RARA-AVIS: Boston as much less scary than Arlington: after Smith and Blument hal

From: Todd Mason ( Todd.Mason@tvguide.com)
Date: 15 Nov 2001

Kevin, as M. Blumenthal notes, your image of Boston as adjoins Cambridge is extremely distorted if you attempted to apply it to Boston as a whole, as you seem to know at least in re Southie, since the Hub is on balance one of the most aggressively racist/ethnicist cities in the US (less bad now than, say, ten years ago, apparently, but may you never be in the Wrong neighborhood in at the wrong time of night)(Irish youth in an Italian nabe can qualify for this, and vice verse). My friend Laura has regaled me with all the delightful anti-Vietnamese epithets she's enjoyed as a Japanese-American.

Meanwhile, were the Boucherconites Virginians? And if so, were they, aside from alarmist, from Northern Virginia, where racial tension is played out on many levels, with DC majority-"black" and the NoVA 'burbs mixed but full of resentment for the folks who would re-elect Marion Barry mayor, at least in part to protest the dictatorship of their city by the essentially all-"white" Congress, which has essentially All the power in the city. Arlingtonians are, on balance, much less self-segregating than neighborhood folk in Boston and its suburbs as I remember them.

Virginia did secede, and West Virginia seceded from VA to stick with the Union, but this didn't mean that racism abated in WV, or Massachusetts, for that matter. It just has different tones, not radically different aspects. TM

-----Original Message----- From: Kevin Burton Smith [mailto: kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com]

And there's the fact that Parker is from Boston, and race is a different game there, I think. Granted, I haven't travelled all over the States, but one of the recurring memories I have of Boston is the surprising number of inter-racial couples I saw in the Cambridge/Boston axis -- on subways, street corners, malls, bars, etc. It was cool, and nobody seemed to blink an eye (though this wasn't South Boston or somewhere like that). But at the Bouchercon in D.C. (or at least Virginia -- part of the South, right?) an innocent and harmless observation about me being the only white guy on a bus from New York provoked the worried but apparently sincere question
"Did they bother you?"

Now, these are quick snaps, but I think it goes a long way to explaining how we can all be reading the same book, but somehow all getting different stories and thoughts on Hawk and his sidekick, the Irish guy.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 15 Nov 2001 EST