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Old 11-09-2010, 08:40 PM
 
22 posts, read 74,234 times
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why I ask, WHY!!

 
Old 11-09-2010, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Dallas
4,625 posts, read 8,536,495 times
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Maybe they're from NYC.
 
Old 11-09-2010, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Boston
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I think it's whiter than most comparably sized cities. Also, Boston's more "diverse" neighborhoods are generally further out from the city center and the prototypical tourist attractions. Most visitors never get to see Boston's most culturally vibrant neighborhoods.

Another point is that Boston's major historic immigrant groups are Irish and Italian. These groups are now very established in the area and don't really "jump out" as being so different. Of course, anyone who lives here now can tell you that the Cape Verdean, Brazilian, Haitian, and other new immigrants are a large presence in the city. Still, they're not as visible as the larger concentrations are outside the city center.

Finally, old stereotypes die hard.
 
Old 11-09-2010, 10:43 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostonsteve77 View Post
why I ask, WHY!!
'Cuz Boston has TEH WHITE PEOPLE!!!
 
Old 11-10-2010, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Dallas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnutella View Post
'Cuz Boston has TEH WHITE PEOPLE!!!
It sure does. It's kinda a weird irony moving down here, the thought has crossed my mind more than once that one thing about leaving Boston is I kinda miss "the white people"!
 
Old 11-10-2010, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
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Aside from Chinatown, there are no sections of the city where you see or hear European languages other than English as part of the landscape. What's left of the "Italian-ness" of the North End is mainly related to food: restaurants, bakeries, gelaterias, etc. The only place you see the language of the old country is on some menus, and the few people speaking it are all elderly. Similarly, other White ethnic enclaves such as the "Polish Triangle" between Dorchester and South Boston no longer seem different from any similar community until holidays and festivals roll around. The past 50 years or so have made Boston a case study of the "great American melting pot" at work. Most of the immigrant populations are assimilated enough that they're dispersing to suburbia with scarcely a trace of the mother tongue or cultural traditions - except, of course, until holidays and festivals.
Anybody who says Beantown lacks diversity also hasn't taken a ride down Blue Hill Ave or Bowdoin St with their eyes open. The people in Roxbury, Mattapan, and parts of Dorchester aren't "just" African-American, there are also Cape Verdeans and West Indians by the thousands living thereabouts. And this is reflected in many a storefront lettered in Kreyol, Portuguese, etc. Not to mention the strong Hispanic presence in those communities as well as in Jamaica Plain, also reflected in store signage and unique eating places.
I agree that most tourists wouldn't see Boston as particularly multi-culti, and that'd be due to the concentration of shopping and visitor attractions between downtown, Beacon Hill, and the Back Bay. There might be all sorts of individuals walking the streets, but the folks going to and from home are principally of the Caucasian persuasion no matter what their ethnic origin(s) might be. It definitely isn't the same as in NYC and Chicago, where noticeable pockets of all sorts of people are the rule.
Also, aside from Cambridge, Malden, Lynn, Somerville, and - increasingly - Everett + Revere, locales beyond the city limits remain "overwhelmingly" White unless you count the burgeoning numbers of South and Southeast Asian professionals who are pretty much setting up housekeeping wherever they please. (This, of course, is "how it should be" for everyone. But as an earlier post stated, old stereotypes die hard. So does collective memory. A Korean or Pakistani family newly arrived in the States has no inkling of the 1970's busing troubles or any other past problems.)
A friend native to NYC used to visit Cambridge's Central Square to combat homesickness while he attended BU. He said the rich variety of humanity living, working, and shopping there was reminiscent of his neighborhood of Washington Heights. A genuine mix of peoples is also routinely visible in a few other parts of town: along Dorchester Ave (Irish, AA, Vietnamese) and in Allston/Brighton ("you name it") for instance. But these areas are still by far the exception rather than the rule.
 
Old 11-11-2010, 03:07 AM
 
3,065 posts, read 3,697,672 times
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Because it's not?

I spent 4 years there and, aside from the time I spent in Cambridge (went to MIT), I didn't run into all that many ethnically different people. Certainly not as many as I've run into in the years since at cities I've lived in ex. Seattle, San Francisco, etc.

I remember having this *exact* same conversation at a pub in Harvard Square during my college years. The final (and winning) commentary to the debate was something along the lines of "sun-dyspathetic porcelain gingers are not an ethnic group".

I still have that bottle of Patron
 
Old 11-11-2010, 05:55 AM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
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How long ago did you go to MIT? I find Cambridge and also particularly the area around MIT to be very diverse in appearance, and not just with Asians. There are a good number of African nationals attending MIT these days. And the university is trying to bring in students from all over the world.

Otherwise, I find Boston proper to be about as diverse as NYC's Manhattan borough and other major cities' central areas with their financial districts and tourist attractions. And the immediate fringe areas where the majority of the residents are living are indeed very diverse in race and culture.

And if the city centers seem more "white", well whites are still the majority of the US population. Blacks only make up 12% of the total population, and Asians only 6%... so why would anyone be surprised or disappointed when they don't see blacks and Asians being equally represented in all cities and suburbs? If the US population with all the races could be equally scattered all over our country, then seeing sidewalks filled with 1/3 whites, 1/3 blacks and 1/3 Asians is still not a possible outcome.
 
Old 11-11-2010, 06:44 AM
 
3,065 posts, read 3,697,672 times
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I earned my brass rat/did the full 4 years. And that was kind of my point about Cambridge being the exception to the area's general rule - which is that it's not very diverse. Specifically for the reason you listed.

Diversity, however, is more than just skin tone. The reality is Boston just doesn't have a real eclectic mix of people from other cultures, aside from the imports for the schools.
 
Old 11-11-2010, 09:07 AM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
16,475 posts, read 33,447,811 times
Reputation: 15210
What cities would you consider more diverse than Boston or Cambridge? They both have a great selection of ethnic restaurants and grocery stores. As to what businesses and individuals are able to afford the high rents, well it is a free market system which the rest of the world uses. Plus there are also personal choices that come into play. Many of my Chinese friends prefer to move to Quincy to be among other Asians and have the amenities of Asian businesses around them. They've basically made a part of Quincy into a suburban Chinatown. However, even though I am a Chinese American, I am quite happy living in the Newton-Watertown area. I have no need to immerse myself into an Asian majority community. I don't need to have Chinese neighbors in order to feel comfortable.
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