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.