What I hate about Boston

statler

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Ok, we have a booster thread, so let's counter that with a gripe thread.
Same rule applies: be creative, no "The NIMBY's!" or "Menino!" posts.

I'll post mine soon.
 

Suffolk 83

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(this isn't so much Boston but you get it) The annoying, obnoxious, loud, retarded acting kids who go away to college tell everyone they're from Boston when they're really from Springfield and they annoy the crap out of everyone and give the rest of us a bad name. I believe thats where the phrase -- Massholes came about.
 

vanshnookenraggen

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The T not running 24 hours. This is probably the biggest sticking point now that I've experienced NYC.
 

statler

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My biggest complaint about Boston is that I hate that Boston isn't the cultural capital of the US. While it's true we have and amazing amount of arts and culture for a city our size (see below) we still play a weak second (third?) fiddle to places like New York and Chicago. I'm fine with Boston not being the financial capital of the US. The book Invented Cities does an excellent job of explain why New York got that title. But the arts and culture title is Boston's birthright. I understand that New York got the money and the population followed the money and the arts followed the population, but Boston should be putting up a bigger fight. We have such a rich cultural history but in the last century or so we just stopped trying.
  • I hate that The Atlantic Monthly left Boston.
  • I hate that very few (if any) 'big name' authors and artists choose the live in Boston.
  • I hate that Boston live theater scene is so weak.
  • I hate that the MFA (as good as it is) isn't considered the premier fine arts museum in the US.
  • I hate the fact that the ICA isn't even in the discussion.
  • I hate the fact that Boston isn't known for our restaurants (we're getting better, but we not really on the map yet, as far as I can tell)
  • I could not care less that Boston isn't a fashion capital, but I hate the fact people consider fashion to be part of arts & culture.
I hate that the natives of Boston are seen as unfriendly and hostile to outsiders.

I hate the fact that Bostonians don't want to see their city as a CITY but rather as a large town.
  • I hate the fact that fewer then a million people live within the city limits. And city has no really desire to grow past that. We need more people living in the city so that our cultural institutions can grow.
  • I hate the blind desire for 'open space' and 'green space'. Yes, places like the Esplanade and the Public Garden are wonderful spaces, but they were perfectly planned to interact with the city around them. Open space for the sake of open space rarely works.
  • Thus, I hate 90% of the Greenway. (the North End and Chinatown parks are OK)
I hate people bitching about snow and cold weather. It's New England. Strap a set on and go to work.
I hate that T doesn't run late at night. And even more so, that there are people who don't want the T to run late at night.
I hate that bars close so early. And even more so, that there are people who don't want bars to close later.
I hate that the Pat's lost the Super Bowl.
 
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underground

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The lack of supermarkets. I know that specialty shops are cute/unique/add charecter/support local economy/whatever, but some times you just want some Coco Krispies, know what I mean? In some areas, it's like the city planners just thought everyone would eat out every meal.
 

Ron Newman

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Which part of town lacks supermarkets? The only one I can think of is the North End and downtown, but they're going to get one soon as part of Bulfinch Triangle development.
 

czsz

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Actually, NYTCo is one of the better media companies in terms of maintaining newspaper quality and treatment of employees. Anything owned by the Tribune Co. right now (including LA and Chicago's flagship papers) is getting reamed.

I don't like the fact that NYTCo ownership has resulted in lots of stories being piped in through the backdoor via International Herald Tribune or even LA Times (paying a competing company!) wires. Better than AP, worse than loyal correspondents.

A better model is the Christian Science Monitor, which gets tons of great filler from freelancers. It's Boston's forgotten quality paper (beyond the independents like the Phoenix and the incomparable Weekly Dig).
 

statler

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and the incomparable Weekly Dig.
Have you read the Dig lately?

It hasn't been very good since Joe Keohane left and has really sucked since Michael Brodeur and Lissa Harris left.

About the only decent writer they have left there is David Thorpe and he is pretty much a one-trick pony.

But Keohane was the Dig. His Month in Review pieces were some of the best writing in Boston. And the Media Farm was never the same after he left.
 

czsz

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I hate that very few (if any) 'big name' authors and artists choose the live in Boston.
Increasingly there's a nice home-grown crop, supplanted by the many who are affiliated with growing university MFA programs. Claire Messud lives with her husband, literary critic James Wood, in Somerville. Rishi Reddi lives in Brookline. Junot Diaz is at MIT and edits the Boston Review, Jamaica Kincaid teaches at Harvard on and off, Chinua Achebe is at UMass-Boston, and Jhumpa Lahiri is at BU.

The days of Ticknor & Fields it is not, but isn't that true of most of the country? Does Philip Roth really equal Longfellow and Thoreau? You could make a case for John Updike, maybe...who, by the way, lives in Beverly.
 

aquaman

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My biggest complaint about Boston is that I hate that Boston isn't the cultural capital of the US. While it's true we have and amazing amount of arts and culture for a city our size (see below) we still play a weak second (third?) fiddle to places like New York and Chicago. I'm fine with Boston not being the financial capital of the US. The book Invented Cities does an excellent job of explain why New York got that title. But the arts and culture title is Boston's birthright. I understand that New York got the money and the population followed the money and the arts followed the population, but Boston should be putting up a bigger fight. We have such a rich cultural history but in the last century or so we just stopped trying.
  • I hate that The Atlantic Monthly left Boston.
  • I hate that very few (if any) 'big name' authors and artists choose the live in Boston.
  • I hate that Boston live theater scene is so weak.
  • I hate that the MFA (as good as it is) isn't considered the premier fine arts museum in the US.
  • I hate the fact that the ICA isn't even in the discussion.
  • I hate the fact that Boston isn't known for our restaurants (we're getting better, but we not really on the map yet, as far as I can tell)
  • I could not care less that Boston isn't a fashion capital, but I hate the fact people consider fashion to be part of arts & culture.
I hate that the natives of Boston are seen as unfriendly and hostile to outsiders.

I hate the fact that Bostonians don't want to see their city as a CITY but rather as a large town.
  • I hate the fact that fewer then a million people live within the city limits. And city has no really desire to grow past that. We need more people living in the city so that our cultural institutions can grow.
  • I hate the blind desire for 'open space' and 'green space'. Yes, places like the Esplanade and the Public Garden are wonderful spaces, but they were perfectly planned to interact with the city around them. Open space for the sake of open space rarely works.
  • Thus, I hate 90% of the Greenway. (the North End and Chinatown parks are OK)
I hate people bitching about snow and cold weather. It's New England. Strap a set on and go to work.
I hate that T doesn't run late at night. And even more so, that there are people who don't want the T to run late at night.
I hate that bars close so early. And even more so, that there are people who don't want bars to close later.
I hate that the Pat's lost the Super Bowl.
Nailed it.

I would add a couple of things that REALLY bugs me about Bostonians: 1) selfishness (bad drivers who refuse to obey traffic laws and use turn signals, and self-centered pedestrians who feel it's their birthright to walk in front of a car, trapping it in an intersection); and, 2) a seemingly perverse sense that rudeness and hostility ought to be the dominant traits of city dwellers. I have encountered many more people with that "you don't like it? F- off" attitude here than when I was in NY. NYers, IMO, are generally more outgoing and friendlier people than Bostonians.

About Boston in general, there seems to be a lack of vision for big things or major improvements. We'll never be NYC (thankfully) and I wouldn't want to be like Atlanta, but we could do more to have boosters for this place. We could be more like Chicago or San Francisco, at least in attitude and in a willingness to reinvigorate city life.
 

cden4

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About Boston in general, there seems to be a lack of vision for big things or major improvements.
I totally agree. There is little will to take risks, by either politicians or citizens. It's surprising especially surprising when things are opposed that could easily be undone.

For example, there was a proposal to make Hanover St pedestrian-only during certain times. This could easily be done as a trial through simple road closures to see if any negative side effects can't be worked out. Major cities around the world have pedestrian-only streets, and they are hugely successful! It seems like such a no brainer. Just try it, darnit. If it works, consider making some changes to the street to make it permanent. If it doesn't work, just don't close the street to traffic anymore!
 

palindrome

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My biggest complaint about Boston is that I hate that Boston isn't the cultural capital of the US. While it's true we have and amazing amount of arts and culture for a city our size (see below) we still play a weak second (third?) fiddle to places like New York and Chicago. I'm fine with Boston not being the financial capital of the US. The book Invented Cities does an excellent job of explain why New York got that title. But the arts and culture title is Boston's birthright. I understand that New York got the money and the population followed the money and the arts followed the population, but Boston should be putting up a bigger fight. We have such a rich cultural history but in the last century or so we just stopped trying.
  • I hate that The Atlantic Monthly left Boston.
  • I hate that very few (if any) 'big name' authors and artists choose the live in Boston.
  • I hate that Boston live theater scene is so weak.
  • I hate that the MFA (as good as it is) isn't considered the premier fine arts museum in the US.
  • I hate the fact that the ICA isn't even in the discussion.
  • I hate the fact that Boston isn't known for our restaurants (we're getting better, but we not really on the map yet, as far as I can tell)
  • I could not care less that Boston isn't a fashion capital, but I hate the fact people consider fashion to be part of arts & culture.
I hate that the natives of Boston are seen as unfriendly and hostile to outsiders.

I hate the fact that Bostonians don't want to see their city as a CITY but rather as a large town.
  • I hate the fact that fewer then a million people live within the city limits. And city has no really desire to grow past that. We need more people living in the city so that our cultural institutions can grow.
  • I hate the blind desire for 'open space' and 'green space'. Yes, places like the Esplanade and the Public Garden are wonderful spaces, but they were perfectly planned to interact with the city around them. Open space for the sake of open space rarely works.
  • Thus, I hate 90% of the Greenway. (the North End and Chinatown parks are OK)
I hate people bitching about snow and cold weather. It's New England. Strap a set on and go to work.
I hate that T doesn't run late at night. And even more so, that there are people who don't want the T to run late at night.
I hate that bars close so early. And even more so, that there are people who don't want bars to close later.
I hate that the Pat's lost the Super Bowl.
This post made me depressed. :(



I hate the fact that Gillette left for Cincinnati, and fleet was bought by BOA.
 

Ron Newman

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Gillette was bought but they didn't "leave". I don't see them moving out of Fort Point Channel any time soon.
 

Suffolk 83

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I would add a couple of things that REALLY bugs me about Bostonians: 1) selfishness (bad drivers who refuse to obey traffic laws and use turn signals, and self-centered pedestrians who feel it's their birthright to walk in front of a car, trapping it in an intersection); and, 2) a seemingly perverse sense that rudeness and hostility ought to be the dominant traits of city dwellers. I have encountered many more people with that "you don't like it? F- off" attitude here than when I was in NY. NYers, IMO, are generally more outgoing and friendlier people than Bostonians.
I like the way people drive here. Try living in Florida and they way they drive there. Its HORRIBLE. and its just not the old people.

And I also like the pedestrian style. People in other parts of the country don't know how to cross a road. It is your birthright to walk in front of a car because the person in the car gets in trouble if they hit you, and they're sitting all comfortable in the their car, listening to their music and sipping their coffee, you as the pedestrian is out braving the elements, watching out for people, cars, bikes and whatever else. It is your birthright. (there are some extremes when people really make a car stop short, but thats the minority)

I went to school out of state in another city, and my friends from all over the country joked around and said just follow (me) whenever we were crossing the street. They knew because they saw the skill, its an artform perfected in very few places.People don't know how to cross roads. seriously. I hate morons that sit at crosswalks with no cars coming like they need that little white walk sign to light up.
 

statler

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I hate morons that sit at crosswalks with no cars coming like they need that little white walk sign to light up.
Abso-fuckin'-lutly!

I was in San Diego a while ago with some friends. We were walking down the street and come to a crosswalk. There were three or four people standing there so we stopped. A few seconds went by so I looked up the road and you can see for miles and there wasn't a car in sight.

"What the hell are we standing here for?"
"Beats me."

So we cross.

From the looks we got, you would have thought we were kicking a baby across the street.
Strange.
 

Lrfox

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I'm going to agree and disagree with that one. I LOVE the way people drive around here... In fact, whenever I'm anywhere else, I miss it. Florida is bad, but try Maine nearby; I've been going to school up here for 4 years and two of the most frustrating things are how slow people drive and how oblivious to other drivers they are. I feel like in order to drive in Boston (or Massachusetts in general) you have to be on your toes and alert and I love that. I love that at a green light, if you hesitate going straight, the guy who wants to bang a left is going to go before you. Driving outside this area (except in New York) is annoying, but driving in it is fantastic.

I have to say the pedestrians here drive me nuts. I noticed this last month while driving in New York: I was on Canal Street and I needed to take a left on West Broadway (I was making my way over to the Holland Tunnel) and I took the left, but there were probably 30 pedestrians in the crosswalk... but instead of blocking me in the middle of oncoming traffic on canal street, It was like Moses parting the Red Sea and they let me go. I was shocked. Not in Boston... oh no... I would have been the main cog in a mess of gridlock because pedestrians would continue to walk across and I'd have to do that crawl slowly through the sea of people move you have to do here (although it's tough with a standard). Pedestrians here generally suck, the drivers do not.

As far as an "art form" goes, there is an art to crossing streets in Boston; it involves judging distances between the nearest moving car and the time it takes to cross the street, as a pedestrian, you have to judge correctly or you're going to piss someone off royally (at the very least). This is great, as Statler and Suffolk have mentioned, it's stupid to stand at a crosswalk while no one is coming; however, the pedestrians that just file across the street with no concern for waiting cars in Boston are obnoxious to no end.
 

Ron Newman

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Pedestrians were here first (1630); it makes sense for cars to have lower priority than people.
 

belmont square

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I hate the way people arbitrarily use municipal boundaries to make points that don't have anything to do with municipal governance. It bothers me that people consider Boston a small city because its municipal population is only 600,000. If the city's area was increased to the size of New York City's, Boston would rank 5th in the nation in population. If New York's city limits were coterminus with Manhattan, New York would only be the 5th largest. Neither change would affect anything other than city governance--the two "cities" would still be the same size they are today.

I hate the term "most densely populated city in New England" being used to describe Somerville. Not because it's not technically accurate (which it is) but because it creates a false impression. There are inherent challenges for the local city government in being such a dense municipality (such as lack of commercial development), but city boundaries don't keep residents from accessing jobs, parks and subway stations just over the border. Dozens of similarly and more dense 4 square mile areas exist in the urban area, just without imaginary lines drawn around them in such a way as to exclude large tracts of parkland and industrial areas.
 

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