Looking back at the year that was 2012 in the North End / Waterfront, it is the time of year to list the most popular articles posted on NorthEndWaterfront.com, as measured by Google Analytics. There were over 1,500 posts on the site this year!
Importantly, this list does not necessarily represent the posts that “should” be at the top. As a community site, getting lots of “clicks” is not the primary goal. By design, the neighborhood audience is limited. The most popular posts are often the ones picked up by larger media outlets (thanks Universal Hub and Boston.com). I revel in satisfaction when someone tells me they saw a niche post that encouraged them to get involved or a photo captures a memory. The best feedback is not from the statistics, but when I see how the site connects people with that “village” feeling in this fast-evolving period of change in the North End / Waterfront.
Nonetheless, it is always interesting to take note of what folks find interesting and see the latest trends. For example, there was a lot more interest in photos this year. Public Safety continues to be the most popular general topic, including crime, fires and quality of life issues. In terms of categories, the North End Feasts take the crown as the most popular series of the year. Arts & Culture, Parks and Real Estate/Development were also near the top of the categories list.
Many of the top posts this year did not come from the editor, but were submitted by others in and around the North End / Waterfront. This role of being an aggregator and offering the platform to others in the neighborhood is a long-term priority. Many, many thanks to all the folks that submitted news, photos and events.
Community meetings were the start of this site and are still a dominant part with NEWNC and NEWRA garnering the most overall posts. The Greenway and Italian Culture also were high in terms of number of posts.
My late friend and owner of NorthEndBoston.com, Guild Nichols, was fond of telling me that people just want to know “where to eat and where to park.” It is no surprise then that news of the famous North End restaurants gets attention as does anything related to parking.
Without further adieu, here are your Top NEWF Posts of 2012:
1. North End Waterfront Sees Flooding and Rising Sea Levels During Hurricane Sandy [Photos]
I attribute the popularity of this post to the lead photo of this bearded guy playing music on Long Wharf during Hurricane Sandy. Or maybe, it was an uneasy reminder of that pesky sea level rise.
2. Checking In: “Kitchen Nightmares” TV Show Filming at La Galleria 33 on Salem Street
There is a reason why restaurants volunteer to be on these “Kitchen Nightmares” TV shows … it’s great publicity! In addition to the “checking in” post, here is the Part 1 recap and the Part 2 recap at She Knows. My favorite is Rita’s Halloween costume as the “dropped chicken.”
3. Man Dies From Shooting After Booze Cruise; Collapses on Greenway Across from Rowes Wharf
This shooting on the Greenway received shockingly little attention from the Boston metro papers after a bad crowd came off a late night booze cruise at Rowes Wharf. One Boston Police officer said he had never seen a scene so bad in downtown Boston with the extensive blood and dozens of gunshot holes on the scene.
4. Blue Angels Fly Over USS Constitution and Tall Ships for War of 1812 Bicentennial on 4th of July [Photos]
The War of 1812 Bicentennial commemoration on the 4th of July showed the city and Boston Harbor at its best. Add to it the Blue Angels, Tall Ships, Navy Seal “Leap Frogs” along with the USS Constitution underway in the harbor … a true photographer’s dream. Here are some additional posts from that week.
- Photo Gallery of Leap Frogs, USS Constitution and Blue Angels – 4th of July
- Tall Ships & More in Boston Harbor [Photos]
- U.S. Navy Seals Parachute Team “Leap Frogs” Into North End’s Puopolo Park
5. Four Alarm Fire on Cooper Street Tuesday Night; One Transported to Hospital
The North End hasn’t seen a fire as bad as this one in a long time. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt thanks to the quick response of Boston Fire and residents that caught a woman jumping from a window.
6. Gas Grills on North End Roof Decks; Photos Reveal Hazardous, Illegal Use
This public safety story on illegal rooftop gas grills brought a lot of feedback, both positive and negative, along with a threat to smash my camera! It was picked up by WBZ-TV and the Globe in an editorial.
7. Anthony DiNunzio, Boss of New England La Cosa Nostra, Arrested at Gemini Social Club on North End’s Endicott Street
When the acting boss of the New England La Cosa Nostra gets taken away by the Feds from a neighborhood social club … well, it’s big news.
8. Exciting Waterfront Living Opportunity at Lewis Wharf!
These photos by David Arnold struck a nerve that something is changing in waterfront real estate.
9. Police Respond to 911 Call to Break Up Hundreds of Out-of-Town Teens at Prado
The story by Jodi Piazza of an out-of-control night scene on the Prado.
10. Take the Knife, Leave the Cannoli
Under the heading, “you can’t make this stuff up!”
- $1000 North End Bro Pad, Unofficial Roof Access, 420 Friendly, Rowdy on Weekends, All in Good Fun
- Zombie Drug User Creates Scene at Nazzaro Center
- Party Photos: “Blazers & Baubles” Comes to Battery Wharf to Benefit the Zack Heger Foundation
- Resident Uproar Over Dog Caca on North End Baseball Fields & Parks
What’s ahead for 2013? Well, that’s another post, but it’s safe to say that I take my cues from the folks that comment and send in feedback. Will the Forum make a comeback? Will I change the theme, again? Will the site get faster or slower? How will anonymous commenting work out? Will I sleep? I have more ideas than time, but there are some surprises on the horizon. As always, I love your comments below or sent in privately with ideas and feedback.
Thanks to all the contributors and readers of NorthEndWaterfront.com for a great year of neighborhood “news & views.” Here’s to an even better 2013!
Matt Conti, Editor