A fellow geographer passed this along after I had been in Bridgewater -- about an hour south of Boston, depending on traffic -- for almost two years. The sense of place in the Boston area is so distinctive that I actually understood most of these points after such a short time in the area. For other newcomers and visitors, I hope this page helps to take some of the mystery out of visits to the Hub of the Universe.  JH-B

You might be from Boston if:

  1. You think of Philadelphia as the Midwest.
  2. You think it's your God-given right to cut someone off in traffic.
  3. You think there are only 25 letters in the alphabet (no R's).
  4. You think three straight days of 90+ temperatures is a heat wave.
  5. All your pets are named after Celtics or Bruins.
  6. You refer to 6 inches of snow as a "dusting."
  7. Just hearing the words "New York" puts you in an angry mood.
  8. You don't think you have an attitude.
  9. You always 'bang a left' as soon as the light turns green, and oncoming traffic always expects it.
  10. Everything in town is "a five-minute walk."
  11. When out of town, you think the natives of the area are all whacked.
  12. You still can't bear to watch highlights from Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.
  13. You have no idea what the word "compromise" means.
  14. You believe using your turn signal is a sign of weakness.
  15. You don't realize that you walk and talk twice as fast as everyone else.
  16. You're anal, neurotic, pessimistic, and stubborn.
  17. You think if someone is nice to you, they must  want something, or are from out of town.
  18. Your favorite adjective is "wicked."
  19. You think 63-degree ocean water is warm.
  20. You think the Kennedys are misunderstood.

If you're from Boston:

  1. You'll know who the cahdnal is, how to take the T to JP and what the blinking red light atop the old Hancock Building means in the summer (in winter it  means snow is due).
  2. If you're smaht, you'll never get cahded at the  packie (liquor, or package, store).
  3. You only eat Italian sausage outside Fenway Pahk before a Sox game with mustid, peppahs-n-onions.

When we say / We mean....

How we'll know you weren't bon heah:

Getting around:

Boston is a mishmosh of 17th-century cow paths and 19th-century landfill penned in by water.  You
know, "One if by land, two if by sea."

Which Warren Street do you want? We have three Warren Avenues,  three  Warren
Squares, a Warren Park, and a Warren Place.  Pay no attention to the street names.

There's no school on School Street, no court on Court Street, no dock on Dock Square, no water on Water Street.  Back Bay streets are in alphabetical odda.  Arlington, Berkeley,
Clarendon, Dartmouth.  So are South Boston streets: A, B, C, D.

If the streets are named after trees (Walnut, Chestnut, Cedar), you're on Beacon Hill. If they're
named after poets, you're in Wellesley.

All avenues are properly referenced by their nicknames:  Comm Ave, Mass Ave, Dot Ave.
Dot is Dorchester, Rozzie is Roslindale, JP is Jamaica Plain. Readville doesn't exist.

The North-East-South-West thing: Southie is South Boston.  The South End is the South End.  Eastie is East Boston.  The North End is east of the West End.  The West End and Scollay
Square are no more - a guy named Rappaport got rid of them one night.


Things not to do:

Things you should know:

There are two State Houses, two City Halls, two courthouses, two Hancock buildings (one old, one new). There's also a Boston Latin School and a Boston Latin Academy.  Both are referred to as Boston Latin.  How should we know which one you mean?

Route 128 is also I-95.  It is also I-93.

It's the Sox, the Pats (or Patsies if they're losing), the Seltz, the Broons.
The Harvard Bridge doesn't go to Harvard.  It goes to MIT.  It's measured in 'smoots', which is the
length of a certain Computer Science student at MIT.

The underground train is not a subway.  It's the T, and it doesn't run all night (fah chrysakes, this ain't
Noo Yawk).

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