Despite the fact that many visitors to the city of Boston think this city is a "happy medium" in many ways, we in Boston are far from living happily together.
Of all the cities I've traveled to, Boston is one of the most segregated, racist, and classist. Yes, like many other cities, Boston has a "Little Italy" (we call it the North End) and a Chinatown; these areas are as much for the sake of new immigrants who want the comfort of others who speak their language, as they are tourist attractions. It's the other neighborhoods, the ones that the tourists, business travelers, and college kids don't usually see, that trouble me. We have an Irish neighborhood, a Latino neighborhood, towns outside the city that have been labeled "Jewish towns", and of course the "ghettos" overflowing with African-Americans. For the same ridiculous "reason" that these groups don't get along in other parts of the country and world, they don't get along here AT ALL.
Prime example: a few years ago, the local Irish people were gearing up for their annual famous St. Patrick's Day Parade, and went to the town meeting (or whatever forum it is that you discuss these things) with their proposed parade-route. The parade was to primarily take place in the "Irish neighborhoods", but there was one point on the route, where the parade would have gone down ONE BLOCK in the North End (remember, Boston's Little Italy). The people of the North End who showed up, protested loudly that "those people" can't take "their" parade in "our" neighborhood. A large fight ensued, and in the end I believe the parade route was changed.

Unfortunately, many casual observers (and this includes college students who stay in the areas of the city that their schools are for all 4 years) don't see any of this hatred and animosity because these neighborhoods aren't tourist attractions, and are tucked away in parts of the city that I don't think are even printed on the maps they give tourists. So, visitors are impressed with the fact that we have such a "culturally diverse" city with no visible signs of racism or any other hatred. This is so painfully untrue.
Another example:
I grew up in a suburb of Boston, which is known by surrounding towns as "The Jew Town" because of our astronomical Jewish population. Not only does this town have this ugly epithet for a nickname, but at the few high school sporting events I attended (particularly Football), the opposing team's cheerleaders, on more than one occassion, threw bagels and pennies onto the field while our team's cheerleaders were doing their "welcome cheer". Now, this doesn't necessarily reflect upon Boston proper, but for a major metropolitan area North of the Mason-Dixon line, Boston and surroundings is one ugly, hate-filled area.

On a lighter and unrelated note, Boston does have fantastic shopping.

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