Boston is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The largest city in New England, Boston is often considered to be the unofficial economic and cultural center of the New England region. The city of Boston had an estimated population of 590,763 in 2006; however, the city lies at the center of America's eleventh-largest metropolitan area (5th largest CSA) known as Greater Boston, which is home to over 4.4 million people (7.4 million for CSA) and includes the nearby cities of Worcester and Providence. Residents of the city are called Bostonians.
In 1630, Puritan colonists from England founded the city on the Shawmut Peninsula. During the late 1700s, 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. After the revolution, 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 college, Harvard College (1636) in neighboring Cambridge, as well as the first subway system in the U.S.
Through land reclamation and municipal annexation, Boston has expanded throughout the peninsula. It has become one of the most culturally significant cities in the United States, and is recognized as a global city. With many colleges and universities within the city and surrounding area, Boston is a center of higher education and a center for health care. The city's economy is also based on research, finance, and technology — principally biotechnology. Boston has been experiencing some level of gentrification, and has one of the highest costs of living in the United States.
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 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, The Wang Center for the Performing Arts, Shubert Theater, and the Orpheum Theater. Renowned performing arts groups include the Boston Ballet, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, 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 during New Year's Eve, Italian summer feasts in the North End honoring Catholic saints, and several events during the Fourth of July. These events include the weeklong 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 or 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, The Allstonians, Skavoovie and the Epitones, and the Dropkick Murphys. 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, and in many cases razed during recent gentrification.
The Boston Red Sox (the "Sox" as they are colloquially called) are a founding member of the American League of Major League Baseball. The team plays its home games at Fenway Park, near Kenmore Square in the Fenway section. 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 baseball World Series, in 1903. The series was played between the Red Sox (then known as the "Pilgrims") and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The TD Banknorth Garden (formerly called the Fleet Center, and the Shawmut Center) is adjoined to North Station and is the home of two major league teams: the Boston Bruins ice hockey team of the National Hockey League and the Boston Celtics basketball team of the National Basketball Association. 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 more national titles than any other NBA team with 16 championships from 1957 to 1986.
Although the team has played in suburban Foxboro since 1971, the New England Patriots are Boston's football team. The team was founded in 1960 as the Boston Patriots, a charter member of the American Football League, and in 1970 the team joined the National Football League. The team has won three Super Bowl titles (2001, 2003, and 2004) since the 2001 season. They share Gillette Stadium with the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer. There has also been talk of a possible AFL expansion team coming to Boston sometime in the next few years.
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 the ECAC Hockey League, 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 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 Patriot's Day in April and always coincides with a Red Sox home baseball game that starts at 11:00 AM (the only MLB game to start before noon local time all year). 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||6 World Series Wins|
|New England Patriots||NFL||Football||Gillette Stadium||1960||3 Super Bowl Wins|
|Boston Celtics||NBA||Basketball||TD Banknorth Garden||1946||16 NBA Titles|
|Boston Bruins||NHL||Hockey||TD Banknorth Garden||1924||5 Stanley Cups|
|New England Revolution||MLS||Soccer||Gillette Stadium||1995||0 MLS Cups|
|Boston Cannons||MLL||Lacrosse (Outdoor)||Harvard Stadium||2001||0 MLL Championships|
|TBA||NLL||Lacrosse (Indoor)||TD Banknorth Garden||2008||0|