One View of North End Living

Returning from travel, I am always glad when my plane touches down at Logan. I have loved living in the North End these past 30 years. I have known why from the start but the 70 inches of snow in the last two weeks, with much more on the way, has driven the point home to me yet again.

I don’t need a car when I step outside my front door. I know my neighbors and they know me. When you see someone on the street you know, you stop, say hello, and pass a pleasant moment. When you shop, it is with merchants you know. Shopping here, as in many European cities, is often done on a daily basis and in a neighborhood where you live. This makes shopping more a social event like visiting a friend. You can’t achieve the same experience in suburbia when restricted to a car and your shopping is done at a mall or in a box store.

Everything we could possibly need, including emergency medical services, is present within the North End. We are not limited in our shopping selections as there are multiple bakeries, butcher shops, tailors, wine merchants, barbers, cleaners, convenience stores, hardware stores, salumerias, panetterias, fresh seafood and sushi offerings, chic clothing stores, banks, and two very cool, high end, custom hat and accessory stores. One has a variety of options to select from within a particular shopping category.

We have a store dedicated to green grocer items, fresh herbs, along with fresh fruit and pasta. Another store caters to spice needs, nuts, tea, coffee, dried herbs and candies. We have a choice of pharmacies but are even more fortunate to have one which is not a chain store and has been family operated for many years. A pillar in our community, this pharmacy enjoys the support and trust of the entire community.

We have local craftsmen who can service all condo, apartment or building construction or repair needs. They will put on a new roof for you or repair the door latch leading to the roof. This is a small community where a service reputation is valued so performance tends to be good.

We have churches that remain open during the day. Two Catholic churches are open all or a good portion of the day and a third offers daily morning services. The Old north Church is open daily as a historic building but it is also an active Episcopal parish where people are welcome to enter and pray. If you would like to visit a church, you will find one available in the North End.

The North End Branch of the Boston Public Library is very popular with the young mothers and their children as well as the senior crowd. However, their programs reach out to the entire community. You can always stop by the local fire station and say hello. They are great with kids who have never seen a fire engine up close and personal. Our local parks are superlative. They are well supported by volunteer groups and function as great respites for North End residents and visitors all year long.

With the winter we are having, take a moment and reflect on how lucky we are to live in such a great neighborhood. It is within Tom Brady’s football throwing range to the heart of downtown Boston, one of America’s most loved and walk friendly cities. We have it all! Rejoice in that thought during these next blizzards. We have the MBTA (most of the time) so park the car and leave it until spring.