forum Is anyone from Boston?
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Planning on using Boston as a location for my new novel. Can anyone give me names and description of the culture of different parts of the Boston area? Thanks!


I am not FROM Boston, but I live 20 minutes north of it and have gone to many parts of Boston.

First thing you should know, the Boston you're probably thinking of is merely a single part. The City of Boston is actually divided into multiple boroughs:
–South Boston (Southie)
–North End
–South End
–Beacon Hill
–Jamaica Plain
–East Boston
–Back Bay
–West End
–Hyde Park
–West Roxbury
–Downtown Boston
–Mission Hill
–Bay Village

Now that's a LOT of places to try and remember, so I'd recommend looking up a map to see how they all connect. In terms of culture, here's the quick-and-dirty from a guy who doesn't actually live there:

–The North End is full of Italians. Like, CHOCK FULL of Italians and every bit of culture they brought over from Europe. You can't go a block without finding some hole-in-the-wall restaurant or pastry shop or church. The mafia operates here, but they keep things very much on the down-low, as causing trouble like you see in the movies is generally bad for business. My favorite part is the Feasts that take place over the summer, St. Anthony's Feast in particular. There's live music, fresh food, carnival games, and enough people to pack the place like a sardine can depending on where you are in the flow of the crowd. The main attraction is the procession honoring St. Anthony, and my sister actually knows one of the guys that had to help carry the palanquin-idol-thing in the procession.

–The South End (different from Southie) is a pretty upscale place. There are multiple convention halls including the Seaport Trade Center and the Boston Convention Center. I really only know about as much up to the docks in terms of area I've been to, as that's where the convention centers are (along with PAX East). My mother says that Southie's seen major improvement over the last couple of decades, with skyscrapers and nice apartments and sculptures decorating one of the medians.

–South Boston's full of Irishmen, and that's the extent of my knowledge.

–Beacon Hill is where all of the rich people and politicians live.

–Jamaica Plain's very flat for the most part. They've apparently got lots of young, artsy-fartsy types, but I only ever went there once for my grandfather's cousin's Diamond Jubilee (Cousin Ernestine's a nun, you see).

–Dorchester is a primarily black or African-American neighborhood, along with being a generally low-income place. I went on a couple missions trips to there when I still participated in my church, and the work was good. There are a lot of nice people there, but the main attraction I remember was the local YMCA. Then again, we had a very small area of operation, so I can guarantee you that I don't have the full picture here.

–Downtown Boston's where everybody goes. There's all the theatres, the Boston Opera House, Fanuel Hall, TD Garden, the Prudential Building, nearly everything worth noting is in one centralized area.

–Fenway-Kenmore has the one thing everybody that isn't from Massachusetts comes to see: Fenway Park. It's big. It's green. It's got overpriced snacks like every other ballpark. The only reason you wouldn't go to Fenway Park is if you're a Yankees fan. Then you're dead to me and everyone else in the city. Just kidding!

I recommend you do some more research, as there are plenty of things I've missed or plain don't know about. Taking a trip is also a good idea, as you get to see a lot of historical landmarks and museums. The ones I always go to are the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) and the Museum of Science!