"Sicut patribus sit Deus nobis (As God was with our fathers, so may He be with us)" -- Boston Motto
Boston, Massachusetts is the capital and most populous city in the state of Massechusetts in the United States. Boston is also the seas of Suffolk County (despite the county government having been disbanded in 1999). The city proper covers 48 square miles with an estimated population of 673,184 in 2016, making it the largest city in New England and the 23rd most populous city in the United States.
The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people. One of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston was founded by Puritan settlers from England in 1630. It was the scene of several key events of the American Revolution, such as the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill and the Siege of Boston. Upon US Independence, it continues to be one of the most important ports and cultural centers in the United States.
Boston shares many cultural roots with greater New England, including a dialect of the non-rhotic Eastern New England accent, more commonly known as the Boston Accent and a regional cuisine with a large emphasis on seafood, salt and dairy products.
Boston has been called "The Athens of Ameirca" (which is also a nickname for Philadelphia) for its literary culture, earning a reputation as "the intellectual capital of the United States". In the nineteenth century, Ralph Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Margaret Fuller and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, among others, wrote in Boston. Some consider the Old Corner Bookstore to be the "cradle of American literature", the place where these writers met and where The Atlantic Monthly was first published.
In 1852, the Boston Public Library was founded as the first free library in the United States. Boston's literary culture continues today thanks to the city's many universities and the Boston Book Festival.
Music is afforded a high degree of civic support in Boston. The Boston Symphony Orchestra is one of the "Big Five", a group of the greatest American orchestras. Symphony Hall (located west of Back Bay) is home to the orchestra.
There are several major annual events, such as First Night, which occurs on New Year's Eve and was started by a collective of artists looking to have a New Years' party without the emphasis on alcohol. It has since become an extremely popular, citywide event featuring sidewalk sales, fireworks and other festivities. Another famous event is the annual Boston Arts Festival at Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, the annual Boston gay pride parade and festival held in June and Italian summer feasts in the North End honoring Catholic saints. The city is the sit of many events during the Fourth of July weekend, including the week-long Harborfest activities and a Boston Pops concert accompanied by fireworks.
Several historic sites relating to the American Revolution period are preserved as part of the Boston National Historical Park because of the city's prominent role in the conflict. Many are found along the Freedom Trail, which is marked by a red line of bricks embedded in the ground.
The city is also home to many art museums and galleries, including the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The Institute of Contemporary Art is housed in the Seaport District. The Museum of Science and the New England Aquarium are also within the city.
Boston has been a noted religious center from its earliest days. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston serves nearly 300 parishes and is based in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross (1875) in the South End, while the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts serves just under 200 congregations, with the Cathedral of St. Paul (1819) as its episcopal seat. Unitarian Universalism has its headquarters on Beacon Hill. The oldest church in Boston is First Church in Boston, founded in 1630.
Pollution and Water Edit
Air quality in Boston is generally very good: during the ten year period of 2004-2013, there were only 4 days in which the air was unhealthy for the general public, according to the EPA. Likewise, its drinking water supply from the Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs to the west is one of the very few in the country so pure as to satisfy federal water quality standards without filtration.
Sports and Athletics are like another religion in Boston. The city has four major North American professional sports leagues plus Major League Soccer. They include;
- The Boston Red Sox: Baseball
- The New England Patriots: Football
- The Celtics: Basketball
- The Boston Bruins: Hockey
Boston's park system is well-reputed nationally. Its 2013 ParkScore ranking tied with Sacramento and San Francisco for having the third-best park system in the country. Some famous parks include: Boston Common, Boston Public Garden and Franklin Park.
The Boston Globe and the Boston Herald are two of the city's major daily newspapers. The city is also served by other publications, such as Boston Magazine,The Improper Bostonian, DigBoston and the Boston edition of Metro.
Boston is the largest broadcasting market in New England, with the radio market being the 11th largest in the United States. The Boston television DMA, is the 8th largest in the United States.
Logan Airport, located in East Boston, is Boston's principal airport. Nearby general aviation airports are Beverly Municipal Airport to the north and Norwood Memorial Airport to the south. Massport also operates several major facilities within the Port of Boston, including a cruise ship terminal and facilities to handle bulk and container cargo in South Boston and other facilities in Charlestown and East Boston.
Downtown Boston's streets grew organically and so do not follow a grid-system. This makes navigating the city tricky for non-natives.
Nearly a third of Bostonians use public transport to commute and their subway system operates the oldest underground rapid transit network in America.
Boston has a humid continental climate that borders of humid subtropical climate, or a temperate oceanic climate with some maritime influence. Summers are typically hot, rainy and humid while winters oscillate between periods of cold rain and snow, with cold temperatures. Spring and fall are usually mild, with varying conditions dependent on wind direction and jet stream positioning.
The hottest month is July, with a mean temperature of 73.4 F. The coldest is January, with a mean of 29.0 F. Periods exceeding 90 F in summer and below freezing in winter are not uncommon but rarely extended, with about 13 and 25 days per year seeing each, respectively.
Boston's coastal location on the North Atlantic moderates its temperature, but makes the city very prone to Nor'easter weather systems that can produce much snow and rain. The city averages 43.8 inches of precipitation a year. Snowfall increases dramatically as one goes inland away from the city--away from the moderating influences of the ocean. Most snowfall occurs in December through March.
Fog is fairly common, particularly in spring and early summer and the occasional tropical storm or hurricane can threaten the region, especially in late summer and early autumn. Due to its situation along the North Atlantic, the city often receives sea breezes, especially in late spring, when water temperatures are still quite cold and temperatures at the coast can be more than 20 F degrees colder than a few miles inland. Thunderstorms occur from May to September, that are occasionally severe with large hail, damaging winds and heavy downpours. Although Boston has never been struck by a tornado, the city itself has experienced many tornado warnings. Damaging storms are more common in areas north of the city.
Boston has a relatively sunny climate for a coastal city at its latitude, averaging over 2,600 hours of sunshine per year.
In 2016, Boston was estimated to have 667,137 residents. The city is the third most densely populated city of over half a million residents. Some 1.2 million persons may be within Boston's boundaries during work hours and as many as 2 million during special events.
The median household income in Boston is $51,739, while the median income for a family was $61,035. Of the total population, 16% of families are below the poverty line.
As of 2015, the city was 62.1% White, 46.2% Non-Hispanic Whites (which is like, Russians and Yiddish-speaking Jews, apparently), 24.7% Black, 22.1% Latino, 9.1% Asian, 0.8% Native American and 3.1% two or more races.
People of Irish descent form the largest single ethnic group in the city, making up 15.8% of the population, followed by Italians, who account for 8.3% of the population. People of West Carribean and West Indian ancestry are another sizable group, at 6.0%, about half of whom are of Haitian ancestry.
The Longwood Medical and Academic Area, adjacent to the Fenway District, is home to a large number of medical and research facilities. Many of Boston's medical facilities are associated with universities. Boston is considered to have some of the best hospitals in the country.
The Supernatural Edit
Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States and, as such, hosts a sizable supernatural population. It is the second-largest such population on the East Coast, below only New York City. The city is home to several notable werewolf packs, prominent vampires and vampire nests, smaller witch covens and even is home to a faerie population. In terms of governance, the Mages might have founded Boston but it's the Witches that rule it.
Ever since the Black Salem Coven moved to Boston, shortly following the Salem Witch Trials, the witches have played peace-keepers, police and arbiters between the other supernatural factions. No supernatural group would declare war on any other without backing from the Black Salem High Priest and Priestess.
The Voice of the Patriots Coven is another well-known coven and one that opposes the rule of the Black Salem Coven. They are known for being generally creepy and making doom-and-gloom prophecies with regularity. However, they are some of the most powerful shamans and spirit witches in the city and their High Priest, an Ancestor Witch, is not one to underestimate.
The Busy Bees Coven, located in a small suburb, is mostly comprised of suburban moms and their families, who regularly meet, trade recipes and talk about books or work. They're not exactly warriors but they're quite skilled with the brewing of potions. They try to stay neutral in any supernatural conflicts.
The Atlantic Circle, comprised of several families of mages who have lived in Boston since its founding, are another prominent group that never seemed to hold the presence or opinion of the other supernaturals in the city. They have a well-known grudge against the Black Salem Coven and aggression between the two factions has been bubbling beneath the surface for some time.
The Three Clover Pack, one of the largest and most notorious werewolf groups in North America, is based in Boston. They are notably scruffy, aggressive, territorial and generally have a bad attitude. They are known to have their hands in several illegal cookie jars and their longtime association with the Irish Mob is an open secret.
The vampires in the city do not function in a court system like they do in Europe, but there is a vampire who calls himself the Sheriff that serves as the "Head Vampire" in the city. He knows each vampire in Boston, he watches over them, protects them and sometimes he teaches the young ones to hunt.
Boston vampires are known for being aggressive and territorial, with frequent skirmishes with the Three Clover Pack. The vampires have an uneasy truce with both the Black Salem Coven and the Atlantic Circle but are not trusted by either of them. Likewise, they do not trust the witches.
Boston hosts the highest Changeling population in the United States. An estimated 30 Changelings live in the city, many of whom have banded together to form the Mirage Gang. These shapeshifters tend to keep to themselves, though they are known for a rivalry with the Three Clover Pack and for their tendency to leak high level news from around the city.
The Agreement Edit
The supernatural factions of the city--specifically the Black Salem Cove, the Atlantic Circle, the Three Clover Pack, the Mirage Gang and the Vampires--met and came to a truce called The Agreement. This pact of non-aggression essentially forms a truce between the supernaturals of Boston; the supernaturals can each go about their business autonomously as long as they stay out of each others' business; you don't mess with me, I won't mess with you.
There is a representative from each faction that acts as an ambassador. Additionally, the Black Salem Coven more often than not acts as arbiters for the other factions. They have a disproportionate amount of power in the city, much to the Atlantic Circle's dismay and anger.
Points of Interest Edit
Some of the more famous Boston landmarks include:
- Boston Common: Storied, 50 acre urban park that hosted British troops during the American Revolution.
- Freedom Trail: A 2.5 mile long path throughout downtown Boston that passes by 16 locations significant to the history of the United States.
- New England Aquarium: Giant ocean tank with over 2,000 animals.
- Public Garden: Tranquil, 19th-century urban park with boat rides, a lagoon, fountains and other sights.
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Neoclassical & modern wings house a cast collection from ancient Egyptian to contemporary American.
- Faneuil Hall: Shopping center with many stores & restaurants comprising 3 historic market buildings & a promenade.
- Fenway Park: Historic, small-capacity baseball park, home of the Red Sox and the occasional big-name concert venue.
- Museum of Science: Venerable institution with interactive exhibits, dome-shaped IMAX theater and a planetarium.
- Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area: Sizable park featuring a Civil War-era fort, hiking trails, picnicking areas, fishing & more.
- Bunker Hill Monument: Marking the Battle of Bunker Hill, this 221-ft. granite obelisk features 294 steps & scenic views. This monument was constructed as a ritual site for the city's sizable Witch population.
- Paul Revere House: Revere's legendary ride began at this restored Colonial-era home, which includes original family furnishings.
- Old North Church: The first church founded in Boston.
- Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: Evocative of a 15th century Venetian palace, this museum houses a world-class art collection.
- John Hancock Tower: The tallest building in New England, standing 790 feet tall.
- Boston Museum: Floating history museum with live reenactments, multimedia exhibits & a tea room.
- Boston Public Library: Historic library with grand, Redaissance-style architecture.
- Granary Burying Grounds; Samuel Adams and Paul Revere are among the patriots buried at this storied site on the Freedom Trail. A popular spot for the local Witch population, especially those whose power comes from Ancestral or Community magic.
- Franklin Park Zoo: A zoo that includes a golf course and arboretum!
Boston is sometimes called a "city of neighborhoods" because of the profusion of diverse subsections; the city's governments has officially designated 23 neighborhoods.
Downtown and its immediate surroundings consist largely of low-rise masonry buildings interspersed with modern highrises, notably in the Financial District, Government Center and South Boston. Back Bay includes many prominent landmarks, such as the Boston Public Library, Copley Square, Newbury Street and New England's two tallest buildings, the John Hancock Tower and the Prudential Center. Near the John Hancock Tower is the old John Hancock Buildings with its prominent illuminated Beacon, the color of which forecasts the weather.
Smaller commercial areas are interspersed among areas of single-family homes and wooden/brick multi-family row houses. The South End Historic District is the largest surviving Victorian-era neighborhood int he US.
- Sam Hudson was born in Boston and lived there until he was 17 years old.