If you’ve bean around Boston for a while, you might be familiar with Boston’s best-known nickname. That’s right, today we’re talking all things Beantown.
Where did the nickname come from?
You may have guessed this one already: beans. Baked beans are a pretty big part of Boston’s history, though they weren’t always the beans we know today.
The baked navy bean is the official state bean of MA. | Photo by Boston Public Library via Flickr
Baked beans became popular with 17th century Puritans, who could cook them on Saturdays and eat them on Sundays to avoid working on the Sabbath. Molasses, the ingredient that sets Boston baked beans apart from other legumes, are thought to have entered the local recipe in the mid-18th century as part of the triangular trade.
Fast forward to the 1880s, and Boston became home to a baseball team called the Beaneaters, eventually renamed the Braves.
In the 1990s, the slogan “You Don’t Know Beans Until You Come to Boston” was used to draw tourists into the city and found its way onto postcards.
“The Hub” nickname is short for “The Hub of the Solar System.” | Photo by @sim_ple1913
Do people actually call Boston Beantown?
Depends who you ask. The nickname ranked as the fifth most annoying city nickname in 2020, leading us to believe the nickname doesn’t bean much to most locals. City Editor Sara thinks Beantown would suit Chicago (home of The Bean) much better, but that’s one Bostonian’s opinion.
Does Boston have any other nicknames?
A few, actually. The Hub, The Athens of America + The City on a Hill are some of the other nicknames for the city, though we’re willing to bet you mainly just call it Boston.
Use the buttons below to share this story with your friends and family who love our city, a nice bowl of baked beans, or both.
Jenna Markard and Band | Fri., May 6 | 7-11 p.m. | Boston Harbor Distillery, 12R Ericsson St. | $25 | Enjoy a night of listening to originals and covers spanning from the 60s to the 90s.
Neighborhood Coffee Hours | Fri., May 6 | 9:30-10:30 a.m. | McLaughlin Playground, 239 Parker Hill Ave., Mission Hill | Free | Speak directly with Mayor Wu + staff from City departments about open space and your neighborhood. ☕
Food Truck Festival | Sat., May 7 | 11 a.m.-3 p.m. | Rowes Wharf Plaza | Prices vary | Snack local and enjoy food from 12 different participating food trucks with a variety of cuisines.
Wake Up the Earth Festival | Sat., May 7 | 12-6 p.m. | Various locations | Free | The Jamaica Plain and Roxbury tradition is back with a parade, a May Day mural + more celebrations of the neighborhoods’ diversity.
Discover Mount Auburn Walking Tour | Sat., May 7 | 1-2:30 p.m. | Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mt Auburn St., Cambridge | $10 | An introductory walk in America’s first garden cemetery. 👟
Harpoon x B/Spoke: Flowers + Fitness | Sun., May 8 | 11 a.m. | Harpoon Brewery, 306 Northern Ave. | Free | Work up a sweat this Mother’s Day, and enjoy brews, pretzels + bouquet making at the brewery.
Lilac Sunday | Sun., May 8 | Open sunrise to sunset | Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, 125 Arborway | Free | Don’t miss the 112th event of the Jamaica Plain tradition on Mother’s Day + enjoy the collection of nearly 400 lilacs.
How to Buy a Used Bicycle Workshop | Mon., May 9 | 6-8 p.m. | Cambridge Main Library, Community Room, 449 Broadway, Cambridge | Free | Learn how to evaluate bicycle condition, style, and features that fits your needs. 🚲
We have amonthly guide filled with events + activities you can plan for in advance. Click the button below to bookmark ideas for upcoming date nights, family outings, and time with friends.
Popcorn lovers, meet Opopop’sFlavor Wrapped Popcorn Kernels: A completely new take on microwave popcorn where each kernel is individually coated in flavor.
Try the Discovery Kit to sample seven different flavors, including Maui Heat, Cinnalicious, Salted Umami, and Vanilla Cake Pop. Bonus: Kits include a reusable microwave popper (and we know Bostonians love sustainability).
Use code 6AMCITYfor20% off. You may never go back to regular popcorn again.*
The Seaport Summer Marketis coming to town over four weekends from Fri., May 13 through Sun., Aug. 7. The open-air shopping destination will have a pop-up from Boston Children’s Museum, local dining options + a rotating collection of 60+ vendors, including Simple Sips, B. Royal Boutique, and House of Art and Craft. 🛍️
The state signed off on$2 billion in projects for Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital. The Public Health Council approved the addition of 78 inpatient beds at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner + the construction of two connected clinical towers and single-room beds at Mass General. (Boston.com)
Drum roll please. Boston Callingdropped the mic on the 2022 festival’s set times, complete with an interactive lineup so attendees can make viewing plans now. There is a downloadable app that helps build out a schedule for the weekend.
The Baker administration launched a free telehealth program for COVID-19, available to Massachusetts residents 18 and older who have tested positive for coronavirus and are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms. Program users can schedule a video consultation to determine eligibility for a treatment pill called Paxlovid. Learn more here. (Boston.com)
FlixBusrecently opened a new stop at South Station, giving Bostonians another way to travel to cities like Providence, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. The low-cost bus company also has stops at Traveler Street and in Brookline + Cambridge. 🚎 (Boston.com)
The Bruins are back at the Garden tonight, taking on the Carolina Hurricanes at 7p.m. in Game Three of the playoffs. Snag your tickets here. 🏒
Three local scholars were named2022 Andrew Carnegie fellows + awarded $200,000 grants for research in social sciences and humanities projects. Congratulations to Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, Jonathan Corpus Ong, and Wangui Muigai — you’re all wicked smaht. (Boston Globe)
Beauty startup Seaspire Inc.will launch a sea-inspired skin care regimen in the spring of 2023. The Boston-based company, led by a Northeastern University graduate and professor, received $3 million in seed funding for its new skincare line focused on the ingredient Xanthochrome. (Boston Business Journal)
Did you know that Brookline is hosting the US Open next month? Brookline residents can attend the final virtual public forum Mon., May 9 at 6 p.m. to learn more about the weeklong event from representatives of the United States Golf Association. Register for the Zoom forum here. (Boston Globe)
Triple Eight Distillery on Nantucket is one of the 17 best distilleries in the country, according to Men’s Journal. The publication highlighted its scenic landscapes + acclaimed whiskey. 🥃 (Boston.com)
Content marked with a * is brought to you by our advertising partners and helps make this newsletter free.
Two words for you, Boston: cocktail tree.Need we say more?
Okay, we’ll say a bit more. Tuscan Kitchen just introduced this absolutely necessary item to their menu to spruce up your visit. Stop by 64 Seaport Blvd. with a friend to check it out — while you’re there, don’t miss the tagliatelle al tartufo (made in a cheese wheel right by your table).
#DYK that your photos and quotes could be featured in our newsletter?
Content marked with an * was created in partnership with 6AM City’s advertising partners. Paid content helps keep this newsletter free. 6AM City may also receive a commission on purchases made through affiliate links in this newsletter.