Click the map to enlarge
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.
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 . . .
MFA Weekend cultural warriors finally catching up with the avant-garde of the 1890s (“Matisse!”) and, on Friday nights, dolled-up single people who miss college.
NEWBURY STREET One day, when you’ve sold out and are making real money, your significant other will look like one of these people and you’ll realize it’s gonna be a long, long time before you’re socially entitled to a midlife crisis.
OTHER SIDE CAFE The waiter looks at you like that because he once played bass with someone who’s in Panic! At The Disco and it’s just not fucking fair. Chill. It’s part of the ambience.
FENWAY PARK We’re afraid of few things in the good Lord’s vineyard. Sox fans are one of them. Cross the street. Don’t look ’em in the eye. Always keep a spare Sox hat handy if you wanna hide in a crowd of them. Help, mommy . . .
CITGO SIGN Your transformation will be complete when you think it’s normal that the major piece of public art in Boston is an old billboard for a Venezuelan oil company. (By the way, in the 1980s we voted to keep the sign where it is. That’s right — the CITGO sign is no freakin’ accident!)
ISABELLA STEWART GARDNER MUSEUM This rich old coot was actually punk as fuck: “I’m gonna die and leave my house all cluttered and you won’t be able to move a damn thing! Mwahahaha!”
LANSDOWNE Awww . . . our very own bridge-and-tunnel theme park! Miami’s South Beach meets a small town’s main drag on a Saturday night, plus them scary Sox people from across the street. You’ll try everything once or twice, right? Repeat after us: Joooooooviiiiiiiii!
MASS ART Debauched design nerds and future unemployables.
MUSEUM SCHOOL Aging trophy wives and installation twinks.