Today’s Life as a Twenty-Something post is written by Steph, who I met when the housing department at our college did us a solid and assigned us to the same floor in the dorms. We were also study abroad partners. Steph is a Massachusetts native that’s lived in that state’s capital since we moved there for college, and she’s one of my few friends that’s still there. I’m so glad to have her here today, so never mind what you heard about the time the two of us boarded a party bus that wasn’t ours and just read Steph’s cute post on life in Boston already.
I always knew I would end up in Boston. I just didn’t think I would spend quite so long in Boston.
When I was looking at colleges I knew I wanted a large, city school. The day before the big decision was due I narrowed it down to NYU and BU. I loved BU but I was hesitant to go to school just 45 minutes from where I grew up. But in the end the pros outweighed the cons and I obviously ended up at BU. And beyond the great education and friends, I fell in love with Boston.
When I was driving back into Boston the other day I remembered why I love Boston. I mean c’mon! Look at that skyline. Yes, it isn’t huge and flashy like NYC. But I can pick out every single building. And I can walk from one end to another. Granted I wouldn’t dare do that in the winter. In the winter I basically turn into a bear, hibernate, and curse this city. But summer? Summer in Boston isn’t so bad. Here are a few of my favorite things about Boston in the summer.
I live in the North End, which is Boston’s version of “Little Italy.” Aside from having fantastic restaurants every few feet, there are a few hidden gems in the North End. Like…
For a whopping $15 for the season, I can sunbathe and dip in a pool right next to the Harbor. Not only is this a killer deal that people don’t really talk about, but it is easily the best people watching in Boston. I don’t even bring a book to the pool. I just listen to the locals gossip and yell at their kids.
Next to the pool is a playground, sports fields and bocce ball courts. On a nice night you can find us sipping drinks by the court. And if you don’t know the rules the local older men love to teach newbies.
I love/hate the North End festivals. Five or six weekends a summer there are parades, games, food and music in the streets of the North End to celebrate various saints. It was exciting the first time I saw a full on marching band go down my street but the next dozen times felt like overkill. And it’s real tacky.
Downside to the North End? I battle hundreds of tourists daily. I live directly on the Freedom Trail and around the corner from the famed Old North Church. When I am sweating and dragging myself home from a long day of work and the gym, the last thing I want to hear is “Where did Paul Revere really live?”
Boston has quite a few islands that are just a ferry ride away. Last 4th of July some friends and I headed to Spectacle Island. It is amazing that 20 minutes away is a cool beach and hiking trails. The downside to going to the islands on a beautiful day is that it gets pretty crowded. I would not recommend booking the last ferry ride home. Everyone does that and they do not plan accordingly. We ended up stuck on the island for two hours longer than we anticipated. We were burnt, tired, thirsty, and hungry. It almost turned into the Hunger Games.
Outdoor Restaurants and Bars
I feel like summer is in sight when Tias opens. Tias is a restaurant/bar on the water that is only open for summer. The second it gets warm enough all the bars open their windows and decks. I love being able to sit on a patio or roof deck and enjoy the weather with a cold drink and friends.
Boston is a pretty young city and is home to about 60 colleges. That can be both good and bad. For example, a few weekends ago I was out at a bar and a very nice young gentleman asked me what college I go to. Sorry kid, I’ve been out of school for four years. Way to make me feel old. But summer sends a lot of the college kids away, so you get a chance to see what people your own age look like.
Bostonians have so much pride for this little city. I see this all the time and I think the rest of the world got to see this side of Boston after the Marathon bombings. Bostonians come together for one and other. Boston is an incredibly resilient and proud city. And we’ve got a lot to be proud of. Have you heard of our sports teams? ;)
This made me real nostalgic. Steph and Boston, I miss you both! Thanks for showing what life in Boston is like post keg parties and Sunday nights in the study lounge. Next week we venture to Chicago!
Me and Steph on the last night of our study abroad program in Sydney.