Flashbacks: July 14, 2006

The Boston Phoenix has been covering the trends and events that shape our times since 1966.  
By EDITORIAL  |  July 12, 2006

There goes the neighborhood | 5 years ago | July 13, 2001 | Nina Willdorf considered Roslindale's status as the next hip neighborhood in which to live.
“In the never-ending hunt for affordable housing, the goal is to aim ahead of the curve.

Step 1) Move into a neighborhood teetering on the cusp of rebirth.

Step 2) Snatch up cheap real estate.

Step 3) Earn the right to gloat about your property’s insane appreciation.

“It’s the same tale everywhere. Hello, coffee dens, hipster bars, artistes. Goodbye, ethnic groceries, beeper shops, garbage-strewn back alleys. If Jamaica Plain was in transition seven years ago, Central Square three years ago, and Dorchester last year, consider Roslindale Village the next neighborhood in for a big change.

“Roslinwhat? That was one fellow reporter’s reaction when she discovered that an apartment in Rozzie — as it’s affectionately called — was the only place in Greater Boston listed in Harvard’s housing office for under $1000 a month. The only one.

“All around town, Roslindale is being dubbed “the next JP” — trendy, cool, hip. But designating it the heir to its Neighbor to the North is, in many ways, selling Roslindale short. Though getting there is something of a trek on public transportation, Roslindale is a small, sleepy multi-ethnic suburban-feeling town with lots of outdoor space, great food, and tons of station wagons. The area might more appropriately be hailed as the next Newton.

“In front of the Roslindale post office sit three mailboxes: Express Mail, Roslindale Only, and Out of Town. Yet strolling around the village’s green spaces, watching the kids pile off the school bus and loiter on the corner alongside dour old ladies, and listening to neighbors greet each other at Emack and Bolio’s with good-humored verbal jabs, one thing becomes clear: though you’re within city limits, you are already Out of Town.

“Still, Rozzie’s cheap rents are luring late twentysomethings and early thirtysomethings who are eager to put down roots but priced out of Cambridge, Boston, and JP. And quaint, mellow Roslindale Square — the area’s commercial center, bounded by Washington, South, and Corinth Streets and Belgrade Avenue — is getting spruced up so they’ll stay happy once they move in.”

Tube vision | 10 years ago | July 12, 1996 | Ted Drozdowski pondered our obsession with bad TV.
“I love Arnold Ziffel. You know, Fred’s son, from Green Acres? I love Lucy. (That has a ring to it!) Xena is the balls, regardless of her sex. William Shatner remains one of our greatest comic geniuses, though that’s not necessarily how he intended it. And I love Pamela Anderson Lee. She has absolutely no talent at all, yet she’s one of the world’s biggest stars simply because she’s structured like a plastic-surgery class project. Humanity reduced to product — try finding a better bag of potato chips.

“Cynicism? Hell no! I just love salt and grease — especially after a hard day of eating baked tofu. Sure, I’d be lying if I said I’m a regular Baywatch viewer, but I’m damn glad it’s there. Whenever I’ve run across their atrocity packaged by Speedo, it’s an endless yuk fest of mindless plot populated by empty-headed heroes and heroines, with lots of hot bods. And sometimes that’s enough. Much as weekends were once made for Michelob, weeknights — those things that string our workdays together — are made for snacking on bad TV. Couch-potato chips, that is: junk food for the tired brain.

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