RE: Re: RARA-AVIS: Boston: the Combat Zone

Date: 08 Nov 2001

From: M Blumenthal

William Denton asked,

>> I remember in the Robert Parkers I've read that Spenser's always having to
>> go to the Combat Zone, which seems to be a really tough red light
>> district--drugs, whores, all that. What's the story on it? Is it there
>> now?

> Until the sixties Boston had Scollay Square, where sailors and the
> like could go for amusement. Fanueil Hall which was very rundown then was
> in that area. It was redeveloped into the prime tourist center it is now.
> Some of it became the Government Center, now also a financial center. The
> city felt it still needed an area where such thing as pornography and
> prostitutes were concentrated to keep them away from the upscale parts so
> it turned an area few blocks from downtown's main shopping area into the
> Combat Zone where almost anything goes. It's still there, but I don't
> think it's as wide open as it used to be.

No, it's not. Back in the Seventies it was, as you say, wide open, and much more dangerous. But zoning has had its effect on the Combat Zone, and now (except for the back alleys) it's more dingy and depressing than tough.


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