I've never been to Boston and I've been to every other major city in the country... I have a few friends from there, and family members that went to college there, but otherwise I know nothing about the city/society of Boston. Tell me everything you know that is INTERESTING about Boston currently (meaning no ancient history lessons). Things I've only heard very little on: the society there, pub culture, blue collar jobs being held by people with IV league degrees, several generations living in the same home.
I spent the Summer of 2009 there. Enjoyed it very much. At least w/ my experience...
- The people were quite friendly. Having also spent considerable time in NYC, I'm used to having people not smile when I smile at them. That was so not the case in Boston.
- Astonished (& still am) at how much of an urbanized city it is, its so GREEN.
- Food on the North End is especially yummy.
- The various green subway lines (above Copley Square where the Boston Public Library is) runs on the street levels. Its not the L, nor is it underground. Its at the street level following all the same traffic rules as cars & pedesterians. Very odd. Most of the other subway lines aren't like this though.
- There are a shit ton of museums worth spending a day at.
- There's a shit ton of history related stuff, particularly the "Freedom Trail" that's worth exploring.
Basically if you can't find shit to do in Boston even doing your own thing, then you're hopeless.
modeled wrote: Tell me everything you know that is INTERESTING about Boston currently (meaning no ancient history lessons). Things I've only heard very little on: the society there, pub culture, blue collar jobs being held by people with IV league degrees, several generations living in the same home.
1. Not sure what you mean by "the society there" so it's hard to comment on.
2. Lots of Irish pubs and lots of fake Irish pubs. I think there are probably more fake ones than real ones. Brighton and Brookline have some good pretty near real ones.
Note: "Boston" itself - the part with a Boston, MA, address - is very very small. But there is a much larger area with different mailing addresses that is still Boston.
3. Blue collar jobs held by people with Ivy degrees - can't say I recall any but there probably are some. All I can think of are the Tom and Ray Magliozzi - aka The Tappett Brothers (Click and Clack).
4. Several generations living in the same home: probably not many in Boston - try South Boston, East Boston, Revere, and Dorchester for sure.
Hmmm. Other interesting things:
1. The light on the Old Hancock Building tells you what the weather is:
Steady blue, clear view.
Flashing blue, clouds due.
Steady read, rain ahead.
Flashing red, snow instead. If it's flashing in the summer, it means the Red Sox game is cancelled.
2. If you take the commuter rail outbound from South Station or Back Bay and get off 1 or maybe 2 stops from the starting point, you will likely miss the conductor - free ride!
3. Faneuil Hall is Disneyland Boston for tourists.
4. Peobody is prounced "PEEbidy"; Quincy is "QUINzee"; Stoneham is "STONE-um" but Wareham is "Ware-ham." (Well you'll get people arguing on that last one.)
5. That "Boston" accent you hear in movies is really working-class South Boston, Dorchester, or Revere. I doubt I met 10 people in 20 years who really talked like that.
Another thing: that big green park thing in the middle of town called the Boston Common, or the Common; and the other smaller green park thing across the street is the Public Garden. Not the Boston Commons, the Commons, or Public Gardens.
If you live outside of Boston and want to go into Boston, you're "going into town." Not into "the city."
The public transportation system is the T. It's not called the "subway."
The big sporting and event center by North Station has had several names and sponsors but if you just call it The Garden, everyone knows what you mean.
First - thanks for the info, interesting read, I appreciate it.
Second - I clicked on your joke map and opened a map of Boston via google maps for a frame of reference. Then I just randomly clicked on "street view" of downtown Boston. Pretty funny that this is what I see:
What looks to be a group of guys dressed in baggy clothing, basketball jersey's and white athletic shoes all unabashedly staring a woman walking down the street in their direction. Guess the movie "the town" is pretty accurate .
Boston is a small city - walking gets you lots of places.
The airport is in the city. It's a short cab or T ride to your hotel after getting off the plane.
Not sure if the record still stands, but I think the Big Dig (a new tunnel to the airport from the Mass Pike) was the biggest cost overrun in the history of the US.
As another contributor noted, one refers to being in Boston as "In Town". "The Town", as in the movie, refers to Charlestown, a small part of Boston. Wormtown is about 60 miles west (Worcester).
The USS Constitution is worth seeing. So is the New England Aquarium and Museum of Science.
The Isabella Gardner Museum is another good destination - it was the site of one of the largest Art thefts (still unsolved) in the US. There are placards in the museum in the place of the stolen artworks. If you happen to know anything, I think there is a big reward, so don't be shy about collecting it.
Boston and the surrounding area has a LOT of colleges, and not a lot of hotel rooms. If you plan to come here, don't plan on coming on commencement weekend - it is jammed packed - hotels, restaurants, events etc. Hotels are extra pricey too.
There are some world class hospitals in Boston. If you are going to get sick, get something serious so you can see them in action.
Cambridge is not Boston. I'm not sure Cambridge in in the United States. It's often referred to as the People's republic of Cambridge.
Stephanie was right about Hockey - but tickets can be hard to come by (especially when they are not playing).
Boston proper has a lot to see, but there's a lot within reasonable driving distance from the city.
I would also recommend visiting the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum - it used to be Mrs. Gardner's house, llamaed after a Venetian villa, and it is spectacular. The thieves dressed up as Boston cops, talked their way past the guards, overpowered them, and walked out with $500M in art, and none of the pieces have ever been seen again.
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Dorchester is very very interesting. I used to work there years ago and one of my favorite memories is going down into the vault - as secure as any bank vault - and being told, "Oh here's a box of stuff Ethel just sent over." There's a ton of stuff down there that hasn't seen the light of day upstairs yet. The main part of the museum is llamaed after the White House's interiors - you can forget for a second where you are.
The "Cheers" bar (which is called the Bull and Finch) is on Beacon Street, near Arlington Street. The place in Faneuil Hall is a replica built to mimic the TV show, and to sell souvenirs to tourists. The real bar (inside) looks almost nothing like the show; the outside though is just as on the show. I used to work there too.
I personally think the Aquarium sucks - worst one I've been to. I'd recommend the Museum of Science over it any day - much more worth the money to me. I find the Aquarium to be a ripoff. The one in little ol' Mystic, CT, even, is a lot better. But to each his own.
Laguna Beach, California, US
boston ain't shit. just kidding. like most baggeast cities, yuppies have pretty much killed it. i used to live in wellesley years ago. just far enough outside of the city to be quite nice and yet close. at one point i thought there may be more statues than real people in boston.
greatest line ever about boston was in 'spinal tap', where the manager informs them that the gig there is cancelled.
"don't worry, it's not that big a college town."
and anytime i hear the word wicked i want to effing barf.
i used to love going to fenway to watch games, and more importantly, watch drunken southies (sometimes actual brothers) get in fist fights over the stupidest shit. and these guys were on the same team!
Just a quick correction, Wormtown (or as we locals call it, Wistah) is only 45 miles west. Not that you'll ever likely come here unless you have a specific reason to.
As for Boston, Sullivan's on Castle Island has great food, but it's not open in the winter, the science museum used to be pretty good, but I was there recently and it's a shadow of it's former self. Not sure what's going on there but now it's just overpriced and not very interesting. In it's place, I'd suggest the museums at Harvard University in Cambridge, including the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology and the Glass Flowers...
I lived there for 20 years, went to college there, grew up 30 minutes outside of it. I still love it but doubt I'd move back (too cold). What I love about it is it's a manageable walking city, and where you can't walk, the subway will take you there. Don't even think about driving in it. As others have said, check out the Common's and the Public Gardens. Walk down Newbury St. It is a college town, so the average age is lower than many cities, some like that, some don't.
There's a great Mexican restaurant just off Quincy Market. I't downstairs in one of the small interior mall buildings. Pretty amazing. The only thing I go to Boston for is to get on a ship headed for the Caribbean.
All one way streets that always seem to go the opposite direction than you want. And if you ask a local for directions you get a response like this:
Me: Excuse me, Where I Cheers pub located?
Local Mechanic: It's at whatever number on such and such... (paraphrased)
Me: How do I get there?
Local Mechanic: hmm well you can't actually get there from here...
Best Clam Chowder that I've ever had in my life at the Quincy Market though!
Lived in Massachusetts all my live right outside of Boston. First of all there is legit no correct way to predict the weather. Can snow one day then be in the fifties and sunny the next. In the city when colleges are in school it is quite busy because there are so many schools here. There are a lot of bars, and a handful of legit clubs that are fun and not too expensive. Boston Common is a very popular place. Can get to just about anywhere by taking the train. And last, Boston really is a very small city and it does not take too long to get around.