East Boston is a neighborhood that includes nearly 40,000 people as part of the city of Boston. The community was created by connecting several islands, using landfill and then was annexed by Boston in 1836. East Boston is separated from the rest of the city by Boston Harbor and bordered by Winthrop, Revere, Chelsea and the creek.
Directly west of East Boston across Boston Harbor is the North End and Boston's financial district. The neighborhood has long provided a foothold for the latest wave of immigrants, Irish, Russian Jews and Italians and then alternating the predominant group. Today, immigrants from El Salvador, Brazil and elsewhere in Central and South America East Boston have made a center of Latino culture in New England.
In East Boston, which some call "EASTI" the demographic has changed to predominantly Hispanic, and the once important Italian population still lives in areas such as Orient Heights.
While East Boston has a spectacular view of the city skyline, the rental prices of the community and property values have risen more slowly than the extraordinary increase witnessed in the rest of the metropolitan area of Boston during the 1990s and early 2000. This slower growth can be attributed to factors such as the isolated nature of the neighborhood, difficulties of real estate development along the coast and the negative attitude towards the local Logan Airport East Boston residents.
Sites in the neighborhood that are popular with tourists and locals are:
Sanctuary of the Madonna and Don Orione - One of the most recognizable icons of East Boston is the 35-foot-high statue of the Virgin. The Madonna Shrine, atop Orient Heights, is the national headquarters of the Don Orione order. Built in 1954, the statue is a scale replica of the one at the Don Orione Center in the district of Monte Mario in Rome, Italy. It was built in 1954 by Jewish and Italian sculptor Arrigo Minerbi, who wanted to show his gratitude to the Catholic Church for having shielded him and his family from the Nazis during World War II. Across the street from the Shrine is the Don Orione Home, a nursing home, as the Sanctuary, was founded by the Don Orione priests.
Suffolk Downs - Powered by Route 1 and a blue line stop, Suffolk Downs was opened in 1935 and the point considered modern, although it now seems dated. For years they have held a Grade II event at the track called the MassCap. More recently, the issue has complained that revenues have been drained as a result of Indian casinos in Rhode Island and Connecticut and have canceled the MassCap. On 18 August 1966, the Beatles played a concert before some 24,000 music fans in the box Suffolk Downs.
Piers Park - Piers Park is on the west side of East Boston and overlooks Boston Harbor with downtown Boston in the background. The park consists of meandering brick promenades with open grass and tree sections. There are several pavilions, one of which is dedicated to Donald McKay. Along with the amphitheater, there is a community sailing program, Piers Park Sailing Center.