A very special “Top 10” event in Boston’s North End

I was honored to be the guest speaker at the 10th anniversary commemoration of Boston’s North End Historical Society (NEHS), whose Founder and President Alex Goldfield asked me to discuss my “Top 10 Favorite Things” about Boston’s oldest and most historic neighborhood.

The event was great fun and a warm, engaging way for NEHS to honor the neighborhood which encompasses Boston’s (and the nation’s) amazing colonial and Revolutionary history, and is also the home of the city’s first free African-American enclave, and successive waves of German, Irish, Jewish, and Italian immigrants. For most of the 20th century, the North End was almost exclusively an Italian neighborhood, and while the Italian-American population has dropped, it still remains the center of Italian history and culture in Boston.

The NEHS celebrated the event at the world-renowned North Bennett Street School (now located on North Street), famous for its coursework and expertise in precision musical instrument manufacturing, restoration carpentry, and award-winning furniture-making and craftsmanship. During the days of the great immigration period, the North Bennett Street School held English classes six and seven nights a week for Italian immigrants eager to assimilate.

The “10 Favorite Things” idea was Alex Goldfield’s brainchild — my hat’s off to Alex and his team for the outstanding work that they do to preserve North End history and the Italian-American cultural experience.