My LEAST Favorite Things About Boston

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Part of being a city inhabitant is grumbling about it in one way or another. All of us have likes and dislikes about our chosen cities, and if we’re going to be honest, then we have to own up to the dislikes. Today I’m discussing my least favorite parts about living in Boston — and I hope you’ll sound off in the comments about the downsides of your own town.

Rude drivers

Boston is legendary for its rude drivers. The once a week that I use a car, I always end up ready to give someone the finger and stream a few curses out my window. Boston drivers don’t know that blinkers exist and will veer over into someone else’s lane without warning. They think any red light is a right-on-red situation, and they like darting across an intersection or cutting you off. The bigger the car, the worse the offender, I’ve noticed; it’s as if being higher off the ground makes you feel disconnected from the world and therefore not beholden to its rules and courtesies. Thanks, Massholes!

Darkness, slush, cold.

We’re starting to enter the Dark Time of New England, the time that comes every year; somehow, it always catches me unpleasantly by surprise. The first snow fall will be magical, but in a matter of days it will become a series of foul brown cliffs and brackish pools of muddy water, clogging the streets and muddying my boots. There’s also no escape from the cold — somewhere around February it begins to feel like an animal that is stalking you, trying to hunt you down. There are definite downsides to living in New England, and nearly six months out of the year, weather is one of them.

Parking rules/ticket happy police

Like most cities, Boston is a headache for drivers, not only in the traffic department. Just try to find a parking space downtown — I dare you! It’s no better in Cambridge; and the traffic cops are particularly zealous. I turned away from my parked car once to run upstairs for a quarter, and by the time I got down a meter officer was ticketing me. I held up my quarter, but he said that he had already printed the ticket — too late, buster. I’m all for strict traffic enforcement, so that the city remains a friendly place for pedestrians, but the parking rules can be truly byzantine sometimes. Check out the sign featured in this post and try to figure out yourself if you can park in this spot.

All up, cities can be a nightmare for drivers in particular, and many cities seem to have been built precisely where the weather was its most miserable. But in spite of all that, there’s still plenty of love about Boston; there’s even a slightly smug feeling among Bostonians about how the misery hardens us and makes us tougher. There’s a general feeling that to live in a place without seasons is just a little wimpy. It’s seasons that make you feel alive, Bostonians will say.

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