Urban Fold

Influx of Cool Causes Concern in Somerville

Somerville, a 4.2-square-mile city outside of Boston, has successfully attracted young, educated people, but many worry what an influx of 'hipsters' will do to the small city.

"[Daniel] Hadley, the director of SomerStat [the mayor's data analysis team], says the changes in Somerville actually started in the town next door. 'To me, the story really starts in back when rent control was abolished in Cambridge, in 1995,' he said. 'That's when you suddenly see a lot of people fleeing Cambridge and coming over the border,'" explains Beth Teitell.

"Dan Zevin, an author who moved to Somerville in 1984, a couple of years after the Davis Square Red Line station opened, recalled what the city was like before the immigration from Cambridge started. 'All that was there was Barnaby’s Tap, this old-man alcoholic bar with guys who would meet for their breakfast beer,' he said."

"Zevin spent 15 years in Somerville. 'Little by little, Barnaby’s became Redbones, the barbecue place, and then a coffee shop opened, and then the Somerville Theatre got revitalized, and suddenly this rundown theater became this cool indie theater.'"

Full Story: Somerville worries it's growing too hip

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