The 23rd annual Eastie Pride Day was a great success attracting thousands of residents, with parents and children frolicking all over Piers Park and enjoying music, food and camaraderie on a day that appeared as though it was blessed by God.
The weather was picture perfect and the park absolutely ready for the droves of people who came out, once again, to celebrate everything that makes this neighborhood what it is today.
The East Boston experience exemplified by this celebration over the weekend actually exists.
Outsiders can’t truly appreciate what life is all about in this neighborhood.
They can come here and taste of it, look at it from a safe distance during a quick pass through or a visit but to know East Boston is to live here and to come to understand the depth of feeling and generosity that runs deep here.
East Boston is a crowded place. It is populated by different people from all over the world and at the center is the core of people who have lived here for generations and who are proud to call this place their home.
You can come from better and fancier suburbs and you can claim to know what East Boston is about but until you have been the beneficiary of the good hearted, good natured, full bodied, outstandingly generous attention paid to people here then you don’t really understand what it is to be from this place.
There is the rough exterior we read about in the newspapers – three-decker houses, the working poor inside them, Spanish speaking mixing with the old line Italians, the grittiness of the place and the ongoing efforts to keep it clean, the planes coming in overhead, the traffic, the hustle and the bustle.
However, this is a place where everyone is welcome, where no one is excluded in the highest and best sense of the meaning of inclusion.
East Boston is welcoming. Get beneath the tough exterior and one finds what one saw at Piers Park – a people who reach out to one another, who celebrate their existence here, who love this place and who are generous always to those who come here.
It is no mistake that the main modern force of this fabulous day is Sal LaMattina.
He embodies what this place is all about – and Eastie Pride Day is frankly an extension of his love for people, and for this neighborhood – the neighborhood of his father and grandfather, his daughter, and for his many, many friends who understand what it is to be generous and loving with one another, who can say at a bar or a local time, “Set it up for everyone.”
The Piers Park extravaganza this weekend was a giant call to set it up for everyone who attended.
Eastie Pride Day was a great success. Everyone living here should be proud of the East Boston experience.