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Fall 2009 Table of Contents

The New 02134

Allston moves beyond "student ghetto" status

| From Commonwealth | By Jessica Ullian and Amy Laskowski | Photos by Kalman Zabarsky

Learn about Allston's shops, restaurants, and bars from the past and present.

Most BU grads have at least one cherished memory of Allston: a too-late night at the Sunset Grill, a first apartment on Glenville Avenue, or an encounter with Mr. Butch, the neighborhood's late dreadlocked, guitar-toting unofficial ambassador. It's safe to say, however, that few of those recol­lections involve high-end clothing, artisanal cocktails, and spa treatments. But the new 02134, once called a “student ghetto,” now mixes longtime local mainstays with the best of Boston's new shopping and dining.

“I've seen a real diversification of the kind of businesses here,” says Katie Reed (GRS'06), a graduate of Boston University's historic planning and preservation program and executive director of Allston Village Main Streets, a nonprofit neighborhood improvement association. “It's great to see it becoming a destination.”

While some familiar storefronts have closed in the past year, notably Marty's Liquors and Economy Hardware, other standbys are thriving — and the newcomers keep on coming.

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On 20 December 2009 at 4:15 PM, Garth Schneider (LAW'97) wrote:

New higher-end restaurants and stores notwithstanding, I'd argue that Allston is shedding its student ghetto status in spite of Boston University. Those of us who live in Allston-Brighton year-round look forward to May through August when most BU students leave the city and go back to their parents. The rest of the year, we suffer while roving bands of Terriers vomit on our sidewalks when the bars close, trash our streets after their parties, engage in after-hours brawls (watch the news and see how many beatings and sexual assaults are allegedly perpetrated by Terriers), and vandalize our cars. What does BU do about their undergrads? Probably breathe a sigh of relief that the young men and women whose parents they soak for a hundred-thousand dollar education are living off-campus and are the problem of the residents of Boston.

On 17 November 2009 at 10:54 AM, Mark Gottsegen (CFA'74) wrote:

I lived on Blaine St in Allston, in 1972-1974. It was a great, funky, cheap, working class neighborhood full of artists and down-to-earth people -- most of whom could probably not afford to live there, now.

On 13 November 2009 at 10:03 AM, Aditya Banerjee (CAS'09) wrote:

Allston is incredible just for its sheer diversity. Just look at all the different types of food that is available over a one mile stretch! Korean, Cambodian, Brazilian, Japanese. And then some. Since leaving though I hear that violence is on the rise. So not everything is perfect in Allston town.

On 15 October 2009 at 11:40 AM, Concerned Citzen wrote:

Three cheers to Ms. Reed and the Main Streets Program for working to bring together the diverse collection of businesses and clientele to create a unique traditional mixed use neighborhood.

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