One day in my undergrad years at Northeastern, I had to drive my friend Anne into Allston. It turns out she’d left something at a party we’d gone to at the house of some Emerson newspaper kids and, since I had my car in town that weekend, I volunteered to take her there.
“Wait a minute,” she said as we approached the house, driving past the remains of the night before. “This is what Allston looks like during the day?”
That party, it turns out, had been co-hosted by Gaby Dunn, who we knew through co-op and as fellow student journalists chasing stories across the city. This is my roundabout way of saying, yes, Dunn — now a fancy-pants Brooklyn writer and comedian — has some real Boston cred. And that she’s right: You should give Allston a chance.
That tidbit of advice was third on her Thought Catalog post today, “11 Things You Should Know About Living In Boston.” She’s right more than she’s wrong, though her time in the Big Apple seems to have dulled her memory of our fair city. (And also, perhaps, of the pure terror that can occasionally still emerge with a trip to Allston, even for the most prepared local.)
Just to get them out of the way, here’s what Gaby got wrong: It’s pronounced more like “Wuh-ster” than “Woo-ster.” While the T says it closes at 12:30, even that runs later because that’s the time it leaves the originating station – you’re usually safe until about 1. I’m pretty sure there aren’t gay prostitutes in the Fens anymore (that’s what Craigslist is for). And, in an opinion I hope to explore with the fine readers of We Love Beantown more in the future: ohmygod, Dunkin’ Donuts is terrible.
Regardless of coffee choices, something very primal motivates our insane feelings about Boston. It’s why our sports teams turn us into crazy people. It’s why we act like such assholes when someone calls it “Boston Commons” or “the Public Gardens” or “Jamaica Plains” or “Cope-ly Square.” It’s why when we run into someone visiting from out of town we’ll insist they go to the Museum of Science’s lightning show, despite not having gone there since freshman year ourselves. It’s why we’ll keep re-electing mumbling Tom Menino until he accidentally falls into his own grave. (It’s probably even why we put up with the nonsense about the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade banning gay groups; we just love an excuse to drink terrible beer outside on a freezing March day so damn much.)
So as much as I hate to acknowledge that a Thought Catalog piece actually, kind of, sort of got something right — Dave tentatively slugged this piece “Hipster Thought Catalog Assholes Who Write About Boston” — Gaby nailed the overall gist of Boston pretty accurately:
The biggest, most pervasive trait about Boston is the pride of the people who live there. They love Boston and they live Boston. Go in ready to bathe in that pride — and you know, maybe in Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee too.
In the very end, we’re like Lenny in “Of Mice and Men.” Yes we love this city, we talk like idiots, and we probably love everything a bit too hard. And Gaby, I guess that makes you George, willing to put up with our own stupidity because you love us, too. Just please don’t shoot us in the head.