Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Things I will miss about living near Boston

I grew up in the suburbs of Boston & chose to move back here after college. Many friends did not - mostly due to the very high cost of living here. While I understand & respect their decisions, there's something about living near Boston that I would never want to give up permanently.

Boston is absolutely a world-class city - filled with culture, history, and entertainment. Contrary to popular belief, Bostonians are friendly people. We're just not "howdy, stranger, I baked you an apple pie!" friendly. ;)

In recognition of the fact that I am moving away (to another East Coast city, albeit a much smaller one), I wanted to make a list of all the things I will miss about living near Boston. Some things are unique to my Bostonian experience; some will be recognizable to other Beantown dwellers.

I will miss:
  • the city skyline - no matter your vantage point, always a sight to see. It never failed to amuse me that if you only looked straight at the Pru & the Hancock, you could be excused for thinking Boston had just these two skyscrapers. Then, you look just a tic to the northeast (I was usually looking at the city from the west) & bada-bing! The Financial District arises!
  • Speaking of bada-bing, the North End. I went very rarely & never found a good parking spot, but it's such a sweet, old-world place. I'll be there this Saturday for St. Anthony's Feast.
  • The Common/Public Gardens. Peaceful, serene, yet you were never sure you wouldn't run into some kind of a loony.
  • Cambridge. Oh, Cambridge, I think I might miss you most of all! So many favorite places & sights: People's Republik, Memorial Hall @ Harvard, the little church on Brattle St. whose name I can't remember, Cambridge 1, the Forest Cafe, the Middle East, the Pit (where we used to pretend we were tough grunge kids when we were really preppy 8th graders with flannel shirts!), Charlie's, Fire & Ice, Bukowski's, Abbey Lounge, the Plough . . .
  • South Boston. Spent a lovely eight months here while dating Nick. Loved parking near L St. beach, the older row houses on K St., the church on West Broadway that they converted to condos (one of many, I know), Joseph's Bakery, the flower pots on nearly every house's stoop, and playing goofy video machine games with Nick & his friends at the Quencher, L St. Tavern, and the like.
  • Somerville. Lived in Davis or near it for more than two years. Will miss the Burren, Red Bones, McKintyre & Moore, Someday Cafe (which is no longer), Christopher's in Porter, Orleans, Pemberton Farms, and Anna's.
  • Beacon Hill. My dad went to Suffolk, so he educated me early on the appeal of Beacon Hill. To wander its streets at dusk on a winter evening is to step into Boston as it was in an earlier century. I almost expect to see men in long black coats & top hats stride by on their way home to dinner. ;)
  • Living so close to Boston's historic spots - the State Houses (old & new), Old North Church, Paul Revere's house, Faneuil Hall, the Bell in Hand, Tremont Temple (where my great-grandparents met soon after immigrating to Boston from Prince Edward Island), Castle Island, Bunker Hill Monument, etc. etc. etc.
  • The accent. :) It does wonderfully silly things to people. I once got two New Yorkers to wander down a street in Edinburgh, gleefully yelling "Nomaaaaah!"
  • The Sox - the heart & soul of this city, in my humble opinion. Not much more to say here & thank God I can get NESN in Portsmouth!
  • Sorry, Cambridge, I think I'll miss this one most of all. On nights that I worked late over the past year, I would take a different route home to my apartment. This route took me past my sister's house & I could see across the pond to her windows as I sped by. It always gave me a warm glow to see the lights & know that my sis, bro-in-law, and little nephew were enjoying their dinners.
Sigh. Remind me why I'm moving away again? I'll do one soon for things to look forward to in Portsmouth. Maybe that will help . . .


londongirl said...

Absolutely. Focus on the good things of the new and the bad of the old and you'll be all set.

Miss B said...

But remember that Portsmouth is really just a stone's throw from all those things you love so much - they won't ever be that far away :)

Suldog said...

Excellent post. This is a list that many Bostonians (myself included) should read periodically to remind themselves of the good stuff.

However, Portsmouth is a wonderfuil place, too. It's one of my favorite vacation spots. The theater in the park during summer, Rosa's restaurant, the many interesting small shops... lots of good stuff there.

Susie said...

that was a really nice post :)
i lived by portsmouth for 4 years in college and absolutely loved it. in my opinion, nothing comes close to boston, but portsmouth has such a nice charm and is really beautiful. if you like sushi, go to sake (i like it better than the rt. 1 one)...yum!

Rhea said...

I agree with Suldog. A great list and something longtime Bostonians should keep in mind. Why are you moving?!?

Stacey said...

Thanks for the input, ladies & gents. :) I'll just keep repeating to myself, "Portsmouth is good, too. Portsmouth is good, too."

Rhea - I'm starting a graduate program in NH, so it didn't make sense to stay in the Boston area. Thanks for asking!