To expand on what I wrote before- Not a town per se, but bigger than most, the section of Boston now known as the Fort Point and the Waterfront Districts's are area that is close to my heart as it was my assigned sector to patrol early in my BPD police career. What I found greeting me every midnight was a vast area, spookily empty in many places with many often sudden and unusual events occuring. This could almost be called a"ghost town" back then, the the period of 1983-1988. 50 years before my arrival was another story with this entire side of South Boston a New Haven Railroad freight facility. There were tracks everywhere, on and off roadways, with Commonwealth Pier with it's luxury liners awaiting freight for trans-Atlantic sailings, passenger and freight car storage, the "Grape Yard" was where the old Italians went from the North End to buy fresh grapes from the freight cars held overnight from the railroadmen. These grapes evolved into wonderful glasses of "bathtub wine", 100 % better than anything store bought ! (This was where the Federal Courthouse stood now- ha- if only they new !) Underneath the Ramp from D Street leading to Commonwealth Pier was a strange place at night, as it turned out to be a favorite "wise guy" meeting spot and money drop. Huge, cavernous apartments were rented by artists, the sites having formerly been factories. This had the added effect of reducing the population for a while.(except when there was an artist party or the like). If I'd only known what these vacant old buildings were going to bring in in 2008, I would have bought as many as I could !
(Now, it's the "in" place to live.) Even a bus ride before my time there (late 50's) showed itself to be a wild off-road event, with the small bus jumping up and down like a jack in the box as it hit the holes in the belgium blocked street. From my perspective back then, you knew if you saw a car moving that they had business to attend to- either legal or illegal if you saw them here. There are still some areas back there that are unchanged that still look like the old Boston, some not far away from A St. overlooking the T tracks. There used to be a whole busy yard starting where the post office is, going back to a engine house and roundhouse complete with large turntable, now no longer. In the other direction was the railroaders bar, the "Roundhouse" containing who were probably the second toughest guys in Boston at the time. Men with barrel arms would drink whiskey with beer chasers- six in a row. It was defacto "mens only. No girly would dare set foot inside the Roundhouse. If there was one, she was either drunk or a floosy (or both). The fish industry had a huge industry during my shift (and still does) leaving early am for the catch of the day. When they got back home later in the day, a fresh bounty from the sea usually awaited the New Haven freight cars or one of the Boston & Worcester freight motors which line had been installed by the El to co-exist with the RR people as the catch was so abundant. As I said, it's rather trendy now, so you're not likely to see an Alco smoking at 4 AM (but you may soon if rumors are true that they're coming back !) or railroaders and firemen coming out of the "Roundhouse" at 1. Watch for the tumbleweeds !