First impressions of Boston

Like nearly all youngsters who grew up in a small rural community, I dreamed of one day living in a big city, if only for a short while.  Finally, that day has come and here I am sitting comfortably on my new apartment floor in Boston, Massachusetts. I say my new apartment floor because I haven’t yet been able to purchase a sofa. The logistics of getting a sofa up four flights of stairs in a building built during a time when people were significantly smaller, is daunting to say the least. Perhaps a bean bag would be nice. I would like to present to you now, the first impressions of Boston as seen through the eyes of a guy who grew up at the end of a dirt road in a town with less than a small handful of people.

Boston is a fantastic city on the whole and is a very easy place to assimilate into quickly. Unlike many other metropolitan areas I have visited and meandered through, Boston has a very relaxed and mellow feeling to it that is reminiscent of a much smaller town. I get the feeling that even though I am lost 85% of the time, I am not burdening anybody by being so, unlike New York City and Chicago. Boston seems welcoming to lost people. In fact, I think that most of the people who live here are lost.  This could be due to the huge influx of college students. Hardly anybody seems to actually be a native Bostonian. We are all lost and dependent on the person next to us to be only slightly less lost than we are. Just yesterday I discovered a whole new neighborhood only a short walk from my apartment. This ability to rediscover parts of my immediate surroundings on a regular basis is fascinating to me. I think that by the age of 14 I knew exactly where everything in my entire home County was located and how long it had been there. Discovering something new in your own backyard only happened when a building was demolished or a new lot developed, and this rarely happened. I can still remember the order in which our four stoplights were installed, and I still don’t understand why the fourth one is there. But in Boston I could discover something new and unique every fifteen minutes. For those of you who have not yet had the chance to visit Boston for an extended period of time, let me impart upon you some useful information I have learned in my first week.

 

1. Like anywhere else, don’t talk to someone if they are already involved in a full-fledged conversation with themselves or a sign post, and if they intently ask you if you are “keeping it real?”,  just say yes.

2. If you rent an apartment on the top floor of a walk up, choose your furniture wisely. That stand up gun-safe can stay home.

3. Never just jump on a train because it is about to depart and you are panicking. You would be surprised how long it can take you to realize what direction you are going.

4. Never reach into your pockets while riding on the subway during rush hour. You may accidentally reach into someone else’s pocket. Nine times out of ten this is an unpleasant and awkward experience.

5. Don’t tease a Bostonian about their accent. They are likely to hit you hard enough that you’ll start tahhking like them.

6. The food and drink scene in Boston is amazing. I can throw a rock from my fire escape and hit any style of cuisine, except Mexican, for that I’d have to throw a rock to Mexico.

7. If you visit Boston in the summer, prepare for a mix of heat and humidity that will cause your sweat to sweat.

8. Don’t bother driving. Public transit and your feet can get you anywhere you want to go (Buy comfy insoles). Plus, I have personally witnessed at least four accidents this week. (Anybody want to buy a Tacoma?)

9. Know that Allston looks and feels as if all control of the neighborhood was relinquished to the 21 year-olds of the world. Creative, fast-paced, friendly, diverse, and somebody didn’t pick up his room and smokes too much.

10. Come play with our apartment’s buzzer, it is awesome. I guarantee that I will call you Bosworth or Bitterman over the intercom and encourage you to pour my afternoon tea.

 

There are a thousand and one other things I could tell you about Boston, like how wonderful it is to stroll through The Commons at dusk or walk under the Green Monster during a Red Sox game, but I don’t want to sound like a tourist book. All-in-all, Katie and I are thoroughly enjoying our new lives in Boston and learning more about it every day. For all of you who are thinking about visiting us, I can comfortably say that we can show you a good time. For those of you already out here in Boston, you should either be my friend or offer me a job.

Cheers.

Matt

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  1. I’ve been to Boston twice and fell in love with it. I grew up in the suburbs of a fairly large city and my husband had spent most of his time in small cities or towns. However, Boston is the one big city he says he would move to. Maybe someday. Enjoy your time there!

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