Others notice it, or recognize the absence of it. That silent “R” that Bostonians leave out when speaking. When you hear it, or don’t, that’s when you know you’ve stepped into the greater Boston area. You’re now in “Boston Strong” territory.
I have no problem screaming at the top of my lungs that I was born and raised in California. We’re all from somewhere, and yes, I’m extremely proud to be a California Girl, but there’s something about saying I live in Boston that causes a smile that I didn’t ask for- it just happens. While this city is full of strength and pride, some would argue that it’s full of aggression…but it’s true Bostonians would be proud of that too.
There are still a few factors that will make any Bostonian wicked insane- no matter how much pride one has for Beantown.
- The jackass who won’t move in on the T. We’re all trying to get somewhere and most likely in the morning, it’s work or class. Does anyone really want to get there? Probably not, but that’s just a fact of life. It’s not difficult, people. Move your ass into the T and we’ll all be able to get to where we need to be and probably never see one another again.
- The T driver who makes you stand behind the white line. Again, we’re all trying to get somewhere and if you’ve taken the T at any point in the morning, your sense of personal space is completely forgotten. Just let me on the train, please. I’ll make sure my head isn’t in the mirror so you can see where you’re maneuvering this old train on the wrecked tracks.
- The tough guy. He’s loud, proud, and surrounded by his bros. Buddy, everyone can hear you and I know you don’t care. With that being said, there is a fine line between love and hate, and you almost love this guy for his grit. It just depends on many vodka sodas deep into the night you are.
- I don’t mean Sons of Anarchy bikers, but cyclists who think traffic laws don’t pertain to them. I live by BU and my God, I think I’ve had more near death experiences by almost getting run over by bikers instead of moving vehicles. Red means stop!
- Drivers who don’t know where they’re going. Boston drivers are known to be some of the worst and most aggressive drivers on the road. Period. But, I will say, Boston drivers are really good at doing bad things. If you don’t know where you’re going and have never driven in the city, then don’t start, ever. Please do the City of Boston and yourself a favor, and don’t get behind the wheel.
- Tourists who walk in a line across the sidewalk making it difficult to walk around them. I get it, the city is beautiful and there are plenty of Instagram worthy shots, but please, allow others to get around you. This also goes for the touristy drivers: do not stop on Storrow Drive to get out of your car and snap a picture of Cambridge. Just, no.
- Kenmore Square on a game day is home to the (in my opinion) best baseball atmosphere in the country. It’s Fenway Park, need I say more? But if you’re just merely passing through and have no intentions of going to the game or the bars in Fenway, then it’s not the place for you.
- The North End. You can walk into almost any restaurant on Hanover Street and thoroughly enjoy the carb overload you are about to experience. But, the minimal space, traffic, and long waits to get into a restaurant with 8 tables can make anyone want an extra bottle of wine during their meal. But I will admit that the wait is usually worth it.
- Storrow Drive. While it is one of the main drives in Boston, and will more than likely be part of the route you need to follow in order to get to your desired destination, there is usually stop-and-go traffic. And by usually, I mean, 20 hours out of the day.
- Dive bars. These locations are God’s gift to anyone who wants to pretend to have a low-key night, but really wants to get hammered and make poor decisions. We’ve all been there, but these are the places where the Fireball shots win every damn time.
- South Boston plays by its own rules. People double park for an unlimited amount of time because parking is next to non-existent. The bars are on another level on any night of the week. And if the Pats are playing, then forget it. And the rent? All I can say is good luck.
- The Record-Breaking Winter of 2015. We did it. We broke the record for the most snowfall in one winter. According to the Boston Globe, as of 7 p.m. on March 15, 2015, Boston survived the snowiest winter (and gained even more bragging rights) when the snow accumulation reached 108.6 inches.
- The MBTA is relatively unreliable on normal days, but to watch it completely collapse during number 1, it difficult to function as a human being in this city. There were either un-Godly delays, cancelled trains, or completely packed train cars, that you were better off walking in the frigid temperatures to get to your destination (even though that was difficult at times too). Now the MBTA is functioning and for the most part will get you to where you need to be, but my standards are pretty low at this point.
- Parking Tickets eventually get factored into your budget when living in Boston. I once received two tickets at once- one for parking too close to the fire hydrant (I was 8 ft away instead of 10) and for 2 hour parking. This was also in front of my apartment.
- Traffic on the Pike, traffic on 93, traffic on Storrow- really traffic anywhere in the surrounding Boston area is usually caused by some unknown reason. There is the occasional construction zone, but for the most part, everyone decided to get on the road at the same exact time. We’ll all sit in traffic for 40 minutes, only to all of sudden be freed like a caged animal into the wild. While I might do a fist pump because my speedometer finally surpassed 15 MPH, I’m still left wondering why I just sat there for no particular reason.
After enduring the winter we just experienced and bulldozing my way onto the B-Line, I often consider packing my bags and heading back West for the Golden State that raised me. Then I realize that carbo-loading isn’t as satisfying unless I’ve waited a substantial amount of time on Hanover Street and there is nothing like singing “Sweet Caroline” in Fenway Park. Bostonians love that dirty water and we know that Boston Strong will always be stronger than your strong, even if we’re going wicked insane sitting through traffic on Storrow Drive.