Globe discovers bo-bo-bo nonsense

SoWa? EaBo? Boston plays name game, which features this intriguing quote from the EaBo guy:

He hopes it will catch on, replacing the "negative connotation" he feels plagues East Boston with a sense that the neighborhood is eclectic, diverse, and ''emerging."

"Even if it's smaller, we may have more of that New York feel someday," he said.

Somebody buy that man a Yankees cap! And put him on the next Acela Metroliner Fung Wah to Nooyawk!

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      I saw an ad on Craigslist

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      I saw an ad on Craigslist for an apartment in NoDo (North Dorchester). I guess my friends that live in Adams Village are in SoDo....

      And we all live in ...

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      Since these people obviously are fixated on New York, how long before somebody starts referring to Boston as NoNy?

      The reporter for this story

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      emailed me to comment on this trend, because of what I had written on my blog re: EaBo, but I declined. I told her that basically, I just thought it was silly. What would make boston awful would be for it to be a wannabe city. N.Y is great because it's NY, Boston is great because it's Boston. It seems to me that these people just suffer from a complete and total lack or originality and/or imagination.

      The people who are renaming

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      The people who are renaming the neighborhoods are not hipsters, nor do they ride the Fung Wah. They are called real eastate agents, and they are marketing to Yuppies and home buyers, not hipsters (hipsters generally aren't into buying houses). There is a difference, although the way people in Boston blogs talk you'd think hipsters (or whatever folk devil they think a hipster is) ate their baby.

      Whatever they are called

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      They are people intent on remaking whole neighborhoods to fit their image of what a real neighborhood should be, i.e., the sort of place that Robert DeNiro might want to live in. Nothing against ol' Bobbie, but if I really wanted to live in Williamsburg or TriBeCa, I'd move there - if I could afford them, which I probably couldn't, which is yet another issue with these people whose definition of "desirable" does not include poor or middle-class people. But you're right: real-estate agents are part of the problem because they have no idea how to sell something called "East Boston" (however, a round of applause for John Keith, who seems to be getting as sick of the trend as some of the rest of us).

      EEP

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      I just got an e-mail for an art opening, which included this line:

      SPACE OTHER (BOSTON) is pleased to announce the second exhibition of
      its new gallery-event space at 63 Wareham / 49 Plympton Street in
      the SoWa neighborhood.

      SoWa?!

      http://1smootshort.blogspot.com

      I live South of Beech Street

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      So I live in SoBe! However, I also live East of Poplar Street, so I live in EaPo! Except Poplar changes into West Street down the hill from my house, so that means I really live East of West, or EaWe. But West curves, so I'm also North of West, i.e., NoWe, I think. I'm so confused!

      More possibilities

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      So if I live north of Saratoga St. in EaBo, then I say NoSa! But I'm also East of Meridian, so EaMe. Or maybe we could just call my whole Eagle Hill neighborhood EaHi. But I don't think NoEu (north of Eutaw),. WeBro (west of Brooks), or SoWhi (south of White) are ever going to catch on. Then again, I could be wrong.

      SoWa is OK ...

      I can grudgingly accept SoWa (South of Washington St), because the area it describes didn't really have a name before. When it consisted mostly of vacant industrial warehouses, it didn't need one. Now that people are living and working and selling art there, it does. The SoWa Art Walk in May is a distinct event from the larger South End Open Studios in September (though many artists participate in both).

      But the rest of the names are just silly. Who needs SoHa (South of Harrison Ave.) when there's already SoWa? Nebo instead of North End? EaBo instead of Eastie?

      But...

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      The area's long been known as the Villa Victoria area in the Latino community. Further down toward Roxbury, it's the Morgan Memorial area. I don't think it was ever unnamed.

      http://1smootshort.blogspot.com

      Villa Victoria != SoWa

      I've been to Villa Victoria, and I've been to SoWa. They're just a few blocks apart, but they're not at all the same place. (None of Villa Victoria is south of Washington Street.)

      No...

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      ...none of the Villa Victoria apartment complex is South of Washington Street, but the area known as Villa Victoria, which is home to several programs geared toward Latinos, does extend south of Washington Street and encompasses the arty stuff that thinks it's in "SoWa."

      http://1smootshort.blogspot.com

      Absolutely--I don't think so-called "hipsters"

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      are the ones creating these names. It's definitely a developer-created trend, especially in Eastie. Just for the record, Wikipedia defines modern Hipsters this way:

      Since the mid 1990s, the word "hipster" has been redefined to refer to members of a different subculture. Modern hipsters are those devoted to ironic retro fashions, indie music and film, alternative comics, and other forms of expression outside the mainstream.

      More generally, trendsetters in fashion are sometimes called hipsters, though this use is distinct from the hipster subculture, whose fashion sensibilities are specific and not usually destined for the mainstream.

      I think this trend is more geared toward people who want to think that they are "hip" or perhaps new transplants to the city. I mean obviously if having some real estate developer tell you that East Boston has suddenly been renamed EaBo is going to make you forget everything you ever knew about East Boston, you can't be too bright or you never knew anything about Eastie to begin with.

      Good distinction

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      I know a LOT of people who fit the Wiki definition of "hipster," and I'd say that most tend to be people who might move to a new neighborhood and be interested in increasing the social and/or artistic scene, but who are generally people who are also interested in the area's history and in getting involved with what it already has to offer.

      The people who are going around renaming neighborhoods to make them "up-and-coming" are the people who don't care about the area's history, don't see anything wrong with buying a building and raising the rents ridiculously to force out locals, and who want to just slap their business and residence down in an already existing place, ignoring everything that's already there and how they might be negatively impacting it.

      http://1smootshort.blogspot.com