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Old 03-28-2010, 10:52 AM
 
1 posts, read 10,194 times
Reputation: 20

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Hi,

My name is Walter. I sometimes go by my Yiddish name, Velvle. I recently started an Internet web site: www.dorchestermattapan.com. The site is devoted to looking back at Dorchester-Mattapan when it had a large Jewish population. The purpose of the site is to rekindle memories of Dorchester-Mattapan as it existed some fifty or more years ago; it also seeks to bring forth reflections of past experiences and places, e.g., The Wall At Franklin Field," Blue Hill Ave., Mattapan Square, The Chez Vous, the Morton and Oriental Theaters, Almont and Norfolk Playgrounds, the G&G Deli, the New Yorker, and a host of others.

You will find that I've written several stories about my own personal experiences growing up in Dorchester-Mattapan. Maybe some of these will rekindle memories of your own youthful days.

Sincerely,

Velvle
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:38 PM
 
1,139 posts, read 2,370,918 times
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Thanks Walter (Velvle). I'll take a look at that. I am always curious about the transition of neighborhoods in large American cities. I live in Roxbury, and I understand that it too once had a large Jewish population (particularly in the area around the former Jewish Rehab Center off of Humboldt Avenue).

What would be particularly interesting to me is if you have any photos of, say, Blue Hill Avenue from "back in the day".
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Old 03-28-2010, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,841 posts, read 12,507,789 times
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I've gotten to know not only many people who live in the Mattapan/Blue Hill Ave area today, but also some who migrated away in the face of the swift and ugly transition that went on in the late '60s and early '70s. Needless to say, they're all good folks who have little or nothing in common on the outside. Now that it's 2010 it seems that the "turf" boundaries in the city and suburbs alike are somewhat less strictly defined than they used to be. Maybe the day will still come where the balance is finally struck between everyone's being free to live wherever they want - and feel comfortable and happy in doing so - and keeping "community" in all its forms intact. But we're not there yet.
Anyway, what I'd recommend for anybody interested in this subject matter as it pertains to Mattapan and Dorchester - specifically - is the book called The Death of an American Jewish Community, subtitled A Tragedy of Good Intentions. The Jewish people I know (Irish and Italian, too) who went through the upheaval firsthand have their own varied opinions about what occurred and how true to their observations the book was. A TV program devoted to it ("Chronicle," maybe?) showed that those who departed and those who succeeded them didn't always see eye to eye either. As for me, I saw a lot of the same thing happening in my home town (Cincinnati) during the same years. Some entire streets seemed to be up for sale at a time, thanks in part to racism or simple ignorance and in part to "steering" and other now-illegal real estate practices. Those were tumultuous times throughout the country. Needless to say, I agreed with the book's premise about 80%; some of its theories were far-fetched IMHO.
Almost twenty years have passed since its publication, and I believe it's out of print, but anyone interested can find it in the library. The authors are Lawrence Harmon and Hillel Levine.
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Old 08-06-2010, 08:07 PM
 
1 posts, read 9,725 times
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Default Hi walter, et al~

I tried to find the websitre: Dorchestermattapan.com, but only got an error message.

J grew up on harlem st. Between glenway & greenwood sts. I went to sarah greenwood elementary, then started girls' latin in codman sqare. We sold our house and left in 1957 for california and onto hollywood high. Anyone from that era....nostalgia! A lovely time, but no more......
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:22 PM
 
Location: New York
1 posts, read 8,990 times
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Default Dorchester

I went to the Florence Nightingale School and was in the last third grade class before it closed. Some of us moved to the Lucy Stone School and some to the Champlain School.
I am interested in finding out more about the history of the Florence Nightingale School. Children used to walk down a long drive to the school and there was a large field that looked like it was used as a garden.
Thank you.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:41 PM
 
1 posts, read 8,113 times
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I grew up with Franklin Filed as my front yard. Where the Lee school sit now was my house. I can remember the vibrance of the neighborhood. I have read the book referenced twis and have found it to be very insightful. I would have to say that I agree with about 80% of the speculation as other readers. I check and the book is available at Amazon for about $25. It is worth reading if you grew up in this area.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Up North
3,427 posts, read 8,290,266 times
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My father grew up in Dorchester when it was mostly Jewish during the great depression. His parents were Jewish immigrants from Austria and Russia. He passed away when I was 5 so I never got to ask him about his childhood, this perhaps will give me some insight. Thanks!

That link isn't working, it said "server not found"
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:29 AM
 
544 posts, read 1,232,580 times
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Velvle, thanks for this post. I grew up in Hyde Park, right on the Mattapan Line and knew many of the Jewish Comunity along Greenfield Ave or road in Mattapan. Played Baseball at Almont field alot and much of my family was from Mattapan Square. I also made a boot load of money as a kid shoveling snow and mowing lawns there as a kid. (not that I ever grew up) and spent alot of that money at Hobby Fair in Mattapan Square I will check that post out as well
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Waltham, MA
235 posts, read 255,248 times
Reputation: 81
I dont know what velvle is upto but www.dorchestermattapan.com is not a valid site address. Well, the domain name (site name) is available out there and anyone can buy it!!!

Available Domain Name Search | Whois.net

So what's the deal....
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Boston
1,082 posts, read 2,679,150 times
Reputation: 913
I like the idea of the website he described. Too bad it isn't there.
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