Walking Boston – North End

After the Quincy Market, we crossed over the highway, literally.  The wide swath of land that snakes its way along the edge of downtown is the highway, but it’s buried in an underground tunnel as a part of Boston’s Big Dig.  Now it’s a green space known as the Rose Kennedy Greenway so that people can easily walk to and from the neighbourhoods that were once separated from downtown by the freeway.

On Cross Street on the other side of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, I could look back and see the tall office towers make up Boston’s State Street business district behind the Quincy Market.

We had crossed over to the North End of Boston.  The North End is Boston’s oldest residential community with people having lived here since the 1630s.  It is also home to Boston’s Italian-American community with over a hundred restaurants in this small little neighbourhood.

The restaurants are exactly why we made the North End our destination.  Along the way, we passed some neat alley ways.  Even these little alley ways are numbered for the city to keep track of all of them.  Little things like finding obscure alley ways is what makes walking a city so much fun.

Parts of the Big Dig are visible from the surface.  There are tunnel buildings that serve not only the Big Dig’s underground freeway, but also the tunnels that branch out to serve other parts of Boston such as East Boston (where you can find Logan International Airport).

We finally arrived at Hanover Street.  This seems to be the busiest street in the North End.  People and cars were all over this place. Traffic slowly crawled as people along the sidewalks were walking to and fro.  It was dinner time, so it was really busy.  You could easily tell which eateries were the popular ones.  Long line ups outside Modern Pastry Shop was a useful hint of what was good in town, but we didn’t have time to stand in line and wait.  We were too hungry for that.

We ended up going into a few restaurants, but the wait was too long.  We should have expected that for a Saturday evening .  We went down Parmenter Street, a side street just off of Hanover, and walked into Pagliuca’s Ristorante. There was a table for 7 available so we took it.

We settled in for dinner in the basement of the restaurant.  It was nice to sit down after walking for a few hours from the Back Bay.  We ordered some red wine to start off the evening.  I ordered a soup and an eggplant and mushroom dish.  Some of my coworkers had some nice pasta and meat dishes that were more photogenic than my own order.

Once dinner was all said and done, it was dark outside and it was time to return to the hotel. We hailed a couple of cabs and made our way back to the Back Bay.

That was a whirlwind walk of Boston.  My coworkers were flying back home the next day, but I was staying an couple extra days to take in a few more places around Beantown.

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