12.6.07

Boston, Massachusetts

The summer is always a little bit of a weird time in Boston. Since there are so many students here, a lot of the leases for apartments turn over in the summer, so neighborhoods tend to have a big change over of residents all of the sudden instead of just a little bit at a time. Every year that we've lived in Eastie (we'll be starting our 4th in August) we've noticed a big change demographically about this time of year, and this year is no different. What is a bit strange is that it seems like the commercial scene of the neighborhood is catching up to the residential: that's right, Eastie now has it's first yuppie coffee shop.

Not that I'm complaining. Coming from a cold northern city, one of my biggest complaints about Boston is the complete lack of coffee shops that aren't Dunkin' Donuts. But is it kind of funny to have a place that is always full of hipster white kids in the middle of Eastie. Especially one that names their paninis after large condo complexes. I guess for me it's just a case of the first gentrifiers complaining about everybody who comes after them. It's like when you are a punk in high school and all of the little junior high punks kind of piss you off.

The other major change in the neighborhood is the two new parks (Memorial and Bremen St.) that just opened. From a planners perspective, it's amazing to see. The parks were created from unused industrial sites, one was a rail bed and the other a parking lot if I'm not mistaken. Both of the parks were pretty much completely full from the day they opened. It's one of those cases where you can really see that there was a need in the neighborhood that has now been filled. Plus it cuts a few minutes off of my walk to work, so that's a bonus as well.

Overall, it's been a pretty interesting process to watch in East Boston, but so far, I don't feel like the new people moving into the neighborhood have been displacing many old residents (at least not ones who didn't want to go). Rents have stayed pretty stable. But I kind of feel like this year we might be hitting a tipping point where the process is going to accelerate. It'll be interesting to see what happens next.

8 comments:

Radman 5:32 PM  

Nothing beats that Italian cafe near you guys. Yuppies can't go in there... they'll be attacked by the mob.

adamg 10:22 PM  

I think the Onion broke this story last year :-).

Ron Newman 7:26 AM  

Where is this yuppie coffee shop, and what is it called?

Brooke 9:18 AM  

I found this on Universal Blog and in both cases it is annoying that the shop isn't named.

onetenchelsea 2:09 PM  

It's called (and located at) Meridian 155.

What's universal blog?

If any of you new readers happen to be there and notice a good looking guy reading some book about urban planning, introduce yourself!

Me 3:12 PM  

www.universalhub.com

They linked your butt! :)

I am also an Eastie Resident and heard about the coffee shop...but it isn't a chain,right? I thought it was n't a chain like Starbucks.

onetenchelsea 1:12 PM  

Yeah, definitely not a starbucks, though I did hear a rumor that one of those was going into the east pier development.

Bist du wirklich deutsch? Ich wohnte zwei Jahre in Berlin, bevor ich nach Boston umgezogen bist. Wo kommst du her?

James 12:16 AM  

Meridian 155 is not a chain and the owners are very nice. They have some good food and other items.

Cafe Italia is also pretty cool and I think that John, the daytime espresso guy, pulls one of the best espressos in the city, including the North End (only one guy at Cafe Graffiti compares to John in my book).

Melting Pot Cafe on Sumner St should be open by the end of the year according to Tom & Melinda, the owners. That will be an awesome place as I have seen the inside and it looks great. They will also have nighttime entertainment and some light food. They are trying for a liquor license to do a wine bar as well.

For yuppie-latino food, you should check out El Buen Gusto in Day Sq. The owner Francisco Perlera has done a great job at creating an upscale latino eatery.

Eastie is really coming along, but hopefully Starbucks won't come here for a while and dumb down the cafe culture here.

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