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Boston, Massachusetts
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Boston, Massachusetts 

 
Flag Seal
Nickname: "City on a Hill, Beantown, The Hub (of the Solar System), Athens of America"
Location
Location in Massachusetts
Government
Counties Suffolk County
Mayor Thomas Menino (Dem)
Geographical characteristics
Area  
  City 232.1 km  (89.6 sq mi)
    Land   125.4 km  (48.4 sq mi)
    Water   106.7 km (41.2 sq mi)
Population  
  City (2004) 569,165
    Density   4,540/km (11,760/sq mi)
  Urban 4,313,000
  Metro 5,809,111
Elevation 43 m  (141 ft)
Time zone
  Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-5)
Eastern (UTC-4)
Website: www.cityofboston.gov
"Boston" redirects here. For other uses, see Boston (disambiguation).
Boston is the capital of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. It is the largest city of the region known as New England. Boston is one of the oldest, wealthiest, and most culturally significant large cities in the United States. Its economy is based on education, health care, finance, and technology.
Boston has many nicknames. The City on a Hill came from original Massachusetts Bay Colony's governor John Winthrop's goal to create the biblical "City on a Hill." It also refers to the original three hills of Boston. Beantown refers to early Bostonian merchants' habit for making baked beans with imported molasses. The Hub is a shortened form of writer Oliver Wendell Holmes' phrase The Hub of the Solar System, now more commonly The Hub of the Universe. William Tudor, co-founder of the North American Review, christened the city The Athens of America for its great cultural and intellectual influence. Boston is sometimes called the Puritan City because its founders were Puritans, and also called The Cradle of Liberty for its role in instigating the American Revolution. Citizens of Boston and the surrounding area are called Bostonians.
The city lies at the center of the Boston-Worcester-Manchester CSA (Combined Statistical Area), the seventh largest in the United States. The area encompasses parts of the states of New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. The city also lies at the center of Greater Boston, which also includes the cities of Cambridge, Brookline, Quincy, Newton, and many suburban communities farther from Boston.

Contents
1 History
2 Geography and climate
2.1 Geography
2.2 Climate
3 Demographics
4 Law and government
5 Economy
6 Education
6.1 Colleges and universities
6.2 Primary and secondary schools
7 Culture
7.1 Media
7.2 Sites of interest
7.3 Sports
8 Infrastructure
8.1 Health and medicine
8.2 Transportation
8.3 Utilities

History
The 18th century Old State House in Boston is surrounded by tall buildings of the 19th and 20th centuries.Main article: History of Boston, Massachusetts
Boston was founded on September 17, 1630 , by Puritan colonists from England, on a peninsula called Shawmut by its original Native American inhabitants. The peninsula was connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus, and surrounded by the waters of Massachusetts Bay and the marshes at the mouth of the Charles River. Boston's early European settlers first called the area Trimountaine. They later renamed the town for Boston, England, in Lincolnshire, from which several prominent "pilgrim" colonists emigrated. A majority of Boston's early citizens were Puritans. Massachusetts Bay Colony's original governor, John Winthrop, gave a famous sermon entitled "a City upon a Hill," which captured the idea that Boston had a special covenant with God. (Winthrop also led the signing of the Cambridge Agreement which is regarded as a key founding document of the city.) Puritan ethics molded an extremely stable and well-structured society in Boston. For example, shortly after Boston's settlement, Puritans founded America's first school, Boston Latin School (1635), and America's first college, Harvard College (1636). Hard work, moral uprightness, and an emphasis on education remain part of Boston's culture.
During the early 1770s, British attempts to exert control on the thirteen colonies, primarily via taxation, prompted Bostonians to initiate the American Revolution. The Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and several early battles occurred in or near the city, including the Battle of Lexington and Concord, Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston. During this period, Paul Revere made his famous midnight ride.
After the Revolution, Boston became one of the world's wealthiest international trading ports major exports included rum, fish, salt, and tobacco. During this era, descendants of old Boston families became regarded, in the American popular mind, as the nation's social and cultural elites; they were later dubbed the Boston Brahmins. In 1822, Boston was chartered as a city. By the mid-1800s, the city's industrial manufacturing overtook international trade in economic importance. Until the early 1900s, Boston remained one of the nation's largest manufacturing centers, and was notable for its garment production, leather goods, and machinery industries. From the mid-to-late-nineteenth century, Boston flourished culturally it became renowned for its rarefied literary culture and lavish artistic patronage. It also became a center of the abolitionist movement.
In the 1820s, Boston's ethnic composition began to change dramatically; groups like the Irish and Italians moved into the city and brought with them Roman Catholicism. Currently, Catholics make up Boston's largest religious community. The Irish have played a major role in Boston politics prominent figures include the Kennedys and John F. Fitzgerald.
Boston in 1772 and 1880. The original area of the Shawmut Peninsula was substantially expanded by landfill.Between 1630 and 1890, the city tripled its physical size by land reclamation, specifically by filling in marshes, mud flats, and gaps between wharves along the waterfront,[1] a process Walter Muir Whitehill called "cutting down the hills to fill the coves." The largest reclamation efforts took place during the 1800s. Beginning in 1807, the crown of Beacon Hill was used to fill in a 50-acre (20 ha) mill pond that later became Haymarket Square (just south of today's North Station area). The present-day State House sits atop this shortened Beacon Hill. Reclamation projects in the middle of the century created significant parts of the South End, West End, Financial District, and Chinatown. After The Great Boston Fire of 1872, workers used building rubble as landfill along the downtown waterfront. Boston's Back Bay land reclamation project proved dramatic. During the mid-to-late 19th century, workers filled almost 600 acres (2.4 km) of brackish Charles River marshlands west of the Boston Common with soil brought by rail from the hills of Needham Heights. Boston also annexed the adjacent communities of East Boston, Dorchester, South Boston, Brighton, Allston, Hyde Park, and Charlestown.
Scollay Square, Boston, Boston, in the 1880sBy the early and mid-20th century, the city was in decline as factories became old and obsolete, and businesses moved out of the region for cheaper labor elsewhere. Boston responded by initiating various urban renewal projects, including the demolition of the old West End neighborhood and the construction of Government Center. In the 1970s, Boston boomed after thirty years of economic downturn, becoming a leader in the mutual fund industry. Boston already had a reputation for excellent healthcare services. Hospitals such as Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Brigham and Women's Hospital led the nation in medical innovation and patient care. Universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Boston University attracted many students to the Boston area. Nevertheless, the city experienced conflict starting in 1974 over desegregation busing, which resulted in unrest and violence around public schools throughout the mid-1970s. The unrest served to highlight racial tensions in the city.
Over the past several decades, Boston has experienced a dramatic loss of regional institutions and traditions, which once gave it a very distinct social character. Boston has begun to resemble other parts of the continuous string of Northeast seaboard cities dubbed the BosWash megalopolis. The city faces gentrification issues and exorbitant living costs. Regardless, throughout the past several decades, Boston has once again become a major hub of intellectual, technological, and political ideas.

Geography and climate
A simulated-color satellite image of the Boston area taken on NASA's Landsat 3.[edit]
Geography
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 89.6 square miles (232.1 km) 48.4 square miles (125.4 km) of it is land and 41.2 square miles (106.7 km) of it is water. The total area is 46.0% water. With an elevation of 19 feet (5.8 m) above sea level at Logan International Airport, Boston is bordered by the cities of Winthrop, Revere, Chelsea, Everett, Somerville, Cambridge, Watertown, Newton, Brookline, Needham, Dedham, Canton, Milton, and Quincyoften known as, and considered a part of, Greater Boston.
Much of the Back Bay and South End are built on reclaimed landtwo and a half of Boston's three original hills were used as a source of material for landfill. Only Beacon Hill, the smallest of the three original hills, remains partially intact. The downtown area and immediate surroundings consist mostly of low-rise brick or stone buildings, with many older buildings in the Federal style. Several of these buildings mix in with modern high-rises, notably in the Financial District, Government Center, Back Bay, and the South Boston waterfront. To this day, the South End Historic District remains the nation's largest surviving contiguous Victorian-era neighborhood. Smaller commercial areas are interspersed amongst single-family homes and wooden/brick multifamily row houses.
The Charles River separates Boston proper from Cambridge, Watertown, and the neighborhood of Charlestown. To the east lies Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands, many of which are part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, operated by the National Park Service. The Neponset River forms the boundary between Boston's southern neighborhoods and the cities of Quincy and Milton. The Mystic River separates the neighborhoods of East Boston and Charlestown from Chelsea and Everett.

Climate
Looking at Boston's Back Bay from MIT, Cambridge in the winterBoston experiences a continental climate that is very common in New England. The weather in Boston, like much of New England, changes rapidly. It is not uncommon for the city to experience temperature swings of 54 Fahrenheit degrees (30 Celsius degrees) or more over the course of a couple of days. Summers are typically warm and humid, while winters are cold, windy and snowy. It has been known to snow in October -- the city received an inch of snow on October 30, 2005. The earliest recorded 90 F temperature was in late March 1998, while February in Boston has seen 70 degrees only once in recorded history, on February 24, 1985. Spring in Boston can be hot, with temperatures in the 90s, though it is just as possible for a day in late May to remain in the 40s. The hottest month is July, with an average high of 82 F (28 C) and a low of 64 F (18 C). The coldest month is January, with an average high of 36 F (2.2 C) and a low of 22 F (-5.6 C).[2] Periods exceeding 90 F in summer and below 10 F in winter are not uncommon, but rarely prolonged. The record high temperature is 104 F (40 C), recorded on July 4, 1911. The record low temperature is -18 F (-28 C), recorded on February 9, 1934.[3] The city averages 42 in (1,080 mm) of rainfall a year. It also coincidentally averages 42 in (108 cm) of snowfall a year, although this increases dramatically as one goes inland away from the city. Massachusetts' geographic location's jutting out into the North Atlantic also make the city very prone to Nor'easter weather systems that can dump more than 20 in (50 cm) of snow on the region in one storm event.
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Avg high F
(C) 36F
(2C) 39F
(4C) 46F
(8C) 56F
(13C) 67F
(19C) 77F
(25C) 82F
(28C) 80F
(27C) 73F
(23C) 62F
(17C) 52F
(11C) 42F
(6C) 59F
(15C)
Avg low F
(C) 22F
(-6C) 24F
(-4C) 31F
(-1C) 41F
(5C) 50F
(10C) 59F
(15C) 65F
(18C) 64F
(18C) 57F
(14C) 46F
(8C) 38F
(3C) 28F
(-2C) 44F
(6C)
Rainfall in inches
(millimeters) 3.92"
(99.6mm) 3.30"
(83.8mm) 3.85"
(97.8mm) 3.60"
(91.4mm) 3.24"
(82.3mm) 3.22"
(81.8mm) 3.06"
(77.7mm) 3.37"
(85.6mm) 3.47"
(88.1mm) 3.79"
(96.3mm) 3.98"
(101.1mm) 3.73"
(94.7mm) 42.53"
(1,080.2mm)

Demographics
Town (to 1820) and City of Boston
Population by year[4]
Census
year Population Rank
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1790 18,320 3
1800 24,937 4
1810 33,787 4
1820 43,298 4
1830 61,392 4
1840 93,383 5
1850 136,881 3
1860 177,840 5
1870 250,526 7
1880 362,839 5
1890 448,477 6
1900 560,892 5
1910 670,585 5
1920 748,060 7
1930 781,188 9
1940 770,816 9
1950 801,444 10
1960 697,197 13
1970 641,071 16
1980 562,994 20
1990 574,283 20
2000 589,141 20
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 589,141 people, 239,528 households, and 115,212 families residing in the city. The population density was 12,166 people per square mile (4,697/km). There were 251,935 housing units at an average density of 5,203 per square mile (2,009/km). The Irish are one of the larger ethnic groups in the city of Boston, and sometimes considered the capital of "Irish America". Italians also form a very large segment of the city's population. The racial makeup of the city was 49.48% non-Hispanic White, 27.33% Black or African American, 0.40% Native American, 7.52% Asian American, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 7.83% from other races, and 4.39% from two or more races. 14.44% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race. These figures became less reliable because of the large Brazilian population, estimated by some studies to approach 250,000 in Massachusetts. Census data may not have fully accounted for this significant segment of the community because Brazilians speak Portuguese and often do not consider themselves to belong to one specific racial category, such as white or black, or to the Hispanic/Latino ethnic category.
Per capita income in the greater Boston area, by U.S. Census block groupThere were 239,528 households out of which 22.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 27.4% were married couples living together, 16.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.9% were non-families. 37.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 3.17.
In the city the population was spread out with 19.8% under the age of 18, 16.2% from 18 to 24, 35.8% from 25 to 44, 17.8% from 45 to 64, and 10.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $39,629, and the median income for a family was $44,151. Males had a median income of $37,435 versus $32,421 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,353. 19.5% of the population and 15.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 25.6% of those under the age of 18 and 18.2% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
The population is pushed up to one million or more on an average week day. On days with major events such as baseball or basketball games the population can easily increase to 1.5 million. Like many other major cities in the 1950s and 1960s, Boston's population decreased dramatically due to new highway systems that made it easier to access the suburbs and outer regions.
See also: Neighborhoods in Boston, Massachusetts

Law and government
Massachusetts State HouseBoston has a "strong mayor" system in which the mayor is vested with extensive executive powers. The mayor is elected to a four-year term by plurality voting. The city council is elected every two years. There are nine district seats, each elected by the residents of that district through plurality voting, and four at-large seats. Each voter casts up to four votes for at-large councilors, no more than one vote per candidate. The candidates with the four highest vote totals are elected. The president of the city council, currently Michael F. Flaherty, is elected by the councilors from within themselves. The school committee is appointed by the mayor, as are city department heads.
In addition to city government, numerous state authorities and commissions play a role in the life of Bostonians, including the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport). As the capital of Massachusetts, Boston plays a major role in state politics. Boston is also the United States federal government center for New England. Properties include the John F. Kennedy Federal Office Building and the Thomas P. O'Neil Federal Building. The city also serves as the home of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, as well as the headquarters of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (the First District of the Federal Reserve). The city is in the Eighth and Ninth Congressional districts.
Boston's low crime rate in the last years of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st has been credited to its police department's collaboration with neighborhood groups and church parishes to prevent youths from joining gangs, as well as heavy involvement from the District Attorney's office. The current DA for Suffolk County and Boston, Daniel F. Conley, spent nearly ten years working at reducing gang violence in the city. This helped lead in part to what has been touted as the "Boston Miracle." Murders in the city dropped from 152 in 1990 (for a murder rate of 26.5 per 100,000 people) to just 31not one of them a juvenilein 1999 (for a murder rate of 5.26 per 100,000).
In more recent years, however, the annual murder count has fluctuated by as much as 50% compared to the year before, with 60 murders in 2002, followed by just 39 in 2003, 64 in 2004, and 75 in 2005. Though the figures are nowhere near the high-water mark set in 1990, the aberrations in the murder rate have been unsettling for many Bostonians and have prompted discussion over whether the Boston Police Department should reevaluate its approach to fighting crime.[5][6][7]
Boston has eight sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International (SCI): Barcelona (Spain), Hangzhou (People's Republic of China), Kyoto (Japan), Melbourne (Australia), Padua (Italy), Strasbourg (France), Sekondi-Takoradi (Ghana), and Taipei (Taiwan). The city has thrice been a recipient of the All-America City Award, the oldest and most respected civic award in the U.S.
County government: Suffolk County
Clerk of Courts: Michael Joseph Donovan
County Treasurer: 
District Attorney: Daniel F. Conley
Registrar of Deeds: Francis Roache
Registrar of Probate: Richard Iannella
Sheriff: Andrea J. Cabral
State government
Representative(s) in General Court: Anthony Petruccelli, Salvatore DiMasi, Brian Wallace, Marie St. Fleur, Shirley Owens-Hicks, Gloria Fox, Paul Demakis, Byron Rushing, Michael Rush, Elizabeth Malia, Linda Dorcena-Forry, Martin Walsh, Angelo Scaccia, Jeffrey Sanchez, Kevin Honan, Michael Moran
Senator(s) in General Court: Jarrett Barrios, Eugene L. O'Flaherty, Marian Walsh, Steven A. Tolman, John Hart, Jr., Dianne Wilkerson, Robert Travaglini
Governor's Councilor(s): Michael J. Callahan, Kelly A. Timilty, Marilyn M. Petitto Devaney
Federal government
Member(s) of the U.S. House of Representatives: Michael Capuano (D-8th District),
Steven Lynch (D-9th District)
U.S. Senators: Edward Kennedy (D)
John Kerry (D)
See also: List of Mayors of Boston, Massachusetts

Economy
Boston's Back Bay viewed over the Charles River from the Esplanade.Boston's colleges and universities have a major impact on the city and region's economy. Not only are they major employers, but they also attract high-tech industries to the city and surrounding region, including computer hardware and software companies as well as biotechnology companies like Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Millipore, and Biogen Idec. Boston receives the highest amount of annual funding from the National Institutes of Health of all cities in the United States.[8]
Other important industries include financial services, especially mutual funds and insurance. Boston-based Fidelity Investments helped popularize the mutual fund in the 1980s, and has made Boston one of the top financial cities in the United States. The city is also the regional headquarters of major banks such as Bank of America and Sovereign Bank, and a center for venture capital. Boston is also a printing and publishing center. Textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin is headquartered within the city. The city is also a major convention destination with four major convention centers: the Hynes Convention Center in the Back Bay, the Bayside Expo Center in Dorchester, and the World Trade Center Boston and Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on the South Boston waterfront. Because of its status as a state capital and the regional home of federal agencies, law and government is another major component of the city's economy.
Major companies headquartered within the city include Gillette, owned by Procter & Gamble, and Teradyne, one of the world's leading manufacturers of semiconductors and other electronic equipment. New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. has its headquarters in the city. Other major companies are located outside the city, especially along Route 128. The Port of Boston is the largest and busiest seaport in Massachusetts. It is also a major seaport along the United States east coast as well as a major fishing port.
See also: Major companies in Greater Boston

Education

Colleges and universities
Boston's reputation as the Athens of America derives in large part from the teaching and research activities of more than 100 colleges and universities located in its metropolitan area. Boston College was the first institution of higher education established in the city. It was originally located in the South End before moving to Chestnut Hill, on the city's western edge. Its campus gradually expanded and it is now within the outer edges of the city's political boundaries. Boston University, now the city's second largest employer and one of the largest private universities in the country, was originally established in Vermont before moving to Brookline and later to its present campus in the Back Bay in the 1950s. Harvard University, the nation's oldest institution of higher learning, is based across the Charles River in Cambridge; however, most of its current land holdings lie in Boston. These holdings include the Arnold Arboretum, and its business and medical schools. Harvard recently announced plans to expand its main campus across the Charles River into Boston's Allston neighborhood, which already hosts some of the university's dormitories and sports facilities.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) operates several major laboratories within the city. Emerson College, a highly regarded arts and communications school, maintains a campus near the Theatre District at the southeast corner of Boston Common. Northeastern University, a large private university with a distinctive cooperative education program, maintains a campus in the Fenway district. Next door is Wentworth Institute of Technology, a nationally accredited institution and a founding member of the Colleges of the Fenway. Founded in 1904, it offers fifteen bachelor's degree programs in such areas as architecture, computer science, and engineering. Suffolk University, a small private university known for its law school, maintains a campus on Beacon Hill. The city is also home to a number of conservatories and art schools, including the Massachusetts College of Art, New England Conservatory of Music (the oldest independent conservatory in the U.S.), Boston Conservatory, and Berklee College of Music. The University of Massachusetts Boston, Roxbury Community College, and Bunker Hill Community College are the city's three state-run colleges.

Primary and secondary schools
Boston Public Schools, the oldest public school system in the U.S., enrolls 58,600 students from kindergarten to grade 12. The system operates 145 schools, which includes Boston Latin School (the oldest public school, established in 1635), English High (the oldest public high school, established 1821), and Mather (the oldest public elementary school, established in 1639).[9] The city also has private, parochial, and charter schools. 3000 students of racial minorities attend participating suburban schools through the Metropolitan Educational Opportunity Council, or METCO.

See also: List of colleges and universities in metropolitan Boston

Culture
A summer day on the Charles River esplanade.Main article: Culture in Boston, Massachusetts
Boston shares many cultural roots with greater New England, including a dialect of the Eastern New England accent popularly known as Boston English, and a regional cuisine with a large emphasis on seafood and dairy products. Irish Americans are a major influence on Boston's politics and religious institutions and consequently on the rest of Massachusetts. Italian, Chinese, and Hispanic groups also have major contributions to Boston's cultural composition. Boston has its own collection of neologisms known as Boston slang.
Many consider Boston a highly cultured city, perhaps as a result of its intellectual reputation; much of Boston's culture originates at its universities.[10] The city also has a number of ornate theatres, including the Cutler Majestic Theatre and The Wang Center for the Performing Arts. Renowned performing arts groups include the Boston Ballet, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Boston Lyric Opera Company, and the Handel and Haydn Society (the oldest choral company in the United States). There are a number of major annual events such as First Night, which occurs during New Year's Eve, and several events during the Fourth of July. These events include the weeklong Harborfest festivities and a Boston Pops concert accompanied by fireworks on the banks of the Charles River.
Faneuil Hall, looking at the east sideIn contrast to what might be considered the more "refined" aspects of Boston's culture, the city is also one of the birthplaces of the hardcore punk genre of music. Boston musicians have contributed greatly to the hardcore scene over the years (see also Boston hardcore). Boston also had one of the leading local ska scenes in the ska revival of the mid-1990s with bands like The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Allstonians, and Skavoovie and the Epitones.

Media
Main article: Media in Boston, Massachusetts
The Boston Globe, owned by the New York Times Company, and The Boston Herald are Boston's two major daily newspapers. The city is also served by a number of smaller publications such as The Boston Phoenix, The Improper Bostonian, and The Weekly Dig.
Boston has the largest broadcasting market in New England, with the Boston radio market being the eleventh largest in the United States.[11] Several major AM stations include talk radio WRKO 680 AM, sports/talk station WEEI 850 AM, and news radio WBZ 1030 AM. A variety of FM radio formats serve the area as well as NPR stations WBUR and WGBH. University radio stations include WZBC (Boston College), WERS (Emerson), and WUMB (UMass Boston).
The Boston television DMA, which also includes Manchester, New Hampshire, is the fifth largest in the United States.[12] The city is served by stations representing every major American network including WBZ 4 (CBS), WCVB 5 (ABC), WHDH 7 (NBC), WFXT 25 (Fox), WSBK 38 (UPN), and WLVI 56 (WB). Boston is also home to PBS station WGBH 2, which also operates WGBX 44. WGBH is a major producer of PBS programs. Most Boston television stations have their transmitters in nearby Needham and Newton.

Sites of interest
The Frog Pond in the Boston Common.Main article: Sites of interest in Boston, Massachusetts
Because of the city's prominent role in the American Revolution, several historic sites relating to that period are preserved as part of the Boston National Historical Park. Many are found along the Freedom Trail, which is marked by a red line or bricks embedded in the ground. Also along the Freedom Trail is Boston Common, with the Boston Public Garden being adjacent. Boston Common is part of the Emerald Necklace, a string of parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. In the winter, the Frog Pond at Boston Common doubles as a popular ice-skating rink. Another major park is the Esplanade located along the banks of the Charles River. A major recreation site for many Bostonians, it is also the site of the Hatch Shell. Other parks are scattered throughout the city, with the major parks located near Castle Island, Charlestown, the Dorchester shoreline, and East Boston.
Back BayThe Back Bay district includes many prominent landmarks such as the Christian Science Center, Boston Public Library, Copley Square, and Newbury Street. Back Bay is also the home of two of New England's tallest buildings: the John Hancock Tower and the Prudential Center.[13] Near the John Hancock Tower is the old John Hancock Building with its prominent weather forecast beacon. Other notable districts/neighborhoods include Beacon Hill, Charlestown, Chinatown, Downtown Crossing, North End, and South Boston.
View of downtown Boston from the Prudential TowerBoston is home to several world-renowned museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Museum of Science. The University of Massachusetts campus at Columbia Point houses the John F. Kennedy Library. The New England Aquarium, Franklin Park Zoo, Boston Athenaeum (one of the oldest independent libraries in the United States), and the Boston Children's Museum are located within the city.
There are also two self-guided walking tours: Harbor Walk, which is designed to allow people the walk the entire shore of Boston Harbor, and the Black Heritage Trail. A popular guided tour is the Boston Duck Tour, which uses World War II-era duck boats. The outer suburbs of Boston, which tend to be forested, have vibrantly colored foliage every autumn that attracts many tourists.

Sports
Club League Venue Established Championships
Boston Red Sox MLB Baseball Fenway Park 1901 6
New England Patriots NFL Football Gillette Stadium 1960 3
Boston Celtics NBA Basketball TD Banknorth Garden 1946 16
Boston Bruins NHL Hockey TD Banknorth Garden 1924 5
Boston Frenzy ABA Basketball NA 2004 0
New England Revolution MLS Soccer Gillette Stadium 1995 0
Boston Cannons MLL Lacrosse Nickerson Field 2001 0
The TD Banknorth Garden (formerly called the Fleet Center) is above North Station and is the home of two major league teams: the Boston Bruins ice hockey team of the (National Hockey League) and the Boston Celtics basketball team of the (National Basketball Association). The Celtics have the distinction of having more World Championships than any other NBA team with 16 championships from 1957 to 1986.
A Boston Red Sox baseball game at Fenway ParkThe Boston Red Sox baseball is a member of the American League of Major League Baseball. They play their home games at Fenway Park, located near Kenmore Square, in the Fenway section of Boston. It is the oldest sports arena or stadium in active use in the United States, among the four major professional sports. Boston was once the home of the National League's Boston Braves, before they left for Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1953, and then later on Atlanta, Georgia. Boston was also one of the sites of the first World Series in 1903. The series was played between the Boston Pilgrims (currently the Boston Red Sox) and the Pittsburgh Pirates.[14]
The New England Patriots of the National Football League team plays their home games in nearby Foxboro. Boston fans travel there to see the Patriots and the New England Revolution soccer team of Major League Soccer. Both teams play at Gillette Stadium. Before moving to Foxboro the Patriots, while still playing in the now defunct American Football League, played their home games at Fenway Park and Harvard Stadium. The team moved to Foxboro in 1971. Another major league team is the Boston Cannons lacrosse team of Major League Lacrosse. The team plays at Boston University's Nickerson Field (the former Braves Field).
Boston's many colleges and universities field sports teams. The most prominent include Boston College (member of the Atlantic Coast Conference), Boston University (America East Conference), Northeastern University (Colonial Athletic Association), and Harvard University (Ivy League). The hockey teams of these four universities meet every year in an immensely popular four-team tournament known as the "Beanpot".
One of the most famous sporting events in the city is the Boston Marathon, the 26 mile (42 km) run from Hopkinton to Copley Square in the Back Bay. The Marathon, which is popular and heavily attended, coincides with a Red Sox home baseball game that occurs earlier in the day. Another famous event held in the city is the Head of the Charles Regatta rowing competition on the Charles River.
Boston's first all-female flat-track roller derby league, Boston Derby Dames, formed in May 2005. The league is among the original members of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association.
See also: U.S. cities with teams from four major sports

Infrastructure

Health and medicine
As the home to some of the world's most respected research hospitals, Boston enjoys an international reputation in the medical field. The Longwood Medical Area is a region of Boston with a concentration of medical and research facilities, including Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Children's Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Harvard Medical School. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Brigham and Women's Hospital were both formed by mergers: the former between Beth Israel Hospital and New England Deaconess Hospital, and the latter by Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and the Boston Hospital for Women. Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is located near the Beacon Hill neighborhood, with the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital nearby. Boston also has VA medical centers in the Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury neighborhoods.
Many of Boston's major medical facilities are associated with universities. The facilities in the Longwood Medical Area and MGH are world-renowned research medical centers affiliated with Harvard Medical School. New England Medical Center, located in the southern portions of the Chinatown neighborhood, is affiliated with Tufts University. Boston Medical Center, located in the South End neighborhood, is the primary teaching facility for the Boston University School of Medicine as well as the largest trauma center in the Boston area; it was formed by the merger of Boston University Hospital and Boston City Hospital.

Transportation
Longfellow Bridge across the Charles River, with two MBTA Red Line trains. The Beacon Hill neighborhood is in the background.Main article: Boston transportation
Logan International Airport, located in the East Boston neighborhood, is the major airport serving Boston. Another airport serving the city and surrounding areas is Hanscom Field in Lexington and Bedford. T. F. Green Airport in Providence, Rhode Island, and Manchester-Boston Airport in Manchester, New Hampshire, are airports outside Massachusetts which serve as secondary facilities.
Downtown Boston's streets appear as though they were not planned, and are often alleged, incorrectly, to have evolved from centuries-old foot and cow paths. Except for the reclaimed Back Bay and part of South Boston, the city has no street grid. Boston has been described as a "City of Squares", referring to the tradition of naming the intersections of major thoroughfares after prominent city residents. Roads change names and lose and add lanes seemingly at random. The city also has a number of rotaries, which have confused many drivers. In its March 2006 issue, Bicycling magazine named Boston as one of the three worst cities in U.S. for cycling, though the city does have a huge cult following of the activity, especially fixed gear.
Boston is the eastern terminus of I-90, also known as the Mass Pike. I-95, which surrounds the city, is locally referred to by its historical state route numbering Route 128. U.S. Route 1 (also known locally as 'Route 1') and I-93 runs north to south through the city. The most infamous portion, the Central Artery, runs through downtown Boston and was constantly prone to heavy traffic. Through the Big Dig the elevated highway was replaced with an underground tunnel.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) operated the nation's first underground rapid transit system, which has since been expanded, reaching as far north as Malden, as far south as Braintree, and as far west as Newton. Collectively known as the "T", the MBTA also operates an extensive network of bus lines and water shuttles, and a commuter rail network extending north to the Merrimack River valley, west to Worcester, and south to Providence, Rhode Island.
Amtrak's Northeast Corridor and Chicago lines originate at South Station and stop at Back Bay. Fast Northeast Corridor trains, which service New York City, Washington, D.C., and points in between, also stop at Route 128 Station in the southwestern suburbs of Boston. Meanwhile, Amtrak's Downeaster service to Maine originates at North Station.
Utilities
Water supply and sewage-disposal services are provided by the Boston Water and Sewer Commission. The Commission in turn purchases wholesale water and sewage disposal from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA). Established as a public authority in 1984, the MWRA pipes water from reservoirs in Western and Central Massachusetts, notably the Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs, for several communities within Greater Boston. The agency operates several facilities for sewage treatment, notably an effluent tunnel in Boston Harbor and the Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant near the mouth of Boston Harbor.
NSTAR is the exclusive distributor of electric power to the city, though due to deregulation, customers now have a choice of electric generation companies. Natural gas is distributed by KeySpan Corporation (the successor company to Boston Gas); only commercial and industrial customers may choose an alternate natural gas supplier. Verizon, successor to New England Telephone, NYNEX, and Bell Atlantic, is the primary wired telephone service provider for the area. Phone service is also available from various national wireless companies. Cable television is available from Comcast and RCN. Broadband Internet access is provided by Comcast and RCN in certain areas. Satellite television is available from Dish Network and DirecTV. A variety of DSL providers and resellers are able to provide broadband Internet over Verizon-owned phone lines.

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