Saturday May 12, 2012 / 10:00amThe Original North End Secret Tour
How was your experience?
Just moved to the Boston area and my family came from NY and TN to visit me at my new place. We are Italian and wanted to find out a little about the North End. Michelle (the tour guide) was very knowledgeable. We enjoyed the tour a lot. From her other reviews, you can see most people enjoy the tour. There is one that is less than complimentary. I do not know about that person's experience, but mine was not like that. Michelle was dressed very professionally. She asked us at the beginning if we had plans after so that she wouldn't run over if we had a time crunch. She had a notebook with pictures and paintings of the people and buildings we were discussing. It was well done. In addition to the "fact after fact" that she provided, she answered additional unscripted questions very well. Also, she provided recommendations as to where to get a good meal, a quick bite, or just dessert, depending on our preferences. She also found us the only public bathroom in the whole area, which is a nice touch, since I have learned since moving here that most places won't let people use their bathrooms. The only other thing I would like to address is the matter of Michelle's nationality. She is French (but not like many of the unpleasant French folks I've had to endure in the past). She is friendly and unassuming. She is also in the process of becoming an American citizen, which is more than many immigrants are doing. Before MA, I lived in NY, TN, WA, and CA, working as a travel nurse with a high percentage of foreign patient population. I can tell you that many immigrants (legal or otherwise) don't wish to become citizens or even learn the language. Michelle's accent is thick, but incredibly charming. It might be a little hard to understand on occasion if English is not your first language. However, if you speak English well or as a first language, I believe you will find her accent pleasant to listen to. I am a first generation American from an immigrant family. My family worked hard to become citizens and I resent people who come here illegally and leach resources without contributing to the system. It's nice that Michelle is choosing not to do that. All that being said, this tour is an informative one. It is a tour appropriate for those seeking to LEARN about the area. It isn't comedy tour (such as the Underground Tour in Seattle, which I also HIGHLY recommend). I wouldn't say it is dry, but it does have a lot of information the average local wouldn't know. I brought 4 other people and we all enjoyed it. Just my take on things...