Boston is a multicultural, extremely diverse metropolis composed of people from all corners of the world. This is what makes Boston great: the youthful, always progressing spirit that is brought from foreign cultures. Here you can find new and interesting events sponsored by the communities of these cultures. This post will explore the different communities and neighborhoods that bring variety to this thrilling city.
1. Easton Boston, Latin Community: The heart of Boston’s Hispanic community is located in East Boston, thanks to its high representation of various Latin American countries, such as El Salvador, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, & Peru. Latinos comprise approximately 53% of this neighborhood. Filled with food venues, cultural centers, beaches, and parks, there’s so much to do.
Veronica Robles Cultural Center hosts many traditional and dance events. You can check out more information for these events here at the center’s website. Among the coast of public beaches, Constitution Beach is one of Boston’s more popular, located in Orient Heights on the blue line. Near the Maverick T stop on the west end of East Boston, Piers Park overlooks the Boston Harbor, giving beautiful views to those who visit this recreational waterfront park.
With so much to do in this corner of Boston, why wouldn’t you want to enjoy the Latin experience?
2. North End, Italian Community: The North End of Boston is infamously known as this city’s Little Italy with 30% of its residents being of Italian heritage. It is Boston’s oldest neighborhood, as is exemplified with its historical attractions such as the Paul Revere House and the Freedom Trail.
Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, and the Harbor Walk are just a short walk away, making plans for an eventful day in the North End very convenient. There are also tons of parks, cafes, bakeries, restaurants, shops, and places for activity, like a comedy club and ice rink! In addition to activity centers, the real attractions to this neighborhood are its religious feasts held on the weekends in the summertime.
Hanover Street, the main street, floods with hundreds of tourists and locals alike who participate in these parades. You will never tire of this Mediterranean inspired community with all it has to offer. And as the North End’s tourism website prompts, “...Where else can you get a caffe latte, an Italian newspaper, an American history lesson, a great dinner and a moonlit harbor side serenade all in the evening? Nowhere else but in Boston’s North End.”
3. Chinatown - Chinese Community: Boston’s Chinatown is the third biggest Chinatown in the whole United States. Walk through the front gates, which are protected by two large guardian lions, to a place where visitors and residents alike celebrate the rich culture through its “history, tradition, excitement, gifts, culture, and great food,” according to Boston’s Chinatown website.
As far as cuisine goes, there are bakeries, food vendors, and restaurants that are authentically delicious. Personally, the dim sum service in this neighborhood is the most awe inspiring experience for a visitor. Hei La Moon is a restaurant located on Beach St. just a few minutes from the Chinatown T stop. You will be impressed by all the hot, fresh food flying around you in carts, so be sure to check this gem out when you’re visiting!
In addition to great food and shops, this is the hub for all Chinese holidays and festivals. A very important holiday in the Chinese tradition is the August Moon Festival.
Every year in the middle of August the streets of Chinatown are bubbling with dancers, artists, and musicians reflecting on the importance of the moon. The festival lasts from 10am to about 5pm, so be prepared for an all day celebration! And don’t forget, the Chinese New Year falls on Thursday, February 19th this year; you better believe it will be quite the celebration.
4. South Boston (Southie) - Irish Community: Although South Boston’s population is culturally diverse with its residents, a strong presence is represented by the Irish community. This booming neighborhood is teeming with “Southie Pride” during the month of March when they host their annual South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
In the summertime, Castle Island, a twenty two acre park and beach, is a spectacular, relaxing recreational area to check out. To visit from GEOS Languages Plus, you can take the #7 bus to Castle Island where you can enjoy the waterside, beach front, recreational space, famous food shack and the noteworthy Fort Independence, a five-pointed granite, Revolutionary War-era fort. Just keep in mind, the fort is open during the summer months and you can explore independently or take a free tour.
If you are more the museum type, you will never go bored in this section of Boston. Home to the Children’s Museum, the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, Boston Fire Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art, and even public art exhibits (both temporary and permanent), Southie has everything you could ask for!
5. Cambridge/Somerville - Brazilian Community: Portuguese American and Brazilian American families are prominent in the Northern Cambridge and Somerville areas. Their community builds a section of Boston that is filled with delicious foods and pastries, religious centers, and festivals that celebrate these vibrant cultures of the world. Located in Somerville there is a Brazilian Center that caters to the needs of immigrants and residents of the neighborhood. You can check out their website here.
Also language exchanges are held at the Intercambio Language and Culture Exchange thanks to the Somerville Arts Council in case you miss the beautiful language of Portuguese or just want to meet up with other Brazilians. Lastly, if you’re craving a pastel de nata or desire deliciously sweet brigadeiros, the bakeries and vendors on Cambridge Street will surely not disappoint.