What's happening to the Polish Triangle long wedged within Dorchester and South Boston is familiar: the slow death of an ethnic neighborhood. Once the blocks between Boston Street and Dorchester Avenue south of Andrew Square teemed with immigrants and their immediate descendants. Now, though, fewer than half of the neighborhood's 2,100 residents are of Polish extraction. Per The Globe's Meghan E. Irons:
Zdzislaw Marecki, a broad, square-faced man who is president of the 72-year-old [Polish American Citizen Club], is holding hard to a fading legacy. The club’s dining tables sit empty. Every now and then a few after-work stragglers plant themselves at the bar for a beer before dinner. Above a cold stairway, the function hall that once heated up with fancy balls, parties, and wedding receptions sits empty like a cavern.
“We are slowly dying,’’ Marecki lamented one morning inside the club on Boston Street.
The reasons? The usual. The kids, grandkids and great-grandkids moved to the suburbs. Other people moved in, drawn more by real estate deals than by ethnic identity (though, as Irons notes, the Polish Triangle now has many residents of Asian or Latino descent). And, of course, it's all so inevitable. Soon, the Polish past will be but a marketing tool for landlords and developers.
For his part, Marecki says he is tired—tired of scrimping to make repairs at the club, of trying so hard to stay afloat and of dealing with the complaints of neighbors who no longer have a stake in the place. He wishes a new generation would take over and resurrect the club’s status as a revered neighborhood institution.
But no one wants the job.
[David Butler via The Globe]