We're going to go back in time a little bit, to a pre-war Boston. You've all seen our tidy little penninsula.
That wee bit of filled-in land at the top called 'West Cove', eventually became the neighborhood of the West End. Like much of this city, it was full of haphazard streets, rows of triple-deckers, and industry and transport jammed in wherever it would fit.
Boston is very provincial, and certain ethnic groups migrated to certain neighborhoods. My own grandpa was raised across the harbor in East Boston, and was a young man just breaking into the music industry back in those days. He made friends with some other up-and-comers from the West End...and one of his musician friends was neighbors with a young kid named Lenny.
Things happened - and then there was war. Some of my grandpa's friends went off to Europe and the Pacific. Grandpa himself was 4-F and never served, but he stayed home to entertain the GIs on the home front, narrowly missing being at the Cocoanut Grove. After the war, some friends came back...some didn't. It was the tail-end of the Big Band era, and a young singer named Vaughn Monroe picked up that young musician from East Boston, but just missed cashing in on fame and fortune. The West End itself carried on for another two decades, until Urban Renewal became a thing in the 60s.
Despite vast protests, the entire neighborhood was bulldozed.
I've you've ever visited Boston, you might be familiar with parts of the old West End. Our great medical institutions of Mass General and Mass Eye and Ear lie along the western edge. At the northern fringe are both the Museum of Science and the transportation and sports hub at North Station / Boston Garden. Storrow Drive borders the old neighborhood along the river's edge. The heart of the neighborhood itself is obliterated. Old streets were straightened and re-named, and high rent office and apartment buildings were built in place of the teeming triple-deckers that once stood there.
You may be familiar with the phrase "if you lived here, you'd be home by now". This comes from the centerpiece of the "new" West End. The hideous high-rise Charles River Park stands at the end of Storrow Drive, and the sign has mocked commuters for almost 50 years now. A few aging West Enders still live there, but like most urban renewal projects, most of those who were displaced in the name of "progress" could never afford to move back to their "new" old neighborhoods.
They're almost all gone now. My grandpa and his musician friends reached the end of the line (for the most part) all through the 1990s. As for our friend Lenny, he got into acting and went on to fame and fortune and indeed, immortality among the stars.
So just ponder that every Vulcan that ever graced the Star Trek universe...every Vulcan that ever will, is based on the mannerisms and interpretations of a skinny Jewish kid from Boston.
Godspeed, Leanord Nimoy.