First off, I've been living here going on five years now.
I've never lived in "Boston" proper--I lived in Cambridge
for 4 years (MIT), and now I work on documentary films for
WGBH (the Boston PBS affiliate) and live in Somerville. I
think in order to love/hate this place fully, you've got
to experience all the parts of it.
Of course most of Boston--the rich, snotty parts, like the Back
Bay--suck. Avoid them like the plague. Yes, Central Square
(which is in Cambridge, not Boston) has become more
gentrified..but look beyond Central; explore the outer
edges..Jamaica Plain, Brighton, Allston, Somerville. South
Boston. The parts of Cambridge that aren't directly on the T
but still within walking distance. The parts that are less
There is beauty here; you just have to find it. And as much
as I sometimes think I hate living here, I find myself
getting defensive about it. Today in Central Square I ran
into a group of kids from Berkeley. They were walking
down Mass Ave, and one of them said "Dude, this is
nothing like Telegraph." Of course it's not..
keep your alterna-hippies to yourself, I say. Sure, we don't
have Amoeba Records, but we do have some fucking good
record stores here! I live a stone's throw away from
Other Music, Planet Records, Disc Diggers, Twisted Village,
and Nuggets, to name but a few of the great independently-
minded music shops around here.
So I found myself walking these Berkeley kids around Central
Square, pointing at things and saying "See this bank?
This used to be an anarchist bookstore. See this
Gap and this Starbucks? This block used to be full
of great independent coffeehouses." I felt terrible, and
cheesy, a back-in-the-day geezer even though I'm
in my 20s. But this small-town city is a part of me.
Then I pointed them out to some interesting places that
they should go. I cheer for the little independents
around the city that are still thriving, and support
them as much as I can. Central Square still does have
things going for it. The Middle East, for one, (with many great
& cheap shows this year!), Harvest, 1369 Coffeehouse, etc.
I live near Davis Square now, which has got a good amount of
independent coffeeshops, bookstores, and bars...good restaurants,
and its own modest little art scene that isn't New York in scale
but doesn't try to be. Everything here is in miniature, but
there's something odd and wonderful about that sometimes.
Sometimes I feel like I'm living on a sinking ship--like
this place has had it's day and now it's over. But that's
like crying and saying that you'll never listen to an other
band after the Pixies broke up, because they were the best
band ever. (Mind you, I did this.) You've got to keep
looking around for the interesting bits of life. And when I move
out of here for good in August for grad school, I think I will
miss it sorely, because for as many faults as Cambridge/Somerville/
Boston/etc have, they've still got a lot of good, and a lot that
we take for granted.
And hey, if anyone is visiting the Boston area, send me an email and
I'd be glad to show you around to all the glorious weird bits
that still lie below the surface.
― geeta, Sunday, 24 February 2002 01:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― T. Kayas, Sunday, 24 February 2002 01:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― Colin Meeder, Monday, 25 February 2002 01:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
Really, a lot of the problems Boston has could be
marked down to poor transportation infrastructure. Make it easier
for people to go places and more people will consider going to them.
― Dan Perry, Monday, 25 February 2002 01:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― Brian MacDonald, Monday, 25 February 2002 01:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― Ned Raggett, Monday, 25 February 2002 01:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
Hell, Seattle pretty much winds down at 2am on any given night, with
the exception of a few later places... and that doesn't seem too, ur,
restrictive... Or is everyone in Boston an excommunicatee
from New York?
Same deal with OC.
What I define as "shutdown" time is the time where 80% of nightlife
retail shuts down, therefore making barhopping, convenience store
loitering, and various shopping vices difficult. The odd open late
night joint or rock venue doesn't count.
― melysa, Monday, 1 April 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― Eliza Sherman, Thursday, 9 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
I did arrive there when the weather became really good, so maybe
that's why everyone along the way was so friendly (I'm talking
passerbys here, not just friends). And the public transportation is
I'm very likely coming back for Terrastock in October...
― Brian MacDonald, Thursday, 9 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― Chris, Thursday, 9 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― Ned Raggett, Thursday, 9 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― geeta, Friday, 10 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― Daver, Saturday, 11 May 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― Sue Shapiro, Monday, 20 May 2002 00:00 (10 years ago) Permalink
Note too that I don't need to trash other cities to defend here. The
great things about Boston speak for themselves. If you want to hate
Boston, it's easy to do, but it's also easy to do that anywhere. I
know grass-is-always-greener type of people. But if you want to love
Boston, it's really easy too. It's a great walking city with a lot
of fun things to do.
People talk about the lack of integration, but I don't know how many
of you have walked through the South End, where you'll see people
from every continent in the world and other diverse backgrounds all
on the same streets. And people say hello to you when you're walking
down the street there. JP is really integrated too. Or check out
Cambridge or Maverick Square in East Boston. Since the 1990 census,
every area that had predominantly one racial group lost people from
that group and gained people from other groups. We also have the
university with the most nations represented (BU) of any university
in the nation.
Things close at 2 and it's definitely annoying, but you can go to the
North End, Chinatown, or certain bars after and hang around for most
of the night. Boston's great in the day too. You're never more than
two blocks from a great park of some waterfront, and there are some
of the most beautiful skyline views in the world here. Check out the
view from the East Boston waterfront, or the view when you're landing
at the airport or the view from the Mass Ave Bridge. Walk along the
harbor walk throughout the north end and South Boston.
As to friendly people, try really smiling and saying hi to people as
you walk in the morning. Sure, many will look away or not say hi.
I've tried the same experiment in a bunch of cities and that's true
everywhere, but some people will say hi. And people are much more
likely to say hi if you're just a bit further from downtown or the
touristy areas- once you get into neighborhoods.
We definitely have great culture at a manageable size. We spend the
most on culture per capita of any major city in the US. Our Symphony
Hall is one of the three best, acoustically, in the world. Our
Museum of Fine Arts has the second largest art collection in the
Western Hemisphere. Then we also have several university art
museums, the Museum of Bad Art, the world's largest outdoor modern
art exhibition center (in the western part of the state), and a great
sculpture park in Lincoln, MA.
Our local music scene is great. Listen to 101.7, WFNX radio, or the
college stations and check out the bars around Central Square.
And it's a city of today. Where else can you find two of the nations
top universities (three of the top 25) within four stops on a public
transportation line? Where else do you have 5 of the top 10
hospitals in the nation? The largest music store in the world? The
largest university library collection (the third largest library
collection in general)? The most books per square mile in the nation
(Harvard Square)? People who don't need to spend an hour getting
ready to leave the house every morning? The city ranked healthiest
in the nation by men's health? And the most liveable by some Swiss
Then Massachusetts is ranked the second best place in the nation to
raise a child for a combination of safety, education and other
reasons. This is one of the best job markets in the nation, and has
the most college-educated population of any state.
Boston brought you the telephone, the Internet, anasthesia, the
nation's first subway, the nation's first post office, the nation's
first police department, the nation's first YMCA, the birthplace of
two churches, the bulk of 19th century literature.
Then let's talk about people. Harvard educated 7 of the nation's
presidents. 4 presidents called MA home. Martin Luther King Jr. and
Malcolm X both called Boston home at one time or another. We were
the birthplace of the abolitionist movement and a center of the
women's rights movement. We are undoubtedly the nation's greatest
sports town, but if you don't like sports, it's not hard to find ways
to avoid them altogether.
We had the most breweries per capita in the nation at the turn of the
20th century. Today, we have much of the best beer again. Sam Adams
is great and a tour of the brewery, including 4 samples of beer and a
free souvenir glass is only $1.
We have two of the nation's top 10 beaches, aesthetically, within
this state. 3 of the top four liberal arts colleges (including the
best women's one). The best roller coaster in the world, according
to Park World Magazine (at 6 flags New England). We have one of the
lowest murder rates in the nation in this state, and we have been
held up as a national example of crime prevention.
We've also been seen as a national example for tobacco prevention,
public health, and foster care and adoption services.
This is a city filled with life and on the cusp of more great
things. The completion of the Big Dig will bring beautiful parks.
We're updating our waterfront, our airport, and our sports parks.
There's construction all over the city. Sure the construction
doesn't look that great, but it's a sign of a city that's very
We have always been a leading architectural city in this nation, and
our building codes work very hard to ensure we keep things to scale.
That's why our tallest skyscraper is only 60 stories. We have
architecture from 4 centuries here, from famous names including I.M.
Pei and Le Corbusier (Harvard's campus is the only place in the
nation with architecture from him). We have intricate sculptures on
the storefronts in downtown crossing and the building fronts in the
financial district. Our skyscrapers show a lot of variation.
Trinity Church is considered one of the top 10 architectural
structures in the nation.
our ice cream is great; try Herrel's in Harvard Square, especially
for their frappes.
If you know where to look, we have every ethnic food imaginable. And
we continue to keep the independent stores alive. Some unfortunately
are being lost to chains, but we still have many. Check out places
like Arlington Center and other small town centers for these. The
strip mall is not as ubiquitous here as elsewhere, and we have nice
Then the history is awesome.
Also, we're actually not as expensive a place for housing as many had
thought. Recent census info showed that.
So I have way too good a memory for this stuff. I love my city, and
if you have a pre-determined opinion, it's easy to remember the stuff
that confirms it.
I think the windy streets bring more life to the city. It's awesome
that cows were urban planners, though the signs could be better.
There are plenty of nice people around here. Don't complain about
their city so much, and you'll find more of them.
― JP, Friday, 28 June 2002 00:00 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Pissbreath, Saturday, 29 June 2002 00:00 (10 years ago) Permalink
By the way, Harvard's campus, or at least the Sert Gallery and the
VES department, isn't in Bosting, asshole.
― Brian MacDonald, Saturday, 29 June 2002 00:00 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Dan Perry, Saturday, 29 June 2002 00:00 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Paul, Saturday, 10 August 2002 00:00 (10 years ago) Permalink
― h4h4h4, Friday, 8 November 2002 01:54 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Cass, Sunday, 24 November 2002 02:05 (10 years ago) Permalink
― M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 24 November 2002 02:08 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Cass, Sunday, 24 November 2002 02:10 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Cass, Sunday, 24 November 2002 02:12 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Cass, Sunday, 24 November 2002 02:14 (10 years ago) Permalink
― M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 24 November 2002 02:23 (10 years ago) Permalink
:) :) Cool...by the way...I may have mixed you up with someone and you may not livein CA. If so, my bad...Thanks and Happy Holidays. :) :)
― Cass, Sunday, 24 November 2002 02:27 (10 years ago) Permalink
― M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 24 November 2002 02:33 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Pete Scholtes, Sunday, 24 November 2002 03:37 (10 years ago) Permalink
Dude, most of us aren't from Boston, what the hell?
― Ally (mlescaut), Sunday, 24 November 2002 04:12 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Tad (llamasfur), Sunday, 24 November 2002 06:48 (10 years ago) Permalink
You may not be..but many of these other folks say they now live there...so that was to them.....get it? Not to you....and if you aren't from there you know even less about the place...yes driving can suck, but that is not a reason for me to hate a city, maybe it is for you....but read through these and many people aren't from Boston but NOW LIVE THERE...I, like BJ and others was saying they could all move back to where their from instead of being Boston residents (aka 'Bostonians') because they aren't that anyway, and hate it so much. I see you are not from there....that was not who the Bostonian thing was directed to...you live there you are considered one...excpet for them....and other than traffic why do you like Philly better? I am just curious?
― Cass, Sunday, 24 November 2002 14:32 (10 years ago) Permalink
Me too! Lynn...I love it!! Awesome message!
― Cass, Sunday, 24 November 2002 15:04 (10 years ago) Permalink
― toby (tsg20), Sunday, 24 November 2002 18:31 (10 years ago) Permalink
Smooches to you, too. Taking sides: "If you don't like it, go back where you came from!" vs "If you don't like it, what would you like to see different?"
― Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Sunday, 24 November 2002 18:40 (10 years ago) Permalink
― toby (tsg20), Sunday, 24 November 2002 19:05 (10 years ago) Permalink
Puritan, get thee to Rhode Island!
― Mat Bo (Mat Bo), Sunday, 24 November 2002 19:54 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Sunday, 24 November 2002 21:29 (10 years ago) Permalink
Dan, whatever happened to smug Joker fisty guy?
― donut bitch (donut), Sunday, 24 November 2002 21:42 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Cass, Monday, 25 November 2002 03:37 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Ally (mlescaut), Monday, 25 November 2002 03:42 (10 years ago) Permalink
that, and both Philly and Baltimore have better food than Boston. and that includes better seafood. yes, Bostonians, you read that right. so much for Boston Harbor!
― Tad (llamasfur), Monday, 25 November 2002 03:45 (10 years ago) Permalink
Philly also has a "little town" attitude, though Philadelphians are more justified in that it's the fifth-largest city in the country. And they aren't as full of themselves and their town as Bostonians are.
― Tad (llamasfur), Monday, 25 November 2002 03:53 (10 years ago) Permalink
Tad basically explained it anyway, to take things down to the serious level for a sec, because it's so true. I think it's a freaking Massachusetts curse, thinking yourself very bloody important. This is why all the people on this thread who are not from Boston but live there and think a lot of it sucks and should be changed think it sucks and should be changed. It seems kind of telling that the majority of the people who just luuuuuuurve Boston are born there and everyone else wants to blow it up?
Whatever, the Red Sox suck ass, that's what it is.
― Ally (mlescaut), Monday, 25 November 2002 04:01 (10 years ago) Permalink
so i won't be at this, but if all goes well i'm not disappearing again for a year. i'll keep watching this thread
― markers, Thursday, 18 April 2013 06:37 (1 month ago) Permalink
so my plan is to take the mysterious 85 bus at 5:20, should be at LH by 5:30
― call all destroyer, Thursday, 18 April 2013 14:36 (1 month ago) Permalink
hey should we try to get the Obamas to show up?
― Call me at **BITCOIN (DJP), Thursday, 18 April 2013 14:37 (1 month ago) Permalink
Duh, of course we should.
Oh! Awesome. Then I will take the 4:50 bus and should be there around the same time. The 85? I have no idea about this bus. I think I need to get off mine by CBC and then walk to LH but that's right down the street, right?
― Airwrecka Bliptrap Blapmantis (ENBB), Thursday, 18 April 2013 14:38 (1 month ago) Permalink
Just Michelle and her sexy arms. Also, what is LH?
― POSTOBON Naranja (soda), Thursday, 18 April 2013 14:38 (1 month ago) Permalink
Lord Hobo. The place we're going. It used to be the B-side Lounge (RIP) if that helps.
― Airwrecka Bliptrap Blapmantis (ENBB), Thursday, 18 April 2013 14:40 (1 month ago) Permalink
God, I miss the B-side.
My plans still hold true. Looking at 6 to 6:30.
― Jeff, Thursday, 18 April 2013 14:42 (1 month ago) Permalink
I'm going to walk from Kendall if it's still nice, should see you then (H might be with me)
― POSTOBON Naranja (soda), Thursday, 18 April 2013 14:58 (1 month ago) Permalink
welp I tweeted him, let's see if this nu-fangled "social media" works
― Call me at **BITCOIN (DJP), Thursday, 18 April 2013 15:00 (1 month ago) Permalink
lol you did not
― Airwrecka Bliptrap Blapmantis (ENBB), Thursday, 18 April 2013 15:03 (1 month ago) Permalink
― Call me at **BITCOIN (DJP), Thursday, 18 April 2013 15:05 (1 month ago) Permalink
― Jeff, Thursday, 18 April 2013 15:06 (1 month ago) Permalink
― Airwrecka Bliptrap Blapmantis (ENBB), Thursday, 18 April 2013 15:10 (1 month ago) Permalink
we sent them a wedding invitation tbh
― call all destroyer, Thursday, 18 April 2013 15:26 (1 month ago) Permalink
On my way.
― Jeff, Thursday, 18 April 2013 21:59 (1 month ago) Permalink
I'm walking in now
― Call me at **BITCOIN (DJP), Thursday, 18 April 2013 21:59 (1 month ago) Permalink
Is Barrack and/or the persons of interest there?
― Jeff, Thursday, 18 April 2013 22:03 (1 month ago) Permalink
hey guys, gonna be at Tavern Road on Congress tonight between 6 and prob 7:30? it's an Opus Affair thing, you should swing by
― Call me at **BITCOIN (DJP), Tuesday, 23 April 2013 17:55 (3 weeks ago) Permalink
aw, i was working down there yesterday but not today
― call all destroyer, Tuesday, 23 April 2013 18:11 (3 weeks ago) Permalink