Monday, May 09, 2005

New Yuck.

I was in New England last week on business. I flew into Boston, where I had to explain (once again) that, no, I DO NOT own the airport, am not NAMED AFTER THE AIRPORT, and don't find any of this funny in the least, fat pig shuttle bus driver, idiot American Airlines check-in counter lady, and loser who picked up my luggage by mistake. I suppose it was better than the last time I flew into Logan (shut up!) when they gave me the full-on Boston treatment and lost my luggage.

I took the bus from Logan (shut UP!) out to the rental car ghetto, whereupon I had the singularly weird experience of receiving excellent, friendly customer service in the city of Boston. It was shocking. Customer service in this city usually consists of anger or surliness. I only understood when I found out that the guy was from Vermont.

My company is headquartered in Rhode Island, so I drove out of Boston on the fancy new Ted Williams tunnel and various parts of the Big Dig. Another Boston first – fifteen billion dollars to replace one mile of roadway. In California they're building a new bridge across San Francisco bay – three miles of high-tech steel alloy, in an earthquake zone, above one of the busiest shipping channels in the world, carrying the second-worst traffic tie-up in the country (number one is everything in between Tiujuana and Santa Barbara.) It won't cost one third what Boston has managed to squander on that idiotic project. And it won't leak. The only benefit of the Big Dig is that it makes getting out of Boston slightly easier.

The drive to Rhode Island was pleasant enough, as it gave me the lovely opportunity to see Boston the only place it belongs – in the rear-view mirror. Ah, Rhode Island – the only tolerable place in New England. Providence is a lovely town, and Newport isn't bad either. Good food, great live music scene, pretty neighborhoods, and not too expensive. Life is more relaxed. It's the northern California of the east coast. Rhode Islanders are friendly people. And they all hate Boston.

In case I haven't made this clear, I hate Boston. I hate it out of all porportion to its actual lameness as a city. I hate it with the kind of passion usually reserved for divorcees and ousted Bush administration terrorism advisers. I hate the weather. I hate the fact that it's two hundred miles from anything remotely interesting or beautiful (sorry, Maine.) I hate that you have to traverse Connecticut to get there. Without Boston, Massachusetts would just be a southern extension of New Hampshire, and thus much less offensive.

The worst thing about Boston is that it's chock full of people who spend all of their time being from Boston. A Bostonian is always making sure that everyone knows they're from Boston and that Boston is better than wherever they are now. I don't know why. It's not as if Boston is Paris or Hong Kong. And if it's really so great, what are you doing here in Pennsylvania or South Carolina or Atlanta or California, badgering me about what a great place you abandoned? The rest of a country has a name for these people: Massholes. Massachusetts is the only state who's residents are so reviled by the rest of the country that a special word had to be developed (at considerable cost, I might add.) California may have its detractors, but nobody wants to be without Yosemite, movies, raisins, and phrases like “Governor Schwarzenegger.”

Bostonians have this huge inferiority complex about New York City. Deep down, they really want to be New Yorkers, and they want Boston to be important like New York. If New Yorkers are aggressive, Bostonians will take this to the extreme – they'll be totally insane, evil bastards. If New York has bad traffic, Bostonians will figure out a way to make their minor rural settlement a nightmare of congestion. If New York is dirty, Bostonians will go around littering, just to make sure that Boston is dirtier and uglier than NYC. They will forever tell you how Boston is old, but they are missing a very important distinction. Where most east coast cities take pride in their history, Bostonians take pride in their city being run-down. They only dismantled the old Boston Garden when it became clear that the only thing holding it up was its belligerent (and very Bostonian) insistence on being a horrible eyesore.

Boston will never be New York. It is a minor, unimportant, regional business park. New York is the capital of the world. Boston could almost be Baltimore, if it tried really, really hard.

Apologies to Maryland.

16 Comments:

Blogger NotDaryl said...

Right on! I've always had an immense respect for the Amish perspective on regional culture and travel!

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Smith said...

This coming from a guy who travelled all the way to England and spent several months hiding in his room, complaining about traffic.

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Dave said...

You've obviously never met a Montanan, been to Montana or possibly even heard of a Montana.

9:01 AM  
Anonymous John said...

I believe we coined the term "Masshole" actually. It's kind of endearing. And it keeps people like you away.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Logan said...

Thanks for proving my point, guys!

And how many of you still live in Boston?

9:07 AM  
Blogger Logan said...

>You've obviously never met a Montanan, been
>to Montana or possibly even heard of a
>Montana.

I've been to Montana. I was there with YOU. For your wedding. To a Montanan. It is a silly place, but hardly hate-worthy.

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Do I know you?

9:45 AM  
Anonymous john said...

My not living in Boston has nothing to do with Boston.

As wonderful and dirty as it may be, it cannot provide all things, all the time.

That's not Boston's fault.

9:53 AM  
Blogger NotDaryl said...

I don't remember you at the wedding. Where you the shaggy hippie with the bad hat?

9:54 AM  
Anonymous dave said...

Dave said...

You've obviously never met a Montanan, been to Montana or possibly even heard of a Montana.


I would like to point out for the record that the above was posted by another Dave, or possibly a fraudulent Dave. I am the Dave whose wedding was attended by Logan.

I will agree with any hate expressed towards Montana, however. The people there have a terrible, terrible obsession with their place of residence.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Derek said...

Your a Yankee Fan huh ?

10:45 AM  
Anonymous john said...

I don't think Logan acknowledges professional sports.

Unless it involves burning stuff in the desert, it is outside his realm of care.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous dave said...

So you agree with Logan that Boston it to NYC as Montana is to Boston?

10:48 AM  
Blogger Logan said...

I smell the hand of john in all of these poorly-constructed, misspelled comments. Smells like Boston.

10:51 AM  
Anonymous john said...

i spel just fihne, thanc u.

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Logan, thanks for your kind words about Rhode Island (I'm from Newport myself and absolutely love Rhode Island with all my heart.) But I've got to take issue with your hate-fest for Boston. Yes, deep down there is an inferiority complex, but I think that most places in America have some form of inferiority complex (except maybe New York.) But the truth is that Boston isn't New York, and it really doesn't want to be. And the Big Dig is definitely way overpriced but it also built a beautiful suspension bridge and three major new tunnels in one of the most challenging environments. And don't get upset about driving in Boston anyways. No one should drive in Boston - the city's streets were cow paths, so of course they won't make any sense. A friend of mine from San Francisco just came to Boston a few weeks ago and simply fell in love with the city. I keep telling him that Rhode Island is so much cooler but he doesn't want to believe me. :)

10:09 PM  

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