I was born into a baseball family. My grandpa ran away from home at age 18 to play for the majors, and even though he settled elsewhere, his heart remained with one team: the Boston Red Sox. And because my brother is going away to college, he got to choose the family summer trip.
Therefore, I spent my past extended-weekend wandering through the streets of Boston, trying to adjust to the never-ending energy of the city. Coming from the peace and quiet of the Midwest, I was hit with a wave of fast-paced unfamiliarity. The coffee was strong, the accents stronger. The driving was chaotic and dangerous, and the Uber/Taxi drivers sped through intersections whether pedestrians were crossing or not. And most of all, the smell of a city is unforgettably unique- (marijuana is legal in the state of Massachusetts).
Between the sticky smells of cinnamon rolls, the steaming manhole covers in the street, the spicy Italian sausage vendors, the gas exhaust, the deeply roasted coffee, and most prominently, the weed, I don’t think there will ever be a candle to represent the smell of Boston.
The bizarre blend of smells wasn’t the only memorable part of Boston, the people were unparalleled as well. Whether they be homeless in rags on the corner, or a business mogul in an Armani suit, the one thing every New England resident has in common is a lack of shyness. With distinct and often harsh accents and no sense of embarrassment, the people will push you out of the way like the little lost Midwesterner you are.
While my brothers and father spent every minute they could in Fenway (or on the surrounding streets), I enjoyed watching the tiny ant-like people navigate below from our 25th floor apartment. My fear of heights was soon forgotten as I sipped coffee, flipped through magazines, and stared off into the harbor on our little balcony.
We also had the opportunity to do things I liked, such as take a visit to Tiffany & Co. and browse through the fifth largest art museum in the country. Walking, biking, or taking an Uber was the main way of travel to all of these places, except for when we took the 90-minute ferry to the northern tip of Cape Cod.
In Provincetown, a tiny coastal-resort town known for its scenic nature, creativity, and LGBTQ community, my family and I rented bikes and did our best to follow the trails around the island. Seeing both the forest and the beach in one ride, the noisy smelly craze of the city was quickly forgotten.
Falling asleep on the ferry ride back across the Atlantic harbor that afternoon, I imagined what life would be like in Boston. One would quickly become more assertive, that’s for sure. They would have to be a Red Sox fan, obviously, and be able to eat street vendor food as they walked from their apartment to their office building. And they might become a marijuana connoisseur over time.
I am happy to be home, and to appreciate the opportunities I come across in this crazy life of mine.