Get us in your inbox

Photograph: Shutterstock

11 things that make Bostonians irrationally angry

OK, but we think the rage is justified

Olivia Vanni
Written by
Olivia Vanni

Nobody admires Boston more than us Bostonians, but rest assured, there are certain aspects of our city that tend to tick us off beyond belief. Between the rapidly rising rent prices, slow-moving tourists and almost non-functional public transit system, we’re forced to deal with our fair share of triggers on a day-to-day basis—and our notorious temper (we prefer to call it a fiery disposition) doesn’t necessarily help. Here are some of the things that truly test our patience and fill us Hub-dwellers with an at-times irrational rage. 

1. Not honoring the space saver: If we spent an hour in the frigid cold, snow and slush, shoveling out our car, you best be respecting the space saver. Ignore our lawn chair, ironing board or other household object that has no business being outside in the dead of winter, and we’ll snap. 

2. Really anything to do with parking: Our patience is thin when it comes to people who don’t park correctly. Drivers who ignore the lines and take up multiple spaces, block us into a spot or, God forbid, leave their cars somewhere we pay to keep our vehicles can expect our wrath in the form of scathing notes tucked underneath their windshields (and maybe some less legal forms of retaliation).

3. Or anything to do with driving: The nerve of some people and their inability to deal with our city’s nonsensical labyrinth of roads. As far as we see it, everyone should be able to navigate Boston’s web of one-way streets and tunnels boasting unannounced exit-only lanes. If they don’t, we will lose our minds, lean on our horns and rather have a head-on collision than let them inch into our lane.

4. People disrespecting our accent: From big screen actors butchering our vowels to out-of-staters mocking our supposedly flagrant lack of “R”s, Boston’s local dialect gets a lot of flak. Honestly, there’s little more grating than having to listen to someone wrongly impersonate how we speak. And for the record, you can’t actually park your car in Harvard Yard. It’s a pedestrian-only area, so who sounds stupid now?

5. The MBTA: Riding public transit here, we endure regular triggers like derailments, delays, disabled cars and trains randomly being taken out of service. Add the fact that the T fares seem to keep creeping up year by year and the stations’ inclement conditions (they’re scalding torture saunas in the summer and bitter-cold abysses of hopelessness in the winter), and we’re almost surely stewing whenever we have to step foot on the subway. 

6. Watching professional sports: Whether we’re watching the Pats, Bruins, Sox or C’s, you better believe each game is an emotional rollercoaster for us. When things aren’t going our way on the field or court, bursts of burning rage will arise—against the opposing team, against the refs and umps who are clearly making calls to spite our normal level of athletic awesomeness, and even against our own players, if we don’t think that they’ve shown up. 

7. The swarms of college students: Boston is home to dozens of colleges and universities, which means our city is just teaming with students ready to annoy us. Whether it’s a backpacked BU youth pushing against us on the packed, rush-hour Green Line or a crew of sloppy Suffolk co-eds shrieking at the bar, there’s a certain je ne sais quoi about the local undergrad population that can fill us with usually unjustified rage.

8. And clueless tourists: With their leisurely pace, tendency to block entire sidewalks and affinity for stopping us dead in our incredibly busy tracks to ask for directions to places they can’t pronounce, tourists definitely land on this list. 

9. The Yankees: Did we reverse “the curse” back in 2004? Yep. Are we still holding onto a lifelong grudge against any and all Yankee fans? Absolutely. And will the mere sight of an NY baseball cap make us senselessly seethe? You better believe it, buddy.

10. Insane real estate prices: We sometimes scroll through the rental listings throughout the city and just feel our fists gradually clenching tighter and tighter. Whether it’s a 400-square-foot studio going for almost $3K a month or a barely legal (but hey, slightly more affordable) split to share with three other people, apartments here can make us irate. Word to the wise: Don’t even look at the places for sale because they just might induce an aneurysm. 

11. Gentrification: Part of our city’s pride comes from keeping our beloved townie edge. So when we see signs of gentrification—like luxury apartment complexes, cafes selling $5 cups of coffee, sky-high rent prices and artisanal anything—taking over our charmingly gritty neighborhoods like South Boston, Charlestown and Dorchester, our blood kind of starts to boil. We’ll still buy that $5 coffee—make it latte with extra foam—but we’re not going to be happy about it, OK?

More on city identity

    You may also like
    You may also like