It’s almost spring, which means it’s time to talk about Whitey Bulger and real estate. Did you hear about Bulger crying in court? Courtroom accounts say that the tears ran straight down into his jolly white beard, making him look like a sad, murderous gangster Santa. But when asked if his tears were an expression of remorse for all his heinous crimes, Bulger sobbed, “Southie—it’s so gentrified. It’s like I don’t even know where I’d go to stab anyone anymore. My old hideout is now a pop-up store that only sells vintage boom boxes.” Bulger went on to lament that Southie is so famous that tourists come from all over the world just to see the double-parking.
So if you’re looking for real estate upside, Southie is done, guy. It’s over, chief. It’s yesterday’s news, my delicate little orchid glistening in the springtime dew like a cherub dropped straight from the heavens. I mean, fella.
First the South End got cool. Then Southie. I’ve even heard rumors of a place called Jamaica Plane, which I guess is an ironic “neighborhood” that references Hey Mon Airlines from that old In Living Color sketch. But what’s next? I’m gonna tell you.
The spring real estate market is already heating up, but if you move quickly you can still get in on DInGLeBeRrY, which stands for Down In the Gravelly Lower Boundary Right Off Yawkey. The Mass Pike calls it an underpass. I call it the hottest new micro-neighborhood in Boston.
Everybody and his farrier knows about the North End, the South End and even the West End. But what about the East End? That’s virgin territory, right now populated only by seals, Codzilla and that guy who lived in a canoe. Keep your eye on maritime salvage law, because this neighborhood’s 360-degree water views won’t remain undeveloped forever.
Moving inland, KneeJerk is a half-block stretch beneath Kneeland Street where you can get the best Caribbean chicken. DotComm is a section of Dorchester where you’ll find the secret tunnels that lead to Comm. Ave.’s biggest speakeasy. And have you heard of Bruce’s Condo? This is a very specific neighborhood consisting of Bruce and his two terriers. He was looking for a roommate, but maybe he’s already found one. The Boston real estate market is truly ever-changing.
That’s certainly true of mobile neighborhood Kubla Khan, a new zeppelin-based luxury development and opium den currently tethered above Beacon Hill. After the great molasses tragedy of 1919, there was a brief movement to allow residential airships, which are usually impervious to molasses floods. Zoning was changed and blimps are still allowed in the city proper, provided they’re of a length no greater than the height of the tallest church steeple in Suffolk County. But when it comes to blimp real estate, you know what they say: location, location—oh my God, look out!
On the more affordable end of the spectrum, students might want to check out Hardy Har Har, the neighborhood at the intersection of Harvard Street, Harvard Avenue and Harvard Court. Thanks to an elaborate Lampoon prank involving Frederick Law Olmsted, this area is nowhere near Harvard.
If you really want to score a deal, you might have to think outside Boston proper. Longtime city dwellers often speak contemptuously of the “bridge and tunnel crowd,” and I think that’s understandable. After all, who wants to hang out with people who live under bridges and inside tunnels? They’re sallow-
faced and wild-eyed, and they take all the good parking spots after they emerge, blinking, into the soft dusk of a Friday night. But if you cross over the bridges and tunnels, you’ll come to suburbs, some of which are quite nice and mostly free of mole men.
If you commute on the Red Line, check out North Braintree. Mark my words, everyone’s gonna want to live in NoBrain! But the hottest suburb right now is Beckerwood, which is convenient to the commuter rail, the commuter boat, the Pike, the Silk Road, the Oregon Trail, the MetroWest dogsled route and of course the new canopy zip lines. As a word of caution, the town of Beckerwood is embroiled in a legal dispute over its ongoing attempt to annex Needham. These days you often see passionate Beckerwood residents pacing the roofs of the Newton tolls, holding signs that read, “We Need Ham!” Geopolitical scientists assert that this conflict isn’t about ham at all, but rather a play for Needham’s prized town reservoir and its strategically important fluoride reserves. However it plays out, the suburbs have, like, one good restaurant, so who cares?
Of course, even South Boston still has undiscovered pockets of potential, like South E Street. South E Southie is proximate to a singing telegram business that will dispatch a guy in a gorilla costume to sing you “Happy Birthday.” I’m actually not making that up. Someone please order me one, and quickly. I’m double-parked.