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Top Posts of 2016 on

One of the few snow storms of 2016 was in February, shown here from above the Gassy (DeFilippo Playground) in Boston’s North End. (Photo by Matt Conti)

It’s that time of year to take a minute and reflect on the top stories of 2016 on We published 1,356 articles over the past year. These are the posts that received the most views:

1. North End Nursing Home & Rehab Center to Close Leaving Elderly and Families in Lurch
The 140-bed North End Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center owned by Partners Healthcare is planning to close. Residents and families were notified of plans to sell the property, operated by Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. News of the closure outraged many North End and Downtown Boston families as they are concerned for their loved ones who live and receive nursing care at the facility. We hear negotiations with a new operator are going well and there is hope that early 2017 will bring good news to keep the nursing home open. See the latest nursing home updates here.

2. Mary Fiumara [Prince Pasta TV Mother] Passes Away at 88
Mary Fiumara of Boston’s North End, famous for her “Anthony! Anthony!” in the original Prince Pasta commercial, passed away at age 88 on Tuesday, February 2nd. The TV classic first aired in 1969 with Anthony Martignetti. Playing Anthony’s mother, Mary Fiumara shouted out a window on Powers Court.

3. Mark Cuban’s (?) Mega-Yacht “Fountainhead” Drops Anchor in Boston
The 288-foot mega-yacht, Fountainhead, arrived in town on Friday, July 8th, docking at Boston Yacht Haven on the North End waterfront.  Yes, it does have a basketball hoop with a glass backboard mounted over the large rear deck. It’s owner is Mark Cuban, according to several media sources (but maybe not).

4. Joe Boncore Wins State Senate Race for First Suffolk & Middlesex District
Joseph Boncore won the State Senate race for the First Suffolk & Middlesex District in a special election after the seat was left open by the resignation of Anthony Petruccelli. The district includes Boston’s North End / Waterfront, Beacon Hill, East Boston as well as Revere, Winthrop and parts of Cambridge.

5. Missing Person/Death: Zachary Marr Last Seen Outside “Bell in Hand” Bar
Zach Marr, 22, was last seen outside of the Bell in Hand bar in the area of Union Street, Boston. His body was found about a month later in the Charles River. Marr was visiting Boston from Harvard, Mass.

6. Military Helicopters Flying Low Along Waterfront and Downtown Boston [Video]
Military helicopters performed Homeland Security training exercises over downtown Boston, flying literally feet over building rooftops. We captured some of the fast moving action in this video.

7. Drunken Crapper Leaves Apology Note and $50 Dunkin’ Gift Card
A load of human feces was found by workers on scaffolding around a North End home. The following day, an apology note was found with all the glorious details of a drunken escapade. The note came complete with a $50 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card.

8. Boston’s Archaeologist Discovers Trove of Artifacts at Old North Church
A trove of artifacts was recovered from a dig at the Washington Garden at the Old North Church. The artifacts revealed a snapshot of English, Irish, Jewish, and Italian immigrant life in the mid to late 1800s, including ceramic pottery, children’s toys, and a clay tobacco pipe with an Irish shamrock design.

9. Heart of Saint Padre Pio Greeted by Thousands in Boston’s North End
The heart of Saint Padre Pio was presented in Boston’s North End, under heavy security, as thousands waited in line for a glimpse of the major relic at St. Leonard Church. This was the first time a relic of St. Pio of Pietrelcina has left Italy.

10. North End’s Prince the Cat Dies
Prince the Cat, 6, of Boston’s North End passed away in March. Prince was the resident cat at Prince Postale and the informal ambassador to the visitors from all over the world who walked the Freedom Trail. Prince is memorialized in digital form through an Old North Church tour app and his owner, John Sullivan pens this special remembrance post.

Honorable mentions for most views in certain categories:


Restaurants & Businesses:

Love It or Leave It Series:


Can’t get enough? Our archives are always available and searchable by category and tag.

My endless thanks to the dozens of prolific contributors for their thoughtful articles and commentaries this year. In addition, I appreciate the submissions by our terrific community groups, schools, businesses, cultural and health organizations. I am grateful for the work they do on behalf of the neighborhood and for sharing their activities with us here on the site.

We have a growing set of sponsors on the newsletter and our visitor directory at The positive response to our call for patrons has been very encouraging. Your ongoing contributions help cover our expenses and we value the support by our most loyal readers. (If you care to become a patron now, you can sign up online here.)

If you’re not already receiving our email newsletter, you can do that here. And, if you get your news via social media, be sure to join our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

I am always looking for constructive feedback on the site. If you have ideas or interest in writing for, please leave a comment below or contact me.

That’s a wrap on 2016! Thank you to all the contributors and readers of for a great year. Sincere best wishes for a happy and healthy 2017!

Matt Conti, Editor

5 Replies to “Top Posts of 2016 on

  1. Thank you Matt for all the time you give to keeping us posted on Everything happening in our North End !

    Happy New Year!

  2. Matt:

    Thanks for all you do for the North End Community, your support and care for the North End is unwavering. North End is a tremendous resource for the community. As a member of many non-profits in the neighborhood I truly appreciate being able to post our events, stories, photos and our requests for support. Thanks so much.

    I hope 2017 will be a great year with many good things to post! Also, your photos are amazing, keep up the good work – it is very much appreciated.

    Happy New Year


  3. Thank you Matt,

    The work you put into your website to keep us informed is very much appreciated.

    Happy and Healthy 2017.

    Ci vediamo 2016! Anno horribilis!

  4. Matt: Thank you for keeping us informed with your classy newspaper ! First site I log onto in the a.m. Happy New Year !

Comments are closed.