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Love That Dirty Water: 5 Things I Love About Boston
One year ago I moved to Texas after 28 years as a Massachusetts resident. I hadn't realized until I lived in one how different a sprawling Southern city feels from the compact Northern cities I'm used to.
I'm home for a visit this month, and yesterday, as I spent some time wandering through Boston, I was struck by just how unique Boston's vibe is, and reminded of how much I adore this city. So from the particular vantage point of a Massachusetts girl transplanted to the South, I offer you: 5 Things I Love About Boston (that I miss while I'm in Texas).
5. It's a Pedestrian City
Boston is one of the oldest cities in the nation, and because it's old, it's small - Boston was literally built for walking. Not only do you not have to drive everywhere if you don't want to, it's often inadvisable to do so - unless circling for parking for hours on end is your idea of a pleasurable afternoon! Not only is walking all over town great exercise, it's a great way to see the city.
For Walks in Boston, Kate Recommends:
4. The T
Sure, it's not running 24-7 and is known for its delays, but there is nothing like living without it to make you really miss good public transportation! When you don't feel like walking, you can get pretty much anywhere you want to go in Boston and beyond by riding the trains and buses operated by the MBTA - affectionately called "the T" by the locals.
One of the things I love most about the T is that it has character - each of the different color-coded lines has its own style of train, and it's not uncommon to spot a train with cars mixed and matched from different eras in T history, distinguishable by slightly different coloring or style. Though the tokens we used to ride the T in my childhood are a thing of the past, boarding the train with a Charlie Card makes the process faster for everyone! If you're visiting Boston, make sure you check out the MBTA's trip planner tool, as well as their handy list of apps for your iPhone, iPad, or other smartphone that make navigating the T a snap.
3. Boston Common and the Boston Public Garden
Boston Common and the adjacent Boston Public Garden are together one of my favorite places to spend time in Boston. I love to stroll along the paths lined with musicians or sit on a bench in the shade and people watch. I love to watch the city's youngest tourists pose with the Make Way for Ducklings statues and ride the famous Swan Boats (and yes, I've been known to join said tourists on a ride or two around the pond). In the spring, I love to go and see the baby ducks that have recently hatched and watch Romeo and Juliet, the garden's famous pair of childless swans, build their annual nest. Simply put, it's a great place to walk, lounge, relax, play, see, and learn.
Make Way for Ducklings - A Boston Classic
2. Sports Team Loyalty
There's truly nothing like a Boston sports fan. Just ask George Washington - he loves the Bruins so much he made himself an honorary member! When a Boston sports team is doing well, it's all you'll hear about. But even better, when they're not doing well, the fans stick by them. From 1918 to 2004, Red Sox fans kept the faith, every year, that this year could be THE year. We loved our Celtics in the days of Larry Bird, but we also loved them in the years without him (better luck next year, guys). With the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals this year for the first time in over twenty years, the city's got Bruins fever - but then again, we have Bruins fever every year. I love walking down the streets of Boston and seeing every third person wearing the insignia of the Sox, the Bs, or the Cs - or even all three!
1. The People
I love people watching in Boston. Sitting in the garden, watching people walk by, you'll hear languages and accents from all over the globe, mixed in, of course, with the Boston accent. Bostonians are known for their sarcasm and abrasive wit, and it's this Boston personality type that I miss the most living away from here.