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The Importance of Being Boston

One of the things I like most about the Boston area is the sense of history here. Plymouth Rock isn't so very far from here, and tourists have been crawling over the area ever since the Mayflower dropped anchor on it nearly four hundred years ago. Rumor has it the native Americans were waiting for the pilgrims, bearing gifts of Red Sox caps and coupons for Dunkin Donuts.

"Rumor has it the native Americans were waiting for the pilgrims, bearing gifts of Red Sox caps and coupons for Dunkin Donuts."

For people like me who've moved to Boston later in life, living in a city steeped in so much history is enormously useful. Most of my family had never visited Boston before my wife and I got here, so there are plenty of 'new' old things for them to see. The Freedom Trail, the Old North Church, the site where the "Shot Heard 'Round the World" was fired -- these are all spectacular ways to spend a few hours entertaining visitors from out of town.

In contrast, I lived in Pittsburgh a few years ago. It's a lovely town, really. But there are only so many times you can take your family to Primanti Brothers to watch a Steelers game before they start to ask, 'Isn't there anything else around here?'

(The answer -- yes, there is. But unless grandma's into crashing a kegger over at Pitt or stopping by one of the titty bars on the edge of town, I think watcing football's the way to go.

Unless granny wants to get up on stage for a dance or two. The least she could do is earn her own beer money, right?)

The people I feel sorry for are the ones who move here from somewhere else in the world. Plenty of students and professionals come to Boston from Europe, Asia, Africa and elsewhere. How do you think a kid feels when his parents visit from, say, Paris, and walk around town saying:

'So dis building ez three hundred years old, eh? Only zree hundred? Ptui! I took a zhit older than zat dis morning!'

It's times like this when I'm almost glad I grew up in a boring little backwater burg where we watched the grass grow and the cars go by, and we called it a 'wild weekend'. It makes spending a Saturday in Harvard Yard and watching the leaves turn colors seem tolerable in comparison.

Of course, hitting a Boston College kegger and watching football on TV until the booby bars open still sounds better. Grandma would be proud.

Permalink | Comments (1)

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yes, i don't talk much about the history of anything around my hometown with any of my british friends. i mean, how can i compete?

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