Where Boston: Foot Traffic

May 2006

Where Boston: Foot Traffic
This town is made for walkin’, so that’s just what we’ll do …

By Seneca Clark

Boston is known as “America’s Walking City.” This town was instrumental in the American Revolution, and there is vast history here. As if to emphasize this, there is a red line painted on the streets for people to follow (called the Freedon Trail – you may have heard of it). So it’s no real surprise that new walking tours pop up here faster than Big Dig expenses, allowiong you to discover unique details and hidden gems odf the Hub, which you may otherwise whiz past in the city bustle. If you’re looking to learn but just can’t choose, we’ve broken down several city tours by personality, so you can select one that’s right up your alley.


The North End Market Tour
Time: Approximately 3 hours
Mileage: under a third of a mile

The North End is a delightful and delectable Boston Neighborhood, but with so many choices, it can de daunting finding a spot to eat or shop. Let expert (and North End resident for over 30 years) Michele Topor and her North End Market Tour (p.38) guides lead the way. Though the North End was home to Russians, Poles, Irish and Orthodox Jews after its establishment in 1630, by 1920 the area was 90% Italian. Topor explains that the Italians crossed the Atlantic in search of new opportunity and settled in “Little Italy’s” in major cities. Upon their arrival, they had very little, and they ate what was cheap: lots of vegetables, starches and cheap cuts of meat. After World War II, Americans began visiting the neighborhood to frequent the restaurants, and the Italians changed recipes to appease the American palate, adding meat in typically vegetarian recipes (eggplant Parmesan, for example, evolved into chicken and veal Parmesan). For three splendid hours, Topor will show you what’s truly authentic in this Italian enclave, visiting Topor’s favorite wine shops, salumeria, green grocers, pastry shops and fish markets. You’ll discover where to find the best cannoli and sfogliatelle (clam shell), the difference between true balsamic vinegar and the sugary imposters, how to boil the perfect pot of pasta, and so much more. Topor manages to mix together a perfect combination of cooking classes, history lesson and nutrition seminar to create the ultimate tasting tour.