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27 Things You Need To Know About Living In Boston

Living in Boston will teach you a thing or two, and I'm not just talking about how to make the perfect fluffanutta.

Spencer McKee

139 articles, 0 comments

1. When It Comes To Driving, It’s Everyone For Themselves

father-and-son-in-bumper-cars

Source: Flickr User Herkie

With just about each person in the city convinced they’re the best driver on the road, daily commutes tend to get…aggressive. Don’t expect people to always let you in when you’re trying to merge, and don’t take it too personally if someone flips you off.

2. This Green Monster Won’t Eat You

woman-with-giant-green-foam-finger

Source: Flickr User chase_elliot

The term “Green Monster” gets thrown around a lot in this city. Don’t worry, there’s no giant green beast wandering the streets…it’s the nickname of the 37-foot left field wall at Fenway Park, the Red Sox’s home field. Not so scary anymore, right?

3. Bostonians Are Hopelessly Addicted To Their Teams

spaniel-wearing-red-sox-jersey

Source: Flickr User MissChatter

No sports fans are more diehard than the ones you’ll find in Boston. Whether it’s the Bruins, the Red Sox, the Pats, or the Celtics, the fans here always show crazy love for their teams. Apparently it pays off, as Boston teams have had tons of post-season success in recent years.

4. The Pats Can Do No Wrong, Ever

new-england-patriots

Source: Flickr User Keith Allison

Despite various cheating allegations and other controversies, Bostonians will never stop loving Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the rest of the New England Patriots. It’s just something that runs in their blood. If you’re in New England, never, ever, talk poorly about this team unless you’re looking for trouble.

5. Boston Runs On Dunkin’

guy-holding-bag-of-dunkin-donuts

Source: Flickr User makelessnoise

While the rest of the country might be drinking Starbucks, in Boston, Dunkin’ Donuts reigns supreme. Whether you’re looking for coffee, a sweet treat, or a sandwich, this place has it all and it’s all delicious. Never get between a Bostonian and their daily Dunkin’ fix.

6. “Regular” Coffee Isn’t Black Coffee

guy-drinking-coffee-out-of-mug

Source: Flickr User basibanget

While the term “regular” might imply a “plain” condition, with coffee in Boston that’s not the case. Here saying the word “regular” before ordering will get you a dose of cream and sugar. That split second that it saves can really add up over time. By saving that single second every day throughout the typical 40-year long professional career, you’ll have amassed a whopping 4 hours of extra free time. Don’t spend it all in one place.

7. I Repeat, There Are No Tomatoes In Clam Chowder

clam-chowder-bread-bowl

Source: Flickr User brittreints

Regardless of what variations you’ve had throughout the years, real New England clam chowder does not have tomatoes in it. It’s gross and people from Boston simply have higher expectations for the dish this city made famous.

8. No One Actually Calls It “Beantown”

night-time-city-scape

Source: Flickr User Stefano Montagner – The life around me

While “Beantown” is the most well-known nickname for the great city of Boston, the locals don’t really use it naturally in regular conversation. Nothing can make a tourist stick out more than when they start dropping this word loudly in public.

9. Bostonians Push Carriages, Not Shopping Carts

boy-riding-in-shopping-cart

Source: Flickr User Sharon & Nikki McCutcheon

If you’re at the supermarket in Boston, you won’t be putting your groceries into a buggy or cart, they’ll go in your carriage. This is one regional term that always tends to catch new residents off guard.

10. Boston Has Sort Of A Thing For Sam Adams

guy-drinking-samuel-adams-beer

Source: Flickr User Mike Burns

This shouldn’t be too surprising. After all, the huge Boston Beer Company did originate in this city, founded by Jim Koch in 1984. If you’re out for a night on the town, skip the Bud Light and go for this local lager. It’s highly drinkable and it’s always reasonably priced.

11. Bikers Are Everywhere

group-of-bicyclists

Source: Flickr User BhowardE

As the weather warms up, the cyclists come out to play. It’s always important to be on your toes while driving in the city to avoid a collision with the bikers you’re sharing the road with.

12. Every Stone Has A Story Behind It

statue-of-george-washington

Source: Flickr User lindsayloveshermac

One of the first big cities to develop in America, every street corner in Boston seems to have had some crazy historical event go down there. One of the best ways to learn about the city is to take a guided walking tour through the older areas, with plenty of companies offering their services online. Of course, if you’d prefer to teach yourself, the Freedom Trail is a great place to start, leading you past 16 historically significant sites over 2.5 miles.

13. Don’t Forget The Fluffanutta

fluffernutter-sandwich

Source: Flickr user kimberlykv

A local favorite in Boston, a fluffernutter sandwich consists of bread, marshmallow cream, and peanut butter. It’s hard to mess this one up.

14. Bowling Is Tough Here

candlepin-blacklight-bowling-alley

Source: Flickr User BuzzFarmers

Home to a style of bowling you’ll have a hard time finding anywhere else in the country, candlepin bowling is a staple around these parts. With smaller balls and smaller pins, along with several other differences, it’s much harder to get a strike in this game.

15. “The T” = The Subway

men-studying-a-subway-map

Source: Flickr User Alan Light

While its full name might be the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority System, the locals have since shortened the name of Boston’s subway system to “the T.” Calling it anything else can quickly get you labeled as a tourist.

16. Steady Red Means Pack An Umbrella

puppy-carrying-umbrella

Source: Flickr User mdalmuld

Surprisingly helpful, even in the era of smartphones, there’s a colored light on the top of the Old John Hancock Building (also known as the Berkeley Building) that forecasts the weather. Steady blue means clear skies, flashing blue means clouds are coming, steady red equals rain, and flashing red means it’s time to bring out the snow boots.

17. New York, Schmooo York

yankees-suck-cake

Source: Flickr User lsiegert

Plain and simple, Bostonians don’t like New York. Sure, you’ll get the occasional person that might stand up for the Big Apple, but as a whole these two places just don’t get along. Whether you’re talking sports, pizza, or people, Boston and New York are bitter rivals. Some things never change.

18. Ordering Tonic Might Not Be What You Expect

woman-pouring-coca-cola

Source: Flickr User ShelahD

If you’re out on the town and you order a vodka tonic, you might not get what you expect. Some people in Boston, especially the older generation, call “cola” by the name “tonic” instead. It’s just one of those weird Boston things you need to know if you’re in the city for long.

19. St. Patrick’s Day Is Kind Of A Humongous Deal

man-in-green-st-patricks-day-costume

Source: Flickr User Tim-Hoggarth

Known for their rich Irish heritage, expect people to go wild in March come St. Patrick’s Day. With plenty of drinking and eating, experiencing this jubilant holiday in Boston is truly an unforgettable experience.

20. These Aren’t Your Mama’s Milk Shakes

girl-drinking-milk-with-straw

Source: Flickr User jonny2love

While some of the national chains will put ice cream in your shakes, a lot of the local diners in Boston offer two very different drinks instead. A milk shake typically only has milk and flavoring in it, while a “frappe” also has ice cream. If you order a milk shake when you really want a frappe…you’re gonna have a bad time.

21. Be Ready To “Bang A Left”

veer-left-traffic-sign

Source: Flickr User nestor galina

A popular term that doesn’t make it out of New England much, “banging a left” basically means flooring it to turn left as soon as the light turns green in attempt to beat the cars coming straight at you from the other direction. It might seem risky, but everyone seems to do it. Always watch out for this before you take off going straight at a green light.

22. This City Fights Over A Beanpot. Really

womens-hockey-team-winning-trophy

Source: Flickr User lsiegert

This isn’t actually the type of pot you actually hold beans in, it’s a trophy. Every year, there’s an annual cross-town hockey tournament featuring teams representing Boston University, Boston College, Harvard University, and Northeastern University. As you can imagine, it’s a pretty big deal.

23. Skip Yastrzemski, It’s Just “Yaz”

carl-yastrzemski-at-bat

Source: Flickr User satdishguy

One of the greatest baseball players of all time and a former 23-year veteran on the Red Sox, Boston goes crazy for Carl Yastrzemski. His full name might be a little hard to pronounce, but no one will take too much offense if you shorten it a bit.

24. Rides On The Green Line Can Get A Little Rough

people-riding-train

Source: Flickr User Alan Light

If you’re not familiar with the Green Line, be warned…there’s a lot of abrupt stopping. It’s always easy to tell who isn’t a local by watching who gets thrown around the train car the most during a short ride across town.

25. Don’t Try To Take Harvard Bridge To Harvard

boston-aerial-view

Source: Flickr User roger4336

Despite its name, this bridge actually leads to MIT. While there are various rumors floating around about how this bridge somehow got the name of a rival cross-town university, it’s named after John Harvard according to the history books, an influential English minister in America. Though his namesake is also shared with Harvard University, builders of the bridge maintain that it was named to honor him, completely separate from honoring the world-famous academic institution.

26. There’s No Fresher Seafood Anywhere Else

guy-eating-lobster

Source: Flickr User pdstahl

Nestled amongst plenty of water, it’s easy to find seafood that’s been pulled out of the sea on the same day in this city. Around here, there’s no need to have fish delivered via long cross country trips with coolers and ice.

27. Sometimes It Seems Like Everyone Is A Student

graduating-class

Source: Flickr User j.o.h.n. walker

With 53 institutions of higher education in the Boston region, tons of people come from all around the world to take classes here. If you’re out a night, there’s a good chance you’ll notice the heavy presence of the college crowd.

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posted on: June 8, 2015
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