Welcoming shop owners, happy residents, delicious food. Over the past few months, I have had the opportunity to immerse myself into the world of the South End. Now looking back, only one word comes to mind when I think of it: homely. Although the South End is a part of the city, it is an escape from the city as well.
But how is that possible? Its diverse and friendly people along with its hidden gems give it this aura.
While Boston has not received many blizzards this past winter, Frenchie restaurant owner Sandrine Rossi was prepared to help the community any way she could when one arrived. She offered mulled wine to customers and set up board games as well. The restaurant became a shelter from the bitter storm.
“We are a neighborhood spot, so our purpose is to serve the neighbors,” said Rossi. “We had planned some extras to help them go through that ‘dead’ day.”
In the 1960s, the South End was a place for the gay population to flock to in order to escape the general homophobia of the rest of the city. The segregation was prevalent. Steven Lyons, a bartender at Cathedral Station, doesn’t see it that way anymore. “It’s not so much gay or straight it’s just whatever you want to be,” said Lyons.
Joanne Seay, a South End resident, has lived in the St. Botolph Street area her entire life. The Boston Landmarks Commission accepted the St. Botolph Street area as an Architectural Conservation District in 1981in order to recognize and protect the historical and architectural characteristics which make an area unique. Although the area is constantly under reconstruction because of its age, Seay said she enjoys living there and could never see herself moving.
“They’ll take me out of this place when I’m dead,” said Seay.