Thursday, March 30, 2017

Yogurt For Lunch

"Pinkberry loses battle between froyo, North End culture" by Meghan E. Irons Globe Staff  October 06, 2016

Pinkberry never stood a chance in Boston’s Little Italy. As resistance mounted, its windows were smashed shortly before its opening, workers and residents clashed, and a man in a ski mask was seen on surveillance video dumping trash on the frozen yogurt chain’s front doorstep.

Late last month, Pinkberry shuttered after three years, leaving the owners and landlord feuding about the rent — and residents wondering what went wrong.

The answer to that, many said, is quite simple: The close-knit North End — the land of cannoli and gelato — had no interest in adding a frozen yogurt franchise to its dessert menu. Especially infuriating to residents: It was across the street from a longtime gelateria.

“People do not come to the North End for frozen yogurt,’’ said Damien D. DiPaola, owner of Carmelina’s, which is steps from the closed Pinkberry store. “They come for the gelato, cannolis, Napoleons . . . and all the good Italian pastries. They do not come for Pinkberry.”

Trippe Lonian, the chief executive officer for the Pinkberry franchise owner, said neighborhood resistance and poor performance forced it to close.

“We tried to carry the store for as long as we possibly could. It was difficult,’’ Lonian said. “We tried for three years. We had different products, different managers, different teams. Frankly it hurts’’ to shut down.

The changing demographics of the Italian enclave had seemed to promise greater tolerance for outsiders. The old faces of the North End have long disappeared, and the apartments dotting the narrow streets are now filled with college students and young professionals.

Many of them — who did not want a bar or restaurant — welcomed a frozen yogurt chain, but business owners were not happy, DiPaola said.

“The majority of the Italian business owners were not happy with the fact that the landlord — who also is an Italian guy that was from the neighborhood years ago — chose to rent it out to someone corporate like Pinkberry, a big chain like that,’’ said DiPaola, who also owns Vito’s Tavern. “There’s beauty in having our little ethnic neighborhoods.”

It was not the first case of a major national chain coming into the neighborhood known for family-run shops. Residents have gotten used to a pair of 7-Elevens and the CVS, but the emergence of food and beverage chains like Peet’s Coffee and Tea still cause worry among neighbors that pieces of their community’s Old World feel are being stripped away....

Welcome to the New World (warning: there is a wait).



"To bat away any pesky questions about how to pay for the garden, she announced private donations of $2.5 million to maintain it. This is much more than a garden to Obama: It’s her legacy, at the heart of her quest to fight childhood obesity and promote healthier living, ‘‘a symbol of hope....’’

I think I'm going to be sick.


"Dorchester properties take on a $6m price tag" by Katheleen Conti Globe Staff  September 09, 2016

With its tidy homes and overgrown lots, the little pocket of Dorchester hardly looks like the city’s next hot address.

Yet on Baker Court and Fields Court, two narrow paved paths so tiny they could hardly be called streets, some longtime property owners believe they are sitting on a real estate goldmine. They are offering three small homes and an adjacent lot as a package for developers.

Asking price? $6 million.

“They know they got something that’s hot,” listing agent Steven Mathieu said of his clients.

Indeed, like many old residential areas of Boston, this pocket between Massachusetts Avenue and Boston Street is on the cusp of a wholesale redevelopment. It is a microcosm of the changes transforming Boston from a city stocked with humble homes where workers of limited means could raise families to what’s becoming in many areas an expensive metropolis of upscale residences.

Earlier this year a dilapidated three-family home on neighboring Willow Court sold for $1.175 million to a developer proposing a nine-unit building. Across the street are two new apartment buildings, where units rent for $2,500 to $2,900 a month. Baker Court, meanwhile, is overrun with construction workers finishing two other buildings, where condos will start at $500,000.

And beyond that chain-link fence is perhaps the biggest catalyst: a massive complex the owner of the South Bay shopping center has begun that will bring 475 apartments, a 12-screen movie theater, a 130-room hotel, new stores, and restaurants....


Also see: For $90 million, Tom and Gisele can be your neighbors

I can't afford that rent, can you?