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Old 03-03-2010, 06:46 PM
52 posts, read 179,254 times
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I am wondering if anyone can enlighten me on Scituate, Hingham, and Cohasset areas.

We are getting closer to moving from Co. and we would like this move to stick, however, we do not know these areas very well. We really want to get back to the water, ( Ca., and Ireland natives), but would like a diverse neighborhood, ethnically and economically.

Can anyone tell me about these areas, or suggest any new areas? We are also looking for safe neighborhoods, good schools, parks, and close stores like deli's, or grocery stores.


Thank you,
Angela O
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:29 PM
Location: Cambridge, MA
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The area those towns are part of has been nicknamed the "Irish Riviera" in deference to its majority population. Other than a few Italians and a fair-sized WASP contingent, there's no ethnic variety to speak of. The vibe is "rich or faking it." Not that I have an army of acquaintances - but the only non-White person I know personally who lives on that stretch of the South Shore is a Japanese woman married to a WASP. They're "loaded," with earned and inherited money, and are fully assimilated and accepted by virtue of that. You could hardly do better in terms of a place to set up residence if whitebread social-climbing suburbia is what you're after.

The northernmost city in the region, Quincy, has undergone significant demographic shifts (for the better) over just the past 10-15 years. A sizeable (sp?) Southeast Asian community has integrated itself into the Wollaston and Atlantic sections of town - mainly. AA persons were made to feel uncomfortable there, that's putting it mildly, as recently as the '80s; now they make up a proportion of the overall population that may be past 10%. "Growing pains" did go on for a while and haven't entirely abated. But it's a far more laid-back and accepting locality than it was when the last century closed. Sushi bars now share city blocks with Dunkin Donuts franchises and Irish pubs. Commercial signs in Wollaston that're written both in English and in Chinese/Korean/etc alphabets are becoming more the rule than the exception.
The quality of Quincy's schools ranks outside the "top tier," but I think they do a better than respectable job. College-prep and vo-tech kids are accommodated more or less equally. A professional-caliber, state-of-the-art automotive "lab" is in place for the "shop rats," who are patronized by local vehicle owners who know they'll get good work done at a bargain rate. The preppie types can take courses at the city's own Quincy College for credits which will give them a boost when they start a four-year degree program. Sports programs are well supported, and the longstanding crosstown rivalry between Quincy and North Quincy High Schools has stayed good-natured.
On the economic scale, Quincy runs the gamut between blue-collar and "lower-upper-middle-class." Some high-rise apartment/condo buildings line Wollaston Beach, make up the entirety of the "Marina Bay" end of Squantum, and are supplanting the former granite quarries which once drove the local economy. Enclaves such as the main portion of Squantum are comprised largely of small, well-kept single-family houses. West Quincy and Adams Shore, among other sections, boast a mix of larger homes and two-families and some low-rise condo/apartment clusters. Merrymount, and areas along Furnace Brook Pkwy and northwest of Quincy Center, are where the more upscale residences are.
If it hasn't become obvious by now, I'm a vocal booster of the "City of Presidents." Quincy's come a long way from when it changed from a sleepy Catholic burg to a haven for Boston refugees fleeing crime and school busing. The intolerant among its citizens have either quieted down, moved out, or passed away if they haven't had a change in attitude. Yet through all the transitions the city has maintained a safe and stable feel, with its strategic location alone guaranteeing that it'll continue to be a popular place to dwell within.

Every municipality on the South Shore has its own character. The main distinction is at the class level, though, as opposed to ethnic differences. I could go on - and on - about all the different cities and towns. Better that I share this thread with those who have their own input.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:12 PM
Location: North of Boston
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Scituate, Hingham and Cohasset all share a common ethnic and economic diversity: white and well off.

Don't get me wrong, I would live in Hingham, Cohasset or Duxbury in a minute. However, my wife is a North Shore girl so that will never happen.
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:57 AM
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Scituate has the most economic diversity of those 3 towns. There is also a healthy mix of white collar and blue collar professionals which give the town a unique flavor.
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:14 AM
Location: Quincy, MA
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About Quincy:

AA persons were made to feel uncomfortable there, that's putting it mildly, as recently as the '80s; now they make up a proportion of the overall population that may be past 10%.
It was still only 2% as of the 2000 census. I doubt it has gone to 10% in the last decade. Quincy is diverse because of the high number of Asian residents, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it to people looking for sizable black or Hispanic communities.

Also, this is strictly anecdotal, but I commute by subway from Quincy, and I notice that even on a crowded subway car, seats next to young or middle-aged black men will often remain empty.
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:20 AM
Location: Quincy, MA
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OK, in my last post, I was assuming goyguy's "AA" to mean African-American, and now I'm thinking it means Asian-American. That makes a lot more sense! Yes, Quincy does have a large Asian community. I do still see some anti-Asian commentary on Internet message boards (not here).
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:21 PM
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Asians actually made up 15% of Quincy in 2000, so it's well past 10% and approaching 20%. I believe the Chinese population was around 10%, so that might be what people are recalling.
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:51 PM
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Hingham is the biggest town of all three, closest to boston and highways, with the biggest high school, several elementary schools, and best civic pride and biggest assortment of youth activities. Cohasset and Scituate are much more geographically isolated and beach-y. Islands attached to the mainland.

A very white area in general, very catholic, very irish in comparison to the rest of the nation. I think I read somewhere a few years back Cohasset or the South Shore has the highest percentage of irish-americans than any part of the country. Something like 30 to 35% When I lived there felt like I stepped into a time capsule back to the fifties. Word!

Check out Tiny Mind Gazette for a hilarious look at Cohasset, published by some very talented local writers. You'll get a flavor for the community.
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:09 PM
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As a Scituate resident of nearly 7 years I can confirm the above comments...there's relatively little diversity in these towns. Yes, Scituate does have its trades people and fishermen, but the growing population in Scituate is the upper middle class. Finding a town that is diverse AND safe AND by the water may be a challenging mix here in eastern MA. A bit down the coast to Marshfield and Plymouth I think you'd find a wider economic diversity, but schools may not necessarily be in the same tier.

Good luck with the search!
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:29 AM
52 posts, read 179,254 times
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THanks to all for your comments!

Ok, so it looks as if my fears may be true. Though we visually fell inlove with Scituate and Cohassett, I was concerned about the upper class snobs in Cohassett, and the lack of diversity in Scituate.

I am going to be frank, and hopefully someone can point me in the right direction town wise. We are a bi-racial couple (I black,german,native american, etc.. and my husband Irish). I grew up in a diverse neighborhood, not just ethnically but over all, and I would like this for my children. I think it really educates people to be able to live in such an environment. We can educate them through our teachings, but it is great if they learn through their surroundings a smich of the reality of the world, that we are all different and to embrace this.

Right now we live in a predominantly white neighborhood, and premuch middle class and up. There is so much to say that I will not bore you but it is not the ideal place for us, though it is a safe neighborhood with nice people. Which at the end of the day is wonderful to know when you have children. Not spicy enough.

We are looking for a neighborhood that has low crime, nice schools, and diverse in culture, and class. We do not want to live in the city. We have had enough of the concrete jungle. But we want to be close enough to enjoy what the city has to offer. If we have to forgo the closeness to the beach, we can, but would still like it at most an hour away.

Any suggestions?
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