adventures of an american housewife in the south of france

ECLT: 4th Stop: Boston!

Let me tell you a little not-so-secret about my time in Boston.  I hated it.  I was miserable.  I barely had any friends, I had just ended a 4 year relationship, and although I liked my job, I worked long hours but made barely enough money to live in the expensive city.  I was not happy.  Coming into to Boston as a young professional, not a student, made it really hard to meet people.  Most (and I stress, most but not all) people who are from the area and still live there are not too interested in expanding their social group.  They have their friends who they grew up with, and penetrating that circle is like trying to solve the Matrix.  By the end of my 2 years of living in that city, I had about 10 friends, all transplants, and none of whom still live there. When I tell people about my time in Boston, their reaction helps me to figure out whether or not they have actually lived there or just visited.  The non-natives who lived there usually say, "Oh man, I felt the same way!"  While those who have just visited say, "What!  That's crazy!  Boston is such a cool town!"  And you know, what?  It is a cool town.  A cool town to visit.  The city is beautiful and lively, there are great restaurants and shopping, and each neighborhood is full of history and sites to explore.  But living there on a day to day basis, I started to get sucked into a negative energy in the air.  Most days out of the year, the weather is terrible:  either humid and muggy or bone-chilling cold and windy.  People are cranky all the time.  They are in rush, bumping into you without the slightest hint of apology.  I became bitter, cold, and intolerant.  I didn't like myself.  As soon as I could, I made plans to get out of there as quickly as possible, not realizing that my next move would bring me to a place where I was happier than I'd ever been in my life.  To a city I would fall head over heels in love with and meet the man of my dreams.  So you see, I consider Boston a means to an end.  I had never in a million years thought about living in San Francisco.  But living in Boston brought me there. I was unsure as to how I would feel, coming back to Boston 6.5 years later.  I was older and definitely wiser.  Would the city still hold that same negative energy I once experienced?  Or was that simply just the stage of life I had been in?  Well the first thing that happened when we landed in Logan is that the airline lost my luggage for the first 3 days of our trip.  Then, as we headed for Albany, we got stuck in gridlock traffic making it only as far as Newton in 2 hours.  We decided to stop and have a quick bite at Bertucci's, grab a Starbucks, and wait for the traffic on the pike to thin out.  As we walked into Starbucks, a young kid was being taken out of the bathroom on a stretcher.  "What the hell is going on in this town?!" Michael cried.  All I could say was, "Welcome to Boston.  This city hates me." The next week we headed back into the city to give it another shot and visit some of my old haunts.  And the most amazing thing happened.  I was flooded with memories of times I actually enjoyed remembering.  Walking through 4 feet of snow to get to the bar in the middle of a blizzard, late night pizza runs to NY Pizza, buying clothes I couldn't afford, and making all of the seemingly harmless bad decisions a 22-year old is supposed to make when right out of college.  Even though it was still raining (seriously, half of our ECLT was spent in the rain), we walked all around my old neighborhood, visited my old apartment, and met up with some friends who came into town to meet us.

my old street in Bay Village

in front of my old apartment

my old office - the top floor of the tallest building in the city.

my bestie from NYC came all the way up to Boston to see me - isn't she the best?!

After a few martinis and a Clover, I decided that it was really nice to see Boston again.  I've realized, I don't hate it anymore, but I definitely don't love it.  I guess you could say that - me and Boston - we're frenemies now.  I do think it's a great place...for a visit.

5 Responses to “ECLT: 4th Stop: Boston!”

  1. nate says:

    Just caught up with your last four, ECLT, posts. There’s a passage above that I swear could have been written by me, about my time in Paris. For real:

    “But living there on a day to day basis, I started to get sucked into a negative energy in the air. Most days out of the year, the weather is terrible: either humid and muggy or bone-chilling cold and windy. People are cranky all the time. They are in rush, bumping into you without the slightest hint of apology. I became bitter, cold, and intolerant. I didn’t like myself.”

    • Natalie says:

      i think it’s something you can only understand if you experience it – which i’m sure paris is the same way!! …sounds like it’s a good thing we ended up in montpellier instead :)

  2. Devon says:

    Oh Boston, it loves to give you a hard time! But at least it’s consistent…I mean, wouldn’t it have been so confusing if it was beautiful and sunny and everyone was friendly?

  3. Shannon says:

    HAHA! I remember the awesome clothes you used to buy whe you lived there. A white pants suit…

  4. Julia says:

    You already know this, but I have to say it. I feel the EXACT same way about Boston. Too bad at the time we were both miserable and living there, we didn’t even realize we were going through the exact same thing.

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