The constant crush of humanity trekking from one end of Hanover Street to the other makes this neighborhood Boston’s busiest.
When one considers how much less space there is in the North End than on Newbury Street and environs, for instance, the ongoing miracle of the North End is easier to understand.
This is not just a crowded, frenzied neighborhood filled with tourists and residents, it is a friendly place where everyone appears to be coexisting with one another.
The grandeur of the North End remains its old Italian population, with hundreds of families sharing blood and culture and mixing with the newcomers and other old timers as well as the crush of tourists who descend upon the place.
However, the newcomers, those who have been here 30 years or less, have caused the place to be remade – with many rundown properties turned into some of the city’s most expensive signature places to live.
And so the old mixes indelicately with the new in this neighborhood – and the neighborhood mixes again with the tourists and visitors.
Back to Hanover Street.
Sunday afternoon on Hanover Street the place was in full blossom.
Thousands of tourists mingled with hundreds of residents.
The out and about nature of the day was robust – and those who came to taste of the pleasures of the North End ate great food, tasted of wonderful desserts, or sipped coffee and watched the Patriots at their favorite café.
In its mass, it was a wonderful display of what has come to be a nearly daily occurrence in the North End.
The lazy, quiet unhappening place that was home to so many in another era, is entirely changed.
The panache of living in the North End is quite beyond that of any other neighborhood in the city.
Life has always been close here.
It remains close today.
Closer even than ever before.
The strength of the community is its resolve to maintain its charm despite the mobs visiting here and of those wishing to make this neighborhood their living.
Thank God for that.