Get us in your inbox

Rush hour traffic
Photograph: Shutterstock

16 ways that Boston will always make you late

It kind of seems like the city schemes against us

Olivia Vanni
Written by
Olivia Vanni

We Bostonians don’t need any extra help being late. And yet, even on our best days, when we don’t snooze through the series of alarms we’ve set every five minutes on our phone, this beautiful city of ours still seems to work against us. Whether it’s the not-so-trusty MBTA coming to a screeching halt in between stops or an impossibly long line at our favorite coffee shop, The Hub is full of obstacles set to sabotage our best attempts to stay on schedule. So the next time you’re planning on strutting into work at the top of the hour or desperately trying not to be fashionably late for that date, beware of these ways that Boston can thwart those efforts without fail.

1. The T. Need we say more? 

2. Traffic at any and all hours of the day, and, more often than not, for seemingly no reason at all. 

3. Someone with a clipboard coming your way, so naturally, you have to cross the street and head in the opposite direction of your destination to avoid that unwanted interaction. 

4. Having to change your outfit 10,000 times because you can’t decide whether it’s hot, cold, rainy or sunny outside—knowing full well that it'll end up being all of the above once you leave your house.

5. A wrong turn, which forces you to find your way out of an unending labyrinth of one-way roads. 

6. Stalled tour groups, who are so captivated by their colonial-costumed guides that they're unable to pay attention to their surroundings.

7. Needing to furiously search for your jacket underneath the mountain of outwear that’s taken over a corner of the bar after last call. 

8. Ducking into Tatte or Flour real quick, only to be sucked into the slowest moving line of your life. 

9. Four feet of snow burying your car, giving you an impromptu, full-body workout.

10. Needing to merge into a lane, but other cars won't let you in because showing mercy and human decency is clearly a sign of weakness. 

11. The crowds of eager diners waiting outside for a table in the North End, forming a blockade on both the sidewalks and the streets, as if we don’t need to use those. 

12. A maze of post-Nor'easter snowbanks, slush puddles and patches of black ice that you don’t break your neck. 

13. The flood of fans descending upon TD Garden or Fenway on game day (or Boylston Street on Marathon Monday) and turning the surrounding areas into a total free-for-all. 

14. Those cute heels you’re wearing getting stuck in a cobblestone street because that’s what you get for trying to look nice. 

15. Thinking you could find parking close by because you’re a damn fool.

16. Yet another film crew blocking off a brownstone-lined street to shoot scenes for a show or movie, proving that Boston is just too pretty for its own good. 

More on city identity

    Latest news