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(Some people worry about government surveillance and loss of privacy. But, one North End family is literally facing a more imminent threat.)

Renato Climaco holds the distinction of being the earliest riser among his neighbors on Copp’s Hill. From a Hull Street apartment, he greets the sunrise through his living room window overlooking the ancient elms which tower above the burying ground

Recently Mr. Climaco has greeted more than a panoramic view. It seems that a red tail hawk has appropriated the family’s wrought-iron fire escape as a sentinel perch to scan the 1 ½ acre Freedom Trail site for creatures, both winged and furry, which inhabit the trees and subterraneum burrows beneath the gravestones. First it was rabbits, then pigeons, now squirrels and who-knows-what. This raptor’s fierce appetite and hunting skills has caught the attention of Copp’s Hill residents who have named the hawk ‘Diana’ after the Roman goddess of the hunt.

The Climaco family is not about to throw open the windows for a little fresh air while Diana is at her post since she has begun to eyeball the interior occupants who have been unnerved by such scrutiny. Perhaps the bird is just searching for a flat-screen to catch an episode of Wild Kingdom on the Nature Channel.

(From Boston’s North End, Thomas F. Schiavoni writes about neighborhood life and city living)

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12 COMMENTS

  1. The other day ‘Diana’ came in for a landing on a building ledge across the street. Charter Street next to Slye Park. When these guys are in flight, they are HUGE — the wing span — looked like a piper cub ! Once perched, she was majestic.

  2. What a beautiful sight! The bird and the view on Copps Hill Cemetery. We use to call the “Slye Park” the Slide Park when we were young.

  3. Wow That Red Tail Hawk was perched on a fire escaped on 131 Endicott St I took a picture of Dianna but i didn’t know how to zoom in Great story Ranato! And yes we called the park Slide Park i think every teenager hung up there at some point

  4. A scene from the movie “The Thomas Crown Affair” starring Steve Mcqueen & Faye Dunaway was filmed in “Slide Park” you could read the name “Canary” painted on the stone wall.

  5. Michael, I remember that. It was in 1968. My cousin Frankie Tranghese was in the movie playing stickball with other kids. I remember Canary too!

  6. Hi Michae. That’s my cousin. He lives at the Michaelangelo School apartments. Yes I remember the scene on Salem St. I’ve seen the movie a lot. Especially because my cousin was in it.

    • Joyce, that’s good to hear about Carl so many of my other childhood friends and acquaintances are gone. The film is shown on Turner Classic Movies [TCM] from time to time.

  7. Mr Climaco, enjoy your view. I too enjoyed that view many (many) years ago from my Snow Hill Street bedroom, directly opposite the Prince Hall monument with a clear view of my future Jr High School (Michaelangelo). It was one of the few views in the North End with grass and trees.

  8. Vincent. You must remember the Prince Hall Masons annual service to honor him. They would put a wreath on his tomb. My cousins and I use to spy on them . They would be dressed up in all their regalia.

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