You had to wonder when the showdown would come in Somerville: Long-time townies versus hipsters.
Well, the showdown is finally here.
Actually, there’s not so much tension as there is wonderment over the transformation of Somerville, once the butt of numerous (and yet often affectionate) jokes about it tough, industrial, slightly dyfunctional ways.
Our old favorite joke: “Somerville, the gateway to Medford” (or was it the other way around?). Another: “No one is ever murdered in Somerville. They just dump the bodies there from Medford.”
Long-time Somerville residents always got a hoot out of the city winning an “All-American City Award” in the 1970s, right at the height of the Winter Hill Gang’s power in Somerville. The city earned another “All-American” award four years ago, causing another round of titters.
But now Somerville might as well be called “All-Hip City,” due to the influx of hipsters spilling over from Cambridge, Davis Square and from Tufts University, whose presence and huge impact on the city is often underestimated. Most everyone agrees that it was logical and almost inevitable that Somerville would eventually change — and it has.
But it won’t completely change. There are some still incredibly tough and/or remote corners of the city that no hipster dare venture into. There will always be a Somerville.
But changes, they are a coming.
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Updated: January 2018