A man behind a mesh screen, Blue Hill Avenue, Boston, USA, October 2014. Pankaj Khadka

Boston’s Blues

Tattooed Scars

Pankaj Khadka

Boston, USA

Blue Hill Avenue is a four-mile nerve that stretches through Boston’s Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan neighborhoods.

Boston is one of the most expensive cities in the U.S., yet in a stroll down Blue Hill the contrast between the glamor and sophistication of Newbury Street, Boston’s most enchanting street, and the metal-grilled doors and cracked windows of Mattapan’s commercial strip are starkly evident.

These images explore the everyday lives of the people who reside, commute, or work in the Mattapan section of Blue Hill Avenue, home to churches of many denominations, barber and beauty shops, family-owned ethnic restaurants, laundries, and auto-shops, all of which operate around a mix of public housing, apartments, and colorful private houses.

The demographics of Mattapan — some refer to it as Murderpan — is predominantly African American, and the locals are no strangers to violence and crime. After moving to Boston for graduate school, I was advised very early by some locals and transplants to keep away from these neighborhoods, which only sparked my interested in the area.

Photography from: October – December 2014