Oliver Wendell Holmes called it "The Hub of the Universe." It has also been deemed "The Athens of America." To many it is known as "Beantown." Whatever name you choose, Boston is a unique city that has played a major role in the American experience.
Boston is a city of history, of neighborhoods, of education. Our nation's oldest major city, Boston is a city of industry and finance, and a city of firsts. Boston is the city where we "pahk the caah" and love our "chowdah." World famous for its medical centers, Boston is also a city of seasons, where every spring is a time of hope eternal for the beloved Red Sox, until reality sets in with the chill of autumn and the call becomes "wait until next year."
The streets of this old city are winding and narrow, and many of them are one-way, which adds to the charm of the city. It also makes driving in Boston a memorable experience. If you miss a turn and plan to circle the block to get back, you may see why it is rumored that the expression "You can't get there from here" originated in Boston. The parallel block you are expecting to find may not exist. Add the Big Dig project to the mix and mastering the roads of "The Hub." can be a feat of distinction. Boston has the oldest subway and bus system in America, the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority). A ride on the MBTA or to the locals "The T," is an adventure visitors to Boston should try. There is also numerous taxi and limousine services as well as several bus tours and duck tours.
To get a sense of the history and the neighborhoods of Boston, follow the red line on the sidewalk of the Freedom Trail. Starting at the Boston Common Visitor Center on Tremont Street, the 2.5 mile walking path takes you on a journey back to the birthplace of the American Revolution. The trail connects 16 historical sites winding through Beacon Hill, The North End and Charlestown. Able-bodied people of all ages can easily do the walk on their own, or take a guided tour hosted by costumed characters like James Otis or Abigail Adams. You can also enjoy the Freedom Trail on a trolley tour or travel between the landmarks on the MBTA.
The Boston area offers a wide scope of business opportunities. International corporations as diverse as Gillette, Fidelity Investments, and Polaroid make their corporate homes in Boston. From biotech to healthcare, from education to hospitality, or from finance to technology, the city and state have many programs to help create a friendly atmosphere for doing business in Boston.
For new or existing businesses needing assistance or support, the city's Office of Business Development provides resources to help them succeed. The Office of Business Development also supports Boston Main Streets, a program working to help revitalize commercial districts in the neighborhoods. The small businessman can access city resources through the Boston Empowerment Center. The city also has partnerships with lending institutions, and state and federal agencies through the City of Boston Technical Assistance Partners.
More than 250,000 students attend college in Boston and Cambridge. Thousands more attend the colleges in the surrounding suburbs. Many of these students choose to settle in Boston which gives employers a tremendous talent pool. There are many employment resources available to those hiring and for those seeking employment in Boston. The leading fields of employment in Boston are life sciences, health care, biotech, commercial construction, and banking. There are private employment agencies focused for specific industries, and many agencies for general employment. There are also government agencies such as the Massachusetts Division of Employment and Training which provides unemployment insurance, job training, and assistance in job searches. The Boston Job Bank and Bostonhire.com are samples of the many on-line sites for job seekers.
The founding of Harvard University, the first college in America in 1636, and the first public school, Boston Latin a year earlier, planted the seeds for the Boston area to develop into a world renowned center for higher education. Along with high profile universities such as Boston College, Boston University, MIT, and Northeastern University, there is a school for everyone in Boston. There are art, music, and architecture schools, as well as medical and research institutions. There are two year colleges, technical schools, UMASS Boston and the state community college system, and many others.
What separates Boston from other college towns is its intimacy. Each college has its own identity, but each is also a part of a huge energized college community. With the beaches and mountains of New England close by, students have access to great getaways, as well as living in a world class cosmopolitan city.
Boston has been called the biggest small town in America. More than 600,000 people, plus the student population reside in Boston's twenty neighborhoods. From South Boston to East Boston (Southie and Eastie to locals), from Roslindale to the Back Bay, each neighborhood is a distinct, individual community. The neighborhoods are diverse in their ethnic make up and income levels, but they all share from the benefits of city services, parks, hospitals, and the MBTA. Although Boston can be provincial, the variety of its neighborhoods enriches the experience and culture of the city. An understanding of Boston's neighborhoods is valuable knowledge for those who are finding a place to live.
The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald real estate sections are good resources for finding a place to live. The Boston Housing Authority (BHA) which operates 64 developments, is good place to begin, for those of low or moderate income. Of the many internet resources, bostonrealestate.com is a full purpose site with links for virtually every aspect of the industry. There are listings for homes, apartments, and brokers, as well financing and legal information for residential and commercial properties.
There is sports and then there is Boston sports. The city is rich in tradition, and high in passions regarding its professional sports teams. The storied Boston Red Sox in quest for their first World Series Championship since 1918, won the first ever World Series in 1903. Since 1912, the Red Sox have played in historic Fenway Park. The Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League were the first American based professional hockey team. In the Bruins rich history some of the greatest names in hockey have worn their black and gold. The Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association have won the most World Championships (16) in league history. The Celtics revolutionized the game of professional basketball in the 1950's. The youngest of the four Boston major sport teams, The New England Patriots of the NFL played in the first game of the old AFL. The Patriots reached the apex when they stunned the football world by upsetting the St. Louis Rams in the 2002 Superbowl. The future appears bright for the Patriots with the opening of beautiful Gillette Stadium in Foxboro in 2002. Gillette Stadium also is the home of the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer.
Of course, when talking about a Boston sports tradition, the Boston Marathon needs mention. The nations oldest, and most coveted marathon, it has been a Patriots Day tradition for more than a century. Boston has college sports at every level, highlighted with the Beanpot Hockey Tournament, and in the fall, thousands of rowers visit Boston for the Head of the Charles Regatta.
For patrons of the arts, the Boston area has a large and varied selection of museums. There is also Symphony Hall, the home of the incomparable Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops. Boston is home to theater, dance, and the opera. The Boston Public Library is the nations first.
Whether you live in Boston, or are student, or a tourist, it is an exciting and stimulating city. It is linked to its history, but moving ahead to the future. It is provincial, yet it is a place with a rich tradition of international commerce and immigrants. It is a city of passion and a city of intellect. There is something for everyone in Boston. Experience it.