Friday, September 20, 2013

Is Dorchester the New Brooklyn?

Lower Dot is officially calling it. Dorchester is the new Brooklyn. As most people know, Brooklyn is the hippest American 'hood of this last decade. It has become a cultural hub and commonly associated with being urban cool, edgy, and fresh. Perhaps they are migrating from Allston or J.P., but in the past year, we have noticed more of our neighbors looking like this these days...

Why has there been this influx of cooler younger folks? To show that DOT is the new BKLN, we first offer a comparison of the two neighborhoods followed by a visual quiz.

1. In population terms, Brooklyn is the largest borough of New York; Dorchester is the largest neighborhood of Boston.

2. Brooklyn and Dorchester both transitioned from farmland to streetcar suburb to urban cityscape roughly around the same periods over the past 150 years. Both experienced their darkest days in the 1970s and 80s. In movies about New York, the accent you hear is usually Brooklyn; in movies about Boston, the accent you usually hear is Dorchester. Both neighborhoods are known for the politicians they breed.

3. Crown Heights Brooklyn and Dorchester were both named in the top 10 hottest neighborhoods of 2013 (Dorchester was also named one of the 10 best neighborhoods in Boston this year). 

4. Brooklyn and Dorchester both share diverse and multicultural populations.
Brooklyn: 37% White, 33% Black, 20% Latino, 10% Asian
Dorchester: 37% Black, 28% White, 14% Latino, 12% Asian

5. Brooklyn and Dorchester have seen a steady migration of artists and musicians since the 1970s, fostered by artists lofts being built in former warehouses. Brooklyn and Dorchester are the heart of hip hop in their respective cities.

6. Brooklyn and Dorchester have become home to hip restaurants that take culinary risks featured on nationally televised cuisine programs (For example, in Dorchester, we have Ashmont Grill and dbar).

7. Brooklyn and Dorchester are both a mix of dense urban apartment buildings and leafy residential side streets and both Brooklyn and Dorchester are served by partially elevated and partially underground subway lines.

8. Both Brooklyn and Dorchester have become centers for urban farming, bicycle culture, and public art. Both Brooklyn and Dorchester offer their own breweries (For example, Dorchester has the new Percival Beer Company).

9. Brooklyn and Dorchester are often strongly associated with both their Irish and African American communities. Both are traditional hubs for immigrants and they are places where many Caribbean Americans, Latinos, and eastern Europeans call home. Both Brooklyn and Dorchester have growing gay communities.

10. Brooklyn and Dorchester are both relatively affordable for housing, attracting a new wave of younger residents.

The below visual quiz highlights how difficult it is to separate Brooklyn from Dorchester...

A.) Is the above image of Dorchester or Brooklyn? Answer at the bottom of the post.

B.) Is the above image of Dorchester or Brooklyn? Answer at the bottom of the post.

C.) Is the above image of Dorchester or Brooklyn? Answer at the bottom of the post.

D.) Is the above image of Dorchester or Brooklyn? Answer at the bottom of the post.

E.) Is the above image of Dorchester or Brooklyn? Answer at the bottom of the post.

F.) Is the above image of Dorchester or Brooklyn? Answer at the bottom of the post.

G.) Is the above image of Dorchester or Brooklyn? Answer at the bottom of the post.

H.) Is the above image of Dorchester or Brooklyn? Answer at the bottom of the post.

Answer: A. Brooklyn. B. Dorchester. C. Brooklyn. D. Dorchester. E. Brooklyn. F. Dorchester G. Brooklyn. H. Dorchester.

Food Trucks Return to Ashmont

After a hiatus, Dot has its food trucks back. Makin' Jamaican will be near Ashmont Station on Dorchester Ave. from 3-7 pm every Friday. St. Mark's Main Streets reports that the owner, who normally parks his truck in Malden, will be a regular in the city designated food truck space outside Flat Black Coffee. We dropped by this afternoon and enjoyed the beef and vegetable patties, as well as the curry chicken with rice, beans, and plantains. Luckily, we stopped by early (food trucks have a tradition of selling out quickly in Dorchester), and good thing we did, because when we walked by later in the evening there was a long line. It is delicious food and we are happy to have this addition to the 'hood.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Kapow Thai Cuisine

Welcome the new and improved Kapow Thai Cuisine (formerly Taste of Thailand). With a new bright décor and quality Thai food at reasonable prices, Kapow offers all of your Thai favorites. Although seating exists, it is fairly limited, but Kapow is a perfect take out place (and they also provide delivery). We enjoyed the green curry with Jasmine rice and pad thai. To top it off, we enjoyed two Thai ice teas. Delicious.
Kapow Thai Cuisine
2257 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester
Located in Lower Mills just south of the intersection of Dorchester Ave, and Richmond St. Just north of the Milton T stop (Ashmont-Mattapan Trolley).

Have you been to Kapow Thai Cuisine? Rate it below.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon Tragedy

Our hearts go out to all the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy... It is a very sad day in Boston.

UPDATE: The Governor and Mayor have announced the establishment of a fund to help the people most affected by the tragic events that occurred on April 15, 2013. For more information or to donate, click here:

UPDATE: The Richard family of Dorchester was watching the Boston Marathon when bombs exploded nearby. Their young son Martin was killed. His younger sister and his mother remain seriously injured. Many people have asked how they can help the Richards. This campaign has been created to provide an avenue of assistance by friends at St Mark's Area Main Street and the Center for Civic Media:

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Taco Party

Although there has been an officially designated food truck spot near Ashmont Station for some time, there has been little food truck parking in the 'hood. Wait no longer! Taco Party now brings tasty vegetarian tacos to the masses every Friday evening for dinner. Sadly, we didn't have a chance to sample the food, since it sold out after about an hour on their inaugural day. We hope to report back soon, if we can make it there in time to enjoy what others have described as an "intense vegetarian taco."
Taco Party
Ashmont Station, Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester
Located at Ashmont Station on Dorchester Ave. Just west of the Ashmont T stop.

Have you been to Taco Party? Rate it below.

Rating Stars Back!

The Internet company that hosts our rating stars folded. After some searching, we have finally found an acceptable replacement. Sadly, we lost all of the ratings that blog readers left over the past 7 years. We encourage everyone to sift through the Lower Dot blog's posts and re-rate all of your favorite (or not so favorite) spots.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Steel & Rye

A new restaurant has opened over the river in Milton to rival the high end cuisine of Dorchester. Steel & Rye is in a California-esque deconstructed space. They offer creative contemporary American cuisine. We started with the delicious picked quail eggs and beets, along with their wonderful cheese plate. Erin then had the Atlantic salmon served with black eyed peas and onion relish, while Chris chose the Maine lobster risotto. Both dishes were well-prepared and included an amazing match of flavors. The bar offers a range of unique cocktails. Steel & Rye is a wonderful addition to the greater Dorchester area and will certainly lure us just outside the 'hood again.
Steel & Rye 
95 Eliot Street, Milton 
Located in Milton Village (Across the river from Dorchester) on Eliot Street. Just east of the Central Avenue T Stop (Ashmont-Mattapan Trolley). 

Have you been to Steel & Rye? Rate it below.