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Some in Somerville worry it’s become too hip for its own good

Natasha Mogilevskaya, 28, left, waits for the bus in Union Square. Mogilevskaya was born in Russia and grew up in North Andover, is a recent hipster transplant to Somerville, Mass.. (Gretchen Ertl for the Boston Globe)
Natasha Mogilevskaya, 28, left, waits for the bus in Union Square. Mogilevskaya was born in Russia and grew up in North Andover, is a recent hipster transplant to Somerville, Mass.. (Gretchen Ertl for the Boston Globe)The Boston Globe

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After almost three decades working the counter at Capone Foods in Somerville’s Union Square, Albert Capone has become a stranger in his own city. “It’s gone from townies to hipsters,” he said on a recent evening. “The hats, the tattoos, the tight skinny jeans — on the guys. It’s like they’re trying to out-hip each other.”

He gazed out his window at the stylish Bloc 11 Cafe across Bow Street, and at the 20- and 30-somethings biking by, and noted that the grandmothers who used to buy his fresh mozzarella have largely yielded to single adults.

“I am the oldest man in Somerville,” said the 60-year-old.

As the city seeks to reinvent itself — the mayor says his “branding experts” won’t let him utter the word “Slummerville” — it has made such progress that a previously unimaginable situation is emerging: the city is now concerned about becoming too cool.

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