Sheila Mahoney grew up in Quincy, works in Quincy, and has chosen to raise a family in Quincy.
“I love everything about it — I’m about as Quincy as it comes,’’ said the North Quincy High School graduate, who teaches Spanish at Quincy High School. Her husband, Andrew, a fellow North Quincy High School grad, teaches history at Hanover High School. They live in Quincy’s Squantum neighborhood in the same house in which she grew up. “It’s amazing. From our neighborhood, you can look across the water toward Marina Bay and see the whole Boston skyline,’’ she said.
Quincy, the state’s eighth-largest city, is urban, yet its neighborhoods are distinct. “You get into these pockets — Merrymount, Houghs Neck — that have that really close-knit neighborhood feel and their own personalities and signatures,’’ Mahoney said. Quincy Center, it’s worth noting, is in the middle of a years-long transformation, with redevelopment offering new condos, offices, and retail and restaurant space.
There’s lots to do in Quincy, according to Mahoney. The city has PorchFest Quincy, a series of free annual music events. “You get to see all your neighbors and hear a bunch of Quincy bands,’’ she said. Each year, a food truck festival rolls onto Pageant Field, which also hosts a farmers’ market. And it’s of little surprise that the Fourth of July in the “City of Presidents’’ is a big deal, with fireworks, parades, neighborhood cookouts, and other events.
The Mahoneys are expecting a “fourth-generation Quincy woman’’ any day now. The city’s YMCA facility was rebuilt a few years ago, and “our new baby will be in swim lessons — an essential skill for us beachgoers — in no time,’’ Mahoney said.
Oh, and one more tip from the local: It’s pronounced “Quin-zee.’’ Calling the city “Quin-see’’ is “a telltale sign you’re not from the area,’’ she said.
The year in which Quincy was first settled by a party that included Captain Richard Wollaston. Quincy, which was originally part of Braintree, is steeped in early US history — famous early residents included presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, as well as John Hancock. Visitors can tour Adams National Historical Park (starting April 19) and United First Parish Church, where both presidents and their wives are buried.
The year that Howard Deering Johnson opened his first Howard Johnson’s restaurant, in Quincy Square. Another famous restaurant chain also got its start here: Dunkin’ Donuts opened as a place called Open Kettle in 1948. Founder William Rosenberg renamed it in 1950.
The percentage of Quincy’s nearly 94,000 residents who were born outside the United States, according to the mayor’s office and census data. This includes 11.8 percent from Asia.
Let your palate be your guide
Quincy’s culinary chops are undeniable. It is teeming with restaurants and international markets that represent the city’s diversity, including Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Italian, and Mexican fare, as well as popular seafood joints befitting a shoreline community.
Pro & Con
Not only does Interstate 93 run through Quincy, but the city offers some of the best non-car commuting outside Boston, with four MBTA Red Line stops — North Quincy, Wollaston, Quincy Center, and Quincy Adams — and a number of bus routes. However, Wollaston Station closed in January for a 20-month renovation. Trains will bypass the station, and shuttle buses will replace service between North Quincy and Quincy Center.