Bonding With Boston | Nat Geo Traveller India

Bonding With Boston

As winter turned to summer, a new resident in the city’s North End neighbourhood grew to embrace its historic and lively character and colour. | By Satya Kandala  
North End’s architecture pops with bright brick buildings. Photo By: Jon Bilous/ Shutterstock

I moved to Boston from the overtaxed shores of California on an icy Thanksgiving day in 2020.

My new address was North End, a historic neighbourhood in the city and, on my first day, the streets were deserted and my apartment felt like an ice box. As I hauled many suitcases up several flights of rickety stairs with the help of a friend, I noticed a plaque outside my building that said that John F. Kennedy’s mother, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, was born in the same building. “And looks like it hasn’t been renovated since,” I joked to my friend, as I tried to make the old stove in the apartment work.

North End is among the oldest residential communities in Boston, swarming with European inhabitants, especially Italian -Americans, who have made it their home since the 1630s. The next morning, I spied older Italian gentlemen half-hanging out of their windows, watching the garbage truck closely, a routine that would repeat every Thursday and Monday mornings. My apartment stands on the Freedom Trail, a 5.95 kilometre-long path in Boston that connects 16 significant American landmarks. Down the street is the house of Paul Revere, hero of the American Revolution and eminent silversmith. As I settled into life within my Boston pandemic bubble, Thanksgiving blew past and Christmas was here; vaccines were still months away but my house was now chiming with regular visits from old friends and new faces.


This feature appeared in the print edition of National Geographic Traveller India November-December 2021.

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