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A Letter From Anna – Part 1

This is the start of a five part series by Jan Maguire, 2010 Michelangelo Anzelone was born with a song in his heart and music in his fingers. From his earliest days, the nuns from Saint Anthony’s Church recognized his talents and insisted that Michelangelo had been sent by God to fill the silent chapel […]

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A Letter From Anna – Part 2

by Jan Maguire 2010 As with many of the Italian immigrants, the first stop would be with relatives or friends from the town who had immigrated earlier.  Dominic Polcari was a cousin of Ralph’s mother Carolina. Dominic lived with his family in a second-floor apartment at 11 Thatcher Street in the North End. The Polcaris […]

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A Letter From Anna – Part 3

by Jan Maguire, 2010 Mercifully, the sea was calm so Anna’s voyage was bearable. By early 1921, the stream of Italian immigrants from southern Italy and Sicily had ebbed somewat. Many days during the voyage, Anna had been able to go up to the deck. There she chatted with the many young wives who were […]

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A Letter from Anna – Part 4

by Jan Maguire, 2010 The three Anzalone siblings shared a productive 1920s.  During that decade, many many babies were born: Ralph and Aurelia had baby they named Anna, followed in quick procession by Angelo, Philomena, Federico and Anthony. Carmella and Joe had Esther, first, and then followed up with four little boys – Rocco, Carmine, […]

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A Letter From Anna – Part 5

by Jan Maguire, 2010 In 1944, on a quiet Saturday morning, a tragedy that Anna was never to recover from, happened. Michael Pelosi was already up and gone to work at the cobbler shop. Frances had the day off and 11 year old Anthony did what he always did on a day with no school: […]

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North End History: Beneath the North End

“Beneath the North End” “So how many tunnels are there beneath the North End,” she asked. “Well, about ten,” I responded. “Really? TEN tunnels!” the tourist in the red raincoat exclaimed. “Naw, just kiddin’,” I said, “Only four.” Fascination with the North End’s secret tunnels goes back several centuries: from the days when Captain Gruchy […]

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North End History: It Takes a Family a Bakery to Make

It Takes a Family a Bakery to Make There’s nothing quite so comforting as walking home in the early morning with a warm loaf of bread cradled in one’s elbow. It’s like holding a warm baby straight from the bath in the crook of your arm. You cradle it carefully so as not to crush […]

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North End History: John Child’s Flight From “Old North”

Lost in the Passage of Time:  John Childs Flight from the Steeple of Dr. Cutler’s Church March and April are memorable months in Boston’s North End. Not just for the blossoming magnolia trees by St. Leonard’s along Hanover Street – the perfect harbinger of Spring.  But also for the March 17th celebration of Evacuation Day […]

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North End History – The Italians

by Guild Nichols PART 5: BOSTON’S LITTLE ITALY 1900-Today The Italian masses that flowed into the North End on the heels of the departing Irish and at the apex of the Jewish settlement found a neighborhood in dire physical condition; a rundown, overcrowded slum of deteriorating tenement buildings. Like their predecessors, these newly-arrived Italian immigrants […]

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North End History: Our Jewish Heritage

North End History by Guild Nichols PART 4: OUR JEWISH HERITAGE  1870-1900 The following brief history of the North End’s Jewish heritage is adapted from Michael A. Ross, The Jewish Friendship Trail, 2nd edition, 2003, and is graciously provided with permission by the author. Eastern European Jews began settling in the North End as early […]

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