Community Featured

Top Reads: Ten Most Popular Posts of 2017!

St Anthony’s Feast Sunday Procession, August 2017. Photo credit: Matt Conti.

It’s that time of year when we look back on the past twelve months to remember good times, reflect on hardships, and set goals for the future. Here at, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on our most popular posts from 2017.

We published 1,806 articles over the past year! Here are the ones that received the most views.

1. Hundreds of Teens Swarm North End / Waterfront Streets and Parks

This summer saw an increase in groups of teenagers causing disturbances in the North End, specifically during the weekend feasts. Large groups of teens were seen congregating at the Commercial Street ball fields, Langone Park, Gassy / DeFilippo Playground, Sargent’s Wharf and Christopher Columbus Park.

Boston police and state troopers patrolled the neighborhood, dispersing crowds and making arrests for underage drinking, disorderly conduct and trespassing. The majority of teens arrested were not North End residents, but from out of town. The youths appeared at juvenile court and were sentenced to complete community service, write essays, and stay away from the North End.

2. Tall Ships Visit Boston for Sail Boston 2017

On June 17, 2017 Sail Boston kicked off with the Grand Parade of Sail as more than fifty majestic sailing vessels from around the globe were led by US Coast Guard Barque Eagle into Boston Harbor. The parade was just the beginning of five days of nautical festivities including re-enactments, musical performances, ceremonies and daily free public boarding of the ships. Boston Police and other officials enforced marathon-like security in and around the harbor to ensure a safe and enjoyable time for everyone. Relive the excitement through this photo gallery.

3. Lydia Edwards Wins Election for District 1 City Council Seat

In a hard fought race for the District 1 City Council seat, East Boston resident Lydia Edwards took the win over Stephen Passacantilli of the North End. The race began with three top contenders back in June – Edwards, Margaret Farmer, and Passacantilli. In a tight preliminary election, Passacantilli narrowly topped Edwards, making them the two final candidates for the District 1 City Council seat. Both candidates received many endorsements and appeared at several local meetings, including this North End forum. In the end, Edwards won out with 52.7% of the votes. Edwards, filling the seat being vacated by Sal LaMattina, will begin her term in January.

4. An Illegal Deck: No Peace at the Peace Garden

Beginning in late spring, second floor residents at 326-328 Hanover Street started making regular appearances on an illegal deck above the St. Leonard’s Peace Garden. Local residents and parishioners became increasingly annoyed by these individuals disturbing the serenity of the garden. Complaints made to the Boston Inspectional Services Department proved futile. The illegal deck was then discussed at the July neighborhood council meeting, and Boston Police and Fire departments were alerted. Officials from these departments spoke with the residents, and the deck chairs were removed. Council member Michael Bonetti, credited the article on for bringing attention to the situation.

5. Major Fire Kills Two Residents on Hanover Street

A three-alarm fire claimed two lives at 282 Hanover Street on Thanksgiving Eve morning. Boston Fire Department said they responded about 1:00am to flames coming out the windows at the five story building, near the Parmenter Street intersection. It was later determined the fire was caused by careless use of smoking materials. This fire prompted Boston’s North End Fire Marshall Dep. Chief Jack Dempsey to present at the December neighborhood council meeting on important fire safety procedures. Dempsey also detailed the cause of the deadly fire at the Residents’ Association Meeting.

6. Super Yacht Watch: All 315 Feet of “Vava II” Docks in Boston

At 318 feet (97 meters), the yacht Vava II made quite an impression when it arrived in Boston Harbor in July. It is estimated to cost $150 million and is owned by Swiss-Italian billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli and his wife, Kirsty. Vava II was one of a few massive yachts to make an appearance in Boston this summer. The Excellence V was docked at Boston Yacht Haven on Commercial Wharf over Memorial Day weekend, and the 305-foot Mayan Queen IV made an appearance in early September.

7. North End Cycle Track Is Finally Complete!

The North End cycle track generated tremendous controversy among residents over the past year(s). The removal of the brick sidewalks along Atlantic Avenue made many locals upset, and individuals also cited concerns including poor sight lines around curves and driveways, loss of resident street parking, and inadequate drainage. City officials said they would not do any immediate rework, other than to add new signs and increase enforcement. Connect Historic Boston project manager Kay Barned-Smith responded to these concerns through public meetings and construction updates. Now that the cycle track is complete, we hope our reader poll proves true that people will use it!

8. North End Christmas Parade – Canceled, Then Saved!

The North End Christmas Parade was about to take a year off in 2017 as longtime NEAA volunteer Robert “Teddy” Tomasone retired. Fortunately, the NEAA and a group of locals came together to save Santa’s trip to the North End this year! Santa arrived by helicopter and led a short parade to the Steriti Skating Rink for the Santa Skate Toy Drive. Relive the fun through this photo gallery.

9. What’s Inside the Tomb? Old North Opens Crypt Vault After 105 Years

On October 24, 2017, Boston City Archeologist Joe Bagley and Funerary Archeologist Jane Rousseau examined one of the 37 tombs in the Old North Church Crypt. Bagley and Rousseau examined the inside of the tomb and door, looking at the contents of the tomb and how best to recover the tombs during future restoration. This is in preparation of the 2018 restoration work that will take place in the crypt as part of Old North 300, a campaign to restore and preserve the Old North Church & Historic Site. Prior to this opening of the vault, Bagley oversaw digging in the under the walkways that surround the tombs back in March. See photos of their findings!

10. Inner Harbor Ferry Could Connect Lovejoy Wharf, Eastie, Charlestown, Long Wharf, Fan Pier and More

MassDOT and Boston Harbor Now are working with the Seaport Economic Council on a short list for new or expanded ferry service. The ferry short list consists of twelve final sites, down from an original 3,689 ideas and a more narrowed down list of 30 sites that were shared at the Water Transportation Open House in November. A possible inner harbor circulator could connect North Station, Charlestown, Eastie, Logan Airport, the Seaport and Downtown wharves. Business plans for the top three sites will be completed in the spring. The inner harbor ferry expansion is one of several projects in the Go Boston 2030 plan.

There you have it, the top ten stories from 2017! Many other articles received a high number of views, so let’s recognize them as well with some honorable mentions by category:


Police & Fire

Real Estate & Property


  • This year saw the retirement of columnist Karen Cord Taylor, who we gratefully thank for all her Downtown View contributions over the years.
  • Nick Dello Russo’s columns continue to be one of the most popular features on the site. Catch up with Life on the Corner.
  • This year, we were also happy to add several well-received columns from Nicole Romano Cinneli. 

To see even more posts, you can always search our archives by category and tag. Make sure you don’t miss anything in 2018 by signing up to receive our email newsletter. And, if you get your news via social media, be sure to join our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

As always, thanks for reading, and Happy New Year!