Welcome to Boston

Better than a Duck Tour
By KARL STEVENS AND GUSTAVO TURNER  |  September 4, 2007

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You’re one of us now. Enjoy the enthusiasm that comes with moving to a new place or a post-vacation return — it won’t last. Soon, you’ll be talking smack about “Beantown” like the rest of us. Embrace it; you’re now part of the city that never sleeps but has to leave the bar at 2 am (or 1 am, Sunday through Wednesday), the town where you’ll get winter looks well into mid-August. Don’t fight it. It will fight back, and it won’t be pretty.

1. DOWNTOWN
BEACON HILL The old money lives here. We can’t think of a single fun reason you might want to go there, unless you’re a gold digger. Even so, avoid: they and their lackeys have been dealing with the likes of you for centuries. You don’t stand a chance. Stick to Newbury Street or the South End — Eurotrash and iBankers are much less savvy about pre-nups.

(FORMER SITE OF) THE BIG DIG If you were a corrupt contractor in the past decade, you Dug it, Big.

BOSTON COMMON While the few cops there are not officially supposed to be 420-friendly . . . ya know what I’m sayin’, homeslice?

CHINATOWN They sure do things different there. [DELETED]. Say no more.

(THE FORMER) COMBAT ZONE There used to be an “adult entertainment district” in Boston way back when! Not anymore. Sorry, you’re out of luck. (Cough phoenixadultsection cough!)

FANEUIL HALL The fake Cheers is in there — ’nuff said.

FREEDOM TRAIL Tourists, yokels, and people who watch the two non-Hitler shows on the History Channel. Don’t do it sober.

NEW ENGLAND AQUARIUM This actually used to be cool, and then that fucking penguin movie happened. Watching the jellyfish on drugs, though: still fun.

SOUTH STATION The Acela, Greyhound, and Fung Wah leave from here for New York! You’ll go there a few times, have fun, stay out late, do New York stuff you can’t do here. But you’ll return. You can’t afford that shit. Welcome back — we were expecting you . . .

WATERFRONT Crazy part of town: weird larger-than-human buildings, glass everywhere, yuppies looking very pleased, hotels, the new ICA. Like Godard’s Alphaville on crack. Visit at your own risk.

2. BACK BAY
BERKLEE Some kids want to be Jimi Hendrix when they grow up. Others, Pat Metheny. Also, whenever Wood gets sick on tour, Medeski and Martin always know where to call for backup.

BU Harvard is for the elite, MIT is for the nerds, UMass is for the people. Think of BU as a massive checkmark over the “Other” box in the big higher-education application in the sky.

CHARLES RIVER Fun fact: there are so many college-dorm sewers flowing into the Charles that the sheer Adderall level in the water will make you smarter and more motivated if you drink a few glasses of it a day!

ESPLANADE Some grass by the river. On the Fourth of July you can watch families from Newton and such go “Ahhh” and “Ooooh” about the same freakin’ fireworks they see every year.

HATCH SHELL The Boston Pops! Man, we always wanted a place where we could listen to soundtracks without being distracted by movies.

LOUIS BOSTON Luxury goods retail mecca. Come the revolution . . .

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  Topics: Lifestyle Features , Rick Astley, Harvard University, Jimi Hendrix,  More more >
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