Commentaries

Open Letter to Mayor Walsh on the Proposed St. Leonard Rectory Conversion

By Thomas F. Schiavoni, Saint Leonard Church parishioner A variance request by Epsilon Partners for 6 to 8 luxury condominium units at the former Saint Leonard Rectory on North Bennet Street has met with significant neighborhood resistance, including votes in opposition by the Residents’ Association (NEWRA) and Neighborhood Council (NEWNC). The City of Boston Board Read More…

Commentaries

Copp’s Hill Moment: Pandemics and Graveyards

The three-month closure of Boston’s parks and cemeteries during the covid-19 outbreak led to the remarkable reappearance of Copp‘s Hill in its natural state. They’re gone now, likely never to reappear — wildflowers and meadow grass swaying gently in the harbor breezes on the lower slopes of an ancient graveyard. During the three-month shutdown of Read More…

Commentaries People

Copp’s Hill Moment: Remembering Grandma

Natalie McGee, mother of North End resident Mary McGee, recently passed away at the age of 94 in Long Branch, New Jersey. Her son-in-law affectionately recalls Natalie’s adventures as a sometime visitor to her daughter’s fourth-floor walk-up in a former tenement atop Copp’s Hill. The girl from Jersey City has gone away, leaving behind a bouquet of memories as Read More…

Commentaries

Op-Ed: Dock Square Garage Proposal: Out of Sight, Out of Their Minds

Judging from several recent articles and columns that have flushed online trolls from their subterranean dwellings, there has been much interest and controversy stirred up by the Boston Planning and Development Agency’s (BPDA aka BRA) approval of a pricey 220,000 square-foot, 14-story commercial and residential structure to replace the existing parking garage at Dock Square that houses the Hard Read More…

Community Featured Police & Fire

Conviction and Stay-Away Order Issued for Serial Thief of North End Churches

The office of the District Attorney of Suffolk County has announced the entry of a guilty plea, conviction and sentencing of serial thief Richard Shiner by the Boston Municipal Court (BMC) on multiple counts of trespass, larceny and vandalism in local houses of worship, including St. Leonard and Sacred Heart Churches in the North End. Read More…

Commentaries Featured Real Estate

EXTINCTION EVENTS AND AIRBNB: There Goes the Neighborhood

Commentary by Thomas F. Schiavoni A recent tidal wave of short-term rentals on platforms such as Airbnb are flooding Boston’s housing market and stirring up intense debate over legislation proposed by the Mayor’s Office. The North End and adjacent neighborhoods are nearing the tipping point of an ‘extinction event’. Earth scientists use this term to Read More…

Commentaries Community Featured

AN ILLEGAL DECK: No Peace at the Peace Garden

(An illegal deck, installed a few feet above the statues and flowers of the Peace Garden at Saint Leonard Church on Hanover Street, has eradicated the serenity of a sanctuary cherished by North Enders and visitors from around the world.) If asked to identify a special place in the neighborhood where one can momentarily escape Read More…

Commentaries

Copp’s Hill Moment: Guess Who’s Coming for Breakfast?

(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 Read More…

Commentaries Government

And Away They Rode Across the Political Divide

Road Trip Nation. Road Trip Neighborhood? An enthusiastic contingent of North Enders set out by car early Friday on a 441 mile road trip to the Women’s March on Washington scheduled Saturday in the nation’s capital — 24 hours after the inauguration of the 45th president. Some of their posters incorporated the culinary flavor of Read More…