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Old 05-23-2017, 05:18 AM
 
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Hi, I moved out of the New York area in 2015 and have been back a few times. This past weekend, I noticed tons of chains in Manhattan - CVS, Walgreens, all the banks, T-Mobile, etc. They seem to have taken over the entire upper west side of Manhattan and most of the smaller stores and restaurants are gone. Has that happened to that extent in Boston? I did a search and found one thread on this topic. I would expect to see this in Florida but not in the older cities. Very sad.
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Old 05-23-2017, 05:40 AM
 
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YES.
It has become a strip mall essentially. Harvard square has been stripped of it's charm. Newbury St. Downtown. S. End.. Even the outer parts such as JP, Roslindale etc.

Unique shops are being replaced with corporations. Restaurants owned by actual families are pushed out for conglomerations of business people.

Southie is a great example. Vineyard Vines has replaced the standard Celtics garb. There are fancy BRUNCH joints where [professionals can talk about summering on the cape.

Fenway... Don't get me started. There used to be great venus to see music and there was charm. Now it looks like someone with SIMMS game is having an evil laugh.

Sadly this place is just becoming a cool place to bring your folks when they visit you from college. It's done. Have fun.
Thanks Marky Mark.
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Old 05-23-2017, 05:43 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Same thing pretty much everywhere. Though I'd contend it's not necessarily a bad thing. Such establishments are valuable for their consistency and lower costs. You always know exactly what you're gonna get and won't spend as much on it. Besides, people actually do need pharmacies, banks, and phones. It's not like this stuff is unnecessary. Not luxury items, you dont want to spend more than you have to. Mom and pop shops and "unique" shops are a privilege that the poor do not have access to.

In these kinds of industries, it just makes sense to let a handful of companies compete with each other, they already have the capital. More local people tend to focus on stuff like restaurants (you do see a decline in fast food nationwide, for example) or tech start ups and other such enterprises.

I don't always like the aesthetics of some of these places and think that there is actually a great deal of market manipulation that makes them so dominant, but in the end, there is still some value to these kinds of things.
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Old 05-23-2017, 05:57 AM
 
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Gee Pee, very sad. I think the cities were the last to go and where it becomes most obvious what has happened. but I guess the better jobs are in Boston, NY and other cities so people still choose to live there. I thought Boston might be different--I haven't been there in 10 years and thought of relocation. But if this is the case, not sure.
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Old 05-23-2017, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Baja Virginia
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It happens in Boston but it's not as extreme as in Manhattan because the "further out" areas are not as far away as they are in New York. So Harvard Square turns into a mall (this has been happening for at least 20 years) but there are still a lot of funky independent shops in Inman Square and Somerville. Back Bay is corporate but Jamaica Plain isn't.
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Old 05-23-2017, 06:09 AM
 
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But eventually, JP and Somerville will change, don't you think? The landlords probably see opportunity ahead and the chance to raise their rents tremendously and are hoping to rent to CVS or Walgreens to make a killing. But for right now, I see what you are saying. I know this has been happening in NY for many years too but it's so glaringly obvious now. It's like global warming--you don't notice the small changes until there are superstorms and weather extremes. And then it's too late.
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Old 05-23-2017, 06:20 AM
 
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look. i get it.
it doesn't mean i like it. Why bother moving to a city if everything around you is the same as it is in every other suburb, town, mall etc?
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Old 05-23-2017, 06:20 AM
 
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That's right. I was just wondering about Boston since I haven't been there in so long but have a fantasy about living there. It may not be worth it.
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Old 05-23-2017, 06:30 AM
 
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It's actually really sad. There's no other way about it. I get that Target is great, and people shop there all the time etc.. and that going to a show at House of blues is cleaner and safer than Bill's Bar. But for me, and at least the large majority of people i know who grew up here. It's really disgusting. the character is completely gone. there is no reason for me to even venture to places anymore because nothing is even unique enough to do so. My suggestion is to people wanting to move here is: find a cooler, smaller town with half the living cost. Unless of course you dont mind paying out of your Az to shop at target, CVS, Subway, GAP, .................
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Old 05-23-2017, 07:00 AM
 
Location: Baja Virginia
2,798 posts, read 2,251,644 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doghead View Post
But eventually, JP and Somerville will change, don't you think? The landlords probably see opportunity ahead and the chance to raise their rents tremendously and are hoping to rent to CVS or Walgreens to make a killing. But for right now, I see what you are saying. I know this has been happening in NY for many years too but it's so glaringly obvious now. It's like global warming--you don't notice the small changes until there are superstorms and weather extremes. And then it's too late.
I dunno. It could happen, but as I said, the mallifcation of Harvard Square has been going on for decades, but it really hasn't taken hold in the places a little further out. It's definitely true that the CVS's and the Verizon stores have taken root in a lot of different neighborhoods, but one thing Boston-area neighborhoods have are lots of old, small retail spaces that aren't really suitable for national chains. Combine that with a thriving indie retail scene and customers who prefer to shop at independent stores and I wouldn't take it as a given that they'll all be pushed out in another 20-30 years.
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