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A letter to South Boston

from a frustrated "yuppie"

Everyday when I walk the streets of my favorite place on earth  -  the place I call home, I ask myself, "When will I be accepted as a part of the Southie community?"
I have been a resident of South Boston for well over a decade. I am a small business owner and I own property. I attend community meetings and participate in them. I donate time and money to community organizations. I am friends with almost all the local business owners. I have even stopped a car break-in and chased kids who were spray painting a house.  I help shovel out my neighbors in the winter and I am friends with the local politicians. You could say I'm actively involved in this community.  
I am proud to call South Boston my home and consider it my home. I would think that most residents would be happy to  have me as a neighbor but instead I'm called a "yuppie" at least 20 times a week!  Locals love to point out that I am not “born and raised” so I wouldn’t understand.  At the community meetings, because of this fact that I was not born and raised here, what I say sometimes seems to have little value.  
So I ask, "What do I need to do to be respected as a South Boston resident?  What needs to be done to have people stop bashing the so called yuppies.  We are all people who choose to live here - who chose to help make South Boston a thriving community - people who want to stay and raise a family.  

Here are more reasons that I think make me a valued member of the Southie Community:

  • I don’t drink
  • I don’t throw parties
  • I don’t litter I use crosswalks
  •  I eat at Sullivan's
  • I walk Castle Island I read Caught in Southie
  •  I buy the Tribune every Thursday
  • I buy girl scout cookies
  • I don’t order a Snicker Doodle , I order a Snick’, 
  • I know where  Dot Ave is
  • I remember Jones and Flannagan's
  • I am Irish for cryin’ out loud !!

So what am I missing? Will I EVER be accepted? Why can't we all just get along?
Let's stop the finger pointing, the name calling, the bashing and come together as one.  Let's make Southie a better place!  Most importantly, let's show the next generation of Southie (that comes from old school local and new local blood) that we can all get along!

* Image: A Southie Street Corner by Paula Villanova


mac's picture

Maybe if you start drinking and throw parties you will be accepted

Southie Mom's picture

Dear "Frustrated Yuppie",

I'm sorry this has been your experience in "Southie".  I was born and raised here.  I still live in my childhood home!   Please know that someone like myself would be honored to have you as a neighbor!  We need people like you.  People  who are willing to call this their "home" and want to make it a better community.  Sounds like you're doing everything ignore those ignorant people who are judging you and not accepting or appreciating all you do for your community.  They should invest their time in making their hometown safe and beautiful and not waste time judging those trying to do so!

Just a tip of advice......We can be very sarcastic and territorial here in Southie as I'm sure you're aware of.  Instead of feeling left out and ostracized .....GiIVE IT RIGHT BACK!   Also keep in mind that the President of the Castle Island Association has lived in SB for MANY years and is very involved in the community.  He is well known and very much loved by everyone, yet he will always be reminded that he came from "New York". I hope your can thicken your skin and learn to laugh about it!

Jakester's picture

Ok, Here's a response to your dilema from a born and raised Southie Guy.  With all you do, all of it positive from what you have written, to me, you are now one of us.  You've earned the title of local.  But what you also need to do is toughen up a bit.  Really, if there is one thing people here have no use for it's whining and complaining and people who moan about being picked on or teased.  So some people call you a yuppie.  A lot of us are called names we really don't appreciate from time to time. It's just part of living in a streetwise yet close knit neighborhood. Learn to live with it, laugh it off in a good natured way and you will be surprised how quickly and how high your standing will rise among your 'fellow locals'. Give this a try, but again, stop whining for Pete's sake.


Frustrated Yuppie's picture

The people of Southie have no use for whining? Or have time for people that complain and moan? Are you reading the post here??? "It is the yuppies fault I cant afford a home" , "its the yuppies fault my neighbor sold their home for 10x its value and moved to Cohasset because that damn yuppie held a gun my neighbors head and forced her out..."  Or how about all the "born and raised " folks that moaned and cried about the "Real Housewives of Southie" spoof...I seriously beg to differ here bud...People in Southie , like anywhere else, LOVE to bitch and moan and cry about how tough they have it...

Anonymous's picture

Well I think Yuppie should get a nickname so he feels at home. I nominate yuppie to be forever known as Yuppie Pete. Sounds good. Love Southie style

I hear you's picture

Maybe you should let your dog shit on the sidewalks and not pick up after it.  That would make you fit in. 

Anonymous's picture



Dear Yuppie,

   I find it quite amusing that you would even take the time to write this so- called letter to Honestly, it sounds like a borderline cry for help and from someone who lacks self – esteem. What fascinates me is your list of reasons that make you a valued member of the South Boston Community.  Really? I mean, is there really anyone out there that truly cares what you call a coffee or if you walk Castle Island? Ok, ok... thank you for preventing the car break in, I’m sorry, where are my manners? Well, I guess I care since I am posting a reply, but I only care because the fact of the matter is that yes, you’re a good citizen, there's no doubt about it, and no, you’ll never be from Southie. Sorry to break it to you kid.



Someone Who Actually Read Your Post (shame on me) 

Debbie's picture

I was born and raised in Southie. And because I dress nice and clean up after my dog I too am yelled at that I'm a yuppie by a neighbor everyday coming home frrom buying his 12 pack.  Born and raised in southie doesn't mean you have to be a junkie or drunk. It means you look out for your neighbors and community no matter where they are from.

Heather's picture

I feel your pain!  I'm a lifelong Southie resident at least once a week some punk yells 'yuppie' at me.  I feel like yelling back 'hey dummy I'm from here and I know your parents, don't make me call them'.  And yes I technically am a yuppie sinse I have a job and all.

Anonymous's picture

"And yes I technically am a yuppie sinse I have a job and all." I totally agree with you. Where's the "like" button? I'm a third generation Southie resident and was was about 12 or 13 when the "yuppies" started moving in. It was then that my father explained to me what a "yuppie" was...a Young Urban Professional. I thought, "hey, I want to be a young urban professional when I'm oder!" 

Southie has changed a lot from the hay days, and I truly miss it, but the only thing in life that you can count on is change. 

Ashley's picture


You will never be accepted. Unfortunatly for you it's a cycle and it's not going to break with your request to caught in southie. Unless you were born here, you will never be from here. So when people ask where you are from say where you were born not where you currently live. Good luck yup

Anonymous's picture

This may seem a little bit close-minded, but calling someone a yuppie probably isn't going anywhere. It is just one, common classification of Southie people. Think about it...Southie people, regardless of whether or not they are a yuppie or if they are "born and raised", are always put into some classification, i.e. whether a person is point person or a lower end person. Better yet, the divides even continue to become smaller based on what project from the lower end you are from or from where your family originated, i.e. Old Harbor, D Street. Calling someone a yuppie, in my opinion, is to make up for the lack of place in Southie where you can pinpoint their origin. it is no more offensive than calling someone a "D Street Dirtball", just simply another harsh way of exemplifying the human nature of constantly creating classifications and labels to see how everyone measures up. So, cheer up! It is just your way of fitting into Southie!

Chris K.'s picture

Hello,im sorry for your title as Yuppy' & believe if all the things i read are true,(& Im sure they are ) then you would certainly classify as a good South Bostonian' WE who were "born & raised" just call folks Yuppy's as a way to distinguish,someone who wasnt born here & someone who has some money and a nice condo,,, ...Dont take it too personal, you may be always called a yuppy, but,you're also a good member of the community, And being a "born & raised" i feel you are indeed qualify as a SouthBostonian Yuppy, !Its Not a bad thing,,,!! :)

Cheers, !

NoName's picture

Insults that are hurled either outright or defended as "just a joke" are often signs of jealousy.  It's how people try to protect themselves by trying to convince themselves that they are better than you by insulting you, your lifestyle or where you're from (or "not" from, in this case).  I've been living in SB for almost 20 yrs and they way I see it, there are good and bad sides to having been raised here.  The good is the obvious sense of community and the programs available to children, elderly, etc.  The bad....well, let's start with the drug problem and the kids that are left to fend for themselves by unengaged parents.  Why do you care so much that you're not "accepted" as a Southie lifer.  Be proud of all of your accomplishments and how you contribute to your community. Truth be told, give this neighborhood another 5-10 yrs and you'll be in the majority as a YUPPIE!! 

Cyndy Chapin's picture

How to assimilate into a South Boston resident:

*  You must have the same friends you had in grade school and if they are your neighbor even better

*  You need to have a corner where you hung...K & 8th, Tynan, I & 7th, etc.

*   One of your parents had to have hung on the same corner or a rival corner

*   You should have been baptised at Gatey, St. Peter's, St. Vincents, St. Augustines, St. Monica's, St. Brigette's, or better yet St. Peter and Paul's

*   Some one in your family must have either had a time or ran a time

*   You need to own a scally cap, nikes with a red check, or gazelles

*   If you are totally appalled by the clothing that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck wore in Good Will Hunting that is totally a start....

Hope it helps!


Erin's picture

I can relate to you Paula. As a person of color, I can find humor in the fact that I've been called a yuppie in South Boston - - WIN! If it means people categorize me as a person that gets up for work every morning, pays taxes and contributes to society, I've been called worse.




I hear ya's picture

I have lived here my entire life, born and raised, and i am called a yuppie at times too. Some people are ignorant, and forever will be. As a 'life-long" resident, thank you for everything you do for OUR community - you included. 

I hear ya's picture

I have lived here my entire life, born and raised, and i am called a yuppie at times too. Some people are ignorant, and forever will be. As a 'life-long" resident, thank you for everything you do for OUR community - you included. 

Jess's picture

I am third generation born and bred. I get called a yuppie constantly, most often when I'm running or in work clothes. I have to laugh!!! If being educated and professional makes me a yuppie, then so are half the "true blue" Southie residents. I for one am happy to have a not-so-new-neighbor that contributes to the community. I wish the loud partying college kids would find another home. Unfortunately you're getting lumped in with them. Hang in there!

An Southie Lifer's picture

Being from Southie is a birthright... There is no price on it. Certainly not the $300-750K+ price of a condo in "SoBo" as the yuppies once ATTEMPED to call it. When you watched your friends self destruct because they had no hope left, because the yuppies caused their parents to be priced out of their homes, when you found your friends hanging from their belt in a hallway or with a needle in their arm, dead. When you've lived through that. When you've watched neighborhood places like Slocums and Jones or even Terries disappear in favor of 7-11's and sushi joints and shook your head in disgust at the thought. When you've gone through all of that, THEN maybe you can be part of the Southie community, instead of being part of the trend that destroyed Southie as the parents and grandparents of my generation knew it.

Anonymous's picture

I dont know ANYONE that forced a "lifer" out of their home?? Last I checked , the residents, born and raised, of Southie started moving out due to the busing crisis not because some yuppie made them. Also, it is not my fault or anyones fault that your parents neighbor so big $$$$ and sold their home for what they thought was a better life. It was not some yuppies fault that there is a BIG drug issue in South is not the yuppies fault that school systems are subpar or that there was a major suicide epidemic. all the things that happened suck . but look to the yuppie as a scapegoat ...stop whining and complaining and pointing fingers and look in the mirror.


And dont ..please dont tell me how hard your life is or was ...or that your blue collar or that yuppies mom & dads buy them condos. I am sick of the poor me crap.

Joe's picture

I,m sorry you feel that way, you should just get the fuck out then if you think Southie is that bad,....asshole

Anonymous's picture

To tell me to leave? And call me an asshole?
Whn did I say southie was bad or sucked??
Did you not read my response to the post above mine?
That person is an ass.. Basically blaming yuppies for anything and everything.
Understand now what I wrote??? Go read his/her response.

P.s... I will be here forever so get used to it

Meyer's picture

Now you're catching on! Show some "stones" man/woman. As the late George Carlin said "joke 'em if they can't take a F%@k!". You're more likely to be accepted but still be called a yuppie...that's an improvement right?

Proud Yup's picture

There's none of you left, Mr. original. You're all swinging from a belt somewhere with a needle in your arm.

susan's picture

Hi, I read your comment and felt I had to respond. I also grew up in Southie and most of my friends were gone by the time they were forty. I'm sorry that guy wrote those horrible remarks. The only thing that teaches people about that kind of pain is pain. When I read his remarks I winced for your losses and mine and for the carelessness and wish on his part for it to happen to those of us who survived that error. Let him have the southie he wants. As it was for us -someday it will be taken from him and when he describes his loss another will come along and tell him it,s his time to go, his time to hang himself - and then he will know. Take care of yourself.

Kevin Conroy's picture

Reading this, I was struck by one thing.  Why aren't there more new comers like this guy (or woman).  This person shows what many of us criticize as lacking in some of our 'newer-less than permanent' residents.  Just as many of us long timers are ridiculed by those types, the same goes back.  This won't go away.  It's human nature.  It's not a South Boston exclusive.

My advice to your question about being respected and accepted is that you've proven yourself.  To worry about this anymore isn't worth it.  If somebody calls you a yuppie or some such, tell them to go #$%&* themselves!! 

Welcome Aboard!

Jim's picture

Your a yuppy get over it and get out.

Anonymous's picture

What is so bad about being a YUPPIE? What exactly makes me a yuppie? Is it my BMW and newly renovated condo? Or maybe its my 4lb yorkie? Well in that case, I absolutely love being a yuppie!!! But again, WHAT IS SO BAD ABOUT BEING A YUPPIE? The yuppies are the ones renovating Southie and making it a decent place to live. We are the ones turning run down homes into $400K+ condos and opening restaurants that serve more than just a two star burger. Sure, I get sworn at my neighbor for no apparent reason and sure some creepy local guy blocks the street in front of my car with trash cans... but that is there problem not mine. I say, if these locals give you hell then just call the cops, file a police report, and stay out of their way until they are priced out of their home. A home that a yuppie will soon occupy no doubt. <?xml:namespace prefix = o />


j.o.b's picture

For all the reasons u think we would want u here are the exact reasons we dont want u here...take ur "Snick" and beat it

cheryl verisotosky's picture

<p>stop by and say hello one of my friends posted it not realizing you won t see it you mentioned flannies as i call it been workin in this neighborhood for 24 years love my customers</p><p>&nbsp;</p>

amanda's picture

You might not want to hear this but no matter how long you live In southie you will most likely always be considered a yuppie. Whats wrong with the word yuppie? Really, it may seem negative but in all reality there is nothing negative about being labeled one. Even people who respect you will probably still consider you a yuppie but whatever, own it! I am a born & raised bostonian and yes when I was younger i would use the word yuppie negatively but now that I am an adult I've realized "yuppies" are usually the residents that are most likely the residents willing to better the community. I think it's the yuppies who come in to our Boston communities & want to own it as if they have been here longer than us. It bothers me more when somebody from outside of Boston moves in & all of a sudden they are "from here" and try too hard to be one of us. There is nothing wrong with not being a born & raised Bostonian. I'm sure a majority if us would love to raise our children in the towns that "yuppies" move from & I would be ignorant to deny that. I guess my whole point is that you will always better a yuppie just like we will always considered ourselves Bostonians, and no being harassed for not being born & raised here is NOT right & shouldn't be accepted, but you will never be "from here". Nothing wrong with that.

Kate's picture

At work right now, but would like to talk to you. Them vs. us  doesn't work!  If email..I am pathetic  with computer ...617-319-3200..I hope to hear from you..Iwould like to make this...workable

Eddie Downs's picture

As a life long South Boston resident,    I say     Well said,   You are from Southie now

keith 's picture

people really dont care anymore. if someone calls you a yuppie. man, who cares. ive been called a junky by inports for not real reason. i served in the military, with an honorable discharge and looked at like a criminal by people who dont even know me, in my home town, kinda hurts. god bless you. put people are just mean. wont change so lets all just get along.

Nicole's picture

I think this is absolutely ridiculous. Being someone who is actually from South Boston, and by that I mean born and raised I think this is unneccessary. Yuppies do actually what this one you described do, they come in claim they've lived here long enough to know the in's and out's and claim that they do certain traditions we do like eating Sully's and then think they know the town. The reason we get upset by yuppies is because of the continous negative effect they fail to recognize they have on our town. Perfect example, taking up loads of bus space, trashing the town, and changing our historical culture. Yuppies are the reason locals have trouble affording living here, because they find it extremely classy to move in and take over. The truth is, there will be no peace. And until they can find the appropiate exit to move out, there will always be tension.

Mj's picture

It's southie not south Boston it's sullys not Sullivan's its jonsies not jones , no one reads the tribune we read southie online so keep acting like a yuppie nd ull forever b noticed ne were in southie congrats on being a meatball

Frank Donaghue's picture

First of all be proud of where you are from. The born raised set are. Why aren't you?  Second stop worrying about being accepted. If you are stopped by" not  being born and raised"  or being called a yuppie, you got no heart and deserve no respect. Be considerate of your neighbors, don't take up two parking spaces when one will  do. I know you are from the suburbs and parking is not an issue ,it is here. Don't put out your cones when the first snowflake falls. Don't  take up extra space with your 2ndcar so you can have a space when you get home. We all know what you are doing.  You can double park it as a LAST option not first. I could go on and on but you would not understand you are not from here.

Southie guy's picture

Did you get a southie dot yet, that might work. Lol

Born and Raised Here!!'s picture

Wow, I was born and raised here, but really, you couldnt give me a free house here. All the crime, and crap that goes on...not to mention all the little junkies running around causing problems. I am proud to say I am from the Old "Southie", not the new one. So, Yuppie, keep your head up and don't give two craps to what the negatives want to say and call you. You and your fellow "yuppie" friends continue to try and make it a better place to live!!!

NO!'s picture

Dear Frustrated Yuppy:

What are you doing?  You don't represent me, my wife or any of my fellow homeowners on the East Side (thats right, we own it now, we can call it what we want).  We don't give a crap about this Local vs. Yuppy feud, we just want the random 8 on 1 jumpings and murders to stop.  

I repeat: no ones needs or wants your respect "Locals".  We own our land, many of us own our own businesses.  If you don't like it, you should move.  I wonder what the Southie "Locals" of the 1930's said about your [OUR] relatives when they came over from Ireland?  

Anonymous's picture

my, my, aren't we a cocky SOB. You "own" it so you can call it the East Side.  It's immature statements like the ones you made that cause problems. 

Anonymous's picture

Maybe I missed it, but I don't the writer of this piece ever said they want to be able to claim they are from South Boston, they want to be an accepted member of the community.  I'm from here, and I don't understand why so many of us natives think people want to claim they're from Southie, they don't.  And can my native South Boston brethren please proof read a comment before you post it?  Your bad attitudes, deplorable spelling and grammar, and overall ignorance make us all look like trash.  Give me a 'yuppie' neighbor any day over some 20 year old Southie punk with a chip on his shoulder.  If everyone bashing 'yuppies' put half the energy into making South Boston a better place to live instead of spewing nonsense we wouldn't have half the problems we do in this community.  Ok, rant over, I'll step off my soapbox now.

Michael's picture

Your only spinning your wheels if you allow some so called Southie local to call you a yuppie and let it bother you ! I am been born and raise in Southie all my life and have all the scars both phsycal and emotional to show for it . Thicken your skin a little more and I would be proud to call you my neighbor. 

OHP to ANDREW SQUARE's picture

I love YUPPIES, there better for SOUTHIE than What's Happening in the PROJECTS. Welcome to my HOME TOWN. Sit down, have a beer and learn the name game,it'll help you assimilate better.

OHP to ANDREW SQUARE's picture

I love YUPPIES, there better for SOUTHIE than What's Happening in the PROJECTS. Welcome to my HOME TOWN. Sit down, have a beer and learn the name game,it'll help you assimilate better.

OHP to ANDREW SQUARE's picture

I love YUPPIES, there better for SOUTHIE than What's Happening in the PROJECTS. Welcome to my HOME TOWN. Sit down, have a beer and learn the name game,it'll help you assimilate better.

Anonymous's picture

better than be a southie rat, amiright?

Anonymous's picture

I've seen the neighborhood go from hearing children playing in yards and moms yelling "dinner" to drunk 20 and 30 year olds coming home at 3 in the morning, screaming and not careing about anyone but thier drunken selves. They throw up in front of your homes and leave bottles and cans of beer everywhere. They do this all weekend and then get up on Monday morning with thier grow-up cloths on and go to work.  They don't care about their neighbors one bit. This is the "new southie" that I hate.


devils advocate 's picture

on the other hand, I see the old southie doing nothing productive for the neighborhood. I don't need to give examples, just google south boston and you will see what comes up.


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