I had planned on a long blog post about this, but just don’t have the energy.
My neighborhood, the South End, is the best neighborhood in Boston, perhaps in America.
More about that, another time.
I only mention this because there were two articles I read this week that disparaged where I live. One was a Globe article about how “Natick is the new Boston” (ugh, as if) and the other where a blogger whined about how things have changed, and doesn’t the South End suck now?
Let me be clear: My neighborhood is the best neighborhood in the city.
I have lived in the South End three times over the past fifteen years. I lived here in 1993, 1998, and now, since 2006. I went to college at Northeastern from 1986-1989, so I know the neighborhood from that time. I was born and raised in Massachusetts, so I’ve known about the neighborhood, for a long time.
The South End is great. Even greater today than it was, yesterday and the day before, and last year, and the year before that.
In both cases, the authors of the articles seem to make gross rationalizations. They are also willing to give up on the neighborhood / city based on the behaviors of a few. (In the case of the miserable gay guy, it’s the actions of the rich, the white, the upwardly mobile (including other gay people, in fact), in the case of the woman suburbanite moving from Boston to Natick, it’s the actions of people at … Faneuil Hall (???) – lady, those people are FROM Natick!!!).
That doesn’t make much sense.
In fact, it seems as though the woman in Natick seems to prefer a place where everyone is just like her.
And, the gay guy from the South End seems to prefer a place where everyone is just like him.
Ironic. They both want homogeneity.
From The South End Is Over:
It saddens me to see that there are only a handful of gay-owned and operated businesses left in the South End when there used to be dozens.
(Note: If the Eagle ever closes, which I hope it will not, if only to annoy the pretentious Atelier dwelling yups across the street, I will call for a big gay “kiss-in” on the sidewalk on Tremont Street in protest).
It also saddens me that what used to be a vibrant artistic community is becoming a shadow of its former self, artists having been displaced by luxury condos and high rents. The remaining artists can only be successful by selling what I call “sofa art,” which is art marketed to bland suburbanites to match their bland living rooms.
The South End was NEVER the way this guy says. He is waxing nostalgic for a place that exists only in the minds of Jane Jacobs (by way of Armistead Maupin).
“I am sick of Faneuil Hall and the bars there. I am buying Manolo Blahniks,” she said, referring to a brand of shoes that costs hundreds of dollars. “I don’t like beer being tossed on them. That’s not my idea of fun anymore. And that’s the part of Boston that’s missing. It’s nice for the college students and the twentysomethings. But for the thirtysomethings and fortysomethings it starts to get, like, where do you go? You want to hang out with a different caliber of people.” …
… “I have lived in the Back Bay, and it was very collegiate, very busy and noisy. It just wasn’t San Francisco,” said Donna Niles, a director of creative services for a fragrance company in her 30s who once lived on the West Coast and is now is mulling the purchase of a Nouvelle at Natick unit. “I think living at the mall would have a little more of that feeling.”
The city of Boston is NOT the way this lady says. Yes, it’s not like San Francisco, either. Is that a good comparison, to begin with? (What does she mean by this, anyway … that you don’t get accosted by panhandlers every 1/2 second?) Apparently, to her, Boston is Faneuil Hall (?!) Huh??? Did she ever go into the South End? Dorchester? Jamaica Plain? Etc., etc., etc.
I’m glad that lady won’t be living in Boston any longer.
And the South End guy?
Maybe she needs a roommate?
More: 3BR, mall view – By Sarah Schweitzer, The Boston Globe
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