Called “Back Bay” due to its having once been a literal bay before being filled in, Back Bay is now one of Boston's most exclusive neighborhoods. Known for its rows of brownstones, tree-lined thoroughfares, tall buildings, and excellent shopping, Back Bay has a distinctive character due to its extensive architectural planning. It is one of the only areas of Boston to have a grid layout, with alphabetically-named cross-streets intersecting some of the most famous streets in the city: Beacon Street, Commonwealth Ave, Newbury Street, and Boylston Street. Some beautiful historic buildings are here, including Trinity Church and the Old South Church, as well as modern landmarks such as the Boston Public Library's main branch, the John Hancock Tower, and the Prudential Building. With the open-air Copley Square at its heart, Back Bay hosts holiday celebrations, festivals, markets, and other events regularly, and Newbury Street is a premier shopping destination, with high end shops interspersed with tiny art galleries, restaurants, and funky independent businesses.
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