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Old 08-10-2013, 06:09 PM
 
116 posts, read 317,697 times
Reputation: 96

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Everyone tells me so stay away from Mattapan area. One even joked and called it "Murderpan".
Is that true?
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Boston
177 posts, read 455,851 times
Reputation: 60
I would say yes. I hope you are not looking to move there.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:17 PM
 
133 posts, read 204,124 times
Reputation: 78
I've only driven through there, but it seems like the type of place that one would be fine during the daytime, but I wouldn't go out at night.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:28 PM
 
1,915 posts, read 3,208,696 times
Reputation: 2996
Funny that you ask this question. Mattapan was considered pretty posh when I was growing up. People were scared of Dorchester and Roxbury....but Mattapan and Hyde Park were really nice.
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Old 08-11-2013, 04:46 AM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 10,929,204 times
Reputation: 6449
^ That was then. Nowadays? Not so much, by a long shot. But like every urban community it depends on where you are.

The scourge of gangs - more accurately, wanna-be "crews" - has been visited upon Mattapan in a major way. Folks (more accurately the media), when mention's made of a certain crime, refer to the "Mattapan Massacre." A couple of years ago, some low-lifes went WAY overboard when robbing a drug dealer. They marched everyone in the house outside and around the corner at gunpoint during the wee hours of the morning, then proceeded to shoot four people dead and leave one man a quadriplegic. Amplifying the significance of the crime: one of the victims was a 2-year-old.

It's been brought out extensively in other threads the trajectory Mattapan has followed. It expanded from a neighborhood largely consisting of duplexes and 3-deckas centered around the Morton/Blue Hill intersection, and along River St, to - mostly during the 1940's - a conglomeration of middle-class subdivisions stretching to the community boundaries. MattaPAN - lean on the third syllable to get the correct "native" pronunciation - was for a long time the ultimate address strived for by blue-collar Jewish families; once you had your ranch house or Cape Cod in the 02126 ZIP code you'd "made it." The area did have some ethnic diversity (Italians in the southwest, Irish in the east) but for decades it was a zone thick with synagogues and delicatessens. Then starting in the late '60s it wasn't and it didn't.

In a social engineering experiment gone infamously wrong, a group of "well-meaning" bankers in the city got themselves a heaping helping of liberal guilt and decided to make an extra effort to put home ownership more easily into the hands of "Negroes." Due to perceived (and definitely actual) hostility in parts of town claimed by other ethnic groups as their turf, the group produced a map with a line drawn around Mattapan - the ONLY section where mortgages would be offered. Predictably for that era, wholesale panic broke out. The incumbent locals who weren't governed as much by prejudice and fear soon felt compelled to move by a spike in crime along with scare tactics from shady realtors. By the mid-70's only a small and mostly elderly remnant of the Jewish and other White populations was still there. Blue Hill Ave became a place one wouldn't want to walk and had scant reason to.

In 2013 there are some signs of a positive turnaround. Gang violence and the collective nervousness surrounding it are still a factor in far too much of Mattapan. Even the small enclaves renowned for staying largely quiet and safe haven't gone completely untouched. But, much like the unnatural and fast demographic shifts at the end of the '60s, something else is occurring practically unseen that's being echoed in many cities throughout the country. Young middle-class AA - and even a few White - singles and families are forsaking suburbia and "rediscovering" the area. They're mostly staking claims in the WWII/postwar subdivisions, but condo conversions of some of the older multifamily apartment houses are taking place in spots as well. Mattapan Square hums with commerce. A quirky attraction, particularly to the "rail fan" subset of nerds - that being the anachronistically named Mattapan High Speed Line - stays popular. The MBTA capitalized on this by retrofitting its inventory of Depression-era trolley cars, painting them in their original colors, and pressing them into exclusive service along a dedicated right-of-way between Blue Hill Ave and the Ashmont terminal of the Red Line subway. In recent years the city has opened a brand-new middle school and public library. During July the branch of the commuter-rail line out of South Station which serves Hyde Park got stations added along its route. Clearly the groundwork is being laid for a more significant revival of the community. Obviously the jury is out on whether it will succeed. In the meantime, talk of Mattapan's "dangerousness" is largely overblown - unless you're a Black teenager walking down a side street where you're a stranger, or anybody making their way through the neighborhood on foot after dark.

Through all of its changes, Mattapan has clung resolutely to several "institutions" loved by all from near and far. One would naturally be the High Speed Line. Another is Chez Vous Roller World, a rink continuously in operation for over 75 (!) years which of late has even gotten onto the hipster radar. Thirdly, you've got:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPtXWGZKWa0

Simco's, baby!!!
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:49 AM
 
Location: Chicago
6,004 posts, read 13,175,853 times
Reputation: 7956
LOL, how the heck is Chez Vous still open? The big joke with that place was that if (or really, "when") something bad went down, it would take the cops an hour to get there. Mind you, the police station was directly across the street, but then again, IIRC, so was a coffee and donut shop.

My parents are Haitian immigrants, so needless to say, I spent a lot of time in Mattapan. I've lived in Mattapan off of Blue Hill Ave, which wasn't that great, and off of Cummins Hywy, which wasn't that bad but could have possible gotten worse. I personally wouldn't willingly move back to the area unless I could either live near the border of Lower Mills/Hyde Park/Milton and/or own a very nice home. However, I always make it a point to hit up the bakery there when I visit.

ETA: OMG, Simco's!!! I used to live down the street from it, a bit pass that big church and spent way too much money there. Yet somehow, whenever I come back to visit, I never seem to make it to Simco's. Maybe on the next visit...

Last edited by eevee; 08-12-2013 at 12:58 AM..
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:27 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
10,891 posts, read 7,710,202 times
Reputation: 5266
Quote:
Originally Posted by goyguy View Post
^ That was then. Nowadays? Not so much, by a long shot. But like every urban community it depends.....

Through all of its changes, Mattapan has clung resolutely to several "institutions" loved by all from near and far. One would naturally be the High Speed Line. Another is Chez Vous Roller World, a rink continuously in operation for over 75 (!) years which of late has even gotten onto the hipster radar. Thirdly, you've got:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPtXWGZKWa0

Simco's, baby!!!
I really wish Simco's would renovate their sign. All it really needs is a coat of paint.

Btw nice summation, I'm currently getting into Death Of A Jewish Community and I hope you're right about the turnaround of these areas, I own in Ashmont.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:43 AM
 
5,015 posts, read 4,826,504 times
Reputation: 11667
Quote:
Originally Posted by goyguy View Post
^ That was then. Nowadays? Not so much, by a long shot. But like every urban community it depends on where you are.

The scourge of gangs - more accurately, wanna-be "crews" - has been visited upon Mattapan in a major way. Folks (more accurately the media), when mention's made of a certain crime, refer to the "Mattapan Massacre." A couple of years ago, some low-lifes went WAY overboard when robbing a drug dealer. They marched everyone in the house outside and around the corner at gunpoint during the wee hours of the morning, then proceeded to shoot four people dead and leave one man a quadriplegic. Amplifying the significance of the crime: one of the victims was a 2-year-old.

It's been brought out extensively in other threads the trajectory Mattapan has followed. It expanded from a neighborhood largely consisting of duplexes and 3-deckas centered around the Morton/Blue Hill intersection, and along River St, to - mostly during the 1940's - a conglomeration of middle-class subdivisions stretching to the community boundaries. MattaPAN - lean on the third syllable to get the correct "native" pronunciation - was for a long time the ultimate address strived for by blue-collar Jewish families; once you had your ranch house or Cape Cod in the 02126 ZIP code you'd "made it." The area did have some ethnic diversity (Italians in the southwest, Irish in the east) but for decades it was a zone thick with synagogues and delicatessens. Then starting in the late '60s it wasn't and it didn't.

In a social engineering experiment gone infamously wrong, a group of "well-meaning" bankers in the city got themselves a heaping helping of liberal guilt and decided to make an extra effort to put home ownership more easily into the hands of "Negroes." Due to perceived (and definitely actual) hostility in parts of town claimed by other ethnic groups as their turf, the group produced a map with a line drawn around Mattapan - the ONLY section where mortgages would be offered. Predictably for that era, wholesale panic broke out. The incumbent locals who weren't governed as much by prejudice and fear soon felt compelled to move by a spike in crime along with scare tactics from shady realtors. By the mid-70's only a small and mostly elderly remnant of the Jewish and other White populations was still there. Blue Hill Ave became a place one wouldn't want to walk and had scant reason to.

In 2013 there are some signs of a positive turnaround. Gang violence and the collective nervousness surrounding it are still a factor in far too much of Mattapan. Even the small enclaves renowned for staying largely quiet and safe haven't gone completely untouched. But, much like the unnatural and fast demographic shifts at the end of the '60s, something else is occurring practically unseen that's being echoed in many cities throughout the country. Young middle-class AA - and even a few White - singles and families are forsaking suburbia and "rediscovering" the area. They're mostly staking claims in the WWII/postwar subdivisions, but condo conversions of some of the older multifamily apartment houses are taking place in spots as well. Mattapan Square hums with commerce. A quirky attraction, particularly to the "rail fan" subset of nerds - that being the anachronistically named Mattapan High Speed Line - stays popular. The MBTA capitalized on this by retrofitting its inventory of Depression-era trolley cars, painting them in their original colors, and pressing them into exclusive service along a dedicated right-of-way between Blue Hill Ave and the Ashmont terminal of the Red Line subway. In recent years the city has opened a brand-new middle school and public library. During July the branch of the commuter-rail line out of South Station which serves Hyde Park got stations added along its route. Clearly the groundwork is being laid for a more significant revival of the community. Obviously the jury is out on whether it will succeed. In the meantime, talk of Mattapan's "dangerousness" is largely overblown - unless you're a Black teenager walking down a side street where you're a stranger, or anybody making their way through the neighborhood on foot after dark.

Through all of its changes, Mattapan has clung resolutely to several "institutions" loved by all from near and far. One would naturally be the High Speed Line. Another is Chez Vous Roller World, a rink continuously in operation for over 75 (!) years which of late has even gotten onto the hipster radar. Thirdly, you've got:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPtXWGZKWa0

Simco's, baby!!!
Wow...amazing post. Are you writing a book on Mattapan or something. Repped.
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:04 AM
 
Location: West Roxbury, MA
289 posts, read 447,300 times
Reputation: 435
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MattaPAN - lean on the third syllable to get the correct "native" pronunciation -

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yea for someone pronouncing it the right way!!! I don't know how many times I've emailed news readers and street reporters (yes, I'm one of "that kind" of person) and suggested they learn the correct pronunciation before they take on Boston.

(I myself haven't learned how to partial quote. , but I gave you rep, goyguy!)
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