By Sam Stanley
When people ask me about the most memorable parts of Boston, many things come to mind. The ball games, the shopping and the weirdos who always just so happen to sit near you on the train ride home. In short, there are a lot of things to love about this city, but at the same time, there are plenty of things that can be improved, per say. Going to Boston as much as I have over my [almost] nineteen years of life, I can very much say that we have everything. If people disagree with me, they may at least agree that we have quite a bit. Theater, education, engineering, medicine, business, food—the list goes on and on. I have fond memories of visiting these various places ever since I was around four or five years old.
When my sisters and I were younger, our parents would take us to the Museum of Science, where my sister burst into tears after one of the presenters told her that Earth would be gone eventually. “Don’t worry Julia, we have a while,” our parents reassured. I remember covering my ears at the electricity shows, as the lightning from the Van De Graaff generator played “The Imperial March” for the billionth time. I remember the excitement my sister Emily had whenever we went—all this translated into her studying to become an astronaut. I would say, old or young, this museum is for everybody. In connection with the museum are the Duck Boat Tours, and no matter how much time you’ve spent in Boston, this is something to try at least once. Going around town, traveling into the water—it’s refreshing to say the least.
For those who love baseball, Fenway Park is the ideal destination. For those that just want to watch the game even though they have zero idea what’s going on on the field? It’s also a great place to go. Although the food is a tad overpriced and sometimes the sun can be a pain, it’s a universal Bostonian experience. You don’t even need a front row seat to enjoy the game. One of the best parts of going to a Red Sox game is that you don’t have to worry about being yelled at for routing for another team. Bostonian baseball fans believe in a fair game, and the outcome of the game is what it is. We’re not sore losers—like some football fans in Ohio might be. If you get yourself a Fenway Frank, a nice bottle of tonic and a baseball cap, you’ll find this to be one of the best Bostonian experiences.
If you ever decide you want all your money to disappear out of your pocket within the span of two hours, Newbury Street is the perfect place for you. From designer shops to small family businesses, you’ll find a whole lot near Newbury Street. Hell, Newbury Street and any street close to it is an awesome place to spend your money. On Boylston Street, you have the chance to go to Eataly, where you get to try a variety of different Italian foods—gelato, cheese, sandwiches and so much more. If you decide that might not be the place for you, directly attached is the Prudential Center where stores and food of many kinds reside.
While many people get to experience the more beautiful and pricey parts of Boston, they also find themselves in the middle of the ugly parts of it. If you don’t know the Boston area well enough, driving is a nightmare. Even seasoned drivers have a hard time navigating the different roads and keeping their cool while they sit endlessly in traffic. That’s also a hard thing about Boston—with a developing city comes a horrible amount of traffic that seems to start as early as 6:30 in the morning. To get to work or school in Boston, you may find yourself getting up at ungodly hours so you don’t catch yourself in the middle of I-93. Let’s say, by some miracle, you get into Boston on time, you have to find parking. Every company that provides parking wants you to spend at least 30 dollars so you can park comfortably close to wherever you need to be. And if you find yourself a long way from your work, public transit becomes the only option. Many UMass Boston students have taken the subway around the city, and they know the horrors of the Red Line. Looking down at the ground with your earbuds in so the one person yelling on the train won’t bother you, or situations much more uncomfortable than I may want to write about. The Red Line is also a part of the MBTA as a whole, and if it snows, rains a bit too hard or it’s just a bit too cold, don’t expect to get to work on time. The trains will shut down and shuttles will get stuck in traffic. It’s a never ending hellscape of praying that the city will do its job.
But there are some moments that people overlook when they see these different flaws. One place I recommend to you, the reader, is Memorial Drive. A sane person might be reading this and fear for the curious non-local that will get stuck in the horrible traffic that occurs every day at Memorial Drive. But I say that, at dawn and dusk, if you go on the weekend, you will find yourself a beautiful view of the Boston cityscape. Memorial Drive reminds me of the early morning rides that I would go on with my mom and sister while we drank concerning amounts of coffee. It reminds me of the Tufts 10K, Reebok 10K, Boston 10K—whatever they decided to name it this year—and running along Memorial Drive while questioning the practicality of running six miles every year in October as an annual tradition. Maybe it reminds me of the time my dad and I came into Boston to find the crew of “Free Guy” filming the Lamborghini chase. Whatever it may be, through the beautiful and ugly experiences Boston has to provide, it has helped me become me, and it’s paved the way to my future.