Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Boston's Polish Triangle

Change is inevitable in ethnic neighborhoods. New York's Little Italy is a fraction of what it used to be. Even Harlem, the spiritual heart of Black America, is experiencing broad demographic shifts that leave some wondering what the future holds.

Boston's Polish Triangle is no exception. The neighborhood is situated in a triangle between Boston Street and Dorchester Avenue, hence the name.

It once teemed with Polish immigrants. But younger Polish-Americans are moving to the suburbs, and new immigrants from Asia and Latin America are moving in their place. The neighborhood's population is now barely half Polish, and locals wonder about the future of the struggling Polish American Citizen Club.

We can't stop the impact of immigration, gentrification, and suburbanization. Each generation strives to do better than the one before it. Certainly the children of Polish immigrants worked hard to get an education, earn a decent living, and afford a nicer house with a yard in the suburbs. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Most people don't strive to remain in a multi family triple decker without a driveway if they can afford better.

It's possible for the ethnic flavor that made the Polish Triangle special to remain even if the identity of those moving in is different. Polish-Americans can continue to support the neighborhood's businesses, its' social club, and its Polish Catholic parish, even if they now live in places like Quincy and Braintree. The Polish Triangle remains the symbolic heart of a community that can't be duplicated in a suburban strip mall.

 Home of the Polish American Citizen Club
 Euromart, specializes in Polish and European groceries.

 DJ's Super Market, specializing in Polish food products
Storefront of the closed Boston Street Deli & Market, damaged from a fire in 2010.

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