A Southie native's take on the Saint Patrick's Day Parade

Join Boston Globe reporter and South Boston native Billy Baker in a discussion about the changes in his neighborhood, its Irish heritage and its famous Saint Patrick's Day Parade.

  • Billy Baker, Boston Globe 3/15/2013 5:00:37 PM
    Hello, everyone. Welcome to our little chat about the St. Patrick's Day parade, and the community of South Boston. My name is Billy Baker, and I'm a metro reporter for the Globe. And yes, Southie is my hometown. Feel free to ask any questions you may have about the parade or the neighborhood. For good or bad, there's always a lot to talk about when it comes to Southie...
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  • Malecopywriter 3/15/2013 5:02:39 PM
    FIRST QUESTION: Just how drunk are you right now.
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  • Catherine Cloutier, Your... 3/15/2013 5:02:44 PM
    If you're headed to South Boston on Sunday, check out our parade guide mobile app, available on the Boston.com app and mobile site.
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  • Billy Baker, Boston Globe 3/15/2013 5:03:00 PM
    I'm quite sober. Though I did take some cold medicine. I am, however, wearing my scally cap, if you want to go there.
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  • TF1212 3/15/2013 5:03:57 PM
    Is there any truth that you are one of the storm troopers in the parade?
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  • Billy Baker, Boston Globe 3/15/2013 5:05:34 PM
    I wish I were one of the storm troopers in the parade. When I was in college, I desperately wanted one of those costumes, until I learned they cost like three grand. My mother, however, once played Twinkie the Kid in the parade. And my father was Miss Piggy. (I may have those backward.)
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  • Casey 3/15/2013 5:05:36 PM
    Who'd be the better Whitey? Johnny Depp or Matt Damon?
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  • Billy Baker, Boston Globe 3/15/2013 5:07:50 PM
    Johnny Depp or Matt Damon as a better Whitey? Solid question. I'm going with Matt because he remains the only actor (for my money) to nail a Southie guy on screen. (I should also add Casey Affleck to that list, because we all grew up with that whiny kid who just wanted a double burger.)
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  • TF1212 3/15/2013 5:07:53 PM
    Do you know if the southie rules folks will be selling meatballs during the parade?
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  • Billy Baker, Boston Globe 3/15/2013 5:09:06 PM
    I believe the Southie Rules people abandoned their door-to-door meatball sales, though I could be wrong. They live right on the parade route, and I stopped by there last year (while they were filming) and it appears they go big for the parade. Meatballs may be in order.
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  • Bizza 3/15/2013 5:09:12 PM
    I always hear there's a zero tolerance alcohol policy, yet EVERYWHERE I look, everyone is drinking...
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  • Billy Baker, Boston Globe 3/15/2013 5:10:51 PM
    Drinking certainly happens on parade day, and the police do seem to turn a blind eye if you're behaving and being discreet. But there's a reason they've created all these "family zones" along the parade route.
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  • Casey 3/15/2013 5:10:53 PM
    Vh1's Wicked Single. How scared should we be?
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  • Billy Baker, Boston Globe 3/15/2013 5:12:14 PM
    The previews for Wicked Single looks pretty bad, in the sense that they've clearly taken a page from the "Jersey Shore" school of nonfiction (young, drunk, and obnoxious). What makes it dangerous is if it takes hold and the rest of the world begins to make assumptions about Boston based on the show, in the way the Jersey Shore has now become synonymous with a certain type.
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  • Jimmy James 3/15/2013 5:12:21 PM
    Do you believe it's time that the parade organizers finally let everyone interested in hosting a float, host a float? (Elephant in the room)
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  • Schallmo 3/15/2013 5:14:16 PM
    How does the parade route look given the amount of snow we had? I'm assuming Elmo did a terrible job in southie given his performance citywide
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  • Julius 3/15/2013 5:15:15 PM
    Craziest rooftop St. Patrick's Day party story? I saw a guy swan dive off into a dumpster once. he just went for it.
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  • Feejis 3/15/2013 5:15:20 PM
    I'm a lawyer. Are there any groups still banned from marching in the parade?
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  • SBostonYuppy 3/15/2013 5:15:28 PM
    People think there aren't families in Southie now but whenever I go out I see so many soccer moms pushing SUV-sized strollers around. Are families moving to Southie?
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  • Billy Baker, Boston Globe 3/15/2013 5:17:19 PM
    The demographics of Southie is something I'm very interested in, and I'm actually working on a longer project that will attempt to paint a portrait of the South Boston community in 2013. A big part of that is what role the so-called "yuppies" are playing in building the community for the future. For a while, it was easy to point to them and say they were only in Southie for their post-college party years, then they would pack up and move to the suburbs the second they had a child (or, at the least, had their second child). But that is clearly changing. What was once "yuppies with puppies" is now becoming "yuppies with strollers." But what the long-term impact will be, and how many really are staying for the long-term, is up for debate. My father is actually the president of the local soccer league, and I can tell you that the kids are pretty evenly split native/newcomer for the younger age groups, but then thins out as they get older. So it remains to be seen. 41 percent of the population is between the ages of 20 and 34. Will that hold as they age within the community, or will it always be a transitional location for young professionals....
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  • TF1212 3/15/2013 5:20:00 PM
    Is there anything worse then having to work on Monday?
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  • Julius 3/15/2013 5:20:14 PM
    How the hell can I get into a bar near the parade? I just want a drink, man.
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  • Malecopywriter 3/15/2013 5:20:35 PM
    I've been invited to a party in Southie on Sunday. What's the over/under on how long it takes my car to get keyed?
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  • New to South Boston 3/15/2013 5:21:23 PM
    As a person who grew up here, how do you feel about displacing family homes with triple deckers, demolishing St. Augustine's church and/or school, leveling the famous landmark "white house" on E. Broadway? Thanks.
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  • Display Name:Paddy 3/15/2013 5:23:51 PM
    I see family section on map what does that mean. Also, what church is on the parade route if we wanted to attend (catholic) before the parade.
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  • Andrew Tran, BostonGlobe.com 3/15/2013 5:24:09 PM
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  • christina 3/15/2013 5:24:16 PM
    Any tips for double parking? I mean everyone does it-you just don't want to be that D-bag who blocks someone in.....leave a note on the car?
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  • TF1212 3/15/2013 5:25:56 PM
    I grew up in the south shore but have settled in southie for good. I always joke with my friends that grew up and southie that moved out that my kids are going to call their kids yuppies...
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  • OverSensitive Moron 3/15/2013 5:27:51 PM
    Why is there necrophilia float in the parade! It's 2013 people grow up!! Southie Bigots
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  • Chuck Knaublauch 3/15/2013 5:28:13 PM
    Hey Billy, how many frosties will you crush come sunday?
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  • Malecopywriter 3/15/2013 5:31:06 PM
    If I lose my six month old daughter at the parade is there a lost and found desk I can check? And what kind of beer will they be serving?
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  • Billy Baker, Boston Globe 3/15/2013 5:34:07 PM
    Since I've got a moment, some unsolicited advice on how best to enjoy the St. Patrick's Day parade.
    1. Don't be that guy. Have fun. Just don't be that guy.
    2. The parade is actually better than you think it is. There's some funny things in there. You might enjoy watching it.
    3. Don't ruin it for the kids. There's plenty of time later in the the afternoon and evening to hog the spotlight.
    4. Walk away. There are plenty of dude-looking-dudes out there looking for trouble. Don't give it to them. Walk away.
    5. Don't pee in public. Ask a neighbor. You'd be surprised at their answer. And you might end up leaving with food and beverages.
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  • Malecopywriter 3/15/2013 5:34:30 PM
    Do you hate the stereotypes people keep perpetuating about Southie? And does it make you want to get drunk and beat the crap out of them?
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  • Catherine Cloutier, Your... 3/15/2013 5:38:35 PM
    Billy, how has the parade changed since your childhood?
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  • SS 3/15/2013 5:42:01 PM
    Hi Billy: What do you think is the most positive change to come to Southie in the Yuppie Era (i.e. past 15 years)?
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  • Chuck Knaublauch 3/15/2013 5:42:07 PM
    Hye guys, new to Southie..Incredibly pumped for the parade. So is Caitlain Gorman
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  • Malecopywriter 3/15/2013 5:43:26 PM
    Is there a Protestant Irish float in the parade?
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  • Anne Rheault 3/15/2013 5:44:51 PM
    I think there are a few Protestant Floats in The Parade Every Year !
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  • Townies 3/15/2013 5:45:51 PM
    Miss the fist fights at the L Street Tavern
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  • Flem 3/15/2013 5:46:24 PM
    When taking the T in what stop should i get off on
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  • Scott 3/15/2013 5:48:13 PM
    Get off at broadway/red line
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  • Catherine Cloutier, Your... 3/15/2013 5:49:00 PM
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  • Cahill716 3/15/2013 5:51:23 PM
    Baker were you watching the parade this year?
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  • Sean Mitchell 3/15/2013 5:51:39 PM
    Hi Billy, first time long time. What's your take on the construction of the new Dunks and Sbucks near Broadway station? Competition is brewin' huh
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  • mercer 3/15/2013 5:52:35 PM
    What's your favorite southie bar?
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  • Patrick 3/15/2013 5:54:14 PM
    Is a Whole Foods in Southie inevitable? Will people revolt or line up to buy quinoa?
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  • Patrick 3/15/2013 5:56:40 PM
    I'm new to the neighborhood but I've noticed dog crap everywhere on the sidewalks. Does Southie have roving packs of dogs loose or are do people just not care?
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  • Malecopywriter 3/15/2013 5:59:10 PM
    Does Whitey die in prison?
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  • Flan 3/15/2013 6:00:17 PM
    What does St. Patrick's Day parade in Southie need that will once and for all prove its superiority to all other pretend cities like Chicago and New York?
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  • InquiringMinds 3/15/2013 6:01:11 PM
    You have 1 day left to live: Parade, Mardis Gras, or LLWS Finals?
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  • janzy21 3/15/2013 6:02:34 PM
    Is the k St firehouse selling t shirts this year?
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  • SS 3/15/2013 6:03:23 PM
    I'm still angry they moved the start of the parade from Andrew to Broadway.
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  • Malecopywriter 3/15/2013 6:04:30 PM
    Speaking of Maris Gras, I've seen a lot of beads in years past. Does this mean public nudity is getting a toehold?
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  • Billy Baker, Boston Globe 3/15/2013 6:06:08 PM
    Alright, people. I've got to run. It's been fun. If you need anything else, hit me up on twitter @billy_baker. If not, have fun at the parade and behave yourselves.
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