fifty things that i love about boston
by john ryan gallagher
the first few days of spring when all the college girls wear next to nothing and show off their hot pale bodies.
cardullo’s in harvard square shows each red sox game on a nice flat screen in their window display. a bunch of guys watch each game from this spot. while none of these men are actually nice, it’s reassuring and refreshing that they are always there.
we can still dance at the pill on friday nights to britpop and modern indie tracks spun by ken and michael.
walking around castle island and pleasure bay in south boston. you can stop at sullivan’s for a soft-serve, but there’s a guy at the end of broadway with an ice cream truck that offers a shorter line and very nice service.
late night pizza at little stevie’s on boylston street. it’s always a real shitshow but worth it. this guy told me he saw little stevie wash the oven out with the mop he was using to clean the floor.
the street performers in harvard square… even the little asian man who makes noise on his weird stringed instrument. i swear he’s getting the last laugh.
we call the subway system ‘the t’.
seeing the enormous celtics banner as you go down from the zakim bridge into the thomas p. o’neill jr tunnel. i’m glad the bruins finally got to put one up too.
trying to nagivate an automobile down the world’s narrowest streets in the north end. after that white knuckle ride and a merciless attempt to find parking, i like to get a gelato and an espresso.
the guy that shows up to every event with the jesus flyers. it’s not a party until he arrives.
twelve dollar sandwiches from hi rise in huron village, cambridge. i swear they are worth every penny.
going to the top of the tower in mount auburn cemetery. there’s a tree nearby that you can hide inside when it’s flowers bloom. i may or may not have carved my initials into this bitch.
watson and the shark at the museum of fine arts.
i think it’s great how we pronounce our towns like total chuds. ‘gloucestah’, ‘peabiddy’, ‘haverhill’, ‘worcester’, etc.
breakfast or brunch at zaftig’s in brookline.
seeing old movies at the brattle theater. i like to sit in andre dubus sr’s seat. they serve beer in there now.
driving over the tobin bridge and getting that feeling of excitement when i see the skyline. happens every time.
ice skating on the frog pond. afterwards i like to get chinese food and swiftly regain the calories i just burned off.
(above) i still don’t know how, but someday i am going to get up on that statue of washington and sit on the back of his horse with him.
having pizza and ice cream at picco in the south end.
marathon monday. even better is catching the red sox 10:05 am start and then coming out to see the first runners come by.
oxford spa in cambridge has an incredible sandwich called ‘the dissertation’. right next to ‘oxford spa’ is a laundromat that was used in the filming of ‘love story’. they let you know it, too. they have a big sign in the window proclaiming this fact.
the aquarium has a pretty badass shark tank.
you can still rent (hard to find) vhs tapes from the two existing hollywood express locations in porter and central square, cambridge.
the roofdeck pool at the colonade hotel. it’s open to the public but it costs thirty-five bucks. i think last year they may have lowered it to thirty. it’s worth it on a hot day. there’s a full service bar and a great crabmeat sandwich.
making fun of people that still rollerblade as they zip by on the esplanade.
the fact that innovation was invented in kendal square. there’s also an overpriced art house movie theater nearby.
jonathan richman has written some truly excellent songs about boston. ‘roadrunner’, ‘government center’, ‘hot nights’, ‘twilight in boston’ (this one is kinda gay), etc. i like that we have him, even though he doesn’t live here anymore.
my favorite section of the city for homeless people is central square, cambridge. one time we saw a group of them dancing around their homeless ghetto blaster to tom petty’s ‘refugee’. so fitting and perfect!
eating hand-cut french fries inside fanuiel hall with my dad.
fourth of july on the esplanade. i like to watch from the memorial drive side. last year neil diamond came and sang ‘sweet caroline’. a recent study was conducted that proved that girls are more likely to put out on the 4th of july as opposed to any other night in the year.
trying to get out of the mass eye and ear parking lot onto storrow drive. this shit presents one of the greater challenges i have faced in life. good luck.
there’s something romantic about post office square in the financial district. i slept on a bench there one night.
dancing to the hits at videodrome in allston’s common ground. where else can you go to dance to olivia newton-john videos projected on gigantic big screens?
zenning out at the isabella stewart gardner museum while trying to solve the mystery of who stole the rembrandts.
free summertime concerts in city hall plaza. city hall itself is about as ugly a building as you’ll ever see. it’s so ugly that it’s cool.
adolfo gonzales was an intern for toucher and rich at wbcn. he has since become a member of their staff and moved over to 98.5 fm (the sports hub) when ‘bcn was bought out. he has a tattoo with the word ‘chili’ misspelled. earlier in the year he lost a bet and was forced to walk from boston to foxboro (twenty-four miles) with a life size cardboard cut-out of patriots receiver wes welker on his shoulders. adolfo might be my favorite boston personality of all time.
bostonians take halloween very seriously. i like that adults celebrate it the saturday that the clocks are turned back. this allows for an extra hour of mayhem. i like the next day because you can wake up and scroll fbook for pictures of girls you know dressed up like sluts.
for two bucks you can take a ferryboat from the aquarium to charlestown and climb the bunker hill monument. there isn’t much to do there but it’s a cheap thrill i enjoy every once in a while.
there used to be a speakeasy in allston and you’d knock on her door and say, ‘mamasita, it’s benny’. then she’d sell you a thirty-rack for thirty bucks. she was available twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year. she did not discriminate over age. i don’t know if she still operates, but damn did i appreciate her style.
gourmet express is the place that used to be a white chicken in porter square. they are open twenty-four hours and offer fantastic food and snacks. all the people that work there are beyond nice. you should see the knuckleheads and homeless people they have to put up with in there at three a.m. on a saturday night.
checking out art on the first fridays of the month on harrison street. most of the time it’s douche bag city down there, but it’s always amusing.
‘duck tours’. actually, i take it back. i don’t like ‘duck tours’. i got on one once when i was hungover and had to jump off the back of it mid-trip.
in ’04 when the smaller john hancock tower flashed blue and red, it meant that ‘the curse was dead’.
the boston public library has some nice galleries that are free to poke around in. there’s an interesting exhibit going on now about edgar alan poe’s time in boston. he hated it here. what an assclown.
the saint patrick’s day parade in south boston. little kids walking around with beers, public urination, girlfriends crying, fights, yet still about as amazing as it can get.
getting people stoned and taking them to the mapparium at the christian science center. it’s this big glass globe you walk through on a bridge. the acoustics are strange and terrifying. then you pin your friends into a conversation with one of the christian science people and run to the nearest exit, laughing like a real shitheel.
what are some things you love about boston?