The city lies at the center of the Boston CMSA (Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area), the seventh largest in the United States. The area encompasses parts of the states of New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. The city also lies at the center of Greater Boston, which also includes the cities of Cambridge, Brookline, Quincy, Newton, and many suburban communities farther from Boston.
Boston shares many cultural roots with greater New England, including
a dialect of the Eastern New England accent popularly known as Boston
English, and a regional cuisine with a large emphasis on seafood and dairy
Irish Americans are a major influence on Boston's politics and religious
institutions and consequently on the rest of Massachusetts. Italian, Chinese,
groups also have major contributions to Boston's cultural composition.
Boston has its own collection of neologisms known as Boston slang.
Because of the city's prominent role in the American Revolution, several historic sites relating to that period are preserved as part of the Boston National Historical Park. Many are found along the Freedom Trail, which is marked by a red line or bricks embedded in the ground. Also along the Freedom Trail is Boston Common, with the Boston Public Garden being adjacent. Boston Common is part of the Emerald Necklace, a string of parks designed by Frederick Law Olmstead. In the winter, the Frog Pond at Boston Common doubles as a popular ice-skating rink. Another major park is the Esplanade located along the banks of the Charles River. A major recreation site for many Bostonians, it is also the site of the Hatch Shell. Other parks are scattered throughout the city, with the major parks located near Castle Island, Charlestown, the Dorchester shoreline, and East Boston. Boston is home to several world-renowned museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Museum of Science. The University of Massachusetts campus at Columbia Point houses the John F. Kennedy Library. The New England Aquarium, Franklin Park Zoo, Boston Athenaeum (one of the oldest independent libraries in the United States), and the Boston Children's Museum.
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