|Boston is a city of diverse neighborhoods, many of which were originally towns in their own right before being assimilated into the city itself. These neighborhoods still go by their original names and people will often tell you they are from "JP" (Jamaica Plain) or "Eastie" (East Boston) rather than from "Boston". Alternatively, people from the suburbs will tell you they are from Boston when in fact they live in one of the nearby (or even outlying) suburbs. If in doubt, you can look for "Resident Parking Only" signs which will tell you what neighborhood you are in. |
"Southie" is short for South Boston. Be aware, this is different from the South End (which is west of South Boston and north of Roxbury). Each neighborhood and neighboring city has more specific listings than what's on this page.
City of Boston
Among Boston's many neighborhoods, the historic areas of Back Bay, Bay Village, Beacon Hill, Chinatown, Downtown, the Fenway, the Financial District, Government Center, the North End, and the South End comprise the area considered "Boston Proper." It is here where most of the buildings that make up the city's skyline are located.
Boston neighborhoods (aka):
• Allston and Brighton (Allston-Brighton, All-Bright)
• Back Bay
• Bay Village
• Beacon Hill
• Dorchester (Dot)
• East Boston (Eastie)
• Fenway-Kenmore (The Fens, Kenmore Square)
• Hyde Park
• Jamaica Plain (JP)
• Mission Hill
• North End
• Roslindale (Rozzie)
• South Boston (Southie)
• South End
• West End
• West Roxbury
Allston and Brighton are very small and abutting; you will often hear it called Allston-Brighton. They are connected to the rest of the city by a narrow neck of land between the Charles River and the town of Brookline.
East Boston is on a peninsula across Boston Harbor from the main bulk of the city. Logan Airport is in East Boston. Several underwater tunnels connect East Boston to the rest of the city.
Charlestown is across the Charles River, on the part of the mainland where Cambridge and Somerville are located. It's where you'll find the Bunker Hill Monument.
The South End, North End, South Boston, and the West End are not the neighborhoods farthest in these respective directions.
The Back Bay is one of the few neighborhoods with a grid-like street network. It is so named because it used to be an actual bay (like with water) until the city made an enormous landfill project ending in 1862. It is now one of the higher-rent neighborhoods in the city. The cross-streets are named in alphabetical order from towns in England (and New England) from east starting at the Public Garden and heading west to Kenmore: Arlington, Berkeley, Clarendon, Dartmouth, Exeter, Fairfield, Gloucester (pronounced gloster), and Hereford. After Hereford is Massachusetts Avenue (or Mass. Ave, as it is commonly known) and then Charlesgate, which marks the boundary of Back Bay. (Trivia fact: the alphabetical streets continue on the far side of Massachusetts Avenue in the Fenway neighborhood, with Ipswich, Jersey, and Kilmarnock -- but at that point, it's no longer a grid.)
There are also several "districts" you might hear mentioned. "Districts" are generally areas of common interest located within a larger neighborhood:
• Financial District (downtown)
• Leather District (downtown)
• SoWa District (South of Washington, South End)
• Theatre District (between Chinatown and Bay Village)
• Waterfront District (South Boston)
• Ladder District (newer phrase for Downtown Crossing)