The things we're thankful for also tend to be the things that bind us together. There's family and health, fortune and faith. And then there's all the other stuff: the things for which neural pathways were burned into our gray matter not because we needed to remember them, but because we just couldn't help it. The Phoenix's David S. Bernstein (@dbernstein) came across a news item last week about the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization's list of the world's "intangible cultural heritage" — which includes such items as Peking opera, Spanish flamenco dancing, and French lunchtime cuisine. The question he asked in turn was, "What would you put on the list of Massachusetts's intangible cultural heritage?"
Bernstein and libertarian blogger Garrett Quinn (@GarrettQuinn) smacked it back and forth on Twitter. But it soon caught fire with the Twitterati, media mavens, and Tim Cahill's daughter (@MakenaCahill). WBZ-TV analyst and former Phoenix contributor Jon Keller (@KellerAtLarge) tweeted well past midnight. Our hashtag, #MAHeritage, briefly made trending-topic status, before being snuffed out by #becauseofhoes. Now, with occasional dips into the tangible world of people and places, and a few light edits, here's Massachusetts's intangible cultural heritage, as written by you. To scroll through an ongoing list, visit thePhoenix.com/MAHeritage, or simply append the #MAHeritage tag when the spirit catches you.
@dbernstein Fourth of July at the Hatch Shell
@WickedLocalStar Skating at the Frog Pond
@nikluk Patriots Day
@ModaMags MBTA delays
Aaron Saunders (via Facebook) Lawn Furniture Law after snowstorms
@MichaelEpstein1 Handing water to runners just before the start of Heartbreak Hill in Newton during the Boston Marathon
@StevenEBrown Kevin H. White at the James Brown Concert at the Garden, April 1968
@MakenaCahill Knowing how to drive on a rotary
@dbernstein Flipping off people who DON'T know how . . .
@tfrocahill. . . going to the PACKY
@joegrav Pretending to like Aerosmith
@dbernstein "Sweet Caroline," "Tessie," and "Dirty Water" at Red Sox games
@jgee The first U-Haul to get stuck under a bridge on Storrow Drive every September
@mleccese Light atop Old Hancock poem: "Steady blue clear view/Flashing blue clouds due/Steady red rain ahead/Flashing red snow instead"
@Cardboardfetus Hating stupid tourists
@dankennedy_nu Jordan Marsh and Filene's in downtown Boston during Christmas season
@Jason825 Shelby Scott, a raincoat, a big umbrella and a Nor'easter
@BostonSucksShit The #scumbag from #Southie trying to stab the black guy with the #American flag over busing (Also suggested by @weberking)
@PhantomGourmet The Hoodsie!
@RyanBoehm Marshmallow Fluff
@Pragmaticprog Scorpion bowls at the Hong Kong
@ModaMags Kowloon — the dancing waters, the volcano, and the egg rolls
@BarnacoatWBZ The plastic cows in front of the Hilltop
@ChrisGirard Fish everywhere on Lent Fridays (Also suggested by @oojesssicaa)
@weberking Measuring stuff in Smoots (Also suggested by @brendan_myers)
@gusbic Margo, The BC Eagle
John Galligan (via Facebook) Witch burning
@gusbicCar Talk's Tom & Ray
@MichaelEpstein1 Barry and Eliot
@postdrop Rex Trailer
@shirazita Mr. Butch
@doylemama Sidewalk Sam
@ashmont Billy Ruane
@sarahjnathan The Palace in Saugus (Also suggested by @smith0624)
@MediaGalChloe "Quality, comfort, and price, that's nice!"
@AssignGuy Creature Double Feature
@dryfoo Open-mic night at the Ding Ho
@CallMeDer The Automile!
@giubilo The pendulum in the Museum of Science
@martincallaghan "My name is Ernie Boch. Come on Down!"
@joegrav Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon
@ModaMags Fried dough at Topsfield Fair
@HoustonFowler The Big E
@Melangie Chicopee Kielbasa Festival
Cara Giuliani DeLucia (via Facebook) The Feasts in the North End during the summer
@dbernstein Running of the brides
Joe O'Keefe (via Facebook) First Night
@CharlieTicotsky "Save Fenway Park" bumper stickers
@pragmaticprog The tuck rule
@Fara1 "The New England Patriots and We"
@MichaelEpstein1 Waiting for Gary LaPierre to read your town's name on WBZ's Storm Center school-closings list during winter storms
@noternie Ice skating on cranberry bogs.
@dbernstein The @universalhub French Toast warning system (hoarding milk eggs and bread before a snowstorm)