Cambridge's Neighborhoods: East Cambridge Struggles To Keep Personal Touch

Mary Ann D'Onofrio, a third generation resident of East Cambridge, no longer knows all her neighbors.

D'Onofrio says she remembers a time when everyone in the neighborhood did know each other, when they all shopped at the same few stores, went to neighborhood dances on weekends and gossiped on porch stoops.

Today D'Onofrio looks around her and sees high rise apartment buildings, sees new residents replacing old left and right.


She says she misses the comfort and security of the East Cambridge she remembers from her childhood.

But 13-year East Cambridge flower shop owner Beatrice Moura, who was born in Portugal, says she embraces the influx of new faces.

"I'm lucky," she says. "I have the whole world around me. Here, I can serve my students, my professionals, my yuppies, my Italians, my Portuguese, my Spanish. It's all beautiful."

These two voices encapsulate the conflict of East Cambridge at the start of the new millennium, as residents attempt to preserve the area's history while continuing to grow and develop--and attempt to strike a balance between the old and the new.

The Way It Was

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