68 Blocks: Life, Death, Hope

A Globe series on a year in Boston’s Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood

Part 1: A disquieting spring

Part 2: The weather heats up

Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff

Searching for justice, finding no peace

With summer approaching, the rhythm quickens in Bowdoin-Geneva. Violence seems to rise with the heat, but so do a mother’s hopes for her children, and a priest’s quest to connect. Meanwhile, from the weeds, an unlikely garden grows.

Part 3: Fourth of July jitters

Tony Van Der Meer lives along Hendry Street, which has regressed after a few years of seemingly better days.

Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff

Time to celebrate and to worry

On Hendry Street, a new sense of stability is unraveling. On Norton, a gang target plans a peace festival, which police fear will only draw trouble. Nothing is easy in Bowdoin-Geneva, but no one is giving in.

Fourth of July

It’s a peaceful afternoon on Homes Avenue and Draper Street, but it’s a fragile peace.

The pool

Jose Martin’s joy is palpable on the hot, sticky pool deck at Marshall Elementary, where the humidity is infused with the chlorine.

Part 4: The dog days of August

Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff

Pushing back against the tide

Mayhem has a kind of momentum; it can be exhausting to resist. In Bowdoin-Geneva, an anticrime effort flops. And Big Nate explodes. But the peace festival rocks, and a son in jail has started to pray.

Tata, the neighborhood volunteer

Natalio “Tata” Fernandes takes care of the Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood, and it takes care of him.

Sunday Mass

The rhythm of the 9 a.m. service at St. Peter Church extends beyond the Order of Mass.

Searching for Nadine

A woman had testified in court of seeing Nicholas Fomby-Davis stagger into a popular corner store and collapse before her eyes.

Part 5: Summer becomes fall

Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Facing the future, or the dream of one

There were 19 shootings in Bowdoin-Geneva this year, but no one was killed. Here, that seems a step ahead. But progress, if real, feels like a fragile reed in a garden furrowed deep with promise and pain.


Carnival is about the music. Masqueraders take to the road, win’ing — dancing — behind trucks thumping soca beats.

Shopping while black

Jalanae Dale-St. Fort and her best friend experience an unfortunate rite of passage: shopping while black.

Front porch

People have asked me: What is it like to live there? But what they really mean is, how violent is it?