Regarding the scary safety section, I think it would be more accurate to say that Boston suffers from more uncomfortable and sometimes explosive racial tension than many other American cities. It is important to note that the "dangerous" neighborhoods mentioned are pretty far off the beaten tourist tracks. This is not to imply that Wikitravel readers will not explore beyond the typical, but you're also not likely to find trouble on a casual visit to Boston.
Stay safe elided
Crime and other hazards in Boston are fairly typical for a large American city. For this very reason, we don't need to have the detailed safety info (e.g., have your keys out as you approach you car) that's pretty common for almost all cities. If there's something that's particular for the United States of America, it should be put there.
I'm sorry to take out work that obviously took some time, but it was pretty long. --Evan 02:26, 26 Jan 2004 (EST)
Good call; I (the author of that section) was about to move that safety stuff to its own page, for just that reason.
After having lived in Boston for five years and occasionally making return visits, I find it more racially harmonious than San Francisco/Berkeley/Oakland, where I've been living since 2001. I'm not sure what you mean by raciail uncomfortableness or explosiveness...these are not words that leap to mind when I think of either place. Did you have a particular experience or experiences in mind, or were you thinking of the racial history of the city (revolving around, e.g. school desegregation)?
In the 1990s, there have been actual race riots in Cincinnati and Los Angeles, but certainly not Boston. Certainly I would expect it that it is a lot more tolerant in many ways when compared to, say, many Southern cities - especially smaller ones.
--Beland Mon Jan 26 06:28:46 PST 2004
OK, so, we really need to figure out what to do with this huge list of neighborhoods, districts, suburbs, and what have you. I'm wondering if it'd be possible to do some refactoring. An idea:
A city located just outside of Boston and Cambridge. Somerville is well-known for Davis Square, an intellectual gay-friendly area on the Red Line, which has become a hot spot for young people and representative of spreading gentrification into the city. Tufts University has its undergraduate school spread out over the border of Somerville and Medford. Somerville has a very ethnically diverse population with prominent numbers of Brazilians, Salvadorans, and Haitians. Boston area cult-favorite restaurants Red Bones and Vinny's At Night are both located in Somerville.
Personally, I think it gets confusing if you start moving links to Boston district articles to Greater Boston. Part of Boston is what its neighborhoods or districts are. They probably don't all need links (some don't have articles now). Those that are just residential can probably be lumped together in one line with that explanation (although businesses there might not agree). Still, I disagree that someplace has to be a destination before it should have an article. If all that Boston/Allston-Brighton or Newton does is give a feel for the area and mention a couple of unique shops, to me it is worthwhile--even if it isn't worth a daytrip (to you).
What's more at issue in this article is that all the listings in Boston need to be moved out to the districts. Then the Boston article would indicate which districts have what types of dining and accommodation. This is the pattern in successfully revamped big city articles for other cities. OldPine 16:00, 9 September 2007 (EDT)
Still a stub
I re-added the stub message to the end of the page. I think it's important to remember that we have a different standard for stubbiness than, say, Wikipedia. For us, an article has to cover its subject completely, and especially for destination guides, it should provide enough information for a visitor to use as a sole source of information.
We have no hotel or hostel listings for Boston, and most of the restaurant and bar listings lack addresses, phone numbers, or much of a description. In addition, we have a huge list of neighborhoods with no context, descriptions, or district guides.
I'm not trying to knock the great work that's gone into this guide, but I wouldn't recommend it (yet) as the sole source of information for someone travelling to Boston. Would you? --Evan 02:50, 7 Aug 2004 (EDT)
External Links that were removed
The below External Links were removed. Some links should be placed into the article, other do not work within the Wikitravel:External links policy and their content should be integrated into the article. -- Ilkirk 12:41, 29 Nov 2005 (EST)
This area, and all of eastern Massachusetts, now (since 2001) must dial 10 digits. According to MoS (and the huge boondoggle of a discussion there), isn't the format +1 617-XXX-YYYY (area code not italicized) ? I'd be happy to do the edits. OldPine 07:27, 5 June 2006 (EDT)
This page has a style warning at the top. I've been trying to chip away at the formatting, but could use some comment as to what lacks. One thing I do see is a lack of detail in the "Do" and "See" sections. OldPine 17:20, 18 June 2006 (EDT)
Sapphire requested that I comment on the map. Some info that might be helpful to clarify:
Obviously there are some missing features - station names, wheelchair accessibility, commuter rail, etc. But this is a great start! If tweaking, I would recommend expanding the crowded downtown portion so the labels on the Orange Line don't get confused with the Green-E and Silver Line and Red Line labels, and so you can write more of them horizontally.
Purely schematic maps like this one are certainly useful for navigating the system, but I find maps that show where subway stops are on the street grid, to be even more useful. The T has such a map for its entire system on its site. It doesn't make much sense to me to try to recreate it; there's a pretty good chance the T would agree to release its maps under an acceptable license if they were asked. Actually I wonder whether works of this agency of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are automatically in the public domain, or if some private entity holds the copyright. -- Beland 11:12, 23 August 2006 (EDT)
Need better pictures
Crappy pictures... we need better pictures of boston.. the current picture makes boston look like a tiny nondescript city
When i used to live in Boston, i heard that (i never knew for sure) that by law Drivers are ALWAYS at fault when they hit a pedestrian even if the person is jaywalking. Is it true? --Bud001 04:01, 26 February 2008 (EST)
(See also: Help Bostonians! above) OK, I've started moving listings from the main Boston article to the districts and will continue until it's done. I know Boston reasonably well, but an having trouble with the defining lines for the districts. Clearly a map will be a necessity to a good article anyways.
CURRENT (7/27/08) DISTRICTS:
That's 21 districts (what the article calls "neighborhoods"), and I see no overlap. To me that means we don't want to add many districts. Just as a reference Chicago (star article) has 10 map areas encompassing 20 districts, San Francisco has 14 districts. There are also some other Boston "districts" such as the Financial District, Waterfront, and the Theatre District commonly in use in the city. These could potentially be sub-districts.
A problem, not uncommon I'm sure, is where to draw the lines. 1. Should the North Station area be included in Boston/North End? 2. Is the Theatre District in Boston/Bay Village (which I'd never heard of before) or Boston/South End or even Boston/Chinatown. 3. Where, on its south border does Boston/Back Bay end?
Comments of any nature welcome. OldPine 12:37, 27 July 2008 (EDT)
I just noticed that the Faneuil Hall Marketplace is one of the top 5 most-visited locations in the U.S. this year. Feeling ignorant, I checked the Wikitravel pages, but there's no description of what exactly this thing is! Neither on this page nor Boston/Downtown. Pls help! --Peter Talk 22:08, 28 August 2008 (EDT)
In the stay safe section of the Boston article saids the following. Some neighborhoods (Roxbury, Mattapan, and parts of Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, and Charlestown - all of which are off the main tourist path)
Charlestown would be a main tourist attraction. First the Bunker Hill Monument, Old Ironsides (Navy Yard), and the Freedom Trail all end up going through Charlestown. Charlestown is also so close to everything in Downtown Boston that you could easily walk into it from Downtown Boston without even knowing it. Not much in tourism in the other parts listed but significant history happened in all those neighborhoods, and are places were a lot of out of town college students reside.
Why is BOSTON a guide article?
Why is Boston a guide article when there are districts that are still OUTLINES???? Every district needs to be usable, regardless of how good the main article is! I won't change it, because I want a good reason! Keep smiling, Edmontonenthusiast 11:07, 28 October 2008 (EDT)
NYC subway riders, Critical Mass, Bostonians
As a resident of NYC for about 20 years, I can assure you that it is common practice for those wishing to enter the train to defer to those leaving the train. Chicago is more hit or miss. I think it is kind of cheap for a Wikitravel article to be taking a dig at another city like that, especially when it is not true.
I do not think Wikitravel should be encouraging its visitors to go to Boston and break its laws by participating in Critical Mass. There have been incidents with motorists, police, and other cyclists at these events and it is not a good idea for a tourist (especially international) to risk getting injured or in legal trouble. Not to mention it is incredibly rude to the pedestrians, motorists, and law enforcement. I even find it hypocritical because later on the article advises the reader not to get involved in protests.
I think there should be a section about the character of Bostonians toward outsiders, like many other articles do (including NYC). In several visits, I have found them to be very cold and provincial (though I would not say hostile). This is less pronounced in the college areas, where there are a lot of outsiders living there. Kuvopolis 13:47, 30 April 2009 (EDT)
Way too many neighbourghood subsection without a good outline
I think there are now too many neighbourghood subsection without a decent outline - or a visual of the 'important' areas. If an area is listed an then regarded as "a residential neighbourhood", does it really need to be there? I'm about to visit Boston for the first time in a few days, and I'm quite confused – the main article is split in so many subsections that I wouldn't know where to start. This is especially true when all the attractions are being treated as 'equal' in the main article – in other words, Wikitravel doesn't recommend anything over another thing. Knowing very little about the city, I have to look outside Wikitravel to first find out the so-called main attractions. Just my opinion, but anyway. -Antti Taehtinen
Climate > also in degree celsius
lots of this 16 million visitors a year are most likely from a place where they use degree celsius instead of fahrenheit to measure the temperature. therefore i and probably many more would appreciate if this can be added. thx --18.104.22.168 16:13, 15 September 2010 (EDT)
I'm think we should create a district map for Boston but we need to decide:
Sumone10154 23:15, 28 January 2011 (EST)
These are all the statuses for Boston and its neighborhoods:
–sumone10154 14:38, 9 February 2011 (EST)
Pronunciation of Faneuil
How do you say this word? I usually just mumble and hope people understand what I said. Maybe a pronunciation could be added to the guides? BigPeteB 10:14, 2 September 2011 (EDT)
BOSTON ACCENT!!! - I'm astonished to find no mention of the world famous Boston accent and dialect here! No travel guide could possibly be complete without any mention of this! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 22.214.171.124 (talk • contribs)
I tweaked two small things in the drink section. First, I clarified that the public transit shuts down before the pubs do except on Saturday and Sunday. Boston has recently moved to having the public transit open until 3AM on Friday and Saturday, with most bars closing by 2AM. So, you are not going to get stranded unless it is a work night. As a Bostonian resident, let me say, this is awesome. Yeah new mayor! Additionally, I clarified that not only are most places 21+, but that THEY WILL ID YOU. Lots of visitors, especially visitors from outside of the US, get a nasty surprise when they find out that despite the fact that they are obviously 30+, they can't get into a bar without an ID. Boston cards for 21+ places compulsively. It doesn't matter how old you obviously look, bring an ID (US license or passport). Seriously. -A Bostonian —The preceding comment was added by 126.96.36.199 (talk • contribs)
MBTA Subway - Customs and courtesies
As someone who is relatively new to public transportation, I'm constantly checking wikitravel in new cities so that I am better prepared to integrate seamlessly with the crowd. However, when I arrived in Boston I encountered several things that were not addressed here:
1) When the T is at street level (above ground, i.e. on Comm Ave), sometimes all the doors open to allow passengers off, but that also gives onboarding passengers a chance to sneak on without paying the fare which is located with the driver at the front and back. Only once during my 20-min trip did I hear the driver say over the loudspeaker "If you got on in the middle, please come up and pay your fare." Obviously, this is impossible to enforce and it seems like it's on the honor system, which was confirmed by a couple locals when I asked. I eventually made my way to the front, squeezing past dozens of people and moving only when we were stopped, and paid my fare when I exited, but in reality it was a lot of trouble to go to just to pay $2.10. The whole ordeal was confusing and uncomfortable since I didn't have any heads up about this. Recommendation: does anyone have input or instructions for visitors, i.e. wait for the T at the sign that says "first car stops here", or some insight on what happens if you get caught riding free, or the attitude of riders who perceive you as a freeloader?
2) This guide mentions using the stop tape, however, I had never had experience with stop tapes, only the cables that you pull, and so I had to figure it out on the fly just by watching other people. What I found is that the stop tape can be located in some odd places, and on a busy day you may find yourself not within reach of one due to crowding. Also, there are some seats/standing spots on the subway where a stop tape is not even visible, and that's because it's around the corner or being blocked by a person. In this case, I suggest that visitors consult their smart phones or else memorize the names of the two or three stops before their final destination, so they have time to make their way to a stop tape if necessary.
3) Why even mention Charlie Tickets at all? It's a more expensive fare, it's paper you have to pull out each time (and be careful not to fold or damage), and it's going to expire at the end of the day or week anyway. The Charlie Card costs nothing to obtain, is contactless, is reloadable, and offers a discounted fare. This seems like a no-brainer to me, and additionally it was just confusing that the MBTA website and their employees tried to sell me on one or the other based on what kind of traveling I would be doing during my stay. No, just no. The card is the best way to go no matter how long you're staying or how often you ride.
4) The only complaints I have about the Charlie Card (and they're huge ones) is that you can't check your balance online, and you have to wait until the following day to use credit you've added from the website. I've been all over the MBTA website and Charlie Card management page, and I assure you that as of November 2014, there is no option to check the balance of a registered Charlie Card. You can add/remove cards, or add money to one, but you can't see how much you have left unless you tap it to a kiosk or vending machine in person. Also, if you add value from the website, you have to wait until 5am the following day before you can tap it to a reader and use the money. This was frustrating when I needed to add value at 10pm, which I would use to get to the airport before 5am the following day, without having to walk several hours to the nearest station for a CharlieCard vending machine.
5) Getting on the subway is a rushed process because there is normally a lot of people waiting to get off and get on, and the driver wants to get out of there as quickly as possible to stay on schedule. This means that you get in line, and you watch people in front of you quickly tap their card to the reader, or jam some change into the machine and move on, and there are people waiting anxiously behind you (sometimes in the cold, depending on the season). So naturally, I never got a chance to study the machine when I tapped my card in order to understand all the information it was giving me. I assume that it's the cost that's being deducted from my card, and maybe it shows the balance remaining? That would be really helpful, so that I know if I have enough money on the card for the return trip home or if I need to stop at a kiosk (see #4 above). But I can imagine the looks I would get if I stood over the machine for 10 seconds watching the screen like an idiot while people are waiting to get on with their daily commute. Kjekk (talk) 14:12, 21 December 2014 (EST)