Boston at a glance
Why visit Boston?
Boston is America’s heritage city, site of key events during the American Revolution, and it mixes gravitas with great walks, cheap eats and a vibrant nightlife. Plus, it’s the gateway to the leafy glories of New England.
Gentrification has turned the formerly dodgy South End (not to be confused with South Boston) into one of the city’s most fashionable neighbourhoods, and among its stately Victorian terraces are plenty of cutting-edge galleries – head for the SoWa (‘South of Washington’) district – and some great eating, concentrated on and just off Tremont and Washington.
You probably didn’t know
That the Charlie Card, which is the rechargeable pre-pay card for bus and subway travel, gets its name from the 1949 ‘MTA Song’, which tells the tale of a man called Charlie trapped on the Boston subway system (then known as the Metropolitan Transit Authority system). It was a hit for the folk-singing Kingston Trio in 1959.
Suggested reading and viewing about Boston
Read Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River (2001), which was adapted for film and directed by Clint Eastwood – much of Lehane’s work features Boston; watch Martin Scorsese’s The Departed (2006), a Boston story that makes much use of local landmarks.
- Population: 655,884 (2014)
- Annual visitor numbers: 16 million (2014)
- January mean temperature: -2°C
- August mean temperature: 23°C
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