Italy Magazine features Boston’s North End in its series Where to Find Italy in America. The article discusses the neighborhood as a destination for Italian culture, including the annual feasts, as well as the restaurants and residential community.
The most obvious way to see the area’s Italian roots is by the large number of Italian restaurants, cafés and grocery stores lining the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare, Hanover Street. And food is probably the main attraction for those visiting the area (besides the fact that part of the famous Freedom Trail traverses the North End). But beyond the food, Boston’s North End can still be considered an Italian neighborhood for the number of Italians, both old-timers and newcomers, calling it home, and the leadership role they maintain in the community.
Interviewed is James Pasto from the North End Historical Society and Boston University Professor.
Italian Americans make up between 15% and 20% of the population living in the neighborhood today, and still play a leadership role in the community. “They still consider it their neighborhood,” Pasto says. While the real estate skyrocketing prices have pushed many residents out, causing some resentment, the newcomers have mostly been respectful of the community they found, which helped preserve its qualities. “They want to live in an Italian neighborhood,” says Boston University professor James Pasto, an expert on the history of the North End and a co-founder of the North End Historical Society. “They don’t want to change it too much.”
Pasto shared the recently released documentary, Boston’s North End: An Italian American Story, with the author. Also quoted is former North End resident, Mary Tedesco, a host on PBS TV series Genealogy Roadshow.
“Italian-Americans are fortunate to have the North End in Boston,” Tedesco adds. “It’s living history for our Italian community here. The Italian pride in neighborhood comes alive during Feast season in the summertime. It is wonderful that so many dedicated Italian-Americans have kept these traditions alive – honoring our Italian ancestors and the rich cultural history of Boston’s North End.”
Read the full article at Italy Magazine for more neighborhood history and some recent Italian additions, including I AM BOOKS, the new North Street bookstore and event space co-founded by Nicola Orichuia and Jim Pinzino. The piece concludes with the always controversial “favorite places to eat” survey by Pasto, Tedesco and Orichuia.