Sunday, September 13, 2009

Boston is Diverse

I've never been in such an ethnically diverse city (well, I'm sure New York and London must have been, but whatever).

It's absolutely astounding. We live in a district with a lot of MIT Graduate Students (which means they are frequently from outside the US). Our area is actually mostly known for it's Portugese immigrant population. It was formerly an Italian district (street names like Sciarappa) and there are still quite a few Italians around (Millie across the street has been here sixty six years--which means she moved in near the end of World War II!).

There are the massive groups of Irish and Italians that characterize Boston, of course, but the variety has only just begun. The black population is substantial, and it's really unfair to link African descent into one category. Such a large percentage of the population are immigrants around here, I don't even know when it's appropriate to say "Portugese American, or African American". Anyway, the variety of color, shapes and sizes, languages and cultures among just the African people around here is astounding. Absolutely astounding.

And then there's the Eastern Europeans, the rest of the Europeans, the Russians (who, I guess, are actually Europeans too), the gads of East Asians and Indians (and other subcontinent people, I'd wager) as well. There are lots of Canadians too, but I don't know if they really count as different; just better health care I suppose. I hate how they say pasta (pah stah) too.

Oh right, South America! Not a lot of Mexican people around here, but plenty of Brazilians and other South and Central American people. It's easy to forget that South American is situated quite a bit east.

Anyway, I can walk down the street anywhere in this town and hear a half dozen languages when covering a few blocks. It's especially pronounced when using public transportation (which is how we get around).

I love it. It feels so rich, so cosmopolitan, so diverse, so...I don't know, international. Since so many immigrants from so many countries start here, you can this sense of it being a place of hope and opportunity, a real destination for those who are coming to America to create a new life, seek assylum (a lot of political refugees around here) or even just get an outstanding education.

3 comments:

Court said...

I should just move there to learn all the languages I want to!

Marilee said...

Ah, I miss that diversity. Loved that about Boston too.
However, it should be noted that the absence of Mexican people means the absence of Mexican food which is very regretful. When you come home to visit I'll take out for good old lard-drenched rice and beans.

Ron said...

funny you say that: we just made a Mexican salad on Sunday and Fajitas last night--for the same reason. No mexican food anywhere.

Unfortunately, the produce matches...the cilantro was really weak. Looking forward to the lard drenched rice and beans.