are engineers, and people who clean your wound are not doctors.

Yes, everyone things they know better than everyone yes, blah blah blah aren't we all so great with our websites and our opinions and our chai latte. Of course not every blog can be as insightful as 'what was that big boom in downtown' or 'hey, brown people are committing crimes!!!??' or 'Boy the T is slow today!'

I may not be ivy league educated, but some douche posting that the haverill train is crowded and 10 mins late hardly accounts for journalism. Come out of your glass houses, people!

God damn, but you're ignorant!

By on

Have you ever even been to Roslindale? Have you ever been to Boston?

I'd be really interested to see if you can find a listing for a triple-decker in Roslindale for 150K. No? Didn't think so. You just kind of made that up because you thought it helped your insults, huh?

It's obvious that you've got some self-hate issues going on here. Here you are blogging, yet you say people like you have "too much time and too many opinions." And then you say that what you are doing here is "the next bad social behavior." In your case, I'd tend to agree, because all you do when you come on here is dump a steaming load of Limbaugh-esque crap and insult a bunch of Boston neighborhoods. And you don't even flush!

So hey, maybe you can go to some other city that isn't quite so crappy, and stop engaging in behavior that seems to make you despise yourself. Maybe you'd be happier. I expect most people who have encountered you would be.

Not everyone can be as excited to be bail square adjacent.

Yes Ron, we know you plotz every time you think about how great Somerville is. Get over it. If it weren't for Tufts and Davis Square, there would be little to bring one to Somerville. Please spare us the virtues of the farmers market and the hipsters in Teele square.

Oh Gareth, you slay me. =)

my, you're awfully angry! did someone put a starbucks in your neighborhood?

Lets see, where have I lived (in no order)...Brighton, West End, Beacon Hill, Fenway, Brookline Vilage, Coolidge Corner, Los Angeles, Newton. We can't all live the high life of Row Neuman (Hey Ron, how many somerville blogs have you been banned from again? Didn't the Somerville news ban you for over a year?)

You can live in self denial all you want; when you see a report on the news about a crime, please take a note of the person's name, race, and where they live. Then you can turn that high handed, keen power of introspection on yourself.

Wow, you are right! Here is a palace in Rozzie for 289K! Two units, check cashing adjacent!

Wow, you sure showed me! I am so humbled really!

I am here merely to remind you, of how your idea of social change is to piss and moan about things that are outside of your itty bitty life. For me, this is a random distraction and my civic duty. Though I suppose if the sheep are busy here, they won't be out causing trouble for the real people in the city...think of me as your babysitter. =) After all, someone has to keep the kids in line!

Banned from a blog? No

I've never been banned from any blog that I know of. Occasionally the Somerville News has deleted a comment of mine, but that happens to lots of people, for both good and bad reasons.

Project much?

By on

"your idea of social change is to piss and moan about things that are outside of your itty bitty life"

And here you are again, pissing and moaning.

See a doctor.

Roslindale is NOT

By on

I know you wrote thhat post a long time ago but it still angers me. Roslindale is NOT a crappy area.It has resturants, a supermarket , a church, banks, a little park in the square, barber shops, a train station,ice cream place,everything other neighborhoods have.

And theres absolutley NOTHING wrong with living in the midwest

Chicago is in the midwest.Something bad about living there?
Indanapolis is in the midwest.Something bad about living there?

Who's the nut-job?

By John K on

What a loser he is. Yikes.

Just a piece of information for anyone still reading this thread (although, why you would be, is beyond me, after comments such as his).

According to a recent of Boston report (warning, PDF), yes, the South End lost Black people between 1990 - 2000.

But, so did ... Roxbury. And, Mattapan.

I don't think it was due to "gentrification" ... right? So, what else was going on?

Obviously, more research would need to be done.

Neighborhoods that saw a large increase in Black population include Hyde Park, Roslindale, and West Roxbury. And, South Dorchester.


They are allowed to live elsewhere now

Gentrification goes a couple of ways. Sometimes it means wealthier people moving in. Sometimes, it is the wealthier people moving out.

For decades, if not centuries, black people were restricted in their neighborhood choices. While those folks may not feel comfortable in all places now, they are not as restricted in their choices as they once were. Like everybody else, blacks want good schools and safe neighborhoods and will move to them as they can afford them. This is a huge demographic influence in places like Atlanta. Thus the shift to tidy, traditional working-class enclaves that used to be nearly exclusively white.

Such as Roslindale and Hyde Park

By on

Affordable (well, for Boston, anyway) houses, quiet and safe streets and, at least in Roslindale, access to some of the city's better elementary schools (dunno about Hyde Park, which is in a different zone from us). There are definitely more blacks (and Hispanics) on our street now than when we moved here in 1993.

As for West Roxbury, that's just on a percentage basis, right? Because Westie still strikes me as the whitest neighborhood in the city.

Define Lost

If you're talking strictly on a census basis, I assume you're speaking mainly of the little forms they send out once inawhile..which the last time I took one (1999 I think) it seemed most of the questions were trying to make sure I wasn't hispanic, which was kinda confusing because I speak Spanish, and enjoy burritos and corona.

Some of the more interesting things are not what a census says, but what it does not for example, the triple deckers in Charlestown where 30 guatamelans live. Could some of the differences in the year include more honest reporting, as well as deaths, or is that factored into crime rates?

Part of census data which may or may not exist, would be things like the amount of crime in an area, and the racial mix and residency of criminals, or if the population reduced due to people say, being killed, joining the army, etc.

As for the matter at hand, the article we're all talking about and that you townies are all riled up over is barely what I would consider journalism (I didn't realize some anecdotes by some dim broads who can't understanding a parking law or having children within a city may not be as convienent as out in the burbs) and the 'horros of gentrification' that loom in most stories where, to be blunt, a shitty crime ridden area of the city gets better or changes genetic makeup is hardly worth all the hub bub. When my wife used to live in the south end (closed to the Mass Ave end) two things woke us up at night - loud black kids screaming and cursing at each other, or the gay couple upstairs in their 40s arguing and then making up once a week.

Here's a tip - if an area has low property values, people who make less money tend to live there. City services become of shoddy quality, so crime breeds. Is someplace like Somerville full of nightly gang shootouts and crack vials? I don't think so. Does it having some good ethnic restaurants or some crappy farmers market make it a great city? No, I don't think so either. Is it someplace I'd want to live and send my kids to school in? Nope. That doesn't mean you shouldn't. Is a starbucks or higher priced condos the end of the world and the oppression of the brown people? Nope.

You live in a city full of promise and social issues - the difference between here and say, LA, is that people like to pretend there are no racial tensions, race issues, or biases. So all the lilly white people who try to act all PC and bleeding heart can go back to their starbucks on their metrosexual macbooks or live in their crappy duplexes in parts of town I wouldn't visit and feel all smug and all good about themselves, but at the end of the day, try to make your own life better before you try to get outraged about people who, frankly, could care less about you.

As for me? Well, I've been blessed, so I do my part for race relations - I married an Asian girl. ;)


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It's getting to the point where it seems like you're really reaching to find new ways to criticize the Globe.

Oh, no

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I haven't brought up "Red and Rover" yet.

its true!

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i live in the south end and it is true. its no longer an affordable gay heaven. the gay bookstores are gone. all but one gay bar left. tons of SUV sized strollers and skinny white moms running around with starbucks in their hands.

City Takes 7 Months to Reverse Trend of Families Moving Out

Just seven months ago, the Boston Globe Magazine reported that while upscale people were migrating back to live in the city, families with children were moving out ("The Departing", 8/30/07):

The family isn't alone. In the past decade, Boston has reversed decades of population loss to draw middle-class and affluent residents back to the city for luxury condos, restaurants, and upscale boutiques that have sprouted like mushrooms after rain. But there is one thing these newcomers have not brought with them: children.

It is nice to see that the Globe has managed to reverse that trend -- or at least their reporting of a so-called trend -- by claiming that the South End is now awash in families with children ("South End getting (a lot) younger", 3/15/08):

The South End, domain of urban sophistication, has gone baby-gaga. Weekdays bring out brigades of mothers pushing strollers past art galleries and gay bars; weekends find fathers popping into cafes for lattes with their babies tucked into Baby Bjorns.

From anecdote to trend to urban legend... to being debunked.

Do Globe reporters read each others' stories?

Not that I'd like to defend

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Glob writers who spin anecdotes into trends, but a stroller invasion is not inconsistent with family flight. If they're in strollers, they're too young for school. Perhaps when they are five and six, their moms will no longer think the South End is so golden.

Their bubble popped two years ago, when they began looking for schools for Nate, who is eligible for kindergarten this fall. After a disappointing slog through public and private schools all over the city, they found themselves considering leaving altogether. "Before that, we never thought twice about it," says Stephen. "You never realize it's going to happen to you."

Maybe the stroller invasion will turn tail and run as soon as it's bicycle time, and the South End will be home to only the newly married and the nearly buried.

"I would have said I'd be in the South End forever," says Leslie Kaplan, who runs an advertising agency and who moved to Brookline when she and her husband decided to switch their son out of an expensive private school in the Back Bay. "It's ridiculous money when you think about it. I was talking with people going on vacations and taking their kids to Paris. If they didn't go to private school, I could do that with my kids."

Or perhaps the moms are so rich that they had private school in the plans from day one, and they won't blink an eye. Either way, you can bet on a follow-up from the front page lifestyle section, based on a single anecdote.

South End under attack by rich white people having babies

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"Rich white people are taking time out from accumulating wealth to pop out babies"

I guess this will be our new Social Security & pension plan, have lots of babies, raise them and then depend on them financially. Worked for past 21 centuries (and more) in history...

I find this to be funny. The

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I find this to be funny. The South End to me is still a crime ridden area. no matter how many coats of paint you slap on it, It is, what it is. funny thing is 20 years ago many of those houses were going for $9000, No one in their right mind would live there. til this day I still hold on to that opinion.

Marginal people leave

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The phenomenon of people on the margin leaving has been widely followed. For instance you have super-expensive restaurants and crummy pizza shops, but no diners or hamburger joints.
In addition, bigger kids need bigger spaces to play. Little parks are not so bad for babies, and they're right there, you don't have to drive.
Finally the same people who are noisy college students, then party outside all night all summer as a young professionals, then make a mess in the restaurant with the baby and the cheerios, well they've lived their whole life disconnected from their environment. They go when the going gets rough, and that's some kind of change in behavior?

The Globe could have been right in both

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articles. The former, stating that the young families were moving out of Boston, could have been correct, perhaps if it referred to the city of Boston as a whole.

The latter article also could have been correct if the South End was one part of Boston that was going against the trend of young families moving out.

Either way, I am sure the young white rich families in the South End will move on when it is time for school, or they'll opt for private schools.