I’m a stranger in a strange land.
Really, I am from Chicago. Instead of soda, I say “pop.” Tennis shoes are “gym shoes.” I have no idea what the difference is between a frappe and a milkshake.
I still am learning so much about Boston. According to you, I still have an accent. I still giggle at your accent. And I still adamantly say that Boston’s pizza is not the best pizza on the East Coast.
So why do I love Boston?
Simple: I chose Boston.
I’m not from here. I chose to be here. Two and a half years ago, I packed up my car and drove through a snowstorm to be here. To live here. To say “I’m from Boston.”
I have been visiting friends in Boston since 2001. I always enjoyed coming to Boston and seeing this town from the eyes of people of the natives. I made my friends take me on the Duck Tour and walk the Freedom Trail, but they also showed me real Boston. They took me to the Kowloon and Modern Pastry (instead of Mike’s). And I started to fall in love. After my first Red Sox game, I knew this was it. This was the city for me.
My lease on my apartment ended the same time I got laid off. I saw this as an opportunity. I started applying for jobs in Boston and started to get a lot more replies from companies out here than in Chicago. I felt like it was Boston’s way of inviting me to move in.
Boston offers so much; small, constantly changing neighborhoods with a big city feel, different beer options every season from every brewery in New England, sports pride that shadows most other cities and authentic people with interesting stories.
I love the architecture, the history, the details in every corner of the city. I love the patriotism and pride people from Boston have for their town. I love the ever-changing neighborhoods. I love the food. I love the word ‘wicked’ as an adjective. I love that Boston welcomed a 29-year-old unemployed girl with open arms.
Relationships have give and take. I’ve started calling them ‘rotaries’ because I’ve never used one until I moved here. I always make sure to have cash on hand for an emergency cab ride. I get frustrated with a public transportation line that only runs until a little after midnight. But I wouldn’t change a minute of the last two years.
A great part about Boston is the neighborhoods. If you’re looking for Himalayan food, feasts of Italian saints, antique shops, historic trails, Brazilian steakhouses, Irish pubs or seafood made by any nationality; Boston has it. It’s impossible to get bored in Boston, because each neighborhood, each street, is an ever changing tableau of its past, present and future.
The best part of Boston, and the reason I love Boston the most, is the people. This city, and everyone in Boston, has been welcoming to an outsider. They’re excited to share their personal Boston with you. And they even ask a little about you. Bostonians’ hearty laughs and love of life (and the Bruins) is contagious. It even made me a hockey fan. Their love of this city is more evident than any other city I have ever visited. One can’t help but want to be part of the Hub. Where American history began. Where “The Curse” was reversed. Where people from Cape Verde mingle with people from the Himalayas. Where anyone sitting in a bar stool next to you will explain what the five-hole is. Where, pardon the pun, everyone knows your name. And I thank Boston, with all my love, for taking me in.
All that being said, I still do the Super Bowl Shuffle every January 26th.