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Keytar Bear in Harvard Square
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/sushiesque

22 things that only make sense to Bostonians

Written by
Time Out Boston editors

They may puzzle out-of-towners, but these things seem perfectly normal if you call the Hub of the Universe home.

1. Double-parking on even the narrowest street is acceptable for any errand or event shorter than a feature film.

2. Rotaries aren’t “roundabouts” or “traffic circles”; they’re designated sites for total chaos, and if you slow down in one, we will rear-end your car.

3. There’s no such thing as Manhattan clam chowder. That’s just salsa with fish in it.

4. The concept of “inbound” and “outbound” trains on the T.

5. No matter the size, if you order “coffee regular” at Dunkin Donuts you’ll always get the same (prodigious) proportions of sugar and milk dumped into it.

6. The entire state west of Route 128 is Western Mass. Anything past I-495 is pretty much Ohio.

7. Self-contradictory speech. If you say you love the Bruins, and the guy next to you at the Garden says, “So don’t I!” it means he loves them more than you do.

8. The North End has the best pasta, Southie has the best bars and Central Square has the best drugs.

9. It is necessary to choose a favorite Wahlberg.

10. This isn’t “Beantown,” it’s “the Hub of the Universe,” because we have more history than the next three cities put together, and whatever the season our sports team just beat your sports team.

11. Many streets randomly have a different name every mile or so. You’re driving down Tremont Street—no, Columbus Ave—no, Seaver Street, and why’d you want to go to Grove Hall, anyway?

12. And if you can find a way to shorten the name of any street, you will. Only out-of-towners say Massachusetts Avenue or Commonwealth Avenue—locals keep to two syllables: Mass and Comm Ave.

13. You don’t go to your neighborhood spa for a massage or a manicure; it’s where a sweet Dominican lady sells you smokes and a 40.

14. House parties are more fun than bars because your buddy Mikey doesn’t lock up at 2am.

15. After you dig your car out from even two inches of snow, it’s acceptable to save your spot on the street for up to two weeks using a traffic cone, a three-legged kitchen chair or your old Nomar Garciaparra jersey. Go Sox! 

16. You don’t take shortcuts through the Fens after dusk unless you are looking to “meet” closeted gay men from the suburbs.

17. It still seems a little strange that you don’t have to walk through a sketchy tunnel under a six-lane elevated expressway to get to the North End.

18. It’s perfectly reasonable to wear shorts and flip-flops the first day in March that the temperature gets above 50 degrees.

19. Spotting Matt Damon or Ben Affleck in town doesn’t excite you half as much as finding Keytar Bear playing in Harvard Square.

20. You only take the B train from June to August, when the students are gone and there’s no vomit on the floor.

21. You use your middle finger both to express affection and to deliver warnings.

22. The best holidays are Evacuation Day, Patriots’ Day, and Bunker Hill Day, because those poor saps in NYC, Philly and DC have to go to work.

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