The Empty Neighborhood

The surest sign that the full blossom of the summer is upon us following the July 4 holiday is that one can find a parking space more easily just about everywhere.

Anecdotal evidence suggests strongly what many Charlestown residents have known for decades – that after the July 4 holiday or slightly before it and then for weeks after, it is vacation time.

Charlestown empties out. Business and commerce of all sorts continues unabated but at a rather slower clip.

The annual slowdown, so to speak, is palpable and to the trained eye, apparent.

For the neighborhood residents who don’t go away, who do not vacation, who enjoy the neighborhood when it is far less crowded, July is prime time.

However, more than ever before, Charlestown’s tourist population, that is, the huge numbers of people passing through the neighborhood to explore historical spots or to enjoy the architecture and the Bunker Hill Monument during the summer months has doubled and then tripled during the past three decades.

And frankly, there seems to be no end in sight to the larger number of tourists visiting our neighborhood.

The tourists coming here change the tenor of the neighborhood. They are, by and large, extremely respectful, curious, quiet and for the most part excited to be where the first great battle of the Revolutionary War was fought after Concord and Lexington.

For those people who come here from all over the nation and from many of the nations of Europe, Charlestown inspires and never fails to satisfy.

And so this summer is going – with many locals away on vacation, with Charlestown having never looked better than it does today and with thousands of tourists passing through.

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