Trendy, Hip and Gorgeous: The South End

4 Nov

The South End: Notice the park in the middle of the street, the iron rails, brick sidewalks and trees lining the street of row houses.

Before anyone asks or wonders aloud: The South End is not South Boston. Not. Just so we are clear.

Every neighborhood in Boston has its own unique taste with some flavors being better than others. But the South End is definitely one of the better neighborhoods (this is not taking safety into account, just for reference). The buildings are gorgeous, the area is peaceful and there are usually some hot guys running around (the South End is known to be a hub for the gay population, so that explains the hot guys).

The South End is filled with vintage brownstones from the 1800s. They are gorgeous and the iron work on the railing and balconies are amazing. And I don’t even admire or take notice of architecture. Almost all the sidewalks are brick lined with trees. The “front yards” of the brownstones are well-maintained and manicured.

The neighborhood, as mentioned above, is a home to the lesbian and gay population. In addition, the South End is artsy, galleries and shops are literally on every corner. But it is also one of the more diverse sections of Boston, bringing together people of all nationalities, races and religions. Parks are abundant and often act as meeting places. I love places like this.

As much as I want to say “Just wander, explore the area,” there are a few things you should see. Union Street is one. It is said to be one of the more historical streets in Boston and one of the most beautiful. Union Park separate the two sides of the street and at the end of it, on Washington Street, is the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, which is the largest church in New England. My dad and I tried checking it out one time but they were painting and wouldn’t let us in. Tremont Street, which runs parallel to Washington and Shawmut Streets, is lined with shops that you probably can’t afford. But they are cute and can be made fun of quite easily. Other than that, though, just wander, sit in a park, get a cupcake at the South End Buttery or explore the BU Medical Campus (don’t do the last one).

Cathedral of the Holy Cross

As with getting to the SoWa Market (also in the South End on Harrison St.), it is not the easiest. And we all know we are all lazy, so to be honest, it sucks. But it’s worth it. Really. I suggest taking the Green Line to Copley and walking down Dartmouth Street, which crosses all the major streets. You can also get off at Arlington and walk south as well. If you do that, all of the South End is to your right. If you are on the Orange Line you can get off at Back Bay and walk down Dartmouth as well. Then there is Mass Ave. You can get off at that stop on the Orange Line and walk down Mass Ave. Or you can hop on the #1 bus, which runs all the way down Mass Ave (and into MIT and Harvard the other way- great bus route). Then there is the Silver Line which is a great choice as it runs right through the neighborhood. So there are a variety of options but I would say get off somewhere that is farther away and just walk (leisurely) for a while; take everything in, relax.

Oh, and while in Copley take a picture of the church’s reflection in the John Hancock Tower. My favorite picture of Boston!

You can't really see it but the church is reflected in the building. My best friend took this. Gorgeous, huh?

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