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Welcome to Boston

They keep honking at me. I’m staring out of my empty apartment above Mass and Tremont, and they keep honking at me. I’m walking on some street with restaurants and hotels, shops, and realtors, and they keep honking at me. I cross the street and someone calls me a moron. And they honk at me.

I’m not sure who “they” are, but I have a feeling that they are the same people who keep calling Mark-the realtor who found me this apartment-“Mock.” I have a feeling that they are the same people who tell the passengers on the T to stay clear of the “steers.” “Don’t stand by the steers,” they say. “Get out of the steers so that others can board.”
I’ve been out here about two weeks now, fresh out of college, a transplant from California, and I am learning some things about the East Coast, about Boston, about living in the city.

This town has youth. It has diversity. But, while it may not be as crazed as New York City, it is certainly still an adjustment for those of us that have not lived in the heart of a city. So, here are a few quick pieces of advice to the first-year student, adjusting to the ways of Boston, from one who is learning as he goes:

Before you learn anything else, know that you should root for the Red Sox. Even if you don’t like baseball, do this with all of your heart. It will make you feel like a real Bostonian. They all do it. Mention Nomar. Don’t say his last name. Don’t pronounce the last letter in his first name. You’ll have something to talk about with just about anybody. These people really love their team. There are no better fans in the country. But don’t worry, you aren’t jumping on the bandwagon. There is no bandwagon to jump on. After all, the Sox always seem to fall second to the hated Yankees. And if, for some reason that changes this year, well, then you are the reason. You are the good luck charm. You have reversed the curse of the Bambino. You must never leave Boston.
Don’t worry about getting warm clothes. The weather’s been great these last two weeks. I don’t know what all these people were warning me about. Scarves and beanies-who needs them? And they thought a California kid wouldn’t survive.

Go in search of the free music. It’s there, you just have to look for it. Or listen for it. You just have to listen for it. But looking and listening at the same time, man, I bet that would really increase your odds.

Go to the restaurant at the top of the Prudential Building to see the spectacular view of the city. Then, when you see the spectacular view of the prices, say “just kidding” and run to the elevator before they can seat you.

Finally, don’t take the newer-looking trains on the green line. Just trust me on this one.

Welcome to Boston. Hope you bring the Red Sox some luck. Now keep it down, ya moron.

-Brian Eule is a freelance writer living in Boston.

September 4, 2001
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