|Official Name:||City of Boston|
|Nickname:||Beantown, The Hub (of the Universe), The Cradle of Liberty, The Cradle of Modern America, Athens of America, The Walking City|
|Subdivision Name:||United States|
|Established Title2:||Incorporated (city)|
|Leader Name:||Thomas M. Menino (D)|
|Area Magnitude:||1 E8|
|Area Total Sq Mi:||89.6|
|Area Total Km2:||232.1|
|Area Land Sq Mi:||48.4|
|Area Land Km2:||125.4|
|Area Water Sq Mi:||41.2|
|Area Water Km2:||106.7|
|Area Metro Km2:||11684.7|
|Area Metro Sq Mi:||4511.5|
|Population As Of:||2007|
|Population Metro:||5,977,504 http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=research_researchfad0_sup#cps|
|Population Density Km2:||4815|
|Population Density Sq Mi:||12327|
|Population Blank1 Title:||Demonym|
|Utc Offset Dst:||-4|
|Area Code:||617 / 857|
|Blank Name:||FIPS code|
|Blank1 Name:||GNIS feature ID|
Boston (pronounced ) is the capital and largest city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is considered the economic and cultural center of the region, and is sometimes regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England." Boston city proper had a 2007 estimated population of 608,352, making it the twenty-first largest in the country. Boston is also the anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area called Greater Boston, home to 4.4 million people and the tenth-largest metropolitan area in the country. Greater Boston as a commuting region includes parts of Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine; it includes 7.4 million people, making it the fifth-largest Combined Statistical Area in the country.
In 1630, Puritan colonists from England founded the city on the Shawmut Peninsula. During the late eighteenth century Boston was the location of several major events during the American Revolution, including the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. Several early battles of the American Revolution, such as the Battle of Bunker Hill and the Siege of Boston, occurred within the city and surrounding areas. Through land reclamation and municipal annexation, Boston has expanded beyond the peninsula. After American independence was attained Boston became a major shipping port and manufacturing center, and its rich history now attracts 16.3 million visitors annually.  The city was the site of several firsts, including America's first public school, Boston Latin School (1635), and first college, Harvard College (1636), in neighboring Cambridge. Boston was also home to the first subway system in the United States.
With many colleges and universities within the city and surrounding area, Boston is a center of higher education and a center for medicine. The city's economy is also based on research, finance, and technology principally biotechnology. Boston ranks first in the country in jobs per square mile ahead of New York City and Washington DC. The city has been experiencing gentrification and has one of the highest costs of living in the United States, though it remains high on world livability rankings.
See main article: History of Boston. Boston was founded on September 17, 1630, by Puritan colonists from England. The Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony are sometimes confused with the Pilgrims, who founded Plymouth Colony ten years earlier in what is today Bristol County, Plymouth County, and Barnstable County, Massachusetts. The two groups, which differed in religious practice, are historically distinct. The separate colonies were not united until the formation of the Province of Massachusetts Bay in 1691.
The Shawmut peninsula was connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus and was surrounded by the waters of Massachusetts Bay and the Back Bay, an estuary of the Charles River. Several prehistoric Native American archaeological sites that were excavated in the city have shown that the peninsula was inhabited as early as 5,000 BC. Boston's early European settlers first called the area Trimountaine, but later renamed the town after Boston, Lincolnshire, England, from which several prominent colonists had emigrated. Massachusetts Bay Colony's original governor, John Winthrop, gave a famous sermon entitled "A Model of Christian Charity," popularly known as the "City on a Hill" sermon, 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 a stable and well-structured society in Boston. For example, shortly after Boston's settlement, Puritans founded America's first public school, Boston Latin School (1635), and America's first college, Harvard College (1636). Boston was the largest town in British North America until Philadelphia grew larger in the mid-18th Century.
Boston's first "criminal" was English outdoorsman, attorney, man of letters and colonial adventurer Thomas Morton (c. 1588-1647), whose prosperous 1620s fur-trading post at "Ma-Re Mount" or Merrymount, near Wollaston Beach in Quincy, was a non-Puritan commercial plantation centered around an English Maypole. Morton, a "Renaissance man" with respect for Native Americans already abused by Plimoth Colony, with passion for its natural landscapes and belief in its trade potentials, plus a scathing sense of satirical humor, raised a Maypole there in May 1627, inviting "all comers" to celebrate Spring and in the process improve their trade connections, which included guns. After his arrest by Plimoth's Myles Standish and his return to New England in 1629, Boston's magistrates took over Morton's removal by arresting him, burning his plantation to the ground and exiling him (the summary-judgment transcript of these proceedings, which were not a trial, constitute the first entry for Mass. Bay Colony's prosecutions of religious, economic and cultural rivals and "troublemakers"). Historians generally confirmed the Puritans' "moral" cursing of Morton the man, his ways and his 1637 book "New English Canaan," until the late 20th century began to see a marked turn in historians' opinions of Morton and Merrymount's place in colonial history. Scholarly research indicates that Morton was America's first poet in English. Maypole raisings, feasting, drumming, music, song and dance celebrate Morton's Merrymount adventures today at the site of his plantation.
In the 1770s, British attempts to exert more-stringent 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 - including the Battle of Lexington and Concord, Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston - occurred in or near the city. During this period, Paul Revere made his famous midnight ride.
After the Revolution, Boston had become one of the world's wealthiest international trading ports because of the city's consolidated seafaring tradition - exports included rum, fish, salt, and tobacco. During this era, descendants of old Boston families became regarded as the nation's social and cultural elites; they were later dubbed the Boston Brahmins. In 1822, Boston was chartered as a city.
The Embargo Act of 1807, adopted during the Napoleonic Wars, and the War of 1812 significantly curtailed Boston's harbor activity. Although foreign trade returned after these hostilities, Boston's merchants had found alternatives for their capital investments in the interim. Manufacturing became an important component of the city's economy, and 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 and leather-goods industries. A network of small rivers bordering the city and connecting it to the surrounding region made for easy shipment of goods and led to a proliferation of mills and factories. Later, a dense network of railroads facilitated the region's industry and commerce. From the mid-nineteenth 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. The city reacted strongly to the Fugitive Slave Law, which contributed to President Franklin Pierce's attempt to make an example of Boston after the Burns Fugitive Slave Case.
In the 1820s, Boston's population began to swell, and the city's ethnic composition changed dramatically with the first wave of European immigrants. Irish immigrants dominated the first wave of newcomers during this period. By 1850, about 35,000 Irish lived in Boston. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, the city saw increasing numbers of Irish, Germans, Lebanese, Syrians, French Canadians, and Russian and Polish Jews settle in the city. By the end of the nineteenth century, Boston's core neighborhoods had become enclaves of ethnically distinct immigrants - Italians inhabited the North End, the Irish dominated South Boston, and Russian Jews lived in the West End.
Irish and Italian immigrants brought with them Roman Catholicism. Currently, Catholics make up Boston's largest religious community, and since the early twentieth century, the Irish have played a major role in Boston politics - prominent figures include the Kennedys, Tip O'Neill, and John F. Fitzgerald.
Between 1631 and 1890, the city tripled its physical size by land reclamation - by filling in marshes, mud flats, and gaps between wharves along the waterfront - a process that 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 the Haymarket Square area. The present-day State House sits atop this lowered Beacon Hill. Reclamation projects in the middle of the century created significant parts of the South End, the West End, the Financial District, and Chinatown. After The Great Boston Fire of 1872, workers used building rubble as landfill along the downtown waterfront. During the mid-to-late nineteenth century, workers filled almost 600 acres (2.4 km²) of brackish Charles River marshlands west of the Boston Common with gravel brought by rail from the hills of Needham Heights. Also, the city annexed the adjacent towns of Roxbury (1868), Dorchester (1870), Brighton, West Roxbury (including present day Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, and West Roxbury), and Charlestown. The last three towns were annexed in 1874.
The first community health center in the United States was the Columbia Point Health Center in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. It was opened in December 1965 and served mostly the massive Columbia Point public housing complex adjoining it. It was founded by two medical doctors - Jack Geiger of Harvard University and Count Gibson of Tufts University. It is still in operation and was re-dedicated in 1990 as the Geiger-Gibson Community Health Center.
By the early twentieth and mid-twentieth 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 under the direction of the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), which was established in 1957. In 1958, BRA initiated a project to improve the historic West End neighborhood. Extensive demolition was met with vociferous public opposition to the new agency. BRA subsequently reevaluated its approach to urban renewal in its future projects, including the construction of Government Center. By the 1970s, the city's economy boomed after 30 years of economic downturn. 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. Schools such as Harvard University, MIT, Tufts University, Boston University, Boston College, and Northeastern University attracted 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 Columbia Point housing projects, built in 1953 on the Dorchester peninsula, had gone through bad times until there were only 350 families living in them in 1988. They were run down and dangerous. In 1984, the city of Boston gave control of these projects to a private developer, Corcoran-Mullins-Jennison, who re-developed and revitalized the property into an attractive residential mixed-income community called Harbor Point Apartments, which was opened in 1988 and was completed by 1990. It is a very significant example of revitalization and re-development, and it was the first federal housing project to be converted to private, mixed-income housing in the United States, and was used as a model for the federal HUD HOPE VI public housing revitalization program begun in 1992.
In the early twenty-first century, the city has become an intellectual, technological, and political center. It has, however, experienced a loss of regional institutions, which included the acquisition of the Boston Globe by The New York Times, and the loss to mergers and acquisitions of local financial institutions such as FleetBoston Financial, which was acquired by Charlotte-based Bank of America in 2004. The city also had to tackle gentrification issues and rising living expenses, with housing prices increasing sharply since the 1990s.
See also: Neighborhoods in Boston.
Owing to its early founding, Boston is very compact. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 89.6 square miles (232.1 km²) - 48.4 square miles (125.4 km²) (54.0%) of land and 41.2 square miles (106.7 km²) (46.0%) of water. Boston is the country's fourth most densely populated city that is not a part of a larger city's metropolitan area. Of United States cities with more than 500,000 people, only San Francisco is smaller in land area. Boston's official elevation, as measured at Logan International Airport, is 19 ft (5.8 m) above sea level. The highest point in Boston is Bellevue Hill at 330 ft (101 m) above sea level, and the lowest point is at sea level.
Boston is surrounded by the "Greater Boston" region and is bordered by the cities and towns of Winthrop, Revere, Chelsea, Everett, Somerville, Cambridge, Watertown, Newton, Brookline, Needham, Dedham, Canton, Milton, and Quincy.
Much of the Back Bay and South End neighborhoods are built on reclaimed land - all of the earth from two of Boston's three original hills, the "trimount," was used as landfill material. Only Beacon Hill - the smallest of the three original hills - remains partially intact; only half of its height was cut down for landfill. 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, the South Boston waterfront, and Back Bay, which includes many prominent landmarks such as the Boston Public Library, Christian Science Center, 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 Building with its prominent weather forecast beacon - the color of the illuminated light gives an indication of weather to come: "steady blue, clear view; flashing blue, clouds are due; steady red, rain ahead; flashing red, snow instead." (In the summer, flashing red indicates instead that a Red Sox game has been rained out.) Smaller commercial areas are interspersed among single-family homes and wooden/brick multi-family row houses. Currently, the South End Historic District remains the largest surviving contiguous Victorian-era neighborhood in the U.S.
Along with downtown, the geography of South Boston was particularly impacted by the Central Artery/Tunnel (CA/T) Project (or the "Big Dig"). The unstable reclaimed land in South Boston posed special problems for the project's tunnels. In the downtown area, the CA/T Project allowed for the removal of the unsightly elevated Central Artery and the incorporation of new green spaces and open areas.
Boston Common, located near the Financial District and Beacon Hill, is the oldest public park in the U.S. Along with the adjacent Boston Public Garden, it is part of the Emerald Necklace, a string of parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted to encircle the city. Franklin Park, which is also part of the Emerald Necklace, is the city's largest park and houses a zoo. Another major park is the Esplanade, located along the banks of the Charles River. Other parks are scattered throughout the city, with the major parks and beaches located near Castle Island; in Charlestown; and along the Dorchester, South Boston, and East Boston shorelines.
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 National Recreation Area. The Neponset River forms the boundary between Boston's southern neighborhoods and the city of Quincy and the town of Milton. The Mystic River separates Charlestown from Chelsea and Everett, and Chelsea Creek and Boston Harbor separate East Boston from Boston proper.
Boston has what may basically be described as something between a humid continental climate and a humid subtropical climate, such as is very common in coastal southern New England. Summers are typically warm and humid, while winters are cold, windy, and snowy. Prevailing wind patterns that blow offshore affect Boston, minimizing the influence of the Atlantic Ocean.
Spring in Boston can be warm, with temperatures as high as the 90s when winds are offshore, although it is just as possible for a day in late May to remain in the lower 40s because of cool ocean waters. The hottest month is July, with an average high of 82 °F (28 °C) and an average low of 66 °F (18 °C), with conditions usually humid. The coldest month is January, with an average high of 36 °F (2 °C) and an average low of 22 °F (-6 °C). Periods exceeding 90°F in summer and below 10°F in winter are not uncommon but are 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. February in Boston has seen 70 °F (21 °C) only once in recorded history, on February 24, 1985. The highest temperature recorded in March was 89 °F (31 °C), on March 31, 1998.
The city averages about 43 in (108 cm) of precipitation a year, with 40.9 in (104 cm) of snowfall a year. Snowfall increases dramatically as one goes inland away from the city (Especially north and west of the city) - away from the warming influence of the ocean. Most snowfall occurs from December through March. There is usually little or no snow in April and November, and snow is rare in May and October. 
Boston's coastal location on the North Atlantic, although it moderates temperatures, also makes the city very prone to Nor'easter weather systems that can produce much snow and rain. Fog is prevalent, particularly in spring and early summer, and the occasional tropical storm or hurricane can threaten the region, especially in early autumn.
|Jan Hi °F:||36|
|Jan Hi °C:||2|
|Feb Hi °F:||38|
|Feb Hi °C:||3|
|Mar Hi °F:||45|
|Mar Hi °C:||7|
|Apr Hi °F:||56|
|Apr Hi °C:||13|
|May Hi °F:||67|
|May Hi °C:||19|
|Jun Hi °F:||77|
|Jun Hi °C:||25|
|Jul Hi °F:||82|
|Jul Hi °C:||28|
|Aug Hi °F:||80|
|Aug Hi °C:||27|
|Sep Hi °F:||73|
|Sep Hi °C:||23|
|Oct Hi °F:||63|
|Oct Hi °C:||17|
|Nov Hi °F:||52|
|Nov Hi °C:||11|
|Dec Hi °F:||41|
|Dec Hi °C:||5|
|Year Hi °F:||59|
|Year Hi °C:||15|
|Jan Lo °F:||22|
|Jan Lo °C:||-6|
|Feb Lo °F:||23|
|Feb Lo °C:||-5|
|Mar Lo °F:||31|
|Mar Lo °C:||-1|
|Apr Lo °F:||40|
|Apr Lo °C:||4|
|May Lo °F:||50|
|May Lo °C:||10|
|Jun Lo °F:||59|
|Jun Lo °C:||15|
|Jul Lo °F:||65|
|Jul Lo °C:||18|
|Aug Lo °F:||64|
|Aug Lo °C:||18|
|Sep Lo °F:||57|
|Sep Lo °C:||14|
|Oct Lo °F:||47|
|Oct Lo °C:||8|
|Nov Lo °F:||38|
|Nov Lo °C:||3|
|Dec Lo °F:||27|
|Dec Lo °C:||-3|
|Year Lo °F:||44|
|Year Lo °C:||7|
|Jan Precip Inch:||3.8|
|Jan Precip Mm:||97|
|Feb Precip Inch:||3.5|
|Feb Precip Mm:||89|
|Mar Precip Inch:||4.0|
|Mar Precip Mm:||102|
|Apr Precip Inch:||3.7|
|Apr Precip Mm:||94|
|May Precip Inch:||3.4|
|May Precip Mm:||86|
|Jun Precip Inch:||3.0|
|Jun Precip Mm:||76|
|Jul Precip Inch:||2.8|
|Jul Precip Mm:||71|
|Aug Precip Inch:||3.6|
|Aug Precip Mm:||91|
|Sep Precip Inch:||3.3|
|Sep Precip Mm:||84|
|Oct Precip Inch:||3.3|
|Oct Precip Mm:||84|
|Nov Precip Inch:||4.4|
|Nov Precip Mm:||112|
|Dec Precip Inch:||4.2|
|Dec Precip Mm:||107|
|Year Precip Inch:||42.9|
|Year Precip Mm:||1090|
|Jan Snow Inch:||12.0|
|Feb Snow Inch:||11.3|
|Mar Snow Inch:||7.9|
|Apr Snow Inch:||0.9|
|May Snow Inch:||0.0|
|Jun Snow Inch:||0.0|
|Jul Snow Inch:||0.0|
|Aug Snow Inch:||0.0|
|Sep Snow Inch:||0.0|
|Oct Snow Inch:||0.0|
|Nov Snow Inch:||1.3|
|Dec Snow Inch:||7.5|
|Year Snow Inch:||40.9|
According to the censusWeb site: States Census Bureau] American FactFinder]. 2008-01-31. of 2000, there were 589,141 people (the population estimate of 2006 was 596,638 people), 239,528 households, and 115,212 families residing in the city. The population density was 12,166 people per square mile (4,697/km²). Of major US cities, only New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago have a greater population density than Boston. There were 251,935 housing units at an average density of 5,203 per square mile (2,009/km²).
During weekdays, the population of Boston can grow during the daytime to about 1.2 million. This fluctuation of people is caused by hundreds of thousands of suburban residents who travel to the city for work, education, health care and special events.
According to the 2007 American Community Survey, the city's population was 58.4% White (50.0% non-Hispanic White alone), 25.3% Black or African American (22.2% non-Hispanic Black or African American alone), 0.8% American Indian and Alaska Native, 8.7% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 9.4% from some other race and 2.6% from two or more races. 15.6% of the total population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
According to a 2006 estimate, the White population comprises 53.5% of the population, and Hispanics make up 15.5%. People of Irish descent form the largest single ethnic group in the city, making up 15.8% of the population, followed by Italians, accounting for 8.3% of the population. People of West Indian ancestry are another sizeable group, at 6.4%, about half of whom are of Haitian ancestry. Some neighborhoods, such as Dorchester, have received an influx of people of Vietnamese ancestry in recent decades. Neighborhoods such as Jamaica Plain and Roslindale have experienced a growing number of Dominican Americans.
There were 239,528 households, of which 22.7% had children under the age of 18 living in 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. 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.
See main article: Boston accent. The "Boston accent" is widely parodied in the U.S. as the speech of Kennedys and Harvard graduates. It is non-rhotic (i.e., drops the "r" sound at the end of syllables unless the next syllable starts with a vowel) and uses a "broad a" so words like "bath" sound like "baath." Boston English has many dialect words like "wicked", meaning "very", and "frappe", meaning "milkshake." The accent originated in the non-rhotic speech of 17th century East Anglia, where many of the first Bostonians originated.
The city has seen a great reduction in violent crime since the early 1990s. Boston's low crime rate in the last years of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century has been credited to its police department's collaboration with neighborhood groups and church parishes to prevent youths from joining gangs, as well as involvement from the United States Attorney and District Attorney's offices. 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 31 not one of them a juvenile in 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 with the year before, with 60 murders in 2002, followed by just 39 in 2003, 64 in 2004, and 75 in 2005. Although 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.  
See also: Major companies in Greater BostonBoston'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. Boston is home to technology companies such as EMC Corp. and Analog Devices as well as E-Commerce companies VistaPrint and CSN Stores. Boston is also a major hub for biotechnology companies, including Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Merck & Co., Millipore, Genzyme, and Biogen Idec. According to a 2003 report by the Boston Redevelopment Authority, students enrolled in Boston's colleges and universities contribute $4.8 billion annually to the city's economy. Boston also receives the highest amount of annual funding from the National Institutes of Health of all cities in the United States.
Tourism comprises a large part of Boston's economy. In 2004, tourists spent $7.9 billion and made the city one of the ten-most-popular tourist locations in the country. Some of the other important industries are 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 it is a center for venture capital. State Street Corporation, which specializes in asset management and custody services, is headquartered in the city. Boston is also a printing and publishing center - Houghton Mifflin is headquartered within the city, along with Bedford-St. Martin's Press, Beacon Press, and Little, Brown and Company. Pearson PLC publishing units also employ several hundred people in Boston. The city is home to 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 Boston's status as a state capital and the regional home of federal agencies, law and government are another major component of the city's economy.
Some of the major companies headquartered within the city are the Liberty Mutual insurance company; Gillette (now owned by Procter & Gamble); and Teradyne, one of the world's leading manufacturers of semiconductor and other electronic test equipment. New Balance has its headquarters in the city. Boston is also home to management consulting firms The Boston Consulting Group, Monitor Group, and Bain & Company, as well as the private equity group Bain Capital. Other major companies are located outside the city, especially along Route 128. Route 128 serves as the center of the region's high-tech industry. In 2006, Boston and its metropolitan area ranked as the fourth-largest cybercity in the United States with 191,700 high-tech jobs. Only NYC Metro, DC Metro, and Silicon Valley had bigger high-tech sectors. The Port of Boston is a major seaport along the United States' East Coast and is also the oldest continuously operated industrial and fishing port in the Western Hemisphere. Boston is classified as a "Gamma world city" by a study group at Loughborough University in England.
See main article: Culture in Boston.
See also: Sites of interest in Boston. Boston shares many cultural roots with greater New England, including a dialect of the non-rhotic Eastern New England accent known as Boston English, and a regional cuisine with a large emphasis on seafood, rum, salt, and dairy products. Irish Americans are a major influence on Boston's politics and religious institutions. Boston also has its own collection of neologisms known as Boston slang.
Many consider Boston to have a strong sense of cultural identity, perhaps as a result of its intellectual reputation; much of Boston's culture originates at its universities. The city has several ornate theatres, including the Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston Opera House, Citi Performing Arts Center, and the Orpheum Theatre. Renowned performing-arts organizations include the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Ballet, Boston Early Music Festival, Boston Lyric Opera Company, and the Handel and Haydn Society (one of the oldest choral companies in the United States). There are also many major annual events such as First Night, which occurs on New Year's Eve, the annual Boston Arts Festival at Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, Italian summer feasts in the North End honoring Catholic saints, and several events during the Fourth of July period. These events include the week-long Harborfest festivities and a Boston Pops concert accompanied by fireworks on the banks of the Charles River.
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 of bricks embedded in the ground. The city is also home to several prominent art museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. In December 2006, the Institute of Contemporary Art moved from its Back Bay location to a new contemporary building designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro located in the Seaport District. The University of Massachusetts campus at Columbia Point houses the John F. Kennedy Library. The Boston Athenaeum (one of the oldest independent libraries in the United States), Boston Children's Museum, Bull & Finch Pub (whose building is known from the television show Cheers), Museum of Science, and the New England Aquarium are within the city.
Boston is also one of the birthplaces of the hardcore punk genre of music. Boston musicians have contributed greatly to this music scene over the years (see also Boston hardcore). Boston neighborhoods were home to one of the leading local third wave ska and ska punk scenes in the 1990s, led by bands such as The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and the The Allstonians. The 1980s' hardcore punk-rock compilation This Is Boston, Not L.A. highlights some of the bands that built the genre. Several nightclubs, such as The Channel, Bunnratty's in Allston, and The Rathskeller, were renowned for showcasing both local punk-rock bands and those from farther afield. All of these clubs are now closed. Many were razed during recent gentrification.
See main article: Media in Boston. The Boston Globe (owned by The New York Times Company) and the Boston Herald are Boston's two major daily newspapers. The Christian Science Monitor, a third daily, is edited in Boston and printed in a series of regional presses across the U.S. The city is also served by other publications such as The Boston Phoenix, Boston magazine, The Improper Bostonian, Boston's Weekly Dig, and the Boston edition of Metro. The Boston Globe also releases a teen publication to the city's public high schools. The newspaper Teens in Print or T.i.P. is written by the city's teens and delivered quarterly within the school year.
Boston has the largest broadcasting market in New England, with the Boston radio market being the eleventh largest in the United States. 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 do NPR stations WBUR and WGBH. College and university radio stations include WERS (Emerson), WHRB (Harvard), WUMB (UMass Boston), WMBR (M.I.T.), WZBC (Boston College), WMFO (Tufts University), WBRS (Brandeis University), WTBU (Boston University, campus and web only), WRBB (Northeastern University) and WMLN (Curry College).
The Boston television DMA, which also includes Manchester, New Hampshire, is the seventh largest in the United States. The city is served by stations representing every major American network including WBZ 4 (CBS), WCVB 5 (ABC), WHDH 7 (NBC), WFXT 25 (Fox), WUNI 27 (Univision), and WLVI 56 (The CW). Boston is also home to PBS station WGBH 2, a major producer of PBS programs, which also operates WGBX 44. Most Boston television stations have their transmitters in nearby Needham and Newton.
See main article: Sports in Boston. The Boston Red Sox, a founding member of the American League of Major League Baseball, play their home games at Fenway Park, near Kenmore Square in the Fenway section of Boston. Built in 1912, it is the oldest sports arena or stadium in active use in the United States among the four major professional sports  . Boston was also the site of the first game of the first modern World Series, in 1903. The series was played between the Red Sox and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Persistent reports that the team was known in 1903 as the "Boston Pilgrims" appear to be unfounded. The Boston Braves were Boston's National League team (1871 - 1953) until they moved to Milwaukee in 1953; then later Atlanta, in 1966, where they currently play as the Atlanta Braves.
The TD Banknorth Garden (formerly called the Fleet Center and the Shawmut Center) is adjoined to North Station and is the home of three major league teams: the Boston Blazers of the National Lacrosse League, the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League; and the Boston Celtics, the 2008 National Basketball Association champions. The arena seats 18,624 for basketball games and 17,565 for ice hockey venues. The Bruins were the first American member of the National Hockey League and an Original Six franchise.  The Boston Celtics were founding members of the Basketball Association of America, one of the two leagues that merged to form the NBA.  The Celtics have the distinction of having won more championships than any other NBA team, with seventeen .
While they have played in suburban Foxborough since 1971, the New England Patriots were founded in 1960 as the Boston Patriots. A charter member of the American Football League, the team joined the National Football League in 1970. The team has won the Super Bowl three times, in 2001, 2003, and 2004. They share Gillette Stadium with the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer.
Boston's many colleges and universities are active in college athletics. There are four NCAA Division I members in the city - Boston College (member of the Atlantic Coast Conference), Boston University (America East Conference), Northeastern University (Colonial Athletic Association), and Harvard University (Ivy League). All except Harvard, which belongs to ECAC Hockey, belong to the Hockey East conference. The hockey teams of these four universities meet every year in a four-team tournament known as the "Beanpot Tournament," which is played at the TD Banknorth Garden over two Monday nights in February.
One of the most-famous sporting events in the city is the Boston Marathon, the 26.2 mile (42.2 km) run from Hopkinton to Copley Square in the Back Bay. The Marathon, the world's oldest, is popular and heavily attended. It is run on Patriots' Day in April and always coincides with a Red Sox home baseball game that starts at 11:05 AM, the only MLB game all year to start before noon local time. Another major event held in the city is the Head of the Charles Regatta rowing competition on the Charles River.
|Boston Red Sox||MLB||Baseball||Fenway Park||1901||7 World Series Titles|
12 AL Pennants
|New England Patriots||NFL||Football||Gillette Stadium||1960||3 Super Bowl Titles|
6 AFC Championships
|Boston Celtics||NBA||Basketball||TD Banknorth Garden||1946||17 NBA Titles|
|Boston Bruins||NHL||Hockey||TD Banknorth Garden||1924||5 Stanley Cups|
|New England Revolution||MLS||Soccer||Gillette Stadium||1995||1 U.S. Open Cup, 1 Superliga|
|Boston Cannons||MLL||Lacrosse (Outdoor)||Harvard Stadium||2001||None|
|Boston Blazers||NLL||Lacrosse (Indoor)||TD Banknorth Garden||2008||None|
|New England Riptide||NPF||Softball||Martin Softball Field||2004||1 Cowles|
|Boston Breakers||WPS||Soccer||Harvard Stadium||2009||None|
See also: List of Mayors of Boston, Boston Fire Department, Boston Emergency Medical Services and Boston Finance Commission. Boston 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 current mayor of Boston in Thomas Menino. 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, with no more than one vote per candidate. The candidates with the four highest vote totals are elected. The president of the city council is elected by the councilors from within themselves. The school committee for the Boston Public Schools is appointed by the mayor. The Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Zoning Board of Appeals (a seven-person body appointed by the mayor) share responsibility for land-use planning.
In addition to city government, numerous commissions and state authorities - including the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Boston Public Health Commission, and the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) - play a role in the life of Bostonians. As the capital of Massachusetts, Boston plays a major role in state politics. The city has several properties relating to the United States federal government, including the John F. Kennedy Federal Office Building and the Thomas P. O'Neill Federal Building. Boston also serves as the home of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts; Boston is 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.
See also: List of colleges and universities in metropolitan Boston. 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 the Greater Boston Area, with more than 250,000 students attending college in Boston and Cambridge alone. Within the city, Boston University exudes a large presence as the city's fourth-largest employer, and maintains a campus along the Charles River on Commonwealth Avenue and its medical campus in the South End. Northeastern University, another large private university, is located in the Fenway area, and is particularly known for its Business and Health Science schools and cooperative education program. Wheelock College, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Simmons College, Emmanuel College, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and Wentworth Institute of Technology, founding members of the Colleges of the Fenway, are adjacent to Northeastern University. Suffolk University, a small private university known for its law school, maintains a campus on Beacon Hill. New England School of Law, a small private law school located in the theater district, was originally established as America's only all female law school. Emerson College, a small private college with a strong reputation in the fields of performing arts, journalism, writing, and film, is located nearby on Boston Common. Boston College, whose original campus was located in South Boston, moved its campus west to a site that straddles the Boston(Brighton)-Newton border. Boston College is expanding further into the Brighton neighborhood following the purchase of adjacent land from the Boston Catholic Archdiocese.
Boston is also home to several conservatories and art schools, including the Art Institute of Boston, Massachusetts College of Art, New England School of Art and Design (part of Suffolk University), and the New England Conservatory of Music (the oldest independent conservatory in the United States). Other conservatories include the Boston Conservatory, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Berklee College of Music. Boston has one major public university, the University of Massachusetts Boston, located on Columbia Point in Dorchester, while Roxbury Community College and Bunker Hill Community College are the city's two community colleges.
Several major national universities located outside Boston have a major presence in the city. Harvard University, the nation's oldest, and arguably best known institution of higher learning, is located across the Charles River in Cambridge. The business and medical schools are in Boston, and there are plans for additional expansion into Boston's Allston neighborhood. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which originated in Boston and was long known as "Boston Tech," moved across the river to Cambridge in 1916. Tufts University administers its medical and dental school adjacent to the Tufts Medical Center, a 451-bed academic medical institution that is home to both a full-service hospital for adults and the Floating Hospital for Children. Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, is the only evangelical Christian college in metropolitan Boston and is active in Christian ministry in the City of Boston.
Boston Public Schools, the oldest public school system in the U.S., enrolls 57,000 students from kindergarten to grade 12. The system operates 145 schools, which includes Boston Latin School (the oldest public school in the United States, established in 1635; which, along with Boston Latin Academy, is a highly prestigious public exam school admitting students in the 7th and 9th grades only and serving grades 7–12), English High (the oldest public high school, established 1821), and the Mather School (the oldest public elementary school, established in 1639). 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. It also operates Boston High School. In 2002, Forbes Magazine ranked the Boston Public Schools as the best large city school system in the country, with a graduation rate of 82%. In 2005, the student population within the school system was 45.5% Black or African American, 31.2% Hispanic or Latino, 14% White, and 9% Asian, as compared with 24%, 14%, 49%, and 8% respectively for the city as a whole.  High school age students have the opportunity to participate in the Boston Youth Fund which provides summer placement jobs for those who qualify. 
See also: List of hospitals in BostonThe 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 Boston, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is 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 well-known research medical centers affiliated with Harvard Medical School.  Tufts Medical Center (formerly Tufts-New England Medical Center), located in the southern portion of the Chinatown neighborhood, is affiliated with Tufts University School of Medicine. 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, which was the first municipal hospital in the U.S.
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). The city's water comes from the Quabbin Reservoir and the Wachusett Reservoir, which are about 65miles and 35miles west of the city respectively. 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, Bell Atlantic and earlier, the Bell System, 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, with Broadband Internet access provided by the same companies in certain areas. A variety of DSL providers and resellers are able to provide broadband Internet over Verizon-owned phone lines.
See main article: Boston transportation. Logan International Airport, located in the East Boston neighborhood, handles most of the scheduled passenger service for Boston. Surrounding the city are three major general aviation relievers: Beverly Municipal Airport to the north, Hanscom Field in Bedford, to the west, and Norwood Memorial Airport to the south. T. F. Green Airport serving Providence, Rhode Island, and Manchester-Boston Airport in Manchester, New Hampshire, also provide scheduled passenger service to the Boston area.
Downtown Boston's streets are not organized on a grid, but grew in a meandering organic pattern beginning early in the seventeenth century. They were created as needed, and as wharves and landfill expanded the area of the small Boston peninsula. Along with several rotaries, roads change names and lose and add lanes seemingly at random. On the other hand, streets in the Back Bay, East Boston, the South End, and South Boston do follow a grid system.
Boston is the eastern terminus of I-90, which in Massachusetts runs along the Mass Pike. I-95, which surrounds the city, is locally referred to as Route 128, its historical state route numbering. U.S. 1 and I-93 and Massachusetts Route 3 run north to south through the city forming the elevated Central Artery, which ran through downtown Boston and was constantly prone to heavy traffic, was replaced with an underground tunnel through the Big Dig.
Nearly a third of Bostonians use public transit for their commute to work. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) operates what was the first underground rapid transit system in the United States and is now the fourth busiest rapid transit system in the country, having been expanded to 65.5 miles (105 km) of track, 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 the nation's sixth busiest bus network, as well as water shuttles, and the nation's fifth-busiest commuter rail network, totaling over 200 miles (321 km), extending north to the Merrimack Valley, west to Worcester, and south to Providence. Nicknamed "The Walking City", pedestrian commutes play a larger role than in comparably populated cities. Owing to factors such as the compactness of the city and large student population, 13% of the population commutes by foot, making it the highest percentage of pedestrian commuters in the country out of the major American cities. In its March 2006 issue, Bicycling magazine named Boston as one of the worst cities in the U.S. for cycling; regardless, it has one of the highest rates of bicycle commuting. In September 2007, Mayor Menino started a bicycle program called Boston Bikes with a goal of making Boston a world class bicycling city by creating safe and inviting conditions for all residents and visitors. As of January 2009 some steps have been achieved and are ongoing. 250 bike racks have been installed since the start of the program, as well as adding city bike lanes on Commonwealth Avenue from the Boston University Bridge to Kenmore Square (1 mile), Turtle Pond Parkway (2 miles), and Perkins Street (1/2 mile, restriped). Bennington Street has been given bike accommodations for 2 miles as a shared road. Mayor Menino’s bicycle program has a principle goal of practicing smart growth by providing residents with a viable alternative to the single occupancy vehicle.http://www.smartgrowth.org/ Other strategies Boston Bikes is implementing are Bike Share, Bike Friday, and creating complete streets using urban design.http://www.cityofboston.gov/bikes/
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.
See main article: Sister cities of Boston.