Boston has always been extremely proud of its past. After all, the American Revolution started here. In Boston, history isn’t just confined to museums; it’s everywhere, especially along the city’s famous Freedom Trail, the path that traces the "footsteps" of colonial Boston’s struggle for freedom and independence. Boston’s compact size, quaint architecture, and acres of green open space give the city an almost European feel. Yet Boston is also a thoroughly modern city.

Boston’s student population — there are more than 100 colleges and universities in the Boston metropolitan area — gives the city a definite youthful vibe. Today’s Boston is not so much old provincial capital, but a cosmopolitan city with a decidedly New England charm.

The Best of Boston

For a small city, Boston offers visitors plenty of big-city culture. Boston is home to impressive art collections, and the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum are among the world’s finest museums. Boston also supports a well-established performing arts scene — the Boston Symphony and the Boston Ballet are both world-renowned.


Family attractions abound in Boston, with fun things for kids to do and to see at both the Museum of Science and the New England Aquarium. Boston’s shopping is another great reason to visit, since there are tons of boutiques and interesting stores to choose from on Newbury Street. And you won’t just find baked beans and scrod in Boston restaurants anymore. In recent years, Boston has become a "real" restaurant city, with new specialty and interesting ethnic eateries opening almost every week.

Fast Facts & Info

Fast Facts & Info

Geography and landscape: Boston is almost entirely surrounded by water. This city was originally settled by early American colonists on a small peninsula jutting out from Boston Harbor. Boston Harbor is part of Massachusetts Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The Mystic River borders Boston to the north, and the Neponset River lies to the south. To the west, Boston is famously bordered by the Charles River, which separates Boston from the nearby city of Cambridge.

Today, Boston comprises an area of 48 square miles of mostly gently rolling hills — much of it on reclaimed marshland built on landfill. The city’s bustling waterfront scene, its parks, and its graceful skyline make Boston a pleasant city for visitors to enjoy.


General orientation: Boston Common is where Boston begins. Visitors will pass through and around this 50-acre park many times during their stay. Park Street Station, considered the hub of the city’s subway system, is located here. The Freedom Trail, the 2.5-mile red brick path that winds through Boston and the important sites of the American Revolution, begins here too.

Boston is a city of 20 distinctive neighborhoods, housing 589,000 residents. Some of the most popular neighborhoods for visitors include The Waterfront, the Downtown/Financial District, the North End, the Chinatown/Theatre District, Back Bay, and Beacon Hill. Keep in mind that some neighborhoods are quite crowded during the school year, as over 200,000 students attend college in the area.

Safety: Boston is a safe city, but as with any major city, you should take the usual safety precautions. Stay in well-populated areas, travel with others, especially at night, and keep track of your belongings.

The tourist areas in Boston are generally safe, but some areas deserve mention. Don’t visit the Boston Common or the Public Garden late at night unless you are there for a large public event, such as a concert. Although long past its hey-day, you should avoid walking in Chinatown and parts of Downtown Crossing, Boston’s red light district, at night too. The North End, the Waterfront area, and the Theatre District are typically full of people and have lots of activity, but you should be cautious very late at night.


Climate/weather: Boston is a city of four seasons with a tremendous range of weather conditions. The weather in New England is extremely changeable, even on a daily basis, so it’s best to be prepared for a wide range of weather conditions.

Boston’s winters are cold, snowy, and long, with the first snowflakes often beginning to fly by late November and measurable snow in April is not unheard of. The range of average winter temperatures can be between 0 and 37 degrees Fahrenheit (-17 to 3 degrees Celsius). Spring is the month of May when temperatures average from 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 21 degrees Celsius).

In the summer, the temperatures range from 60 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 35 degrees Celsius). July and August can be either uncomfortably humid or, with a cooling sea breeze, perfectly delightful. Autumn in Boston brings the fall foliage season and exceptional New England weather of warmish days and crisp, cool nights.

If you’re thinking of visiting Boston, go to the next page, where you’ll find tips on getting to the city as well as getting around once you’ve arrived.

Источник: adventure.howstuffworks.com

Анна Макарова родом из Москвы. Последние шесть лет девушка жила и училась в Британии, четыре из которых в Лондоне. Недавно она переехала в Бостон и решила поделиться с Simple + Beyond рассказом о самом европейском городе Америки: о неспешности местных жителей, об основных достопримечательностях и о его главном отличии от остальных городов США.


Всего в паре часов езды от кипящего жизнью Нью-Йорка, в самом центре Новой Англии, находится Бостон — столица Массачусетса, омываемая Атлантическим океаном. Запрыгивая в десятки маленьких парусных лодочек и катеров, местные жители неспешно бороздят просторы реки Чарльз, проплывая мимо небоскребов и высоток Финансового центра. Они все делают не спеша: выходят под парусом после долгого рабочего дня, останавливаются посреди легкой пробежки, чтобы запечатлеть особенно красивый закат, или прогуливаются с собакой в местном городском оазисе, парке Boston Public Garden. Безукоризненный ландшафт этого парка порадует любого, даже самого пресытившегося посетителя, своим легким ароматом бесчисленных цветов и редких растений, небольшим прудом с очаровательным мостиком и, разумеется, пышными гортензиями, пройти мимо которых совершенно невозможно.

Boston city

Парк примыкает к двум самым приятным и живописным районам города: Back Bay и Beacon Hill, известных своими фотогеничными домами с изящными дверями. На улочках этих районов неизменно присутствует английский дух, напоминающий об историческом прошлом Бостона, тесно связывающим его с Британией.


ма и улицы очень похожи на смесь лондонских Chelsea и South Kensington, с ноткой тех самых тихих улочек Нью-Йорка, что мы привыкли видеть в любимых фильмах, посвященных этому городу. От красоты архитектуры и уличного ландшафта перехватывает дыхание, когда незадолго до заката солнце играет бликами в окнах зданий, открывая их в новом свете. Для жителей этих улиц фотографы и любители, охотящиеся за удачным кадром, не редкость, и, если два человека с камерами вдруг наткнутся друг на друга, эта встреча будет сродни встрече старых знакомых, с непременным обменом информацией о фотогеничных местах поблизости. Именно так мне и удалось найти эту незаметную улочку Acorn Street в глубине Beacon Hill, выстланную гладкими небольшими булыжниками, по которым совершенно небезопасно ходить. Пока я ловила удачный кадр, мимо проходил строитель, посетовавший на то, что вся его техника, предназначенная для пленочной фотографии, уже устарела, и девать ее некуда, а смотреть, как она пылится на полке, пока он все фотографирует на свою портативную камеру, как-то грустно. Дружно вздохнув о неизбежности технологического прогресса, мы отправились по своим делам, он — к своей команде, а я — в сторону Бостонской Библиотеки, монументального здания в центре города, как и все примечательные публичные постройки, украшенным американскими флагами.

Boston city


Boston cityBoston city

Еще одна местная городская знаменитость, без визита к которой невозможно приехать в Бостон — Гарвардский Университет, находящийся, на самом деле, в маленьком университетском городке Кембридже, в 15 минутах на метро от центра города. Лучший университет в мире, как и положено его званию, расположился на крайне впечатляющем кампусе. Каждый уголок будто создан для университетского каталога, где на каждой фотографии студенты читают книги и смеются с однокурсниками, настолько он холеный. Все постройки выполнены из кирпича особого цвета, близкого к официальному бордовому цвету Гарварда — Harvard Crimson. Еще одна отличительная черта Гарвардского кампуса — монументальный архитектурный стиль и использование белых колонн, контрастных кирпичным стенам построек. Как и положено студентам, ученики Гарварда собираются на ступеньках величественной библиотеки, кто-то обсуждая новости с новыми друзьями, а кто-то доделывая домашнее задание для семинара. Гордо возвышается над другими постройками здание Harvard Business School, вероятно, одно из самых узнаваемых на кампусе. Ведь именно сюда приходят фотографироваться группы туристов, терпеливо выжидающих своей очереди быть запечатленными на фоне одной из самых известных школ Гарварда. Прогуливаясь по кампусу и наблюдая за восторженными, полными грандиозных планов на будущее студентами, ты сам погружаешься в атмосферу знаний, многолетней истории и вдохновения, невольно задумываясь, «а как было бы здорово, если бы я тоже тут учился».


Boston cityBoston city

Вообще Бостон — это город, выделяющийся на фоне такой разной и колоритной Америки, ведь, в отличие от многих других городов, в нем неизменно ощущается эта историческая связь с Европой, с Британией. Из всех Американских городов Бостон самый европейский, что, на мой взгляд, добавляет ему шарма. Он спокойнее, домашнее и значительно теплее его суетливых городов-соседей. Своеобразное пересечение Старого и Нового миров, он олицетворяет собой смесь двух культур, окутывающую своим неповторимым желанием жить в свое удовольствие. Желанием оказаться где-то на границе между суетой офисной работы и изучением истории в университете, на границе между бескрайними, непредсказуемыми просторами океана и твердой землей берега. Чтобы быть где-то в самом центре такой мимолетной красоты жизни, на той самой маленькой парусной лодочке, вдыхать соленый воздух и плыть, вглядываясь в очертания побережья вдали, согреваемого бликами закатного солнца.


Boston cityBoston city

Источник: simplebeyond.com

Geography

Owing to its early founding, Boston is very compact. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 89.6 square miles (232.1 km²)—nearly half of which is water. Through land reclamation and municipal annexation, Boston has expanded beyond the peninsula where it started. Yet it is the fourth most densely populated city in the country not a part of a larger city’s metropolitan area. Of United States cities with a population over 500,000, only San Francisco is smaller in land area. The highest point in Boston is Bellevue Hill at 330 feet (101 m) above sea level, while the lowest point is at sea level.

Much of the Back Bay and South End neighborhoods are built on reclaimed land—all the earth from two of Boston’s three original hills was used as landfill material. Only Beacon Hill, the smallest of the three original hills, remains partially intact; just half of its height was cut down for landfill.

Climate

Boston has what may basically be described as something between a humid continental climate and a humid subtropical climate, which is common in New England. Summers are warm and humid, while winters are cold, windy, and snowy. Prevailing wind patterns that blow offshore affect Boston, minimizing the influence of the Atlantic Ocean.


Spring in Boston can be warm, with temperatures as high as the 90s when winds are offshore, though it is just as possible for a day in late May to remain in the lower 40s due to cool ocean waters. The hottest month is July, with an average high of 82°F (28°C) and average low of 66°F (18°C). The coldest month is January, with an average high of 36&°F (2&°C) and an average low of 22°F (-6°C).

The city averages about 43 inches (108 cm) of precipitation a year, with 40.9 inches (104 cm) of snowfall a year. Snowfall increases dramatically as one goes inland away from the city and the warming influence of the ocean.

Boston’s coastal location on the North Atlantic, though it moderates temperatures, also makes the city very prone to Nor’easter weather systems that can produce much snow and rain. Fog is prevalent, particularly in spring and early summer, and the occasional tropical storm or hurricane can threaten the region, especially in early autumn.

Cityscape

The downtown area and immediate surroundings consist mostly of low-rise brick or stone buildings, with many older buildings in the Federal style.


veral of these buildings mix in with modern high-rises, notably in the Financial District, Government Center, the South Boston waterfront, and Back Bay, which includes many prominent landmarks such as the Boston Public Library, Christian Science Center, Copley Square, Newbury Street, and New England’s two tallest buildings: the John Hancock Tower and the Prudential Center. Smaller commercial areas are interspersed among single-family homes and wooden/brick multifamily row houses.

Boston Common, located near the Financial District and Beacon Hill, is the oldest public park in the U.S. Along with the adjacent Boston Public Garden, it is part of a string of parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted to encircle the city. Franklin Park is the city’s largest park and houses a zoo. Another major park is the Esplanade located along the banks of the Charles River. Other parks are scattered throughout the city, with the major parks and beaches located near Castle Island, in Charlestown and along the Dorchester, South Boston, and East Boston shorelines.

The Charles River separates Boston proper from Cambridge, Watertown, and the neighborhood of Charlestown. To the east lies Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. The Neponset River forms the boundary between Boston’s southern neighborhoods and the city of Quincy and the town of Milton. The Mystic River separates Charlestown from Chelsea and Everett, while Chelsea Creek and Boston Harbor separate East Boston from Boston proper.

History

The Shawmut peninsula was connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus, and surrounded by the waters of Massachusetts Bay and the Back Bay, an estuary of the Charles River. Several prehistoric Native American archaeological sites excavated in the city have shown that the peninsula was inhabited as early as 5000 B.C.E. Boston’s early European settlers first called the area Trimountaine but later renamed the town after Boston, Lincolnshire, England, from which several prominent colonists had emigrated.

Boston was founded on September 17, 1630, by Puritan colonists from England, who were distinct from the Pilgrims who had founded Plymouth Colony ten years earlier. The two groups differed in religious practice, and the separate colonies were not united until the Province of Massachusetts Bay was formed in 1691. Boston was the largest town in British North America until the mid-1700s.

Role in independence

In the 1770s, British attempts to exert more stringent control on the thirteen colonies, primarily via taxation, prompted Bostonians to initiate the American Revolution. The Boston Massacre of 1770 and several early battles occurred in or near the city, including the Battles of Lexington and Concord, Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston.

After the Revolution, Boston became one of the world’s wealthiest international trading ports. Exports included rum, fish, salt, and tobacco. In 1822, Boston was chartered as a city.

Manufacturing center

By the mid-1800s, the city’s industrial manufacturing overtook international trade in economic importance. Until the early 1900s, Boston remained one of the nation’s largest manufacturing centers, and was notable for its garment production and leather goods industries. A network of small rivers bordering the city and connecting it to the surrounding region made for easy shipment of goods and allowed for a proliferation of mills and factories. Later, a dense network of railroads facilitated the region’s industry and commerce.

From the mid- to late nineteenth century, Boston flourished culturally; it became renowned for its literary culture and artistic patronage. It also became a center of the abolitionist movement.

In the 1820s, Boston’s population began to swell and the city’s ethnic composition changed dramatically with the first wave of European immigrants, especially from Ireland. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, the city saw increasing numbers of Irish, Germans, Lebanese, Syrians, French Canadians, and Russian and Polish Jews settle in the city. By the end of the nineteenth century, Boston’s neighborhoods had become enclaves of ethnically distinct immigrants. Italians inhabited the North End, the Irish dominated South Boston, and Russian Jews lived in the West End.

Irish and Italian immigrants brought with them Roman Catholicism. Catholics make up Boston’s largest religious community, and since the early twentieth century the Irish have played a major role in Boston politics—prominent figures include the Kennedys, Tip O’Neill, and John F. Fitzgerald.

Urban renewal

By the mid-twentieth century, the city was in decline as factories became old and obsolete, and businesses moved out of the region for cheaper labor elsewhere. Boston responded by initiating various urban renewal projects under the direction of the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), which was established in 1957. By the 1970s, the city’s economy boomed after thirty years of economic downturn. Hospitals such as Massachusetts General, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Brigham and Women’s led the nation in medical innovation and patient care. Schools such as Harvard University, MIT, Boston University, Boston College, and Northeastern University attracted students to the area. Nevertheless, the city experienced conflict starting in 1974 over desegregation busing, which resulted in unrest and violence around public schools throughout the mid-1970s.

The Columbia Point housing projects, built in 1953 on the Dorchester peninsula, had gone through bad times until there were only 350 families residing there in 1988. It was run down and dangerous. In 1984, the city of Boston gave control of it to a private developer, Corcoran-Mullins-Jennison, who re-developed and revitalized the property into an attractive residential mixed-income community called Harbor Point Apartments which was opened in 1988 and completed by 1990. It is a very significant example of revitalization and re-development and was the first federal housing project to be converted to private, mixed-income housing in the United States.

By the early twenty-first century the city had become an intellectual, technological, and political center. It had, however, experienced a loss of regional institutions, which included the acquisition of the Boston Globe by the New York Times and the loss to mergers and acquisitions of local financial institutions such as FleetBoston Financial, which was acquired by Charlotte-based Bank of America in 2004. The city also had to tackle gentrification issues and rising living expenses, with housing prices increasing sharply since the 1990s.

Government

Boston has a strong mayor system in which the mayor is vested with extensive executive powers. The mayor is elected to a four-year term by plurality voting. The city council is elected every two years. There are nine district seats, each elected by the residents of that district through plurality voting, and four at-large seats. Each voter casts up to four votes for at-large councilors, with no more than one vote per candidate. The candidates with the four highest vote totals are elected. The president of the city council is elected by the councilors from within themselves. The school committee for the Boston Public Schools is appointed by the mayor. The Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Zoning Board of Appeals (a seven-person body appointed by the mayor) share responsibility for land-use planning.

As the capital of Massachusetts, Boston plays a major role in state politics. The city also has several properties relating to the federal government, including the John F. Kennedy Federal Office Building and the Thomas P. O’Neill Federal Building. The city also serves as the home of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, as well as the headquarters of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. The city is in the Eighth and Ninth Congressional Districts.

Economy

Boston’s colleges and universities are not only major employers but they also attract high-tech industries to the city and surrounding region. Boston is also a major hub for biotechnology companies. According to a 2003 report by the Boston Redevelopment Authority, students enrolled in Boston’s colleges and universities contribute $4.8 billion annually to the city’s economy. Boston also receives the highest amount of annual funding from the National Institutes of Health of all cities in the United States.

Tourism comprises a large part of Boston’s economy. In 2004 tourists spent $7.9 billion and made the city one of the ten most popular tourist locations in the country. Other important industries include financial services, especially mutual funds and insurance. The city is also the regional headquarters of major banks and a center for venture capital. Boston is also a printing and publishing center; Houghton Mifflin is headquartered within the city, along with Bedford-St. Martin’s Press, Beacon Press, and Little, Brown and Company. The city is home to four major convention centers: The Hynes Convention Center in the Back Bay, the Bayside Expo Center in Dorchester, and the World Trade Center Boston and Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on the South Boston waterfront. Because of its status as a state capital and the regional home of federal agencies, law and government is another major component of the city’s economy.

Route 128 serves as the center of the region’s high-tech industry. In 2006 Boston and its metropolitan area ranked as the fourth largest cybercity in the United States with 191,700 high-tech jobs. Only NYC Metro, DC Metro and Silicon Valley had bigger high-tech sectors.

The Port of Boston is a major seaport along the United States’ East Coast, and is also the oldest continuously operated industrial and fishing port in the Western Hemisphere.

Transportation

Logan International Airport, located in the East Boston neighborhood, handles most of the scheduled passenger service for Boston.

Downtown Boston’s streets are not organized on a grid but grew in a meandering organic pattern beginning early in the seventeenth century. They were created as needed, and as wharves and landfill expanded the area of the small Boston peninsula. Along with several rotaries, roads change names and lose and add lanes seemingly at random. On the other hand, streets in the Back Bay, East Boston, the South End, and South Boston do follow a grid system.

Boston is the eastern terminus of I-90. Interstate-95, which surrounds the city, is locally referred to as Route 128, its historical state route numbering. U.S. 1, I-93, and Massachusetts Route 3 run north to south through the city, forming the elevated Central Artery, which ran through downtown Boston and was constantly prone to heavy traffic until it was replaced with an underground tunnel through the «Big Dig.»

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) operates what was the first underground rapid transit system in the United States and is now the fourth busiest rapid transit system in the country, having been expanded to 65.5 miles (105& km) of track, reaching as far north as Malden, as far south as Braintree, and as far west as Newton—collectively known as the «T.» The MBTA also operates the nation’s sixth busiest bus network, as well as water shuttles, and a commuter rail network totaling over 200 miles (321 km), extending north to the Merrimack Valley, west to Worcester, and south to Providence, Rhode Island. Nearly a third of Bostonians use public transit for their commute to work. Nicknamed «The Walking City,» pedestrian commutes play a larger role than in comparably populated cities. Owing to factors such as the compactness of the city and large student population, 13 percent of the population commutes by foot, making it the highest percentage of pedestrian commuters in the country out of the major American cities. In its March 2006 issue, Bicycling magazine named Boston as one of the worst cities in the U.S. for cycling;[10] regardless, it has one of the highest rates of bicycle commuting.[11]

Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor and Chicago lines originate at South Station and stop at Back Bay. Fast Northeast Corridor trains, which service New York City, Washington, D.C., and points in between, also stop at Route 128 Station in the southwestern suburbs of Boston. Meanwhile, Amtrak’s Downeaster service to Maine originates at North Station.

Demographics

According to the census of 2000, there were 589,141 people, (the population estimate of 2006 was 596,638 people),[12] 239,528 households, and 115,212 families residing in the city. The population density was 12,166 people per square mile (4,697/km²). Of major U.S. cities with populations in excess of 250,000, only New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago have a greater population density than Boston.[13] There were 251,935 housing units at an average density of 5,203 per square mile (2,009/km²).

However, the population of Boston can grow during the daytime to about 1.2 million. This fluctuation of people is caused by suburban residents traveling to the city for work, education, medical purposes, and special events. Greater Boston as a commuting region includes parts of Rhode Island and New Hampshire and includes 7.4 million people, making it the fifth-largest Combined Statistical Area in the country.

According to the 2007 American Community Survey, the racial makeup of the city was 57.2 percent white, 23.1 percent African American, 9.0 percent Asian, 0.4 percent Native American, 10.2 percent from other races, and 2.9 percent from two or more races. 16.9 percent of the population was Hispanic of any race. 28.6 percent of the population was foreign born; of this, 48.2 percent came from Latin America, 25.7 percent from Asia, 14.2 percent from Europe, 9.8 percent from Africa and 2.0 percent from other parts of the world.[14]

According to a 2006 estimate, the White population comprises 53.5 percent of the population, while Hispanics make up 15.5 percent.[15] People of Irish descent form the largest single ethnic group in the city, making up 15.8 percent of the population, followed by Italians, accounting for 8.3 percent of the population. People of West Indian ancestry are another sizable group, at 6.4 percent,[16] about half of whom are of Haitian ancestry. Some neighborhoods, such as Dorchester, have received an influx of Vietnamese residents in recent decades. Neighborhoods such as Jamaica Plain and Roslindale have experienced a growing number of Dominican Americans.

Crime

The city has seen a great reduction in violent crime since the early 1990s. Boston’s low crime rate in the last years of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first has been credited to its police department’s collaboration with neighborhood groups and church parishes to prevent youths from joining gangs, as well as involvement from the United States Attorney and District Attorney’s offices. This helped lead in part to what has been touted as the «Boston Miracle.» Murders in the city dropped from 152 in 1990 (for a murder rate of 26.5 per 100,000 people) to just 31—not one of them a juvenile—in 1999 (for a murder rate of 5.26 per 100,000). In more recent years, however, the annual murder count has fluctuated by as much as 50 percent compared to prior year, with 60 murders in 2002, followed by just 39 in 2003, 64 in 2004, and 75 in 2005. Though the figures are nowhere near the high-water mark set in 1990, the aberrations in the murder rate have been unsettling for many Bostonians and have prompted discussion over whether the Boston Police Department should reevaluate its approach to fighting crime.[17]

Healthcare

The Longwood Medical Area is a region of Boston with a concentration of medical and research facilities. Many of Boston’s major medical facilities are associated with universities. The facilities in the Longwood Medical Area and Massachusetts General Hospital are affiliated with Harvard Medical School. Tufts Medical Center, located in the southern portion of the Chinatown neighborhood, is affiliated with Tufts University School of Medicine. Boston Medical Center, located in the South End neighborhood, is the primary teaching facility for the Boston University School of Medicine as well as the largest trauma center in the Boston area; it was formed by the merger of Boston University Hospital and Boston City Hospital, which was the first municipal hospital in the United States.

Education

Elementary and secondary

Boston Public Schools, the oldest public school system in the United States, enrolls 57,000 students. The system operates 145 schools, which includes Boston Latin School (the oldest public school in the United States, established in 1635), English High (the oldest public high school, established 1821), and the Mather School (the oldest public elementary school, established in 1639). The city also has private, parochial, and charter schools. Three thousand students of racial minorities attend participating suburban schools through the Metropolitan Educational Opportunity Council, or METCO.

In 2002, Forbes magazine ranked the Boston Public Schools as the best large city school system in the country, with a graduation rate of 82 percent. In 2005, the student population was 45.5 percent black or African American, 31.2 percent Hispanic or Latino, 14 percent white, and 9 percent Asian, as compared with 24 percent, 14 percent, 49 percent, and 8 percent, respectively, for the city as a whole.[18]

Colleges and universities

Boston’s reputation as the Athens of America derives in large part from the teaching and research activities of more than 100 colleges and universities located in the Greater Boston area, with more than 250,000 students attending college in Boston and Cambridge alone. Within the city, Boston University is the city’s fourth-largest employer.

Boston is also home to several conservatories and art schools, including the Art Institute of Boston, Massachusetts College of Art, and the New England Conservatory of Music (the oldest independent conservatory in the United States). Boston has one major public university, the University of Massachusetts, Boston, while Roxbury Community College and Bunker Hill Community College are the city’s two community colleges.

Culture

Boston shares many cultural roots with greater New England, including an accent known as Boston English and a regional cuisine with a large emphasis on seafood, rum, salt, and dairy products.

Many consider Boston to have a strong sense of cultural identity, perhaps as a result of its intellectual reputation; much of Boston’s culture originates at its universities.

The city has several ornate theaters, including the Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston Opera House, Citi Performing Arts Center, and the Orpheum Theatre. Renowned performing arts organizations include the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Ballet, Boston Pops, Celebrity Series of Boston, Boston Early Music Festival, Boston Lyric Opera Company, OperaBoston, Emmanuel Music, and the Handel and Haydn Society (one of the oldest choral companies in the United States).

Because of the city’s prominent role in the American Revolution, several historic sites relating to that period are preserved as part of the Boston National Historical Park. Many are found along the Freedom Trail. The city is also home to several prominent art museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The Boston Athenaeum (one of the oldest independent libraries in the United States), Boston Children’s Museum, Museum of Science, and the New England Aquarium are within the city.

Media

The Boston Globe (owned by the New York Times Company) and the Boston Herald are Boston’s two major daily newspapers.

Boston has the largest broadcasting market in New England, with the Boston radio market being the eleventh largest in the United States.

The Boston television marketing area, which also includes Manchester, New Hampshire, is the seventh largest in the United States. The city is served by stations representing every major American network.

Sports

Boston’s major league teams—The Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins, and New England Patriots—have won a greater percentage of championships per season played than the teams of any other four-sport city. The Boston Red Sox are a founding member of the American League of Major League Baseball and were the 2007 World Series champions. The team plays its home games at Fenway Park. Built in 1912, it is the oldest sports arena or stadium in active use in the United States among the four major professional sports. Boston was also the site of the first game of the first modern World Series, in 1903. The series was played between the Red Sox and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Boston Celtics were founding members of the Basketball Association of America, one of the two leagues that merged to form the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Celtics have the distinction of having more national titles than any other NBA team, with 17 championships from 1957 to 2008.

Although the team has played in suburban Foxboro since 1971, the New England Patriots are Boston’s football team. The team was founded in 1960 as the Boston Patriots, a charter member of the American Football League, and in 1970 the team joined the National Football League. The team won Super Bowl titles in 2001, 2003, and 2004.

One of the most famous sporting events in the city is the Boston Marathon, the 26.2 mile (42.2 km) run from Hopkinton to Copley Square in the Back Bay. The Marathon, the world’s oldest, is popular and heavily attended.

Boston is bidding to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Looking to the future

Mayor Thomas Menino has indentified eight major goals for the city:[19]

  • Closing the academic achievement gap between white and Asian students and black and Hispanic students
  • Reducing violent crime
  • Increasing the supply of affordable housing for working families in Boston, including programs aimed at helping first-time homebuyers, as well as educating homeowners about the dangers of predatory lending and foreclosure prevention
  • Improving city services by, for example, utilizing new technology and service delivery methods to improve city services at the same or lower cost
  • Creating new jobs by creating and expanding partnerships and intensive marketing outreach to attract new businesses to the Boston area and expand existing ones
  • Narrowing racial and ethnic disparities in health care; the city is implementing recommendations of a task force in this area and has already coordinated more than $1 million in grants to dozens of local health organizations
  • Increasing diversity in government by recruiting, hiring, and training a diverse city workforce and creating a culturally welcoming environment
  • Growing revenue by pursuing new revenue streams

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Dalager, Norman, «What’s in a nickname?», Boston Globe, August 10, 2006. Retrieved April 8, 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Boston Travel & Vacations. Britannia.com (2006). Retrieved April 8, 2009.
  3. ↑ Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision. American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau, Census 2000 Summary File 1. Retrieved April 29, 2009.
  4. ↑ United States by Urbanized Area; and for Puerto Rico. American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau, Census 2000 Summary File 1. Retrieved April 29, 2009.
  5. ↑ United States by County by State, and for Puerto Rico. American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau, Census 2000 Summary File 1. Retrieved April 29, 2009.
  6. ↑ Population and Housing Occupancy Status: 2010 – State – County Subdivision, 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  7. ↑ Alphabetically sorted list of Census 2000 Urbanized Areas (TXT). United States Census Bureau, Geography Division. Retrieved April 11, 2009.
  8. ↑ ZIP Code Lookup – Search By City. United States Postal Service. Retrieved April 20, 2009.
  9. City-Data.com, 2007, Boston Economy. Retrieved January 11, 2009.
  10. ↑ Nina MacLaughlin, 2006, Boston Can Be Bike City…If You Fix These Five Big Problems, The Phoenix—Bicycle Bible. Retrieved January 12, 2009.
  11. ↑ Jennifer Dill and Theresa Carr, 2003, Bicycle Commuting and Facilities in Major U.S. Cities: If You Build Them, Commuters Will Use Them—Another Look, University of California, Davis. Retrieved January 12, 2009.
  12. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division, Accepted Challenges to Vintage 2005 Population Estimates. Retrieved January 12, 2009.
  13. Wendell Cox Consultancy, US Cities Over 100,000: Ranked by Population Density: 1990. Retrieved January 12, 2009.
  14. U.S. Census Bureau, Boston city, Massachusetts ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates: 2007. Retrieved January 12, 2009.
  15. Sperling’s Best Places, Boston, Massachusetts. Retrieved January 12, 2009.
  16. United States Census Bureau, Boston city, Massachusetts Profile of Selected Social Characteristics: 2000. Retrieved January 12, 2009.
  17. ↑ Christopher Winship, March 2002, End of a Miracle? Crime, Faith, and Partnership in Boston in the 1990s, Harvard University. Retrieved January 12, 2009.
  18. Boston Globe, Boston public schools. Retrieved January 12, 2009.
  19. The City of Boston, Mayor’s Priorities. Retrieved January 12, 2009.

References

  • City of Boston. 1909. Records Relating to the Early History of Boston — Selectmen Minutes 1818-1822. City of Boston Publishers. Digitized by Google. Retrieved January 11, 2009.
  • Dowst, Henry P. 1916. Random Notes of Boston. Humphrey Publishing. Retrieved January 11, 2009.
  • Gershkoff, Ira, and Richard Trachtman. 2004. The Boston Driver’s Handbook: The Almost Post Big Dig Edition. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0306813262.
  • Harris, Patricia, and David Lyon. 1999. Boston. Oakland, CA: Compass American Guides. ISBN 0679002847.
  • Jones, Howard Mumford, and Bessie Zaban Jones. 1975. The Many Voices of Boston: A Historical Anthology, 1630-1975. Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 0316472824.
  • Rambow, John D. 2003. Fodor’s Boston. New York: Fodor’s Travel Publications. ISBN 1400010284.
  • Seasholes, Nancy S. 2003. Gaining Ground: A History of Landmaking in Boston. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 9780262194945.
  • Snow, Caleb H. 1828. History of Boston. Abel Bowen Press. Digitized by Google. Retrieved January 11, 2009.
  • Vanderwarker, Peter. 1982. Boston Then & Now: 59 Boston Sites Photographed in the Past and Present. New York: Dover Publications. ISBN 0486243125.
  • Winsor, Justin. Memorial History of Boston, Vol.1. James R. Osgood Publisher, 1881.

Источник: www.newworldencyclopedia.org

Character of the city

The area, the people, and the institutions within its political boundaries can only begin to define the essence of Boston. Its nickname “Beantown” has its origin in colonial times, when Boston, as a stop on a major trade route with the West Indies, had a steady supply of molasses from the Caribbean, thus leading to the creation of a popular dish that became known as Boston baked beans (beans baked in molasses). As a city and as a name, Boston is a symbol of much that has gone into the development of the American consciousness, and its presence reaches far beyond its immediate environs. As the spiritual capital of the New England states, as the progenitor of the American Revolution and the nation, and as the earliest centre of American culture, Boston has influenced the country for some three centuries. Though Boston, like New England in general, has played a lessening role in national life since the early 20th century, it has remained the focal point of what may be the most diversified and dynamic combination of educational, cultural, medical, and scientific activities in the United States.

Landscape

The Boston region’s topography was largely shaped by the glaciers that covered the land during the last ice age. The city and its sheltered deepwater harbour sit in a basin that extends to Lynn in the north and Quincy in the south and is ringed by modest hills: the Middlesex Fells (north) to the Blue Hills (south). There are harder, higher surface rocks (mostly granites) on those northern and southern edges, while inside the basin the lower-lying rocks—commonly known as pudding stone—are found mostly below the surface in such areas as Roxbury, Newton, Brookline, Mattapan, West Roxbury, and Dorchester. The land, enormously compressed by the vast accumulation of glacial ice on it, has since been rebounding (rising up) at an extremely gradual rate.

Numerous drumlins (mounds of glacial debris) form low hills in the city and islands that dot the harbour. At the beginning of English settlement in the 17th century, the Shawmut Peninsula was called Trimountain (or Tramount) because of its dominating three-topped hill on the northwest corner near the mouth of the Charles River. Beacon Hill is its only surviving, though greatly reduced, remnant. The other portions were leveled to become landfill that added to the city’s area in the 19th century.

Area of the colonial town

The hilly Shawmut Peninsula, upon which Boston was settled, originally was almost completely surrounded by water. It was connected with mainland Roxbury to the south by a narrow neck of land along the line of present-day Washington Street. To the west of the neck were great reaches of mudflats and salt marshes that were covered by water at high tide and known collectively as the Back Bay. The Charles River flowed through the Back Bay to Boston Harbor and separated the peninsula from the mainland to the north and west. To the east, Town Cove indented Boston’s harbour front and divided the city into the North End and the South End. The centre of the colonial town was at the Old State House (built 1711–47).

Although that original centre and the colonial South End have long been given over to offices and retail stores, a few 18th-century buildings remain: Faneuil Hall (1742–1805), the Old Corner Bookstore (1718), the Old South Meeting House (1729), and King’s Chapel (1750). The North End is the only part of the early town that has remained residential since the 1630 settlement. Colonial survivals such as the Paul Revere House (c. 1680) and Christ Church (1723)—the Old North Church from which lanterns revealed the route of the British march to Lexington in 1775—coexist with the busy life of a traditionally Italian American community.

The long shoreline, only a few minutes’ walk from any part of the peninsula, provided ample space for wharves and shipyards. From the first years of settlement, the shoreline constantly encroached on the harbour as wharves were built and marshy coves were filled. West of the original settlement lay Boston Common, a tract that has remained public open space since its purchase by the town in 1634.

Postcolonial expansion

In the last years of the 18th century, when space in the city became scarce, a series of major changes began to transform the urban landscape. In that period of expansion, the architect Charles Bulfinch, who for more than a quarter of a century was also the head of the town government, skillfully transformed an 18th-century English town into a 19th-century American city. Bulfinch designed the central portion of the present State House (1795–98), above Boston Common on Beacon Hill. The construction of the State House on that site led to the conversion of the upland pastures of Beacon Hill into a handsome residential district that has survived with relatively little change. Between the State House and Charles Street are several streets, including famous Louisburg Square, filled with many houses by Bulfinch and other leading 19th-century architects. The area is protected by historic district legislation and has been designated as the Beacon Hill Historic District.

As pressures of population in the 19th century caused a growing demand for land, hills were leveled to fill in the coves. So much new land was created that the former peninsula became an indistinguishable part of the mainland. Fill on both sides of the narrow neck that connected the peninsula with the mainland created a new South End. The waterfront was greatly extended, and the Back Bay was dammed (1818–21) to create tidal power for new mill sites. A causeway along the dam extended west from Boston Common to Sewall’s Point, the present Kenmore Square, thus furnishing more-direct communication with the mainland. The filling of the Back Bay flats just west of the common created land that in the 1830s was laid out as the Public Garden. That became a splendidly planted area with an artificial pond that is still traversed by swan-shaped excursion boats in the summer.

The Back Bay mill basins never developed as their promoters had envisioned, partly because the construction of railway lines through them in the 1830s hindered the flow of water. The basins became a foul-smelling nuisance, and the Massachusetts legislature in 1857 authorized the filling of that extensive area. The adopted plan provided for four new streets parallel to the Mill Dam (Beacon Street), to be intersected by cross streets. Commonwealth Avenue, running west from the Public Garden and 200 feet (60 metres) wide with a park between its roadways, created the atmosphere of a Parisian boulevard. Since there were no hills left to cut down, gravel had to be brought in by train from pits some distance away in Needham. By the end of the 19th century the Back Bay was completely filled and built up with houses that were subject to uniform height limits and setbacks. The region today presents a picture of American architecture that is as consistent for the second half of that century as Beacon Hill is for the first. Although many Back Bay houses have been converted to apartments, offices, schools, or other uses, the region has retained a good deal of its original character, and further changes are subject to architectural control.

The Emerald Necklace

When the Back Bay was nearing completion during the 1880s, the American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted developed an imaginative large-scale design for the city’s parks. It linked the common, the Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue with Franklin Park south of Roxbury by way of a string of parks—including the Back Bay Fens—that combined water, woods, and meadows along an open park known as the Fenway, which followed the Muddy River between central Boston and Jamaica Plain. Included in that park system, known as the Emerald Necklace, was the Arnold Arboretum, a botanical outpost of Harvard University in Jamaica Plain. About the turn of the 20th century, institutions such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New England Conservatory of Music, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Harvard Medical School and hospitals moved west to locations near the Back Bay Fens. The completion in 1910 of a dam that kept the harbour tides out of the Charles River converted the remaining unfilled portion of the Back Bay into a body of fresh water. The Charles River basin—surrounded by parkland and patterned on the Alster River basin in Hamburg, Germany—remains one of the most handsome, distinctive, and popular features of Boston.

Annexations

With the end of the American Civil War in 1865, large numbers of Boston residents, many of them Irish immigrants, abandoned the congested waterfront districts and moved into the nearby suburbs. Soon many of those new districts sought to annex themselves to the city of Boston in order to obtain such services as water, sewers, schools, hospitals, police security, and fire protection. In 1868 Roxbury became a part of Boston; Dorchester followed two years later; and in 1873 Charlestown, Brighton, and West Roxbury were also annexed. The city’s population jumped from 140,000 in 1865 to 341,000 in a decade—an increase of more than 200,000 people. Once a small community of some 1.2 square miles (3.2 square km) of land, Boston is now nearly 40 times its original size. The new communities, known as neighbourhoods, became parts of the city’s ward system and were populated at first by groups of Irish Americans. Gradually, however, as new ethnic groups moved into Boston after the turn of the 20th century, they usually moved into one neighbourhood or another, making it distinctly their own. In that manner, South Boston and Charlestown were soon identified as distinctly Irish, the North End and East Boston as Italian, the Mattapan district as Jewish, and the Roxbury area as African American. Central Boston continued to be regarded as traditionally Anglo-Saxon Yankee.

The contemporary city

Until the mid-20th century the low skyline of Boston was punctuated only by church steeples and by the Custom House Tower (1915), which, as a federal building, was not bound by the 125-foot (38-metre) height restriction that prevailed generally in the city. Modification of the building code and a construction boom brought about great changes in the 1960s and ’70s, of which the first conspicuous example was the Prudential Center, with a 52-story tower. The first major effort in urban renewal in Boston, initiated early in 1958, led to the wholesale demolition of the West End, the displacement of people, and the disruption of neighbourhoods to make way for the apartment towers of Charles River Park. Unfavourable reaction to the total destruction of such large areas without regard for the feelings of people led the city’s redevelopment authority after 1960 to emphasize renewal rather than demolition and rebuilding. The Government Center, containing the new City Hall completed in 1968, in addition to federal, state, and private office buildings, thereby developed alongside Faneuil Hall and other adjacent historic buildings. Considerable private construction subsequently transformed much of central Boston. The John Hancock Tower, completed in 1976, overtopped the nearby Prudential Tower, while the Christian Science church (Church of Christ, Scientist) sponsored the reconstruction of large blocks of property near the First Church of Christ, Scientist (the Mother Church). Several high-rise office towers went up during the 1970s in Boston’s financial district, and downtown waterfront renewal during the 1960s and ’70s along Atlantic Avenue helped to open up the waterfront for commercial, residential, and recreational use and to preserve buildings of historical and architectural value. During the 1980s and ’90s many of Boston’s older neighbourhoods, most notably the South End, underwent extensive renovation as they drew an increasingly affluent population. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries other neighbourhoods outside the downtown area—many of which formerly had been populated by Irish and Italians—attracted increasing numbers of African American, Latino, and Asian residents.

The narrow and crowded streets of the central city are better suited for walking than driving, for Bostonians are incorrigible jaywalkers. The street markets around Faneuil Hall are as essential a part of the city as ever, while the surrounding modern offices and their workers provide a modern bustle and vitality.

People

Between 1800 and 1900 Boston changed from a relatively simple and ethnically homogeneous seaport of some 24,000 inhabitants (mainly of English ancestry) to a city with a much more diverse population of more than 560,000. The burgeoning of the city’s population during the 19th century was the result of a succession of immigrant waves that increased the total by at least one-fourth in each decade from 1810 to 1900. While the Irish were the most important immigrant group during the 19th century, from the late 1880s through the 1910s Boston also received a new wave of immigrants, mainly from southern and eastern Europe, including Italians and Jews. The traditional Yankee elite, of mainly English origin, remained in the central Boston neighbourhoods of Beacon Hill and Back Bay and dominated many of the city’s economic institutions, while Irish, Italian, Jewish, and other immigrant groups occupied many of the outlying neighbourhoods and gained control over the city’s political life.

Boston’s ethnic patterns changed considerably after World War II with the growth of the city’s African American population. In the early 20th century a relatively small black community was centred in the South End, but between 1940 and 1960 many African Americans migrated from Southern states and occupied portions of Roxbury and Dorchester. From the 1940s through the ’70s many Puerto Ricans arrived in Boston. Beginning in the late 1970s, a renewed wave of immigration brought further changes to the city’s population. Most recently, the largest groups of immigrants came from the Caribbean islands (particularly Haiti), from Central and South America, and from Asia (notably China and Vietnam), and they settled in the city’s outlying neighbourhoods, as descendants of earlier immigrants moved to the suburbs. Ireland is still one of the single largest sources of immigrants, although that trend began slowing and even reversing in the early 21st century, when crackdowns on illegal immigration and stricter enforcement of existing regulations began affecting all immigrant groups.

Economy

Finance and industry

During the 19th century, industrial textile mills and shipbuilding concerns augmented the shipping and commerce that had dominated Boston’s colonial economy. Investments in banking and railroads provided additional sources of wealth, while shipping lost importance during the mid-19th century. Railroad investments and the textile industry dominated the regional economy until the Great Depression of the 1930s, when textile factories moved to the South in search of cheaper labour and raw materials. During World War II Boston’s universities provided a source of scientific and technological talent to war-related industries, and Boston changed from “mill-based” to “mind-based” industries, with major corporations dominating electronics, telecommunications, and digital research. Later, Boston firms took the lead in software design, computer architecture, data processing, and biomedical technologies. Boston banks created high-technology investment companies connected with global financial institutions that made the city a world leader in equity fund management. Boston’s universities remained an important part of the city’s economy, and their medical schools and hospitals gave the city an especially robust health care sector.

Transportation

The Boston Post Road, consisting of three routes, was one of the most heavily traveled of the early roadways. It opened to mail delivery between Boston and New York City in 1673. Today the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority maintains a network of public subway, elevated, and surface lines. The subway system, begun in 1897, was the first in the country.

Some of the Boston region’s other transportation facilities are under state control. The Massachusetts Port Authority, for example, operates Logan International Airport in East Boston—a busy centre for overseas as well as domestic flights—along with several regional airports. The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority supervises the operations of Interstate 90, the highway extending westward from Boston to New York state. The Metropolitan District Commission manages a system of regional parks and roadways.

Boston has not easily accommodated the growth of private automobile and truck traffic, which increasingly chokes the city, especially the narrow and winding downtown streets laid out in colonial times. For decades one of the city’s weakest points in terms of traffic flow was the Central Artery, a six-lane elevated highway opened in 1959 that cut through downtown and isolated neighbourhoods. Increasingly, it became clear that the Central Artery was becoming unable to cope with continually growing vehicular traffic, and a major construction project—the Central Artery/Tunnel Project, commonly called the Big Dig—was begun in 1991. The task involved replacing the elevated highway through the city with an 8-to-10-lane underground expressway, rebuilding bridges, and boring a new tunnel under the harbour; the need to do so without crippling the city’s essential functions and day-to-day life made it one of the most-challenging infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the United States. Major construction on the Big Dig was completed in 2006, providing greater access to the formerly undeveloped South Boston waterfront area. There a newly created Seaport District featured a large convention centre, an international trade centre, the Institute of Contemporary Art, and a series of hotels, restaurants, and residential buildings.

Administration and society

Government

Throughout the colonial period Boston was governed by a town meeting to which representatives of the community were regularly elected. In 1822, after a popular referendum, Boston became a city and acquired a city government. All “fiscal, prudential, and municipal concerns” of the city were vested in the mayor, a committee of eight persons called the Board of Aldermen, and a Common Council of 48 members elected from the various wards of the city.

That system endured until 1909, when a new city charter was approved. The Board of Aldermen was abolished, and the council was reduced in size to nine at-large members. Mayoral elections were put on a nonpartisan basis, and the office of mayor was greatly strengthened by giving the incumbent a four-year term. With minor variations, the system continues to operate.

Boston is unique among the cities in the Bay State for the restrictions that have been placed on its power to manage its own finances and control its own regulatory agencies. In 1909, fearing municipal corruption, the Republican-controlled state legislature placed severe restrictions on local rule. The state created an independent finance commission to oversee the city’s management and budget as well as to control the appointment of the city’s police commissioner and members of the licensing board. Perhaps the most-influential local authority in later years has been the Boston Redevelopment Authority, which directed major urban development projects during the 1960s and ’70s.

Municipal services

During the 19th century Boston organized its fire and police departments, established municipal services to centralize water supplies and safeguard public health, and authorized a public works department to lay out streets and construct roads and bridges. In the 20th century, however, with the rapid expansion of the city and its surrounding urban communities, the Greater Boston area came to depend on various state authorities, commissions, and quasi-public agencies for many vital resources. The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, for example, coordinates the sewer and waterworks system that supplies more than 60 cities and towns in eastern Massachusetts.

Источник: www.britannica.com


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