1.7 min readBy Published On: November 16th, 2017Categories: News13 Comments on Longing for the Southie of Yesteryear

In case you missed it, there’s a new Showtime series called SMILF – about a lovable yet completely fucked up single mother from Southie.  Yes, Southie – one of the most popular backdrops for Hollywood.  Good Will Hunting, The Departed, even Ray Donovan is from Southie.  The New Yorker recently did a review of SMILF and evidently used a time machine to travel back to our beloved neighborhood.  “But the show’s setting, in the part of Boston known as Southie—a tough, lower-middle-class Irish-American neighborhood that borders the yuppified South End, to the north, and the working-class and predominately African-American Dorchester, to the south…”

Have they been to Southie lately?  The grit and allure of yesteryear- the days of working class families, neighbors on stoops, corner stores and notorious mobsters – have been replaced with million dollar condos, Starbucks and long lines for brunch filled with fresh faced young professionals.  Better or worse, it’s a different neighborhood with a different energy and vibe.

In SMILF’s defense, there are old school Southie people still residing in the neighborhood (take me and my husband).  Although with every year that passes, every new development that gets built, more and more are cashing in and moving out.  Or in some cases, a younger generation of lifelong residents can’t afford to buy in the neighborhood.  Rosie O’Donnell’s character in the opening episode actually addresses gentrification in one scene.

Maybe The New Yorker should have done a little research and realized that just like our neighbors in the South End – we too have been “yuppified.”   It’s sort of just lazy to describe us as “a tough, lower-middle-class Irish-American neighborhood.”  Maybe “used to be” should have been added to the description.

On a side note: Don’t get us started on SMILF’s social media and their non-stop use of the term “Southies”or “a Southie”  to refer to someone as a person from South Boston.  Just stop.



  1. I love my local born neighbors November 16, 2017 at 10:47 am - Reply

    Honest question here, how long does one have to live here to be considered to be able to say they are from southie. If I moved here at 25 (7 years ago) and stay until 45 does that count? Or would my parents have to live here when I was say under 10? Unlike most yuppies I will say I love my local neighbors that were born here and frequently join them for a beer on their stoop.

    • Ed November 16, 2017 at 11:36 am - Reply

      I think there is a built in assumption that when you use the word “from” it implies born and/or grew up here. Its splitting hairs that I don’t particularly care about but that’s my take. :) As a born and raised–I think the first few waves were obnoxious but have met many many new people who are great! All locals don’t dislike all newcomers. Just the ones who act like jerks (and there are plenty on both sides of the ledger)
      The good far outweigh the bad though #southiestrong!

      • Jean Roman November 21, 2017 at 12:00 pm - Reply

        I don’t think the LOCALS as you put it dislike NEWCOMERS, we just resent NEWBIES laying claim to being FROM SOUTHIE after we put in the hard work to make Southie such a desirable place that everyone wants to live and lay claim to.

    • Catherine O'Flaherty November 16, 2017 at 1:28 pm - Reply

      Good Question, I’ve lived here for 30 years and raised my kids in Southie, and many people have told my children they are not from Southie because my husband and I weren’t born in Southie.

    • Jean Roman November 21, 2017 at 11:39 am - Reply

      You would jave to been born here to consider yourself “FROM SOUTHIE”. Period the end.

  2. John Gwynn November 16, 2017 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    I think if you have to ask your missing the point. As for SMILF, in an age of epically misguided focus on identity politics it is refreshing to see a show that, seems to deal with class. And the many that adopt the very cliche and stereotypes that class creates. In many minds you aren’t from Southie, unless your, well, “from Southie.” That is the neighborhood that takes a perverse pride in its infamous criminals. Takes children to football and boxing training but not science fairs, debates of readings of the Irish poets. In the end, it may be about just how much life one can squeeze out these enduring forces of entropy.

    • Settle Down Smarty Pants November 16, 2017 at 8:06 pm - Reply


    • Jean Roman November 21, 2017 at 11:47 am - Reply

      Dear Mr. Gwynn, you cant be “FROM SOUTHIE”. This is the worse show putting the ORIGINAL (REAL SOUTHIE) PEOPLE in the worse light since they took a saying that meant something and made a ignorant show (since cancelled) southie rules.

  3. [email protected] November 16, 2017 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    Are you kidding? To be “from” anywhere you need to be raised there. End of story. It’s the same for anyplace. I lived in Southie for 12 years and would never say I was from Southie. That’s ridiculous. Be from where you were raised. We all come from somewhere. I will always be from Hingham.

    • Sara November 16, 2017 at 6:40 pm - Reply

      Many people are raised in multiple locations and feel they are from the place they’ve lived the longest.

  4. Franny Flaherty November 17, 2017 at 8:42 am - Reply

    What parish were you born in end of story.

    • Jean Roman November 21, 2017 at 11:42 am - Reply

      Franny ur absolutely right.

  5. Marjorie Cole November 18, 2017 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    I have lived in South Boston since 1988. A lovely South Boston lady told me that I am a “newcomer”. Like many of the previous comments there are many opinions on how to identify your origins. I believe if you take part in your community and are an active involved resident you can identify yourself as being from Southie. If you just pay your rent or mortgage and make no interaction with your community tell everyone you are from Boston. The “Old Southie”
    meant you know your neighbors. As for some of the new residents the first step is saying “Hello”.

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