Four years of college in Boston and I’m finally experiencing a bit of the Boston summer. I wasn’t here for most of it unfortunately but I’m going to make the most of my time the next month or two before fall comes and winter creeps on. There is always something going on over the weekends, that’s the beauty of the summer season in this city. This past weekend was the Fisherman’s Feast in the North End.
Working at a hostel pays off when it comes to finding out about events, it’s our job to recommend unique activities to do aside from your typical tourist history tours. I worked all weekend (what weekend?) but thankfully, I did manage to get Sunday night off. After a few hours of rest, I ventured over to the North End where, I had been told, had lots of street food, live entertainment and beer tents. But even then, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
The Fisherman’s Feast is an annual event based on a tradition dating back to the 16th century. It began in Boston in 1910 and is based on the devotion of the fishermen from Sciacca to the Madonna Del Soccorso (Our Lady of Help) . The traditions represented in this “feast” were brought over when these fishermen immigrated to the US in the early 1900s. The feast is organized by the descendants of those original immigrants thus, the traditional atmosphere and environment lives on.
Walking down Hanover St in the North End, I noticed crowds of people carrying boxes of Mike’s Pastry, snake lines of people patiently waiting for a seat at various restaurants, and children squeezing their new-found love; balloon animals. “The feast must be just around the corner,” I told myself. For a few minutes, I thought I was in the wrong location but I finally reached North Street and my mind was blown. The street was packed with stalls of food; seafood and desserts; carnival games, free refills of pina coladas, and people trying to explore.
While waiting for my 6 raw clams for $5, a huge smile escaped my face. I had a sudden realization that I didn’t feel like I was in Boston, it was almost as if I was back in Asia in a street market trying to compete with others to order food or simply to walk a few steps to the side of the street.
As strange as it sounds, the hour I was struggling to walk through North Street without any personal space, I felt comfortable. It was a taste of home that I haven’t experienced since last Christmas in Hong Kong. The Raw clams, fried calamari and rice ball with meat sauce were all delicious, especially in that joyful celebratory atmosphere.
There are many more festivals and events happening in the weeks to come and I’ll be sure to join in on them when I get the chance to! If you’d like to make your way to one of them as well, click here for a list of when and where you should be.