Jacob Fortgang/ Pictured: A plack for the Freedom Trail points the way to The Old North Church

Jacob Fortgang/ Pictured: A plack for the Freedom Trail points the way to The Old North Church

 

While the North End seems to have a lot of rich history, it’s actually lot of sad history. When I was in the North End I was able to talk to an elderly man in his late 60’s who grew up here, Allen. He had to move out of the area because of commercialization in 1953, and moved back recently. His parents had immigrated to American from Sicily, Italy. Although he was born in Boston, his parents still taught him to speak Italian and often went back to Italy later in his life. Even though he moved out of the North End, he still went back every couple of days. He eventually noticed that more and more Italian immigrants were moving out. After he retired, him and his friends would meet every Sunday in the North End and eat a meal, have dessert, and coffee. “It was and still is our Sunday tradition,” he disclosed to me. He never made it back to living in the North End, until 7 years ago. I asked him when he moved back if he noticed any changes and he immediately said yes. He said while the tradition, culture, and the atmosphere of the North End in some ways remain the same. In others it’s not, less immigrants or their family members were running or helping the stores anymore. “The stores used to be family owned and operated”. He also noted how there were younger people in the area. “It kind of breaks my heart. While in some ways it reminds me of the older North End or Italy for that matter, in some ways it doesn’t feel the same.”