Bad Boston

By PHOENIX STAFF  |  January 17, 2007

A renter’s life
When you can’t afford a mortgage and you’re too transient to settle on a place for the long haul, Boston finds all sorts of fun ways to screw you in the bank account. We’ve heard stories of landlords asking tenants to renew their leases in December — a full eight months in advance. According to the Boston’s Rental Housing Resource Center, it’s perfectly legal for landlords to obtain WRITTEN AGREEMENT REGARDING A RENTER’S INTENT to maintain residence whenever they please, and as early as the day you move in. Landlords are free to show your apartment and find a prospective tenant to replace you if you don’t renew. Considering the ridiculous turnover of rented apartments — particularly in student-saturated areas like Allston — finding a new place is more annoying than it is difficult. However, if you think you want to stay in your apartment but just can’t commit, a risky yet test-proven tactic (at least, so far) is to tell your landlord you’re not going anywhere, request a copy of the agreement, and then conveniently “forget” to sign or return it until you’re ready.

Parochial school
This is a great city. That’s why so many people from other parts of the US choose to live here. Even so, it would behoove you native Bostonians to broaden your horizons a bit. Here’s a crazy idea: spend a couple years living in another urban area, one that isn’t a four-hour drive away. Seattle, perhaps? LA or Chicago? Austin, Minneapolis, Miami? Wherever; just go. If and when you come back, you’ll have a heightened appreciation of Boston’s charms and fresh insight into its flaws — and you’ll have done your part to fight one of Boston’s biggest problems: its DEEP-SEATED PAROCHIALISM.

What not to wear
We begin our weekend shopping expeditions filled with the naive hope that we’ll score an awesome haul of reasonably priced, unique threads. Why do we lie to ourselves? At the end of the day, we will inevitably weep the bitter tears of the permanently fashion-challenged, convinced that nothing looks good on us, and never will. Ever. Boston had better start offering MORE OPTIONS FOR MID-RANGE SHOPPING, or else Interweb shopping will siphon off the last remaining hopefuls — and the new Filene’s Basement on Boylston doesn’t count. Are we the only ones who noticed that their uniformed doormen are usually the best-dressed people in the store? Man, that shit’s just sad.


Bus a move
It’s hard to get anywhere from Inman Square, especially if you need to get across the river. So, hey, here’s an idea: a bus line that runs from Union Square, through Inman, crosses the BU Bridge, and eventually ends up in JP or Roslindale. The installation of T stops can be a touchy subject for some. People haven’t forgotten how commercialized Davis Square became after its T stop opened in 1984. If you’re like us — i.e., you prefer your squares Starbucks-free, but you don’t like the long freezing haul to the nearest train, one that goes in and out of downtown — then A CROSS-RIVER BUS ROUTE CONNECTING MID-CAMBRIDGE AND ALLSTON-BRIGHTON is the way to go. According to the MBTA, the greater the demand for such a thing, the more likely they are to make it happen. Go bother them at, and tell all of your friends to do the same.

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