South Boston native Billy Baker has a long exposition in the Globe today on the decline of Olde South Boston. His initial point seems to be that all the reality shows being filmed there will make Southie the laughingstock of America by turning it into Jersey Shore North. But read the whole thing and you get to the point where he explains that Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and starry-eyed young women who just couldn't control themselves destroyed the Southie of old:
GOOD WILL HUNTING has turned out to be a double-edged sword. It captured something great about Southie and at the same time ruined it forever. Because what I saw after that was unbelievable: Young women would get out of college and choose to move to Southie. Sure, it's close to downtown, but the real reason they were moving was because they were subconsciously thinking they were going to find "a Southie" like Matt and Ben. Everything else followed them, namely young guys. That's how everything changed. That's how the old Southie reality ended.
Added bonus anecdote: Be sure to look for the part about how some Southie guy moved to Dorchester to stay out of trouble, but just couldn't help himself when he went back for a visit and some young punk called him a yuppie. Twice. So of course he decked him. But since he's part of that generation of more sensitive Southie lads, he felt a little bad about it.
Not everybody in the North End is thrilled to bits that Affleck's "The Town" will take over pieces of the North End for filming next month (hey, they're closing the entire Charlestown Bridge during daylight on both 10/3 and 10/4). La Diaba begins to ponder her own personal protest when the crews take over her street:
I'm not saying I want to ruin their shoot, just make their digital erasing guys pull down some very expensive overtime hours in post. Any ideas?
Watch where you walk these days, or you might be inadvertently immortalized on film, as Kevin James and a few dozen of his closest friends film "The Zookeeper" in the Public Garden and Back Bay (via Hub on Location), and Ben Affleck and his sweetie Jennifer Garner draw crowds and snarl the snarled traffic in Harvard Square while filming "The Town" (via
Now, don't get me wrong. I thought "Good Will Hunting" was a very good movie and am glad it won a couple of Oscars. And it does a far better job at capturing the real Boston than, say, "Celtics Pride" or "Blown Away" (to the point of including a line that only a local who was around before CharlieCards would understand: "He wanted to get you a T pass"). But even a movie written by a pair of locals has its errors:
Mind your Ps and Qs
When Lambeau goes to the boiler room to find out who the genius kid is, the head blob janitor eventually pulls out an index card that lists Will's address as "Q Street." There is no Q Street in South Boston (or anywhere else in the city).
Who da Man?
When Will walks out of court, he crosses in front of a blue-and-white "Metro Police" car. Boston no longer has any Metro Police, but even when we did, their cruisers never shared the blue-stripe-on-white scheme of Boston police.
Next stop: Quincy-Adams
Quick geography lesson: MIT is north of South Boston. Dorchester is south of South Boston. So why was Will always shown going through Dorchester on his way home from MIT? Maybe he was so deep in thought he kept missing his stop?
The Gray Lady goes on a tour of Southie and Dot with Ben Affleck, in which he does display some regret at forsaking verisimilitude in "Gone Baby Gone" by setting a climactic scene in a Southie bar:
"It's sort of a cheat," he said. "Because there's no real reason a guy from Dorchester would come all the way to Southie to find a bar. But we liked the way this one looked."
Howeva, Miss. Von Schtoop says the paper leaves the impression Affleck is a Dot rat or something:
... He's nawt.
He was born in California and raised in the People's Republic of Cambridge.
According to IMDB his real name is Benjamin Geza Affleck-Boldt.
My gawd! The horrah!
And let me tell you, everyone on THIS side of the rivah know just what exactly is in that watah oveh THEYAH. ...
Kristen can barely contain her glee at the news that Cambridge's own Ben Affleck will narrate a kid's DVD called "Red Sox Baby: Raising Tomorrow's Boston Red Sox Fan Today:"
... I'm sorry, but that is the cutest thing ever. Can you imagine, burly Affleck with the wee little one, going through the Sox yearbook and being all, "Oh, that's Papi. We'll teach you how to genuflect when you say his name." ...
Michael Femia, however, is not feeling the Affleck love:
... Donnie Wahlberg...there's a diehard fan. Every year he's at the Celtics-Clippers game in LA, he often flies up to Sacramento when the C's are there, and he'll join Mike and Tommy in the booth and talk intelligently and knowledgeably about the franchise.
Affleck sits in the front row of Sox-Yankee games with his starlet du jour, and once showed up in the booth and ripped Lou Merloni. ...
Dave Copeland stops just short of calling for an Affleck ban at Sox home games:
... I was just wondering: Has anyone figured out the Red Sox won-loss record when Ben Affleck is at Fenway? I know I've been to two games in the past six or seven years when he's been in attendance, and the Sox lost both of those games. ...
The Girl in Camo hangs with Ben Affleck. Well, gets to the bar when Jennifer Garner's better half is there:
... So yeah, we head down to the Local around 8:45 and as soon as I walk in the door I see him, and I want to yell out, "RE-TAIN-ER! Retainer." Because no one works without a retainer in this town, right? But I was cool, like the time I ran into Tom Guiry at the Pour House. Besides, it looked like all the regulars were kind of harassing him. ...
Mike Mennonno dishes the dirt on rundown Meaney Park and why it's all the ubiquitous actor's fault.