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One Day In Mattapan

Posted by Jim Botticelli  February 1, 2014 11:49 AM

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Babies get walked in Mattapan, 1974...Photographer unknown

"I didn't like to kiss babies, though I didn't mind kissing their mothers" ... Pierre Trudeau

An ordinary day in perhaps the least acknowledged section of Boston, the neigborhood of Mattapan, where daily life is also lived. We can't be sure if these ladies are teenage baby-sitters or young mothers. Note the Town Talk Bread neon sign off duty in the store window which is reflecting Rico's Market across the street. Does Town Talk Bread exist today? Haven't seen it for years, in fact fell totally off the neurological back-up drive until the sign jarred memories long
dormant. The photo is 40 years old.

 A little info on Mattapan for the uninitiated. Mattapan became a part of Boston when Dorchester was annexed in 1870. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 36,480. Like other neighborhoods of the late 19th and early 20th century, Mattapan developed, residentially and commercially, as the railroads and streetcars made downtown Boston increasingly accessible. Predominantly residential, Mattapan is a mix of public housing, small apartment buildings, single-family houses, and two and three-family houses we call as triple deckers. The neighborhood is not without its brushes with greatness. Celtic Dana Barros is a native. Jazz writer Nat Hentoff, author of Boston Boy calls Blue Hill Av his place of origin. Conductor Leonard Bernstein and rapper Big Shug of Gang Starr are likewise products of Mattapan.

The only other fact we can share about this 40 year old photo is that it was taken well before the pooper scooper law took effect, making it an authentic DOB photo indeed. Meet me at Simco's.

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This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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About the author

Jim Botticelli, a 1976 Northeastern University graduate, is a retired Boston Public Schools teacher. In college, he drove a cab and learned the city's cow paths. An avid collector of More »

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