Boston pretty much has a lock on everything historical, but bet you don’t know the origin of its name, do you? Or, names, we should say.

Native Americans originally called the area Shawmut, or “canoe landing place” (among other translations). This name is still found used around the area.

Settlers renamed it after their homeland, Boston, a small port in Lincolnshire on the east coast of England, proud possessor of one of the highest towers in that country. Settlers of our Boston came from that Boston back in 1620 looking for religious freedom. And where did the English name come from? It’s thought to be a contraction of St. Biotope’s town. St. Botolph, better known as Botwulf of Thorney, was an English abbot and the patron saint of travelers and farmers. Eons ago, his head was transferred to Ely Cathedral and other portions to Westminster Abbey.

Now that you know our origins, our Boston has some claims to fame that ol’ Botolph could never have imagined. For example, the only place in the world that a boat can sail under a train passing under a car driving under an airplane is on the Boston University Bridge on Commonwealth Avenue.

On the other hand, St. Botolph could well understand about Mary Dyer. In 1660, she was the last religious martyr in North American, having been hung on Boston Common for repeatedly defying a law banning Quakers from the colony.

As the unofficial capital of New England, Boston is deeply steeped in American Revolutionary history and the proud possessor of numerous “firsts” in the nation, including public schools and subway system. The Ted Williams Tunnel, at 90 feet below surface, is the deepest tunnel in North America.

It also ranks as a city with its own distinctive accent. Want to “speak Boston”? Try this. Pronounce “R” as “ah.” Practice on this: Park the Car at Havard Yard. Pahk the Cah at Hahvad Yahd. Pronounce “O” as “aw.”

Boston ranks as one of the World’s Top 20 Global Financial Centers with its strong emphasis on research, manufacturing, finance and biotechnology. With such success and top executive populations naturally come all the amenities demanded by those who can afford the very best in luxurious residential communities, education at all levels and entertainments such as shopping, cuisine, arts and culture, according to Otis & Ahearn Real Estate, Boston’s leading firm in high end residential property sales.

Boston is a city of nicknames — The Athens of America, The Puritan City, The Cradle of Liberty, City of Notions, American’s Walking City and, of course, Beantown. But don’t expect to hear this latter one from residents. Residents prefer Titletown, which, they say, refers to Boston’s historic dominance in the world of sports, specifically the Boston Celtics with their 17 NBA Championships.

Boston is, without a doubt, at the center of excellence through out the nation. Ranked as one of the Top Three Most Livable Cities in the nation, Boston has the second largest skyline (after New York City) and hospitals that lead the world in medical innovation, research and patient care. With its many universities leading the way, Boston is a national leader in the intellectual, technological and political arenas. Within the Greater Boston area, over 100 colleges and universities are thriving.

The cultural scene of Boston is dominated by its wonderfully ornate theaters, which house such world-renowned performing arts such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Ballet. At the other end of the spectrum, Boston is the birthplace of hardcore punk music!

Although the names may change, and change, and change, Boston’s baseball, basketball, hockey and other sports teams are always a huge draw. Sports celebrities who call (or called) the Greater Boston area home include Jeff Bagwell, Joe Bellino, Mickey Cochrane, Bob Cousy, Vinny Del Negro, Patrick Ewing, Doug Flutie, Nancy Kerrigan, Howie Long, Rocky Marciano.

Bill Cosby is among those who call (called) themselves Bostonians as are Steve Carell, Mindy Kalin, John Krasinski, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, Amy Poehler, Ben and Casey Affleck, Ray Bolger, Walter Brennan, Jane Curtin, Matt Damon, Bette Davis and Oliva Dukakis, to name such a few.

Otis & Ahearn Real Estate has developed a unique synergy of residential brokerage for high-end luxury properties. An intimate knowledge and state-of-the-art research tools give Otis & Ahearn Realtors the inside track on the best in lifestyle amenities such as proximity to the finest of schools, shopping, restaurants, entertainment and cultural sites.


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The Downtown Boston residential market is solid. We can confidently say this because for 30 years we have looked beyond the headlines and studied the data. Our real estate professionals provide our clients with timely market reports and historical perspective, making Otis & Ahearn the trusted advisor to developers, investors and home owners in Downtown Boston. Recently selected as the Exclusive Affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, Otis & Ahearn provides Knowledge, Perspective and Value.