Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Perish or Thrive

During a recent drive to New York, I went through Mattapan to escape weekend traffic out of Boston. Mattapan is predominantly a black urban poor neighborhood that only has buses linking it to the rest of Boston. A drive down Main Street shows a mix of family and independently owned small businesses except for the new Bank of America. For those of you that do not know, Bank of America bought Fleet two years ago and they have finally completed the rebranding signage in all the branches.

I was struck by the stark contrast of the shiny, red BOA signage. It felt out of place among the hand painted signs of local businesses. Would this big brand perish in a community of locally owned businesses or would customers flock to BOA for a change in landscape? Time will tell. I know in white, liberal communities vandalism would have happened. In Central Square and Santa Cruz, the windows to Gap, Starbucks and Barnes & Noble were broken as a symbol against gentrification.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bank will not perish. I live in Mattapan, there is a lot of business that are not family owned. McDonald's, BOA in Mattapan Square, EbLens, etc. We(Mattapan residents) love the fact that we keep most of the businesses black owned and/or operated. But we still need corporate America to back us up, just like any other neighborhood in America.

5:54 AM  

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