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Old 07-11-2013, 10:26 AM
 
Location: North Jackson
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I just watched Affleck's movie "Gone Baby Gone." Where is that section of Dorchester, populated by White low-lifes and ne'er-do-wells and Cape Verdeans?
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JacksonPanther View Post
I just watched Affleck's movie "Gone Baby Gone." Where is that section of Dorchester, populated by White low-lifes and ne'er-do-wells and Cape Verdeans?
I read the book a long time ago. I believe fictionally it was supposed to represent Andrew Square.
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
10,892 posts, read 7,712,980 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JacksonPanther View Post
I just watched Affleck's movie "Gone Baby Gone." Where is that section of Dorchester, populated by White low-lifes and ne'er-do-wells and Cape Verdeans?
The intersection where they filmed was E. Cottage @ Pleasant St. Other areas I saw were the side streets on the west side of Dorchester Ave.

Personally I have never seen anyone like the people portrayed, generally, in the film, especially the freaky looking white trash girl with the belly button ring on the porch. She looked like something out of a redneck horror film.

I don't really think Affleck got Dorchester right. It's a real mixed bag and it runs the gamut from very well off to quite poor. He didn't even hint that there was prosperity or even a middle-class side to this section of the city.
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:53 AM
 
Location: North Jackson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Joshua View Post
Personally I have never seen anyone like the people portrayed, generally, in the film, especially the freaky looking white trash girl with the belly button ring on the porch. She looked like something out of a redneck horror film.

I don't really think Affleck got Dorchester right. It's a real mixed bag and it runs the gamut from very well off to quite poor. He didn't even hint that there was prosperity or even a middle-class side to this section of the city.
You do know that Affleck (Cambridge), and the original author Dennis Lehane (Dorchester), both grew up in Boston, right?

Your comment about "never seeing anyone like the people portrayed in the movie" really struck a nerve with me, about City-Data forums in general. Reading the Boston C-D forums, you would think that poor white folks have been "ethnically cleansed" out of Dorchester, Southie, Eastie, Chelsea, and Charlestown. Professionals are advised to move to these areas, and there are few or no comments about the types of people seen in the film. Or if they are mentioned at all they are dismissed as "townies" with the implication that you rarely see them.

Is that true? Is the lower-middle-class white element, and the thugs that go along with them, gone from Boston? For example, can a black person live anywhere they choose to in Southie? Sure, Whitey Bulger is gone, but that means there are no white criminals and drug abusers in these areas any more?
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:01 AM
 
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Wow! So many responses. So my husband and I were talking some more and we are still very interested in Dorchester. It seems like there are some differences in opinions whether or not it is gentrifying. Again we are looking on the west side of Dot Ave as that is more affordable to us. Anyone who currently lives in that area and could provide info it would be super helpful! Also can anyone provide insight on how the BPS lottery would work? Would we first choose a school close to our home in Dorchester? Or do we get to choose a school anywhere in the BPS system?
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:02 PM
 
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I live on Ashmont Hill (I'm defining it as the area from Washington Street - Dot Ave and from Ashmont Street to Welles Ave. It goes further but that's the "hub")-- smack dab in the middle of it actually -- and moved here by choice in order to a raise a family. And we love it. Why? Here's the rundown:

We have a lovely home with a garage and a backyard. We only have to have one car and can take the red line to work and be at work downtown in 20 minutes. We have a relatively large community of other kids here and it's growing. The kids growing up on the Hill go to a variety of schools: charter schools (Neighborhood house Charter is amazing), private schools (Milton Academy, Park School & Beaver Country Day are most popular), public schools (Henderson & Murphy are the most popular choices here) and Catholic schools (The Neponset Pope John Paul Academy campus is the top choice). The families on the Hill are primarily professional: we have some doctors, some lawyers, ALOT of teachers & professors, several entrepreneurs & artists and quite a few high-end realtors. And pretty much everyone knows everyone else.

Is it an urban neighborhood? Undoubtedly. You hear police cars and ambulances. Is it diverse? Definitely; it's one of the reasons that we like it so much. On our street alone we have examples of almost every race possible as well as homes with two dads, two moms, etc . Is Ashmont Station nuts when the kids get out of school? Without a doubt. But is living here anything like the way people tend to describe it on this board? Absolutely not. People make it sound like everyone's walking around terrified that they're going to get mugged (or worse) and that's categorically false.

Is it perfect? No. Is it on the "up and up"? Heck yes. And is that upward motion accelerating? Yes. And quickly. Case in point: the local Stop N' Shop just overhaued their interior, added ALOT more organic/gourmet items to their selection and retrained the staff so that they're better equipped to handle a clientele who demands more attention. Trader Joe's recently came out to look at some real estate in Adams Village -- the next neighborhood over -- and while they opted not to sign the lease, they're clearly keeping their finger on the pulse of the changing landscape. These are large corporations (not single individuals who have WAYYYY too much time on their hands and an "armchair explorer" complex) who spend millions of dollars a year in market research. If they're investing -- or even considering investing -- their money here, that's a very good sign that things are in the process of changing.

The only thing to be aware of is the fact that you're not alone in your interest. A friend recently sold their 2000 SF home in order to move to Milton (the one down side is that if you don't get into one of the good schools and aren't willing to serve as your child's advocate at one of the other schools, you're going to have to look at the potential of having to do private school or move to Milton, etc.) for $600k after a *very* lively bidding war. If that's not in your budget, consider the streets 1-2 streets over towards Milton or consider a condo in the Carruth or in one of the other condo buildings rumored to be going under construction in the next year.

In short: it's an amazing community. Does it have it's downsides? Yes. Are there more upsides (and more coming?) than downsides? Undoubtedly. But if you want to make the move, do it soon because the prices probably aren't going to be going down anytime soon.
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:50 PM
 
Location: North Jackson
1,867 posts, read 2,974,112 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorchesterite View Post
I live on Ashmont Hill (I'm defining it as the area from Washington Street - Dot Ave and from Ashmont Street to Welles Ave.

In short: it's an amazing community. Does it have it's downsides? Yes. Are there more upsides (and more coming?) than downsides? Undoubtedly. But if you want to make the move, do it soon because the prices probably aren't going to be going down anytime soon.
No need to get upset. I don;t think this thread has said anything bad about Dorchester.

Part of the issue is that Dorchester is HUGE! And as such there's no one correct answer to the question "What is Dorchester like?" For you it's single family homes, in a multi-racial professional environment. For others it's an all-white, Irish blue collar community. For others it's a Cape Verdean area. For others it's the projects.

Your area of Dorchester is headed in the right direction. I'm sure there are others that have stagnated or are falling back. My interest in this thread was to understand the Dorchester described in C-D as an acceptable area for professionals to move into, versus the Dorchester described in various more "gritty" recent movies. It is possible for both to co-exist, isn't it?
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Old 07-15-2013, 04:24 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,663 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JacksonPanther View Post
No need to get upset. I don;t think this thread has said anything bad about Dorchester.

Part of the issue is that Dorchester is HUGE! And as such there's no one correct answer to the question "What is Dorchester like?" For you it's single family homes, in a multi-racial professional environment. For others it's an all-white, Irish blue collar community. For others it's a Cape Verdean area. For others it's the projects.

Your area of Dorchester is headed in the right direction. I'm sure there are others that have stagnated or are falling back. My interest in this thread was to understand the Dorchester described in C-D as an acceptable area for professionals to move into, versus the Dorchester described in various more "gritty" recent movies. It is possible for both to co-exist, isn't it?
I'm not sure how you processed them but I just don't read the portions of people's responses (and these examples are from just this single thread) listed below as positive (or particularly enlightened):


"I would consider Woburn. Comparable to Dorchester in price and safe."

"Hmmm. Sounds like it has gotten worse."

"I saw several instances of people screaming at each other, at drivers in cars, and drivers screaming at each other. Someone threw a bottle at a car passing by.... It was uncomfortable to say the least and I tried to drive as fast as possible out of there." (This one's my favorite. I've seen worse -- daytime prostitution anyone? -- during my outings to Quincy but I would never tell anyone that that one instance was exemplary of the entire town.)

Her question was regarding Ashmont Hill in particular -- not Dorchester as a whole which is, as you said, exceptionally large. I provided her with an example of someone who actually LIVES in the neighborhood she's interested in.
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:19 PM
 
288 posts, read 488,904 times
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Thanks, Dorchesterite, that was enlightening. Since you are raising a family in Dorchester, I'm curious how you and your family feel about schools in Boston (e.g. charter, public)?

Also, Boston parents can go the charter school route:

http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2010/0...charter-factor

Boston has some of the best charter schools in the country. In fact, some of these charters out perform some of the nearby posh suburbs.

As a city, we also benefit from nearby MIT and Harvard, who have graduates that are immensely interested in education reform.

Last edited by sharencare; 07-16-2013 at 12:36 AM..
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Behind You!
1,949 posts, read 3,323,894 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hopefulmom2013 View Post
Hi Everyone,

My husband and I are considering purchasing a home in Dorchester to start and raise a family. I have heard that Dorchester is gentrifying which makes buying there more appealing. Has anyone heard this? We are looking in the Ashmont area on the west side of Dot Ave. Is this specific area gentrifying? Is it relatively safe?

Thanx.
You would have to REALLY check out the neighborhood in question. Dorchester goes from one extreme to another very quickly. It's expensive and as far a starting a family, will you be sending your children to private schools? Because the public schools are crap. Why not more right outside city limits, the cost would probably be the same and the schools would be better, safer bet than "hoping" Dorchester gets better. If you want a home but must live in a Boston neighborhood consider West Roxbury. Schools will still be crap though.
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