Today’s Boston Globe has another story that could only happen in Boston. It concerns South Boston – Southie – Boston’s hardscrabble Irish neighborhood and former realm of fugitive killer Whitey Bulger (and also the district of Whitey’s brother, our former state Senate and UMass President, William Bulger). Confused? You’re not from around here, are you?
Southie was the seat of resistance to busing in the 1970s and seemed to cherish its reputation as a local center of ignorance. Now Southie is being gentrified, and the natives are uneasy that Southie’s old-time bars are going yuppie, complete with accordion doors that allow them to be open to the street in nice weather. Most of these places in their former state looked like something straight out of Angela’s Ashes, with a small door and tiny high windows – a front as inviting as a Times Square peep show. But at least in such a place the children walking by couldn’t see inside to where people, and sometimes even women, were (!) drinking. Now the townies want such radical improvement (excuse me, conversions) to require zoning appeals board approval and “neighborhood input”.
Same as it ever was, I guess.