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Welcome to Boston

Better than a Duck Tour
September 4, 2007 4:12:32 PM

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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 . . .

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.

3. FENWAY
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.


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COMMENTS

I really enjoyed reading this article but do take exception to the fact that the author sounds like subway Charlie who's been trapped n'eath the streets of Boston and was never seen again. Dude, get out sometime, leave Boston go to another city for a while. I myself have lived in Las Vegas for 3 years now and would give my right nut to move back to my beloved Boston. However when I did live there and it was for most of my life I did think it was somewhat of a shithole. I quickly got over that once I left it. From Tampa Bay to Paris, France to San Francisco to Central Islip, Long Island I have found nowhere that can compare to my Boston the only one that comes even close would be San Fran. Living in the desert for the last 3 years makes me appreciate just how much weather means to me since I no longer have any, and I cannot tell you what it would mean to me to see the ocean again being land locked sucks. But I vow this when i do return to the great state of Massachusetts I will no longer gripe about living there because I now know better...

POSTED BY snappa AT 09/03/07 10:08 AM
PS: come to think of it I would gladly parade up and down Blue Hill Ave in my leather chaps only (which would give just about anyone justification in throwing rocks at me) it would not be pretty but it would make me so happy to know I was back in Boston. Not to mention that I would no longer have to worry about morons always saying to me no matter where in the world I happen to be "oh, are you from Boston" whenever I open my mouth to speak its a dead giveaway, unless, no, no, I could not have picked up a Nevada accent in this short of time, does Nevada even have accents? It took me years to refine this beautiful accent of mine and it would be a shame to lose it now. I left the city just as they were taking away the green monster ( the ugly one not the famous one) so I would be very interested to see the open space created by this removal the lumpy streets, bumps here and there i'm sure. I would certainly take the exquisit Charles River to the gully wash i have now. To be in East Bostons' Maverick square and look over to the skyline of Boston and just swamp with tears at how beautiful it really is. To march in the South Boston St. Patricks day parade all the while being pelted with beer bottles and old tomatoes god how I miss Boston. To enter the Aquarium and to have my nostrils cleared almost instantly what a joy. To walk the Boston common and see all the lovely homeless smelly men beggin me for change that I know will be used almost exclusivley to buy liquor istead of being spent in some sleazy casino. To walk Revere Beach in the hopes that Mr. State trooper will be there trying to hit on me so he can take me to jail instead of his house, man I miss that. But the most I miss of all is believe it or not the food from Jeveli's to Santarpios to Kellys and Kowloons you just can't get good chinese food out here go figure the closer you are to China the worst the chinese food is. I LOVE YOU BOSTON AND MISS YOU VERY MUCH...HOPE TO SEE YOU SOON.

POSTED BY snappa AT 09/03/07 10:33 AM
Great article! I've moved far enough away that I can't just hop the train and go to the city anymore. Reading this makes me miss it! Why? I don't know, it's just "home".

POSTED BY buspete AT 09/04/07 2:50 PM
Inbound & Outbound is definitely not confusing. Try living in a city where they just tell you where the train is headed. (Like having to look for Alewife instead of outbound from Porter.) It's harder than you think.

POSTED BY ex-pat AT 09/06/07 4:05 PM

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